I know many students that entered Basis in 5th grade at an excellent academic level. They played basketball, piano, did swimming too. By 7th and 8th grade these students stopped all extracurricular activities and if they didn't have to repeat the grade or left Basis already, struggled to keep their grades afloat. Basis manages to bring bright, enthusiastic kids to their knees. I am a pushy parent that knows what a good education is all about and does not shy away from challenges. Teachers do what they are dictated to do and don't last more than a couple of years in that environment. They are pressured into conducting student hours during which they simply teach to the test. There is no other way a young child can learn the vast and difficult material designed for a completely different age group. In the end parents will realize that the time and effort they put into this does not return the much expected good education. I am happy the system works for some, but that is just 1-2 kids out of a classroom, who will do very well in any other school anyway.
BASIS is a boot camp on steroids for school. Its hard core and its not for everyone, nothing wrong with that, you have decide what learning looks like to you and the big picture. The school has great components to it and has their noses up in the air because of their test scores. Having high academics is one thing, being able to apply and survive in the real world is another....there is a high attrition rate here and burn out factor. Its a great place for some kids!
BASIS has taught and continues to teach my children problem solving, hard work ethic, intrinsic motivation, internalized high expectations and standards, individual responsibility and camaraderie -- the highly sought after life and employment skills! I cannot thank BASIS enough for these priceless values the school continues to instill in my boys! THANK YOU BASIS!
My daughter attended BASIS last year, it was the most wonderful academic experience she has had in 8 years. This year we are struggling adjusting to a new state and a new school, because BASIS raised the bar, now anything that we compare doesn't even come close to what BASIS had to offer. The teachers were very knowledgeable, super enthusiastic, and motivating. The curriculum being thought to students is exemplary. My daughter was challenged, and her self esteem was uplifted because she knew she was learning the best from the best. This is what all the schools in the US should be like. We miss this school, and I would do anything to have a school half as good as BASIS near my city.
Tons of my son's friends went to this school so I was like why not try it. IT WAS HORRIBLE! There is too much homework! My son starts his homework at 3:30 PM and ends at 11:00PM! I do not recommend this school to any children that want to enjoy their childhood!
I can't say enough good things about Basis. People say it's not for every kid. Had we merely looked at our son's performance in the last school he was in, we might have never enrolled him in Basis. He was bored and lackluster about going. He made B's and got by. We put him in Basis in 6th grade and he became a different person. He is engaged in learning and he comes home talking about school, his teachers and his day. He takes pride in his work and he is excelling far beyond what we ever assumed he could do after his last school. He has 30 math problems a day and he completes them in study hall. Typically he has an hour of homework at night. If he has tests then he may choose to study longer. He loves his teachers and he has so many friends and he is happy. He was bullied at his last school by a big kid simply because he is slight in built. This is his 2nd year at Basis and it has never happened once. I fully believe the admin at Basis will not tolerate anything. Also, they have no idle time. 5 min. between classes and no loitering in the halls before or after school. For our son, Basis has been the best educational choice in the world and we are very grateful.
My son goes to Basis Oro Valley. Number one thing to remember about education is that one size doesn't fit all. You have to find what works for your family/child. My son is thriving here. He is learning better organization and study skills (out of necessity def ;-)) and is happier here socially. He is not making A's but he is learning a lot and enjoying it. His teachers and the administration have been very supportive and seem happy to be here. Make no mistake, it is a tough curriculum and we work hard to make sure he gets the support at home he needs and the time to still be able to do a sport. I can see it wouldn't work for everyone but this is the first time in 2 years that he has been happy to go to school and he comes home happy. He doesn't love the workload but he is working hard and feeling good about what he is accomplishing. That is what I wanted for him. He was sliding under the radar at his previous school and everyone said he was fine. He wasn't. He was very unhappy and becoming more and more lackadaisical about his work. He was still making 2.8-3 with little effort and certainly no pride/ joy in his work. I do wish he had PE/recess to get energy out. We shall see....
He did not see a future where he could excel in athletics at BASIS and he said there is no way he could keep up with the homework and still be able to do outside sports during the school year. He also did have a "very heavy" homework load on a daily basis and regardless of what any parent, teacher or administrator, will say here , he did not have sufficient time in class to complete everything without doing it at home. I realize BASIS is very proud of "their " perceived achievements but I urge any parents to read between the lines before sending your kids here. If you think your kid will suddenly excel and be motivated by just sending them to BASIS, think again. The magic starts with you as parents and there are many great academic options in Tucson outside of BASIS....All that glitters is't always Gold.
This is a good school for smart kids who test well, however prospective parents should be aware that part of the reason Basis is ranked so high is that the school uses year-end comprehensive exams to weed out kids who don't test well. What remains are higher IQ students who naturally score well on tests regardless of who teaches them. My son is fortunate to be one of these students, but not all children are. If your child does not shine on tests or is an average student, I'd advise you to think very carefully before sending he or she to this school. Also, although the homework load is similar to our previous (private) school, the number of weekly tests can seem burdensome, particularly if your child enjoys sports or other extra-curricular activities.
I'm in 7th grade and I believe that this school is one of the best I've went to. The teachers here are all amazing in their trade. I know that at times this school gets very tough, but all throughout the year I have been balancing school with Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday 3 hour not school related soccer practice right after school with the occasional tournaments on the weekend which last all day. Also I'm in chess and I go to a school sponsored chess club on Wednesday with the occasional tournaments on the weekend where I promise that our team wins at least one trophy (I am backed up the numerous trophies that Basis Tucson has of chess on display or stored away because of space issues. On top of that, I have back-to-back 2 hour guitar and piano lessons on Friday. I also want to mention that I do the math of an eleventh grader. Through all this I still am able to get into the top 15% in the honor roll (silver balloon). I believe that 7th grade is hard for some students because in 5th and 6th grade teachers used to hold your hand through the things we learned and were quizzed on, but in 7th grade teachers allowed you to figure out all the knowledge on your own and that's difficult.
I'm in 7th grade and I wanna leave. I've learned a lot but I feel like the workload is not worth the knowledge. By the middle of the first semester, I had to do homework during lunch, in the car, everywhere. By the second semester, I had to either quit all my extracurricular activities or do homework during PE(I chose the latter). If I went there next year, I would be forced to take AP world history in 8th grade. Also in most classes we have quizzes every week, and some of the quizzes require the whole class period and have 20 Mc's and a 5 paragraph essay. Because of the crazy honor roll( recognizes top 15 and 5 percent) and favoritist teachers there is extreme heirarchy based on how "smart' you are. By now i would like even bad TUSD schools better than basis.
RE: Feb 13, 2013 Comments: No, you are correct, my eldest daughter did not take Calculus till 10th grade. And I doubt that your 9th grader was forced to take AP Calculus in 9th grade. We have two children that are in 7th grade. One will take Calculus a year before our oldest did (Maybe like your child) and one is on track to take it a year later than our oldest. Same grade - 2 levels apart. We are grateful this was possible for our situation, but understand that part of this was due to opening the new school and is likely to be the extent of "accommodation" at BASIS. I would not want it to go any further than that either, or then we start sliding down that slope towards teaching towards lower expectations. Excessive accommodation and lowering of expectations for our students performance and ability to learn has hurt our country and local communities. I still believe that BASIS is not for all students, especially if they and their parents are miserable in this environment. However, I do admire kids who have at least attempted the curriculum and put their best effort forward, but maybe still found it too overwhelming. I am thankful for the scholastic opportunity BASIS offers.
My daughter is finishing her third year at the lower school and is excited to attend the upper school next year. Her first year at BASIS was tough - she was used to low expectations and having to do little work to get by. Homework was a struggle for much of the year, but then we found that she was actually working for very little of that time - mostly she was complaining and finding ways to avoid working. Once we addressed the time management issue, she improved. Now she is able to finish most of her homework at school. She has been in involved in extracurricular sports and clubs every year, and has many more friends than she did at her old school. There have been a few teachers we have not been happy with, but whenever I requested a conference they were willing to meet with me and addressed the problems in a satisfactory way. If your child is struggling, you and your child must be the ones to change what you are doing, because this school is not going to make exceptions for your child, or to change what has been a successful model for the majority of the students who go there.
I agree with the parent post dated Jan 31. The only exception, is that I would not give as much credit for successes to teachers, as I would to the students and parents. I do not deny that there are some exceptional teachers at Basis, but some of the teachers In my opinion, conducted themselves in a manner that was less than professional. Our child's safety and well being came first, hence our decision to withdraw our child from Basis. Today our child thanks us and is happier and doing well in a new school. well.
To the Jan 31 response... BASIS for todays 5th graders is much different than BASIS for todays 11th graders. Did your 11th grader take AP Calc in 9th grade? The answer is no because BASIS did not offer AP Calc in 9th grade until this year. I agree BASIS kids are creative and amazing in every way, and so too are the teachers (and parents without whom very few students could survive). But all these positives are DESPITE what BASIS does, not because of it. Some fifth graders enter talent shows, some cry themselves to sleep at night. Stress is high and so is attrition. Some seniors write SRPs, some seniors deflate in nervous anxiety and resentment, burnt out from too many multiple choice tests. I blame the system for the failures, and credit the strength of the students and teachers and parents for the successes. There are two opposing opinions of BASIS, both need to be heard. Ultimately parents and students must decide what is right for them.
As a student of BASIS Tucson North, I can attest to the fact that this is a wonderful school. The rigorous curriculum is superb, and allows students to challenge themselves to a degree unparalleled in the Tucson area. The problem most seem to run into, however, is that the school absolutely does not teach to the lowest common denominator - rather, students who are behind are expected to take it upon themselves to improve their performance. The resources are there for them to take advantage of, in the form of both peer tutoring and teacher student hours. I love every single one of my teachers, and frankly I couldn't have asked for better ones; if me or one of my parents has anything they want to talk about with a teacher, they will find that the teachers are readily available and more than willing to discuss whatever might be a problem, and my teachers are more than willing to help me if I feel that I'm floundering in the new material. Do not, however, expect students here to get free grades, or expect grade inflation - a failing grade is a failing grade, no questions asked.
My son was excited to leave this school and so was the rest of the family. My son was being pushed way too hard! My son stayed after school every day. He even went to school on Saturday s. But to no avail. he received almost all F s in every class. If you expect the teachers to communicate with you...forget it! My son self-esteem was broken. He didn t even get a D for showing up and participating. When I removed my son from the school no-one did not ask why nor did anyone come out to speak with me. I was one of almost 20 parents that removed their children from the school. If I kept my son in this school he would have repeated the same grade twice. (Basis in Washington, DC)
I am a 10th grade student at BASIS say that I am having a wonderful experience. I tried out the traditional public highschool to have that "normal" experience and that was not for me. BASIS provides the BEST teachers in the area who are dedicated to their jobs; I've had teachers stay over 3 hours late to tutor me free whenever I needed help. The classes are challenging but are not impossible if you are willing to do the work. I manage to do 20+ hours of activities every week and maintain straight A's. BASIS is terrific school, but you have to be willing to do the work.
My son has been attending BASIS since 6th grade - and he loves it! His teachers are involved, supportive, and approachable. His studies are challenging - and yes he does have homework, but it is manageable - and nowhere near the 3+ hours reported by some disgruntled parents. More importantly, he has developed a keen work ethic, and we often have delightful and thought-provoking conversations ranging from the current political climate, to the historical - and he loves to discuss what he has learned. Prior to his enrollment, I was worried about his boredom and seeming lack of excitment about his education. No more - he is one motivated kid!
If you just want your child to LEARN and you can let go of the high expectations of straight A's, there is nowhere near 3 hours of homework per night. My daughter is in 7th grade and all she has to do after school is math. Which takes about 1/2 hour because she utilizes the time the teachers actually give them DURING SCHOOL to do her work.The previous post is full of judgments about the way the teachers LOOK (in fact, one of the reasons I love the school - they are teaching that those things DON'T matter). And we all know which teacher you are talking about - one of the most beloved and respected by the students, in fact. Schools are not required to do the Pledge in any state. Also, there is a flag and the Constitution posted on the wall in EVERY single classroom. If that is the most important thing to you, then clearly education is not a priority and BASIS is not for you. If your family has chosen not to take advantage of the MANY extracurricular activities that BASIS offers, then that is on you, not the school. There is no recess in any middle school and they are given 30 minutes for lunch, which is standard.
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