BASSE Looks Forward to School Choice 2024

The Bryan Allen Stevenson School of Excellence (BASSE) is excited to start the process of enrolling 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students for the 2024-2025 school year. BASSE is a Georgetown-based free, public charter school focused on service-learning opening next fall.

“After the success of our Youth Leadership Lab, I’m very excited to welcome our students in the 2024 school year,” said BASSE’s Founding School Leader, Chantalle Ashford. “The youth leaders from our summer program built a strong foundation for our school community. We will continue to build on their work throughout the year and next school year.”

Students who participated in BASSE’s Youth Leadership Lab, a partnership with the nonprofit UP for Learning, have already made a mark on the school, contributing to the initial school culture and implementation plans. As a part of the program, students planned out three projects related to BASSE’s design: personalized learning, service learning, and scheduling.

The UP for Learning team, which will continue to support BASSE by hosting three more convenings of the students, is excited to continue this work.

Lindsey Halman, executive director of UP, shared that, “UP for Learning is grateful to be a partner with BASSE, especially with the alignment between the school, Bryan Stevenson’s life work, and UP’s own principles. At the core of UP’s beliefs is that every young person has a right to experience authentic and engaging learning within a caring community, seeding a life of learning and even joy.” UP believes it is essential that young adolescents make relevant connections to their own lives through their learning. She continued, “Building on the incredible work of the youth who attended the Youth Leadership Lab, UP will support the Student Voice Advisory in their continued work to design an innovative and engaging learning environment for all BASSE students!”

BASSE is building a pathway for leadership within Sussex County that starts with students. Through proximate service-learning experiences and a personalized and rigorous academic curriculum, they seek to cultivate students’ commitment to stay engaged and dedicated to Sussex County.

A core component of keeping student futures connected to Sussex County is preparing them for their life in high school and afterward. Through the Rethinking Middle Grades grant, supported by the Rodel Foundation and the Delaware Department of Education, BASSE is ensuring the design of their middle grades’ offerings is innovative by providing students with opportunities to participate in experiential and career-specific learning. BASSE is bringing together a group of students, parents, industry, and community partners to help co-design and provide feedback on these plans to innovate; a strategy that is aligned with their vision and mission.

The mission of BASSE, inspired by the words of its eponym, Bryan Stevenson, “Proximity is a pathway through which we learn the kind of things we need to know to make healthier communities,” is to provide opportunities for students through a service-learning lens combined with academic rigor.

Stevenson, originally from Milton, Delaware, is a widely acclaimed social justice activist, lawyer, and the founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, Ala. He and his staff have won reversals, relief, or release for over 135 wrongly condemned prisoners on death row. Stevenson has helped initiate major new anti-poverty and anti-discrimination efforts that challenge the legacy of racial inequality in America and educate communities about slavery, lynching, and racial segregation.

Stevenson continues to be lauded for his work and is the author of the critically acclaimed New York Times bestseller, Just Mercy. Michael B. Jordan portrayed him in the 2019 feature film that adapted Just Mercy which also starred Jamie Foxx. Most recently, Mr. Stevenson and BASSE were honored to be featured in Delaware Today magazine’s annual Kids Issue.

“Proximity is at the core of what we do,” BASSE Founder and Board Chair Dr. Teresa Berry noted. “We are excited to continue to work with our community partners to provide programs and services to our students as we work towards our 2024 opening.”

To date, BASSE has engaged 226 parents in a pre-enrollment survey, and 91% of respondents have indicated their intention to enroll their children in the school next fall. Applications to attend BASSE open in November for 6th, 7th, and 8th graders. For more information or to complete the survey, visit

The Bryan Allen Stevenson School of Excellence (BASSE) is excited to provide new learning opportunities for students in Sussex County. BASSE is a Georgetown-based tuition-free, public charter school focused on service-learning opening on the southern side of the Delaware Tech campus this fall.

Here are five things that set BASSE apart from other schools in the area:

  1. Personalized Learning: Each student has a Personalized Learning Plan (PLP) to help teachers understand their needs and ensure their academic and social-emotional success. Each student will have a learning environment that reflects their learning style and academic strengths and provides growth opportunities. BASSE is open to students regardless of learning needs, including students with IEPs and 504 plans.
  2. Service Learning: This teaching method combines meaningful service to the community with curriculum-based learning. Students apply their classroom knowledge to community problems, creating a cycle of learning, action, and reflection. Each student has three significant service-learning project experiences throughout their student life at BASSE: class-based service-learning projects (Grades 6-9), a small-group service-learning project (Grade 10), and an individualized service practicum (Grades 11 & 12).
  3. Inquiry-Driven Academics: BASSE plans to use the International Baccalaureate curriculum to support students in building a solid academic foundation, developing students’ confidence in managing their learning, and making connections between their education in the classroom and the real world.
  4. Extracurricular Activities for All Students: All students will participate in clubs of their choice and design based on student interests. Students will have access to sports and other activities like music, chess, Odyssey of the Mind, and entrepreneurship. BASSE will provide support for student participation by providing transportation and through our extended school day.
  5. Unique Schedule: BASSE has a unique schedule that includes a rotating block of classes, intentional time for service and enrichment, and a flexible Friday schedule for students to self-direct their learning with teacher guidance. Our extended school day provides time for students to participate in extracurricular activities and for students to get ample time to finish their work during school hours.

BASSE’s goal is to provide students with a challenging academic experience while giving them opportunities to fully engage with their community. Ms. Ashford, the school’s co-founder, academic head of school, and chief designer of the student and teacher experience at BASSE, prioritized balancing innovation and research-based practices.

As a career educator, Ms. Ashford is passionate about teaching and learning. She is delighted for the school to open in the fall and work closely with the staff, students, and families. “I wanted to design the school I would have liked to attend as a student and where I would want to work as an educator. I’m excited to lead a building where care and learning are at the center of what we do.”

Many of the families that have already enrolled their students are excited about BASSE’s 2023 opening as well. The Rogers family has followed BASSE’s progress from the beginning and is anticipating the first day of school.

“Our son loves hands-on learning and learns best when he doesn’t have extra large classes,” says Mrs. Rogers, whose son is enrolled in BASSE’s first 7th-grade class. “We love the extended school day, that they learn to help the community, and that he’ll participate in clubs. I definitely think he will enjoy it, and we can’t wait until September!”

Learn more at and apply to enroll your student today at

BASSE Excited to Increase Enrollment

The Bryan Allen Stevenson School of Excellence (BASSE) is excited to increase enrollment for the new charter school over the next two months. BASSE is a Georgetown-based free, public charter school focused on service-learning opening in the old Howard T. Ennis Building this fall.

 “We are grateful to the parents and students joining us in pursuing our vision to provide another learner-centered education option for the students of Sussex County,” said BASSE’s Founding School Leader, Chantalle Ashford. “Our students are essential to our success, and we look forward to creating a personalized and unique educational experience for them.”

BASSE is building a pathway for leadership within Sussex County that starts with students. Through proximate service-learning experiences and a personalized and rigorous academic curriculum, they seek to cultivate students’ commitment to stay engaged and dedicated to Sussex County. During the first year, students will make key decisions, ranging from the school’s mascot to co-designing the various service projects they will take on.

To date, the first quarter of 2023-2024 student body has signed up to attend BASSE in the fall. “Our students are our future,” Ms. Ashford continued, “Our goal is to provide them with the skills, resources, and opportunities to grow as learners and leaders that will make a positive impact across our county, state, and beyond.”

BASSE is continuing to grow its numbers through media appearances, social media, and attending community events. Know a community whose students would benefit from learning about BASSE? Email our academic head of school, Chantalle Ashford ([email protected]).