Safety and security for our students and staff are of highest priority at Shepherd of the Desert Preschool, and we have taken several measures to make sure that our campus is safe and secure at all times and that our students are well cared for.
All staff members employed at the preschool hold a current CPR and First Aid License. In addition, every staff member has a current and valid Fingerprint Clearance Card and has gone through the background check process through the Department of Child Safety per state licensing requirements.
Our Teacher/Student ratios are significantly below state licensing requirements. The ratios are as follows:
2-year-old classrooms have a 2:5 Teacher/Student ratio
3-year-old classrooms have a 2:8 Teacher/Student ratio
4-year-old classrooms have a 2:9 Teacher/Student ratio
Keeping ratios low ensures that each teacher is able to develop a strong relationship with each and every child in their care, it enables teachers to better monitor a student’s well-being and academic progress and it gives the teacher more time to interact with each student throughout the day.
Facility doors are locked during normal school hours. The only access to the preschool classrooms is through the main entrance where the doors remain locked during the school day. Visitors are admitted only after being vested by the office administrator and then buzzed in through our automatic door system. Our front entrance is constantly monitored throughout the day, and all school grounds are electronically monitored by video cameras set up in multiple areas both inside and outside our facility.
The playground area is securely fenced and has security monitors around the perimeter. All monitors are displayed in the preschool lobby so that the front office assistant is able to monitor the outside and back of the property as well as the parking lot and all sidewalks adjacent to the building.
When arriving at school, all parents are required to sign in their child on their classroom attendance sheet. This is what teachers use to keep track of all the children throughout the day and in case of emergencies. When the child leaves for the day, parents are required to sign out their child at the classroom before departing.
Shepherd of the Desert has written safety policies available to view in all of our classrooms, and our staff is trained on these emergency policies on a bi-yearly basis. Fire drills are performed once every month.
Shepherd of the Desert Preschool is licensed by the Arizona Department of Health Services. In addition, SOTD is and has been accredited by National Lutheran School Accreditation commission for over 25 years. Accreditation is granted when nationally-recognized criteria for high-quality programs have been met. Extensive self-study and validation visits are required to complete this process every five years. Lutheran School Accreditation encourages and recognizes Lutheran schools and preschools that provide quality Christian education and engage in continuous academic and ministry improvement, and we are honored to be recognized for this achievement.