Congratulations to the Class of 2023!
We are exceptionally proud of our seniors' achievements as they move forward to the next phase of their exciting academic journey. As they are about to step into the world’s top colleges and universities this fall, we know they are prepared to excel, determined to stand apart, and ready to prove the success of the BASIS Curriculum.
The Class of 2023 from our three high schools including, BASIS Independent Brooklyn, McLean, and Silicon Valley have yet again set the standard in national and international college acceptances. For the Class of 2023, the past school years have been filled with countless hours of test preparation, essay writing, campus visits, and more. The hard work and determination over this and prior years have shown as our graduates are now well-prepared to enter world-renowned higher education institutions and thrive.
Today we honor the BASIS Independent Brooklyn Class of 2023 and celebrate news of their college acceptances to date. Our graduating class truly helped build our school culture and community, since many graduating students started with us in primary and middle school. Our graduating seniors have focused on looking ahead to programs that will build on their interests nurtured in classes and activities outside of school through the years.
"Members of our Class of 2023 have grown both individually and as a cohort through the years on our campus," commented Head of School Josh Harmon. "Having taught many of them in sixth grade, I can say firsthand that it did not happen easily or overnight and took a lot of grit and resilience! We have been honored to be a part of each senior's high school story. We wish them luck with their college decisions and the next chapter in their growth as both students and young adults."
Photo by Danny Dolan (Class of 2022)
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.
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.
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.