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! 

The transitional years in middle school, set between foundational learning in elementary school and subject mastery in high school, can sometimes be seen as the lost years of education. However, these are the years where independence truly develops and where students can prepare for future academic settings.

At BASIS Independent Silicon Valley, our Middle School Program begins in grade 5. There are distinct advantages to transitioning your child directly into grade 5 versus waiting until a later grade, and those students who join us earlier often see tremendous success in our middle and high school programs. Because the intermediate years of middle school are critical, beginning as soon as possible is essential for a comfortable and easy transition.

Below are five benefits of starting your child in grade 5 versus higher grades:

1) Easier program assimilation. Beginning in grade 5 allows your child to adjust to rotating classes and utilizing lockers, as well as using Communication Journals (CJ). This grade is an entry grade at our campus, and all of our students are entering our community new at the same point. There are great opportunities to build connections with new classmates and teachers. 

2) Exposure to curricular content. The BASIS Independent Middle School Program provides a liberal arts and sciences program with a STEM offering. Our program is specifically designed to lay the exciting foundation of deeper learning and connections. Students are exposed to a new curriculum and have the flexibility to build organization skills as well work and study habits. 5th grade at BASIS Independent provides a connection to an elementary environment with exposure to middle school content taught by subject expert teachers for each discipline. 

3) Exposure to Subject Expert Teachers. Our educators are deeply invested in every child’s success. The earlier students have the chance to lay down the groundwork for critical thought and application with a teacher who has deep content knowledge, the better. They will have more chance to build a trusting and supportive relationship with your child.

4) Additional year of Saxon Math. Starting in grade 5 allows students to transition even more seamlessly into Pre-Algebra or Algebra 1 in grade 6.

5) Early introduction to Latin. Students in grade 5 take Latin, which is required in grade 6. An extra year enables general language acquisition and helps students to have a more thorough understanding of the subject matter by the next year. Latin is a classical language and helps students in grades 5 and 5 with the sciences and developing critical thought. 

On starting their child in grade 5, one of our parents had this to say:

“The biggest selling point for us is the early start of Latin and STEM teaching. Also the school offers an opportunity for children at a young age to be in leadership positions as in peer tutoring and Student Ambassadors. This is in additions to all the other optional clubs that children can readily take advantage of after school, not to mention the great subject matter teachers that they have for each area of science, art, literature, music, and more.”

Our exceptional teaching staff and school administration will ensure that any transition your child makes into our curriculum, be it grade 5 or grade 6, is as smooth as possible! We offer extensive support for both parents and students according to their individual needs.

BASIS Independent Silicon Valley is a grades 5–12 private school in San Jose. The deadline to submit an application for fall 2018 is January 31, 2018. To learn more about Admissions or to apply, please click here. Please reach out to Admissions via e-mail with any questions.