Bay Area Educational Institute (BAEI) was founded for the purpose of starting an independent high school in the Bay Area and developing programs serving secondary students with learning differences. The only one of its kind in the East Bay, Bayhill High School opened its doors to its students in September of 2007.

outside of bayhill high school with sign in winter

A Need For a Specialized High School

The need for a comprehensive high school for students with learning differences is widespread. Roughly fifteen percent of the United States population has a form of learning disability. There is a high number of highly talented and intelligent students with learning disabilities — such as dyslexia, ADHD,  and auditory processing disorder who are unable to succeed because traditional schools cannot meet their needs. Schools devoted to addressing their special needs are far too rare.  The scarcity of such schools in the San Francisco Bay Area — especially in the East Bay Region — is a particularly dire problem.  And while several mainstream private high schools occasionally enroll learning-disabled students, they welcome only mild deficits. A few students from families of means are able to attend special education boarding schools on the East Coast.  Regrettably, both scarcity and affordability factors leave many students with learning disabilities to struggle, and many times fail, in traditional school settings.

The creation of a new high school for learning-disabled teenagers was necessary to educate this population of deserving, special needs students. This step would assure them the opportunity to thrive as productive and contributing members of society.

bayhill high school student with paper in hands

Building on what has come before…

The course charted for this new high school drew directly on the success of the Raskob Institute and Day School, a program of Holy Names University in Oakland, California.  The Raskob Institute, founded in 1953, is one of the oldest tutoring centers in the U. S.  Raskob Day School was then established in 1973, and is licensed as a nonpublic, non-sectarian school that offers full-time instruction to learning-disabled children in 3rd through 8th grades.

Following the unanimous endorsement of its board of trustees, Holy Names University expanded Raskob’s offerings by opening a high school in September 2005.  Their decision was based heavily on a well-identified demand for these specialized educational services. Raskob High School was designed to accommodate and instruct more students than any comparable special education high school in Northern California.  In Fall 2005, teachers welcomed a fully enrolled 9th grade class of 20 students – implementing the first phase of a plan that intended to add a grade each successive year until the high school reached a full enrollment of 80 students in all four grades.

Just five months later, the university announced, that Holy Names University’s limited campus space would no longer allow for the expansion of Raskob High School.   Increasing enrollment in the university’s undergraduate program — its top priority — necessitated the reversal of the university’s decision to expand Raskob.

Following the University’s decision, Bay Area Educational Institute (BAEI) was incorporated in February 2006.  A California non-profit corporation, BAEI’s purpose is to provide educational services to high school students with learning differences.

Bayhill Bay Area Alternative High School Biology Lab students

Bayhill High School Begins

In only a few months, BAEI etablished Bayhill High School which opened its doors in September 2006. With a campus centered near Lake Merritt in Oakland, Bayhill graduated its first class of seniors in June of 2008. In 2015, Bayhill moved to a new and more up-to-date facility in Berkeley, CA. In 2018, Bayhill will graduate its 11th class of seniors.