The BASIS Charter School Curriculum
Revolutionary, comprehensive, and advanced: an academic program designed to prepare students for a brilliant future.
We have studied the best-performing schools in the world. We continue to consider what works well, and analyze how to make the BASIS Charter School Curriculum better every year.
From an academic standpoint, the BASIS Charter School Curriculum provides a foundation of disciplinary knowledge that fuels critical thinking, problem solving, and creativity.
From a behavioral standpoint, teachers in every grade focus on and motivate the development of two fundamental competencies: the organization of complex tasks and the productive management of limited time.
From a cultural standpoint, the BASIS Charter School Curriculum invites participation, requires an appreciation of diverse perspectives, pushes boundaries, and demands professionalism.
The BASIS Charter School Curriculum is unique in several respects:
- The curriculum is not centrally written. We just manage it. This means that we choose the subjects and set the standards for the scope and sequence of instruction, but we don’t hand teachers fully written lessons.
- Courses are taught by teachers who are experts in their content area, and they have the autonomy to present subject matter in their own creative and engaging ways.
- We have a network of experienced mentor teachers—Subject Mentors— who are distributed throughout our schools to assist, advise, and support classroom teachers.
- BASIS Charter School students take a rigorous suite of courses that most U.S. schools do not offer, including economics (in middle school), linguistics, engineering, classics (in middle school), and Mandarin (starting in primary school).
- We spiral key concepts and skills from kindergarten through high school, including Advanced Placement (AP) courses, and beyond. As students progress, the connections they make across subjects boost critical thinking skills and deeper understanding. For instance, students in grades 6–8 take biology, physics, and chemistry as stand-alone sciences every year. This structure of advancing and reinforcing content prepares students to excel in the AP courses for these subjects in high school.