The 2022 Niche school rankings are in and BASIS Independent Schools continue to soar! Since first established, the BASIS Independent Schools network has grown to six campuses—three of which have graduating classes—in locations across New York, Northern Virginia, the Bay Area, and the greater Seattle area. Just over five years later, campuses across our network have achieved impressive national recognition.
Five years ago, Ms. Forde joined our History Faculty and quickly demonstrated her incredible dedication and innovation as an educator, which also made her a favorite teacher among students. This summer Ms. Forde accepted the role of Director of our High School Program, which was just recognized as the Best Private College Prep High School in Brooklyn according to Niche.com and ranked #16 in the category in New York overall.
Ms. Forde graduated from Williams College with her bachelor’s degree in history and classics, and she was honored as a Mellon Undergraduate Research Fellow during her years on campus. She received her master’s degree from the University of London and her post-baccalaureate from Bryn Mawr College. She also pursued coursework ranging from anatomy to cellular and molecular biology at the University of Maryland, Baltimore Medical School, and Georgetown.
Similar to many BASIS Independent Schools educators, Ms. Forde started in academia. After obtaining her degrees, Ms. Forde worked in clinical research at the University of Maryland Center for Integrative Medicine. She co-authored two research publications on anxiety while at the university. After a few years in the clinical research setting, Ms. Forde decided to switch careers to education. Before coming to BASIS Independent Brooklyn, Ms. Forde worked directly with elementary and middle school students on their reading literacy and mathematics ability in preparation for the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth Program.
Dear Families and Staff,
During the quiet months of summer, I always take time to reflect on the past year. The 2020–2021 school year sparked a period of constant introspection both as a community and country. It will stand apart for decades to come due to the pandemic and the many changes that ensued. Now I wanted to share some lessons learned, celebrate accomplishments, and pay tribute to our 2021 graduates.
What We Learned in 2020-2021
While we weathered the pandemic storm in a year that we hope will be like no other, we prioritized following the advice of scientific and public health advisors. While we learned—along with all our peer schools—that health mandates evolve based on changing data, we also realized the importance of remaining nimble with the health of the community as a priority.
Our community cares for each other. Thank you for staying home when sick and making mindful choices when thinking of travel and social plans. We are proud to have experienced minimal cases of community spread, and we attribute that to each family following our community agreement.
Primary School students pose on PJ Day last year. Note that even Baby Yoda is wearing a mask.
From the very first day BASIS Independent Brooklyn opened to students, Michael Mandeville stood apart as a leader among our faculty. He shaped our French program from the middle school years through high school, including a very popular Senior Capstone class exploring French literature. For the past several years he also served as the French Subject Expert Advisor across all BASIS Independent Schools. Now he is excited to lead our Middle School program in collaboration with Dean Holly Goodin.
Mr. Mandeville received his Bachelor of Arts magna cum laude with a double major in letters and French from the University of Oklahoma in 2010. In 2014, he received his master’s degree in French literature from the University of Oklahoma, and he was formally recognized for excellence in teaching by the University Provost. During his master’s program, he received a scholarship to participate in Middlebury College’s summer Russian program.
The Senior Project is the crowning achievement of the BASIS Curriculum. The last two years may have looked a little different—with Senior Project research, on-site work, and presentations taking a virtual form—but our students persevered in order to complete this extraordinary milestone.
This blog sheds some light on the Senior Project, its history, our incredible advisors, and most importantly, the students who continue to show that they can and will exceed all expectations.
On June 24th family, faculty, and students gathered together at the Palm House in the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens to celebrate the accomplishments of our Class of 2021. Our thirty-two graduates are now poised to continue their academic careers in top colleges and universities across the country.
During the ceremony, valedictorian Elizabeth C. and co-salutatorians Jacob H. and Joshua S. offered thoughtful reflections on their experience as a class and looked ahead to all that is in store for them. We wanted to share with our community since we were inspired by their words.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, many things were disrupted. A large number of students, staff, and families found ways to cope and deal with the changes through service projects, which we have profiled extensively in the past year. One other trend we recently became aware of was the proliferation of businesses in our school community. While sequestered at home, some of our students and staff began to find their entrepreneurial side. Today we wanted to profile a few of these for you.Mackerel Studios
Junior Andres M. enjoyed learning AP Economics with Mr. Duwan this year, and he just shared with us a project creating nautical-themed bracelets he has been working on for months inspired by the class. Mackerel Studios gave Andres the opportunity to combine his "love for the ocean and the idea of how mental and physical restrictions should not stop you from doing anything in your life."
Growing up Andres and his family were always drawn to the water, due in large part to his father's experience in professional sailing. Andres' sister has Cerebral Palsy, and the family looked for ways to allow her to enjoy and learn as much as anyone. They worked hard to find programs that make sailing possible for people with disabilities.
A team comprised of four BASIS Independent Brooklyn 7th grade students -- Olivia M., Polly S., Sabrina M., and Sahana C.-- was just named the New York team winner in the You Be The Chemist Challenge. The Challenge is a competition hosted by the Chemical Educational Foundation (CEF) in which teams of 5th-8th grade students explore chemistry concepts and the role of those concepts in their community.
The competition was held virtually this year due to COVID-19. Teams participated in a virtual event where they answered timed questions and submitted a video on sustainability, scientific phenomena, and ways that problems faced by people in their community can be solved using their knowledge of chemistry and science. Ten thousand students from 266 schools competed in the challenge this year.
We believe celebrating student accomplishments is important for not only recognizing excellence but also inspiring our students across the grades. Please join us in congratulations our Bears for a number of recent developments:
Debate Team Coach Brown was thrilled to announce Junior Peter Mugaba-N. won overall City Champion in the New York City Urban Debate Team City Championships. Our own Isaac W. '24 was the runner-up!
In the recent State Competition, our Bears made us proud. Coach Brown shared:
BASIS Independent Schools students continue to score impressive admission to some of the world’s best colleges and universities. From the Washington, D.C. Metro Area and New York City to California, students across the BASIS Independent Schools network have proven that even in the face of adversity and adaptation, hard work and commitment can reap incredible results.
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.