I teach for BASIS and I can tell you right now that we do not select our student bodies. From the large pot of applicants a computer generated lottery is run. We still have students with special needs, 504s, IEPs, you name it. The reason we have a small graduating class is because those students started with BASIS years ago when they would only enroll maybe 20-30 into a grade level. Due to the rigor of the curriculum we cannot bring in a student midway between 5-12 or K-12 as they most likely would not have the academic background or prereqs to succeed. Therefore, those graduating classes have not been filled out more as they reach 12th grade. As BASIS has grown larger we have enrolled larger quantities of students in the lower grade levels, so in 5-7 years BASIS will have larger graduating classes. The attrition rate is only around 10%, which would happen to any school except we cannot bring in students to replace them as other schools can. Whether or not you agree with the rankings, BASIS works. Just ask any of the college counsellors who can tell you how many millions (yes, millions!) their seniors all together earned in scholarship money (even with "such small graduating classes"). With so much complaint about the low quality of education in AZ, I am amazed about how much more complaint I am seeing when BASIS strives to reverse that trend. We as BASIS teachers push ourselves to reach every single student in our classroom, and I have seen so many struggling students who end up thriving once they realize their own strength. Also at BASIS, we as teachers hold office hours several hours a week where students can come in and get extra help on topics. We also devote a half hour each day with them just for organization checks and study skills. We don't throw a tough curriculum at them then hang them out there to dry. If a student does not take advantage then that is their choice, but how many public schools give extra support like that?
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