Academics

Academics and Extra Curricular Activities

At Good Shepherd School, we strive to develop the whole child and our curriculum reflects this breadth. From formal academics to enriching extra-curricular activities, children learn everything from story writing to 3D modeling and much more. Here are a few of our enriching extra curricular activities:.

Academics

Good Shepherd School follows the California State Common Core standards in mathematics. Students achieve mastery of the standards and are challenged to apply higher order thinking within academic and real life situations:  how to make decisions, how to approach problems, the use of various strategies, skills and concepts in finding solutions. Students learn to apply strategies from simpler problems to more complex problems.  In the primary grades, many lessons are introduced with hands-on learning techniques such as modeling with manipulative and interactive resources. Students are making the connection between mathematical practice standards and becoming independent thinkers.  Formative and summative assessments are done via quizzes, observation, benchmark checks, and quarterly STAR computer adapted tests. Common Core Progress Mathematics work texts (K-8), Simple Solutions, Jumpstart, as well as online resources such as Accelerated Math, IXL, Mathematics, offer students a variety of resources to meet their learning needs in mathematics.

Good Shepherd School uses the California Common Core English Language Arts Standards as the foundation for the Language Arts Curriculum. These standards establish what it means to be a literate person in the twenty-first century. Students learn to closely read and analyze critical works of literature and an array of nonfiction text. They are taught to use research and technology to sift through available information and evaluate what is important. They are encouraged in work collaboratively, sharing and reforming viewpoints through a variety of written and speaking applications.  Teachers use various methods to enhance student learning in Language Arts. Small and large group student centered lessons are used to guide students to discover, analyze, reflect, and explore their roles as independent thinkers.  Some activity based methods used to instruct and explore are interviews, debates, mock trials, participation in musicals, and reading buddies.

Kindergarten through Fifth Grade uses a comprehensive Reading Program that incorporates Literature, Phonics, Grammar, Spelling, and Critical Thinking Skills.  In the Sixth through Eighth Grades students continue with the Prentice Hall Literature Series.  Step Up to Writing is used throughout the grades. This program provides consistency throughout the grades by using a structured approach to writing across the curriculum.  Sixth, Seventh and Eighth Graders learn to use the APA and MLA formats when writing papers.

As they progress through the grades, students begin to develop their understanding of complex topics in science.  Through the design and implementation of experiments, they begin to hone their understanding of the Scientific Method.  In the 4th and 5th grade, students supplement the state curriculum through an intense exposure to principles of engineering.  Students compete to build the sturdiest possible bridges and other structures and present their models at the school science fair.  In the 6th, 7th and 8th grades all students are required to complete an in-depth six month long investigative project and submit their entry into the science fair.  Top ten winners represent Good Shepherd School at the San Mateo County Fair.

6th, 7th & 8th Grades – Social studies education helps explain the world in which we live. Much like science teaches children to observe the physical aspects of life, social studies encourage children to open their minds to the many places humans live on this planet. Not only does the social studies curriculum teach physical geography, but as students learn about different places, they also become aware of the many cultural differences of the world’s populations through the study of sociology and anthropology. As they learn more about cultural differences, students begin to find that there are a large number of cultural similarities as well.

Studying social studies helps students figure out their role in society as well as their place in history. By studying the past, students learn how institutions, traditions and ideals change as society modernizes. They also learn how cause and effect influence relationships between individuals, groups and nations. As students mature, the study of history gives students the chance to develop their research skills and the ability to think critically. A sense of history gives students good background knowledge as they study other subjects, such as literature.

Good Shepherd School is committed to the faith and spiritual formation of all students. While  the integration of the Roman Catholic Faith in all aspects of the life of the school is the primary goal of a Catholic School, Good Shepherd School also encourages non-Catholic  students to nurture their spirituality and deepen their own faith commitment by sharing their faith traditions.

Technology is a very rigorous subject at Good Shepherd School.  The K- 8 technology curriculum is designed with two objectives in mind:  breadth and depth.  Starting with the younger grades, students begin to learn how computers work and how to use them as tools of production.  In grades K-2 students learn digital painting, story-writing and begin to learn how to access learning resources on the web.  In grades 4 and 5, students begin to work with Google Apps for Education.  They learn how to use a whole suite of cloud-based productivity tools to enhance their learning across the curriculum.  Three-dimensional modeling becomes the focus of 6th grade while the 7th grade provides in-depth exposure to audio and video editing.  Once students reach the 8th grade, they get a rigorous introduction to programming.

This year Good Shepherd is introducing robotics across all grades.  Starting with ‘robot mouse’ in kindergarten, mBots in the 4th grade and Sparki in the 6th grade, all students will have the opportunity to code and see the results of their actions, as executed by a robot.  In introducing our children to coding, we hope to give them an advantage in placing themselves in a world which will see more and more computerization in all areas of work and life.

“It’s not about how fast you run the mile, it’s about understanding the way you run it.”

The Physical Education curriculum and instruction is delivered by the CYO Athletics physical education program.  This provides essential skills and knowledge that all students need to maintain a physically active and healthy lifestyle. The goal is to develop a standard based physical education program which creates an individualized learning platform for physical, cognitive and social achievement. An integrative learning environment incorporates a variety of fun activities that inspires a dedication to successful lifelong learning. 

The Physical Education curriculum also includes a nutrition program which is a whole-foods based culinary introduction that weaves nutrition and self-care into each lesson. The year is divided into two units: intelligent consumption and creative appreciation. Each class features an academic portion before the cooking instruction.

The Art In Action Program introduces children to a variety of artists and gives them an opportunity to create their own art pieces based on the particular artist’s  technique and style.

The Mandarin curriculum is a comprehensive language development program that equips children to speak, listen, read and write Chinese. In order to keep students engaged in learning Chinese language and culture, the teacher incorporate songs, fun games, stories, and interactive activities.

Formal music instruction begins in Grade 3. Students are introduced to various type and forms of musical composition. Students learn how music is used in the world.

Extra Curricular Activities

Our faith and spiritual formation in Good Shepherd School is visible and alive through our St. Vincent de Paul lunch program. Each Friday two grades are responsible for preparing lunch and fill approximately 120 lunch bags. Parent volunteers and teachers assist in the compilation of the lunches. A parent delivers them to the St. Vincent de Paul in South San Francisco. Many of the recipients enjoy seeing the decorated bags as much as getting possibly their only food for the weekend.  The students, staff and parents are dedicated to such stewardship projects. This project has been a part of the school community for over 15 years. In the past years, Good Shepherd School has received awards in appreciation of this real need in the community. This shows the dedication and commitment of faculty, students and parents to their larger community.

Twice a year all the teachers collaborate to produce a show for parents and friends focused around a particular theme. Students add their input by suggesting songs, movements and props.

Good Shepherd students can participate in afterschool sports program sponsored by CYO.  The program starts at third grade and offers volleyball (girls) and basketball for girls and boys. The CYO Athletics program is designed to be representative of the Christian values of respect, love, compassion and support for each other. Through sports, competition and teamwork, CYO Athletics provides healthy growth and development through games, practices and the life lessons that sports teach.

Contact: goodshepherdcyo@yahoo.com

The Band Program provides instrumental music instruction through M.U.S.E.. In addition to weekly lessons at school, M.U.S.E. offers free workshops, school concerts, multi-school winter and spring concerts, Honor Band, annual solo and ensemble festival, and marching opportunities in the   the San Francisco St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Band is open to students from grades 3 through 8 and takes place on Fridays after school.

The Outdoor Environmental Education program provides an opportunity for students to observe, explore, and discover in our outdoor classroom, as the CYO staff facilitate learning through ecological studies, games and activities. CYO Camp supports teachers by complementing classroom instruction and enabling students to develop positive self-concepts and peer relationships that transfer back to the classroom.

Students across the grade levels have the opportunity to participate in age -appropriate programs offered by the San Francisco Opera Guild. This culminates in Grade 7 with the Book to Bravo Program. Over a ten-week period , artists from the Opera Guild work with the students and teacher to create , produce and perform a musical production based on a piece of literature which the students have studied.

Educational trips are important in many ways. Going on an Educational trip means more than simply leaving the school grounds. Educational trips should always have a major educational element, but the impact of Educational trips can extend much further. The importance of Educational trips includes giving students the chance to build closer bonds with their classmates, experience new environments and enjoy a day away from the classroom. The Class of 2017 will be experiencing the historical aspects of traveling to Washington, D.C. and New York this year. Part of how students benefit from Educational trips is by gaining new perspectives on the world. This is especially true for more extensive Educational trips where students travel farther away from home. By coming into direct contact with a different environment or even a new culture or language, students can better understand their place in the community and develop an openness to differences in others. When students and teachers are together outside the classroom, new educational environments and experiences are possible. Students may have the opportunity to observe many things that are not available at school, including exotic wildlife, rare plants and maybe even historical if the Educational  trip is to another state/s. Discussing the Educational  trip beforehand is wise because it allows students to know what they will experience during their time away from school.

Good Shepherd Student Council is a representative structure for 7th and 8th grade students only, through which they can become involved in the affairs of the school, working in partnership with school management, staff and parents for the benefit of the school and its students.  The student council helps share students’ ideas, interests, and concerns with teachers and school principal. They also help raise funds for school-wide activities, including social events, community projects, helping people in need and school reform.  Good Shepherd student council participates in food drives, fundraiser, spirit and sport activities, and teacher/principal appreciation days. Many members learn skills that are an extension of their formal education.

Good Shepherd was the best choice we could have made

Good Shepherd was the best choice we could have made for our daughter's education. The student to teacher ratio is excellent and makes me feel that my child gets the attention she needs to succeed. The teachers and staff are all friendly and alwaysavailable for any questions I may have.Although this is only our second year at Good Shepherd, I feel like I've gotten to know everybody, including the staff and students, in a way that wouldn't have been possible at a bigger school.
2016-09-16T01:01:44+00:00
Good Shepherd was the best choice we could have made for our daughter’s education. The student to teacher ratio is excellent and makes me feel that my child gets the attention she needs to succeed. The teachers and staff are all friendly and alwaysavailable for any questions I may have.Although this is only our second year at Good Shepherd, I […]

Good Shepherd School is comprehensive

As parents with children in multiple grades, our perspective of Good Shepherd School is comprehensive and we are proud to say that we can’t recommend it enough. Our experience has been exceedingly rich and gratifying. Not only do we feel that our children are receiving the best education,we are confident that their lives are being enriched through extraordinary teachers, extracurricular activities, and an interactive school environment that promotes morality and kindness. The collaborative approach that the teachers take to education, both through in-year consultation and as the children transition between years, produces an environment whereby each child’s needs/strengths are defined and addressed accordingly by the faculty collective. And their intuition is amazing. The teachers “open-door” policy and routine communication with the parents is a differentiator for the school.We are truly blessed to have found such an nurturing environment for which our children can grow and prosper.
2016-09-16T01:09:46+00:00
As parents with children in multiple grades, our perspective of Good Shepherd School is comprehensive and we are proud to say that we can’t recommend it enough. Our experience has been exceedingly rich and gratifying. Not only do we feel that our children are receiving the best education,we are confident that their lives are being enriched through extraordinary teachers, extracurricular […]

Good Shepherd School provides our children with a solid academic foundation

Our family lives in Pacifica and our children have attend Good Shepherd School for several years. Good Shepherd School provides our children with a solid academic foundation along with strong Christian values. The school encourages parent participation and we have a real sense of community. The student to teacher ratio is low,and our teachers are very committed to our children. We love this school!
2016-09-16T01:11:37+00:00
Our family lives in Pacifica and our children have attend Good Shepherd School for several years. Good Shepherd School provides our children with a solid academic foundation along with strong Christian values. The school encourages parent participation and we have a real sense of community. The student to teacher ratio is low,and our teachers are very committed to our children. […]

The close-knit and welcoming community made a huge difference

My older son transferred to Good Shepherd after attending public school while my younger son started Kindergarten at Good Shepherd. They were both immediately welcomed by their classmates and also by the student body as a whole. I was amazed that older students at Good Shepherd knew my children's names and interacted with them after school, at Extended Care (the after-school program) and at school events. I also found that the parents of Good Shepherd students were very welcoming andwe were invited to social events starting on the first day of school. The close-knit and welcoming community made a huge difference in both our sons' adjustment to a new school. I continue to be impressed with the diversity of the student body as well as the commitment to academics at each grade level. I am thankful we chose this school for our family
2016-09-16T01:13:51+00:00
My older son transferred to Good Shepherd after attending public school while my younger son started Kindergarten at Good Shepherd. They were both immediately welcomed by their classmates and also by the student body as a whole. I was amazed that older students at Good Shepherd knew my children’s names and interacted with them after school, at Extended Care (the […]

Family & Community Feel

We have been with GSS since 2013; now, both of my daughters attend GSS and we ALL LOVE it. If you are looking for a school that is small, challenges your child in academics, encourages teacher/parent involvement while maintaining a “Family\Community feel” then do consider Good Shepherd School. (Mr. and Ms. S., Children in 4th and 1st grade.)
2016-10-15T01:03:33+00:00
We have been with GSS since 2013; now, both of my daughters attend GSS and we ALL LOVE it. If you are looking for a school that is small, challenges your child in academics, encourages teacher/parent involvement while maintaining a “Family\Community feel” then do consider Good Shepherd School. (Mr. and Ms. S., Children in 4th and 1st grade.)