HOW BEACON STUDENTS LIVE
Beacon students build habits of learning that will serve them far beyond their high school or even college experience. At our core, we strive to help students develop the aptitude and passion to learn actively throughout their lives so that they can adjust within an ever-changing future, become leaders in their chosen fields and instruments of change in the world, and, most importantly, live with purpose.
Our program asks students to embrace the complexity of the world while remaining fully themselves. Beacon believes in the importance of habituating virtue in order to live good lives. The education and practice students receive at Beacon Academy will help them navigate the inevitable challenges they face in the pursuit of a meaningful life.
HOW BEACON STUDENTS LEARN
Beacon teachers work to create an optimal prepared environment for deep learning by providing time and space for exploration and discovery. We focus on engaging students in the introductory subject matter and developing students’ proficiency in skills necessary to continue pursuing and building subject knowledge. Beacon students are active, not passive, participants in the learning experience: they are expected to independently follow their interest by creating and executing a plan of work and then to present what they have learned to their teacher, their classmates, and even the larger community. The many formats of student presentation is another facet of the emphasis on student choice and initiative, as they can most often select their media -- oral, written, video, artistic, or some combination -- and develop the additional know-how required by the form.
Beacon students learn in various cohorts throughout their school day, grouped by developmental level, area of interest, or level of experience. As a result, they are rarely segregated by age or grade but participate in many smaller learning communities within the school day. Ninth- and tenth-grade core classes are two-year mixed-age loops, offering opportunities for the social development and reorientation that characterizes early adolescence as they rehearse and refine essential skills.
INTERNATIONAL BACCALAUREATE (IB) DIPLOMA PROGRAM
Beacon offers older adolescents the option to build upon their foundational coursework by pursuing an IB Diploma in 11th and 12th grade through the rigorous and well-regarded International Baccalaureate Programme. The IB Programme’s curricula and Montessori’s pedagogy share a global perspective with a social focus and encourage students to think critically while synthesizing knowledge from multiple disciplines. Upper-level students may thus select a combination courseload, with some courses from our core program, emphasizing experiential learning, and some IB courses.
Students who pursue the Diploma take a two-year sequence of classes in the following areas: Literature, Language Acquisition, Individuals and Societies (which includes History and Philosophy), Sciences, Mathematics, and the Arts. Additionally, they will complete three core requirements: the Extended Essay, the Theory of Knowledge course, and the Creativity, Action, Service program.
- 4 credits in English
- 3 credits in history, including at least 1 year of United States History
- 2 credits in the same foreign language
- 3 credits in mathematics
- 3 credits in science
- 2 credits in fine and/or performing arts