The BASIS San Antonio dedication ceremony on September 25, 2013 welcomed guests and dignitaries with a performance by the 7th & 8th grade strings. Tiffany O’Neill, BASIS San Antonio Head of School, celebrated the school’s opening. (Classes began September 3, 2013 after a one-week delay, as discussed in this earlier post.)
Michael and Olga Block, BASIS co-founders and current co-CEOs of BASIS.ed, talked about what makes BASIS special. Michael referred to a book, “The Smartest Kids in the World and How They Got That Way” by Amanda Ripley (amazon.com), that discusses BASIS as one of the few schools in the U.S. that competes at an international level.
Read more about BASIS schools’ success on the PISA exams at “High Scores at BASIS Charter Schools”, June Kronholz, EducationNext, Winter 2014; also, see this earlier post about Thomas L. Friedman’s New York Times op-ed. Another recent article, “The Case Against High-School Sports”, Amanda Ripley, Atlantic, September 18, 2013, talks about balancing academics and sports.
Olga Block thanked BASIS San Antonio parents for entrusting their children to the school. For students making the transition to the BASIS curriculum, Olga says,”You can do it.” Read more about the Blocks in this earlier post about their visit to the March 5 BASIS information session.
Craig Barrett, current President and Chairman of the BASIS Board of Directors (and former chairman of Intel Corporation), talked about how fulfilling it is to see more BASIS schools open, after years of serving on commissions that talked about education reform but didn’t seem to make a difference.
Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer (campaign site), Texas House member for District 116 (where the BASIS San Antonio campus is located), recalled how hard his parents worked at multiple jobs to pay for him to go to private schools. He recognized word of mouth as a key factor in parent engagement, and thanked Michael Soto for informing him about BASIS.
Rep. Martinez Fischer also brought up the PISA test score success, noting that with the rise of open enrollment public charter schools, exceptional educational opportunities are no longer limited to wealthy families or those living in property-rich school districts. “Your zip code should not decide your fate,” he added.