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Beacon Day School

Private | PK-8 | 180 students

Beacon helps caring parents raise fearless kids.
 
 

 

Living in Oakland

Situated in an inner city neighborhood. The median home value is $185,000. The average monthly rent for a 2 bedroom apartment is $1,400.

Source: Sperling's Best Places
 
Last modified
Community Rating

5 stars

Community Rating by Year
2014:
Based on 5 ratings
2013:
Based on 8 ratings
2012:
Based on 4 ratings
2011:
No new ratings

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48 reviews of this school


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Posted today

This school has really help to turn our nephew around. Before he came to Beacon he was getting C's and D's in Public School. The individualized attention and small class size really helped him get the attention he needed that he was not getting in the public school. He has been at the school for the last two years. He now gets mostly A's, and just two B's this last trimester. This school has great teachers who keep parents informed of issues when they happen which allows you to deal with the issue as they come up. This school also has a great focus on the Arts (music, dance, and art classes). This school has an excellent after school program, too! This school really prepared him for High School. Becasue of the great education and support that he received at this school he was accepted into 3 of the best private high schools in the area.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted yesterday

Beacon Day School brings a wonderful value to education. All under one roof, Beacon offers fundamentals of reading, writing, math, and science taught by a dedicated staff with years of experience at Beacon. Additionally, class size is small and each class has a floating teacher . Consistency offered can not be beat! The school is year round (and the same price as many 9 mo private schools) and offers before care and summer activities at no additional cost. My son gets consistent attention and class time from specialists providing weekly dance, PE, Spanish, and art to support his learning again at no additional cost. Beacon is a great value and emphasizes increase family time encouraging family vacations on a year-round schedule (not just summer months) and school-work done at school with the education professionals until kids are developmentally ready for homework on their own (not until 5th grade). I wish all schools could be what Beacon is!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted Saturday, April 19, 2014

1) My kid is getting a GREAT education; 2) Learning skills that will prepare him for life; 3) The community is fabulous.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted Saturday, April 19, 2014

Beacon Day School has enabled our graandson to learn at his own pace w/loving, skilled teachers. Initially, he was challenged in all phases of education, but w/a little extra help in the classroom he has now become a good independent reader and math skills are becoming easier. The arts programs have given him an opportunity to thrive and find the self-confidence he needs to continue in the areas where he is challenged. most. Beacon has been a very positive experience for the family. The all-year school and after hours program is very helpful for working parents. It is more than a 'babysitting' service. All in all a positive experience and one we would recommend.


Posted April 14, 2014

Beacon Day School has been a home away from home for both of my children since ECP (early childhood program). I have a 3rd, 5th grader. Teachers are caring and loving. Staff will act immediately to resolve any issues if one arises. My children have become the most amazing readers, they are thriving in the Beacon's environment which is focusing on the whole child. They are learning at their own pace. No homework and year-around school has been a blessing for us. We still go over our work with both of my children weekly, it's a way to check in to see where they are. We also get bi-weekly report of the classroom from the teachers. The playground has been improved with the wonderful garden area. Overall, It has been a Great experience for our family.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 28, 2013

Beacon Day School offers a well-rounded education that has helped my daughter and her school mates to develop a love of learning, self-confidence, creativity, and respect for others. As I reflect on my daughter's 8+ years at Beacon from her early childhood program to now being a 6th grader, I see the results of their small class sizes, knowledgeable and experienced teachers, and attention to the needs of each student. My child thrives in Beacon's environment where academic coursework and the arts are seamlessly woven together. In Beacon's diverse student, teacher and family community, my daughter has learned to respect and embrace others' differences, and to appreciate her own individuality. Beacon's approach to educating students produces young people who can face any challenge because they have been allowed to learn at their own pace and encouraged to think outside of the box.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 21, 2013

I searched high and low for the right school for our son. We knew we found it at Beacon. This is a nurturing, caring environment that focuses on the whole child. The emphasis on the arts, dance, music, language, motor skills, plus math and reading, really make it a hidden jem in Oakland. They treat each child as an individual, and cater to each child's needs. The staff is warm and friendly and the small class sizes foster a love of learning for each child. We really could not be happier with this school, the teachers and the education.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 21, 2013

I moved from San Diego where my girls loved & thrived in their school. Anything less would thwart our relocation. Beacon has exceeded a very high bar by huge margins. Beacon at its core believes that children love to learn, & its role is to facilitate children to become good learners & good people. Specifically it believes: 1) that every child learns differently & therefore needs individualized expectations & support; 2) that emotional & social intelligence are critical components of learning; 3) that appreciation & skills of the art are vital to overall growth; 4) that learning takes place at home & therefore has a no homework policy for elementary school; 5) that learning is about a deeper understanding of the subject matter - therefore elementary school is a year long program & middle schools has block scheduling and 6) that children learn with & from each other, and therefore has in the elementary school some multi-grade classes and reading time, and multi-grade electives in middle school. If I was to asked to make changes - I would add more field trips for all grade levels and more active opportunities for involvement in social justice issues.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 21, 2013

The level of professionalism is only outweighed by the caring of the teaching staff. The children are encouraged to 'do stuff', to explore, to share. As a grandparent, I am very pleased that my grand child is attending this school.


Posted October 7, 2013

Small classroom size was extremely important to us and Beacon was the only school we found that kept them small. No larger than 18 in the lower school. We value education more than anything, thus the sacrifice to pay for private, but we didn't want our child pushed and stressed just to show off her education. Kids develop at such different paces, and are almost all caught up by 3rd grade, so we wanted a school that allowed her to develop at her own pace in each subject. The one review complaining that their elementary child was behind when she left is a bit unfair because Beacon doesn't teach "just to test" or push/drag kids when they really aren't ready. They teach to each child's needs! They really focus on the whole child, nurturing a child's individuality and specifically allowing expression through the arts. They have a separate studio for dance lessons, art, motor, and music. Plus they teach Spanish. We know children in many different schools and I can guarantee my daughter is right on pace with her non-Beacon peers. Beacon was also the only private school we looked at that was truly diverse in population. We love it!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted July 29, 2013

My children have both been at this school since pre-K. The oldest is now in Middle School, and the youngest is in upper elementary. There is no other place we would consider sending them. This is a school that puts children and their needs first. If there was an ideal place for children to learn, it is Beacon. This is a school where children are cherished and made to feel good about who they are, as they are, instead of pathologizing them for not fitting into the norm. One of my children is far ahead of the curve, and the other is slightly behind. Beacon has managed to accomodate both children, and allows them to feel competent and good about themselves. My kids love going to school, and often will ask to stay at school if I pick them up early. Beacon understands working parents. The year-round model, the no homework policy, the seamless before and aftercare...makes you wonder why no one else has gotten the memo that this is what really works best for everyone in the family.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted June 17, 2013

The ratings of the Beacon School on this list do not reflect the dozens of families who have pulled their children out of Beacon in the past three years becauce of its failing academics, lack of community, and the dearth of communication on the part of the school's administrative staff. My child attended Beacon beginning in pre-school. The pre-school was quite good as was the K-1 teacher and curriculum. In 2nd grade Beacon's no homework policy, limited facilities and lack of community begins to hit home. No homework seems like a great idea except kids at Beacon LAG in learning and skill development by 1-2 grades compared to their peers in other schools as many of us discovered when are children re-enrolled in other, sometimes public schools! Beacon is located in leased space that provides sub-par facilities including a library that consists of hallway rolling carts and a bleak, paved playground that is not commensurate with a decent public school, let alone a private one. If you're stuck in a bad OUSD elementary district you may want to consider Beacon as an option. Otherwise, do not waste your child's foundational years in what has become a very, very weak institution.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 25, 2013

My daughter started in preschool and is now in first grade. Her experience has been wonderful. But I actually want to express how great Beacon is for PARENTS: * All-year school -- Students attend all year. Summer vacation is a two-week break in August. Fantastic for their learning, and a dream come true for working parents. No need for camps! Kids stay put, with buddies, learning. * Vacations -- School is all year, so your family can go to Disneyland whenever it works for YOU (ie, NOT when every other family on Earth is there!). * Integrated after care -- Working parents relax. The kids are happy and their after-care teacher is integrated into the regular school day. Your child is a beloved member of the community, which is a wonderful feeling when you have to leave your child for extended hours. * NO HOMEWORK until 5th grade -- More days of school = no need for homework until it is developmentally beneficial. Beacon encourages quality family time and down time for children. Evenings are so pleasant when you play games and eat dinner together instead of battling over spelling words. Beacon is the way school should be, for students AND PARENTS in the 21st century.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted December 7, 2012

I cannot recommend Beacon highly enough. It is very strong academically. And it also focuses on helping children make connections across disciplines in a way that is fun and valuable. For example 2nd thru 5th graders memorize and perform poetry for an audience which allows them to work on literature and public speaking/performance simultaneously. The philosophy of the school is to create thoughtful, confident, curious, well-rounded children -- and Beacon is succeeding in this endeavor. The community is welcoming and diverse. Teachers and staff go the extra mile and you can tell they truly love working at Beacon. The fact that it is year round can't be beat as students don't have to re-learn in the fall the math (or other subjects) they learned the previous spring but may have forgotten over the summer.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted November 28, 2012

Beacon is a one-of-a-kind opportunity for children. Not only is Beacon strong academically, with a significant number of its graduates going on to attend top-ranking high schools and colleges. but Beacon's emphasis on manners and other "soft" skills gives the students an advantage in a world in which recent generations are often being criticized for lacking the same. Additionally, Beacon has an early childhood program that goes beyond "day care." My child LOVES the teachers and is already starting to spell and add!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted November 7, 2012

My two children have attended Beacon Day School since they were three years old. They are now 7 and 9 years old and in the 2nd and 4th grades respectively. I still feel strongly that we made the right decision in our school selection. In comparison to other independent schools, Beacon offers a more personable experience. It is a small school with less than 300 students, and they are in touch with the students. The staff and families have established relationships and work well together for the benefit of the children. The academics are strong along with the development of social skills. No bullying is allowed and conflict resolution is taught so that children learn how to resolve issues before they escalate. I feel comfortable and confident that my kids are well taken care of, while I am at work. If we are fortunate enough, they will remain at the school until they graduate from the eighth grade.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted June 27, 2012

This is an *excellent* place to send one's child. My daughter suffered at a public charter school prior to attending her eighth grade at Beacon.The teachers and staff warmly embraced her right from the beginning of the year. Her academic progress skyrocketed as a result of the approachability of the teachers and staff as well as the humble, caring attitude of the parent community as well. The best part of our one-year experience was the fact that the kids embraced her as a friend right from the "get-go". There were no student cliques and she felt welcome and appreciated. The school is well worth the $$$ and we will miss Beacon a lot.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted February 23, 2010

We moved our 2 children from Thornhill Elementary in the Oakland Schools. They learn differently from one another yet neither's needs could be met once the class sizes at Thornhill increased to over 30, etc. Beacon has been able to be more accomodating and attentive, while still challenging our kids to be the best they can be. It is an especially appealing school for elementary school students because there is no set homework. Kids are able to have free reading time each day and there are book shelves along the hallways so kids can grab a book whenever they want. I could go on and on... this is just a wonderful school.... not perfect but still the best around. If you want your child to be truly nurtured and appreciated for the individual they are, please check out Beacon. Note also it is VERY diverse and alternative families fit in perfectly.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted February 4, 2010

After looking at 9 schools in the East Bay Area, Beacon was by far featuring the best and most accountable program for my son. The 80% proficiency requirement gives me peace of mind that my son is accountable for his performance. The cores values Beacon supports insures that the community of students have a heightened awareness of diversity, respect and tolerance which I find refreshing from many 'elite' schools. As a 6th grade transfer parent last year, I'm very happy with our decision.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted February 3, 2010

We enrolled our daughter in middle school here, 6th grade, and have had a great experience, after attending 2 other schools. The classes are small, the focus on academics is very solid, is very compassionate, and the 'whole student' is considered with the teaching. The staff is very well organized and attentive to the quality and well being of the student. Very highly impressed with this school and how it is run. Our daughter bounces out of bed each day to get to school, which was not true at other schools she attended.
—Submitted by a parent


Community ratings and reviews do not represent the views of GreatSchools nor does GreatSchools check their accuracy or verify the reviewers' identities. Use your discretion when evaluating these reviews.

About these ratings

The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.

We currently do not have any test score information for this school. Unlike public schools, private schools are not always required to report data about their schools or not required to take the same tests as public schools. Many private schools take different standardized tests; however, that information is often made available only to families of enrolled students. We strive to acquire additional private school data whenever available.

Student ethnicity

Ethnicity This school
White 42%
Black 32%
Hispanic 19%
Asian 7%
American Indian/Alaska Native 0%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 0%
Two or more races 0%
Source: NCES, 2009-2010

Teacher resources

Special staff resources available to students Art teacher(s)
Computer specialist(s)
Dance teacher(s)
Gardening teacher(s)
Music teacher(s)
PE instructor(s)
Special education coordinator
Teacher aid/assistant teacher
Foreign languages spoken by school staff Spanish
Read more about programs at this school
Source: Provided by a school official.

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Special education / special needs

Level of special education programming offered
  • Basic - the school offers or partners to provide services based on the needs of individual students
Staff resources available to students
  • Special education coordinator

Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math (STEM)

Staff resources available to students
  • Computer specialist(s)
  • Gardening teacher(s)
School facilities
  • Computer lab
  • Garden/Greenhouse
  • Science lab
Clubs
  • Gardening
  • Math club

Arts & music

Specific academic themes or areas of focus
  • Music
  • Visual arts
Staff resources available to students
  • Art teacher(s)
  • Dance teacher(s)
  • Music teacher(s)
School facilities
  • Art room
  • Music room
  • Performance stage
Visual arts
  • Ceramics
  • Drawing / sketching
  • Painting
Music
  • Choir / Chorus
  • Instrumental music lessons
  • Theory
Performing and written arts
  • Dance
  • Drama
  • Poetry
Media arts
  • Graphics
  • Video / Film production
Clubs
  • Dance club
  • Yearbook

Language learning

Foreign languages taught
  • Spanish
  • Tagalog
Level of ESL/ELL programming offered
  • Basic - the school offers or partners to provide services based on the needs of individual students
Foreign languages spoken by staff
  • Spanish
Clubs
  • Foreign language club: Spanish

Health & athletics

Staff resources available to students
  • Dance teacher(s)
  • Gardening teacher(s)
  • PE instructor(s)
School facilities
  • Garden/Greenhouse
  • Kitchen
  • Multi-purpose room ("cafegymatorium")
Clubs
  • Gardening
School leaders can update this information here.

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School basics

School start time
  • 9:00 am
School end time
  • 2:55 pm
Before school or after school care / program onsite
  • Before school: starts at 7:30 a.m.
  • After school: ends at 6:00 p.m.
School Leader's name
  • Jan Stone
Best ways for parents to contact the school
  • Email
  • Phone
Age at which early childhood or Pre-K program begins
  • 3 years old
Gender
  • Coed
Special schedule
  • Block scheduling
  • Year-round
Boarding options
  • Day school
Is there an application process?
  • Yes
Associations
  • NAIS
Fax number
  • (510) 437-2313

Programs

Instructional and/or curriculum models used

Don't understand these terms?
  • Mastery; Developmental
  • Project-based
Specific academic themes or areas of focus

Don't understand these terms?
  • Music
  • Visual arts
Bi-lingual or language immersion programs offered

Don't understand these terms?
  • No
Level of special education programming offered
  • Basic - the school offers or partners to provide services based on the needs of individual students
Foreign languages taught
  • Spanish
  • Tagalog
Level of ESL/ELL programming offered
  • Basic - the school offers or partners to provide services based on the needs of individual students

Resources

Staff resources available to students
  • Art teacher(s)
  • Computer specialist(s)
  • Dance teacher(s)
  • Gardening teacher(s)
  • Music teacher(s)
  • PE instructor(s)
  • Special education coordinator
  • Teacher aid/assistant teacher
Foreign languages spoken by staff
  • Spanish
Transportation options
  • None
School facilities
  • Art room
  • Audiovisual aids
  • Computer lab
  • Garden/Greenhouse
  • Internet access
  • Kitchen
  • Multi-purpose room ("cafegymatorium")
  • Music room
  • Performance stage
  • Playground
  • Science lab
School leaders can update this information here.

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Sports

Boys sports
  • Basketball
  • Flag football
  • Volleyball
Girls sports
  • Basketball
  • Flag football
  • Volleyball

Arts & music

Visual arts
  • Ceramics
  • Drawing / sketching
  • Painting
Music
  • Choir / Chorus
  • Instrumental music lessons
  • Theory
Performing arts
  • Dance
  • Drama
  • Poetry
Media arts
  • Graphics
  • Video / Film production

Student clubs

Clubs (distinct from courses)
  • Dance club
  • Foreign language club: Spanish
  • Gardening
  • Homework help/study buddy club
  • Math club
  • Yearbook
School leaders can update this information here.

Upcoming Events

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School culture

Dress Code
  • Dress code
Bullying policy
  • This school has a bullying and/or cyber bullying policy in place.
Parent involvement
  • Attend parent nights
  • Chaperone school trips
  • Join PTO/PTA
  • Organize fundraising events (school auction, bake sales, etc.)
  • Present special topics during curricular units
  • Serve on school improvement team or governance council
  • Volunteer in the classroom
More from this school
  • Beacon is a school like no other, though precisely what every school should be. Beacon is a way of educating that frees minds, open hearts and releases spirits, to help children thrive in our ever changing world. One by one, at their own pace, our students become critical thinkers, problem solvers and creative explorers who are articulate, capable and fearless. Together, our students learn how to get along, help others, and lead through tolerance, compassion, empathy and altruism.
School leaders can update this information here.

Apply

 

This school accepts applications on a

rolling basis

 
Apply now
 

What are your chances?


7 out of 10students were accepted for the 2012-2013 school year.


Students accepted for the 2012-2013 school year
35
Applications received for the 2012-2013 school year
49
Students typically come from these schools
Daycare/Preschool Centers
Family Daycare/Preschool
Public Schools

What does it cost?

Tuition range for the 2012-2013 school year
$16000 - $20000
Vouchers accepted
No
Financial aid offered
Yes.
School-based aid

Planning ahead

Students typically attend these schools after graduating
Bishop O'Dowd High School
Head-Royce School
St. Joseph Notre Dame High School
Notice an inaccuracy? Let us know!

2101 Livingston Street
Oakland, CA 94606
Website: Click here
Phone: (510) 436-4466

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