Parents of Children with Special Needs
"To the GSS teachers and staff:
When we dropped off out 1st born, Max, on January 3, 2013, we hoped we had made a good decision on a daycare. Little did we know how good/great a choice we had made!! Looking back at 5 ½ years, I can confidently say it’s not the facility that makes a daycare great—it’s the staff! You, the teachers, have knitted yourself into our lives. You have cheered my kids when they do well and helped them learn when they fall/fail. You have hugged us as parents when things got tough (Max’s speech delay/Autism and Anna’s helmet for her flat head). You cried when we cried. I will never forget those major moments and the thousands of daily/weekly ones. Thank you for being there. Thank you for everything. It is YOU who make GSS great."
"I’m not sure saying that we love it is sufficient. He starts dancing at home when we tell him he is going to school. He recognizes the hill we go down to get to school and he starts yelling School!!!! We LOVE getting the emails at the end of the day with all of the specifics about his day. His teachers are wonderful and seem to truly care about him. We are looking forward to June when he can return to a Monday-Wednesday-Friday spot but we are so happy that you were able to take him on such short notice in January! Thank you and the other staff for all you do to create such a wonderful environment for him!"
Luke is such a special baby. We picked GSS long before we knew about any of Luke's health concerns because of the warmth, compassion, organization, technology, and reputation. We had no idea what an ordeal we'd be going through above and beyond new parenthood during Luke's first couple months of life. His newborn heart surgery brought on medication requirements, physical limitations during recovery, challenges with eating, and risks related to his remaining congenital heart defect. We were so worried that upon communicating this news we would find ourselves without a willing and qualified option for infant care for our son. I was in tears after speaking with Mara, the director of early learning, on the phone, and telling her about Luke's condition the first time because I couldn't believe how understanding, compassionate and optimistic she was. It gave us so much confidence and faith that GSS was so willing to teach and care for our son, even with his medical condition. That faith and confidence in the competence and compassion at GSS has only strengthened in the last 8 weeks, and we are so excited to watch Luke continue to grow and thrive in school!
Miss Erma, Miss Charlene, Miss Abrea, and all the teachers who interact with Luke and us are fantastic. Since I am usually pick-up, I interact most with Miss Erma. She is incredible. She is so attune to Luke's progress, needs, challenges, and accomplishments. Every day she takes extra care to talk to me about his growth and development, even asks questions about how things are going at home. She makes welcome suggestions when I ask for advice, and gladly adopts any adjustments we make to Luke's schedule or activity plan. Miss Abrea is usually there for pick-up as well, and I always appreciate how she will share anecdotes about Luke's day. They both even remembered when it was Kevin and my anniversary after I had mentioned it in passing some days earlier. Luke loves them too, I can tell because even when I come to pick him up he is still smiling at them and telling them stories! The couple times I have dropped Luke off in the morning with Miss Charlene, I can just tell they have a special connection, and it's the only reason I can stand to leave him and head to work : ).
We love the Tadpoles app, and how thorough his teachers are about using it. The notification ring on my phone alerting that there is a new photo of Luke is now the best sound of my work day. It is so helpful to read the details of his day, from how much he's eaten, slept, to what diapers he's had and what activities he's done. We read it every day. We also share all of the pictures with Luke's grandparents, who love them all, too!
We are so impressed with Luke's classroom. There are so many wonderful interactive toys and activities for the kids. Everything is so well organized, I have always felt confident that Luke was safe and clean and well attended to at school. Using the app to inform us of supply needs is very helpful, also. Oh! And we love that Luke gets so much outside time under the gazebo. We can tell at home that Luke loves to be outside, and we fully attribute it to his gazebo time at school! We appreciated the formal parent teacher conference, as well.
"We chose Good Shepherd because we believed in their mission of inclusion. Our oldest son has special needs and navigating this world can be daunting, but the staff worked diligently with us to create an education plan where he thrived.
The nurturing environment, interactive teaching models and philosophy of care have been tremendous for all three of our children. Their teachers have been warm, welcoming and extremely genuine.
We are also thankful that Good Shepherd invests in meaningful resources. From a lead therapist on staff, to experienced educators and an electronic "my-day" communication system, we feel engaged and connected to the ongoing successes of our kids."
"My daughter was very prepared for elementary school. Her current IEP is only for Physical and Speech thanks to her great education at Good Shepherd. It is also very helpful to have a GSS representative at the transition IEP to transfer information and for support!
I think of Good Shepherd as part of our family. I didn't realize how true this was until the first day of kindergarten. My daughter's bus took her to Good Shepherd after school by mistake. Miss Bethany, Miss Nicole and Nancy Litzau comforted her and even gave her a snack until I had a chance to get there. I can't tell you how much this meant to a worried mom!"
1170 Timber Run Drive | St. Louis, MO 63146 | 314.469.0606