Seven years ago, Ms. Ali Greenberg joined the Early Learning Faculty at BASIS Independent Brooklyn and quickly demonstrated her great dedication and creativity as an educator. Ms. Greenberg spent four years as a teacher, leading classes in both PreK and grade 1. Then she served as Dean of Students for PreK–Gr. 1 before assuming the role of Director of Student Affairs at our new Lower School campus in Downtown Brooklyn.
Ms. Greenberg graduated from the University of Vermont with a Bachelor of Science in elementary education, and concentrations in anthropology and communication science, combining her passions for education, culture, and language. After graduation, she was a special education instructional assistant in a Vermont public school, then taught PreK at an independent school for two years before joining our community.
"When I visited BASIS Independent Brooklyn for the first time," shared Ms. Greenberg, "I immediately felt that it was a place where learning with exploration, joy, and individuality was celebrated. It is an inspiring community, in which students and teachers alike are encouraged to bring their own strengths and personalities to the table to face challenges collaboratively and creatively."
BASIS Independent Schools students continue to prove they are the future leaders of our generation. This year, graduates across our entire network of schools—from New York City and the Washington, D.C. Metro Area to California—achieved notable acceptances to some of the top colleges and universities not only in the U.S., but across the world.
Going into Mother's Day weekend, we wanted to share an inspiring story of how one mother at our school named Britni Erez has made a huge difference by volunteering with an organization called The Hummingbird Effort Foundation. It provides humanitarian relief and housing to Ukrainian mothers and children now in Poland. How she came to get involved is what makes the story so compelling.
A few years ago Britni met Dorota Applebaum when their children were in another school together. This March, Britni reached out to Dorota, since she remembered her family lived near the Ukrainian boarder. Britni then found out Dorota had started an effort to house and care for the overwhelming number of refugees from Ukraine. That is when Britni jumped in to help.
Dorota Applebaum is a real estate investment banker and investor. The Hummingbird Effort Foundation, which she founded, is a nonprofit that has no operating expenses. Volunteers like our parent Britni donate their own time and resources and 100% of contributions go to helping Ukrainian families.
Today we honor our Class of 2022 and celebrate news of their college acceptances to date. Our graduating class truly helped build our school culture and community, since a majority of our graduating students started with us in middle school. Through the years they rose to the academic challenges presented in our High School Program, and they are well prepared for the transition to university next year.
Nearly every week our school leaders field requests from families across the country to build a school near them. Families place a high value on giving their children an innovative, well-rounded education—one that supports accelerated learning, independent thinking, creativity, and critical inquiry from the very first day. The first BASIS Independent Schools opened their doors in Brooklyn and Silicon Valley during the fall of 2014. Now our private school program is well established as offering the highest international level of learning after graduating classes of seniors in California as well as New York City and Washington D.C. metro campuses.
Today we want to share and celebrate network growth from coast to coast:
“It is critical that we have a continuity of excellence at BASIS Independent Schools,” said Toby Walker, Vice President of BASIS Independent Schools. “That we hold ourselves to high standards, and that we learn from each other as school leaders and teachers across our network. The demand for our program is humbling, and we are committed to making it available to students and families.”
BASIS Independent Schools are characterized by creativity and spirit, and they are driven by best practices from the top educational systems in the world. As our private schools branch out across the U.S. and the world, one secret to maintaining excellence network-wide rests in our central Curriculum Team. These professionals work tirelessly to assess data across schools with a shared goal - to improve student outcomes deliberately, quickly, and meaningfully.
Currently BASIS Independent Schools educate students in Brooklyn, NY; Fremont, CA; McLean, VA; Manhattan, NY; and Silicon Valley, CA. A new campus will open this fall in Bellevue, WA. Our world-acclaimed curriculum taught by subject expert teachers draws families to the schools; however, a key strength that is not as well understood rests in our private school network’s ability and commitment to using data to improve continually, rather than rest on our reputation for excellence, particularly given our rapidly evolving world.
“It is critical that we have a continuity of excellence at BASIS Independent Schools,” said Toby Walker, Vice President of BASIS Independent Schools. “That we hold ourselves to high standards, and that we learn from each other as school leaders and teachers across our network. The data around academic outcomes inform this approach; the collaboration among our teachers and administrators is based in large part on taking advantage of the insights our data provides. We take seriously our responsibility to act on these insights to improve our students’ experience.”
Congratulations to the 2022 winners of the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. We are thrilled to celebrate the inspiring student work from BASIS Independent Brooklyn, which spanned more categories than in years past. Students have created visually stunning and meaningful imagery, and we wanted to share many of the pieces honored by Scholastic. We are proud to see them brilliantly uphold the BASIS Independent Brooklyn standard for setting the bar high for our school community and rising to meet those goals.
"Expression represents the highest order of thinking, and we are enthralled by the depth and quality of student work," commented Head of School Hadley Ruggles. "Thank you to our teachers for inspiring greatness and individuality among our students."
Across both our Lower and Upper School campuses this November, the Wellness month theme was gratitude. Students and faculty explored what it means to be grateful in class and recognize the self-awareness it involves. Our students were challenged to see what they are grateful for and take it a step further—to express their gratitude in ways that would help develop a culture of service.
Today we want to feature how our school community has come together in so many wonderful ways this fall to be of service to the Red Hook community through the following programs:
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.
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.