Monica MastersonDirector of Auxiliary Programs, Ms. Monica Masterson, joins BASIS Independent Manhattan from our Brooklyn campus and will oversee all after-school enrichment programs, school social events, athletic competitions and external academic competitions. Ms. Masterson is excited to foster friendships among our students by providing bonding opportunities that extend beyond the classroom.  

We know there is great interest in finding out what extracurriculars will be available this school year, so we asked Ms. Masterson specific questions about her role and what families can expect when it comes to auxiliary programs.

How will your experience at the Brooklyn campus help support the programs being created on the Upper West Side?

As the former Director of Auxiliary Programs at BASIS Independent Brooklyn, I intend to bring quality programs and reliable vendors to Manhattan. During my two years at Brooklyn I fostered many relationships with vendors and learned the student interests of different grade-bands. While I know the interests of Manhattan students may show variations, I would not be surprised if there are similarities. I’m ready to anticipate the needs of Manhattan families and mold to their interests.

How does being located in the heart of the Upper West Side shape the auxiliary programming?

I intend to find out! We live in New York, and every resource one could imagine is at our finger tips. The fact that Central Park is a block away opens up possibilities about outdoor space that we may not have had in Brooklyn. I’m open to how this area can contribute to the school in regard to proximity, space, and accessibility.

Can you explain what is being done over the summer to get extracurricular activities ready for the start of school?

The summer is a time to reach out to Manhattan families so we can get a pulse on what they are looking for. I will be connecting with the teachers and vendors who can provide those opportunities. The next two months will be filled the creation of many schedules, social event plans and conversations with our neighbors in the Manhattan community who would like to be a part of our programs here at BASIS Independent Manhattan.

What can families expect for the auxiliary programming at BASIS Independent Manhattan?

My hope for this year is to have high student participation in our extracurricular programs and social mixers. I want to offer many opportunities for children to foster friendships, memories, and skills outside the classroom to create a well-rounded BASIS Independent experience.

Do you have any tips for families on how to best take advantage of or approach extracurricular activities? 

The success of our extracurricular programs is dependent on participation. We will offer many opportunities for our students, but not all may take place immediately. It might take a session or two in order for a program to “take-off”. For example, we might have 15 students sign up for soccer, but only three show interest in capoeira. In that case, capoeira club may not move forward until mid-year when student schedules free-up, or interest grows. So, if your child absolutely loves a program they are participating in outside of BASIS Independent, I would continue to keep them in that program until we can guarantee we have the critical numbers here at BASIS Independent to have it move forward. But if you have room in your schedule the other days of the week, please give our programs a try!

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