BASIS Scottsdale

Posted on June 25, 2007 | Type: Press Release
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Since 2003, BASIS Scottsdale has offered parents and middle school students in the greater Phoenix area a world class educational option.  In 2007, BASIS Scottsdale opened an Upper School, which offers the same curriculum that earned BASIS Tucson a top ten ranking in Newsweek’s “America’s Best [Public] High Schools: The Top 100” list.  Schools Director, Diane Moser, and founders, Michael and Olga Block, anticipate that BASIS Scottsdale will join BASIS Tucson on Newsweek’s top 100 when it becomes eligible for ranking after a few years in operation.

The BASIS Scottsdale Middle School curriculum was inspired by the Core Knowledge Sequence, guided by the basic Arizona state standards and infused with European K-12 traditions. The overall objective of the middle school curriculum is to prepare students for the rigors of the College Board’s AP courses beginning in 9th grade.  The Saxon program is utilized for math, culminating in algebra I in 7th grade and algebra II in 8th grade.  Biology, chemistry, and physics are taught as separate subjects, all of which are required.  Latin is taken in 5th and 6th grade to create the foundation for studying English and scientific terminology.  Students must either continue with Latin or take a modern foreign language beginning in 7th grade, choosing between Spanish, French, or Mandarin Chinese. English classes emphasize critical thinking skills in reading and writing.  At BASIS, students study social science, not social studies.  Courses cover world and US history on a timeline, and there is a separate economics course that examines the basic concepts of a market economy.  Physical education and fine arts compliment the rigorous academic curriculum, offering, among other things, music history and theory, art fundamentals, and martial arts.

The curriculum at BASIS Scottsdale Upper School is centered around the College Board’s AP program in all core subjects and is one of the most rigorous high school programs in the country.  All students complete calculus, physics, biology, chemistry, US, European, and world history, English literature, critical writing and analysis, and a modern foreign language before they graduate—and they do all this by the end of their junior year.  This allows time during their senior year to engage in a senior research project off campus. Students are required to take 5 science courses including 2 AP level science courses. The only substitution possible is AP micro and macro economics in place of one AP science.  Moreover, students will take at least 6 AP exams during their high school tenure.

BASIS offers the type of education that students receive in other industrialized countries, however with a uniquely American flavor.  It is the type of education, according to founders Michael and Olga Block, that Americans will need to continue to compete successfully in the global economy. 

According to Craig Barrett, Chairman and former CEO of Intel, “Every city should have a BASIS high school.”  With the opening of BASIS Scottsdale Upper School in 2007, founders Michael and Olga Block are one step closer to achieving that goal. 

For more information on BASIS Scottsdale, please visit, or contact the Upper School Office at (480) 451-7560 or the Middle School Office at (480) 451-7500.

If you are interested in making a donation to assist BASIS Scottsdale in maintaining its world class curriculum and teachers, please contact the Associate Schools Director, Arwynn Mattix, at (480) 451-7560.

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