BASIS Independent Brooklyn launched a new program this year for nurturing student leadership on campus - a Leadership Club run by a faculty adviser very respected and popular among our Upper School students. The drive was to empower students who wish to help shape programming at the school and make a difference in our greater community. Students could apply and be considered for the club based on scholarship and character. Club members brought ideas to the table, collaborated on teams, and rallied their peers to get programs or events off the ground in conjunction with their faculty adviser.
Two snowstorms could not put a damper on the BASIS Independent Brooklyn Talent Show! After rescheduling twice, parents, students, and faculty gathered together on Friday, April 20 to celebrate the creativity and talent of our students.
Thank you to Doug Meils for the amazing photos capturing our student performers! Ironically, Doug took photos of every student performer but his own son, since he was too busy videotaping that performance. Following is a short photo compilation of the event for our families.
Nikita P. is just seven years old, but she has already started establishing a major presence in the performing arts world. Last month she was awarded first place in the Rondo Young Artist piano competition. Part of her prize is the opportunity to perform at Carnegie Hall! Read on to hear from her parents about nurturing a child's musical ability and to find out more details on her upcoming May 2 performance.
The sports program at BASIS Independent Brooklyn is growing with our championship volleyball team and new programs underway for Ultimate Frisbee and even competitive co-ed soccer and basketball this spring. However, many of our students play on teams outside of school. One such student, Murphy K. in grade 8, just qualified for the New York State Championship with his travel hockey team, the New York Cyclones.
The New York Cyclones started playing together six months ago and wrapped the season up this past weekend in Buffalo at the New York State Championship. While the team won’t be moving on any further, they fought all the way until the final buzzer of the season. As a defenseman, Murphy (#71) was proud of his play during the Championship Tournament, limiting goals scored against his team to only one while he was on the ice.
Ms. King is a trained yoga and dance instructor who brings mindfulness into her Movement Classes for our youngest students in the Early Learning Program and primary school. As the parent of a middle school student, she realized the techniques could benefit all our families and decided to draft the following blog post outlining information and exercises to use.
Mindfulness – What is it? How does it show up in the classroom? How can you use it at home? Mindfulness comes in many forms and practices, but the results are the same: the activation of the para-sympathetic nervous system, which naturally stimulates the body’s healing and de-stressing systems. Below are a few ways to classify mindfulness practices and some simple things to try. The key is PRACTICE. Make a clear time and place for your practice and commit to this time and place over time. A little goes along way. Even a minute of mindfulness has been shown to have a positive effect.
Unlike the traditional self-contained classroom led by one teacher, or one teacher and an aide, BASIS Independent Brooklyn students in grades 1–4 benefit from the expertise of multiple full-time teachers, including our Learning Expert Teachers (LET), who guide students as they move between classrooms throughout the day. Students thus have two full-time, qualified teachers in each class, resulting in a unique, pedagogically-robust classroom environment.
Our newest Associate Director of Admissions Sarah Ellerton wanted to help prospective families learn more about transferring into BASIS Independent Brooklyn during middle school from the experts—students who had just made the change themselves. Sarah sat down with several recent transfer students and reports back on what she learned.
When I joined the BASIS Independent Brooklyn Admissions Team last month and started leading tours for prospective families, I noticed the same question coming up again and again from parents of middle school students: How hard is it to start at BASIS Independent Brooklyn in middle school?
Ms. King integrates folk dances across her Movement Classes for our youngest students in preschool, kindergarten, and grade 1. She wanted to share with our families some of the thinking behind her choice.
I teach folk dances in all my Movement Classes. They are a fun and exciting way to introduce children to cultural movement traditions while learning movement patterns and sequences, listening to and responding to music, and engaging socially and cooperatively with their classmates. These dances and songs scaffold in difficulty as the grades progress from simple Circle Dances/Games to more complex formations and sequences like Square Dancing and Contra Dancing.
One of our BASIS Independent Brooklyn parents strongly recommended bringing Sam Chase to campus to work with students on mindfulness and meditation. She had seen Mr. Chase work wonders with her hedge fund employees who juggle high-stress projects and competing time demands. As part of Wellness Week for our Upper School, Mr. Chase spoke with our students about the use of mediation and mindfulness to reduce academic anxiety.
"When we have high demands on us, it’s tempting, as I say to students, to 'bulldoze,' but we have to insert pauses to think at our clearest and take stock of what we’re doing," said Dr. Cruz, Director of Student Affairs for the Upper School at BASIS Independent Brooklyn after Mr. Chase's session. "In order to learn well (inside or outside of the classroom), we have to pause, breathe, and listen—to others as well as our own thoughts and questions."
Imagine that you are back at school sitting in a class you excel in. You might be a little bored because you already read ahead in the textbook, and you zone out when the teacher talks. You know this already! Or maybe you’re in a class you don’t like very much because you struggle with the material. Why is the teacher going so fast? You barely understood the last lesson! Now imagine there was a second teacher in that classroom, one who knew your strengths and areas for improvement, who could work with you to make sure you were achieving your potential in the best way for you. That second teacher in the class helping students while the first teacher leads the class creates the SET/LET relationship at BASIS Independent Brooklyn.
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.