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.
So happy to see the TRUTH being posted about Basis. This is our third year and realizing what BASIS is really all about. If ALL you want for your kid is ACADEMICS, this is the place for you. Excessive,unreasonable amounts of homework, 3 hours min per night ,and STRESS. NO recess, and BARELY enough time to eat lunch. Not Parent friendly, cant observe/volunteer in any class. There is also a persistant REJECTION of Americanism, no Pledge of Allegiance ( I am fighting for with Dept of Ed right now) LAW..Az State statutes! Teacher and staff self-expression of multiple facial PIERCINGS and TATTOOS more important than emphasis on Education.I realize we are diverse culture, student body, extremely diverse at lower school..We are, Americans FIRST, patriotism, respect, pride and honor for our country, growth of good character ALSO just as important to teach our young kids, Not teachers roll modeling to sit in her chair, not recite, while 5 brave kids stand up to recite the pledge. I just want to throw up..Have one more year to go, on to UHS, where a kid can have a normal, fun and JUST AS challenging education. BASIS cares only about rankings and test scores. THATS IT!!
Even though I know it's very hard to find a good school in Tucson for our children, overall, my experience at this school was not good. On the positive side, the school has a decidedly international flavor, which is wonderful. However, the attraction for many of the international families at the school is a reflection of a system of education which is one they likely grew up with in their home countries. The American approach toward education, for good and bad, tries to emphasize the development of the whole individual, through social activities, athletics, and a system of thinking and learning which develops critical, independent thinking and creative problem solving. Basis does little of these things and, instead, utilizes a system of education more similar to what China has in place and is desperately trying to change because of its almost exclusive emphasis on rote leraning and test preparation. Maybe, as another reviewer pointed out, you can avoid some of the negative socialization at Basis, since the kids are kept so busy with no recess during school hours (at Tucson Lower School) and very little time for lunch, they have very little time to talk to each other at all
I've had two children attend this school and both wanted to leave after a few years. It wasn't that it was too hard, just that they didn't find the school to be much fun. And as a parent I always found the atmosphere there very unfriendly and cold. A really good school will combine tough learning with a nurturing feeling. Didn't get that here.
Three of my children go to this school. We absolutely LOVE it!! I cannot believe how much they are learning. They come home and have such interesting discussions with us, and we feel they are truly being prepared for life. Some people worry about sending their kids to Basis because they definately have to work hard. My feeling is kids need to be taught to work and we have trouble with that in our American culture. Basis provides a way for me to instill work ethic in my kids. They do have sports and a lot of extra curricular activities, however, it isn't like a public school where there is a lot of money for these things. The sports at Basis can't compare to public schools. but the education is so good it is a worthwhile trade.I played four years of volleyball in high school, and it never got me anywhere in life. I would have been better off spending my time studying at a school like Basis. Furthermore, most of the kids at Basis care about school and come from homes where school is emphasized. There is peer pressure to suceed. I like that. My kids have been much less exposed to the moral "junk" they would be getting in public school by going to Basis. We love it!!
BASIS teachers all have Bachelors degree. BASIS teachers stay at school for hours to help students. BASIS teachers are included in at least one extra curicular or an elective. BASIS students have a higher chance of getting into a college. BASIS students have a 100% passing grade on AIMS. BASIS students are able to graduate by eleventh grade due to the advanced curriculum. 100% percent of BASIS students are accepted into four year colleges. BASIS school have been visited by well known colleges (I.e. Harvard, Yale, U of A, etc.) BASIS schools are very well supported by many parents. To sum it all up: Great School ~BASIS Students
This is our daughter's second year at BASIS, and we couldn't be happier!! When we moved to AZ- before we had children, I was told of the state of the schools in Tucson. As a medical practitioner, who often helped to write contracts with TUSD, I learned quickly that this wasn't where I wanted my children to obtain their education. After K-4 in a catholic school, our daughter transfered to BASIS. Yes, they have homework, but not 3-4 hours per night!! She averages 2 hours per night. The teachers and staff at BASIS are outstanding. They all offer several additional hours per week for tutoring if your child has questions and to work on homework. The educators there truly care about my child and have gone the extra mile to provide guidance when needed. Our daughter is not a "brainiac" by any means, but she is achieving great things at BASIS, and we are very grateful for the opportunities BASIS has given her.
What a bunch of hoopla for nothing! You can get the same curriculum at just about any Tucson, Arizona High School that offers 10 or more AP/IB classes. Granted, your kid will still get the 4+ hours of daily homework but he/she will have a much better offering of extracurricular activities. Stop feeding this school's ego.
I have spoken to approximately twenty parents who have their children at BASIS in fifth thru seventh grade and all have commented that their children receive two to three hours of homework per night. This is what BASIS does and weather this is good or bad for any particular student I believe this is for each parent to decide. The previous parent stated that their child did their homework in school to which I respond wonderful , but as one administrator at BASIS told me We try to load them up with as much homework as possible so they will learn how to manage their time. If they have a few minutes in the car riding home or riding to baseball practice they should take advantage of that time and use it for homework or study .
I am so sorry your daughter had so much homework. That means she was wasting the time given in class to work on homework. I have two children at Basis and they rarely have homework. They use that time in class to complete the homework. What did your daughter do with that time? Teachers do this so if your child has a question about the homework they can ask the teacher for help. I wish you all the best.
My daughter was excited to leave this school and so was the rest of the family. If you believe your child should be completing 3+ hours of homework a night in 6th grade then this school is you. If you want a creative child and would like to spend time enjoying and experiencing life with them then this school is not for you. It was a sad day when my child was working longer hours than me. As adults we do not work 10 hour days 5 days a week so why should our children?
Both my sons attended BASIS Oro Valley last year but niether will attend this year. We were very enthusiastic about this school and really wanted it to work but it just wasn't for my kids. We really like the curriculum, but that's about where it ends. Some of the teachers were really good and some were terrible and had NO teaching skills. My younger son's favorite teacher was let go, according to rumor because a wealthy donor parent didn't like him. Basically, if your child fits the BASIS mold then he or she will do very well, but if they deviate from that then forget it. Both my sons are "gifted" so we're told, so it wasn't an issue of cognitive ability. The real issue was their inability to work with kids who learn a little differently. A situation that is common with "gifted" kids. They also completely misrperesented how much homework and busy work the kids get. The get a LOT. My son's were doing 2 hours and more of homework every night which meant they couldn't do anything else in life basically.
If you believe in taking money from EVERYONE, and then selecting a FEW to give them a "rigorous" education -- then hail BASIS! The "Best Schools Rankings" uses a very twisted formula to determine "best" schools -- number of students divided by number of AP exams they take. That's it. No magic or complications there -- no socio-economic factors, no race, no special ed students (wondering if a single BASIS teacher knows even what IEP stands for). It would be interesting (and telling) to see the actual AP scores of the BASIS students -- the formula doesn't care how many 4s and 5s there are. Also, BASIS still believes, in the 21st century, in the 19th century model of lecture-and-test philosophy. The world has changed in the past 100 years, but education hasn't. BASIS is nothing but a TUSD school (like UHS) for the select few, paid for by the rest, but closed to the rest. American Dream 2.0.
Our daughter is in 6th grade and finishing her first year at the new Basis Oro Valley. We are very pleased with the school overall. Yes there were a few minor issues with communication but the OV Boosters newsletter fills in what the schools and your child may not. Really great involved and concerned teachers, challenging pace with lots of extra help (if needed). Parent involvement can be as much or as little as you want. I totally disagree with many previous remarks about different issues, especially the lack of creativity- art history class, music and drama, puppet troupe, improv....lots to choose from- electives and after school clubs!! Actually more choices than she has time to do or she would have done even more! No there weren't any field trips for her class, except for the upcoming project week, but that is not so important to me or her. Lots of extracurricular social time with several dances throughout the year, several plays and even operas, parking lot party, talent show....You get out of the school what you want- a little or a lot. We got a lot packed into our first year there and my daughter is looking forward to next year, we wouldn't dream of going anywhere else.
100 miles. That's about how far we go every day, round-trip, for both my kids to go to BASIS Tucson. This is our second year "commuting" to both the middle & high school. The national recognition/test scores/curriculum --- what drew us to BASIS Tucson. The dedication of the teachers, the openness of the administration to listen, the willingness of everyone to "chip-in" to contribute to our students' well-being as a "whole-child" --- what's keeping us here. Last year, my high-schooler had the choice to go to another prestigious school nearby, but he wanted to stay. This year, my middle-schooler complains that I pick him up from school too early, because he would rather go to his English teacher's after-school hours. (Apparently, many others feel that way as his classroom always seems to be full and by the way, that teacher is not obligated to hold after-school hours EVERY day.). Lots of other wonderful reasons to be here. Maybe not for everyone, but for us, the 100 miles is worth it!
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