Our Transitional Kindergarten program at BASIS Independent Fremont is exceptional, but you don’t have to take our word for it! We interviewed a few parents who had students in the program last year about their experiences. Read on for their insights!
What drew you to BASIS Independent Fremont (BIF)?
Jenny & Solon: BASIS Independent Fremont is a perfect match for my kid. It’s all about having kids develop their potential, by having them enjoy learning.
Jacob & Juliet: Our friends who sent their children to BASIS Independent Fremont the previous year provided a glowing recommendation. Upon further investigation, we discovered the remarkable track record and sterling reputation of BASIS Independent Schools.
We actually moved to Fremont and bought a new house so that our son could attend BASIS Independent Fremont. We are grateful we did.
Pragya & Shiv: The thing that drew us to BASIS Independent Fremont, and still does, is the quality of experience, education, and above all, the love for teaching that every staff member brings with them. Earlier on in an Open House, we heard Dr. Ashley Leyba give an example of Kindergarten or first graders who could read, but didn't comprehend what they had read. The fact that Dr. Leyba and her team are perceptive about children’s’ learning and comprehension skills resonated strongly with us. We also liked how the lessons were planned to connect what the students learn in one subject by applying it to other areas or subjects.
As part of her schooling and formative years, we want our daughter to learn HOW to think and not WHAT to think. What can be better than having teachers who instill the love of learning in a child? We felt confident that our daughter will get a healthy learning environment that will stretch her learning capability with care while still retaining her inner spark and independent personality.
How would you describe your experience as a TK parent at BASIS Independent Fremont?
Jenny & Solon: We had an astonishing experience at BIF, both for us and for our son. Ms. John [the Transitional Kindergarten Lead Teacher] knows every kid very well and keeps very good track of them, both academically and socially. Subject Expert Teachers are also very knowledgeable and they love kids so much. The administration and staff are very supportive and easy to communicate with. As parents, we feel we grow up so much with our kid in the BIF environment.
Jacob & Juliet: We were particularly impressed by the way the teachers actively shaped the TK curriculum to match the needs of the current students. The teachers assess the students regularly to guide their tailored and differentiated instruction.
This propelled our son’s class to progress much more rapidly than the initial syllabus indicated. By the end of the year, we were pleasantly surprised to find our son doing double-digit addition and reading confidently, even before starting kindergarten. We know that he was not alone. Several of his friends jumped straight from TK to 1st grade due to their level of mastery. The teachers are empowered by an engaged and well-organized administration.
Overall, we had an outstanding experience during our first year at BASIS Independent Fremont and look forward to many more.
Pragya & Shiv: We are happy that we enrolled our daughter in TK at BASIS Independent Fremont. [The teachers] were simply wonderful with the class - there was a lot of learning along with tons of fun, laughter, and love. As parents, we feel assured to know the importance that the school and teachers give to Growth Mindset. Our daughter surprised us with how she evolved in that one year.
Of course, her TK story will be incomplete without mentioning this anecdote after her first day at TK. She came home and lectured Pragya on how capable she was of doing everything by herself and how we should trust her capabilities. Capability and Trust were the keywords that evening. We loved it!
When you tell non-BASIS Independent Fremont families about your experience as a TK parent, what do you mention?
Jenny: I mention the BASIS Independent Fremont’s school mission and philosophy. The school follows them all through. I mention the TK curriculum and how much progress my son had made academically and socially in TK. My son has also grown to be independent. The faculty is so passionate and knowledgeable; administration and staff are enthusiastic and supportive. Also, I mention the extracurricular programs at school; they are in high quality, saving me lots of time and energy.
Jacob & Juliet: BASIS Schools are renowned for their academic rigor, so we always emphasize the well-rounded and diverse nature of the BASIS Curriculum approach since this is less widely known. Yes, the math and literacy instruction is exceptional, but BASIS Independent Fremont also provides quality experiences in Mandarin, music, art, drama, movement / physical education, science, and engineering -- all beginning in TK. Each of these features expert specialty teachers and dedicated class time. We view this as invaluable for our son’s development into a versatile thinker and nimble learner.
Pragya & Shiv: TK class was great! Our daughter loved it and made some wonderful friends. The teachers are excellent. The schedule incorporates recess time after every class. So, children work hard during the lesson time, but also get to unwind or shake off all that energy. And, it's not just academics - there's Drama, Art, Music, movement, PE, and Engineering. The team at BASIS Independent Fremont love what they do. They pay attention to the children and care about instilling the love for learning in them. Also, the Late Bird program is excellent!
What are you most excited to see in your student’s future classes at BASIS Independent Fremont?
Jenny: I am happy to see my son grow every day and still be excited to go to school.
I look forward to seeing my son continue to be curious, enthusiastic and confident.
Jacob & Juliet: We look forward to the symbiotic classroom model beginning in first grade, with the ingenious pairing of Subject Expert Teachers (SET) and Learning Expert Teachers (LET).
We are also enthusiastic about elements of the BASIS curriculum that are not often found in elementary education, such as engineering and Latin. Including engineering in elementary school is brilliant for its synergy of creative and logical thinking skills. We were able to observe some of the creations, such the trebuchets one class was testing outside the school.
Coming from scientific and medical backgrounds ourselves, we appreciate the value of learning basic Latin not only for its etymological and historical significance, but also for future understanding of scientific and medical terms.
Pragya & Shiv: We are excited to see how our daughter’s personality and self-esteem evolves, and are looking forward to being challenged at some point by her growing reasoning, comprehension, and vocabulary abilities. We are also interested in seeing how she learns to handle the ups and downs of getting grades, the pleasure and the frustration of working towards something long term--seeing how the growth mindset is implemented both at school and home.
How did you see your child grow over the course of their year in TK?
Jenny: My son grew to love school, and you can see his mental growth. He talks far more and he was reading by the end of the school year. He’s self-motivated and understands the world far better than he did before TK.
Jacob & Juliet: We were delighted to witness our son blossom over the course of the past year. Our son began the year with some reluctance in the transition from his previous school. By the end of the year, that initial reluctance was replaced by enthusiasm for school and learning. He has developed strong connections with his teachers and established close friendships with several classmates. His fluency in reading and numeracy increased more than we were expecting, and he has also thrived emotionally. We are pleased by growth in his ability to focus and rise to a challenge.
Pragya & Shiv: Her creativity and independence grew! She was able to read words and sentences in a book all by herself. She is now asking for chapter books! Her math and number skills were significantly better as well. Mandarin words are now occasionally a part of her vocabulary (she is a non-heritage speaker). Her social skills are better and she is more mature.
What about BASIS Independent Fremont would you recommend to other families considering TK for their child?
Jenny & Solon: The teacher-to-student ratio. Two teachers in the classroom; the Early Learning teacher and Early Learning Teaching Fellow, and also the Subject Expert Teachers.
Jacob & Juliet: Beyond the academics, BASIS Independent Fremont fosters development of the whole child. Their goal is students who are not only competent but also responsible and principled. One example is the STINGER program, which stands for Safe, Trustworthy, Industrious, Noble, Gritty, Empathetic, and Respectful. Each month features one of these traits for focus and discussion. When a student is found to be exhibiting one of these traits, he or she receives a STINGER award. This is celebrated by the school, so our son was ecstatic when he received his first one. This is a wonderful way to promote socio-emotional development and positive character traits.
We also applaud the specific attention of BIF teachers to cultivating growth mindset rather than fixed mindset in the students -- a proven way to increase student engagement.
We are extremely happy with the BASIS Curriculum program overall and would recommend it to anyone seeking the best educational experience for their child. We love BASIS Independent Fremont!
Is there anything you wish you knew before you had enrolled your child in TK?
Jenny & Solon: Label jackets and water cups! At least one other child will have the exact same one.
Jacob & Juliet: BASIS Independent Fremont organizes a diverse array of after-school extracurricular activities from which to choose such as various sports, robotics, chess, science club, history bowl, LEGO bricks challenge, sewing, speech/debate, etc. They also have a well-run general after-school program called Late Bird, which includes time for outdoor activities and completing homework. Our son enjoys these greatly and always requests to stay for Late Bird. Being aware of these quality after-school programs in advance would have given us peace of mind while exploring extracurricular opportunities for our son.
Pragya & Shiv: We had all the information we needed. Anytime we had any question, we could easily reach out to the staff.
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