My daughter attends BASIS. I echo the sentiment that your child can be a star among the average at a typical public school or be challenged by being surrounded by other bright and motivated students. Controversy always surrounds doing something different and being successful at it and that is obvious from some of the negative comments. It also appears that parents whose student did not find success at BASIS (for one reason or another) want to blame the school, rather than accepting that there was not a fit. Perhaps they are disappointed? I am also shocked to hear a parent complain that helping your child learn and assisting with homework amounts to "home schooling". I've never heard anything so ridiculous. BASIS is a wonderful place for some and a difficult place for others. Some it is academic and some of it is socially. To answer the posters question about ethics, cultural diversity and social. The ethics of self responsibility are the core of the schools program and I have not scene a more diverse group of students. Socially there are activities for your child, however I have always encouraged and supported an outside activity such as a club sports team.
To Overwhelmed: You can always go back to regular public school. Your kid can be a superstar amongst a bunch of unmotivated students with low expectations. Obivously that is not what you wanted since you put your kid in BASIS in the first place. If you are spending 15-20 hours a week with your kid to help them just pass, you are probably overestimating your kids ability or readiness to handle such a curriculum. For many kids, BASIS is the first time they have challenging curriculum and competition from students who are motivated and bright- sometimes much brighter. One of my kids thinks the school is not that hard and the question is whether or not it will be a gold or silver honors this grading period. The other one struggles just to maintain 90s club every grading period. I would still rather have her struggle for this than to just coast through public school worrying more about clothes and parties.
Overwhelmed. I never expected to need to home-school my child for 15 - 20 hours per week in the evenings in addition to having him attend BASIS all day. Providing support to a child while they do their schoolwork is one thing; BASIS is a whole different ballgame though. Being successful in life shouldn't mean being intimidated by test scores throughout your schooling. My child is incredibly bright and motivated -- BASIS makes him feel like a failure though.
As a parent with kids having gone to BASIS from 5th now through 11th, I am responding to these questions from a previous reviewer: "Is the atmosphere very cut throat and will my child be so inundated with homework that he will be stressed beyond belief." BASIS has a culture of pride about academic achievement. I don't see it as being cutthroat; I see it as being nurturing to learning and success. There's a bit of a 'brain machismo' at the school, but I'll take that any day over the 'football-and-cheerleader brawn-&-beauty machismo' at a 'typical' American HS. The homework is consistent with what is required to achieve this success, but by no means overwhelming. There are plenty of students who pursue demanding extracurricular sports, music, etc. programs and/or hold down part-time jobs while keeping up with the workload at BASIS.
I am a parent of a prospective student. I can see that undisputedly the academics are rigourous and top notch. But I would like to hear more about the role the schools in nurturing ethics, cultural diversity and social aspects which are also very important in my opinion. Is the atmosphere very cut throat and will my child be so inundated with homework that he will be stressed beyond belief. Any feedback would be appreciated. My child loves learning and being challenged academically and he tests at above average.
Hello, I'm here to tell you the truth about BASIS that they don't want you to know. The entire school is not set up to bring the best out of your child; the school only cares about test scores and donations. Every single day students at the school are almost threatened by the tests on the horizon: "you have to get a 5 on the AP," "you have to get an A," and quite frankly it's wrong. The teachers barely help; the reason the school gets high test scores is because the STUDENTS do all the work, and the teachers do a fairly unsatisfactory job and require the students to learn almost all of the material at home. The entire school makes you think that getting anything less than an A means you are a failure, and GUILTS you for receiving a C or lower; I've seen students cry for getting 95% on a final before. Unless you want the students to grow up in a small school with no social aspect whatsoever, constant pressure to get grades that may not be possible for your child to achieve, and very little choice in what your child specializes (they make you learn everything, and I mean everything, just to graduate), I say stay far away from here. You'll be far better off.
We continue to be very impressed with the material that our fifth grader is coming home with and asking for us to quiz her on. Getting exposure to an overview on such a broad range of topics is wonderful and may help her decide what her interests are to determine her desired career path. For an already motived student, she is learning invaluable study skills and loving school. When asked what her favorite part of Basis is, she always says "My Teachers!" next is her friends. Very happy with our choice and feel so fortunate to have Basis as an option.
Be it a private school, public school, or charter all teachers teach to the test and memorization is a huge part of it. Don't blame Basis or the teachers. I do think it's sad hat they will be adding K-4th grade to Scottsdale (they don't have room for current students as it is. Also, I believe they should make all their schools continue through high school before adding lower grades into the mix. My daughter works hard at Basis, but it is great prep for a future life and absolutely teaches great work ethics. You have to be willing to put in the time to make the grades and succeed.
Basis is an amazing school. My son is there for the past 2 years and we are very happy. But It is not a school for everyone.you should be willing to work very hard. There are lots of tests/quizzes/homework. If you are ready to work hard, this is the school for you. Lots of emphasis is there on Math and science. Parents also should be prepared to help them when needed. The school is more education oriented. So for kids who are academically good, this school is great!!
I have to respond to the parent who just posted about parents who blame the teachers at basis for poor grades. I am thankful that I took my child out of basis and they now have a normal life. I would never blame a teacher for poor grades but for basis, I have to say the school sets the kids up for failure. I'm sorry. these kids are learning to memorize not learn the subject matter. No one can be taught half a book and then test them the following day. When my daughter failed the comp.....behind the desk in the entry were about 40 history textbooks ready to be handed out to the others who failed to now take the test over. The school should have looked into the problem of why so many students failed. With that many, something is wrong. Then to re-take the comp, they trick the students by giving them a completely different comp, as well as having questions on it that were never taught. After I took my daughter out of that school, now the teacher has been let go. Basis did us a favor as I now have a well rounded student and they look back and say "why did you send me there to begin with?, it was like jail!
BASIS is basis. It is a very academicaly oriented school. The sports department needs to be improved. But as a student who has been through 5th grade and now is an 8th grader, this school has been very good to me. With a small graduating class you get very close to your peers. Bullying is not a huge problem in this school like it is in other high school. My studies are very math and science oriented. Students are allowed to rise higher and higher in their studies if they wish, coming from a student in AP Calc. All in all, this school is a great chioce for HARDWORKING student.
I have been a student at BASIS Scottsdale for four years and can honestly say that it is an amazing school, but just not for everyone. If you want to go into any field of science, math, or engineering, and you are willing to work harder than you have ever before, then this is your school. Contrary to popular belief, they do not have an admission test, however, the 8th grade will test you for work ethic and devotion. Most teachers are spectacular and are willing to give extra help whenever it is asked for. The small environment makes the faculty and student body feel like a family (with all the family ups and downs). I have felt very at home and very supported during my time at BASIS. The homework and study load is intense and time consuming. You really have to WANT to succeed in order to pass. Some of my friends have no trouble with it, but in my personal experience my only free time during the week is Friday night and Saturday. I am very language and writing oriented, though, so a majority of my time is given to the stressed math and science. There is very little wiggle room allowed for course selection, which is why I can recommend BASIS to more left-brained students.
BASIS is an excellent school. My son is in the tenth grade and is a honors student. My other son failed the fifth grade. Some kids struggle more than others but you will find that at any school. Unlike public schools where teachers have better pensions, unions and tenure, BASIS is a charter school and teachers come and go like contractors. They get paid for their services but will leave if they find greener pastures. I have no problem with that. Overall the education is the best you will find anywhere and you should not hesitate enrolling your child if the opportunity permits.
Whether or not parents like the school, most student love BASIS. Students are taught basic organizational skills with a sense of responsibility in addition to its globally competitive curriculum. It is amazing how much information and knowledge these students absorb and retain. Not all teachers are good, but kudos to all students! If they survive BASIS, they can achieve anything they desire! :) I am a proud parent of two BASIS Scottsdale students!
BASIS is NOT losing 7 of its teachers this year - they are losing 4. The other 3 are transferring to the new BASIS in Phoenix. And the main reason the teachers re leaving is to pursue their own life goals. Get your facts straight, That and maybe the teacher isn't a good fit for the school - this I can personally say is fact for one of the teachers who is leaving. And if there is concern over teachers leaving - you should take it to Admin and they will tell you their philosophy on why they hire the teachers they hire and their expectations for these teachers. My 3 kids have just completed their 5th year at BASIS. It has been a terrific experience. With the study and time management skills they have learned, they are no more stressed than their peers at other high schools.
While some parents may find that BASIS isn't a good fit for their child, the school's superior results are unquestioned - BASIS graduates are dramatically better prepared to attend top-notch universitites than their peers who attend other schools. The concerns over teacher retention, and the faculty itself, seem to be addressed by the fact that BASIS excels year after year; they must be doing something right. As to the 'stress' that students supposedly feel, we haven't experienced that, but then again the school is a great fit for our child. BASIS is forthright from the start - the model doesn't work for everyone. Ultimately, I would rather children feel the pressure to perform (and develop the habits that allow them to do so) throughout their high school careers rather than feel the extreme pressure of trying to get into great colleges they're not prepared to attend.
Losing 7 teachers , or 16% of staff for next year. This place needs to retain its teachers for the sake of the children. Why with all of the stipends paid to the teachers for the students high test results can't they keep their staff. Reason is, ...... stress, and overwork..... Please make sure your kids can withstand this relentless environment.
Our daughter is now in 7th grade and switched from Rancho Solano after the 4th grade. Although Rancho is highly rated as a private school, the curriculum is not even close to the quality and rigor of the BASIS system. Also, at BASIS, it's not important if you drive a fancy and they DON'T do cliques. Yes, the 1st year was an adjustment. However, as our daughter got accustomed to the workload and expectations, she's taken on the responsibilities of studying and achieving on her own. The peer pressure is positive in that she now wants to and does compete with the other kids and at a very high level. This is NOT a school for the faint of heart. They do not coddle parents or students. They are very up front about expectations. If the parents are not willing to ensure the parents' and child's focus is on education, this is not the right place. Yes, you'll find some time for extracurricular activities, but not until you've firmly established some sort of routine and understand the hours needed for studying. We don't know any other school's students who have had (and comprehend) two years of Latin, two years of Physics, Biology and Chemistry, and are in Pre-Calculus in 7th Grade.
My son just started attending Basis this year. The administration is wonderful. You feel like you are attending a much smaller school than it is. We couldn't be happier. He LOVES all of his teachers. They make learning so much fun. They learn a lot but he surprisingly does not have to study too much. The teachers teach them during class and are available after class if he needs more help. It has given him an amazing independence in his studies and he is exceeding. I can't believe that this school is free. I agree that this school isn't for everyone but if your child wants to learn this is the place to go. Thank you so much Basis!
BASIS has been a fantastic school for our two children (grades 5 and 7). The academic standards are better than any private or public school. The teachers are enthusiastic and are willing to make sure that their students learn the subject at hand -- they will stay late, come in early, or set up special student hours. I believe the school is not for everyone -- but it IS for those who value a top-notch education and make academics a priority. Kudos BASIS for continuing to EDUCATE our children!
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