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GreatSchools Rating

Beacon High School

Public | 9-12 | 1162 students

 

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Last modified
Community Rating

5 stars

Community Rating by Year
2014:
Based on 4 ratings
2013:
Based on 7 ratings
2012:
Based on 2 ratings
2011:
Based on 3 ratings

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Parent involvement

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149 reviews of this school


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Posted April 13, 2014

Awesome school! We have been so happy with our experience at Beacon. As another parent wrote, we really feel like we hit the jackpot. This school is sought after for good reason. The students are provided with challenging/interesting work and are taught to think critically and to express themselves clearly. The advisors and administrators are very committed and the teachers are generally top notch and supportive of student success. Our son has found no shortage of really terrific classmates with whom to spend time and the friends he has made have his same good judgment and enthusiasm for learning. The music program is absolutely amazing and the wide range of sports and extra-curricular provide multiple great choices for nearly everyone. We recognize the school is crowded (but will be in a brand new and spacious location for the second half of our time there) and as with every school, is not right for everyone. It clearly is a good fit for motivated, well-rounded students who really want to learn. There are countless opportunities to lend value as a parent and the school has good communications with parents. This is a high quality high school.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 11, 2014

I have two kids who have been at Beacon, one graduated last year and is attending a top college (was accepted almost everywhere applied), and my other child is currently in 10th grade. Yes its overcrowded and not every issue is handled perfectly, but both kids were stimulated, worked hard for their teachers, and excelled at their academics. There is drug and alcohol use at every school, its not about sanitizing their environment but raising your kids to make good decisions - No school is perfect, they both came from private school to Beacon - paying money does not guarantee that the kinks get ironed out. You will never meet a group of more committed teachers than at Beacon, and Ms. Lacey is hands-on active. Couldn't be happier with our choice - feel like we won the academic lottery.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 10, 2014

Beacon is not all it is cracked up to be. Overcrowded, overworked staff and it is hard to find any personalized attention. Leadership is focused on helping the ones that are doing very well do better and turns its head on those who are struggling. Drug and alcohol issues that the school turns a blind eye to.
—Submitted by a student


Posted January 9, 2014

This encapsulates how I feel about Beacon: I have two daughters, one a Beacon senior, one currently in 9th grade. Last year, while my Younger was applying to schools, we were subtly steering her towards private school, because we find Beacon to be chaotic (tricky, because we didn't want to make Older feel bad about her school, which she likes). Not knowing if Younger would get into any of these privates, we hoped to secure a spot at Beacon, just in case. I was all over each daughter's application and I can tell you, they were the same: same school, same grades, strong portfolios, same test scores, same! I let Beacon know Younger was a sib, my Older told a few teachers as well, Younger ranked Beacon as her first choice and guess what? Rejected! Guess what else? The majority of girl applicants from her small, private K-8 were accepted, making the rejection more humiliating & baffling. How do you explain this to a 13 year old ? Older is a great student, nice kid and just got in ED to a top, top college, so it's not like she ruined it for Younger. Finally, we had been "good" parents, donating money and volunteering, There's no explaining it -- just chaos. That's Beacon.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 26, 2013

This is the second year for my son at Beacon. He is a sophomore now and he can not be happier to be part of this school. I love that the school focuses on preparing kids for University with the type of projects they receive. Teachers are great, the communication between the school and parents is fantastic. The only thing I would like the school to consider is to integrate all classes into engrade, this way is easier for us parents to keep track of our kids progress and be more supportive. Overall I am very satisfied and happy with the school experience and my son's performance so far.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 21, 2013

Our son entered Beacon recently as a freshman and is having a very favorable experience thus far. He knew no other students upon arrival but has quickly felt at home and made many new friends. The workload is heavier some evenings (3+ hours) than his fairly rigorous middle school -- but the assignments are generally interesting. Teachers are available for students to consult for extra support as needed and there is a genuine feeling that teachers, advisors and coordinators really care and want the students to succeed. Additionally there is a "big sib" program which provides "sponsorship" of each advisory group by two senior mentors. There is a wide range of extra-curricular activities for students and there are meaningful avenues for parents to get/stay engaged as well. We are so happy to have found a good fit and it is wonderful to see how comfortable our son is already and how good the academics seem to be. He is working hard but really enjoying the experience. This school was well worth every step of the application process. It is clear why it is so well-regarded.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 12, 2013

prepare to feel heavily alienated if you don't live in manhattan and your family is below middle-class
—Submitted by a student


Posted June 6, 2013

Beacon is a really good school. The kids are highly engaged in academics and extracurriculars, and overall teacher quality is strong. That said, there are some real stars and a few duds, but by and large nearly all really appreciate and understand how to work wit the bright, creative teenagers that go to Beacon. Coursework in the humanities is quite rigorous -no need for AP English or History because they are already teaching at college level. Math and science (at least in 9th and 10th grade, and even for students in accelerated math) is not as rigorous as it could be. We are hoping for more demanding courses in the upper grades. Yes, there are plenty of kids who party, but I don't think the scene is atypical of nyc high schools that draw a substantial middle class crowd- and there are plenty of kids at Beacon who don't smoke or drink. On balance, we are very pleased with our choice and are confident that our daughter will be well-prepared for a demanding college program.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted June 1, 2013

when I first came to beacon, I loved it. I met new great friends and most of the teachers are amazing and care about you. it is a little over crowded but they are moving to a new building in like a year or so. It feels like home, and I don't associate with the crazy party goers, but overall beacon is great
—Submitted by a student


Posted April 28, 2013

Beacon is fantastic for the right student - but this is true everywhere, no? My child went to an elite private school from pre-school through 8th grade (the private schools is one of the most difficult to get into in NYC, crammed with celebs & movers & shakers) & Beacon's teachers are, at minimum, 100% better - many 1000% better - than the teachers he had. Yes, Beacon's crowded, yes there are kids who smoke everything & do everything, get high during the day etc etc - but that's true EVERYWHERE. It's all about the teachers - the athletic teams (hello, the tennis program is insanely good - best in NYC public or private) - the theater program BDAT. The one area the school sucks in is the college office. Beacon doesn't seem to care AT ALL about getting their kids into top-ranked colleges. That's kind of refreshing in the world of college hysteria but if your child wants to go to a top 50 school you have to make that happen yourself. Beacon will not help you. You need to hire a college counselor, tutors, do research, talk to people etc. In every other way, this school is amazing. But you and your child have to get involved, be part of the community, and support the teachers!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 28, 2013

My daughter is a sophomore at beacon this year and she loves it but I'm not sure I do. I'm not sure I love her friends. She comes home after a late night of partying each night with the scent of cigarettes and other bad things. She learns a lot at beacon but I'm afraid her bad habits will interfere with that :(
—Submitted by a parent


Posted July 23, 2012

I graduated from Beacon this June and wanted to share some of my experiences/insights. Teacher quality at Beacon is spotty for such a well respected place. Overall I have had more awful teachers here than great ones. As a freshman, there is little support and guidance, however I know there have been recent efforts to improve upon this through summer bridge and big sibs. In my experience the advisory program has been useless and a waste of time, that said other students were luckier with this. Academically, Beacon does have an innovative approach to learning. Students have the ability to select a lot of unique classes and their college program with Fordham is fantastic. However, the classics are entirely neglected (we never once read a Greek tragedy and only read one Shakespeare play) and the lack of textbooks/regents can give teachers an excuse to teach irrelevant course material. Socially, Beacon is home to a lot of hipsters and brooklyn artsy types and drugs and partying are rampant. I would not recommend Beacon for anyone who is not incredibly self-motivated. If you are not, it is just far too easy to slip through the cracks here, academically and otherwise.
—Submitted by a student


Posted February 22, 2012

this school prepares you so well for college . its one word amazing, take it from me i graduated from there !


Posted December 1, 2011

I am interested in acdemics, but I also love the arts?? Is Bard a good school for me??


Posted June 21, 2011

Beacon is not all it is cracked up to be. Overcrowded, overworked staff and it is hard to find any personalized attention. Leadership is focused on helping the ones that are doing very well do better and turns its head on those who are struggling. Drug and alcohol issues that the school turns a blind eye to. Too much solicitation from the PTA for money. A very elite Manhattan Public school that behaves like a private school. Was hard to get quality advisory attention without pressing. Leaves a very bad taste in the mouth, will be glad to be done with it. Having had 3 kids in NYC Public High Schools, I fail to see where Beacon has earned its quality reputation-
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 29, 2011

My daughter is a freshman and I am so glad she attends Beacon. It is a very safe school. The population is diverse and my daughter has learned so much about different cultures. The teachers/advisors cause the students to think for themselves and to question things and not just accept things as they are. My daughter is excited to go to school and often comes home discussing topics she learned in school. She has grown so much as an individual and I am so happy. I am proud to be a Beacon parent.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted November 7, 2009

Beacon is a progressive school that values education and requires students to proudly present their work at the end of the year as opposed to taking a silly, bubble and answer regents exam. THANK YOU, BEACON!!!
—Submitted by a student


Posted November 7, 2009

very warm and nurturing environment. Cares about the love of learning not just test scores...
—Submitted by a parent


Posted November 7, 2009

My child is excited to go to school. When ever I ask' How was school today' the response is ' great', My child is challenged academically and artistically. Beacon is everything a parent could ask for in one school.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted November 7, 2009

Teaches Kids to excel at their passion.
—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.

The test results by subgroup show how the designated group of students is performing in comparison to the general population.
Algebra II/Trigonometry

The state average for Algebra II/Trigonometry was 66% in 2013.

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Chemistry

The state average for Chemistry was 76% in 2013.

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Earth Science

The state average for Earth Science was 72% in 2013.

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English

The state average for English was 77% in 2013.

304 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
99%

2012

 
 
99%

2011

 
 
100%
French

The state average for French was 95% in 2011.

2011

 
 
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Geometry

The state average for Geometry was 74% in 2013.

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Global History and Geography

The state average for Global History and Geography was 71% in 2013.

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Integrated Algebra

The state average for Integrated Algebra was 73% in 2013.

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Italian

The state average for Italian was 98% in 2011.

2011

 
 
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Living Environment

The state average for Living Environment was 77% in 2013.

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Physics

The state average for Physics was 81% in 2013.

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Spanish

The state average for Spanish was 94% in 2011.

2011

 
 
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U.S. History and Government

The state average for U.S. History and Government was 80% in 2013.

2013

 
 
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2012

 
 
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Scale: % passing

About the tests


In 2012-2013 New York used the New York State Regents Examinations to test high school students in English, math, global history and geography, US history and government, living environment, chemistry, Earth science and physics. Students must take at least five Regents Exams in order to graduate. Scores of 65 and above are passing; scores of 55 and above earn credit toward a local diploma (with the approval of the local board of education). The goal is for all students to pass the tests.

Source: New York State Education Department

Algebra II/Trigonometry

All Studentsn/a
Femalen/a
Malen/a
African Americann/a
Asian/Pacific Islandern/a
Hispanicn/a
Multiracialn/a
Native Americann/a
Whiten/a
Economically disadvantagedn/a
Not economically disadvantagedn/a
Students with disabilitiesn/a
General populationn/a
English language learnersn/a
Proficient in Englishn/a
Non-migrantn/a

Chemistry

All Studentsn/a
Femalen/a
Malen/a
African Americann/a
Asian/Pacific Islandern/a
Hispanicn/a
Multiracialn/a
Native Americann/a
Whiten/a
Economically disadvantagedn/a
Not economically disadvantagedn/a
Students with disabilitiesn/a
General populationn/a
English language learnersn/a
Proficient in Englishn/a
Non-migrantn/a

Earth Science

All Studentsn/a
Femalen/a
Malen/a
African Americann/a
Asian/Pacific Islandern/a
Hispanicn/a
Multiracialn/a
Native Americann/a
Whiten/a
Economically disadvantagedn/a
Not economically disadvantagedn/a
Students with disabilitiesn/a
General populationn/a
English language learnersn/a
Proficient in Englishn/a
Migrantn/a
Non-migrantn/a

English

All Students99%
Female98%
Male100%
African American100%
Asian/Pacific Islandern/a
Hispanic97%
Multiracialn/a
Native Americann/a
White99%
Economically disadvantaged99%
Not economically disadvantaged99%
Students with disabilities95%
General population99%
English language learnersn/a
Proficient in English99%
Migrantn/a
Non-migrant99%

Geometry

All Studentsn/a
Femalen/a
Malen/a
African Americann/a
Asian/Pacific Islandern/a
Hispanicn/a
Multiracialn/a
Native Americann/a
Whiten/a
Economically disadvantagedn/a
Not economically disadvantagedn/a
Students with disabilitiesn/a
General populationn/a
English language learnersn/a
Proficient in Englishn/a
Migrantn/a
Non-migrantn/a

Global History and Geography

All Studentsn/a
Femalen/a
Malen/a
African Americann/a
Asian/Pacific Islandern/a
Hispanicn/a
Multiracialn/a
Native Americann/a
Whiten/a
Economically disadvantagedn/a
Not economically disadvantagedn/a
Students with disabilitiesn/a
General populationn/a
English language learnersn/a
Proficient in Englishn/a
Migrantn/a
Non-migrantn/a

Integrated Algebra

All Studentsn/a
Femalen/a
Malen/a
African Americann/a
Asian/Pacific Islandern/a
Hispanicn/a
Multiracialn/a
Native Americann/a
Whiten/a
Economically disadvantagedn/a
Not economically disadvantagedn/a
Students with disabilitiesn/a
General populationn/a
English language learnersn/a
Proficient in Englishn/a
Migrantn/a
Non-migrantn/a

Living Environment

All Studentsn/a
Femalen/a
Malen/a
African Americann/a
Asian/Pacific Islandern/a
Hispanicn/a
Multiracialn/a
Native Americann/a
Whiten/a
Economically disadvantagedn/a
Not economically disadvantagedn/a
Students with disabilitiesn/a
General populationn/a
English language learnersn/a
Proficient in Englishn/a
Migrantn/a
Non-migrantn/a

Physics

All Studentsn/a
Femalen/a
Malen/a
African Americann/a
Asian/Pacific Islandern/a
Hispanicn/a
Multiracialn/a
Native Americann/a
Whiten/a
Economically disadvantagedn/a
Not economically disadvantagedn/a
Students with disabilitiesn/a
General populationn/a
English language learnersn/a
Proficient in Englishn/a
Non-migrantn/a

U.S. History and Government

All Studentsn/a
Femalen/a
Malen/a
African Americann/a
Asian/Pacific Islandern/a
Hispanicn/a
Multiracialn/a
Native Americann/a
Whiten/a
Economically disadvantagedn/a
Not economically disadvantagedn/a
Students with disabilitiesn/a
General populationn/a
English language learnersn/a
Proficient in Englishn/a
Migrantn/a
Non-migrantn/a
Scale: % passing

About the tests


In 2012-2013 New York used the New York State Regents Examinations to test high school students in English, math, global history and geography, US history and government, living environment, chemistry, Earth science and physics. Students must take at least five Regents Exams in order to graduate. Scores of 65 and above are passing; scores of 55 and above earn credit toward a local diploma (with the approval of the local board of education). The goal is for all students to pass the tests.

The different student groups are identified by the New York Department of Education. If there are fewer than 5 students in a particular group, the state doesn't report data for that group.

Source: New York State Education Department

In 2009-2010, this school was given a grade of "A" for the high school level.

About the tests


Progress Report Grades measure the school's contribution to student learning in three areas: School Environment, Student Performance and Student Progress. Schools can receive additional credit for achieving exemplary performance progress among high-needs students. Progress Report Grades range from A to F.

Source: New York City Department of Education

Breaking down the GreatSchools Rating

GreatSchools Ratings for this school are based on 2012-2013 test results. Use the breakdown ratings below to compare types of students at this school. Learn more »


Student ethnicity

Ethnicity This school State average
White 1 52% 48%
Hispanic 1 23% 23%
Black 2 15% 19%
Asian or Asian/Pacific Islander 2 9% 9%
American Indian/Alaska Native 1 1% 1%
Two or more races 2 0% 1%
Source: NYSED, 2011-2012
Source: 2 NCES, 2011-2012

Student subgroups

  This school District averageState average
Limited English proficient 20%N/A8%
Students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch program 223%N/A43%
Source: 1 NCES, 2011-2012
Source: 2 NYSED, 2011-2012

Teacher experience

  This school District averageState average
Fewer than 3 years experience 0%N/A5%
Source: NYSED, 2011-2012

Teacher education levels

  This school District averageState average
Master's degree and above 55%N/A39%
Source: NYSED, 2011-2012

Teacher credentials

  This school District averageState average
Teachers with no valid teaching certificate 0%N/A0%
Source: NYSED, 2011-2012

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Arts & music

Music
  • Orchestra

Language learning

Foreign languages taught
  • French
  • German
  • Hebrew
  • Spanish
Level of ESL/ELL programming offered
  • Basic - the school offers or partners to provide services based on the needs of individual students

Gifted & talented

Instructional and/or curriculum models used
  • Advanced placement courses
Note: Data provided by school administrators and community.
School leaders, update and verify information here.
The NYC Department of Education asked parents, teachers and students about their school's learning environment. Results provide insight into school climate, such as whether the school is academically rigorous, safe, communicative and collaborative. Learn more

The information captured by the survey is designed to support a dialogue among all members of the school community about how to make the school a better place to learn. An overall category score is calculated for each respondent group (parents, teachers, or students) by averaging the scores of the questions within that survey category.

Category scores for each of the respondent groups are then combined to form overall category scores. Alongside the results for each school are the aggregated results across all NYC public schools, which are provided as a basis for comparisons.

Learn more about the NYC DOE survey »Close
Based on 1501 responses

This school provides ... 1

A safe and respectful environmentWhat's this?

This score measures whether parents, students and teachers feel that the school creates a physically and emotionally secure environment in which everyone can focus on student learning.

Close
 
This school
8.3
out of 10
 
City average
8.0
out of 10
 

Parents

This school

 
8.7
 

City average

 
8.4
 

Students

This school

 
8.3
 

City average

 
7.2
 

Teachers

This school

 
7.9
 

City average

 
8.0
 
Clear, useful communication about educational goalsWhat's this?

This score measures whether parents, students and teachers feel that the school provides information about the school's educational goals and offers appropriate feedback on each student's learning outcome.

Close
 
This school
7.8
out of 10
 
City average
8.1
out of 10
 

Parents

This school

 
8.2
 

City average

 
8.5
 

Students

This school

 
7.7
 

City average

 
7.8
 

Teachers

This school

 
7.4
 

City average

 
7.8
 
Strong parent, teacher and student engagementWhat's this?

This score measures how engaged parents, students and teachers feel they are in an active and vibrant partnership to promote student learning.

Close
 
This school
8.0
out of 10
 
City average
7.8
out of 10
 

Parents

This school

 
8.4
 

City average

 
8.1
 

Students

This school

 
7.9
 

City average

 
7.2
 

Teachers

This school

 
7.6
 

City average

 
7.8
 
High academic expectations for all studentsWhat's this?

This score measures how well parents, students and teachers feel that the school develops rigorous and meaningful academic goals that encourage students to do their best.

Close
 
This school
8.4
out of 10
 
City average
8.2
out of 10
 

Parents

This school

 
8.6
 

City average

 
8.3
 

Students

This school

 
8.4
 

City average

 
8.1
 

Teachers

This school

 
8.0
 

City average

 
8.1
 

Based on surveys from:

 RespondentsResponse rate
Parents41534%
Students103883%
Teachers4884%

12012-2013 New York City Department of Education School Survey

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School basics

School Leader's name
  • MS. RUTH LACEY

Programs

Instructional and/or curriculum models used

Don't understand these terms?
  • Advanced placement courses
Specific academic themes or areas of focus

Don't understand these terms?
  • Humanities
Foreign languages taught
  • French
  • German
  • Hebrew
  • Spanish
Level of ESL/ELL programming offered
  • Basic - the school offers or partners to provide services based on the needs of individual students

Resources

Transportation options
  • Busses - M10, M104, M11, M20, M31, M5, M57, M66, M7, M72
  • Passes/tokens for public transportation
Note: Data provided by school administrators and community.
School leaders, update and verify information here.

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Sports

Boys sports
  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Cross country
  • Fencing
  • Soccer
  • Tennis
  • Track
  • Ultimate Frisbee
  • Wrestling
Girls sports
  • Basketball
  • Cheerleading
  • Cross country
  • Fencing
  • Soccer
  • Sofbtall
  • Tennis
  • Track
  • Ultimate Frisbee

Arts & music

Music
  • Orchestra
Note: Data provided by school administrators and community.
School leaders, update and verify information here.

Apply

 

TIP: Don't forget to ask about documents required for enrollment, such as your child's birth certificate, proof of address, or a record of immunizations.

 
Apply now
Notice an inaccuracy? Let us know!

227-243 W 61st St
New York, NY 10022
Website: Click here
Phone: (212) 245-2807

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