Monday, February 13, 2012
Penn Quarter's Charter School
The answer may get a bit easier come fall. BASIS, an Arizona-based charter school, will open its doors to the 319 students currently enrolled in September. BASIS will be located at 412 8th Street, just across the street from the Lansburgh (an easy enough commute for those kids!).
BASIS founders Olga and Michael Block developed a European-style curriculum in order to keep American students competitive in a global economy. Students will be required to take six AP exams before graduation, and receive instruction in physics, chemistry and biology for nine hours a week. Eighth graders are required to pass a University of Cambridge international benchmarking exam.
Concerned your kids would be behind if enrolled? An article in today's Washington Post reports that the curriculum will be tweaked next school year in order to "meet kids where they've been" and allow them to catch up to the BASIS standards -- standards that earned each of the Arizona BASIS schools national ranking with Newsweek, the Washington Post, and U.S. News & World Report.
Some critics have said that BASIS was able to be so successful because of Arizona's far less diverse student population. BASIS answered by announcing their dual track in foreign languages: one for native/bilingual speakers in grammar, writing and literature, and one for those who are new to the language, whether it be French, Spanish or Mandarin.
If nothing else, the school promises an influx of students to our neighborhood come fall - which will bring bus and parent traffic, among other things. One for the pro column, certainly: we have to think that the demand for the larger Penn Quarter condos will rise as parents begin to consider our neighborhood family-friendly.
APRIL 24 UPDATE: At the Downtown DC BID's State of Downtown, it was announced that the school is now oversubscribed.
Posted by Insider Media at 10:40 AM