This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Posted December 16, 2014
- a parent
BASIS is a school that teaches student accountability and has a challenging but extremely engaging curriculum. The teachers are amazing! I have a 5th and an 8th grader and was not sure how my children would adjust coming from FUSD, but they are both thriving! They love subjects like Latin, Classics, Economics, Geography and Rhetoric. The 5th grade also includes 3 days of week of each, pe, art and music! We didn't get that with any other school. I've never had any problems communicating with the teachers, in fact they have always been very responsive and supportive.
emails go unanswered. The teachers don't provide one-on-one support.feedback is not timely. If your kid is intelligent and very self-motivated in response to largely rote memorization and this is a good place for you.
BASIS focus is on standardized testing. Students work hard but it seems like they "teach the test". BASIS students do about as well as public school students in the AP track. Parent involvement discouraged and important decisions made primarily at BASIS' out of town headquarters. Teachers very hard working and dedicated but they have high turn over.
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.
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.