by Fauve T., 7th grade Student Ambassador
Our Student Ambassadors Program is a way for students to help share their perspectives on our school and the broader community. One of our 7th Grade students volunteered to create a blog post featuring what she loves about this year so far.
1- Classes are challenging, but that doesn't mean we don't have fun. Chemistry is one of my hardest subjects, yet my teacher Ms. Susanto finds ways to make it exciting too. One day we figured out how many fingernails we would need to cover the distance between the Earth and the Moon. Many of my teachers are approachable and make jokes during class to keep us focused. The teachers also have student hours where they can answer many of your questions in an informal setting.
As the Associate Head of School, Ms. Rose Miller-Sims focuses on how to best support students and faculty to achieve at their highest level in a joyful environment. Ms. Miller-Sims first joined our faculty as a Learning Expert Teacher for the Primary School, because she wanted to be an integral part of a community with a strong culture of learning and curiosity. She loved the BASIS Independent approach to challenging students in ways that inspired autonomy and encouraged creativity.
From teacher to Student Affairs Director, Ms. Miller-Sims has proven to be a star within our network, finding new professional growth across Student Affairs during her six-year tenure at BASIS Independent Brooklyn Upper School.
Ms. Miller-Sims graduated magna cum laude from Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio with a Bachelor of Arts degree. She was a modern language major studying both Italian and French. While an undergraduate, she studied abroad in Padua, Italy. Ms. Miller-Sims later attended the Steinhardt School of Education at New York University where she received a Master of Arts degree in foreign language education. Ms. Miller-Sims received a Master of Science degree in general and special education from Touro College.
“While it is always a difficult choice to leave the classroom, I was excited for the new challenges that moving into an administrative role provided. During my time as a teacher, I saw how crucial having an excellent, supportive admin team is to the success of a school, and I am excited to bring a fresh perspective from my roles in the classroom and years as a Director of Student Affairs to my role as Associate Head of School.”
Toby Walker, Vice President of BASIS Independent Schools, shares insights on steps teenagers can take to prepare them to excel in high school. Mr. Walker served as Head of School for BASIS Independent Silicon Valley for more than five years before moving into the role of VP of the network. He was also an AP History Subject Expert Teacher at a BASIS Curriculum School.
High school brings many new experiences and changes for teens that can present themselves as scary if they lack proper preparation. Succeeding in high school is important for setting students on the right path for college and beyond. Here are some simple steps that teens can follow to get them ready for their high school years.
The very last year at BASIS Independent Brooklyn serves as a bridge from traditional classroom learning to apply knowledge in a real context. By this time, most students have their Advanced Placement (AP) courses and graduation requirements nearly completed. As such, this year is designed to act as a “capstone” to their whole educational experience through three elements: daily college counseling courses, college-level capstone, and post-AP courses. For most students, the year culminates in a Senior Project, a unique opportunity to independently pursue their own research interests. You can see Class of 2022 Senior Project presentations to get a sense of the variety of topics pursued.
Just last month Head of School Josh Harmon stepped into Mr. Brauch's college counseling class to address our seniors on how to get the most from senior year. It seemed worthwhile to share a sneak peek at what is happening in the uppermost grade at BASIS Independent Brooklyn.
The 2023 Niche school rankings are in and BASIS Independent Schools has remained a rankings powerhouse! The BASIS Independent Schools network now comprises six campuses—three of which have graduating classes—in locations across New York, Northern Virginia, the Bay Area, and the greater Seattle area. We are thrilled that campuses across our network continue to achieve such impressive national recognition year after year.
At BASIS Independent Brooklyn, we prioritize cheering on our student accomplishments across many areas–from fine arts to community service, debate competitions, sports, and beyond. However, academic accomplishment remains a shared priority within our community. Today we can proudly share that based on the 2022 AP scores more than 60% of our high school students qualified as Advanced Placement (AP) Scholars during their time in our program. Students move from AP Scholar to AP Scholar with Honor and then AP Scholar with Distinction. Approximately 40% of our students reach that highest level of AP Scholar with Distinction by the time they graduate.
“Academically our students continue to knock it out of the park," said Josh Harmon, Head of School for BASIS Independent Brooklyn's Upper School. "By 2022, more than 66% of our entire high school was awarded the honor of AP Scholar or higher. Moreover, our students sat for more AP exams in 2022 than ever before with the growth of our high school."
Now that the 2023-24 BASIS Independent Brooklyn application is officially open, our Admissions team wanted to share some advice, gleaned over the years and over conversations with thousands of families. After all, the PreK to grade 12 school search process in New York City is unlike any other, as Director of Admissions, Sarah Ellerton knows well. After growing up in the suburbs of Connecticut, it was quite a shock to discover that while of course you have to apply to private schools, you also have to navigate an application process for public schools!
Knowing this, Ms. Ellerton wants families interested in BASIS Independent Brooklyn to know her team is there to make the process as easy-to-understand and simple as possible. “When families tell me that their experience with our application process was easy to navigate, warm, and friendly, that's when I know we've done our job,” states Director Ellerton.
BASIS Independent Fremont's rising junior Heeya D. made a guest appearance on the TODAY SHOW this week during a segment where the Princeton Review's Rob Franek discussed college admissions and Advanced Placement Exams with Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush.
The development capped off a year where we saw some amazing accomplishments from students, particularly women in STEM, celebrated by local news. We wanted to share some select news reports and segments featuring students from across our campuses in California and New York to Virginia.
The transition to school can be both exciting and anxiety-ridden for students and parents alike. Joy in meeting classmates may be mixed with fears of how to make new friends. The thrill of new challenges may mingle with concerns about being in a classroom away from home.
Stella Moon, an Early Learning Teacher at BASIS Independent Brooklyn, has been advising parents on separation anxiety for decades during her many years teaching preschool. She had some tips to share with families in the month before school starts.
As Director of Student Affairs for BASIS Independent Brooklyn's Lower School, Samantha De Leon's goal is to cultivate productive and positive relationships with teachers and families so that all students can achieve at their highest levels.
“At our Lower Campus, every moment that the kiddos are working in their classrooms they are deepening their curiosity, building their resiliency, and thinking critically about their world. This strong foundation sets them on a path to not just be personally successful but also to be a part of the success of their global community. I am eager to be a part of their journey and support them at every stage of accomplishing their goals.”
Ms. De Leon was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas. She received the Gates Millennium Scholarship and attended Brown University, where she received her bachelor’s degree in biology and master’s degree in elementary teaching. After twelve years of teaching and curriculum consulting, Ms. De Leon decided to transition to administration as the Director of Student Affairs at the Lower School Campus.
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.