The BASIS Charter School Curriculum in grades 4–7 is one of the most comprehensive middle school programs in the world. It continues to help students develop academic and organizational skills that prepare them for more demanding courses offered in grades 8–12.
Our 4–7 curriculum introduces students to major concepts and skills that they will utilize first in interdisciplinary courses such as Classics, Physical Geography, Introduction to Science, and Engineering & Technology; then in standalone subjects such as Physics and World History; and later in Advanced Placement® (AP) courses. Students revisit these concepts often, in an integrated “spiral” of increasing depth and complexity. A typical grade 7 student at BASIS Charter Schools is enrolled in Algebra I as well as thrice-weekly courses in Chemistry, Biology, and Physics, a foreign language, English, History, Logic, and an elective.
Through our spiraled curriculum, concepts like homeostasis (introduced in grade 6 Biology, with a focus on the organ systems of the human body) are revisited every year. In grade 7 Biology, homeostasis is studied in diverse systems of life on Earth. By grade 8 Biology, students expand their knowledge as they focus on how genetic mutations and cancers affect homeostasis at the cellular level. In this progression, students master difficult material by the time they enroll in AP courses.
Students in grades 4–7 move to a different course and teacher every 50 minutes. In each class, students learn different strategies to help them adopt the responsibility and autonomy of a true BASIS Charter School student. Our experience with these grades has taught us that even the most brilliant student can fail an exam because they don’t have the right study skills or lose credit on an assignment because their locker is a mess. That’s why we invest considerable time in building the responsibility and organizational ardor that allow our students to thrive in middle school and beyond.