BASIS Independent Manhattan, like many other academic institutions, started school with remote learning due to the COVID-19 global pandemic. Despite the extreme difficulty in planning for the 2020-2021 school year, we set forth intending to follow our mission to try and be rigorously academic within an environment that is joyful, loving, respectful, supportive, and safe.
Much of this enormous task was shared by our administrative and teaching staff, but our decisive resource in creating this plan was Mr. Robert Runyon, Director of Academic Programs. We asked him some questions to uncover and explain the process, which we are featuring in this two-part blog series.
Everyone remembers that one teacher—the one that left such a strong impression that you actually started to call English your favorite class even when you’ve always been a “math person.” To paraphrase BASIS Independent Brooklyn French Subject Expert Teacher Mr. Mandeville, at BASIS Independent Schools, all teachers are that one teacher—each one forges a true connection between their students and the lessons being taught, instilling in them an avid love for their subject. Good luck asking one of our students what their favorite class is. They either tell you, “all of them!” or, “it changes each year!”
Our dedication to hiring world-class teachers is one of the reasons our network and students have seen such notable success over the years—from achieving top results on the OECD Test for Schools (based on PISA) and Advanced Placement exams, to our students gaining admission to some of the world’s best colleges, including Columbia, Yale, Harvard, Stanford, and more. Our robust teacher recruiting process is designed to find and hire high-caliber educators who inspire students to gain the knowledge, confidence, and critical-thinking skills to accomplish whatever they set their minds to.
To help families better understand what goes into ensuring every teacher at school is their child’s favorite teacher, we want to provide you with a look inside our teacher selection and hiring process.
The college placement results for the Class of 2020 have arrived!
The results are in and from coast-to-coast, BASIS Independent Schools continues to shine with impressive college placements! We are incredibly excited to share the Class of 2020 college placement results from across the network including BASIS Independent Brooklyn, McLean, and Silicon Valley. The Class of 2020 represents a total of 129 BASIS Independent seniors who submitted nearly 2,500 college applications.
Our seniors have all worked tremendously hard to achieve these results, and we could not be prouder of all that they have accomplished. It is the commitment, intellectual curiosity, and grit of our seniors, coupled with the dedication and passion of our Subject Expert Teachers, and the guidance and support of our College Guidance Coordinators that result in the extraordinary outcomes for our seniors every year. As the next chapter begins for our BASIS Independent graduates, they will enter their selected higher institution prepared to excel. We look forward to hearing more about their valuable contributions during their college years and beyond.
During this time of distance learning, parents of younger students are navigating a learning environment where the lines between school and home are blurred. Considering the circumstances, students and parents need extra support, and finding joy in learning is more important than ever. We spoke with our Dean of Students (PreK-Grade 2), Ms. Becky Hodges, to discuss how we accomplish this no matter where we are.
Although this interview was conducted prior to our school closure due to COVID-19, the philosophy, approach, and level of support are just as relevant and applicable.
Over the last several weeks, we have all experienced many disruptions to our daily lives—particularly families of school-aged children. This is a truly unprecedented time, and the learning community at BASIS Independent Schools has come together and grown stronger as a result. We understand change on this scale feels unpredictable and often paralyzing, especially when parents must now balance both work and their kids’ education at home.
What does it take to build life-long skills of self-advocacy and independence?
At BASIS Independent Schools, our educational philosophy is centered around student autonomy and self-advocacy. We want to empower our students when they come to school each day; to do so, we believe students need to learn to exercise their autonomy, which allows them to take greater control of their education.
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.
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.