Our founders, Michael and Olga Block, began with a core belief: The goal of a great education is to provide students with choices, limitless opportunities, and to send them into colleges and professions empowered to shape their own futures.
Upon relocating to Arizona from her native Czech Republic, Olga Block was determined to find a great school for her daughter Petra. Having served as Dean of Students at Charles University in Prague, she was accustomed to the high academic standards typical of European schools. As a Professor of Economics at the University of Arizona, her husband, Michael Block, was also familiar with the disparity between U.S. academic standards and those of European and Asian educational systems. Searching for a school that measured up, they recognized a great need. In 1998, the Blocks opened BASIS Tucson, where 58 middle school students became the first class at the first BASIS Charter School.
Olga believed that, if you have the right tools and are willing to work hard, potential for learning is unlimited. By hiring teachers who held degrees and professional experience in their field of expertise, students could tap into deep fountains of knowledge that fueled a robust curriculum set to the highest international benchmarks. The recipe was a success. Students adapted to the challenging curriculum, reached higher expectations, and thrived in a rich learning community.
Confident that this transformative model could be replicated, the Blocks opened BASIS Scottsdale in 2003. Soon our schools were earning international recognition, as they began a legacy of topping national rankings, being named #1 among America’s Best High Schools, by Newsweek, and #1 Best High School, by U.S. News & World Report.
2010 began a broad expansion of the K–12 BASIS Charter School network, as our reputation for excellence grew. Today, the network comprises 31 campuses from coast to coast. In 2021, seven of the top ten charter high schools in the United States are BASIS Charter Schools, as ranked by U.S. News & World Report—including the #1 charter school in the nation, BASIS Chandler. Our graduates earn, on average, over $100,000 in college scholarships per student and go on to some of the nation’s top universities.
The Blocks set out to create a network of the finest schools in the world, representing America at its best. The result is a K–12 program that fuses the creativity, innovation, experimentation, and problem-solving of legendary intellectual communities, like Bell Labs and NASA.
Today, this vision is being fulfilled by passionate, experienced teachers who inspire students to love learning. They show students the satisfaction gained from hard work and the joy of intellectual challenges. Students come to understand the importance of perseverance in overcoming adversity and in leading a productive and stimulating life.
BASIS.ed and the network of BASIS Charter Schools are experienced when it comes to learning, and we know how important it is to families in our communities. We operate and manage some of the best charter schools in the nation, and we provide our students with the support to achieve amazing academic outcomes, which results in more choices and opportunities to help them succeed.