BASIS Independent Bellevue is opening alongside an experienced team of educators and BASIS Independent School Leaders, including our very own Head of School, Ms. Thies. Some of you have also met Mr. Walker on a Campus Tour, who was previously the Head of School of BASIS Independent Silicon Valley.
Both Ms. Thies and Mr. Walker were recently featured in different interviews to discuss our unique symbiotic classroom model in our Primary Program and how parents can better help their child excel in school. We are excited to share their insights with you! See below to find links to the full articles.
Middle school is a time of substantial transition—academically and emotionally—for students as they leave the more nurturing elementary years and begin their preparation for high school and beyond. Because these years are filled with increasingly complex content, it is critical for students to build and fortify their foundational knowledge across a wide variety of disciplines.
This is the first in a three-part blog series that will provide an in-depth look into the BASIS Independent Middle School Program, which is designed to ready students with the knowledge, confidence, and independence needed to excel inside and outside the classroom, as well as provide them ample opportunity to discover their passions. This first blog post will focus specifically on the BASIS Curriculum in the middle school years, which has been honed and optimized to reflect today’s growing expectations in education.
Since we announced the opening of BASIS Independent Bellevue this past August, we have met many wonderful families and their student(s). It has been a true pleasure to get to know everyone, introduce them to our program, answer their questions, and meet their students. It has been exciting to meet future musicians, artists, mathematicians, astronauts, micro biologists, engineers, veterinarians, and hear other diverse aspirations from the students we have engaged with.
Our Admissions Team receives a variety of common questions, which we enjoy answering to help families discover our program, approach to learning, and foundational differences. Below are ten frequently asked questions that we receive and that we want to share with you.
If you have a question that is not answered below, please contact us and we will be happy to answer it!
When families learn about our Primary Program (Grades 2 - 4), they often ask us the same question: “Why do we teach Mandarin to students?”
Mandarin is a required part of the BASIS Curriculum in Grades 2 - 4 because Mandarin provides our early learners with several core development opportunities. Mandarin’s use of written characters for each word provides students with visual and artistic stimulation. How to read and write characters also follows logical patterns that help develop critical thinking and analytical skills.
Introducing Mandarin at an early age promotes the development of interdisciplinary thought and analysis, enabling the students to draw connections between their lessons from many of their subjects such as math, science, art, and even English. The Co-Founders and visionaries behind the BASIS Curriculum intentionally crafted our program for Primary, Middle, and High School to build upon the other and stretch critical thinking and problem solving skills. The inclusion of Mandarin in our Primary Program is just one example of our pedagogical approach.
From a nationally recognized STEM-focused, liberal arts curriculum to an outdoor field, gym, and modernized classrooms, BASIS Independent Bellevue's campus is the centerpiece of our mission to raise critical thinking and problem solving to an international level.
BASIS Independent Bellevue is located in the tree-lined Crossroads and Lake Hills neighborhood between downtown Bellevue and Lake Sammamish. Our school is opening fall 2022 with Grades 2 - 7 to start, and each school year, we will expand into a Middle and High School Program (Grades 5 - 12). We are now accepting applications for Grades 2 - 7.
In our first year, students will engage in a variety of classrooms, a gym, and outdoor field. Initially, our campus will be shared with the Jewish Day School of Bellevue (JDS) for the first several years of our operation. During this first year, BASIS Independent Bellevue students will have a dedicated campus wing of classrooms and administrative offices separate from JDS classrooms and offices. In upcoming phases, BASIS Independent Bellevue will expand into more classrooms. Around the same time, JDS will relocate to a different location in the Seattle-Bellevue metropolitan area, and BASIS Independent Bellevue will become the sole owner of the existing campus and all facilities.
Ready to take a look at our classrooms and more? Let's explore!
What makes BASIS Independent Schools special? This is a question that I, as Head of School of BASIS Independent Bellevue, receive time and again as I meet new families and get the opportunity to speak to people about our new school opening in Bellevue. While there is not just one answer to this question (as I believe that our school is different in a variety of ways) there is one particular area of our Primary Program that I believe stands out above the rest. This is our two-teacher model involving a Learning Expert Teacher (LET) and Subject Expert Teacher (SET).
“What is an LET and SET?” Well, in an effort to explain what each of these acronyms mean, the roles that they play, and how it all comes together to best support our students, I want to briefly talk about the tandem land navigation exercises that I participated in while in the military. During these training exercises, I would work together with a partner in a two-person team and within this team, each of us had a specific responsibility. One member was responsible for holding the compass and guiding the expedition, so to speak, while the other scanning the area for obstacles or areas of concern. If any such hazards were identified, we would stop, take a moment together to formulate a plan, and then continue on with the mission. In fact, when broken down like this, I believe that our LET/SET teaching model actually works in a very similar way.
Ask any BASIS Independent student what they love about our program and “the teachers” is the first thing they mention. It is the passion, dedication, and expertise of our teachers that encourage students to question, make connections, experiment, and take on and apply deep content knowledge.
Ms. Elizabeth Thies, Head of School of BASIS Independent Bellevue, who has been and continues to be a stand out figure in the development of BASIS Curriculum Schools Subject Expert Teachers. Her vision for our school is, “To create a leading and robust learning community that empowers both students and teachers and allows us to work together to best serve the needs of the BASIS Independent Bellevue community.”
“I am passionate about training teachers,” Ms. Thies expressed, “and I look forward to having the opportunity to learn more about our students and working with our faculty to create a school learning environment that is engaging and compels our students to be excited about the learning process.”
There’s nothing quite like discovering a new private school than by stepping onto its campus grounds to learn more about the program and the student learning experience.
We are excited to announce we offering families a tour of BASIS Independent Bellevue as our classrooms undergo renovation. We are offering private campus tours on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays at 4:30 PM and 5:15 PM. Campus tours are on a first come, first served basis and we will accommodate your tour request as best as possible. Tours will last approximately 30 minutes. Our campus is located in the Crossroads neighborhood of Bellevue. Click here to register for a campus tour!
BASIS Independent Bellevue is opening fall 2022 with Grades 2 - 7 to start. Our campus will grow a grade level each school year as we expand to a full 5-12 program. In our program, students participate in a curriculum benchmarked to the best education systems in the world, brought to life by passionate Subject Expert Teachers, and in a culture of support. For these reason and more, our students build a love for learning and achieve extraordinary outcomes as they discover their potential.
Welcome to BASIS Independent Bellevue!
In our private school, we combine the world's highest academic standards with the innovation and creative spirit of American education. We set the bar high for students with an advanced, content-rich curriculum spanning both the liberal arts and STEM, led by passionate Subject Expert Teachers who support them along their journey. Through a focus on interdisciplinary instruction and experiential learning, our program fosters individuality, self-confidence, and resilience as students build critical inquiry and problem-solving skills.
We believe any motivated student can meet and exceed whatever challenge they face. Our ultimate goal is to inspire students to become active participants--not spectators--in their education and beyond.
Inspired by the blissful feeling of uncovering connections, our blog Eureka! Bellevue is about sharing moments that capture the essence of what it is to be a BASIS Independent student, teacher, administrator, or family.