Basis Charter Schools are highly controversial. US NEWS places their high schools in the top 10, other educators strongly criticize them. BASIS has an almost missionary-like zeal for its educational method: HARD WORK: pour all resources into teaching, and demand two to four times as much effort from students as typical of public schools. No frills here, no computers nor even a library, no big play fields and very modest sports and extracurricular programs, who has time when taking all those serious courses? The serious student will do best here; others will transfer to high schools with more leisure time. The relative few who stay with it are well above the freshmen college level. The staff is dedicated to helping every student, but that may mean staying after school every night getting tutoring if the student is having difficulty learning. Teachers are expert in their subjects, but can vary in their ability to teach them; the teacher's are not drawn solely from those with teaching degrees. Teachers are paid more, and more is expected from them. Some areas are still turning over teachers, others have great ones. BASIS is good for the serious student. AP tests: tough!
Coming from a private school experience with all three of our children, Basis is like getting a private school experience for free! The teachers are dedicated to the students success, and if help is needed they are there at every turn! There is a healthy, positive, peer pressure to do well academically and extra-curricular activities are available in every category! We are so thankful for this opportunity to truly prepare our child for the college experience and success not only academically, but in the real world!
We moved our daughter to Basis Phoenix after 6th grade in the public school system. It was like switching on a light for her as she finally became part of a school where she felt comfortable, competitive and challenged. Yes, the curriculum is rigorous and difficult, and it helps immensely to have a self driven child who enjoys school, however, Basis is set up to help your child to succeed. There is an optional training during the summer to help prepare kids to know what to expect and which tools are available to them. Because we moved our child to Basis in 7th grade, she was asked to attend student hours to be sure that she was not missing any building blocks for the core subjects, (and released when she showed that she did not need the extra time with her teachers). Basis emphasizes the student's "ownership" of behavior and education which has developed her confidence and responsibility. It is also important to recognize that, although highly academic, the students have more choices than imaginable for extra-curricular activities and clubs. The greatest reward has been hearing our daughter say, "I'm so happy that they teach me what I don't know instead of what I already know!"
My child joined Basis after an unsatisfactory experience with a nearby comprehensive gifted program. Basis offers an exceptional curriculum. Basis also encourages the student to be independent and responsible. The administration is supportive of the students. However, Basis, with its advanced programs, fast pace, and heavy homework load, is not a good fit for every student and their families. It does not have some of the luxuries of a traditional school. There is no library, no cafeteria, no sports facilities, and no cheer leading. What it provides, instead, is an unmatched college preparatory program in this country. And it does this on a shoe-string budget. Well done, Basis.
This is our first year at Basis Phoenix but we are extremely satisfied and impressed with the school and staff. The school with the leadership of Principal Petra Pajatas is outstanding, very organized. We all wish Ms Pajatas will stay forever. The teachers are experts in their fields and very very dedicated to teaching. The student body is great, most if not all of these kids are already gifted or above average and they are very very motivated. Of course the school is not for every kid, there will be kids that withdraw due to the challenging curriculum, but if the kids are motivated and with great parental support, you and your kid will love this school. Our daughter was in a gifted program and she attended supposedly the best Catholic school here in the state, but nothing was impressed us until we are here at Basis Phoenix. This is the even better than any private school. Our daughter has learned not the very advanced curriculum but also learn to be independent, and many necessary skills such as leadership, organization, and most importantly she loves school and loves learning. Love it so much, that our son is coming next year and we are here for the long run.
Love this school, the teachers are great, very dedicated, Principal Ms. Petra is exceptional. We love everything about this school. Our daughter has been jumping from school to school because no school has offered what needed for her, an outstanding curriculum, dedicated teachers and very very supporting staff. Our daughter has learned so much, from organizing skills to learning habit. She enjoys every class so much and loves every subject being taught. A+++++++ for the school, I wish every school is like Basis
Our daughter has spent in fifth and sixth grade at BASIS Phoenix. So far her experience been wonderful. The teachers are quite remarkable in their own right, with impressive backgrounds. More importantly, they are dedicated to expanding knowledge of our kids by encouraging their curiosity. It is a well rounded school with art, music, drama, foreign language, along with math, science and language arts. The children enjoy vigorous academics while having frequent social events and dances throughout the year. What we love the most is what a great family basis has, with proud teachers who are thrilled when their students succeed. Great job basis administrators and teachers!!
After several years of paying for a private school education, we realized our 5th grade daughter didn't seem to know some of the basics. A new BASIS school was opening up near us and we transferred her. This was one of the single best decisions we've ever made. Our daughter has a new found confidence in her academic ability. She loves going to school every day. She is no longer bogged down with ridiculous amounts of homework that she was given at her previous school (because they didn't do much teaching during the day). The quality of teaching at BASIS is SUPERB! Our daughter is learning at a much higher level but doesn't feel the pressure because the teachers make learning fun. I highly recommend this school to any parent or student who wants to receive the highest level of education. And you can't beat the price. We also transferred our older daughter who is very academically driven. She states it is the first time she has felt academically challenged. Both children have different skill sets and learning styles. But BASIS is able to be adaptable and create a love of learning that is unsurpassed.
Moving our kids to Basis Phoenix was the best thing we could have done for them. The last two years of school at Basis Phoenix have been so much better than their past educational experiences. Aside from getting an incredible education, they have also learned responsibility and have become incredibly adept at organizing their time. At times they get their fair amount of homework, but it's never too much to handle. They have time at school during academic expansion to do some homework and the teachers offer student support on a weekly basis for any students who want more help, or who just have a question. The teachers are there to help the children learn and they are doing a fabulous job! I would recommend Basis to everyone!
BASIS Phoenix is an excellent school, providing a rigorous curriculum and support to achieve it.
Basis Phoenix has the best teachers in the country. They are highly motivated and eager to teach subjects about which they are truly passionate. Their enthusiasm for the subjects they teach is contagious to the kids, and the reason the students want to learn. There are great differences in teaching styles, but that enthusiasm is the commonality.
Basis Phoenix is a gift to the under served grade school student community of Paradise valley and surrounding areas. The school has an excellent staff and is delivering very high quality, well rounded education to both my children in grades 5 & 8.
The curriculum at Basis is outstanding. When my child started at this school I expected it would be good, due to its excellent reputation, but I had no idea how good it would be. The teachers are incredibly brilliant and talented and they've inspired my child to want to learn more and delve deeper into subjects. I am in awe of what my child has learned this year - truly amazing stuff. It does require more personal responsibility and effort on the part of each child, but they offer student support hours after school, every day, for students who need extra help. The homework has been about 1.5 hours per night during the week, which can be challenging, but is so worth it. I would highly recommend this school, as it has far exceeded my expectations. The Head of School, Petra Pajtas, is an excellent communicator, sends out weekly updates to parents, holds a monthly coffee for parents to meet with her, and she runs the school so well. Basis offers many different extracurricular activities including sports and opportunities for students to travel internationally at the end of the school year, if they choose to. I can't say enough good things about this school - it's extraordinary.
Awesome School! Yes, there is a good amount of homework but my child generally finishes in 1-2 hours and has never stayed up til midnight. The key is to do a little every night. Teachers are excellent, it is fast-paced. Kids take responsibility for doing their own work which is awesome. Finishing 2nd year there now.
We are so glad we made the move to Basis Phoenix! We have a 6th and an 8th grader and are continually surprised at their expanding knowledge of various subjects. The workload is not more than they can handle, and they are really learning about how to be well organized. Having an academic expansion hour is great, as they usually get their Math homework done there. We also really appreciate having posted Student Support hours where they can go for extra help before &/or after school if needed. There are a variety of extracurricular activities and sports available as well. My son participates in Debate and History Club, and my daughter is able to perform in Fall plays and Spring musicals through Drama Club. There are opportunities to volunteer through the Basis Boosters and social events and dances held throughout the year. Love this school!
I feel that the school is providing a great environment that my daughter is thriving in.
After much trepidation and soul searching, I enrolled my daughter in Basis. My fear was due to the staggering amount of homework I had heard the fifth graders received. The idea that she would be leaving her warm and fuzzy environment that had instilled a love of learning and was really an excellent school made the decision very difficult. My daughter was adament after attending the informational mtg x4 that this is the school she wanted to go to (and she was not an honors student). My daughter loves Basis. The teachers expect a lot from the kids but they are there for their students when grades slip by having them attend student hours. Ms. Petra Pajt s is the Head of School. She is fantastic. Excellent administration. Zero tolerance for bullying or inappropriate behavior. Extra curricular activities to meet any child's desire. Extremely happy with Basis.
Doctorate degree, eh? If you can't take it, don't dish it. Giving a school four stars and explaining WHY it was given is a mature, INTELLIGENT way to handle an ADULT conversation. Waaaa? Really? Some people are trying to make one of the most important decisions in their children's lives, and they expect parents- and students for that matter- to write their honest opinion. Not an EMOTIONAL one. Whether you love it, hate it, or any feeling in between, you should be allowed to share. This website isn't just for those who post five-star ratings. Cafeterias, libraries, real science labs, advanced studies, etc, could individually make or break someone's decision. (Whether YOU think they're important or not.) maybe some parents AREN'T excited about the idea of not being able to help their children with their homework.....I'm just saying. And I have the right to say it.
We have been at two different BASIS schools and this one is far superior - thanks to the leadership and the teachers here. For those that have negative comments about this school, there are alternatives and the homework is meant to challenge your students and help them grow, I have a doctorate degree and proudly cannot help with certain items they bring home. The teachers are extremely supportive and provide help whenever requested. This school does so much with a fraction of public schools. Really - complains there is no cafeteria - I'll take the 40% of their teachers this year with PHD's anytime that are extremely knowledgeable and send a lunch. WAAA there is no library, no instead they have opportunities that are incredible, like studying the foundations of Buddhism - talk directly to Buddhist monks over Skype. We have two students that have distinct personalities and learning styles yet thrive in the challenging and supportive environment. One of the best aspects of this BASIS is the extracurricular options as well - again due to the engaged and supportive staff and leadership. This may be a newer campus yet highly recommended.
Positives first. ALL students take AP classes/tests, high level math classes, and at least 5 years of a foreign language. They also offer a bit of teacher support before and/or after school for struggling students. The students are all headed for college. The school is NOT strict. They're doing a lot with very little money. The instructors seem very intelligent. Negatives: the instructors may be too intelligent to teach at this level, little choice of what AP classes to take, Saxon math (spiral) too repetitive. These are bright kids. That much repetition is unnecessary. The teacher support has LOADS of students needing help. Why is that? Hmmmm. We are not first-year BASIS'. We plan to stay, but do not think this school is a 5-star. The homework load is tremendous! Although your child can have extracurriculars, he/she will constantly struggle with HW. There's no cafeteria, library or computer lab esp for before or after school use. There's a constant push for donations. I could go on, but I'd just be whining.
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