The Valley’s top schools have new competition moving to Scottsdale next year.
BASIS Scottsdale, an extension of a Tucson college preparatory charter school, will open to sixth- and seventh-graders for the 2003-04 school year.
"The bar is raised quite high with the expectation that kids can accomplish a higher standard than I think we often set for our kids," said Jamie Capobres, a parent who plans to send her daughter to the new school next year.
The curriculum is heavy on academics, particularly science and mathematics, and the Tucson site boasts high scores on the Stanford 9 and Arizona’s Instrument to Measure Standards tests.
"It’s the next level really above what’s available, even in a good public school system," said Michael Block, a University of Arizona economics and law professor and co-founder of the school.
Block and his wife, Olga, a former vice dean of students at Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic, started the Tucson campus after finding public schools lacked the academic rigor they wanted for their daughter.
Expanding to Scottsdale was a good fit because parents in the area are looking for college preparatory education for their children in sixth through 12 th grades, Block said.
"(Public schools are) not bad, they’re just not heavy on content, they don’t push the kids," said Block, who said the school is modeled after highly academic European academies.
The school has accreditation from the American Academy for Liberal Education, held by only five charter schools in the country.
Tempe Preparatory Academy, the Valley’s only school labeled "excelling" by the state, shares that recognition.
Daniel Scoggins, Tempe Preparatory headmaster, said if the Tucson school’s reputation carries over, the Scottsdale school should be a rigorous addition to the area. The small school will be temporarily located at 86 th Street and McDonald Drive, and will move north to San Salvador Drive and Via Linda the following year.
What: Informational meeting for BASIS Scottsdale School, a new charter preparatory school
When: 7 p.m. Thursday
Where: Mustang Public Library, 10101 N. 90 th St.
Information: (480) 650-8347 or (520) 326-6367