No stranger to the educational sphere, Mr. Josiah Wagoner has come to guide BASIS Independent Fremont’s Lower School following his experience as a Professor of Education, an educational administrator, educational content creator, and elementary school teacher. As the Associate Head of School and Director of Primary program at BASIS Independent Fremont, he nurtured the young careers of future teachers and trained them to implement the latest educational best practices. As a Dean of Students and Learning Expert Teacher, Mr. Wagoner developed expertise on the Social-Emotional needs of students, becoming known as an empathetic administrator who always puts the needs of students first.
While creating and implementing curriculum and guiding educators, Mr. Wagoner accumulated a wealth of experience in elementary learning and development, making him exceptionally suited to lead BASIS Independent Fremont’s Lower School campus as the new Head of School.
When asked what makes the BASIS Independent Fremont community and Curriculum so unique, Mr. Wagoner had these insights to impart.
What Sets BASIS Independent Fremont Apart?
“BASIS Independent Fremont initially drew me because of the educational model. My background is in the classroom, and what teachers are able to accomplish here with the two-teacher model is nothing short of groundbreaking. I became determined to be a part of that.”
One of the defining elements of our Primary Program is our Symbiotic Classroom, a teaching model that pairs a Subject Expert Teacher with a Learning Expert Teacher for every core discipline. This two-teacher model minimizes distractions and maximizes learning. Students get the benefit of teachers who love their subjects and can pass that passion on, and a teacher who can keep a close eye on their progress and happiness. At BASIS Independent Fremont, this SET/LET relationship is at the heart of our goal to instill a lifelong passion for learning in our students.
Creating a Culture of Excellence
“Students are unambiguously the first priority of this school. Everything we do is in support of that, directly or indirectly. Whether it’s taking the time to hire the best teachers or individualizing student success plans, all roads lead to BIF being the very best in student outcomes.”
The hallmark of our teachers is a combination of subject expertise and passion for their discipline. This means that students are growing under the mentorship and expertise of real mathematicians, chemists, musicians, writers, and more, most of whom have advanced degrees in their area of study. While some new faculty members may have been teaching for years, other aspiring teachers come from non-traditional backgrounds, such as research or corporate positions. However different their route into the classroom may be, expertise and passion unite all of our educators.
Addressing the Whole Student
The student support system at BASIS Independent is such a unique and incredible asset for the students. Although our curriculum is challenging, we make sure that we set up all of our students for success. We work collaboratively as a team, LETs, SETs, and administration, to create a unique plan for each student that helps them achieve their goals.
“We take data from many avenues to get a clear picture of where students are and where they need to be. Teacher feedback, Dean’s observations, grade reports, and testing data are all pieces of the larger picture of student progress. Within these, we work to identify any foundational skills (skills without which students cannot make progress) that may be lacking. Then, we target those skills in individual and small-group interventions.”
Our student support program begins in primary school, teaching life skills, such as time management, how to learn from failure, and effective communication starting in Kindergarten. As such, students learn to be independent, own their academic endeavors, equip themselves with the skills to thrive, and are well-prepared for whatever challenges lie ahead.
Building Up the Leaders of Tomorrow
BASIS Independent Fremont students have a legacy of excellence in academics and club competitions, with programs and passions expanding each season. As an accomplished public speaker and the 2012 Korean National Champion of Public Speaking, Mr. Wagoner appreciates the importance of motivating students to find their voice, find their niche, and reach for the stars.
“Competitions are a particular area of success for us. Competition is motivating, and we like to foster a sense of healthy competitiveness in students. BIF students are very successful in prestigious academic competitions like MOEMS, Spelling Bee, AMC 8, and national chess competitions.”
As a school community, BASIS Independent Fremont encourages service and exemplary citizenship. Our school values, displayed throughout the school using the acronym S.T.I.N.G.E.R., are based on the following values: Safe, Trustworthy, Industrious, Noble, Gritty, Empathetic, and Respectful.
Mr. Wagoner reflected that above all, “My strength is in helping students to reflect on how they can and should make good choices to become good members of our community and good citizens of the wider world,” says Mr. Wagoner. “That is what we’re doing here, after all: helping kids grow into responsible adults.”
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.