The 2020-21 school year continues with uncertainty as schools face sudden closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We started the year in distance learning, which was covered in Part I of this blog series. We successfully moved to in-person instruction five days per week for our PreK-2 students and a hybrid model for our grade 3-9 students where they are on campus five consecutive school days and then home for distance learning five days.
Yet, we are always prepared to “flip the switch” for a move from fully in-person and hybrid to an all distance learning model. Our readiness can be proven by the thoughtful planning and implementation of our schedules and curriculum. Robert Runyon (Director of Academic Programs) explains more in detail how our staff excels in this realm, families are supported, and students are set-up for success.
We are excited to welcome you and your family to another admissions season and school year. We have so much to share with you and wanted to spend some time introducing our campus, but more importantly, outlining our unique High School Program. You can read more below regarding our curriculum and commitment to educating students to the highest international levels.
New Chelsea Upper School Campus and Downtown Brooklyn Lower School Campus Slated to Open Fall 2021
BASIS Independent Schools, the world-acclaimed network of private schools, announced the expansion of BASIS Independent Manhattan to include a new Upper School campus in Chelsea that will house their growing High School Program. Meanwhile BASIS Independent Brooklyn will expand to a separate Lower School Campus at the City Point complex in Downtown Brooklyn due to increased enrollment. Both new campuses will open in fall 2021, and applications for the 2021-2022 school year were just launched.
BASIS Independent Manhattan will now serve students in PreK through High School across both campuses. The original BASIS Independent Manhattan campus at 795 Columbus Avenue will focus on students in PreK to grade 5. The new 34,000-square-foot Upper School campus is located at 556 West 22nd Street right across from the sports complex Chelsea Piers, and it will accommodate grades 6-12.
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.
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.