Beacon Academy in Maple Grove, Minnesota is amazing. I researched 8 schools in the area (private, public, magnet and other charter schools). I interviewed teachers/parents/students and toured all the schools. Beacon Academy was my favorite BY FAR. I loved the philosophy, class size, and parent involvement. Plus, it just "felt" right. However, b/c it was a lottery, I didn't feel our odds were good to get into the school. When my son's name was selected, I about fell on the floor with excitement. Over the summer, before kindergarten began, I heard there was a lot of staff turnover. I was nervous. Why were there so many teachers leaving? I talked to the principal and he explained to me that the new teachers were already familiar with the Beacon philosophy and explained why some teachers left Beacon (ie., higher salary at public schools and some teachers had new babies). My son has some minor special needs (developmental delay) so his special education team was important. It is now December, and I cannot tell you how AMAZING the school is. The collaboration b/t his classroom teacher, spED teacher, and other teachers/admin has blown me away. My son is thriving! We love Beacon!
We transferred to Beacon Academy from another charter school in Maple Grove two years ago. The administration and office staff are wonderful. Our children are challenged academically, especially in math (all grades do one grade level above in Saxon math). The families that we have met are amazing - it's so nice to know that our kids have such great friends! This is just a super warm, caring, small school with high standards for academics and character. We couldn't be more happy to be a part of it.
I am a student going into 7th grade this school year on Sep. 2nd. Beacon Academy is a great, fun school. They know how to deal with bullying when I got cyber bullied on Instagram when I was in 6th grade, they dealt with it and I was feeling better in no time. Being a sister of a sibling who graduated from Beacon Academy all I can say about this school is amazing they give a well balanced amount of homework each night and let you work on it for whole class period 4 days a week. The teachers are fun nice and educate you well. You will for sure make friends on your first day at Beacon Academy. I love Beacon Academy, I have so much fun there and so does my classmates, I hope you do too.
Beacon Academy is a great school for all students. There is a good SE department, and the teachers are all very helpful and caring. This school has high academic standards and achievements. The social situation is very welcoming to everyone.
Beacon charter school is a great place for a child to learn facts and how to be a helpful community member. Our kids started attending Beacon in Fall of 2012. My kids have enjoyed full day kindergarten at no extra cost to us. Beacon Academy has chose to give all Kindergarten students a full day to give them a good start their first year. The best part of Beacon is the parent involvement that all parents commit to. The parent involvement and volunteering helps the teachers and administration to include the parents in the important job of raising a child mentally and socially.
We won the lottery when we got in to Beacon Academy. We've been so pleased with the teachers, staff., Great communication from the office, the principals, the teaching staff. I'd recommend this school whole heartedly.
I go to this school and i'm going to 8th grade next year and all I have to say is: It is terrible for socially awkward kids. Let me explain, all the teachers are very direct and blunt when telling me something bad and they are ALL very insensitive to me, especially the old SS teacher and the OS teacher are absolutely the most insensitive teachers I have ever know. If your child has a social disorder do not send them to this school they WILL feel alone, and they WILL feel very awkward there.
My daughter went to BEACON starting in sixth grade, there seems to be a bulling problem that is ignored. Academically the middle school appears weak because of the influx of students in and out. Also, there is a high percentage of special education sotudents with behavior issues that disrupt learning. Again not dealt with or ignored. My daughter just was so feed up in 7 th grade transfered. She now believes she is behind accademically because the school had so many issues they cannot deal with. Administration only talk a good game. Stay away far far away.
Overall, this is a very nice school with a welcoming community feel. Class sizes are not too big. The administration, office staff, nurse, and lunch staff are all great. The teachers tend to be younger and less experienced, but they all seem to genuinely care about kids. Most families live in Maple Grove or Plymouth, so out-of-school activities (family get-togethers, Barnes & Noble night, etc.) tend to be held in those towns. The school is trying to add a 9th grade, and possibly expand to a full high school. Some cons: There is not a lot of differentiation for elementary students. They say math is accelerated by a full grade level for the younger grades, but it only seems to be partially so. As with any public school, there is a strong focus on testing. There is no technology in the classrooms (i.e., no smartboards, iPads, or laptops), but kids go to technology class once a week, which partly serves as a weekly testing time. The volunteer commitment requested of families is helpful to the school but hard for parents who work full-time to fulfill.