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.
I think the school has some very hard working teachers and the curriculum is absolutely one of the best in the city. My child needs to work hard but his knowledge of arts and science is equivalent to knowledge of the children at any top private schools in DC area. Definitely recommend for kids who want to explore and learn. OUR FAMILY LOVE THE SCHOOL!
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.