About Good Shepherd Episcopal School
Nestled at the corner of the James River and Forest Hill Park, Good Shepherd Episcopal School serves the children and families of the City of Richmond and surrounding counties by offering a core K-8 curriculum enhanced by Spanish, technology, outdoor education, the arts, and comparative religion to children of all faiths. The school is distinguished by its diversity, which it sees as a core strength, believing that the most essential 21st century skill is the ability to create viable, productive relationships with many different kinds of people from varying backgrounds. We encourage understanding between and respect for all people, regardless of intellectual, cultural, racial, and socio-economic differences. We are committed to providing an intellectually challenging environment for each student, while laying the groundwork to help students prepare for their future endeavors in all aspects of life. Graduates attend competitive, college prep high schools, both public and private.
Good Shepherd is accredited by the Virginia Association of Independent Schools (VAIS) and is a member of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) and the Virginia Council of Private Education (VCPE).
Admission and Financial Aid
Good Shepherd Episcopal School embraces the diversity of its students and admits students of any race, color, sex, gender, gender identity, disability, nationality, or ethnic origin to all programs and activities made available to students in the school.
Admission decisions are based on academic performance, potential, and growth, as well as the character of each candidate. We look at the whole child in making admissions decisions. Transcripts and standardized test scores give us an indication of the applicant’s academic abilities. Recommendations from teachers tell us more about the kind of person and student the applicant is, about his or her motivation, interests, and abilities to interact with peers and adults.
We are dedicated to offering a financial aid program that makes it possible for deserving students, who otherwise would be unable to attend, to be members of our school community. Candidates should not be discouraged from applying because of the cost of attending Good Shepherd Episcopal School. Flexible payment plans are available to all families.
TUITION AND FEES
Tuition for 2019-2020
Grades K-5: $11,550
Grades 6-8: $11,970
THE ADMISSION PROCESS
- Schedule a tour or attend an Open House. Open Houses for prospective students are held periodically; however, prospective families are welcomed to schedule a private tour any time.
- Fill out an application, found here. If you are seeking admission for middle school, there is an additional application to be completed by the student which you can download here.
- Submit transcripts and school records. Upon receipt of the application, student transcripts and school records will be requested from the present school.
- Submit confidential teacher recommendations. Teachers can mail these directly to the school or e-mail them to Elizabeth Coleman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Schedule a student visit. After an application is received, a date for a student visit and admissions testing will be arranged, at which time prospective students spend a day (half day for rising Kindergarten) at GSES and participate in the day’s activities. Applicants will also complete admissions testing during this visit day.
- Families may apply for financial aid once the applicant has been accepted to the school.
The best way to discover if Good Shepherd Episcopal School is a good fit for your child is to visit. We invite you to schedule a tour or plan a visit during one of our admissions events. We look forward to meeting you and your family!
At GSES, we believe in creating a supportive environment which serves the needs of the whole student while providing a rigorous educational program. While our curriculum is aligned with the Virginia Standards of Learning, we are not bound to or restricted by state testing. Classes are guided by SOL topics, but student learning is assessed in ways that keep stress and anxiety to a minimum. Our small class sizes allow teachers the flexibility to focus on the material and the enjoyment of learning rather than preparing students for a test. Additionally, teachers are able to approach instruction in ways that best meet the needs of their particular class and students.
What we do
- Instill in students the desire to take responsibility for their education and success, to think critically, and to problem solve.
- Provide a small student/teacher ratio that encourages multi-age interaction and teamwork.
- Develop intellectual curiosity, critical thinking, and a lifelong love of learning.
- Support dynamic and talented teachers who shape the curriculum and encourage all students to perform at their best.
- Use positive reinforcement to encourage student growth
- Encourage community service and giving to others, particularly though team efforts.
- Develop student citizens, balancing self-confidence with responsibility and compassion, leadership with cooperation, and intellectual challenge with social acceptance and tolerance.
Instructional Support and Enrichment
The role of the Instructional Support and Enrichment Program is to enhance the educational experiences of all GSES students. The Instructional Support and Enrichment (I.S.E.) Team reinforces classroom instruction in a variety of ways. At the beginning of each year, classroom teachers work with I.S.E. teachers to develop an individual MAP for each student. The MAP is both a snapshot and a guide, designed to create a picture of each student and to provide goals for his or her learning during the school year. The MAP is written as a collaborative effort between teachers and the I.S.E. team, and parents’ input is welcome. The MAP is sent home to parents at the beginning of the year for their comments and then signed and returned to school.
In Lower School, grades kindergarten through fifth, I.S.E. teachers provide support and enrichment within whole classes or with small groups of students. Students may need extra time and additional instruction in order to master skills and concepts, and I.S.E. teachers provide guided activities to reinforce and practice topics presented in the classroom. Students may also be ready for extra challenge within a subject area, and I.S.E. teachers create lessons to extend and deepen learning.
In Middle School, each grade has two dedicated I.S.E. class periods each week during which time students learn in small groups and one-on-one with I.S.E. teachers as needed. I.S.E. class time focuses on study skills, organization, and test preparation, as well as supporting and extending classroom instruction. I.S.E. teachers also assist in core classes as needed throughout the week. Eighth graders explore secondary school options, practice taking school entrance tests, and create resumes. The I.S.E. transition coordinator works with eighth graders and their families to prepare for their transition to high school. During the third trimester, the process of looking toward high schools begins for the seventh graders. In addition, an I.S.E. teacher is available each morning for any middle school student who needs help with classwork, homework, or test preparation.
The Instructional Support and Enrichment Team also manages standardized assessments. Testing at GSES is completed in the spring, and typically focuses on grades 1,3,5,7. The goal is to track student progress, without over-testing or losing valuable instructional time. Assessments are undertaken in a combination of group and individual formats. I.S.E. teachers work with parents to understand their child’s progress, strengths, and challenges. This may include facilitating a student’s work with a tutor or therapist employed outside the school.