We’ve compiled a list of charter school FAQs to help you assess whether the Bryan Allen Stevenson School of Excellence (BASSE) is right for your student.
Like public schools, public charter schools are free to attend, publicly funded, and must follow federal education laws and regulations. Here’s how they differ.
- Regulation – The charter establishing each school is a contract with the Delaware Department of Education. It outlines the school’s mission, curriculum, and measurable goals.
- Standards – Although each charter school has its own academic program, its curriculum must align with the Delaware Content Standards. Like all other public school students, charter school students participate in the Delaware System of Student Assessment.
- Choice – Unlike public schools, students are not assigned to charter schools based on where they live. Their parents must apply for their child to attend.
- Admission – Charter schools cap admissions, using a lottery system if there are too many applicants. This ensures a low student-to-teacher ratio and that every student has the resources they need
BASSE will invite parents to all school meetings and school-based fundraising events. BASSE will also provide specific programming for parents. Our goal is to give you plenty of opportunities to stay actively involved in your child’s academic life. We plan to offer workshops covering our curriculum, service-learning, and community partnerships. Access is a priority, so we’ll provide virtual formats and accommodate the many languages our students and their families speak at home.
Our school is inspired by the life and work of Bryan Stevenson, a prolific social justice activist and lawyer from Milton, Delaware. He’s the Founder and Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI), a human rights organization in Montgomery, Alabama. Mr. Stevenson is a distinguished public interest lawyer who dedicated his career to helping the poor, the incarcerated, and the condemned. You may have seen him depicted in the acclaimed 2019 movie Just Mercy, based on his memoir Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption. Stevenson’s principles of integrity, justice, and excellence are foundational to fostering success and leadership in our Delaware students.
The student and their family must be Delaware residents, and you must pre-register your student in a Delaware public school district. The student must be eligible to enter 6th, 7th, or 8th grade in the 2024-2025 school year. Therefore, we’re currently recruiting students in the 5th, 6th, and 7th grades.
BASSE will not discriminate against any student in the admission process because of their race, religion, creed, color, sex, disability, or national origin. We will also not discriminate due to the student’s school district of residence providing a per-student local expenditure lower than another student seeking admission.
BASSE will admit 250 students in its first year with approximately 100 seats in 6th grade, 100 seats in 7th grade, and 50 seats in 8th grade.
BASSE will hold a lottery if the number of applications exceeds the openings. We will conduct a blind lottery, so all students have an equal chance at a spot in the remaining available seats. The Data Service Center will conduct the lottery. They are an unaffiliated third party with over 30 years of experience in school choice.
BASSE has three preferences:
- Siblings of students currently enrolled at the school.
- Children of persons employed permanently for at least 30.0 hours per week during the school year by the charter school
- Students interested in BASSE’s teaching methods, philosophy, or educational focus.
Students who have a specific interest in BASSE’s teaching methods, philosophy, and education focus will need to demonstrate their interest in the BASSE program through a submission or documented participation in a BASSE program. A detailed outline of preference requirements will be posted soon.
Like other charter schools, BASSE receives some of its operating funds from the state of Delaware. Grants, private donations, and fundraisers also support our school.
BASSE is located in Georgetown, DE. The school’s address is 20346 Ennis Street, Georgetown, DE, 19947.
BASSE will provide free transportation to any student in Sussex County.
BASSE will serve grades 6 through 12 once it is fully enrolled. For its first year, BASSE will only serve grades 6, 7, and 8; each following year, BASSE will add a 6th grade class. Students will be enrolled at BASSE until they graduate, with our first class graduating in 2029 and our second class graduating in 2030.