Graduation is almost upon us, and we want to celebrate all that our first class of seniors has accomplished. Our 16 seniors started with us right before or during high school, taking a risk to help build and start our learning community. They had to run harder and faster, rising to the challenge of the BASIS Curriculum in high school without the preparation of earlier years. We are now excited to watch them switch focus to college and embark on the next chapter of their lives.
"We are proud to share that more than 80 percent of our seniors received acceptance letters from one of the top 50 national universities," said Head of School Hadley Ruggles. "Our students are now deciding among universities such as Columbia, Johns Hopkins, Georgetown, Carnegie Mellon, New York University, Rice, and Northeastern. Additionally, thirty-seven percent of our seniors received acceptances to either one of the top ten ranked universities or top ten ranked liberal arts colleges in the nation."
Through the innovative co-teaching design of the BASIS Independent Brooklyn primary classroom—the Learning Expert Teacher/Subject Expert Teacher (LET/SET) model—two teachers work together to serve students’ different needs in each class throughout the school day.
Improving upon the traditional co-teaching model of lead teacher and assistant teacher, the expert knowledge of each individual BASIS Curriculum Schools teacher serves a unique purpose. Both teachers are experienced professionals who possess deep understanding of their respective fields.
Students at BASIS Independent Schools know a thing or two about hard work and persistence in problem solving. Our accelerated and spiraled math curriculum gives students ample time to strengthen their fundamental skills so that each year, when our schools facilitate opportunities for students to participate in competitions, clubs, and more, they can then show off their talents and achieve new goals. This year’s math wins across several of our campuses are a testament of how well our students thrive in competitive situations.
Read on to explore just a few of the math-centric accomplishments from our campuses in Brooklyn, Fremont, Manhattan, McLean, and Silicon Valley.
Approximately sixty percent of our 2017–2018 high school students have earned an AP Scholar award, recognition from the College Board based on their performance on their 2018 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 we have four National AP Scholars in our senior class comprised of 16 students.
AP Scholar awards recognize students who have demonstrated both a depth and breadth of knowledge and whose work has shown college-level mastery across multiple disciplines.
Ms. Wallace joined BASIS Independent Brooklyn earlier this year as the Dean of Students for our Upper School (grades 8–12). She came to our Red Hook campus from Beacon High School, where she focused on student support and college counseling. Prior to Beacon, Ms. Wallace worked at the Professional Performing Arts School leading individual and group counseling sessions for high school and supported incoming high school students as well as preparing seniors for college. Ms. Wallace obtained her master's degree in school counseling from Hunter College.
With all of her experience in the high school arena, Ms. Wallace says that her favorite part of working with students is "seeing the passion that students express when they encounter new and meaningful information.”
Ms. Wallace was drawn to BASIS Independent Brooklyn because students are encouraged to “immerse themselves at a high level of academic thought and rigor, while still being encouraged to practice individuality and personal creativity.” The balance of those qualities is something that she also appreciates from the teachers and staff whom she has started to work with at the school.
Mr. Harmon is the Dean of Students for the Middle School Program (grades 5–7) at BASIS Independent Brooklyn. Joining our school first as an English and Latin Subject Expert Teacher, Mr. Harmon was excited by the vision, rigor, and breadth of the BASIS Independent Brooklyn educational experience. Now in a Student Affairs role, he enjoys working with students as a part of the school leadership team.
Mr. Harmon received his Bachelor of Arts degree from The Ohio State University with a major in Greek and Latin and a minor in English. He began his teaching career in central Ohio where he taught English and coached basketball. He then took his teaching career abroad to a private school in Istanbul, Turkey, where for four years he taught English Language Arts, helped to develop an AP English program, and began to develop an AP Latin program.
Upon returning stateside, Mr. Harmon starting teaching at BASIS Phoenix in Arizona, where he appreciated the curriculum and vision of excellence. He transferred to the Brooklyn campus in 2016 to teach and then moved into the role of Dean in the summer of 2018.
Innovation is a founding principle of the BASIS Curriculum, and our network has some notable innovations for the 2018–19 school year. We wanted to share a few of these endeavors with our families, including a new best practice called SPORK that is rolling out across our network in select math classes, a new approach to content underway at a sister school in our network, and three campuses that opened internationally this year, further extending our global classroom.
Ms. Golka is the Dean of Students for the Primary School Program (grades 1–4) at BASIS Independent Brooklyn. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in theater performance from Winthrop University where she was a part of the theater honor society Alpha Psi Omega. After starting out in the book industry and then shadowing with a school in Brooklyn, she discovered her passion for teaching. She started her Masters of Early Education (Birth–2nd Grade) degree at Hunter College at CUNY.
Ms. Golka started as a grade 2 Learning Expert Teacher (LET) at BASIS Independent Brooklyn, and she is very excited about moving onto the Student Affairs team. She believes it is very important to not only help students grow academically, but socially and emotionally as well.
Ms. Golka feels strongly that BASIS Independent Brooklyn shares the same values for education and teaching as she does, especially the belief that every student is important and has potential to excel. She enjoys reading, doing improv, and traveling with family and friends.
Earlier this week our faculty learned that Eva Y., one of our 17 seniors, was confirmed as a 2019 National Merit Semifinalist. The pool of Semifinalists represents less than one percent of the U.S. high school seniors.
"I'm proud of our first graduating class and all students; Eva in particular deserves this additional acknowledgement of her hard work and academic ability as assessed by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation," said Head of School Hadley Ruggles.
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.