Originally posted by BASIS Independent Fremont's Director of Student Affairs, Audrey Hagopian, this blog piece expertly lays out the student support system within our network of schools. It is the goal of BASIS Independent Schools to create students who are highly achieving, but are amongst the happiest in the world. Read on to hear more from Ms. Hagopian.
The student support system at BASIS Independent Schools is such a unique and incredible asset for the students. While we do have a challenging curriculum, we make sure that we set up all of our students for success. As the Director of Student Affairs, I coordinate all of the student support efforts at our school. What this looks like, though, depends on the student’s grade level.
How We Engineer Student Support
• Kindergarten: Student support happens in the classroom throughout all aspects of the school day. Students learn in flexible differentiated learning groups so that teaching is personalized to student needs. We have an entire block in the schedule every day called “Kinder Enrichment” that gives teachers the freedom to address any topic that they think the students would benefit from that day. This can range anywhere from extra academic practice, to one-on-one learning, to lessons about social/emotional skills, to practicing writing in the Communication Journal (CJ)!
• 1st-4th grades: We work very closely with the team of Learning Expert Teachers (LETs) to develop a variety of individualized student plans out of the classroom, as well as making sure that we are creating differentiated learning lessons in the classroom. We don’t just teach to the “middle of the pack;” we make sure that every student benefits from the instruction. The LETs and I also create individual plans for students to help them target academic, social, behavioral, and organizational areas in which they may need extra support.
• 5th grade & above: The student support team works directly with the student. We hold individual student support meetings for students who may benefit from extra support in academic, social, behavioral, and organizational areas. In the 5th & 6th grades, we also have a daily class called Academic Enrichment where all students talk about organizational skills, study skills, healthy homework habits, and a variety of other topics.
At BASIS Independent Schools, we support the whole student. And student support is for every student! Academics are very important, but we teach our students that being independent, displaying a good work ethic, and having a strong moral awareness are just as important. In fact, academic success is predicated by all of the above.
What Parents Say
• BASIS Independent parent Yirui Peng said, “My son is well supported and the transition from our other school was smooth. Teachers communicate with us often and our son has the support he needs to learn to be more independent. He even started to write ‘to-do’ notes to himself at home!”
• BASIS Independent parent Shanthi Yellapredada said, “The teachers and staff are always willing to help students with any issues or concerns. Parents are kept informed and updated constantly. Communication by teachers and staff is excellent.”
This is exactly what the BASIS Independent Schools difference is all about. We work collaboratively as a team, LETs, Subject Expert Teachers (SETs), and administration, to create a unique plan for each student that helps them achieve their goals.
Student Support and School Values: A Dynamic Duo
Some of our favorite events are the Wellness Weeks that our Health Coordinator organizes for the students throughout the school year. We have a variety of fun activities focusing around healthy sleep, eating, and exercise habits, and we discuss how those healthy habits correlate to being a successful student.
What Sets Us Apart
Our student support program in our primary schools (and not just at the high school level as you traditionally see at other schools) really sets us apart from other schools. I like that it becomes normal, even at age 6, to ask for help! I also love that through student support we are teaching life skills, such as time management, how to learn from failure, and effective communication starting in Kindergarten. As such, students learn to be independent, own their academic endeavors, and are equipped with the skills to thrive and are well-prepared for whatever challenges lie ahead.
Learn more about BASIS Independent Manhattan and our culture of support at our April 12 panel event featuring co-founder, Dr. Michael Block, and BASIS Curriculum Schools alumni!