I love the community among the student body and the staff. Everyone (especially in high school) is so kind to everyone else. Every high school student knows everyone else in his or her respective grade and many in the other high school grade levels. The students form friendly relationships with the teachers and staff. Teachers talk with students as though we were peers, as do the staff, and even the head of school. There is no high school drama here. We joke about our weaknesses and mock ourselves in playful banter. We’re all nerds, so you can always be free to express your passion (as I often do and am very glad I can)! All students treat each other as friends, whether we see each other much or only in class.
I love the advanced courses I get to take (to which most other students my age don’t have the opportunity). I am free to excel in the areas I love, such as math, sciences, and writing. With extracurriculars and certain elective classes, I can even excel in areas in the liberal arts. Students in the fifth, sixth, and seventh grades have the opportunity to take Algebra I, and students as early as grades eight and nine have taken AP Calculus AB (Calculus I), continuing to post-AP capstone classes (Calculus III courses) while still in high school (optionally taking AP Calculus BC, or Calculus II, beforehand). All high school students take college-level courses, attending multiple AP classes per year, and all eighth graders take at least one AP course. Seniors take capstone classes (post-AP classes), some conduct research projects, and most graduate with high honors.
I love the teachers who talk with the students as peers (very colloquially) and who sincerely care about our success, even stepping out of their way to reach out to struggling students. We have excellent teachers here. Many teachers have a Masters degree or a PhD in their fields, and as far as I know, all of them have no less than a Bachelors.
I love the fun environment in the classrooms. Students can interrupt the lecture with sarcastic or jocular comments and the teachers would react in a similar fashion. Classrooms are filled with laughter and levity throughout the year. In high school, where the students are more mature and controlled, this energetic atmosphere does not evolve into chaos, but the teacher continues with the lecture with the same (or more) enthusiasm as he or she had before.
Basis Peoria teachers enforce excessive amounts of homework seven days of the week to cover the curriculum. Few teachers have the skills and the training to teach students the advanced concepts, and impose unrelenting homework of about 5 hours everyday for both middle school and high school. The principal is uncaring, ineffective, and Basis corporate office have no real understanding of education, other than touting an advanced curriculum. There is no balance, the school gives no time or effort for any other activities, and the overall development of the child suffers with every waking hour of their life spent on completing homework to learn/understand concepts that should have been taught in class by the teachers. That most parents are choosing to pull their kids out in HS, is the true evidence of bad teaching practices of Peoria Basis.
Teachers will always have time to see you if needed before or after school. They will send emails if signature is missing on a paper. They are willing to spend more time with students after school to help them.
Since my son started going to school, he had been exposed to curriculums from 1) a private Catholic school and a private non-sectarian school in NV, 2) a traditional public school in CA and, 3) BASIS, a public charter school. Through the years understanding the different school systems, the choice of BASIS became evident because of the curriculum flexibility it offers. After a couple of months, my son liked the experience and decided that BASIS is the school for him. As a parent, that enthusiasm is very important. After all it is his challenge, not ours. So, I give BASIS "5 stars" based solely on the curriculum aspect.
The choice of BASIS Peoria was incidental because our move depended on which BASIS school (among 4 different waitlist options) would make the first call. Whatever extra-curricular activities and after-school sports needed to maintain a balanced student life, my husband and I take the time to supplement him with other outside-school activites in addition to what BASIS meagerly provides.
BASIS Peoria speaks highly of their teachers and their credentials which is always good. However, the curriculum that is put in place is what attracted me and my son to BASIS, not the teachers. The teachers complement the curriculum required of them to implement. I believe that if traditional public schools put in place a similar curriculum that capable students could elect to take, the disparity would not be so pronounced. Of course, there has to be some extra level of involvement coming from the parents, a luxury not prevalent nowadays because of the "time" involved. However, it is the commitment my husband and I embraced when we chose to become parents.
So far my son is content to be going to BASIS Peoria.