Good Shepherd Lutheran School - Menifee

good shepherd lutheran school menifeeAfter writing the previous article, where I mentioned Menifee Union School District is seeing its student enrollments going down, I wanted to take a look at a private school here in Menifee, Good Shepherd Lutheran School, and see where they're at.

Go back to last January, when the topic of the day was Measure B, the school bond that was going to raise property taxes to build more schools. I wanted to know if Good Shepherd was experiencing crowded classrooms, or what.

I spoke to Rob McDowell, Principal at Good Shepherd. The school teaches grades K-7, taking a child all the way from kindergarten, and 2/3 of the way through middle school.

He said that they have plenty of room for more students. The school has 12 classrooms, and they're set up for 20 kids per classroom. That would give them a maximum capacity of 240 students. However at this time, they're sitting at about half of that capacity. So basically, they have an average of 10 kids per classroom.

As far as tuition is concerned, the cost is paid at $400.00 a month, for 10 months. The cost is the same for all grades, with the exception of preschool.

I asked McDowell as to why more parents don't enroll their kids at his school. His answer was economics. He said that for some families, $400.00 per month is too much to afford. But he also acknowledged that there are families who can afford it, but just prefer to use public schools instead.

He also acknowledged that Good Shepherd Lutheran School is a "congregational school", and that may be prohibitive to some families.

I asked if he could explain why there aren't more private schools in Menifee, and he saw it as a lack of demand. First, there's the tuition issue, and second, people just don't give private schools a thought. I asked if there were any political hurdles that private schools have to overcome to become established, and he said "no". Basically, it's just a lack of demand.

Being that I wanted to write an article about his school, he wanted to say that he's very proud of his teaching staff, and that the school holds its teaching standards to a very high level. He explained that their teachers work on a year-to-year contract, and as a result the school can choose not to renew a teacher's contract if that teacher doesn't meet their standards.

But he also went on to acknowledge that in his experience, the single greatest factor in a child achieving high educational marks, is the child's desire to learn, and not so much being in a private or public school.

I don't get the sense that Good Shepherd is experiencing a drop in enrollment due to the current economy, or foreclosures. It seems that parents who can afford private schooling are probably in good financial shape.

I can agree that there are many families who can't afford the $400.00 a month tuition. I probably also agree there are many others who can, but prefer to save the money and send their kids to public schools.

If budget problems continue to get worse with Menifee Union, and Menifee Union is forced to cut back even more services, will Good Shepherd benefit as a result?

You can learn more about Good Shepherd Lutheran School at their website...

http://www.gslcmsmenifee.org/k7.cfm




6 Comments:

  1. GSLS is a great school. I put my two kids there after the public school experience, and they greatly benefited from the smaller class sizes and aggressive curriculum.

    We struggle with the tuition, but we just let some other expenditures go and managed to make it up.

    We no longer feel "lost" in the public school system, but feel that our kids get very individual attention.

    The teachers are fantastic and you gotta love uniforms!

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  2. It was my understanding that the teachers at the school do not have to have college degrees and have teaching credentials, that could be a reason why more children don't go there

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  3. Anonymous on June 2:

    California state law does not define any requirements for any private school in the state. This applies to ALL private schools in California (not just Good Shepherd) including parents that home school their children who establish themselves as a private school.

    There are many excellent private schools throughout the state and they have no oversight from the state either. This is where a parent has the obligation to research the private schools that they are considering placing their child in. If a parent keeps their child out of a private school because of the rhetoric about no state oversight, then I believe that parent is not doing their homework regarding a particular private school. If that parent feels that the private school is worth their money and that it will provide an excellent education, then state oversight should not be needed.

    Keep in mind one other fact that is often overlooked: private schools "compete" with the free public schools. Therefore, to remain "competitive" the private schools need to offer a curriculum and education that rivals that of the public schools, as well as other private schools. If it were not so then parents will vote with their dollars and take their children out of the private school. This is something that private school operators do not want to see happen, so they will often do what is necessary to ensure the quality of their school's education is top-notch.

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  4. The teachers at Good Shepherd have degrees and if they don't have credentials, then they are working on them, in compliance just as the public school teachers are.

    Good Shepherd is an awesome school to go to, and is a big asset to this community. There is not one teacher at this school that I would not let my child be in their classroom, unlike the public school, where there are many whom I would NEVER let my child be in their class. I have had my older 3 children in the public schools, so I do know what I am talking about. Every elementary school has those teachers we all cringe about, but this is not the case at Good Shepherd.

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  5. Good Shepherd Lutheran School has eight teachers and five of those teachers either have their Masters Degree or are taking graduate courses towards a Masters Degree and the other three have their Bachelors Degree and are California credentialed teachers.

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  6. The Physical Education teacher only has an associates degree.

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