Frequently Asked Questions on Academics at Shepherds Hill Academy
Q: What is the age range for enrollment at Shepherds Hill Academy?
A: Shepherds Hill Academy accepts students between the ages of 12 and 17. These students are automatically enrolled and take part in the academic portion of the program.
Q: Does Shepherds Hill Academy enroll teens who are 18 years old or who will turn 18 during their time in the program?
A: Shepherds Hill Academy may enroll students who will turn 18 during the end of their 12-month stay in the program. Students 18 and older are typically not accepted, but our team can refer your student to a program best suited to meet their individual needs.
Q: Will Shepherds Hill Academy enroll students who have failed out or dropped out of school?
A: Yes. Shepherds Hill Academy’s small class sizes, 5:1 student to staff ratio, on-site teachers and on-site principal allow the program to be an ideal option for students who are failing or dropped out of school. Teachers, staff, and the principal meet frequently to determine individualized goals and measures of success for each student. They will work directly with the parents to establish a plan for the student’s success in the program and to best prepare them for a successful future.
Q: How will a Shepherds Hill Academy diploma look to colleges and universities? Is it a standard high school diploma?
A: Because Shepherds Hill Academy is accredited by the State of Georgia, abiding by the Georgia Standards of Academic Excellence, we are able to offer a general high school diploma. This diploma will look no different than a diploma received at any other high school within the state of Georgia and will not hold any negative repercussions as the student applies to college.
Q: Will my child’s credits transfer from Shepherds Hill Academy back to another high school if they are not a senior?
A: Shepherds Hill Academy is accredited in the state of Georgia; therefore, our credits will transfer. We make every effort to create a seamless process in transferring credits and classes for all our students.
Q: Is Shepherds Hill Academy an online school? Or are teachers on-site at the program?
A: Shepherds Hill Academy is an on-site academy which staffs teachers and teacher’s aides. There are completely separate boy and girl academic programs, fully staffed with members of our team. We also have a principal on campus to work with students, address goals, and assist in creating individualized plans of success.
In addition to our on-campus staff, we also can incorporate Georgia Virtual School classes for added electives. Dual enrollment and AP classes are also available to students who wish to pursue post-secondary academic institutions.
Q: Do students in the SHA academic program receive one-on-one help if they need or prefer it?
A: Yes. Teachers work with our principal to create individualized plans for students. Recommendations and assistance in these plans is also contributed by parents, therapists, and residential staff. Every student has an individualized plan for success.
Our 5:1 student to staff ratio at Shepherds Hill Academy allows for students to receive the individualized attention in the classroom that they need to succeed. Teacher’s Aides are also able to provide guidance and assistance in the classroom where needed.
Q: Does Shepherds Hill Academy work with students with Individualized Education Programs (IEPs)?
A: We are able to accommodate a variety of IEP adjustments for students. To learn more, feel free to inquire about your student’s particular needs when you visit our campus.
Q: Does Shepherds Hill Academy offer extra courses for students to take outside of their requirements for graduation? Do you offer AP/college preparatory courses?
A: Shepherds Hill Academy offers a variety of options to students who excel academically. We can offer on-site electives, as well as electives through Georgia Virtual School. We also offer AP class and Dual Enrollment (online) classes through a local 4-year college. Students are also encouraged, but not required, to make visits to various colleges, speak with recruiters, or explore other career options as part of our program. SAT/ACT prep and transportation to testing is also available for students.
Q: Does Shepherds Hill Academy enact a dress code for the students to follow?
A: Yes. All SHA students are required to wear khakis and a nice dress shirt for class.
Q: What are Shepherd Hill Academy’s accreditations from the state of Georgia?
A: Proof of our accreditation can be found online on the Georgia Accreditation Commission under the Educational Agencies with Special Purposes link.
Q: Does Shepherds Hill Academy provide any career or college counseling for high school seniors?
A: We do offer counseling for future college plans for those students wishing to continue their education at a postsecondary institution once they leave Shepherds Hill. Students are encouraged to visit and apply to colleges during their time in our program. Eighty percent of our high school seniors attend a postsecondary institution after graduation.
We also work with students who wish to enter the workforce to determine a plan of success for their future. We encourage speaking with professionals in their field, research, and thorough plan development.
Q: Are students allowed to take the SAT/ACT if they are graduating high school seniors at Shepherds Hill Academy?
A: Yes. We do encourage students to take the SAT or ACT tests during their time at our program. SAT/ACT preparation is available for our students. We will also sign students up for testing dates and transport them to testing locations.
Q: Are students eligible for the HOPE scholarship in Georgia if they attend Shepherds Hill Academy?
A: Any student meeting the eligibility requirements under HOPE scholarship are eligible. Our staff will work to assist students in applying for all eligible scholarships when applicable. For more information on this particular topic, please visit the Georgia Futures Website.
Q: What is the class size, and do they learn with other students?
A: The class sizes at Shepherds Hill Academy are very small, maintaining the 5:1 student-to-staff ratio. Students learn in a regular class with other students. We feel this encourages better understanding for the students because it creates class discussion by including many different people with differing experiences.
Q: What is the student to teacher ratio?
A: As with the rest of our campus, we continue a 5:1 student-to-staff ratio in the classroom. There are no more than 5 students per teacher or teacher’s aide, which means students receive the attention they both deserve and need.
Q: Are students separated by grade or do they all learn together?
A: Students at Shepherds Hill Academy are separated by grade and gender. Elective courses are the only exception where students will only be separated by gender.
Q: What is the grading system? Is it pass/fail or graded on a 4.0 scale?
A: Shepherds Hill Academy grades on a 4.0 scale.
Q: Is there a way for parents to monitor student progress via an online portal?
A: Yes, Shepherds Hill Academy uses thinkwave.com as a portal for parents to view their child’s academic progress. Staff also prepare parent reports concerning the student’s overall program success, which may also include academics.
Q: Can parents access the teachers to talk about their child’s progress in the classroom? This could include email or any other method.
A: Parents receive correspondence concerning their student through a variety of methods. Email communication is open to parents at any time. Parents can talk directly with the teachers during parent conference events held twice a year (in the spring and fall). Parents also receive parent reports through the residential team concerning the students’ overall progress in the program.