BASIS Schools Peoria Logo.jpg  

May 22, 2012  

BASIS Peoria Newsletter


In This Issue
BASIS Schools Dominate 2 Separate Rankings of America's Best High Schools
2012-2013 Elective Requests
School Schedule for Last Two Weeks
2012-2013 Registration, Waitlist, and Enrollment
Students Must Pick Up Instruments
Parents, Pick Up Your Medications
"Wizard of Oz" DVD for Sale
Practice ACT and SAT Announced

Math Preparatory Academy

Arizona Extracurricular School Tax Credits

Parents and Guardians of BASIS Peoria Students, 


Welcome to the May 22, 2012, edition of the BASIS Peoria school newsletter. We will publish these updates as often as necessary to share with you important information concerning student achievement and awards, academic programs, extracurricular activities and faculty.  


We are also sending this newsletter to parents and guardians of 2012-2013 enrolled, registered, and waitlisted students to give them instructions on next steps in the enrollment process and a preview of school activities for summer and the 2012-2013 school year.  


We welcome your feedback on how we can improve our newsletters to help better serve your needs and those of our students.    



Jeffrey Houser

Head of School 
BASIS Schools Dominate 2 Separate Rankings of America's Best High Schools

BASIS Tucson and BASIS Scottsdale rank in Washington Post and Newsweek Top 5

In its second annual ranking of America's high schools, The Washington Post named BASIS Tucson the #1 most challenging high school in the country. Eligible for the ranking for the first time this year, BASIS Scottsdale debuted at #5 on the list.

The very next day Newsweek announced its list of America's Best High Schools. Again, BASIS Scottsdale and BASIS Tucson both earned positions in the top 5, with BASIS Scottsdale ranking #3 in its Newsweek debut and BASIS Tucson ranking #5.

"The students at BASIS Tucson and BASIS Scottsdale have achieved a phenomenal feat," says Michael Block, Co-CEO of BASIS Educational Group. "We have long celebrated the accomplishments of our flagship campus in Tucson and I am thrilled that BASIS Scottsdale's debut on both rankings was so successful. We will continue our fierce devotion to raise the bar for American students and, as we expand, we look forward to having even more BASIS schools achieve top national rankings."

BASIS currently operates six schools in Arizona (BASIS Tucson - 1998, BASIS Scottsdale - 2003, BASIS Oro Valley - 2010, BASIS Chandler - 2011, BASIS Flagstaff - 2011, and BASIS Peoria - 2011) and plans to open two additional Arizona schools in 2012 (BASIS Phoenix and BASIS Tucson North).  BASIS will also embark on its first venture outside of Arizona when it opens a campus in the nation's capital in 2012 (BASIS DC).

The Washington Post and Newsweek rankings rely on different methodology to determine which high schools belong at the top of the list.  The Washington Post's ranking is based on the "Challenge Index" which measures the number of college-level tests (Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, and Advanced International Certificate of Education) given at a school in 2011 divided by the number of graduates that year.

Unlike the national high school rankings put out by Newsweek, the Challenge Index does not take into account students' performance on the college-level tests.   Jay Mathews, creator of the Challenge Index, explains: "I decided not to count passing rates in this way because I found that most high schools kept those rates artificially high by allowing only top students to take the courses... The Challenge Index is designed to identify schools that have done the best job in persuading average students to take college-level courses and tests."

BASIS Tucson's Challenge Index score was 19.522 while BASIS Scottsdale's index score was 15.160. "I think 1.000 is a modest standard," says Mathews. "A school can reach that level if only half of its students take one AP, IB or AICE test in their junior year and one in their senior year.  But this year only 9 percent of the approximately 22,000 U.S. public high schools managed to reach that standard and be placed on our list."

The Newsweek ranking relies on a methodology that is "designed to highlight public schools that excel at fostering a positive and effective learning environment, as well as preparing students for college."

The methodology for calculating each school's 2012 Newsweek score was comprised of six components based on statistics from the 2010-2011 school year: graduation rate (25 percent), college matriculation rate (25 percent), AP/IB/AICE tests taken per student (25 percent), average SAT/ACT scores (10 percent), average AP/IB/AICE scores (10 percent), and AP courses offered per student (5 percent).

Both BASIS Scottsdale and BASIS Tucson boasted 100 percent graduation rates and college matriculation rates.  BASIS Scottsdale averaged 3.1 AP tests per student with an average score of 4.1 out of a possible 5 points, while BASIS Tucson averaged 2.6 exams per student with an average score of 3.7.

"The fact that two BASIS campuses have been ranked among the nation's top 5 high schools by two separate rankings that rely on very different methodology emphasizes the quality of the BASIS academic program and our educational community," says Block. "BASIS Scottsdale and BASIS Tucson are not only challenging their students to reach higher levels of achievement, they are succeeding."

"I am enormously proud of our entire BASIS Tucson community," says Julia Toews, BASIS Tucson Head of School. "The fact that an open-enrollment school in Tucson, Arizona can achieve at this level just demonstrates the great potential of all students," says Toews.  "This is the product of very hard work and faith in the potential of young minds."

John Hillis, BASIS Scottsdale Head of School agrees, "The BASIS curriculum is challenging, but our students, families, teachers, and staff have really come together to create an incredible learning community.  They have proven that they can accomplish what many think is impossible.  I am thrilled with their success and the school thoroughly deserves to be ranked this highly."

The BASIS model is founded on the philosophy that average students can achieve at extraordinary levels when they are challenged.  All BASIS students begin taking AP courses and tests in their Freshman year, though many elect to take AP-level courses as early as 8th grade.  By the time they graduate, all BASIS students will have completed a minimum of 8 AP courses and 6 AP exams; however many graduates choose to test on as many as 9 or 10 AP exams. 

For more information about The Washington Post's ranking, please visit Washington Post ranking.

For more information about the Newsweek ranking, please visit Newsweek ranking.

For more information about BASIS Schools, please visit
2012-2013 Elective Requests for Current Students

Elective request forms were sent home with students yesterday for elective choices next year. The completed elective request forms for all grades except 8th are due back at school today. The completed request forms for 8th graders are due back at school no later than Tuesday, May 29, by fax or mail or in person.

Confirmation of electives will be given on the first day of school, Wednesday, August 8. Any fees for electives confirmed will be due on Thursday, August 9. Do not pay any elective fees now.

See the Quick Links attached herein for each elective form by grade.
School Schedule for Last Two Weeks

Except for the 5th grade schedule above, here is the schedule for grades 6 through 10 from Monday, May 14 through Friday, May 25.

School begins at 8:15 a.m. and ends at 1:00 p.m. with Early Bird starting at 7:00 a.m. and Late Bird ending at 3:30 p.m.  
2012-2013 Registration, Waitlist, and Enrollment

Readiness Test Results 

The Readiness Test math placement results are being emailed to parents.

Readiness Tests

Any student who missed taking the Readiness Tests on May 5 or May 19 may take them at BASIS Peoria from Tuesday, May 22, through Friday, June 1 from 8 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. School will be closed on Monday, May 28, for the Memorial Day holiday. Testing takes a maximum of two hours. Please call Mark Allen at 623.566.9100 to schedule an appointment in advance. 

Students transferring from another BASIS school need not take the test.
If your child is registered at both BASIS Peoria and BASIS Phoenix, choose only one school's Readiness Tests for your child to take. Both sets of Readiness Tests for BASIS Peoria and BASIS Phoenix are the same.

Math placement results will be communicated to parents via e-mail.
The results of the Math Readiness test will be used to place students in the most appropriate Math class. The results of the English Readiness tests are used by teachers to adjust their lesson plans for incoming students next year. 

Summer Programs

Math Preparatory Academy
We have extended the deadline for registration for the Math Preparatory Academy until May 25. Current 5th and 6th grade BASIS Peoria students and new students entering the 5th and 6th grades the Math Preparatory Academy, a short summer program from May 29 through June 1 from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. each day. The Math Preparatory Academy is designed to build skills in preparation for Saxon Math 8/7 and Saxon Algebra 1/2. See the Quick Link attached herein for more information. 

The cost of the Math Preparatory Academy is $200 and is eligible for the Arizona Tax Credit. See the Quick Link attached herein for more information about the Arizona Extracurricular School Tax Credit.

BASIS Organizational Strategies for Success (BOSS) 


For the second consecutive year, BASIS Peoria is offering a summer skills training class called "BASIS Organizational Skills for Success" or BOSS. Only new 5th and 6th grade students are eligible to register for BOSS. BOSS will be offered at school the week of July 30 through August 3. The class will be taught by History teacher Ms. Cox and include topics such as preparation and responsibility, health and safety, order and organization (including lockers), note taking and study skills, learning styles, field trips, and fun. The cost of BOSS is $200 and will include a session for parents to attend also.

See the Quick Links attached herein for a BOSS flyer, schedule, and registration form. The registration deadline is Friday, May 11. Don't miss the opportunity for your child to take this popular class. Register now!

BOSS is eligible for the Arizona Tax Credit. More information about the Arizona Extracurricular School Tax Credit is attached herein as a Quick Link.  


Academic Improvement Strategies

See the Quick Link attached herein for suggestions for self-guided summer academic improvement strategies for newly enrolling students at BASIS Peoria.

See the Quick Link attached herein for summer improvement ideas for incoming 5th graders.
Registration Process
We will continue to accept applications for 5th through 11th grade students for the 2012-2013 school year. We will call and email parents immediately when their children move from waitlisted to enrolled status.  

The process for new students to apply for the BASIS Peoria 2012-2013 school year starts on the web site > Sign Up > Register. Then either Log In or Create Account. Enter parent information first followed by your child's information. Then connect your child with BASIS Peoria school. Complete the online process by clicking on Register and then printing the screen. The first page of the printed packet lists the additional documents you need to bring to school. Bring these along with your completed registration packet to BASIS Peoria between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. on any day that school is open.

Please direct any issues or questions about the 2012-2013 application, waitlist, or registration processes to Mark Allen at or 623.566.9100.
Students Must Pick Up Instruments!

Students must pick up all their musical instruments from the music rooms no later than May 23.
Parents, Pick Up Your Children's Medications!

Parents and guardians, please pick up your children's medical prescriptions from the Front Office no later than the last day of school, Friday, May 25. Children will not be able to pick up their own prescriptions. Prescriptions left after the last day of school will be disposed.
"Wizard of Oz" DVD Available for Sale

Individual DVD are now available for the Friday and Saturday performances of "Wizard of Oz." The price is $10 for each individual performance payable by exact cash or check at the Front Office.

Students and parents who ordered BASIS Peoria logo apparel, should immediately contact Ryan Bethel at to pick up the items.
Practice ACT and SAT

BASIS Peoria will be hosting two practice college entrance exams over the summer.

Practice SAT: Wednesday, May 30, 10:00 a.m.-2:15 p.m.
Score Report Meeting: Wednesday, June 6, 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

Practice ACT*: Friday, August 3rd 8:00am - 12:00pm
Score Report Meeting: TBA
*Same ACT given on March 31, 2012

Students must RSVP by email at or in person to Mrs. Cox by Wednesday, May 23.

A practice PSAT/NMSQT (Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test) will be admin istered at school on Saturday, August 25, 2012 from 10:00 a.m. to noon. The score report meeting will be announced later.

We encourage you to visit the BASIS Peoria Boosters web site for information about fundraising events that benefit BASIS Peoria School and social events for BASIS Peoria parents and guardians.

Web Designer/Web Administrator

The BASIS Peoria Boosters are searching for a volunteer who would be willing to help design a new BASIS Peoria Boosters web page and  be willing to function as the Web Administrator.   In hopes of saving costs, we are asking for a volunteer to perform this task.  If you are interested, or know someone who may be willing to discuss this opportunity further, please contact the BASIS Peoria Boosters President
Sharon Preszler at

Ice Cream Tuesday

In order to celebrate the first year of accomplishments during the first year at BASIS Peoria, the Boosters will be serving ice cream to students and staff in the Multipurpose Room after the 1 p.m. release on Tuesday, May 22.

Book Exchange

Do you have books at home you purchased for your student this year that you would like to sell?   Would like to buy an incoming student an extra textbook for home use?  Are your students moving up and you want to buy textbooks for the next grade?   Bring your books to sell or trade or come to buy books from other parents.  This is an open exchange with no facilitator with a designated space for parents to sell, buy, and exchange textbooks.

BASIS Peoria Multipurpose Room
Tuesday, May 22 1:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.