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.
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.
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.
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
wonderful!!!!!!! Very good faculty and students. .The students come first. Faculty is first rate and very accomplished at their perspective fieids!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
Since teachers are given a lot of freedom to use any method they want, quality of instruction varies greatly from class to class and from one teacher to another. Even in math, skipping chapters, rushing through the book and barely allowing a day for each new concept is becoming overwhelming. These are not refresher courses at the university level. It is taking its toll even on children with an aptitude for math.
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!
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.
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