Welcome to Carson's Corner! In this blog series, I, Carson Pierse, share with you the goings-on in the BASIS.ed Network from my perspective as a BASIS Scottsdale alumna.
I graduated from BASIS Scottsdale in 2010. After earning my Bachelor of Arts degree in Marketing and Management from Hillsdale College, I returned home to Arizona and to my BASIS.ed roots, joining the BASIS.ed Talent Acquisition department as a teacher Recruitment Coordinator. I then leapt at the opportunity to join BASIS Independent Manhattan as an Admissions Coordinator where I get to help shape our school community in its founding year, and in years to come.
By now you may have heard our exciting news, BASIS Independent Manhattan has announced our Head of School! Congratulations to Jesse Rizzo, we are excited to welcome you to the BASIS Independent Manhattan family and look forward to your expertise as we begin to build our school community.
As a parent, you may be familiar with the term Head of School, however, what you may not be aware of is that BASIS Independent Schools takes a slightly different approach to our leadership model. Each Head of School is partnered with a Head of Operations who handles the day to day duties of operating the building. Having this partner in leadership allows the Head of School the ability to focus solely on the academic well-being and educational excellence of the school. For this installment of Carson's Corner, I want to give you a sneak peek into the pivotal role of the Head of School and show you what this means for the academic integrity of your child's education.
Classroom Observation and Curriculum Alignment
One of the most important duties of the Head of School at a BASIS.ed-managed school is observation of our classrooms to assess their alignment with the BASIS.ed curriculum. A Head of School regularly steps into the classroom to view the environment, evaluate student engagement, and assess lesson quality. This is an important aspect of the Head of School role because it allows them to stay on top of the daily academic workings of our schools while maintaining an active presence on campus and monitoring the successful understanding of the material by our students.
Teacher Evaluation and Support
In addition to monitoring the the overall classroom experience, the Head of School plays an active role in teacher evaluation and support. Evaluation of teachers is two-fold: First - classroom observations (mentioned above) help assess lesson quality, Second - there is an analysis of student test results. By monitoring these two factors, the Head of School is able to determine if the teacher is effectively transferring the information to the students and where they are in need of professional development. We want our teachers to feel the same level of support that our students feel on a daily basis and our Head of School is here to provide it.
Creating a Unique Community for Students, Families, and Teachers
Our Head of Schools are also tasked with the most important job of all, shaping the unique communities at each of our campuses. The Head of School plays an active role in the Admissions process by forming relationships with families early on and helping them to find the right fit within BASIS Independent Schools. Even after prospective families have begun calling BASIS Independent home, the Head of School continues to work to make sure that students, families, and teachers have effective communication and participation in the school community in order to ensure a positive academic experience.
What This Means
Now, the Head of School's role at a BASIS Independent campus is certainly not limited to the above three categories, but because of our unique leadership model, they are able to do what they know best - create and support an extraordinary academic community for your student, your family, and our teachers. The Head of School works tirelessly to ensure that your child is receiving all of the benefits of the BASIS.ed curriculum.
This past weekend we had the privilege of welcoming Ms. Jesse Rizzo to BASIS Independent Manhattan at an Information Session and introduced her to some of our prospective families. Her effective delivery of the BASIS.ed curriculum, combined with her passion for what we do, ensures that she will do an incredible job executing the important role of being Head of School at BASIS Independent Manhattan. Her experience as the Director of Academic Programs at BASIS Independent Brooklyn coupled with her history in building schools in NYC and abroad, make her the perfect fit to bring the BASIS.ed model of education to Manhattan. Ms. Rizzo also shared a few words about her excitement to join the BASIS Independent Manhattan team:
"I am most looking forward to building a community of thinkers and learners who are active participants in their learning and continually challenge the status quo. I am looking forward to carrying out the BASIS mission and vision and to provide an internationally ranked and competitive curriculum.
I am excited to build a culture where taking risks is the norm for both students and teachers. Quite frankly, I cannot wait to see a child’s face light up with excitement when they discover the connections between each of the disciplines. There is no better feeling than seeing the lightbulb / “a-ha” moment for a child. These are the moments I am looking forward to most. Bottom line: the goal is always about student learning and achievement, and I can’t wait to see the different versions of how our students will solve real-world complex problems and become agents of change in today’s society."
If you have not had the opportunity to read Ms. Rizzo's bio, I invite you to check out this recent blog.
Want to learn more about our program? Come visit us at an upcoming event. I look forward to meeting you and sharing more about my experience.
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