BASIS schools are some of the highest performing schools in the United States and the world, and San Antonio is fortunate to have three BASIS campuses here. On October 23, 2019, BASIS Texas Charter Schools will begin accepting applications for enrollment for the 2020–2021 school year. 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 Texas 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.
The well-established BASIS schools in Arizona have dominated national rankings for years. Most recently, in the 2019 US News & World Report rankings, BASIS schools ranked highly among the 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.
BASIS Texas Schools in San Antonio
As of this writing, BASIS will have three schools in the San Antonio region in the 2020–21 school year, with plans to expand. On its most recent school report card, 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; 210-319-5525; grades K–5; 2019–20 calendar; school report card—rated A
- BASIS San Antonio Primary North Central: 318 E. Ramsey Rd., San Antonio, TX 78216; 210-775-4125; grades K–5; 2019–20 calendar; school report card—rated B
- BASIS San Antonio Shavano: 4114 Lockhill-Selma Dr., San Antonio, TX 78249; 210-874-9250; grades 6–12; 2019–20 calendar; school report card—rated A
BASIS leaders are looking at expanding in San Antonio, and have held meeting to talk with parents about BASIS San Antonio Northeast. At this point, there are no details about the opening date or location, but parents can sign up to join the interest list to be notified.
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 Texas Schools
Families can apply online to enroll their children at BASIS schools. Open enrollment for 2020–2021 will begin on October 23, 2019 and will continue through December 16, 2019. After open enrollment ends, 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. Find more information in the Frequently Asked Questions.
During application season, there will be information sessions, school tours, and other events in the community for families to learn more about BASIS schools. Each campus has a page announcing upcoming school tours:
- BASIS San Antonio Primary Medical Center school tours
- BASIS San Antonio Primary North Central school tours
- BASIS San Antonio Shavano school tours
Joining the BASIS interest list will subscribe you to email updates about enrollment, information sessions, 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 Shavano on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter
- BASIS San Antonio Northeast on Facebook
- 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.
Facts about BASIS Texas Schools
BASIS was founded in Tucson, Arizona by Michael and Olga Block. As they shared in a profile, 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.
Read More About BASIS Texas Schools
- “10 Charter Schools Fail State Standards as Most Charter Districts Improve,” Emily Donaldson, Rivard Report, August 15, 2019
- “Niche: The 25 best public high schools in San Antonio for 2020,” Mark Dunphy, MySA, August 13, 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
- “20 minutes with Michael & Olga Block: The story behind worldwide school network BASIS,” Melissa Rosequist, Scottsdale Independent, May 3, 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, Rivard Report, March 27, 2014