My daughter is in 4th grade and started going to Basis in 2nd grade. Her teachers have, for the most part, been amazing. And the ones who haven't, have left. This year has been the best so far. My daughter has a desire to do well and now completes her homework (mostly at school during study hall) on her own with very little parental involvement. She is very proud of the level of math she is learning and realizes it's ahead of most kids her age. She has time for extracurricular activities such as Drama and Scouts. We heard so many conflicting "stories" out there but we couldn't be happier that we decided to just try Basis. She's very much looking forward to going to BTN next year. At home, we never pressure her on grades and she's consistently an A student. Basis isn't for everyone but for us it's far exceeded our expectations.
The homework has been consistently manageable. The last two years my student had more homework but the school has worked hard to make time at school for students to complete homework. This year was just right.
Our children have been attending BASIS Tucson since kindergarten and 2nd grade. They are now in 2nd and 4th grade, respectively. The teachers have been great. My eldest has gone to student hours for extra help and it's made a big difference when she was struggling to understand certain concepts. The school does not permit in-classroom parent volunteers, but I've found that this works well for my kids because there are fewer distractions from people walking in & out of the room all the time. BASIS Tucson provides a very supportive learning environment. They've taught my kids how to take more responsibility in their own learning & education, how to speak up when they need help, how to organize their cubbies, lockers, binders, etc. In order for a student to be successful at BASIS, though, he/she does need a supportive learning environment at home. So if you want your kid to be able to do homework with the TV on or music playing, that might not work so well. You, the parent, need to take the initiative to contact the teachers if you are concerned about your student's grade in a particular subject. In my experience, I've found the teachers to be very open & helpful whenever I've spoken with them. I have heard parents complain about how their kid got a bad grade in a certain subject, but the parent never brought the concerns to the school and the student never asked for help or went to student hours. Don't blame the school when the school has resources to assist but you never took advantage of them.
Some parents have complained about the strict tardiness policy for the older grade levels. Yes, the expectation is that you're on time and in your seat ready to learn when the class period starts. This means that you have to get your kid to school early so he/she has time to put stuff in his/her locker & get to class. If you are late every single day, then maybe you should reassess the amount of time you allot in the morning to get to school. Don't get mad at the school because of your consistently poor planning.
My 4th grader is able to get most of her homework completed at school and in Late Bird, so when we arrive home, she has maybe at most 30 minutes of work left to do. The school also offers a BOSS camp to help prepare them to transition to a locker, no LET (Learning Expert Teacher). That was a huge help for our child.
Many parents have sent their kids to this school thinking that it will make their kids extremely intelligent just because they are at the school. That is not how it works. You need to work hard and do the assignments in order to succeed here. Almost all kids have the possibility to succeed here, but kids that don't try aren't the kind of people that will be able to get good grades at BASIS. All teachers, even P.E., art, and music teachers have times after school when students can comes to receive extra help. Students that actively seek extra help are the kind of students that will succeed here, not people that do not try. I have enjoyed my experience here and I will continue to go to BASIS, because I know that if I try to work hard, study, and do assignments, BASIS can be a great opportunity for me.
We LOVE BAsis! Our daughter is in Kinder and thoroughly enjoys it. We love her teachers and so far their curriculum. The ONLY thing I don't love about Basis Tucson, hence the 4 instead of 5 stars is the constant emails we get about donating money. I realize the charter school needs more monies, but it becomes quite annoying to get bombarded with these emails when we've already donated supplies and other things and volunteered time, which many times cannot really be broken down to how much financial value it is, but that's the only negative we have so far.
I was nervous about moving my daughter to Basis but I'm SO glad we did! My daughter started Basis last year for 1st grade and loves it! The school does a great job balancing academics and time to play and be a kid. (this was my biggest concern) She did have homework most nights but it wasn't overwhelming. (maybe 20 minutes) This year they have added an engineering class. My daughter is super excited for 2nd grade and so are we!
I have two children that went to BASIS. My experience with BASIS was not pleasant at all. I did not feel the teachers knew how to "teach", they may have been subject matter experts in their field, but they were not gifted teachers. I feel BASIS robs children of their childhood, they do not exercise regularly, there is no nutritious lunches served, and most of the students are socially awkward and are not well adjusted to socially navigate their way in the real world. BASIS concentrates solely on building their reputation, which means test scores. If you don't want your kid to become purely a test-taker then you should go somewhere else. If you don't want your kid to become a one-dimensional conformist who does nothing but homework and is stressed to the point of needing a therapist by the 10th grade, then don't go to BASIS. I simply do not understand how on earth this school could be rated as one of the top schools. As a parent you will have NO input at BASIS. There is no system setup so you can monitor your child's progress. If you love your child, don't do it, you have been warned! Work to make your local school better.
The faculty and administrators at BASIS Tucson need to complete a course of their own that helps them understand the nuanced and complex nature of what it means "To Teach" and what is means "To Learn". At this time, they seem to adhere to methods and pedagogy common over a century ago, albeit more technological advances.
I went to basis from 5-8 grade. It was a great experience with lots of fun in 5th, 6th, and 7th. However, 8th grade was very difficult. I had poor grades, Little to no social life, and I absolutely hated it. On top of everything, I was not able to get into the high school I wanted to go to (university high school or UHS). My personal recommendation to parents and students is to move schools before 8th grade. I wish that someone would have given me this advice. Overall, basis is a great school but 8th grade is very intense.