This is the most amazing school if you are looking for individualized academic programs. It is so nurturing and has literally no bullying at all. It teaches children to be independent. My child excelled both emotionally and academically at Beacon. Most Beacon Graduates attend top rated private high schools and colleges. We highly recommend Beacon to all our friend and family. I would not have sent my kids anywhere else!! Highly recommend.
Beacon Country Day School is able to develop the whole child. If your child is more advanced in 1st grade reading than the other 1st graders than they will move if necessary your child to the 2nd grade reading class. This teaches all the students that they can utilize their abilities to any extent possible.
At Beacon you only see the older kids as positive role models for the younger students. It is the behavior of the Teachers and the older students that teaches the Preschoolers and Junior Kindergarten kids to show respect. Its awesome!! Its everywhere!!
Beacon Country Day School is a small independent private school. They develop compassion and empathy by teaching world views and they teach the kids to get involved in the caring of others by all the projects and volunteer work.
This school doesn’t communicate too well with parents re: school closures or safety-related events (e.g. lock-downs). After a burglary at a nearby residence, Beacon was asked by local authorities to secure the children in the building while the police looked for evidence dropped by the burglars who ran across the school’s playground. Beacon did not notify parents of the ‘lock-in” situation until two days later. Meanwhile, kids were asking their parents about “bad guys” running on the playground. The day after the lock-in, Beacon conducted multiple safety-related drills over a two day period. My kiddo indicated this was the first time they’d done these safety drills in two years. The school is marketed as a “small family environment” and they would do well to focus on some housekeeping improvements such as safety drills and communication with parents.
The school is run down and dirty. The before and after care frequently consists of television, you tube, VHS cartoon movies. The school’s academics are very heavily worksheet and drill based. The school dedicates 4+ weeks each year intensively preparing the kids for the standardized Iowa test. There is not much oversight during recess. There have been many problems related to the unmonitored bathrooms. After school, the teachers are often unsure where the kids are (odd for such a small school). The office is not routinely staffed during regular business hours and phone calls go unanswered. For the first time in 20+ years, they didn’t offer their usual full-day summer camp and informed parents of the summer camp cancellation right before summer break, making it very difficult to find child care given the last minute notice. The school has paper sign in sheets which are not always present, used, or referenced. All in all, the disappointments are substantial and it’s hard to see where your money goes. Keep looking – we are glad we did!
At the start of 1st grade I spoke to my son’s first grade teacher about possibly having him move up a grade to join the 2nd grade class for their reading lessons. She said she’d consider it. Since he was not allowed to move up for reading lessons, I thought he must not have been academically qualified. My son often complained of being "bored" with the school reading. When we received his standardized test scores and the school’s internal testing, he tested at the 4th grade reading level, with a 5th grade vocabulary. We are extremely disappointed that he was not allowed to move up to a more grade-appropriate environment and even more concerned that his teacher failed to notice the need!
The non-preschool class sizes are extremely small (4 to 8 children per grade and dwindling every year) and grades are combined starting around second grade. The dwindling class size and lack of activities before and after school (the children routinely watch TV/YouTube before and after school) led us to apply to other, larger, private schools. I was surprised to learn that Beacon provided some “mediocre” remarks/rankings (interpreted as negative by the receiving schools) about my child. This was particularly alarming as Beacon never shared any negative feedback or concerns with us. Unfortunately, I now suspect that Beacon provided “mediocre” reviews to the other schools in order to discourage us for seeking different schooling opportunities. I have heard from other parents seeking to transfer their children out of Beacon and they suspect the same. Be forewarned, if your child attends Beacon and you decide to change schools, Beacon may do the same to your child.