There are so many exciting things that we will get to celebrate as a community in 2017 at BASIS Independent Manhattan. Many families have asked about what to expect with design and facility, and many of our decisions go beyond being purely functional. Our building will speak to the culture of our program and the type of learning community we are bringing to Manhattan. Below are the first set of schoolhouse renderings and thoughts from the Head of School Jesse Rizzo on how these designs will help create and support our school community:



The vast majority of our BASIS Independent Manhattan classrooms will have access to natural light due to the large stretches of windows surrounding our campus. The look and feel of a given classroom will be shaped largely by the teacher’s expertise and passion, and the student’s contribution and engagement. Whether this classroom is for Latin, logic, economics, literary theory, statistics, cultural analysis, or creative composition, it’s a place where teachers and students will come together to co-create their own paths forward.

Science Lab


A world class education should empower students to think creatively and critically about the world around them. But in order to do that, to make meaningful and informed decisions about their lives, to become innovative and independent thinkers, they have to know the foundations. Here we present one of our science labs, since both strong STEM and Liberal Arts classes lie at the heart of our curriculum.

What will make the sciences at BASIS Independent Manhattan so special? Our Subject Expert Teachers, who are faculty with degrees in the subjects they teach, go out of their way to make science exciting for kids. Many BASIS Independent teaching faculty previously taught in the college or university setting, and there is a real drive among them to make science exciting for children at an early age when they are very receptive to it. 

From small group projects to independent work, the environment is always collegial within BASIS Independent science classes. It’s not about competition. It’s about finding the answers together.



Athletic facilities play a vital role in the development of students across the world. Not just in their physical education and health, but in inter- and intrapersonal learning experiences. We all know that teamwork and cooperation are essential for the 21st century, and certainly environments like a light-filled and central multi-purpose room can support those ends in ways a traditional classroom may not. 

Outdoor Terrace Playground

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Play and physical activity are critical to a child’s development and focus in school. We know that fresh air and outdoor play fuel creativity which leads to academic gains in the classroom. Free play also provides students with opportunities to develop social competence. 

Recess periods will be woven throughout the school day and take place on the second floor terrace playground. Central Park will be utilized to supplement the curriculum. 

Outdoor Collaborative Space

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Middle school students will have the option of using the terrace during lunch and other academic time during the day. There will be long stretches of grass for games of soccer and running. 

We envision classes moving to our terrace for reading circles and discussion groups when the weather permits. We also plan on organizing Shakespearean productions, storytelling and poetry readings outdoors in the Spring.

In the coming months, we will share more renderings of our campus as well as "Teacher Features" profiling some all-star teaching faculty recently onboarded for the opening of BASIS Independent Manhattan in September 2017. 

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Disclaimer: Images are artist renderings and subject to change.