BASIS Independent Brooklyn is coming to Downtown Brooklyn! In fall 2021, a new 62,000-square-foot Lower School Campus will open at City Point (138 Willoughby Street). The new campus offers the opportunity to customize a modern, large space to the needs of Early Learning and early Primary students in PreK through Gr. 2. After Gr. 3, students would then step up to the original 100,000+ square-foot Red Hook campus.
“For the past three years we worked to find the right real estate to realize our vision for a nearby campus designed for our youngest students,” said Head of the Lower School Shari D. Cameron. “Starting in fall 2021, we are excited to bring our well-rounded, globally-benchmarked program to City Point in Downtown Brooklyn for the youngest learners.”
The earliest years of a child’s education are marked by meaningful discoveries and “lightbulb” moments: students are solidifying their sense of self and their relationship to the world. Our Early Learning and Primary Program is designed to maximize these moments, creating a balance between a child’s natural tendencies—to question, explore, and create—and intentional academic learning. A key goal is to inspire students to delight in learning. Fostering this as early as possible leads to future academic and lifelong success.
In a global economy, in an environment that is hyperconnected to a substantial amount of information and knowledge sharing, students need to be prepared with the skills to actively participate, not spectate. When students are participants, they can synthesize large amounts of information to make significant contributions for themselves and for those around them.
For these reasons and more, BASIS Independent Schools adheres to a simple and powerful mission - to educate students to the highest international levels. We benchmark our program to the best education systems in the world and in the process, have developed a global best practices approach to education from toddlers to grade 12.
How do we measure the outcomes of our mission? We look to the gold standard, the OECD and PISA.
Our school aims to bring together educators who are knowledgeable, driven, and believe that with the right support and encouragement, any child can excel. As part of our teacher profile series, we wanted to feature someone who exemplifies that approach. Mr. Festo is one of our fourth grade Learning Expert Teachers. He leads students through what we call a "bridge year" -- a time focused on growing student independence and building the skills to make connections organically.
Mr. Festo is about to start his third year teaching at BASIS Independent Brooklyn. He graduated from the University of Vermont’s elementary education program, and he has taught in classes ranging from Kindergarten to grade 5 in Connecticut, Vermont, and even New Zealand during his time abroad. "I have never come across a school community so dedicated to the success of their students," said Mr. Festo. "Year-round, the BASIS Independent Brooklyn faculty and staff are excited about what they are doing for and with their students. Seeing this attitude and spirit is what made me realize this was where I wanted to teach."
In the midst of this period of change and uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, one thing remained true. Our students continued to work hard and excel. Today we can proudly share that more than 60% of our high school students qualified as 2020 Advanced Placement (AP) Scholars. AP Scholar awards are recognition of performance on 2020 AP exams. Additionally, the National AP Scholar award is typically the highest honor granted to a student before graduation and is granted to less than 1% of students nationwide. We are proud to share BASIS Independent Brooklyn is home to 11 National 2020 AP Scholars.
“This past school year was an unprecedented one due to the pandemic, and I am truly proud that students continued to demonstrate exceptional performance on college-level coursework during a period of great disruption," said Head of School Hadley Ruggles. "In 2020, more students received the AP Scholar distinction than ever before for our high school. Moreover, our students sat for more AP exams in 2020 that ever before, and they received the highest scores to date."
New Chelsea Upper School Campus and Downtown Brooklyn Lower School Campus Slated to Open Fall 2021
BASIS Independent Schools, the world-acclaimed network of private schools, announced the expansion of BASIS Independent Manhattan to include a new Upper School campus in Chelsea that will house their growing High School Program. Meanwhile BASIS Independent Brooklyn will expand to a separate Lower School Campus at the City Point complex in Downtown Brooklyn due to increased enrollment. Both new campuses will open in fall 2021, and applications for the 2021-2022 school year were just launched.
BASIS Independent Manhattan will now serve students in PreK through High School across both campuses. The original BASIS Independent Manhattan campus at 795 Columbus Avenue will focus on students in PreK to grade 5. The new 34,000-square-foot Upper School campus is located at 556 West 22nd Street right across from the sports complex Chelsea Piers, and it will accommodate grades 6-12.
Our Admissions Team would like to extend our sincerest welcome to all of the prospective families on our interest list and to those who are just starting their school search. Our application process will be different this year, as it will be at all schools, but we are excited to get to know your family over the course of the next few months as we work together through the 2021-22 admissions cycle.
Informed by worldwide best practices, our much-anticipated “welcome back to school” has looked and felt different this year. However, it has been amazing to see our youngest learners walk through our gates and be welcomed with enthusiasm and joy by our passionate, expert teachers and staff. The laughter coming from our PreK wing is contagious and rings throughout the building. We’re also pleased that the smiles have not stopped there: families during arrival and departure (and over phone and email) have expressed their happiness and appreciation, renewing our team’s energy for the upcoming admissions season!
Today we feature one of our second grade Learning Expert Teachers Ms. Cameron-Scott, who is about to start her third year teaching on our campus. Ms. Cameron-Scott hails from a family of educators, and she always knew she was a teacher at heart. She believes in the power of early literacy to assist students in reaching their academic potential and work at an accelerated pace. “If you introduce a child to literacy at an early age, they will make great strides in all academic areas," shared Ms. Cameron-Scott. "For reading is the key to all understanding.”
Everyone remembers that one teacher—the one that left such a strong impression that you actually started to call English your favorite class even when you’ve always been a “math person.” To paraphrase BASIS Independent Brooklyn French Subject Expert Teacher Mr. Mandeville, at BASIS Independent Schools, all teachers are that one teacher—each one forges a true connection between their students and the lessons being taught, instilling in them an avid love for their subject. Good luck asking one of our students what their favorite class is. They either tell you, “all of them!” or, “it changes each year!”
Our dedication to hiring world-class teachers is one of the reasons our network and students have seen such notable success over the years—from achieving top results on the OECD Test for Schools (based on PISA) and Advanced Placement exams, to our students gaining admission to some of the world’s best colleges, including Columbia, Yale, Harvard, Stanford, and more. Our robust teacher recruiting process is designed to find and hire high-caliber educators who inspire students to gain the knowledge, confidence, and critical-thinking skills to accomplish whatever they set their minds to.
To help families better understand what goes into ensuring every teacher at school is their child’s favorite teacher, we want to provide you with a look inside our teacher selection and hiring process.
The college placement results for the Class of 2020 have arrived!
The results are in and from coast-to-coast, BASIS Independent Schools continues to shine with impressive college placements! We are incredibly excited to share the Class of 2020 college placement results from across the network including BASIS Independent Brooklyn, McLean, and Silicon Valley. The Class of 2020 represents a total of 129 BASIS Independent seniors who submitted nearly 2,500 college applications.
Our seniors have all worked tremendously hard to achieve these results, and we could not be prouder of all that they have accomplished. It is the commitment, intellectual curiosity, and grit of our seniors, coupled with the dedication and passion of our Subject Expert Teachers, and the guidance and support of our College Guidance Coordinators that result in the extraordinary outcomes for our seniors every year. As the next chapter begins for our BASIS Independent graduates, they will enter their selected higher institution prepared to excel. We look forward to hearing more about their valuable contributions during their college years and beyond.
If you ask students at BASIS Independent Brooklyn what makes their school different, they will tell you “the teachers.” The foundation of our culture and the success of our students lie in the hands of our faculty. We look for inspiring, expert teachers who believe that with the right support and encouragement any student can excel. With that in mind, we kick off a blog series profiling faculty members who recently joined our school.
Today we feature Ms. De Leon, who leads students in Engineering and Math in both our Early Learning and Primary Program. Ms. De Leon is intrigued by the contexts under which the brain develops conceptual mathematical knowledge, and she finds it fascinating how every individual has creative and unique solutions for any given mathematical task. As a 4th grade Math and Early Learning Program Engineering Teacher, she set out this year to cultivate a growth mindset culture, so her students can achieve at their highest levels.
Ms. De Leon is excited to have found a community of like-minded educators at BASIS Independent Brooklyn. We asked her some questions to help families get to know her better as a teacher and a fellow parent at our school.
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.