Make BASSE a Reality for Sussex County Students!
BASSE is a free public charter school in Sussex County planning to open in fall 2023. We’re now recruiting for grades 6-7.
As a service-learning secondary school, we will provide meaningful, personalized experiences and leadership opportunities for our students. Combined with a challenging academic curriculum, BASSE will offer students a unique chance to explore, achieve, and positively impact their school and their community.
We need your help to open our doors.
To open our new charter school, we must apply to the Delaware Department of Education. An important part of the application is the level of support in the community for our school.
If you plan to submit an application for your child(ren) in the fall 2023 school year, or you’re interested in learning more, please complete the brief form below. This helps us measure support for our new school. Keep in mind, you’re not obligated to enroll your child if you complete the form.
As a parent, we know you have questions.
We’ve compiled some frequently asked questions to help you decide if BASSE would be right for your child(ren).
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, their 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
- Your child will be held to high academic standards – BASSE’s curriculum provides a unique, challenging, and diverse education. This enables students to think critically and solve complex problems, drive their own learning, be more culturally aware, and engage with people in a rapidly changing world. They’ll be well prepared for college or be ready to enter the workforce.
- Your child will enjoy real-world, hands-on learning experiences – Each student is required to complete an intensive service-learning program of more than 100 hours. In addition, all BASSE students will participate in the Summer Intensive program prior to their junior year, where they’ll be connected with community partners to work in their fields of choice.
- Your child will develop as a leader – BASSE will host a summer youth leadership development camp in partnership with other community organizations. Students from across Sussex County will come up with innovative solutions for problems they identify.
- Your child will receive personalized learning – With a low student-to-teacher ratio, we’ll have the flexibility to allow each student to drive their own learning objectives and receive any accommodations they need. Plus, each BASSE student will participate in club programs for two or three hours per week to explore their unique interests.
BASSE has already begun building connections and networks with Sussex County leaders, non profit organizations, and businesses to provide service-learning opportunities for our future students and understand the needs of our community. As our students apply their knowledge and skills beyond the classroom, their passion and innovation will fuel positive improvements throughout Sussex County. In short, we’re building a leadership pathway that starts with students. The role of BASSE is to prepare, educate, motivate, and inspire advocates who stay engaged for the long-term benefit of Sussex County.
Parents will be invited to all school meetings, events, 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 topics such as our curriculum, service-learning, and community partnerships. Access is a priority, so we’ll offer virtual formats and accommodate the many languages spoken at home by our students and their families.
Our school is inspired by the life and work of Bryan Stevenson, 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 has 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, which is based on his memoir Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption. Stevenson’s principles of integrity, justice, and excellence are foundational to foster success and leadership in our Delaware students.
BASSE believes in providing students with challenging academic experience while deeply immersing them in community opportunities and career experiences. To accomplish both, we have added additional time each day. Our 7.5 hour schedule allows for 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. We also start classes later, just after 8:00 a.m. This provides students with a schedule closer to the real world. It’s also a best practice in adolescent brain development.
To apply for BASSE, the student and their family must be Delaware residents. The student must be eligible to enter 6th, 7th, 8th, or 9th grade in the 2023-2024 school year. Therefore, we’re currently recruiting students in 4th and 5th 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. We will determine the number of students per grade based on the parent support we receive.
If the number of applications exceeds the number of openings, BASSE will hold a lottery on March 4, 2023. We will conduct a blind lottery process so all students will have an equal chance at a spot in the remaining available seats. Depending on the type and amount of applications received, we will run the lottery manually or via a computerized method.
Like other charter schools, BASSE receives some of its operating funds from the state of Delaware. Our school is also supported by grants, private donations and fundraisers.
Although not yet finalized, BASSE will be located in central Sussex County in the Georgetown/Milton area.
BASSE will provide free transportation to any student in Sussex County.
Express Your Interest
By answering the questions below, we can measure support for our new school. We may share this information with the Department of Education as part of our charter application.