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!
Q1: What grades are you opening for fall 2022?
We will open with Grades 2–7 to start. Each school year, we will add a grade level as we expand into a full middle and high school program (Grades 5–12). As we expand, we will begin to remove our lower grades. For example, for our founding school year in 2022–23, we will offer Grades 2–7; the following 2023–24 school year, we will only offer Grades 3–8, and so on as we grow into a Grades 5–12 program.
Q2: Where will you get your teachers?
Our belief is that the best technology in the classroom is the teacher! In our program, the most important factor in a classroom is not necessarily class size, but the teacher. Beginning in primary and all the way through high school, students will have one Subject Expert Teacher for each discipline. That means that our students can have six to eight different teachers each school day and depending on their grade level. We have found that when students have a dedicated Subject Expert Teacher for each discipline, the learning opportunities are boundless.
Due to the desirability of the beautiful Pacific Northwest, we will have Subject Expert Teachers join us from across the BASIS Independent Schools network. These are teachers who are already familiar with the BASIS Curriculum and whose expertise meet our classroom expectations. Second, we will conduct a national and international search for additional teachers. Our hiring process is rigorous, and as a final step, teachers will have to conduct demonstration lessons in front of students. During the summer and prior to the start of the school year, there will be substantial training for our newest BASIS Independent Bellevue teachers by Subject Matter Advisors from the BASIS Independent Schools Network, as well as locally from BASIS Independent Bellevue school leadership.
In Grades 2–4, we employ a unique two-teacher model. To learn more, click here.
Q3: What type of student are you seeking?
BASIS Independent students have a passion to learn. They want more from the classroom and across their subjects: they ask questions, are creative, help others, are willing to work hard, and have fun! We seek students who are curious leaners, who are eager to problem solve, and who enjoy challenging themselves. From the Bay Area to New York City, BASIS Independent Students know they can achieve whatever they put their minds to!
Q4: Is the focus of your curriculum on STEM, Liberal Arts, or both?
At the core of our program is a liberal arts curriculum. Fine arts are required in every grade level through grade 5 and become an elective option thereafter. History is required in every grade level, including in high school. Students take a World Language course every grade level. We provide STEM offerings such as engineering in the Primary Program, computer science programs in middle school, and differentiated mathematics in middle and high school. Beginning in grade 6, students also take biology, chemistry and physics simultaneously.
Our approach is to provide students advanced topics in all subjects to foster connections, and help students take on challenges from different angles and identify opportunities around them. In order to help students develop comprehensive critical-thinking skills, we create a well-rounded academic experience where students learn to appreciate each discipline through the expertise of a dedicated Subject Expert Teacher.
Q5: How much homework do students have?
As a college preparatory school, we do give homework and want to ensure students are ready to excel in college and beyond. Homework is utilized to reinforce content learned during the school day and does not introduce new content. In grades 2–4, homework averages around 45 to 60 minutes. In grades 5 and 6, students will have on average about one hour to one hour and a half of homework. In grade 7, students have an average one and half hours of homework. In grades 8–12, homework can range from two to three hours. The amount of homework also varies by student and their time management and organizational skills, as well as work and study habits. In our program, we help students in each of these areas.
Additionally, all teachers offer two hours a week for office hours. Students utilize office hours to review homework, ask additional questions, discuss topics learned in the classroom, and more.
Q6: Will you any have sports and clubs?
Yes! We believe in providing a variety of opportunities after the school day for students to explore their interests and passions. We will offer a variety of club, athletic, and competitive offerings as we grow. Given that our campus has a gym and athletic field, we intend to offer competitive boys and girls basketball, volleyball, and soccer. Popular clubs include Drama, Dance, Robotics, Speech and Debate and more. It is common for BASIS Independent Students to participate in a variety of competitions across disciplines, including Quiz Bowl, AMC, Science Olympiad, and more!
Q7: Is the Entrance Exam a pass fail assessment?
Our Entrance Exam is developed by BASIS Independent Schools and is not a pass/fail exam. Instead, it is a diagnostic on where a student is in math, English, and writing. The exam is just one piece of a student’s application.
Q8: How many sections will you have your first year?
For the 2022–23 school year, we anticipate that some grade levels in our first year will have up to two sections of students. Interest in our program continues to grow as more and more families learn about the opening of our program in the Bellevue area. We have students already enrolled in every grade level. We will continue to monitor interest to best project how many sections we intend to open for each grade for our founding school year.
Q9: What will be the total capacity of your school?
Total capacity of our school will be around 400 to 425 students as we grow into a Grades 5–12 program.
Q10: What are the school hours for your program?
The school hours for our first school year are still under review as we better understand the number of sections we will have in each grade level. At BASIS Independent Schools, our campuses are generally open from 7:00 AM to 6:00 PM. Families may drop off their student(s) as early as 7:00 AM for our Early Care program, or Early Bird as we call it. They may pick up their students as late as 6:00 PM. We provide After Care, or Late Bird, which generally runs from when the school day ends until 6:00 PM. Clubs and Athletics generally begin at 4:00 PM. Depending on the extracurricular activity, clubs and athletics can end at 5:00 PM, 5:30 PM, or 6:00 PM.
BASIS Independent Bellevue is a private school opening fall 2022. We will open with Grades 2 - 7 to start and add a grade level each school year as we expand to a full middle and high school. Please join our interest list for updates, event information, and more. Click here to join our interest list!