Play and physical activity are critical to a child’s development and focus in school. We know that fresh air and outdoor play fuels creativity which leads to academic gains in the classroom. Free play also provides students with opportunities to develop social competence. That is why we are pleased to present our concept renderings for BASIS Independent Manhattan's second floor terrace playground and outdoor gathering space!

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Inspired by Finland’s approach to recess, BASIS Independent Schools typically separate out the 45-minute recess block into shorter bursts throughout the academic day. BASIS Independent Manhattan will offer three 15 minute recess blocks in elementary grades in addition to Physical Education and Movement classes.

"We know kids get wiggly after about 20 minutes," said BASIS Independent Manhattan Head of School Jesse Rizzo. "It's not just kids, either. We all start to move around after sitting and listening for a long stretch. That's why we designed our academic day to have short bursts of recess in between blocks of focused time. We know that helps kids focus and makes them more receptive to learning."

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. 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. 

Outdoor space will be an important feature for BASIS Independent Manhattan faculty and students. Ms. Rizzo plans to take full advantage of nearby Central Park for gym trips, excursions and afterschool activities.

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"Our students will be outside benefitting from fresh air and sunshine," remarked Ms. Rizzo. "We would like to take full advantage of our great terrace to get kids on swings and running around, not to mention holding class discussions in the grass in the warm weather. Also, Central Park is so close. We are excited for excursions there, and definitely look forward to School Field Days, Family Fun Runs and other programs that may interest our community."

Just a reminder that Regular Admissions Cycle application deadline for BASIS Independent Manhattan is January 24 with the complete application due January 30.

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