Good Shepherd Montessori School

Is Good Shepherd accredited?

Good Shepherd works to provide the best education possible, and accreditation is part of that
work. We are a full member of the American Montessori Society (AMS) and we are accredited
by the Independent Schools Association of the Central States (ISACS).
How well do Good Shepherd students adjust and perform when they transition
to other schools?
GSMS alumni consistently share with us that they do well both academically and socially.
Research studies show Montessori children are well prepared for life after the Montessori
classroom. They adapt to new and diverse social situations, and proactively seek out learning
opportunities. Since Good Shepherd students develop a love of learning, they adapt well and can
navigate through the challenges this transition can present.

Will Good Shepherd admit students with special needs?
The learning environment at Good Shepherd is designed to help all children reach their full
potential at their own pace. We celebrate the differences of each child, and these differences
help build a stronger community, one where children learn from one another. Because of the
multi-age classrooms, children can work at their own pace without feeling ahead or behind other
students. We address “special needs” students on a case-by-case basis.
If you don’t test children, how can you measure their achievements?
We measure achievement, both academically and socially, through observation and
demonstration of skills in our integrated learning environment. Our guides assess individual
progress and identify areas needing additional support, through daily interaction with the
children.
What is the average class size?
In 2013-2014 the average classroom size was 19 in the primary classroom (ages 3-6), 27 in each
lower elementary classroom (grades 1-3), 23 in each upper elementary classroom (grades 4-6),
and 23 in the junior high (grades 7-8). Each classroom has at least one guide and one assistant.
Good Shepherd speaks about diversity – how diverse is the student population?
Central to our mission and beliefs, we value socio-economic and racial-ethnic diversity and
strive to create a diverse learning community for our students and families.
40% of our students receive some form of financial aid and we strive to have at least one-third of
our student body come from households of poverty. The nature of our school community, like
that of South Bend itself, continues to change. According to Dr. Maria Montessori: “Diversity is introduced as early as possible in Montessori education. . . . Discussions help children see that the needs of human beings in all places on the earth and in all times in history are the same. . . . This emphasis on common needs helps in the development of brotherhood and sisterhood with all peoples on earth.”
What type of discipline is used in the classroom?
A Montessori environment helps children become self-disciplined. At Good Shepherd, we use
“positive discipline”, which uses dialogue and redirection. We often refer to and encourage our
parents to read Positive Discipline by Jane Nelsen, Lynn Lott, and H. Stephen Glenn.