There’s been a lot of buzz in the news recently about student performance on the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). While PISA results are informative from a data standpoint, there is not much information about how these exams lead to nationwide or global improvement in the classroom. At BASIS Independent Schools, we are excited to explore the implications of our results.
“It makes a huge difference to have teachers who are passionate about the subjects they are teaching in every class. It makes you more excited to learn! –Sophie, BASIS Independent McLean
BASIS Independent Schools raises the standards of student learning to the highest international levels through our advanced, globally benchmarked curriculum. However, our schools are only able to achieve such incredible outcomes thanks to our passionate expert teachers—not just because they teach with expertise, but because each one inspires students to truly love learning. Good luck asking any of our students who their favorite teacher or class is; they will usually answer, “all of them!”
When our students enter the Middle School Program in grade 5 at BASIS Independent Schools, they leave behind the two-teacher model that defines grades 1–4 and are solely led by Subject Expert Teachers (SETs). Focused on high-level mastery, SETs are the shepherds of academic content; they have real-life experience in the discipline they teach, and often even hold advanced degrees in the field.
Middle school is a time of substantial transition—academically and emotionally—for students as they leave the more nurturing elementary years and begin their preparation for high school and beyond. Because these years are filled with increasingly complex content, it is critical for students to build and fortify their foundational knowledge across a wide variety of disciplines.
This is the first in a three-part blog series that will provide an in-depth look into the BASIS Independent Middle School Program, which is designed to ready students with the knowledge, confidence, and independence needed to excel inside and outside the classroom, as well as provide them ample opportunity to discover their passions. This first blog post will focus specifically on the BASIS Curriculum in the middle school years, which has been honed and optimized to reflect today’s growing expectations in education.
BASIS Independent Manhattan has a mission of creating rigor in a joyful environment. The only way for that to be successful is to have complete student support in both academics and social-emotional learning. We believe in the importance of fostering an academic journey encompassing the whole student, one that prepares them for a future in our ever-changing world. How do we do this? With the world-renowned BASIS Curriculum, stellar teachers, and structured student support.
You still have time to register for our Fall Open House on Saturday, November 2, 2019.
At BASIS Independent Schools, we are constantly looking for ways to optimize our program while staying true to our foundation of academic excellence.
SPORK is an exciting new tablet-based math textbook program implemented at BASIS Independent Schools this year. The program, which offers many useful applications and learning tools, was initially tested last year at a few of our campuses as a new tool for BASIS Independent students and teachers in select math courses: Pre-Algebra, Algebra I/Geometry, and Algebra II/Geometry. Keep reading to learn more about how this initiative is elevating our curriculum.
As the new school year begins for our five BASIS Independent Schools campuses, we’re seeing all of the crucial elements of our program and classrooms come together after a summer of brainstorming and meticulous preparation.
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 BINS 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.
Students at BASIS Independent Schools know a thing or two about hard work and persistence in problem solving. Our accelerated and spiraled math curriculum gives students ample time to strengthen their fundamental skills so that each year, when our schools facilitate opportunities for students to participate in competitions, clubs, and more, they can then show off their talents and achieve new goals. This year’s math wins across several of our campuses are a testament of how well our students thrive in competitive situations.
Read on to explore just a few of the math-centric accomplishments from our campuses in Brooklyn, Fremont, Manhattan, McLean, and Silicon Valley.
Cognitive theorist Jerome Bruner wrote, “We begin with the hypothesis that any subject can be taught in some intellectually honest form to any child at any stage of development” (1960). We believe that even our youngest students at BASIS Independent Manhattan are capable of engaging with and understanding the most difficult material if it is structured and presented appropriately. BASIS Curriculum Schools ensures major course topics are “spiraled,” or re-addressed at each grade level with increasing complexity.
Inspired by the blissful feeling of uncovering connections, our blog Eureka! Manhattan is about sharing moments that capture the essence of what it is to be a BASIS Independent student, teacher, administrator, or family.