Like many posters, I too feared the rumors of homework overload. My son is an average student- I was told by other parents BASIS was the school for him. They were right! He accepted the challenging curriculum, is motivated by the enthusiastic teachers, and enjoys the extra - curricular activities done by the instructors. The teachers truly care that every student succeeds. As far as parent input, we have had 2 discussions with his math teacher regarding his focus while doing homework. The teacher offered several ways to approach homework and assured us he didn't have this experience in the classroom. The teachers are the professionals; I accept my role as the supportive parent. BASIS has required more support as a parent than his previous school because it is more academically rigorous. As a team, we are preparing him for a successful future.
BASIS Flagstaff is fantastic. For students wanting an extra challenge, or for those who need that challenge to stay engaged, this is an excellent school to consider. Under skillful leadership and with strong support from parents and students, BASIS Flagstaff is poised to become a flagship academic institution in the state. There are growth challenges, as with any new endeavor. Teacher turnover is high, because not all teachers are suitable for the BASIS approach, and fortunately BASIS Flagstaff leadership is taking seriously the difficult job of selecting and cultivating appropriate educators. Class size in the upper grades is low, because of attrition after grade 8 to schools that offer more extra-academic activities, and because of inadequate academic preparation of students entering the upper grades without the BASIS foundation. Parental involvement is restricted, because BASIS has a proven formula. This is difficult for many parents accustomed to having influence (even where they may lack expertise). The school is clearly not for everybody. But if you are serious about a rigorous education, consider signing up at grade 5 and plan to stick it out through grade 12.
We LOVE BASIS Flagstaff! My son is finishing 5th grade and he has loved every minute of school this year! I am thrilled to hear him come home chattering about the cool things he learned at school each day. He has NEVER been so excited about learning and this is due, I am certain, to the very engaging excited teachers who bubble over with enthusiasm for their subjects. My son does about 5-10 minutes of homework each night, has plenty of time for after school sports and has made the honor roll every grading period. I was nervous about the homework rumors but for a child who pays attention in class and makes use of the daily study hall, the homework is very very minimal. In summary, the classes are engaging, the teachers are invested, the curriculum is challenging and exciting, and at least for my son, the homework is light, creating for him no difficulty balancing school and sports.
Basis is not all its cracked up to be. I think its basically the same as the local public schools, minus the sports. My kids moved back to FUSD after one year there.
The principal role at basis is different and for the other reviewers putting Kara Kelly down , they must not understand that. The school is fantastic for my family. It is not for everyone , that is why there is choice in this community. The subjects they learn are amazing . Part of the 9 subjects that you hear another reviewer talk about is pe, music, art , Latin . All fabulous but not rigorous subjects that they were trying to make out otherwise. Definitely need the support at home to succeed . But amazing the things they are learning about .
Short version: we like the teachers but not the principal. With nearly half a school year complete, we have been pleased so far with our child's teachers, in particular the way they are willing to communicate with us. That means a lot, and their teaching, in general, seems effective, too. We're far less pleased with the behavior of the administration, or at least with the BASIS Flagstaff principal---we haven't met with all the administrative staff, but Ms. Kelty struck us both as calculating and hyper-judgmental, definitely not considerate regarding feedback, perspectives, or priorities of anyone other than her own and herself. Finally, parents should be aware that there is a lot of testing at BASIS. Students are assessed all the time, and the workload (homework, essays, reading, etc.) is heavy, too.
Basis flagstaff is an excellent academic school and offers many challenging courses. Overall, we are happy with the school. Our only complaint us the school does not welcome parent feedback. Parents are discouraged from questioning teaching practices. Overall, the homework load is manageable and the education offered is excellent.
We are BASIS parents. There is a big turn over of teachers and many are not experienced as teachers. There are a few exceptions including an excellent Biology teacher and a couple of the Math teachers. BASIS strives to offer a College Prep curriculum including some very good class choices. UNLIKE college, BASIS students must take 9 classes at once, books are not offered in many classes, and teachers do not post assignments online. We are professional, university-educated parents. In college we NEVER had 9 classes in one term, we typically had books in our courses and teachers usually posted class assignments. BASIS does not encourage parent feedback, even though many parents are professionals and could offer a lot of insight. The kids are so loaded down with homework, quizzes and tests that there is little time for anything else. They are spread so thin across 9 subjects that it is difficult to master any one subject. We spend most evenings re-teaching coursework (with the exception of Biology and Math), using the internet, since there is little material passed out and often no book. It's too bad because it could be a great school, but changes need to be made.
We are so fortunate to have a school like BASIS in Flagstaff. My son won't consider attending any other school. It's a very interactive and engaging environment with small classroom numbers. Contrary to rumor, homework is a reasonable amount and kids still have time for extra curricular activities. Also contrary to rumor, the school is not for gifted kids, it is for the average student who wants to learn. They teach them organizational and learning skills that will give them a solid foundation for college. Their selection process for hiring teachers is rigorous and they hire the best. My son has a couple of learning disabilities and they have been very interactive in figuring out how he learns and providing before and after tutoring (as they do with all students). They are truly interested in each individual student's success. BASIS can really make a difference in a child's future.
Our son started 9th grade at BASIS Flagstaff earlier this year. If you are in search of a school that actually tries to teach the students challenging stuff instead of simply warehousing students until graduation then this school is for you. Note that your student will actually have to take school seriously and do the work to be successful here - groundbreaking idea!
As everyone knows, the typical Arizona school does not meet the needs of their students. We were excited about BASIS based on the reputation of its Scottsdale and Tucson schools. Our son has ADD, and we are committed to seeing that he has a good education in a school that will both challenge and nurture him. Our interview with the Academic Director and the Admissions Director was a trial. The Academic... person proceeded to belittle my son regarding his math and science scores. He's mproved tremendously in math over the last year, and he exceeded on his AIMS - Science. It was clear from the interview they did not want him at the school and were doing there best to scare him and us off. It worked. We are moving to Scottsdale where he will go to Tesseract. Great school with an emphasis on the process of learning rather than testing. I can see how Basis receives such high test scores if they drive away students that need a good school and only embrace and encourage students who are already at a higher levee and test well. A Charter school has a responsibility to teach and teach well; not drive away students that want an education and keep the ones that get you top scores.
I had 3 children in this school last year and was very impressed. I had a 5th, 8th and 9th grader....all whom thrived at this amazing school!
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