On June 24th family, faculty, and students gathered together at the Palm House in the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens to celebrate the accomplishments of our Class of 2021. Our thirty-two graduates are now poised to continue their academic careers in top colleges and universities across the country.
During the ceremony, valedictorian Elizabeth C. and co-salutatorians Jacob H. and Joshua S. offered thoughtful reflections on their experience as a class and looked ahead to all that is in store for them. We wanted to share with our community since we were inspired by their words.
We believe celebrating student accomplishments is important for not only recognizing excellence but also inspiring our students across the grades. Please join us in congratulations our Bears for a number of recent developments:
Debate Team Coach Brown was thrilled to announce Junior Peter Mugaba-N. won overall City Champion in the New York City Urban Debate Team City Championships. Our own Isaac W. '24 was the runner-up!
In the recent State Competition, our Bears made us proud. Coach Brown shared:
Technology has reshaped how we experience music in countless ways. What people might not know is that Mr. Heilbronn, one of our own faculty members, has been at the forefront of the changes in the music industry. For a select group of our high school students, each year he shares his knowledge and expertise during the Digital Music elective he teaches. The class has just one prerequisite – an interest in and love of music.
For more than 30 years, Mr. Heilbronn has been creating, editing, and producing music. He broke into the music scene as a teenager stepping in one night when the booked DJ failed to appear at a local club in his native Germany. He found his calling, and his love of music soon brought him to New York City with an opportunity to learn from music industry giant Francois K.
At New York City's famous Axis Studio, Mr. Heilbronn worked extensively in sound engineering and editing with a who's who of the most famous musicians in the business including Beyoncé, Jason Derulo, Michael Jackson, and Mariah Carey.
Students in Mr. Heilbronn's Digital Music elective learn the basics of measure and beat at the beginning of the class and progress to create final productions by the second and third trimesters.
Congratulations to the 2021 winners of the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. We are thrilled to celebrate the inspiring student work, which in many instances powerfully documented life during the pandemic. 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 standard for setting the bar high for our school and entire community.
Across BASIS Independent Brooklyn and Manhattan, 19 students were recognized with a total of 40 awards in the Scholastic Art & Writing Competition.
In the midst of this period of change and uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, one thing remained true. Our students continued to work hard and excel. Today we can proudly share that more than 60% of our high school students qualified as 2020 Advanced Placement (AP) Scholars. AP Scholar awards are recognition of performance on 2020 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 BASIS Independent Brooklyn is home to 11 National 2020 AP Scholars.
“This past school year was an unprecedented one due to the pandemic, and I am truly proud that students continued to demonstrate exceptional performance on college-level coursework during a period of great disruption," said Head of School Hadley Ruggles. "In 2020, more students received the AP Scholar distinction than ever before for our high school. Moreover, our students sat for more AP exams in 2020 that ever before, and they received the highest scores to date."
Congratulations to the 2020 winners of the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. We are thrilled to celebrate their great work, which we hope provides a diversion during such a time of uncertainty. These students have created visually stunning and meaningful imagery, and we are proud to see them brilliantly uphold the BASIS Independent standard for setting the bar high for our school and entire community.
For PreK through high school, our Student Affairs team has launched a stepped up wellness initiative in September that will span the full academic year. Our deans and directors partnered with faculty to lead the charge for a "Wellness Year" that integrates wellness themes into year round programming.
"The whole Student Affairs Team had a meeting of the minds this summer, and all deans and directors discussed ways a Wellness Year focus could span all grades with themes that are relevant for students in PreK to high school," said Dean Darcy Golka of Primary Grades (2–4). "We worked on what students in our different age bands need to hear, and we spent time ensuring messages were age appropriate."
Monthly programming themes were designated based on what deans and directors knew were happening in students' lives and thinking through what was appropriate developmentally. They wanted to create a more robust program that would spark conversations among students about themes that go beyond wellness and tap into social-emotional learning.
Approximately 60 percent of all our 2018–19 high school students earned an AP Scholar award, which the College Board just released. AP Scholar awards are recognition of performance on 2019 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 seven National AP Scholars in the 2019 report just shared with our school.
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.
Competitive athletics and sports can play a key role in the development of students. Our sports program aims to create a strong culture that brings our BASIS Independent Brooklyn community together regularly to cheer on our BEARS.
"My goal is to enrich our school culture with a healthy dose of competition," said Mr. McCollum, Physical Education Faculty member. "I want to show our students they can be scholars and athletes. In addition, I intend for our program to build a stronger sense of school spirit and sporting culture. It is my desire to see a thriving and competitive student body that continues to pursue excellence through both academics and sport."
When the BASIS Curriculum was launched in 1998, it quickly gained attention and acclaim for its breadth, depth, and ability to successfully teach high-level content and critical thinking to eager students at a younger age. We have seen the implementation, success, growth, and evolution of the BASIS Curriculum over many years, including at each of our five BASIS Independent School campuses.
Like the other BASIS Curriculum Schools across the network, each BASIS Independent School continues to place a heavy focus on college readiness, as well as on overall student performance. In the 2016 Advanced Placement® exams, BASIS Independent School students earned a pass rate of 87.9%, and an average score of 3.89, with nearly 1,000 exams taken. In just two years, BINS students’ 2018 pass rate rose to 94.3%, with an average score of 4.18 across nearly 2,000 exams.
Student performance continues to improve at BASIS Independent Schools in critical college readiness assessments. The same is true of schools across the BASIS Curriculum Schools network. As such, we are once again proud to share a glimpse of the latest 2019 U.S. News & World Report Best High School rankings, which showcase high rankings for seven BASIS Curriculum Schools, even after a change in US News’ ranking methodology. The new methodology, released on April 29, 2019, broadens the focus of the ranking, moving away from college readiness. However, in spite of these changes, the seven BASIS Charter Schools which were in the Top 15 in 2018, were all still ranked in the Top 35 in 2019 – despite a more than six-fold increase in the number of schools ranked, from 2,700 in 2018 to more than 17,000 in 2019. That is, those seven acclaimed BASIS Charters are in the top 0.2% of all ranked schools. Further, those seven BASIS Charter Schools are ranked as the seven best schools in the state of Arizona, and five of the BASIS Charter Schools are in the nation’s Top 20 STEM schools – and STEM rankings are perhaps the most similar to the ranking methodology used in previous years.
Read on for more details about yet another year of incredible national rankings in U.S. News & World Report by BASIS Charter Schools.
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.