I would recommend asking a lot of questions before entering this school. It works for some students, it definitely doesn't work for others. The "rigorous" curriculum comes with some caveats, one being that it does not always have teachers qualified to teach the courses, this is true of the AP classes that are required of the 8th and above classes. Those students take an AP exam and that AP exam translates into their school grade. In our experience, the teacher is not always qualified to teach these high level courses. An AP class is not just another class. We have had the experience of being told to "buy the book," without any help in which of many, many AP prep books, and one month before the exam told to "do the exercises." Juggling several AP classes as a 9th and 10th grade student is more than a rigorous curriculum, it requires trained teachers. Basis does not always provide them and the students suffer.
Basis Dc is an above and beyond great school because there is no limits on what you can learn. I know kids that took Algebra 1 in 5th grade. My son took precalculus in 8th grade. Compare to where we came from it is night and day.
If you want to be competitive and more than ready for college, then Basis DC is the place for you. This is no place for slackers!!!!
This school makes 5th graders grow up entirely too fast. My child had no time to play outside after school because he was doing homework for hours. I had to sit and keep him on task the whole time because he was so tired since he was at school all day long pushing hard as well. I think this school is ridiculous personally. This is not every parents experience but it sure was ours...
This school does not treat it's students fairly. The expect the students to be accountable for themselves but the staff rarely does the same. All they do is transfer and recycle teacher and staff but never fix the problem
This school has a good blueprint but it's only been in Dc for 3 years. It's just getting used to the city and its rules. This school has had a different head of school every year and are always admitting fault but rarely actually fix any of their problems
I am an 8th grade student that has been at BASIS since it opened and it is a great school if you are prepared for it. The topics are hard, and it's very stressful (the environment & work), but it prepares you for college very well. The teachers I personally really like and the students are really nice school. The two things I would say are bad about BASIS are: 1) There is a lot of homework (1.5- 4 hours) (depending on the night and person) and: 2) there is pretty much no natural light in the building, if you're lucky, there's more than one window in the classroom you're going to. So all in all, I recommend BASIS.
Our son has attended this school since it opened 3 years ago. He loves it and plans to stay through high school. The academics are very challenging and includes lots of assessments and tests to see where students are/arent grasping the concepts. The vast majority of teachers are caring and strong especially in science and math. Administration could be stronger - been lots of turnover - but seems to be improving.
Overall, the academic PLAN is outstanding. However, execution of this academic plan is failing and has failed many DC students. Please check with the DC Office of Student Engagement. An entrance exam would have helped to place the students, as the DCPS curriculum differs significantly from that of BASIS DC. Although my student carries an overall 90% average, everything to support student success is lacking, and the stress level on the students is obvious. The high turnover rate of teachers and administrative staff is both ineffective and embarrassing. I have no doubt that many of the glowing reviews are from the droves of Virginia/Maryland parents that we encounter on a daily basis, who are happy to have there kids in a school near jobs in downtown DC. E-mails and phone calls are not returned. School meetings rarely end amicably, which leads to many calls and meetings with the DC Charter School Board. In all honesty, the most important thing at this school is the TEACHER FUND!!! It saddens me that BASIS DC is yet another example of DC failing our inner city children. SIGH...we are anxiously awaiting the results of the DCPS lottery on 3/31/2015. You have been warned.
Our son has been attending BASIS DC since it opened, and we continue to be impressed with the rigorous and challenging curriculum and content, I have been amazed at my son's intellectual growth, his mastery of math is becoming impressive, his interest in science has exploded, and he is becoming quite a good writer and voracious reader, all while still pursuing his own interests in history, sci-fi, and other things. He's also enjoyed quite a few of the after-school clubs and activities. While the coursework and workload is challenging, we have found the teachers and staff to be great to work with, when he missed days due to illness or other issues, we were easily able to make up the work, missed quizzes, and other things, thanks to student hours and other supports. BASIS goes far and beyond any school I ever attended in my youth.