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K-12
Private
San Diego, CA
Students enrolled: 65
Before care: No
After care: Yes

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525 Hawthorn Street
San Diego, CA 92101

School website
(619) 298-2990
(619) 295-8886
Nearby homes for sale
Map of Balboa City School address.

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May 23, 2014
I am not sure what the latest review is referring to... my child has homework 4 days each week and is testing an entire grade level above average.

- submitted by a parent
March 18, 2014
I am not happy about this school. My children don't do anything. Program Is made for kids with problems such as aggression and learning. I would say that I have never seen worse school than this. There are no homeworks. Teachers teach things that my kids have already studied. Students at school are said by the council that this school is great. Teachers can't expect made homework from students. Don't be fooled! Don't trust their website. Many students wear the same clothes everyday. Don't destroy your's children future.

- submitted by a parent
November 08, 2013
I have a kind, friendly boy of 12 who is exceptionally gifted and has a serious medical issue. I totally gave up on the public school program here to educate him, even though he was in "seminar" for the top 1% of students. The program was little different from the regular classroom. Many teachers, administrators and medical personnel were callous, rude and unkind. I live in La Jolla, where this was the best of the SD schools. So, I enrolled Alec at Balboa after explaining both his academic and medical needs. Honestly, I was shocked at the difference. They've been AWESOME! They put Alec in classes well above his grade level to challenge him. They take his medical condition seriously and follow the procedures I've set for them. I don't mean to say that I know everything will go well, but that the difference in attitude and effort is remarkable. The teachers and counselors are kind and the curriculum demanding enough that Alec is engaged in his education for the first time since we moved here. They've combined flexibility with academic rigor, and mixed in compassion. Dr. Parker totally got it with Alec, and they designed a program that fits Alec's needs perfectly. Outstanding! Go BCS!

- submitted by a parent
September 09, 2013
Balboa City School has been an excellent choice for my son. The staff and administrators are very responsive and the curriculum is challenging and broad. The teacher to student ratio is excellent and allows for a lot of individual attention. This is the first school my son has attended where he has felt safe.

- submitted by a parent
May 23, 2013
We have two kids at this school, one started in 5th grade and is now a 9th grader while the other started in 4 th grade and is now a 6th grader. The class size is small so that kids get more individual attention. There is a good deal of flexibility to take the child's individual needs into account. Our sixth grader does well in math and was able to move up a grade in math. Our 9th grader is taking Japanese as a language. Our kids have done better at Balboa than they did in our school district Our older son brought home less homework his first couple of years at Balboa. I was a little concerned by the difference in the homework amount. In the public school he scored at the high end of students on the CA standards test. He took the Stanford achievement test at Balboa and scored similar. The biggest difference seems to be the public schools assign more homework, than Balboa needs to assign, to learn the same amount. There is great deal of diversity at the school also and the kids come from all around the county. Recently there have been more foreign students attending. The teachers are are caring and keep you posted as to how the kids are doing. A good school and staff.

- submitted by a parent
March 08, 2013
I am a former student of Balboa City School, and It was a pretty experience. The staff did not let me take Biology and said it was "full", but it wasn't (only like 4 kids in that class) because they thought the teacher had little credentials. It was a waste of 2 months of time to catch up, and now i have to repeat several courses. The geometry class was a joke (so easy). The PE was really good. As I don't like this school that much, Its better than Winston School. I now go to CCA and am blossoming and challenged to my potential.

- submitted by a community member
February 17, 2013
I have taught (substitute) all over San Diego and Riverside Counties. I have been to many public schools, charter schools and private schools, but the culture, student population, teaching approach and leadership at Balboa City School is unique and effective. The class sizes are small, giving the teachers a lot of time to learn about their students as individuals. The access to technology is top of the line. There is a sense of community that I have not seen at other schools, clearly the atmosphere is not lost on the students, because they are all highly motivated young adults. The diversity of the student population is interesting because it gives students from different types of backgrounds a chance to intermingle in an intimate setting without the judgement of peers that often comes with larger public schools. Overall, this is a great environment both academic and social.

- submitted by a teacher
December 21, 2012
We searched and searched for the perfect school, and we finally found it! I have one child enrolled currently. I love the small class sizes! My child is in 5thth grade, and in addition to their amazing classroom teachers they have robotics class, a rocketry club, a PE coach, and a science class that makes science so interesting. They get to go to Mad Science too! How many elementary students get to do that?

- submitted by a parent
December 17, 2012
I made the mistake of sending my child to Balboa City School. Had I known what type of kids they cater to I would never have put my child there!!!!! My daughter did not receive any of the services promised to her. Once enrolled I was told she would only get the promised services if I paid hundreds of dollars per week on top of the regular tuition.

- submitted by a parent
December 05, 2012
Great place to send students with violent tendencies, behavior problems, and emotional disorders. The the teachers do their best to control the students but they are overwhelmed. Focus is on behavior and not on academics.

- submitted by a parent
October 15, 2012
Balboa City School is the epitome of excellence in education. My educational background is vast; i am still amazed at this outstanding school. The environment here is positive and nurturing. The principal, Administrative Director, faculty and staff work together to create this atmosphere/learning situation conducive to the highest level of academic achievement. Their commitment to the students is com -mendable. Each student receives special attention in class as well as the opportunity to receive help on a one-to-one basis. If all schools were based on the model of Balboa City School, education in our country would improve exponentially. l

- submitted by a teacher
July 24, 2012
Balboa City School recently sent me an email. The math teacher gave me detailed information about how my child was doing in summer school. And then also invited me to attend live theatre as part of the summer school English program. I never had to even ask for a "progress" report. And I spoke with two other parents who have their children in the school during the school year. They said this was pretty routine for the school. I really like this communication and that I am welcome at the school. And I like the interesting curriculum. My child has never worked harder! I will probably switch to this school in the Fall.

- submitted by a parent
July 23, 2012
There are some very specific things I like about this school. First, my son used to dread going to school because for some reason, even though he is a perfectly nice child, he was targeted by a group of boys and was bullied and harassed. In Balboa City School there is no teasing or bullying. My son has always love learning and now he looks forward to seeing his friends every day. Second, the school tries to make education relevant to the students. They are teaching programming, rocketry, SAT preparation, and even robotics. And all the usuall classes too. Third, they always have time to talk to me. They welcome me in the class! The teachers are always open and friendly. Fourth, we love the smaller classes. I love the structure within which students and can be creative. And the location is fabulous. I wish we had found the Balboa City School earlier. Also, the tuition is affordable.

- submitted by a parent
July 20, 2012
Balboa City School is a wonderful college preparatory school. My daughter is learning in all her classes and despite what her previous teachers said (they were good teachers) she is now truly engaged in her academics and getting ready for college. She has been studying everything from a foreign language (mandarin!) to robotics and advance English and writing. I like that they are so close to Balboa Park that they can attend theatre and go to the museums on a regular basis. What a I like most are the students and the teachers. The students are nice to each other and there are not any cliques. And the teachers are highly motivated and always respond to my emails (except one who is not so consistent). This year they started a kindergarten. I wish we had started our child there a few years ago.

- submitted by a parent
July 16, 2012
I enjoy the diversity of this school. It is located next to Balboa Park and the students go to art exhibits, live theatre, and even the science museums. The children are from all over, but one thing they have in common is that they are very polite. They are also quite respectful of their teachers. The only thing I think is not good is that the school does not have uniforms. I was looking for a challenging school that was modern, that gave student access to more interesting and challenging classes, like more serious writing, mathematics and even "electives" such as programming. I found all this and more in Balboa City School. It is great to see such devoted staff. Emails are always responded to. I do not like that a real person does not always answer the phone. But all in all this is the best school we have experienced in the twenty years we have had our children going to private school. (This is our youngest.) I love the way they motivate the students and the highly positive atmosphere.

- submitted by a parent
July 15, 2012
My daughter really loves this school. She was tested as gifted four years ago. For the first time in her life she is challenged by the curriculum and am very happy with the small seminar style classes. A really great program. Thank you Balboa City School.

- submitted by a parent
January 18, 2012
My daughter and I love Balboa City School. She started attending in 8th grade. Immediately she felt welcomed and made friends. The staff and teachers are caring and create an atmosphere of respect, which has allowed my daughter to feel comfortable and be able to focus on school work. The teachers give attention to the progress of the individual students. When my daughter has missed school, her teachers immediately work with her in class to get her caught up. This has been so helpful in preventing her from becoming overwhelmed. I am so grateful that my daughter is able to attend BCS. It has completely turned her life around. School is no longer a daily struggle. She now enjoys going to school. By making school a positive experience, BCS has truly improved the quality of my daughter's life.

- submitted by a parent
June 05, 2011
I attended Balboa City School in grades 8, 9, 10 and 11. I think the most positive thing was my teachers. I could ask questions and really learn in the classroom. The teachers were very respectful. If I struggled they did not push me or make me feel uncomfortable, they did not make me feel bad. Instead they explained concepts and gave good examples. When I learned those then they pushed me on to the next task. If it was not for this school I would not have been accepted to a good state college.

- submitted by a community member
March 25, 2011
I have been a teacher for 12 years and can attest to the quality education provided by the staff at BCS. With individualized instruction in classrooms with an average 8-1 student-to-teacher ratio, teachers are able to become familiar with each student's strengths and weaknesses. Students feel like part of a community where they can be successful.

- submitted by a community member
March 25, 2011
Balboa City School is a caring environment where students are treated as individuals and praised for their unique strengths. Over the past decade, I have personally seen how this program has benefitted students who would never have had a chance in the public school system. Students who graduate from this program regularly return to thank teachers and staff for their positive influence on their lives and to share their successes. Many of the core staff members have been teaching at Balboa for over 10 years, which speaks to the positive work environment and rewarding experience of teaching there.

- submitted by a community member
January 06, 2011
Balboa City School, made positive changes in my child. I said upon begin there and now, I should have moved here earlier; instead I hope that he would have been "accomodated" in the public schools. I hoped, and I hoped... Having, both ADD and an LD my son has taken a ful load and has greater self esteem and confidence. He know nows success and hold his head high. The Director, himself suffers from ADD, he is accomplished and has and does recognize students for their strenghts and talents are always encouraged. The focus on problem-solving and critical thinking, not memorization is HERE and this is of great important for all children, but even more for the students that attends this school. I raise my hat and say job well done!!

- submitted by a parent
December 29, 2010
At first I thought this was a terrible school. Mostly because I was not used to such direct communication from the administration. When my son was first starting at Balboa City School he would still lie to me and say he had no homework and the school always called. At first I believed my son. That led to some friction with the school. But we had some meetings and got everything straightened out. What I was so impressed by was how the counselor did not yell or even punish my son even when though my son was trying to make him and the teachers look bad. But pretty quickly, probably within ten days my son started to do well and I continued to get notes home saying how well he was doing! Never before did a school or a teacher take such an interest in my child's education. The result is phenomenal. All his standardized test scores have gone up by a great deal. The school is very very organized and structured and the really helps the students know what they should be doing. Another thing I like is that they do not give three or four hours of homework a night.

- submitted by a parent
June 27, 2010
I am a former student of this school, and since I have ADHD and didn't really succeed in other schools I seemed like a fit for the school. I was wrong. The classes ran at snail's pace, so that a half a semester's work was stretched throughout the entire school year. The teachers were either exceptional or awful. I commend the wonderful writing and poetry program at the school; the teacher was wonderful. The wonderful feel of going to school in the city and being able to walk to Balboa Park for PE, and everything good about this school is overshadowed by the mainly awful instruction and hostile environment caused by the students and the administration. I understand how this school can be a fit for some, but for me and many others, it is not.

- submitted by a community member
no rating May 20, 2010
Balboa City School have wonderful teachers who are dedicated to helping students realize their potential within a small classroom setting. They are very open to working with both student and parent which is rarely seen today.

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 12, 2010
I am a private educational therapist. I appreciate the approach on meeting individual needs through the comprehensive program at Balboa City School. With OT on site, dedicated counselors and teachers, and small class sizes, the students truly receive the support they need to realize their potential.

- submitted by a parent
May 11, 2010
this school has been soo good for my son!They have counselors on campus at all times, if the kids have problems they are there to help in a moments notices. Good Teachers and one on one education.

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 06, 2010
The teachers at Balboa City School really go out of their way to accommodate students' learning disabilities. Teacher, counselors, and other staff work well as a team to assist students and parents. Additionally, Balboa City School keeps their classroom sizes to a minimal, so students receive a lot of attention from their teachers.

- submitted by a parent
no rating April 29, 2010
Balboa City school has not only educated my loved one, but stimulated her to think about decisions and policies of the school, and then speak her mind when she disagrees. Staff interaction with her allows her to express her opinion and then asks questions so she can more fully support/express her feelings. She is growing into the type of person who will be a great contributor in all areas of life!

- submitted by a community member
no rating April 28, 2010
An amazing turnaround for our son. I agree with all of Kathy's remarks.

- submitted by a parent
no rating April 27, 2010
Balboa City School provides one on one personalized attention to each child in each class. They also develop self esteem, goal setting, and academic ambition in each child.

- submitted by a parent
April 27, 2010
Interaction of students, parents and staff sets the standard for all schools. Outstanding!!!!!

- submitted by a community member
no rating April 27, 2010
I love how this school is accommodating to students with special needs! :) There are tons of hands on programs that are beneficial to students!

- submitted by a parent
no rating April 27, 2010
In spite of my long time commitment to public education, moving our sophomore to Balboa City School was the most important decision we have made for him! Our public schools would not/could not help him develop needed academic skills and compensation strategies for his severe ADHD. He went to school every day feeling like a failure. His freshman year was a disaster as we watched him struggle without any assistance or intervention. We now have our great happy son back, thanks to Balboa City School! He is experiencing lots of success and his self-confidence has blossomed. Because he is with other smart special needs students and teachers who care about him, he is talking about his bright future. He knows now, what we always knew, that with the right support and skills he can be successful!

- submitted by a parent
no rating April 27, 2010
The school is a wonderful school and teachers are great.

- submitted by a parent
no rating April 27, 2010
The students are very happy here. They learn a lot each day. They look forward to school. The get good preparation for college. There are lots of computers.

- submitted by a community member
no rating April 27, 2010
I like this school becuase they have many services that help students grow as people.

- submitted by a parent
no rating April 27, 2010
This is an AMAZING school. My daughter has struggled her whole life with schools, and at this one she has finally found a home, where she is accepted for who she is and is praised for her amazing intellect, not for her social status. the small classes are so great, there are 5 people in her class, not 50. It is a refreshingly original school!

- submitted by a parent
no rating April 27, 2010
I have watched MANY students excel and thrive at our school! Watching these students develop and grow is quite amazing!

- submitted by a teacher
no rating April 26, 2010
Constructive, effective environment for kids with learning differences. Saved my child's life.

- submitted by a parent
no rating April 26, 2010
Dr. Parker, the principal and director, has a wonderful rapport with all of the students.

- submitted by a parent
no rating April 26, 2010
I believe they have helped my grandson do better.

- submitted by a community member
no rating April 26, 2010
My son has Autism, and this school has not only helped him cope, but we are now thriving. The program they offer is well rounded and complete. The staff is educated and they work exceptionally well with the developmentally disabled population.

- submitted by a parent
no rating April 26, 2010
Our son, 12 years old, has ADHD and did not do well in the public scchools. He could do the academic work but was subject to a lot of bullying because of his adhd. It reached a critical situation. At Balboa, as he said himself, he feels content, he is doing about the same academeically but is not subject to the bullying and teasing that occurred at the public school. We have a kid that is very happy these days and is doing well academically also. In the public shools We were lucky to get a response from his teachers for our emails. At Balboa the teachers are very good at keeping you up to date with what is happening and respond very quickly to your emails. We also enjoy the fact that they involve the kids in the community. Instead of field trips to a movie, they take the kids to a retirement community center.

- submitted by a parent
no rating April 26, 2010
Why do you love Balboa City School?My son is bipolar and has several learning disabilities. Before he came to Balboa City School the public school had written him off as 'unteachable'. thanks to the hard work and dedication of the teachers at BCS my son is now on his way to finishing high school and training to be a chef. They were willing to take a chance on him when no one else would and we are forever grateful for their dedication to helping special needs children.

- submitted by a parent
no rating April 26, 2010
It is a community of supportive kids toward each other, teaching is done to the highest level, kids can race ahead when they are ready. The school can react very quickly to individual needs, talents and interests. It does not have the institutional feel to it. With a closed but unifying court yard it creates a sense of freedom.

- submitted by a parent
no rating April 26, 2010
We love the small class size, the attentive staff, and the availability of counselors throughout the school day. Our child feels so much more comfortable there than in the public school system.

- submitted by a parent
no rating April 26, 2010
Balboa School has made an incredible change in my daughters life. Without them she would be a very lost lonely soul.

- submitted by a parent
April 26, 2010
Balboa School is the best environment for my son. He gets the support he needs and his grades are outstanding.

- submitted by a parent
no rating April 26, 2010
Balboa City School has provided a wonderful educational and social environment for my daughter. She is developing into a well rounded and gifted student with many friends. This school has changed her life!

- submitted by a parent
no rating April 26, 2010
This school has the most trained and understanding staff who are truly capable of accommodating my special son!!

- submitted by a parent
no rating April 25, 2010
This school is a Godsend for twice exceptionally gifted students who don't fit in the 'normal' school system.

- submitted by a parent
no rating April 25, 2010
They work very hard to prepare our children for successful, productive lives.

- submitted by a parent
April 16, 2010
This school works with special children and does a very good job. It has very small class sizes and yet still has a full curriculum

- submitted by a parent
no rating August 16, 2009
balboa City School is a school for bright kids who learn out of the box from the traditional ways of learning. In the 6 months my daughter went there, she is happier, more cooperative, and more empathetic with others than she ever has been. School starts in about two weeks and she is eagarly looking foward for school to start. If you are a parent of a child who may be left or right of center, and is often misunderstood, than I'd encourage you to look into this school.

- submitted by a parent
March 09, 2009
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
June 12, 2008
For children who dance to the beat of a different drummer, this is the place! If you don't like the chaos of the public schools, the violence, teachers who don't know how to spell, the overcrowded classrooms and the disrespect, then this might be the place for you. Creativity is fully supported with so many opportunities to excel and such a variety of options...the sky's the limit. Dr. Parker has options for every child to excel. My daughter hated school and continually dreaded going. When we visited Balboa and Dr. Parker said, 'Give her a week here and I bet she'll feel differently about it', he was so right!!

- submitted by a parent
March 05, 2008
This school is wonderful for children who are not on the straight and narrow path we, as parents, would like to see them on. The school handles social anxiety, immaturity, and non-violent emotional disorders incredibly well. Not for the drug abusing tween or teen.

- submitted by a parent
no rating February 23, 2008
The lower school teachers are good but quantity and quality of counseling and OT support is very problematic. The high staff turnover (my child had three counsellors in 2 years) is a problem and there is also a considerable turnover in the student population. The scheduling of parent-teacher conferences and arrival of progress reports is very haphazard and the school leadership is very inconsistant. I do not recommend this school.

- submitted by a parent
February 08, 2008
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a community member
October 10, 2007
Our son has made more progress in less than one term than what he did all of the previous school year. Most importantly, he finally likes school

- submitted by a parent
May 12, 2007
This school is awesome! My child has learned more in 3 months than she learned in 3 years. The staff takes the time to teach our kids alternative methods of learning concepts we felt couldn't be accomplished and the low teacher-student ratio is part of this success. My child is more confident, is learning and has made great friendships. Teacher and Parent support is wonderful. The staff goes the extra mile to help your child succeed and feel like a part of our community. Hats off to Balboa City School for giving our family hope. Evelyn, Lower School Mom

- submitted by a parent
March 27, 2007
I thought this school promised to help a certain type of child, yet gave up when there was real effort involved. Not that the administration didn't want to...it just didn't seem they were given the tools or resources to truly make a difference. The extracurricular activities, as exotic as they may sound, are not offered to every student (from experience). It has potential, if it is only steered in the right direction. Other parents have voiced satisfaction with the upper school experience. But the lower school just hasn't had the same success and feedback. The staff is very nice. But it just isn't enough.

- submitted by a parent
August 15, 2006
This is a great school for bright kids with disabilities. Lot's of individualized attention, compassionate teachers and wonderful administration. Small class size, positive and encouraging environment!

- submitted by a parent
June 11, 2005
The school is small and has a home like environment. Classroom size is small and is good for children who require more individual learning support. Great school with friendly staff who invite parent involvement.

- submitted by a parent
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Balboa City School
525 Hawthorn Street, San Diego, CA  92101
(619) 298-2990
Last modified Balboa City School is a Private school that serves grades K-12
Balboa City School Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 64 reviews. Top