I would strongly advise against sending your students to this school. The teachers at the school are pretty great. That's undisputed. But, the principal at this school is a not an educator and is so bad that she ruins the school for everyone. She is totalitarian, plays favorites, and has no concern for the emotional health of students at her school. She is callous and uncaring. She mistreats her teachers which results in a huge burnout rate. Students at BASIS are not happy with their schooling, particularly in the high school. All-in-all, the teachers are good, but the administration and general school philosophy is SO bad that I would never send my child to BASIS. Look at the AP academy at flag high, or the programs at NPA or FALA and whatever you do don't ruin your childrens high school career and send them to BASIS.
The principal at this school, Kara Kelty, is a totalitarian woman who is open to no feedback whatsoever; no matter the complaint. My son was late once, and the principal demoralized him, while also giving him detention. My son stated she also commented on his appearence and made him wash his lips because they were "disgusting". There is one actual good teacher there, but she is only available to 6-7th grade. The other teachers are lazy, and assign their students worksheets night after night. The overwhelming number of papers my son has in his Case-It (Case-Its are required to even attend this school) ripped the fabric apart, and the teachers still demanded he keep all of his papers inside of it. I told my son to just use his backpack, but he was subsequently given lunch detention. Kara Kelty stated that grades above 7 are allowed to carry their backpacks around the halls. My son was in 7th grade, and the teachers and staff failed to note this, instead scribbling out pink detention slips.
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 not that much different then any other school. Basis Flagstaff is a great school but in spite of the principle, Kara Kelty, not because of her. Several excellent teachers and administrators have left because of her. She has never been a teacher and does not have a background in education. She is terrible with children which I have seen personally with my child. She is a politician by trade and has not business working in a school. My child in succeeding because of the learning spirit of his peers and great teachers, its certainly not because of the administrative leadership. The best thing that can happen to Basis Flagstaff is to not renew her contract. I have kept my child at Basis because I think he will be get best education in Flagstaff but he has been personally demoralized by Ms. Kelty more than once which hasn't made it easy to keep him motivated.
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 a mixed bag: the teachers are great---they know their content and are dedicated to helping children learn and succeed. However, there is a ton of academic pressure at this school, due especially to the focus on test/exam scores. (We figure it comes from the very top, BASIS ownership/management, since a big part of their success is the high academic ratings they earn and the fact that they open and operate more and more schools every year.) The expectations are high, which is good, but the tradeoff is that kids probably don't have as much fun learning or being in the school as they would with a more flexible, well-rounded environment. Finally, the administration, in particular the head of school (principal), Kara Kelty, does not operate with a friendly touch or much humanity. She worked most of her career in politics, and it shows in her interaction and leadership style.
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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