This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Beacon Day School5
Posted September 18, 2014
- a parent
Our niece and nephew (who we raise) were enrolled in a less than ideal public school while living with their grandmother in San Jose, and we jumped at the chance to take them into our home and have them begin attending Beacon up here in Oakland. Our niece has a fairly severe documented learning disability, but makes fast friends and loves social interaction. Beacon served her well in getting her the academic support she needed while giving her a wonderful and diverse group of friends. Her challenges were enough that Beacon worked with us to find an even better fit for her for middle school (Raskob), but we are very happy she was a part of the Beacon community for 2nd-5th grade. Our nephew is a bit of his sister's opposite, excelling in most academic areas but struggling sometimes with social interaction amongst his peers - he is blossoming on both fronts as a 6th grader now! It is a credit to Beacon that they were able to provide the academic support for our niece, while providing the needed social support for our nephew - while challenging them both in the areas that they excelled. The staff are skilled and caring, and we are so happy we were able to find this school.
This has been my first year with Beacon. The staff is friendly and very good at what they do. I have seen how the kids learn great manners and are so smart! I do hope that Beacon stays around for many years to come because so many families benefit from it.
Beacon Day School is a very special place. In my search for preschools and grade schools, I really found no other place like it. All the teachers are awesome, but unfortunately, the administration and the Board of Directors are not. They have made poorly planned cuts and very reactive decisions in just the short 2 years we have been part of the school. Their communications to parents is lacking of important, pertinent details, if not downright lies to save face or saying what sounds good. They have no strategic plans on how to recruit or turn the school around. And for these reasons, parents/students and good teachers are leaving. At this rate, they will be closed within 3 years. Beacon has lost on average 40 students each year, for 2 years!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.