Reflections on My Charter High School Experience

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Christina Johnson, current student at King's College London and alumna of BASIS DC charter school

This blog post is part of our celebration of charter school graduates across the country and their achievements. Join us in celebrating our #CharterGrads!

Despite feeling like I couldn’t wait for graduation at the time, I have only fond memories of my time at BASIS DC. I graduated almost a year ago and I have just completed my first year at King’s College London.

What I loved most about my time attending a charter school is how close everyone was. I had a personal relationship with every single one of my teachers and I’d had the same classmates from 6th grade until graduation. At the time, I only somewhat appreciated how special this was and how fortunate I was to experience it. I knew from visiting my friends’ schools and seeing how huge they were in comparison that my experience was unique, but since attending college my appreciation for that experience has grown significantly. I recognize now how valuable it was having teachers who knew me and could check in and help me catch up when I fell behind, whereas in college none of my professors know my name.

My favorite memory from my school was a camping trip we went on at the end of my sophomore year. After exams finish every year, my school has a “project week” where all teachers come up with various activities (i.e. watching movies, touring restaurants of the city, or in my case, camping) and students sign up to whichever one they want. A group of 15 of of us went camping in the Shenandoah Valley with a few of our teachers and it was such a fun experience. It was a great opportunity to get close to everyone and get to know my teachers on a more personal level. It helped me connect more with my classes the following year. I think this really showcases how close knit my school’s community isour relationships with our peers are not limited to the classrooms. As a graduate, I am still active in my graduating class’s group chat, and still see my classmates as much as possible when I am home. I also visit my school to see my old teachers and younger friends.

The most important thing I took away from my high school experience is that it helped me prepare for college by teaching me necessary leadership skills. My high school also gave me the ability to form meaningful relationships with people. I founded and ran my school’s Gay Straight Alliance and that experience taught me so much. I’m now an active member of my college’s student union and—after just one year on the college’s soccer team—I’ve been elected onto the team’s committee.


Christina Johnson will enter her sophomore year at King’s College London majoring in human geography. Christina is a graduate of BASIS DC. Christina will be interning this summer with the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools.


[Click to Tweet] Christina Johnson is an alumni of @BASISDC and current student at @KingsCollegeLon spending the summer interning for @charteralliance! #CharterGrads

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