FAQ

BASIS Charter Schools Frequently Asked Questions

Selecting the best school for your child is one of the most important decisions you can make. To aid in the decision-making process, we’ve compiled our most frequently asked questions below.

Charter Schools

Charter schools are schools that are publicly funded but independently run. This unique operation model gives charter schools more control over things like curricula, staffing, and budgeting compared to traditional public schools. Charter schools are held accountable by authorized public chartering agencies and are required to follow state academic standards. 

To learn more, check out our “How Do Charter Schools Work?” article, or download our free guide, “A Parent’s Guide to School Choice.”

The BASIS Charter Schools network comprises 39 charter schools across Arizona, Louisiana, Texas, and Washington, D.C. All BASIS Charter Schools utilize the BASIS Charter School Curriculum, which encourages self-motivation and hard work, allows students to master advanced content, and thoroughly prepares students for college.

BASIS Charter Schools are public charter schools. As public schools, we are open to all students and required to follow state academic standards. 

Tuition

No. BASIS Charter Schools are tuition-free.

BASIS Charter Schools do not charge tuition and are free to attend. Even though our families do not pay tuition, there may be expenses for field trips, extracurricular activities, after-school care, or other academic resources. Financial aid is available for qualifying families.

For our Arizona schools: A security deposit is required upon accepting an offer of enrollment. This deposit is held in the event that school property is lost or damaged. Barring any such damage, the deposit is refunded once the student leaves or graduates from the school.

Yes, financial aid is available for qualifying families. Please contact your local BASIS Charter School to discuss the process of obtaining financial aid.

Academics, Extracurriculars, and School Life

A typical class has approximately 30 students. Grades K–3 follow a co-teaching model with two teachers in each classroom, while grades 4–12 have one teacher per subject. 

The start date for each school is determined by the Head of School and leadership team, and then announced on the school’s website. To find your school’s website, click here.

To maximize academic instruction time, BASIS Charter Schools do not include professional development (in-service) days on the school calendar.

At every grade level, homework is used to reinforce concepts taught during the school day, establish good time management, and hone organizational skills. Homework volume differs by grade level and by student.

A typical BASIS Charter School student should expect about 30 minutes of homework per night in Kindergarten, 35–40 minutes in grades 1–2, 45–55 minutes in grades 3–4, 60–90 minutes in grades 5–7, and up to three hours in grades 8 and up.

Yes. Students in grades 1–6 are required to participate in PE and Sports classes three times per week. Beginning in grade 7, students can choose to continue with Physical Education as an elective course.

 BASIS Charter Schools offer extracurricular activities to enrich our students’ academic experience. Each school aligns its activities to the unique interests of the student body, therefore activities will vary from school-to-school. Clubs and extracurricular activities could include Music, Art, Dance, Orchestra/Band, Basketball, Soccer, Tennis, Minecraft, Coding, and Chess—just to name a few! Our middle and high school students are able to participate in charter association sports leagues and have the opportunity to test their skills against other schools inside and outside of our network. Please contact your local BASIS Charter School for specific information.

Yes. BASIS Charter Schools offer the Early Bird and Late Bird programs to assist parents/guardians whose schedules do not align with the schools’ scheduled start and end times.

The Early Bird program serves parents/guardians whose days begin earlier than the school start time. During Early Bird, staff members supervise students in designated areas of the school. While our staff members do monitor students’ safety and general well-being, we do not provide organized instruction or recreation during this time. Students are still expected to follow all school rules. 

The Late Bird program is a fee-based, after-school program that serves parents/guardians whose days end later than the school end time. During Late Bird, staff members supervise students in designated areas of the school. The Late Bird program is structured, so students have time to do homework, read, make up tests, etc.

No. BASIS Charter Schools do not provide transportation for students to and from school at this time. However, we encourage members of our parent-volunteer booster clubs to identify carpool opportunities.

Student Success

Every BASIS Charter School has a Student Affairs team. Individuals on this team offer academic, social/emotional, and behavioral support to students in need. With our advanced curriculum, having a strong academic support program in place is essential for student success. Our teachers hold regular Student Hours (before and after school) during which students can get extra help. The Student Affairs team also meets with students who need extra support on a regular basis. They work with students on organization, time management, note taking, and other related skills that enable academic success.

To foster every student’s successful transition into our advanced course of study, we provide academic and student support throughout the year. We also provide optional summer orientation programs for new students.

High school students who transfer to a BASIS Charter School receive individualized academic plans based on the courses they have already completed at their previous school(s). These plans are intended to motivate students to reach their highest academic potential, while also considering their prior educational experience. Students who transfer to a BASIS Charter School later in the program still benefit from being part of an academically focused community and receive a more advanced education than they would at a traditional high school.

Yes. BASIS Charter Schools are public schools that provide a Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) to students with disabilities who are currently eligible, or are determined eligible, to receive special education and related services. BASIS Charter Schools comply with all aspects of federal and state civil rights and disability laws, and we are committed to ensuring that all students who are eligible for special education and related services receive them.

If you have specific questions about Special Education at a BASIS Charter School, please contact the Special Education Coordinator at your school and they will be happy to assist you.

Teaching Staff

Our teachers hold bachelor’s degrees, at minimum, and many have master’s or doctorate degrees in the subject they teach. New BASIS Charter School teachers are required to attend our Summer Institute, where they learn about our curriculum and systems, and review classroom-management techniques used throughout our network. Additional training and workshops are held each subsequent year to further hone their skills.

 In grades 1–3, we have a co-teaching model. A Subject Expert Teacher (SET), who has a background and content expertise in their discipline, teaches each core course. This individual’s passion for their subject allows them to convey the content in an engaging way. The Learning Expert Teacher (LET) is assigned to a specific class of students and provides consistency throughout the day, co-teaching with each SET and drawing meaningful connections between the subjects our students are exploring. SETs typically see students for one class period per day, while LETs are with the same group of students every period, every day. This co-teaching model allows our teachers to differentiate learning and meet our students’ needs by lowering the student-teacher ratio.

Kindergarten

Some of our Arizona campuses offer both half-day and full-day options for kindergarten. Our half-day kindergarten program includes all core classes (Math, Language & Literacy, Civics/History/Science) plus a daily Movement class. In addition to these classes, students in our full-day kindergarten program also study enrichment subjects such as Music, Art, Drama, Engineering, and Mandarin. Full-day students have lunch and snack breaks throughout the day, as well as three recess blocks. Each program has two teachers in the classroom.

All of our schools offer tuition-free options for kindergarten, but program details vary from school-to-school. Please contact your local BASIS Charter School for specific information.

Each kindergarten class has a Lead Kindergarten Teacher who is an expert in early education and a Kindergarten Teaching Fellow who assists with all aspects of lessons and learning. Our Lead Kindergarten Teachers and Teaching Fellows work collaboratively to co-teach all the core subjects. Students in our full-day kindergarten program also meet with Subject Expert Teachers (SETs) for certain enrichment courses. 

Kindergarten age requirements vary from state to state. In Arizona, your child must be 5 years old before September 1 of the year in which they wish to start kindergarten. If your child does not meet the standard age cutoff but will be turning 5 years old on or after September 1 but on or before December 31, you may apply for early admission. In Louisiana, your child must be 5 years old on or before September 30. Louisiana does not offer early admission for children who do not meet the age cutoff. 

College Preparation

Yes. The college counseling process begins early in the BASIS Charter School Curriculum. Students attend educational seminars beginning in grade 8 to become more familiar with all facets of the college admissions process. BASIS Charter School seniors take a daily College Counseling Seminar, in which they explore potential colleges, submit applications, apply for scholarships, and prepare for interviews.

Yes. Each school’s College Guidance Coordinator works diligently to help students find scholarship opportunities. BASIS Charter Schools graduates average over $100,000 in merit aid.

We encourage students to apply to the schools or programs that best align with their interests and goals. Our graduates attend some of the nation’s most prestigious colleges and universities. In fact, 61.8% of 2022 BASIS Charter School graduates were accepted to a U.S. News & World Report top 100 ranked National University or National Liberal Arts College, including Columbia, Harvard, MIT, Princeton, Stanford, University of Chicago, and Yale. 

Enrollment Process

BASIS Charter Schools are open to all students. There are no specific prerequisites for enrollment (with the exception of state-mandated requirements regarding age and geographic location).

Geographic requirements vary from state to state:

Arizona: BASIS Charter Schools in Arizona are not restricted by school district boundaries. Students are simply required to provide proof of Arizona residency before attending.

Louisiana: Per state laws, our BASIS Baton Rouge campuses are only able to accept applications from students living within the East Baton Rouge Parish School District.

Washington, D.C.: BASIS DC is open to all students who reside within the District of Columbia.

Arizona and Louisiana: All applications must be submitted through the online enrollment portal.

Washington, D.C.: All applications must be submitted using the common application at My School DC.

Applicants who are offered enrollment at a BASIS Charter School will be provided with instructions for accepting the offer, completing the online registration form, and submitting registration documents to the school.

Every year, there is an Open Enrollment period for the following school year. Applications submitted during Open Enrollment and outside of Open Enrollment are processed differently.

Please note that the exact Open Enrollment dates and lottery dates are determined on a year-to-year basis.

If you apply during Open Enrollment: If the number of applications received during Open Enrollment exceeds the number of openings (at any grade level), enrollment is determined by a lottery and waitlist. The Open Enrollment period for BASIS Charter Schools is NOT first-come, first-served. Instead, applicants are added to a lottery pool. To be included in the lottery, you need to apply by midnight on the last day of Open Enrollment. After the Open Enrollment period ends, lottery drawings are held. You will receive the results directly from the school(s) you applied to. Families that do not receive an enrollment offer from the lottery will be added to a waitlist.

If you apply outside of Open Enrollment: Applications submitted after the Open Enrollment period has ended will be added to a waitlist and processed on a first-come, first-served basis, following any applications received during Open Enrollment. Schools will continue to make offers to waitlisted applicants as seats become available. There is not a lottery for applications submitted outside of Open Enrollment.

Disclaimer: For information on the the lottery and waitlst process in Washington, DC please visit MySchoolDC.org

We recommend completing student enrollment applications during the Open Enrollment period. However, applications are accepted throughout the year.

Please note that the exact Open Enrollment dates and lottery dates are determined on a year-to-year basis. Join our interest list to receive Open Enrollment updates for your school of interest.

Yes. You may select more than one BASIS Charter School campus when submitting an application.

If a student receives an enrollment offer, then the sibling(s) of that student will be granted sibling priority once the offer is accepted and the online registration form is submitted for the admitted student. This priority does not guarantee a seat, but it does improve the sibling’s placement on the waitlist and increases the chance of receiving an enrollment offer. We understand that managing multiple schedules and schools in a household can be challenging and our schools do their best to make offers to siblings of admitted students when space is available. 

Applications submitted during Open Enrollment will receive results by the end of the day on the published lottery date. Applications submitted after Open Enrollment will receive results within 2–3 days. Waitlisted applications still have a chance of receiving an offer, since we continue to make offers throughout the spring, summer, and even into the beginning of the school year as seats become available.

You may notice fluctuations in your student’s waitlist number. This is a fairly common occurrence, especially during peak times of enrollment, and should not be a cause for concern. Even if your student’s waitlist number is high following the lottery, things can change rapidly.

Yes. A current BASIS Charter School student may request a transfer to ONE specific BASIS Charter School campus. To be eligible for a transfer priority, students must submit an application and complete a transfer request form for their preferred campus. A student must complete a year at their current BASIS Charter School campus to receive the transfer priority. Transfer priority does not guarantee enrollment, but rather places the transfer student in a prioritized position on the waitlist for their desired BASIS Charter School campus. 

Please visit the links below to view our enrollment policies for the 2023–24 school year

Arizona

Louisiana

Washington, D.C.

Please visit the links below to view our enrollment policies for the 2024–25 school year

Arizona

Louisiana

Washington, D.C.

Please note that our enrollment process varies from state to state. If you have questions regarding enrollment at our BASIS Charter Schools in Arizona, Louisiana or Washington, D.C., you can contact the BASIS Ed Enrollment Department at (480) 696-3997 or email us at enrollment@basisschools.org.

Student Safety and Support

The network of BASIS Charter Schools continues to closely monitor local, state, and federal public health advisories and mandates, as we have throughout the pandemic. Our network still has and abides by an effective Mitigation Plan to keep students, teachers, staff, visitors, and families as safe as possible as we continue in-person instruction during the 2021–22 academic year. You can view the Mitigation Plan by visiting any of our school websites, and then scrolling to the bottom of the home page and clicking on “COVID-19 Mitigation Plan.” The Mitigation Plan includes cleaning, ventilation, and mask-related protocols; we still strongly encourage the use of masks while on our campuses, and also strongly encourage, but do not require, COVID-19 vaccinations. The Mitigation Plan also addresses procedures for suspected illness and quarantine requirements for different types of exposure.
BASIS Charter Schools have a zero-tolerance policy for bullying. At the beginning of the school year, all our students (with parent permission) attend an anti-bullying program led by our Student Affairs team. These principles are enforced and revisited in subsequent sessions throughout the school year.
BASIS Charter Schools provide a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) to disabled students in the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE), in accordance with all applicable laws and implementation regulations of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). If you have specific questions about SPED at a BASIS Charter School, please contact the SPED Coordinator at your school and they will be happy to assist you.
Every BASIS Charter School campus has a Student Affairs team. Individuals on this team offer academic, social/emotional, and behavioral support to students in need. With our advanced curriculum, having a strong academic support program in place is essential for student success. Our teachers hold regular Student Hours (before and after school) during which students can get extra help. The Student Affairs team also meets with students who need extra support on a regular basis, working on organization, time management, note taking, and other related skills that enable academic success.

Do you have additional questions? Get in touch with us!