Shepherd of the Woods School, whose motto is "Learning, Loving, Serving," is dedicated to providing academic excellence in a Christ-centered community. The school focuses on family values and social and emotional learning.
It's a very different academic environment from a traditional school. Small class sizes allow teachers to give students more personalized instruction. Classes are taught in 90-minute blocks and contain no more than 18 students per class. The class is further broken up into groups of six, giving students the most individualized instruction possible.
The school, now in its 11th year, starts with PreK2 through VPK and goes up to the 9th grade as its highest class. With plans to grow, the school will continue adding a higher grade each year.
Speagle said the school is special because of its ability to focus on what the students really need.
"It's the personalization we can provide between the small classrooms and the blended learning we can do," said Dr. Madelyn Speagle, principal. "Blended learning takes the best of all we know in education."
Blended learning is a style of teaching that integrates online learning with small-group and teacher-led instruction. Students can move ahead in a subject or go back to something they might be struggling with. It helps make students more engaged, because they're learning at their own pace.
Speagle said the school is free of the distractions that a bigger school has and that prevents its students from falling through the cracks. She said having such a close community is part of what makes the school exceptional.
"It's like a big family," Speagle said, "Everybody knows everybody."
The school also caters to special needs that students might have. Speagle said there are speech, occupational and ABA therapists onhand.
Shepherd of the Woods is a Christian school, but accepts all students, regardless of religious affiliation. Its values include faith, relationships, sharing, uniqueness, respect, fairness and communication.
"If a child feels loved, secure and safe, they can grow into their full potential," Speagle said.