BASIS Charter Schools are some of the highest performing schools in the United States and the world, and San Antonio is fortunate to host a cluster of BASIS campuses. On November 1, 2023, BASIS Texas Charter Schools began accepting applications for enrollment for the 2024–25 school year. We have put together a guide to help you learn more about BASIS schools in San Antonio and take steps to enroll your child.
About BASIS Charter Schools
Since its founding in 1998 in Tucson, Arizona—and continuing with its expansion to Texas in 2013—the network of BASIS Charter Schools has offered students a high-level education via an advanced curriculum that is benchmarked against the best education systems in the world. BASIS Charter Schools teachers are experts in the subject matter they are teaching, and the network’s curriculum provides students with deep content knowledge at an accelerated pace.
BASIS campuses have a long history of exceptional performance in local, state, and national rankings. BASIS San Antonio Shavano appeared in the 2023 US News & World Report rankings as the #1 high school in San Antonio and the #7 high school in Texas; among charter schools, BASIS San Antonio Shavano was the #1 charter high school in Texas. Along with IDEA Public Schools, BASIS Charter Schools are among the few top-ranked high schools in Texas that are open-enrollment public schools—that is, campuses that anyone can attend simply by applying, and which are tuition-free; the other highly-ranked schools in Texas have selective admissions policies. Across the network, BASIS Charter Schools rank 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.
About BASIS Charter School Curriculum and Student Life
Under the BASIS Charter Schools K–4 curriculum, primary grade students work with two teachers in each subject or class: a Subject Expert Teacher who is an academic expert on a specific subject and only teaches the students that particular subject, and a Learning Expert Teacher who is an expert in elementary education and pedagogy, and stays with the students for the entire school day. Students are exposed to subjects that they would generally not encounter in traditional public schools, including engineering, science literacy, and a course called “Connections” which brings different subjects together; the curriculum is designed to make connections across different subjects, and does so consistently, by working on related projects.
Students in the BASIS Charter School Curriculum learn quite specifically how to take ownership of their own learning. They keep a planner called a CJ, short for Communications Journal, to write down their assignments; teachers across different courses use CJs to communicate with students and their parents. By middle school (grades 5–7), students use those organizational skills for subjects including Physical Geography, Introduction to Science, and Engineering & Technology, Physics, and World History.
In high school (grades 8–12), students begin 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 to take college-level Capstone courses, as well as to complete Senior Projects—a months-long deep dive into a thesis of the students’ choosing. The Senior Project is the true culmination of the network’s curriculum, and can involve research at a university lab, an internship at a corporation, think tank, or government entity, and may involve travel. Besides the obvious academic aspects, the Senior Project encourages students to pursue their special interests, requires that they learn to present their research findings to their peers and teachers, and supports building self-reliance and independence.
BASIS Charter Schools have a culture of hard work and celebrate individuality. Students observe a casual dress code—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 San Antonio—Shavano Campus, students can participate in a broad array of extracurricular activities in the realms of academics, arts and culture, and sports.
For more information about BASIS Charter 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 2024–25 school year, the network will include seven schools in the San Antonio region. On its district report card, BASIS Charter Schools in Texas earned an A rating, with an impressive score of 99 out of 100; the list below includes links to campus report cards.
- BASIS San Antonio—Jack Lewis Jr. Campus and BASIS San Antonio Primary—Jack Lewis Jr. Campus: 3303 N. Ellison Dr., San Antonio, TX 78251 (map); 210-570-1985; grades K–8 in 2024–25, expanding to K–12; 2023–24 school calendar; no school report card data available yet for this new campus (opened 2022)
- BASIS San Antonio Primary—Medical Center Campus: 8519 Floyd Curl Dr., San Antonio, TX, 78229 (map); 210-319-5525; grades K–5; 2023–24 calendar; school report card—rated A
- BASIS San Antonio Primary—North Central Campus: 318 E. Ramsey Rd., San Antonio, TX 78216 (map); 210-775-4125; grades K–5; 2023–24 calendar; school report card—rated B
- BASIS San Antonio—Northeast Campus and BASIS San Antonio Primary—Northeast Campus: 11550 I-35 Frontage Rd., San Antonio, TX 78233 (map); 210-742-6310; grades K–8 in 2023–24, expanding to K–12; 2023–24 calendar; primary school report card—rated A; upper grades school report card—rated A
- BASIS San Antonio—Shavano Campus: 4114 Lockhill-Selma Dr., San Antonio, TX 78249 (map); 210-874-9250; grades 6–12; 2023–24 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 Charter Schools in San Antonio
Families can apply online to enroll their children at BASIS Charter Schools. Open enrollment for 2024–25 began on November 1, 2023 and continues through December 13, 2023. On January 10, 2024, the network 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. Find more information about enrollment, and other topics, in the FAQ.
Visiting a campus for an open house or school tour is a great way to learn more about it. Here are the links to sign up for school tours at each campus:
- School Tours at BASIS San Antonio—Jack Lewis Jr. Campus and BASIS San Antonio Primary—Jack Lewis Jr. Campus
- School Tours at BASIS San Antonio Primary—Medical Center Campus
- School Tours at BASIS San Antonio Primary—North Central Campus
- School Tours at BASIS San Antonio—Northeast Campus and BASIS San Antonio Primary—Northeast Campus
- School Tours at BASIS San Antonio—Shavano Campus
There are digital brochures available on the campus websites. Here are the links to download:
- Brochure for BASIS San Antonio—Jack Lewis Jr. Campus and BASIS San Antonio Primary—Jack Lewis Jr. Campus
- Brochure for BASIS San Antonio Primary—Medical Center Campus
- Brochure for BASIS San Antonio Primary—North Central Campus
- Brochure for BASIS San Antonio—Northeast Campus and BASIS San Antonio Primary—Northeast Campus
- Brochure for BASIS San Antonio—Shavano Campus
Each campus has an interest list so you can subscribe to email updates about enrollment dates, upcoming events, and other news.
- Interest List for BASIS San Antonio—Jack Lewis Jr. Campus and BASIS San Antonio Primary—Jack Lewis Jr. Campus
- Interest List for BASIS San Antonio Primary—Medical Center Campus
- Interest List for BASIS San Antonio Primary—North Central Campus
- Interest List for BASIS San Antonio—Northeast Campus and BASIS San Antonio Primary—Northeast Campus
- Interest List for BASIS San Antonio—Shavano Campus
We also recommend following these accounts on social media:
- BASIS San Antonio—Jack Lewis Jr. Campus and BASIS San Antonio Primary—Jack Lewis Jr. Campus on Facebook and Instagram
- BASIS San Antonio Primary—Medical Center Campus on Facebook, Instagram, and X (Twitter)
- BASIS San Antonio Primary—North Central Campus on Facebook, Instagram, and X (Twitter)
- BASIS San Antonio—Northeast Campus and BASIS San Antonio Primary—Northeast Campus on Facebook, Instagram, and X (Twitter)
- BASIS San Antonio—Shavano Campus on Facebook, Instagram, and X (Twitter)
- BASIS Ed Texas on Facebook, Instagram, X (Twitter), and LinkedIn
- BASIS Charter Schools on YouTube and LinkedIn
In addition, please join the San Antonio Charter Moms discussion group on Facebook to post questions and search previous discussions about BASIS schools in San Antonio. The group includes families with current students at BASIS Charter Schools who may be able to answer your questions.
Facts about BASIS Charter Schools
The BASIS Charter Schools network and BASIS Ed were co-founded in Arizona by a married couple of educators and economists, Michael and Olga Block. When it proved difficult to find high-level education for their daughter, the Blocks decided to open a public charter school with world-class academics, benchmarked to the high-level learning of the best schools in Europe and Asia—because they saw international students working at a higher level than most American students. They quickly found that if they raised standards, students would rise to meet those standards. BASIS has been raising the standards for student learning even since.
In her 2013 book The Smartest Kids in the World (also a film), education journalist 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 Charter Schools 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 Charter Schools 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 Texas 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
Watch Ken Tyrrell, Vice President of School Operations at BASIS Ed Texas, and David King, Associate Vice President of Academics for BASIS Ed Texas, speak with Inga Cotton on Charter Moms Chats on November 8, 2023 at 4:00 PM Central live on Facebook and YouTube.
Ken Tyrrell has spent the last 10+ years as a Senior Operator and fellow school choice advocate. During his tenure he’s managed regional/network operations for several large high performing charter networks. This includes the opening of a total of 31 schools, of which 18 are located right here in San Antonio. He currently serves as the Vice President of Operations for BASIS Texas. When not supporting schools, he enjoys spending time at the beach with his two kids—Maddison, 8 years old, and Hayden 6 years old—and his wife Juri, who is a high performing high school math teacher.
Dave King is a former USAF Officer and has been a teacher and education administrator for the past 16 years, including working as a consultant for school districts and state departments of education across the country. At BASIS, he has been a teacher, counselor, and Director of Academic Programs, as well as the Head of School at BASIS Ahwatukee in AZ and the founding Head of School for BASIS Shavano in San Antonio. He is currently the Associate Vice President of Academics for BASIS Ed Texas.
Read More About BASIS Charter Schools
- “Here’s why U.S. News ranked BASIS San Antonio Shavano the best high school in the city,” Shepard Price, San Antonio Express-News, August 31, 2023
- “Only one San Antonio high school ranks among U.S. News’ top 100,” Michael Karlis, San Antonio Current, August 30, 2023
- “Charter Moms Chats — BASIS Texas Charter Schools, With Ken Tyrrell And America Palmer,” YouTube, September 29, 2022
- “BASIS Texas Charter Schools is the #1 District in Texas, According to New TEA Ratings,” PR Newswire, August 31, 2022
- “BASIS Charter Schools Network Continues Expansion of New Campuses in Texas,” PR Newswire, June 29, 2022
- “10 best public high schools in the San Antonio area, according to U.S. News & World Report,” Mary Claire Patton, KSAT, May 3, 2022
- “BASIS Charter Schools Dominate National ‘STEM School’ and National Charter School Rankings,” PR Newswire, April 27, 2022
- “BASIS San Antonio math teacher and soccer coach recognized as Educator of the Month,” Stephanie Serna, KSAT, February 3, 2022
- “Learn Math, Love Math, and Change the World,” Hannah Guan, San Antonio Charter Moms, October 27, 2021
- “Charter Moms Chats — BASIS Charter Schools Enrollment, With David Hubalik And America Palmer,” YouTube, October 21, 2021
- “Outdoor Math Games for Kids,” Ellen Castro, San Antonio Charter Moms, July 22, 2021
- “FIVE New World-Class Schools are Coming to Texas from the Acclaimed BASIS Charter School Network,” PR Newswire, July 6, 2021
- “Senior Projects at BASIS Charter Schools,” San Antonio Charter Moms, March 30, 2021
- “Kitchen Chemistry: Snowstorm in a Bottle”, Audrey Hagopian, San Antonio Charter Moms, January 29, 2021
- “Kindergarten Is More Important Than You Think,” Eric Wiederlight, San Antonio Charter Moms, January 26, 2021
- “Charter Moms Chats — Enrolling at BASIS Charter Schools, With David Hubalik,” YouTube, October 13, 2020
- “San Antonio Charter Moms lesson teaches kids how to make colorful, foamy elephant toothpaste,” Ingrid Wilgen, San Antonio Express-News, October 1, 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
- “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
- “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