This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
BASIS DC PCS5
Posted October 19, 2014
- a parent
We are so grateful for BASIS. Although DCPS is, from our experiences, improving, our kids had a rough time academically and socially for years. We found BASIS and our kids have thrived. There are plenty of supports--for all types of learners (one of our kids has special needs). Most importantly, our kids are excited about learning in ways we had not seen since preschool, and they have made the crucial shift to owning their learning, time management (they now average 1.5 hrs. of homework/night), etc. . . which has allowed them to engage in the rigor BASIS offers.
I hope this school gets shut down. The teachers did not know how to teach and there have been so many principals and changes of teachers. Many students have left because nobody wants to be there! This school is all about a good public image, but does nothing to address poor teaching and students bullying others.
My daughter is in her third year at Basis and loves it. This school is definitely not for every student. You have to expect your student to adapt to the school, and not expect that the school will adapt to the student. The school expects, and usually gets, a great deal from its students. It requires a lot of hard work and a huge commitment of time and effort. It also, on occasion, requires a student to deal with failure. But it provides its students with tools to succeed. I'm grateful this level of education is available and even more grateful that it's available for free. The changes the school has made over its initial three years are indications of its willingness to respond to things that didn't work and to its flexibility in finding and applying things that do work. It's great to see that, unlike other set-in-stone institutions in DC that refuse to change despite years of evidence that its policies and people are stunningly ineffective, Basis is willing to admit the things that don't work and to move swiftly to change. We will stay through high school and I have no doubt my daughter will be all the better for it.
I am a former parent of Basis-DC. I originally flooded Great Schools website with glowing recommendations about this school. My daughter was excited each day she came home from Basis. However, fast forward to a year later, the situation at Basis is QUITE opposite. Basis method is not about educating for today, its about numbers. Last school year, Basis DC "retained" over 80 children, most to whom are black. Black children that throughout the school year got awards, "Most Improved", "Outstanding Leadership" etc... Basis DC, tells the lies, "Not everyone can be a Basis Student" or "It takes a special person to pass at BASIS." ITS A LIE!!!!! ITS A LIE!!!! Basis does NOT want certain types of people to attend the school. If YOUR family is low income (STAY AWAY), if your child has any 504 or IEP (STAY AWAY), If you are a vocal parent involved in your child's education (STAY AWAY), if you do not plan to contribute into the Teacher Fund (STAY AWAY). STAY AWAY FROM BASIS DC.
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.
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.
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.