BASIS Independent Manhattan opened its doors in 2017 and four years later our growth continues with the expansion to an Upper School campus for our grade 6-12 students. For the first half of this year, Mr. Brandon McNeice (Head of School, Upper) has been busy giving tours, hiring teachers, developing programming, and even selecting desks and chairs. Opening a new campus comes with challenges, but ones that Mr. McNeice is approaching with gratitude and gumption. We dove in from there and asked Mr. McNeice more about his goals, work, and what he envisions for the future.
In Fall 2021, BASIS Independent Manhattan’s growing future becomes a reality with an expansion to two campuses. The Upper West Side location will be home to PreK-5 students, while the new, upper campus in Chelsea is set to serve grades 6-12. Although our community will span across two buildings, we remain one school united by the collaborative leadership of our Heads of School.
We are eager and excited to welcome Mr. Han Lee as the incoming Head of School for our main campus (PreK-5). He joins us from the West Coast where he was an all-rounder at BASIS Independent Fremont and Silicon Valley. In an effort to get to know him, we are sharing this Q&A session that highlights his experience, vision, and passion.
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.
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 distinct 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, enthusiastically, “all of them!” or, “it changes each year!”
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.