On a rainy Saturday evening right before Mother's Day, our parents gathered on campus to socialize and hear Head of School Hadley Ruggles present her annual State of the School address. It was an opportunity to relax together and celebrate student accomplishments while looking ahead to the future and upcoming academic year.
Below, we've included several excerpts from the State of the School address:
"As a school, we have much to celebrate. In the past year, we won second place in New York City’s Science Bowl, coming close to defeating the reigning champions of several years. One middle school student not from our school described our team as 'the crowd favorite' for being the new team to take on the old champs!"
"We sent our first debate teams to city championships and to state championships, where our 8th grade students (who were granted special exception to compete against much older students) earned 4th in the state."
"Our girls’ volleyball team continued their streak of athletic success, and joining their ranks; our boys’ basketball team also made it to play-offs. These accomplishments serve as a few highlights among many more—accomplishments at all grade bands and disciplines."
The BASIS Independent Upper School Program is recognized as one of the most academically advanced high school programs in the country. By the time our students are ready to graduate, they have gone through extensive college preparatory courses of study, including a full year of economics in grade 8, a variety of AP course electives, and in-depth college counseling courses, fully preparing them to excel in college and beyond.
Reading is as important a tool as ever in building students' understanding of different cultures and viewpoints. Few media can accomplish as much as a compelling story can. To celebrate the importance of literacy, we have some exciting upcoming reading events planned for our community.
Parent FAQ Series: "I have the option to apply this year for grade 5, or next year for grade 6. What is the benefit of applying for grade 5?" We've had many parents ask this question when they attend our admissions events, and we are excited to explore the answer in depth!
As a BASIS Independent Brooklyn founding faculty member, Ms. Hetty King has explored themes of yoga, anatomy, dance, nutrition, rhythm, and more with our youngest students since our school first opened four years ago. Ms. King brings years of professional dance and movement experience to the classroom as well as years of teaching children of all ages. You can read more about her extensive experience here.
We asked Ms. King to share some of her practices with our families, so parents could understand more of the thought and deliberation that goes into her lesson planning. This post is a behind-the-scenes look at her work with both our Early Learning Program and Primary School students.
Exploring other countries and cultures first-hand is an amazing opportunity for students. BASIS Independent Brooklyn has hosted Middle and High School trips to Europe for two years in a row now. Last year we added a grade 5 tour of Costa Rica, which really allowed our physical geography students the chance see their lessons come to life before their eyes.
Based on extremely positive feedback from families and faculty, we are expanding tours offered to a wider range of students in spring 2018.
"These guided educational tours led by our faculty have been a highlight of the school year for many of our students," said Rachel Soszynski, Director of Auxiliary Programming. "We value the engaging, participatory learning experience that is very much in line with our BASIS Independent approach. Having a tour guide dealing with the logistics allows our faculty on the trip to focus on reacting to student questions directly and expanding the discussion."
This coming spring we are expanding the number of educational school trips.
We are eager to introduce you to Dr. Diana Cruz our new Director of Student Affairs for Gr. 8-11 as we make way for carving out an identity for our high school program. She joins us from Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC) where she worked with Lauren Fisher, our Dean of Students for Gr. 5-7. Diana pursued her master's and doctorate at Boston College in literature.
During and after graduate school Dr. Cruz taught American literature and African-American literature at the college level for about 16 years, but she truly enjoyed working with students and gravitated to the student support side, most recently at BMCC.
Dr. Cruz looks forward to supporting our students and working closely with our first graduating class. We had the chance to ask her some questions, so our families could get to know her better.
This week marked many firsts for our students. It was an especially exciting week for our pioneer students – it was the first time students in their junior year of high school stepped into the lobby of BASIS Independent Brooklyn! Soon enough they will be crossing the graduation stage as our first graduating class ever, but let’s not get too ahead of ourselves…
Faculty and staff are thrilled to continue to nurture mentorships and roll out programs customized to the interests of our growing high school student body. From an inaugural "formal" dance in the spring to expanded class offerings, and not to mention new after school competitions, sports, and clubs, our high school is really coming into its own.
We are proud to announce Ms. Heather Rodney recently joined our BASIS Independent Brooklyn team as Dean of Students for our Early Learning Program (ELP). Ms. Rodney uprooted her family from North Carolina and just moved to Brooklyn to work alongside Director Ms. Kalia in preparing for the 2017-2018 school year. Ms. Rodney brings more than 10 years experience as a classroom teacher and literacy expert to our school.
After attending our network-wide training in Arizona in July, Ms. Rodney sat down with us to answer some questions we thought would help our families get to know her better.
BASIS Independent Brooklyn's physics teacher Mr. Winter is a NASA-certified eclipse expert. We asked him to share with our families why he is thrilled about the upcoming eclipse and how people can safely witness the celestial event.
What is a total solar eclipse?
A total solar eclipse is when the Moon passes between the Earth and the Sun so that the Moon's shadow falls on the Earth. By sheer luck, our Moon happens to be 400 times smaller than the Sun, but it also happens to be 400 times closer. As a result, the two objects appear to be almost the exact same size in the sky. During an eclipse, an observer who happens to be standing under the Moon's shadow would see the Sun completely blotted out of the sky. Day becomes night for a few minutes and you can even see stars!
Inspired by the blissful feeling of uncovering connections, our blog Eureka! Brooklyn is about sharing moments that capture the essence of what it is to be a BASIS Independent student, teacher, administrator, or family.