This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Posted December 10, 2014
- a parent
This is a review for the new Basis Phoenix elementary school on Central. Since they don't have their own page, I will review it here. The school is located in a high rise glass building between Central and 3rd street just south of Indian School Rd. This is it's first year. The school is located on the first 3 floors. The parking garage was made into playground. It lacks a cafeteria, library, computer lab, science lab, and gym. They have a respiratory therapist who functions like a school nurse. They have computer carts that are used to substitute for a formal computer lab. Hot meals are not available since there is no cafeteria; students are required to bring their lunch. Kindergarten is an additonal $3600 if you choose to attend full day.. Spanish is not offered K-5; Mandarin Chinese is required during these grades. Martial arts is offered twice a week during the gym period (30 min) each week. The teachers didn't appear particularly friendly in our view. During our tour, none of the teachers introduced themselves or approached us. The academics seemed exceptional and there are a lot of assigned homework in workbooks. We felt this school would not be a good fit for our child.
This school is fairly new in the Basis system, and although Basis Scottsdale and Tucson are ranked highly, this one is too new for that. Kind of riding the coat tails. Our experience is that the administration is extremely disorganized and inexperienced. Many people in charge are over their head and seem to lack leadership and common management skills. The school community is lacking too. Yes education is utmost, but also school is a community, and this school doesn't try to foster that at all. I'm not sure that this Basis Phx and any of the news ones will ever match up to Tucson and Scottsdale. Some of the teachers are excellent and some are terrible, but again, there seems to be no quality control in place to monitor teachers.
This school is terrible. I'm all for getting a good education and learning. But the problem with Basis schools is they teach simply by just forcing their students to memorize a bunch of information that will be lost after they pass the test. They make learning something you dread. Learning should be fun. It should be taught in a way where students desire to come to school every day, eager to learn new material. At Basis this is not the case. Basis is more like a prison than a school. The homework load is way over the top. Basis has caused not only me, but so many other students overwhelming amounts of stress, low self esteem and depression. That is not ok. That is absolutely unacceptable for a school to cause a student to feel that way. Basis is also not a very friendly school either. Most of the people that work in the office are very harsh and often rude to students; this causes students to literally be afraid of some of the people that work in the offices. Also, a lot of teachers here can't teach at all. Sure they may be "experts" in their field but you have to be able to know how to teach children. I am very unhappy at this school and can't wait to leave.
I am currently a freshman at Basis Phoenix. While the work may be tough, the teachers are amazing at explaining it all in a concise and easy to understand method making difficult topics more understandable. As for the students, the rigorous courses don't cut into fun as much as you would normally think. The smaller size of the student body leads to a closer and more personal interconnected web of friendship. The teachers, while not educated in a teaching degree, know wonders on their subjects and are incredibly dedicated and kind. It isn't very focused on extracurriculars and sports, but it is an amazing opportunity. The simple truth of the matter is, the people are wonderful and the morale is good, it simply takes a lot of hard work to make it here. I would recommend Basis Phoenix for anybody who loves to learn and is prepared for a couple hours of homework each night.
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