BASIS schools are some of the highest performing schools in the United States and the world, and San Antonio is fortunate to have four BASIS campuses here. On October 29, 2020, BASIS Texas Charter Schools will begin accepting applications for enrollment for the 2021–2022 school year through December 15, 2020. We have put together a guide to help you learn more about BASIS San Antonio schools and take steps to enroll your child for the next school year.
About BASIS Schools
Since their founding in 1998 in Tucson, Arizona—and continuing with their expansion to Texas in 2013—BASIS schools have offered students a rigorous education that is benchmarked against the best education systems in the world. BASIS teachers are experts in the subject matter they are teaching. The BASIS curriculum provides students with deep content knowledge at an accelerated pace.
BASIS charter schools have a history of dominating national rankings. In 2020, BASIS San Antonio Shavano ranked highly in the US News & World Report rankings as the top ranked school in the city of San Antonio and the top ranked charter school in Texas. BASIS Shavano was rated ninth among Texas high schools, and was the only one in the top 10 that is an open-enrollment public school—the other nine are selective admission schools.
Across the network, BASIS charter schools ranked highly among US News & World Report’s best high schools, best charter schools, and best STEM schools. BASIS students also earn AP Scholar awards at high rates. Many BASIS graduates go on to attend selective colleges and universities.
As we shared in an earlier post about the BASIS Primary program, students work with a Subject Expert Teacher, who designs lesson plans and brings their enthusiasm to the topic—and a Learning Expert Teacher who co-teaches and supports the students’ learning. Students are exposed to subjects like Mandarin and engineering that they would generally not encounter in other schools. The curriculum is designed to make connections across different subjects working on related projects.
Students learn to take ownership of their learning. They keep a planner called a CJ, short for Communications Journal, to write down their assignments. By middle school (grades 5–7), students using those organizational skills to take AP classes. In high school (grades 8–12), students continue to take AP classes, but will complete most of them by 10th grade. After 11th grade, some students choose to graduate early, but most students stay for a year of senior projects—an internship or research project, sometimes involving travel, that helps students pursue special interests and build independence.
BASIS schools have a culture of hard work, but they also celebrate individuality. Students must observe a dress code but there are no school uniforms, and a visitor walking down the hallway during a passing period might encounter purple hair, band T-shirts, and superhero gear. As we discussed in our earlier post about the BASIS Shavano campus, there is a broad array of extracurricular activities, as well as a decidedly international flavor.
For more information about recent events at BASIS schools, we recommend you read some of the news stories linked at the bottom of this post. Also, we invite you to join the San Antonio Charter Moms discussion group on Facebook and ask questions; the group includes current BASIS families who can comment with answers about their own experiences.
BASIS Charter Schools in San Antonio
During the 2021–22 school year, BASIS will have four schools in the San Antonio region, with plans to expand. On its school report card for 2019 (the most recent available), the district earned an A rating, with an impressive score of 98 out of 100; the list below includes links to campus school report cards.
- BASIS San Antonio Primary Medical Center: 8519 Floyd Curl Dr., San Antonio, TX, 78229 (map); 210-319-5525; grades K–5; 2020–21 calendar; school report card—rated A
- BASIS San Antonio Primary North Central: 318 E. Ramsey Rd., San Antonio, TX 78216 (map); 210-775-4125; grades K–5; 2020–21 calendar; school report card—rated B
- BASIS San Antonio Northeast: 11550 I-35 Frontage Rd., San Antonio, TX 78233 (map); 210-742 6310; grades K–5, expanding to K–12; 2020–21 calendar; no school report card data
- BASIS San Antonio Shavano: 4114 Lockhill-Selma Dr., San Antonio, TX 78249 (map); 210-874-9250; grades 6–12; 2020–21 calendar; school report card—rated A
Download the free San Antonio Charter Schools app for an interactive map that includes these campuses and many more. You can also find campus information about BASIS schools (and many other schools of choice) on our page Guide to Charter Schools in San Antonio.
Enroll at BASIS Schools in San Antonio
Families can apply online to enroll their children at BASIS schools. Open enrollment for 2021–2022 will begin on October 29, 2020 and will continue through December 15, 2020. On January 12, 2021, BASIS will hold a random lottery, and the students who are selected will receive an email inviting them to register. The other students will be placed on waiting lists; if a spot becomes available, they will be notified. Each campus website has an FAQ where you can find more information about enrollment.
Open house events—in person or virtual—are a good way to learn about BASIS Charter Schools. Opportunities for school tours may be limited for a while, but families can sign up to learn when they will resume. In the meantime, each school’s website has downloadable brochures:
- BASIS San Antonio Primary Medical Center tour kit
- BASIS San Antonio Primary North Central tour kit
- BASIS San Antonio Northeast handouts
- BASIS San Antonio Shavano tour kit
Joining the BASIS interest list will subscribe you to email updates about enrollment, events, and other news.
We also recommend following these BASIS accounts on social media:
- BASIS San Antonio Primary Medical Center on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter
- BASIS San Antonio Primary North Central on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter
- BASIS San Antonio Northeast on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter
- BASIS San Antonio Shavano on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter
- BASIS.ed on Facebook, Instagram, and Twittter
In addition, please join the San Antonio Charter Moms discussion group on Facebook to post questions and search previous discussions about BASIS Texas schools. There are current BASIS families in the group who may be able to answer your questions.
Facts about BASIS Schools
BASIS was founded in Tucson, Arizona by Michael and Olga Block. They were motivated to found a charter school because they saw international students—including the Blocks’ own daughter, who had gone to school in Prague—working at a higher level than American students.
In her 2013 book The Smartest Kids in the World, Amanda Ripley compared high schools in the United States with their counterparts in South Korea, Poland, and Finland by looking through the eyes of American exchange students visiting those countries. She mentioned BASIS as an example of an American school system that is trying to raise standards and graduate students who can compete on an international level. Here is our earlier post about Ripley’s 2015 visit to San Antonio.
BASIS Texas is a partner of Choose to Succeed, a nonprofit organization working to attract the nation’s best public charter schools to San Antonio.
If you like what you have learned so far about BASIS Charter Schools, we recommend that you make plans to apply for enrollment. You are also welcome to join the San Antonio Charter Moms discussion group to learn more and interact with current BASIS families.
Charter Moms Chats
David Hubalik has nearly twelve years of experience with BASIS Charter Schools, where he began his career as a middle school and high school teacher at the network’s second-ever campus, BASIS Scottsdale. He has since served in a variety of school-level leadership positions including School Director, Head of Operations, and Head of School. In his current role, Senior Vice President of Charter Schools, Mr. Hubalik works with school leaders at all BASIS Charter School campuses to fulfill their mission and support their academic outcomes and operations. He holds a BS in Biology and Biological Sciences from Arizona State University, and an MBA from Benedictine University.
Read More About BASIS Schools
- “San Antonio Charter Moms lesson teaches kids how to make colorful, foamy elephant toothpaste,” Ingrid Wilgen, San Antonio Express-News, October 1, 2020
- “BASIS Charter Schools Reopening Plan: Families Choose in 2020–21,” San Antonio Charter Moms, August 13, 2020
- “Kitchen Chemistry: Weather Science,” Audrey Hagopian, San Antonio Charter Moms, July 21, 2020
- “Kitchen Chemistry: Elephant Toothpaste,” Audrey Hagopian, San Antonio Charter Moms, June 16, 2020
- “Distance Learning: Five Survival Tips From the Homefront,” Rebecca Scarpino, San Antonio Charter Moms, May 6, 2020
- “Remote Education at BASIS Charter Schools,” Andrew Sterbenz, San Antonio Charter Moms, April 29, 2020
- “BASIS Charter Schools, known for rankings excellence, has its first Texas school among its highly-ranked campuses in the 2020 U.S. News & World Report rankings,” PR Newswire, April 28, 2020
- “The 10 best charter high schools in San Antonio, according to U.S. News & World Report,” Mark Dunphy, MySA, April 21, 2020
- “Is My Child Ready for Kindergarten at BASIS Charter Schools?,” Alamo City Moms, April 3, 2020
- “Every Neighborhood Deserves a BASIS Education,” Emily Langhorne, 74 Million, December 19, 2019
- “BASIS Shavano School Profile,” San Antonio Charter Moms, November 26, 2019
- “BASIS Medical Center School Profile,” San Antonio Charter Moms, November 19, 2019
- “Guide to Enrolling in BASIS Texas Schools in San Antonio for 2020–21,” San Antonio Charter Moms, October 22, 2019
- “Here are the 30 best elementary schools in the San Antonio area, according to Niche,” Bryan Kirk, MySA, October 21, 2020 test
- “10 Charter Schools Fail State Standards as Most Charter Districts Improve,” Emily Donaldson, San Antonio Report, August 15, 2019
- “San Antonio charter school team is National Science Bowl bound,” Liz Teitz, San Antonio Express-News, April 1, 2019
- “Returning champion reconquers San Antonio Express-News spelling bee,” Brian Chasnoff, San Antonio Express-News, March 17, 2019
- “Ribbon Cutting Celebration at BASIS San Antonio Shavano,” Inga Cotton, San Antonio Charter Moms, September 11, 2018
- “BASIS middle school and Reagan High teams to compete in National Science Bowl,” Silvia Foster-Frau, San Antonio Express-News, February 10, 2018
- “BASIS San Antonio Primary Offers Rigorous Education to Elementary School Students,” Inga Cotton, San Antonio Charter Moms, December 8, 2017
- “BASIS: Inside the Acclaimed School Network That’s Blended Together the World’s Best Education Practices,” Kate Stringer, The 74, May 17, 2017
- “At BASIS San Antonio, Intellectual Engagement is the Norm,” Bekah McNeel, San Antonio Report, March 27, 2014
- “Charter schools: Free to succeed, free to fail,” Jonathan Gelbart, Medium, October 17, 2013