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BASIS schools in Arizona

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I have cross posted this question on the general education board too.


We have always thought Basis would be a great gift for my highly gifted (especially in math) son.  We have finally hit the age where he can enroll and are now having second doubts. 


Does anyone have experience with this school?  He'd be in 4th grade next school year.  Everything we have been told on the tours and info days sounded great, but what he experienced at shadow day this week left us underwhelmed.  I have also read some negative reviews of things that seem could be likely true. 


Thank you for info you could share with us, good or bad.

Edited by HeatherL
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We live in Arizona and applied for DD to attend Basis for K. She got in through the lottery but we didn't accept the offer.


We turned it down because it didn't feel right to me. I can't be more specific because it was an emotional response.


I never seem to hear anything positive about Basis. I hear a lot about Great Hearts (most of it positive, but not all). The lack of positive comments from friends, people in the neighborhood, etc. concerned me.


My outsider gut feeling was that Basis is a school that confuses rigor with effort; e.g. homework for the sake of homework. Because they can't make admissions decisions based on merit, they try to weed out the kids who won't help their ranking. It gave me a bad taste in my mouth but I'm coming in with bad feelings about AZ charter schools so I'm probably not objective.


I also felt like I was being marketed to which rubbed me the wrong way. They put on a nice song and dance.


But with that said, AZ schools are terrible and there aren't many good options for accelerated kids here other than Basis and Great Hearts. I don't know where else you could get that level of academics outside of those schools in a public setting in Arizona.


Good luck in your decision.


Thank you for your response.  


We actually had my son on the wait list for the Great Hearts school by us for years and he got a spot for 2nd, but we turned it down at the last minute, for the reasons you listed above.  Once we got in and paid the "materials fee", I felt all they wanted was more money.  We had to commit to paying $1500 into a fund, $100 or so for basic school supplies that were weren't supposed to go to Wal Mart and purchase, school uniforms that had to be bought through them (including pants which seemed ridiculous that I couldn't go to any store I wanted), fees for every activity... It all just started to leave a bad taste in my mouth so I withdrew him before school ever started.  Getting the "refundable" $150 enrollment fee back was a nightmare.  It took months of e-mails and phone calls and finally a threat of going to the charter board before we finally had a check cut and sent to us.  


We always said we would send him to a brick and mortar school if we could find one to academically challenge him (he's 2-3 grades ahead in all subjects and had all qualities (good and bad) of a highly gifted student and I was hoping for a school that would know how to deal with/work with him).  I think I'm starting to realize that the best may just by to constituent homeschooling him and finding ways to challenge him on my own.

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Where in the valley are you located? I do know of some options supposed to be geared for more gifted students, depending on where you are. That said, we are continuing to homeschool our oldest 2, who are highly gifted. My youngest, who is more moderately gifted, is going to try a self-contained gifted classes next year with the district, and I think it will be a good fit. BASIS is on our possibilities for the future, but I get the same uneasy feelings (my oldest could have started this year in the original 5-12 campus - I know they have primary campuses now, too) and homeschooling is going well for now. We are also considering Davidson Academy (would require moving to Reno) for the future.


I do know someone who has one highly gifted and one moderately gifted child at BASIS, and likes it well enough. I think she feels that it's the "least worst" for her family (you may have heard of this concept wrt gifted education).

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