School Communications

Smart girl sitting with stack of books and laptop, holding big clock, covering face

Time Management Strategies for Students

July 29, 2020

Smart girl sitting with stack of books and laptop, holding big clock, covering face

The start of the school year in the Crystal area is a hectic time for students and their parents. Students have classes to attend, homework to complete, and exams to study for, and in some cases, have to balance sports, extracurricular activities, and social outings. Trying to get everything done, and do it well, is stressful and exhausting. Fortunately, there are time management strategies that students can follow to increase productivity and decrease stress levels.

Time Management for Students

No matter what school that student attends, it is pretty much a guarantee that schedules are full, and time is precious. Following specific strategies to make the most of the time available is exceptionally useful.

Make a List of Top Priorities

Looking at assignments and due dates, as well as activity schedules, can be overwhelming. One of the first things to do is to make a list of everything that you have to do and an estimate of how long each item will take. This method helps prioritize time and cuts down on procrastination.

Create a Schedule and Stick To It!

One of the best time management strategies is to make a schedule. Utilize the computer, your phone, or a planner to create your plan. Schedule time to work on assignments, participate in activities, socialize, eat, and sleep. This takes a lot of the thinking process out of the equation.

Try to Minimize Distractions

Distractions such as phones, activities, friends, and even pets, can make it challenging to sit down and focus on the task. Parents should set rules around study time to make sure their kids focus all their attention on what needs to be done. There should be no television, cell phone, or computer time unless it is to work on an assignment.

Avoid Waiting Until the Last Minute on Assignments

Many students procrastinate and put off assignments, especially more challenging ones. Being skilled in time management means not waiting until the last minute to start an assignment. Begin studying for a test or writing a paper when it is first assigned to prevent unnecessary stressors, which can negatively affect a grade.

Set Realistic Goals and See Them Through

Goals are essential for increased focus. Some examples of goals include a certain number of pages read in a night, time spent studying for a test, or a defined number of questions to complete.

Focus on One Thing at a Time

One mistake students make is to multitask, thinking that it will result in more things getting done. However, students are most effective when they focus their attention on one thing at a time. If a student completes one assignment before moving on to the next, less time will be spent in general.

Take Breaks

It may seem counterintuitive, but stepping away from schoolwork every once in a while can increase productivity. Taking a short break, such as 10 minutes for every 30 minutes of work, helps recharge the brain and maintain focus. A brief intermission may consist of stretching, having a snack, or even getting in some exercise, which helps boost brainpower.

Make Sure You Get Enough Sleep

Sleep is also vital when managing time. An exhausted student is not going to function or focus, as well. There should be a set bedtime, to get eight to ten hours of sleep every night.

Be Flexible

Not everything goes according to plan, and some tasks may take longer than expected. A good plan of action is to schedule a little extra time for each assignment and not get upset if the schedule detours due to factors out of their control. 

Looking for A School that Promotes Good Time Management? Contact Beacon Academy to Learn About Enrollment Today!

The staff at Beacon Academy understands the stress that students face and is well-versed in time management tips. If you are in the Crystal or Minneapolis area, and want to learn more of what we have to offer, schedule a tour or contact us today!


Photo by Prostock-studio on Shutterstock

School buses prepare for another school year

Charter Schools vs. Traditional Public Schools: What’s the Difference

July 29, 2020

School buses prepare for another school yearWhen it comes to your child’s education, it can be difficult to know what route to take. These days, there is a variety of choices, from traditional to online schools. Some, like private schools, are expensive and selective. Because they are both free for students to attend, charter schools and traditional public schools are popular choices, but many parents do not understand the difference between the two.

When it comes to the two types of schools, they can vary greatly depending on the location. However, there are some basic differences. Understanding how they differ is important so parents can choose what is best for their child’s needs.


The funding for public schools comes from the state, and funds are distributed to the schools based on the number of students enrolled. Sometimes this funding is supplemented by local or county districts. Charter schools are funded by the state, but usually not local districts. Many charters rely on grants, awards, and fundraising to meet expenses.


One of the benefits of charter schools is they allow for more independence. The curriculum at traditional public schools typically has a one-size-fits-all style. Charter schools are often started by parents or groups looking for a different method or want to focus on a particular area, such as math or science.

Although charter schools are public and, therefore, must follow the same laws and regulations as public schools, there is more flexibility and freedom to choose the curriculum. This independence allows the schools to focus more on academic excellence than rule-following.

Community Feel 

Traditional schools accept children from all over the district. Parents often send their kids to charter schools because they believe in the specific approach the schools were started for in the first place. Charter schools are also usually smaller than public schools. Some charters require parental involvement, and many strongly encourage it. All these factors result in a strong sense of community.


With traditional public schools, students do not need to apply unless they want to attend a school in a different district. In contrast, students do need to apply to attend charter schools. Many schools do not have the space for the demand, so many conduct a lottery to determine which students are accepted.

Education Requirements of Teachers

Most traditional schools require their teachers to hold a minimum of a bachelor’s degree and state certification. The teachers at charter schools often have more flexible certification requirements. However, if a charter school is successful, it may be able to hire more qualified teachers.

Class Size

In general, traditional public schools have larger class sizes than charter schools, but this varies greatly based on the city and state. Because charters are usually smaller schools, class sizes are smaller as well.

Academic Standards

Both public and charter schools have academic standards that must be met. Students of both must participate in the standardized testing required by the state or district. There tends to be more of a focus on achieving academic excellence in charter schools because if certain standards are not met, a charter can be shut down. Charters are also accountable to the families and communities, as parents may choose to take their children out of the school or not send them at all if the schools are not meeting goals.

Visit Beacon Academy to Learn More About Minnesota Charter School Benefits Today!

If you are looking for a charter school in the Twin Cities area, you should visit Beacon Academy. It is focused on achieving results in a family-friendly community environment. The curriculum includes basic subjects as well as arts, music, and Spanish.

Beacon Academy is located in Crystal, at the intersection of 35th Ave N and Nevada Ave N. Unlike many other charter schools that do not offer transportation for students, Beach Academy offers busing at no cost to families. Schedule a tour to see what we have to offer and why your child should enroll.


Photo by Grindstone Media Group on Shutterstock


Why Charter Schools Give Students More

June 1, 2020


Since the first charter school opened right here in Minnesota in 1991 after a decade of public school reform, families throughout the United States have increasingly taken advantage of this high-quality alternative to traditional education. In fact, in 2017, Harvard’s Ed. magazine reported that charter schools represent a third of the U.S. News and World Report Top 100 Schools even though they educate just six percent of the country’s children. If you’re exploring the question of charter schools versus public schools for your children, learn more about the benefits of charter education in the Hennepin County area.


Academic Performance

According to the 2015 Urban Charter School Study by Stanford University researchers:

  • Students in urban charter schools showed substantial growth in both math and reading compared with their public school peers. The study found that in these charter schools, students receive the average equivalent of 28 additional days of reading instruction and 40 additional days of math instruction compared to public school students.
  • Growth was even more significant among students in traditionally underserved groups, including students who need special education, come from low-income households, and/or are of African or Hispanic origin.

Graduation and College Attendance Rates Are Higher

In one of the first longitudinal studies on the academic benefits of charter schools, researchers from Mathematica Policy Research, Georgia State University, and Vanderbilt University found that students who attended Florida and Chicago public schools were up to 15 percentage points more likely to graduate than their public school counterparts. The charter school students were eight to ten percentage points more likely to attend college than those who attended public high school.

Experience Better Satisfaction In Your Child’s Education as a Parent

Gallup’s 2017 Work and Education poll found that 61% of parents whose children attend charter schools rate the education they receive as excellent or good, compared to 47% of parents whose children attend public schools. In addition, 15% of public school parents rated their children’s schools as poor, compared with just three percent of charter school parents. For many families, charter schools offer an alternative to subpar neighborhood public schools and costly private schools. Also, parents who live in an area with just one elementary school can expand their educational choices by considering regional charter schools.


Increased Attention In and Out of Class

Since many Minnesota charter schools have a smaller class size than the corresponding traditional public schools, these institutions offer the individualized attention your child needs to excel. Thus, the charter school setting is often a smart choice for parents whose children have special educational needs. The ability to meet with a teacher one-on-one often dramatically increases a student’s academic prospects. For example, the Wall Street Journal reported in 2017 that the number of students who achieved state math proficiency in Central Harlem doubled from 2013 to 2017. Students attending neighborhood charter schools represented 96% of that increase.


Creative, Proven Curriculum that Creates Results

Charter schools are free to develop their own curriculum outside state and federal guidelines, which appeals to parents whose children do not thrive in a high-pressure environment with rigorous standardized testing. For example, Beacon Academy offers a content-rich, scientifically proven curriculum that stresses character development, Spanish language proficiency, music and arts education, and hands-on learning in physical education, math, science, reading, writing, history, and geography. Often, charter school students can “major” in an area of interest, such as performing arts, STEM, or foreign language. They can develop a specialized course schedule to prepare for high school education and beyond.


Enroll Your Child at Beacon Academy Today!

If you’re intrigued by the potential benefits of a charter school for your family, consider the outstanding experience your children will receive at Beacon Academy. We have created a small learning community that thrives on personalized attention and parental involvement. Our campus in Crystal, Minnesota, offers tuition-free education for students from kindergarten through eighth grade. Contact us to schedule a tour and learn more about the admissions procedure for our elementary students.