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.
The post on May 3, 2012 is precisely why Arizona is scoring 48 to 50 in the nation. BASIS is one of the best Charter schools in Arizona, and of course takes pride in ranking and tests score like all other great schools. What school or PARENT wouldn't. My younger children have attended and will attend BASIS, and have learned to critically think, appreciate diversity of our global community, and DO say the Pledge of Allegiance every morning. Above all, they are really gaining knowledge and not just getting a free ride for attendance and learning the material on the AIMS test. I totally agree that UHS is a terrific school, but the high school also condones self-expression without bias. If all the districts in Tucson and other cities in Arizona were like UHS, perhaps there would not be as many Charter schools to resent.
I am so glad that they decided to add k-4 to the grades taught here. They have a wonderful set up for how the kids are taught. The teachers are all very encouraging and enthusiastic about the children and their education. My son is in 1st grade and a very smart child. He excelled at this school. It's great to see a school that pushes kids to reach their potential and expects 100% parent involvement along the way. We are very sorry that we had to move and are trying everything we can to get back just for this school. Nothing else even comes close to what this school has to offer.
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.
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.
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