With the start of the 2021-2022 school year at BASIS Independent Fremont and many of our young scholars having been out of the traditional classroom environment for the better part of two years, it was clear that our first order of business for the school year needed to be…CELEBRATING! We. Are. Back! And boy, does it feel good to be on campus, engaging IN-PERSON with our talented scholars once again, building up the wonderfully diverse and inclusive community that makes BASIS Independent Fremont unlike any other.
While any transition comes with a certain amount of anticipation and butterflies fluttering in stomachs, it was clear that BASIS Independent Fremont students and faculty alike were ready to return to our beloved halls of learning and resume the academic journeys that will shape our great thinkers of tomorrow.
Grade 8 student Minna K., explained, “I felt excited but also nervous because I hadn’t seen my classmates and teachers in a long time. Over the course of the first week, I started getting more and more excited about school. Rediscovering our old routines made it feel like old times and like nothing had changed. And I am so happy to have social time with my friends again. We sit on a blanket and talk and catch up and relax. We haven’t had a chance to do that sort of thing in a long time.”
This sentiment was echoed by Latin and Classics teacher, Dr. Sarah Harrell. “Even though I’ve been a teacher for over 15 years and with BASIS Independent Fremont for 3 years, it feels like unchartered territory. In a way, it is new and exciting and scary at the same time!”
The tone of celebration was evident at our Lower School, as our TK–5 grade students participated in a myriad of activities and games designed to educate students about their campus, prepare them for their academic courses, and introduce them to classmates and teachers in meaningful ways.
In Dr. Harrell’s grade 5 Latin class the students were intrigued to learn vocabulary words to introduce themselves to classmates and were particularly interested in learning how to ask one another how they are doing and various questions about well-being.
“The excitement to learn new words in a new language is a bonding experience, almost like a secret code that’s being learned within the group. The excitement of knowing words their parents or siblings might not know brought them together as a group. They wanted to know how to ask how they are doing – their feelings are important to the group and being able to express them comfortably is invaluable. They just hit the ground running…‘how can I say this?’, ‘how do I say that?’! Their enthusiasm was off the charts compared to last year. Being back in the classroom there is an eagerness to learn that wasn’t as evident last year, or even the before!”
Ms. Mira Lapres’ grade 3 Connections students were eager to get to know one another and expressed their gratitude to be together again.
“We played some icebreaker games to get to know each other and talked about resolving conflicts with words instead of actions. My students have been interested and excited in our activities, and are happy to be back in person and together on campus! We are looking forward to doing activities and assignments that we were not able to do during distance learning, such as group projects, field trips, and class parties!”
For our Early Education Learners, this was their first introduction to student life. They took on the challenge with such bravery and excitement, it is evident that these young Bumblebees have an appreciation for the educational experience that will propel them as they move through their journey with BASIS Independent Fremont.
The excitement and thrill of meeting new classmates and teachers, reconnecting with old friends, and exploring new scholastic horizons were revitalizing experiences for our community and quickly calmed nerves. But if there is one thing that the last year has demonstrated, it is the importance of celebrating inclusion, acceptance, and community. From our youngest Bumblebees to our most mature Yellow Jackets, creating a sense of belonging and celebration of differences is why students and staff have found community at BASIS Independent Fremont.
On our first days of school, our middle and high school students dove into thought-provoking activities designed to break down barriers, build relationships, and create a sense of celebration. Our dedicated Student Affairs team prepared a world-class opportunity as an acclaimed thought-leader, Dr. Anthony Ocampo, focusing on issues of immigration, race, and ethnicity, and gender and sexuality visited our students for a perspective-widening dialog.
Our Yellow Jackets took the experience one step further following Dr. Ocampo’s eye-opening presentation, as they participated in discussions with their element cohorts on the important subject matter and found ways that Dr. Ocampo’s insights might apply to situations in their lives.
Karissa T., grade 8, explained the impact that Dr. Ocampo’s remarks made on her and her classmates. “Dr. Ocampo talked to us about how the things that are different about us are the things that make us unique and form our identities. Each one of us is unique, with different strengths. I liked hearing about how the things that make us different can sometimes make us nervous, but instead of becoming scared, you can turn that into excitement and curiosity.”
Minna K. elaborated, saying, “The speaker talked about being part of the LGBTQIA+ as a second-generation American – this felt really relatable. Having had experiences in the past with people in this community, helped me to know how to be the best ally I can be in the future.”
For grade 10 student Louis L., the best part of being on campus again was good old-fashioned fun.
“It was great that I could finally see my friends and teachers in person. I had a lot of fun playing get-to-know-you games, but lunchtime and getting to play basketball with my friends is the best. After being separated and being so careful for two years, it felt like going back to normal. I’m excited for things to return to normal and to get to exercise more! I’m especially looking forward to my classes and new clubs. I am hoping to participate in the School Newspaper this year and more events like the Spring Gala and Fall Carnival!”
The sense of celebration truly is alive and well at BASIS Independent Fremont. And we cannot wait to see where this adventure takes us next!
BASIS Independent Fremont is a grades TK-12 private school based in Fremont, California, providing students an internationally benchmarked liberal arts and sciences curriculum. Considering joining the BASIS Independent Fremont community? Join our interest list by clicking here to receive admissions updates for Fall 2022.