"Our school is known for its globally competitive liberal arts curriculum."
Students enrolled 400
Hours 8:30 AM - 3:45 PM
School leader Sean Aiken
Transportation options Yes
District Basis Dc Pcs
Before school Yes
After school Yes

Contact this school

410 8th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20004

School website
(202) 393-5437
Nearby homes for sale
Map of BASIS DC PCS address.

4 stars
Based on 34 ratings

Let others know what you
think about this school

May 16, 2014
I am rescinding a glowing review I wrote in 2013. This school has become a failed experiment. The school is on its 3rd principal in two years, has enormous teacher turnover, and my child no longer feels safe. Much of the homework (which is significant) appears to be busy work. The lack of an admission test has produced a student body that's not that academically focused to put it politely.

- submitted by a parent
May 08, 2014
Although I was hesitant because of the negative comments...this is my son's first year at Basis and he loves it. So much that he's excited about going back. He actually enjoys learning and I can attest to the fact that he's not being taught to simply past a test. I asked him what his favorite subjects were and he replied...science, classics and English. This school reminds me of the time when I went to school where the focus was more about learning rather than testing. I can appreciate the curriculum and the educators and I have a high degree of respect for their interest in responsibility and learning.

- submitted by a parent
February 24, 2014
I went here last year. Had a horrible experience with students, staff, and teachers. I would not wish this school on my worst enemy.

- submitted by a community member
February 11, 2014
Basis DC is a world class school. Very refreshing and the curriculum is well above our experience with private schools

- submitted by a parent
January 10, 2014
This is my child's second year at Basis. My child loves goign to school everyday, and enjoys his teachers. The only issue he has is that the hallways are crowded.

- submitted by a parent
December 02, 2013
Our child attended Basis DC when it opened. She had 8 graded courses in 6th grade, including biology, chemistry, and physics all at the same time and each class sped through a chapter a day and had a test per week. The Algebra teacher assigned 30 problems per night and all the other subjects had crushing amounts of homework and exams as well. There was no time for studying anything in depth or critical thinking because the teachers were in such a rush. Basis is all about quantity and not quality. It is all about memorizing and regurgitating for multiple choice tests. There was little reading, no writing, no projects, and no teamwork--all life skills that should be stressed for later success in the real world. Only one teacher she had returned for the second year. The school day was a joyless grind with only a 25 minute break for lunch and no assemblies, health instruction, or field trips during the school day. Report cards contained percentiles and no comments. Nothing else about the kids (social, emotional growth) was noticed or considered. Our child did extremely well but we left Basis because the school is not educating the whole child or stressing what is important.

- submitted by a parent
November 15, 2013
This is our second year at Basis. I read the negative reviews and can only conclude that parents have gotten used to schools that simply pass children on to the next grade without ever ensuring that the child has mastered the work. Basis does not sign on to mentality that every child gets an award for simply showing up. You have to work in this school, but there are plenty of incentives and awards for achievement. My 12 yr old daughter absolutely loves school and will not miss a day for anything. The school has had its glitches, as any new school would. And to the parent who complained many of last year's teachers left, I would say that it was a combination of excellent young teachers being offered challenging positions because of their qualifications, and a weeding-out process that shows Basis is constantly evaluating and improving itself. In addition to great academics, the school offers many after-school activities, fencing, robotics, chess, drama etc. This is one of the best free educations in the country.

- submitted by a parent
November 15, 2013
Our son entered the 5th grade at BASIS this year. He was not challenged enough in his prior parochial school. BASIS is the only public or charter school I would send my son to in DC. In the few months he has been at BASIS our son has learned responsibility for completing work and how to organize time. He gets homework, much of which he completes while at school. Actually I wish he had more homework. He has the advantage of a different teacher for each subject. He says he can't wait to have chemistry in the 6th grade. He diligently does daily math problems, memorizes geography facts, reads and writes. I am impressed by the weekly feedback of quizzes. He does complaint about the lack of free time during the day, but I can see he is headed in the right direction. The feedback from teachers through the communication journal lets us follow potential issues. It is only with great caution that I enrolled our son at BASIS. I do watch his progress and ask him what he thinks regularly. He normally leaves the house in the morning whistling a happy tune. The other parents I have met at BASIS are also very concerned about their children s academics, so, our comfort level has increased.

- submitted by a parent
September 17, 2013
We are a second year family and I see us continuing to graduation. I like that my son has grown from last year. He has an idea of accountability (doing and completing assignments to produce good grades and self-motivation) that has development from year one. There are growing pains with being new school but don't think the pains out way the results that we experienced and are experiencing

- submitted by a parent
August 06, 2013
wonderful!!!!!!! Very good faculty and students. .The students come first. Faculty is first rate and very accomplished at their perspective fieids!

- submitted by a community member
August 05, 2013
Looks like they wanted to weed out certain children by not communicating properly with their parents. Horrible communication when a child needed help. NO phone calls when needed and no real concern for the individual child, only cared about the test scores. Poor choice if you want a smart child who is also creative, well-rounded and caring. The children can learn. The teachers cannot teach.

- submitted by a parent
August 01, 2013
I love Basis DC! My son excels in his classes. He was bored in math in his prior school but at Basis, he can take Algebra II because he tested "in" to the class. He also has challenging, fun and advanced classes in chemistry, biology and physics in 6th grade. He has a variety of activities to choose from after school, such as soccer, basketball, ice skating, tae kwon do, science bowl, drama, music, debate, yearbook, and language clubs. He loved the school dances and parties. He and his friends hang out together. The diversity spans all demographic groups, but the kids and parents share the common goal of seeking a great education and success in life. Thanks, Basis!

- submitted by a parent
August 01, 2013
Basis DC is excellent! My son just completed sixth grade and loved it. He had the chance to take Algebra II and had a great time with the challenge. He got to take biology, chemistry and physics, with labs in each class. After school, he had his choice from social clubs, academic clubs, and many sports. The school holds several dances and parties throughout the year, including offsite pot lucks and field day events. Students come from all sorts of backgrounds and all across the city to the school, united by a love of learning. He had a great year and is looking forward to another great one.

- submitted by a parent
July 31, 2013
Our son attended a fine private school in DC before we tried BASIS. At the old school he was able to do very well with relatively little effort but we never got the sense he was being challenged. At BASIS he has been challenged almost every day in almost every class (sorry drama class). At the risk of making myself a target, I think it's fair to point out that all the negative reviews here come from parents who didn't want their children to work so hard or couldn't meet the school's high standards. I praise BASIS administrators fo failing students. In the real world our children will move to as adults results are usually what matter. If a child cannot pass a course then that should be noted and accepted. Repeating a year may carry social stigma and make a parent feel ashamed of their child. So be it. Adjust, strive and succeed. If that is not possible, it just isn't possible. Having an Ivy League level school is fabulous. Not everyone will be able to meet the standards, just as not every child can go to MIT, University of Chicago or Oxford.

- submitted by a parent
June 29, 2013
We had a great year at BASIS DC. My son was actually crying that the school year was over, because he had such a great time at BASIS, between finding a lot of new friends who he had a lot in common with as well as all of the great teachers and fun activities both in the classroom as well as in extracurriiculars. In terms of what people should know - it's a pretty demanding school. There's a fair amount of homework, there are a lot of projects to work on independently throughout the school year, and they try to work at a fast pace wherever possible. Some of the great things about BASIS is that they are continually assessing the kids' mastery of concepts, for example asking a question and having everyone write their answer on a small whiteboard to hold up, and the teacher can within seconds know who's getting it and who needs more help. Teacher support has been great, we've always been able to use teacher hours to follow up if our child missed something or to get clarification on an assignment or other things. We are very thankful that BASIS DC came along to provide an excellent and rigorous school option and we are looking forward to next year.

- submitted by a parent
June 19, 2013
Basis is o e of the worst schools that has ever come to the DC. It has been a complete insult to the children and the parents. The head of Schools admitted that they got it wrong and didn't do there homework in how they should serve the children in this area. So the only recourse is too fail the children. The school needs to be investigated.

- submitted by a community member
April 22, 2013
This school is exactly what DC needs; not to mention the rest of America! The advanced curriculum (especially in math and science) that allows for differentiation, Principal Morrissey who is both authentic and skilled, and teachers who are experts in their field make BASIS the best school in DC. Finally, a school that celebrates intellectual curiosity, hard work, and personal responsibility for all DC children!

- submitted by a parent
March 28, 2013
I have a 5th grade daughter at BASIS DC and I'm glad she is there. She always did fine in elementary school but her time at BASIS has developed a work ethic, sense of ownership and intellect I had not seen before. It is a challenging environment and the kids are expected to work hard but it's amazing what they are capable of! Most of the teachers seem to be very engaging and available for help if needed. In addition to a top notch education, I feel she is gaining all-important life skills that will serve her well (working and getting along with all kinds of people, taking personal responsibility for her success, etc.) We don't have many discussions about homework anymore. She knows what's expected and does her best to get it done. Even thought there are no set PT conferences (which would be tricky with 8 classes), I always feel like I know where she stands and what they're doing based on the Communications Journal. The school is trying build out the culture more and has done a nice job with activities, clubs and events.

- submitted by a parent
March 20, 2013
BASIS DC is a tool and parents and students have an option to use it or not. As for me and my son, we are doing our best to use BASIS DC as a tool, helper, guide for educaiton and also life lessons. Of course there will be "up hill" struggles as with all kids but I am willing to to put in the effort as a parent and guide my son to put in the effort as a student.

- submitted by a parent
February 18, 2013
I just had to reply to the 2/15/13 review with which I completely disagree. "Basis will know your child is failing and not communicate this to the parents"? Not so! Every grade is recorded in the CJ which should come home nightly and grades are to be signed by parents, there are 5 grading periods and a report card is sent home which prents must sign each time. In the most recent grading period (3rd) with the completion of the precomps students who would not be expected to be promotoed were identified and the parents/gurdians contacted by the school to determine interest in extra labs/core subject work. They have created extra classes and time to work on core subjects to help those students who are having dificulty adjusting to the rigor Basis brings. My child will be attending the daily afterschool math group for homework help. I have found Basis DC to be a very responsive/adaptive school when finding various ways to reach EVERY student to ensure EVERY student has the room to succeed (measuring success by grasping material, maybe repeating a grade but with graduation in 11th grade a possibility so what, no rush to be "done" with school, education is the goal).

- submitted by a parent
February 08, 2013
Is helium an example of an element or a molecule? What is Physical Property? Radiation is..The greenhouse effect is..Wind is created by..Homer wrote..Prometheus was..Give the English definition of a Latin word..What is a transitive verb...Definition of a word Obliterate is...these are only a few notes from my daughter's folder. She is fifth grader. She is a normal, happy kid. She loves her teachers, all of them. Amazing. And to my own suprise she does not mind to learn some topics nobody else teaches in fifth grade here in DC(look at your favorite schools web sites and compare). The teachers tutor kids, who need a help before or after school. The quality of teachers and curriculum is amazing. The school is for every child who is curious, does not mind to do homework and some study. But that is perfectly OK. It prepares Basis students to excel in the future. They learn to be responsible, independent and hard working. They also have fun in Choir, Drama, Tae kwon do, fencing and other afterschool activities. Administration needs to continue to work on some behavior issues of some students, who applied to a wrong school. This is an academic gem in the mid of DC, not any kind of school.

- submitted by a parent
February 07, 2013
I have two 8th grade daughters at BASIS and they are excelling. They have learned organizational skills, how to study, write and read complex text - not to mention high level math and science. The opportunity to learn three sciences at once is brilliant and the girls love it. Ms. Weber is an awesome English teacher - both of my daughters are reading at a high level of understanding themes and have greatly improved their writing. Another key skill is how to ask for help. Teachers are available after school and both girls have asked for assistance without parent intervention! This level of independence and intrinsic motivation is no accident - it is promoted by BASIS and will serve students well in the future. Latin has not only increased their vocabulary but also world view. I have observed both of my daughters expand and grow academically and in confidence based on their knowledge and rigorous work at BASIS. Yes, there have been growing pains, but the gains out weigh the pains. This has been the best life decision we could have made for future success. BTW, they are also involved in Leadership and tutoring younger students - they love it.

- submitted by a parent
February 06, 2013
I have two children in BASIS DC (5th & 7th grade) and I LOVE it! The curriculum is challenging but the teachers and staff make sure each child has everything he/she needs to be successful and learn. The extra curricular activities are wonderful! My son participates in a Lego robotics club as well as the Tae Kwon Do club and serves as part of the student leadership team. My daughter participates in the school newspaper and also serves on the student leadership team. Both children are learning so much and meeting students from every part of the city who are also committed to success. Before BASIS DC opened, my family was considering moving because of the lack of quality middle and high schools in DC. We have gladly found our education home with BASIS DC and are thrilled to be able to be a part of this amazing school!

- submitted by a parent
February 06, 2013
This has been a great option for my child. She is challenged academically, but also has plenty of school sponsored extra curriculars and exposure to the arts. The school model is proven several times over, while new to DC, the BASIS team knows what they are doing. Students need to apply themselves, and parents need to keep on top of things, but everyone is given the tools they need to succeed. The program is quite different than that of a traditional school (in a good way-this is why their model works so well), and is very well organized, there is wonderful communication between staff and parents, and children are expected to aim high and try their best. Our daughter has excelled and we are very happy at BASIS.

- submitted by a parent
February 05, 2013
My boys (grade 5 and 7) love this school! They are really being challenged. It is amazing how much my boys are learning each day. Each day my children bring home a journal that shows what homework they have and when they are going to have test. This school teaches children to be responsible for their education! If you have a child that is not being challenged at their current school or they want to work hard, this is the school for your child. This school is not for everyone. My boys have had some bumps but the school has been very responsive and they have called or emailed us back promptly about any issues we have.

- submitted by a parent
February 05, 2013
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.

- submitted by a community member
February 05, 2013
BASIS DC is a school that not only believes every student can achieve at not just US but at global learning standards, but actually delivers this. Excellent content is delivered with consistency by experts in their fields (many with PhDs), who also are adept and relating to and teaching (at this point) middle school ages. Likewise, the Head of School and other leaders are highly responsive to parents (and students); all work extremely hard and expect a high standard from their faculty. Our kids are thriving, and come home excited about what they are learning, especially in World History, Physics, Biology and Latin (one is a 7th grader and one is in 8th) . They have to work hard, too, but they are learning to mastery based on their recent mid-point exams. Our kids take advantage of tutoring with their teachers when needed, and also enjoy the choosing from a wide array of extracurriculars (they participate currently in Drama, Strings and Debate Team). We are deeply grateful for BASIS DC!

- submitted by a parent
February 05, 2013
I would rather pass on the stars. I am slowly warming up to Basis. Six months before it opened, I saw it as the best of what was possible, but I was far from enthusiastic. Though, since it started, I had wonderful meeting with the head of the school. Based on his suggestion, I have started making contact with all of my son's teachers. They certainly must have an exhausting work load since they make such an effort. My major complaint about all schools is that, unless you can afford extra-curricular activities, there is only attention to what my son may become and no recognition of how he is already a wonderful person. (All bias acknowledged.) However, at my last meeting with my son's Math teacher I was very moved. He invited my son to join us. I just had to listen and comprehend their conversation. The teacher addressed my son with the skills that he already enjoyed and applied them to general scholarship and mathematical skills. Then the two agreed that my son would join him once a week for a group tutoring session, after school is out. If my son had a say in this message, I am confident he would say, "Basis DC is okay!"

- submitted by a parent
February 05, 2013
Teachers at this school are great, the curriculum is very challenging, kids have to work very hard, so it would not be right for one of my kids, but great for the other. The thing I appreciate most about Basis is that as a public charter school with kids from all over the district there is diversity - the lack of which is an increasing problem in DC - I want my child to have friends from as many different backgrounds as possible. The location right by the mall is wonderful as well.

- submitted by a parent
December 29, 2012
Basis DC has been a godsend for our child who tests in the gifted range on IQ tests. Finally, we have a school that offers a well thought out, comprehensive curricula that emphasizes a firm foundation. He is challenged by all of his classes. Best of all, everyday is a good day at Basis for our child. A previous reviewer is incorrect regarding the communication of homework and tests. All homework is clearly written in the communication journal as well as testing dates. Students are given 4 days notice of tests, and many of our child's tests and quizzes happen on the same designated day of the week every week. For example, math tests are regularly scheduled on Wednesdays and science quizzes are scheduled on Fridays. Teachers have regularly scheduled parent hours every week where a parent can schedule a meeting. I have found the communication and teacher availability to be great at Basis.

- submitted by a parent
December 22, 2012
I have no doubt that BASIS DC will raise the bar for middle school and high school education in Washington DC. It is a challenging and rigorous curriculum, and very content based at the lower grades. I still have reservations about this format for my 6th grader, who might do better in an experiential learning setting, but he LOVES this school and most of his teachers. I understand that classes in later grades allow for more development of critical thinking skills and independent learning opportunities, and I am looking forward to seeing how that works. Contrary to some posts here, I find admin to be very responsive. In fact, it's one of the things that gives me so much faith in this new school: Admin is not afraid to say they've made a mistake or take note when something isn't working for the kids. They are constantly improving--NOW, not taking notes and making changes for next year. Yes, some teachers need more training on the BASIS systems, but they are getting the training. I have never had this experience at our other schools. Besides, how can you not love a school whose core value is "It's cool to be smart"? They genuinely want every child to be successful.

- submitted by a parent
December 17, 2012
Basis DC could become one of the most well regarded public schools in the metro area. This is a good school for parents that believe that college readiness should begin in middle-school. But it may take some time and parental support for kids to get used to the idea. A lot of parents that I've talked to whose kids may have gotten easy straight A s, say their kids can t do that a Basis. The kids have to work at it every-single-day just to keep up with the homework, but, if the kid keeps up they ll do fine.

- submitted by a parent
December 07, 2012
My son is struggling at this school and I have heard many parents have been transferring out of Basis. They do have a good curriculum, but the level of independence that is expected of students at 11 and 12 is ridiculous.There is no teacher parent conference, so if your child is struggling, you have to manage all contact with teachers via email and phone, practically everyday. So that is 8 extra emails, a day to eight different teachers. There is also constant testing and they never tell the parents when the testing occurs. I had a two hour meeting with the school and have repeatedly asked for a schedule of tests, so that I could keep my son on track and received nothing. My son is miserable and has told me he has seen lots of children crying in the bathrooms and in the stairwell. The adults there need to be more supportive and help students manage their workload. If there are weekly tests then parents need to see this on a monthly time-table or schedule, so we can help our child's prepare. Its not rocket science, its management of a child's academic workload.

- submitted by a parent
November 26, 2012
A tremendous amount of work was involved in getting this school underway in DC, but having ten highly-rated Basis Schools in Arizona seems to have provided a good template. Staff members are apparently committed and putting in extra time and effort beyond their regular office hours before or after school. A consistent paper organization system: finally a school that helps my child establish good habits for note-taking and writing down assignments. Accelerated math, challenging curriculum and a wide range of options (robotics, Chinese, many more) and after-school study hall clinched the decision for us. There are less-than-ideal conditions such as and more than a few unprepared and unruly students and noisy crowded hallways between periods, The principal does not seem as responsive as one could wish. A couple of replacement teachers have not been trained in the organizational system. I'm still thrilled with this school and those problems are fixable. The parents group (BasisDCBoosters) is active and seems to be devoted to the school's success.

- submitted by a parent
Need help choosing a school? We can help »

Media Gallery

Media missing

Uh oh! No photos. This frame will look much better when you upload photos »

What does this school offer? Arts? Sports? Share what you know »

Student diversity

Ratings help families find and compare schools. Families should also use other factors when choosing a school.

Reward

3 / 10

Contact school

Facebook


Nearby homes for sale

     
Last modified: June 18, 2014

Sign up for email updates

Connect with us

Translate this web page

About GreatSchools

Our mission is to inspire and support families to champion their children's education - at school, at home and in their community. We are a national non-profit with offices and programs in Oakland, Milwaukee, Washington D.C. and Indianapolis.

Find the great schools in Washington Dc


GreatSchools.org 1999 Harrison Street, Suite 1100, Oakland, CA 94612

©1998-2014 GreatSchools.org All Rights Reserved. GreatSchools is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization | Ad Choices

BASIS DC PCS
410 8th Street, NW, Washington, DC  20004
(202) 393-5437
Last modified BASIS DC PCS is a Charter school that serves grades 5-9. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 7 out of 10 based on academic quality.
BASIS DC PCS Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 34 reviews.