Mission & History

Beechwood is a non-profit school community of 170 students, 30 staff members, and over 100 families. The school includes one class per grade from Kinder Prep through Eighth Grade. Beechwood offers its young learners a safe, nurturing environment that addresses the academic and social needs of each child.

Mission Statement

We believe that all our students have within them the power to succeed.

The mission of Beechwood School is to teach students to take personal responsibility to:

  • Find their strength and build upon it.
  • Prepare to establish strong families.
  • Serve in their communities.
  • Make healthy choices for body and mind.

Beechwood History

As a Scoutmaster of some boys from East Palo Alto, Dick Jacobsen discovered that some of the middle school boys in his troop could barely read at a first grade level. This experience planted a seed in his mind that someday he would do something about the educational need that he saw.

In 1984 the partners of WSJ Properties and their wives formed the California Family Foundation to assist families with education, housing, and jobs. The founders were Jack and Mary Lois Wheatley, Boyd and Jill Smith, and Richard and Sue Jacobsen. Marilyn Anderson was hired as director of the California Family Foundation.

Beechwood School opened its doors in 1986 to 15 kindergarteners and 15 first graders. The two classes met in a portable building on a site next to the railroad tracks near the Onetta Harris Community Center.