At BASIS Independent Schools, we are constantly looking for ways to optimize our program while staying true to our foundation of academic excellence.
SPORK is an exciting new tablet-based math textbook program implemented at BASIS Independent Schools after being successfully piloted at our campus. The program is a new tool for BASIS Independent students and teachers in select math courses: Pre-Algebra, Algebra I/Geometry, and Algebra II/Geometry. Keep reading to learn more about how this initiative is elevating our curriculum.
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.
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.
On the surface, the mission of BASIS Independent Schools is pretty simple. Ask any of us to repeat it, and like members of any mission-driven organization, we will enthusiastically share that “our mission is to raise the standards of our students’ learning to the highest international levels.” But what exactly does it mean to offer a program that raises the standards of learning to the highest international levels? What does global readiness look like?
This year marks an important milestone for us: the class of 2016 is the first graduating class from BASIS Independent Schools at our campus in Silicon Valley. As we share in their joy and celebrate their college admissions, we find ourselves reflecting on how our educational model and culture set students up to continue on to pursue whatever it is they want to pursue after they cross our graduation stage. How it is that we instill in our students the notion that there is no upper limit on what they can achieve. Inspired by Jay Mathew's article in the Washington Post this week about issues in certain districts posed by the delay of teaching algebra until high school, which references BASIS Independent Schools as a private school not participating in this practice, Mark Reford shares his thoughts on how BASIS.ed puts student learning first - taking an evidence-based, often optimized approach to our education formula. He writes:
Writing in The Washington Post on April 10, 2016, the veteran education journalist and columnist Jay Mathews recently reported on the distinctly confusing roll out of The Common Core State Standards in Mathematics in California, Maryland and Washington, D.C. He focused on one of the crucial elements in the new standards: the delay in the teaching of Algebra until high school. Trying to understand why this might be a good idea, he found explanations that were at best, “inscrutable” on district websites, and then heard Richard Carranza, Superintendent of the San Francisco Unified School District, tell a group of parents concerned about Common Core that in essence, they should trust the experts. And…that Common Core is “the Good Housekeeping seal of approval of our teachers.”
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.