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.
BASIS Independent Manhattan's expansion to include an Upper School Campus will open in fall 2021 in Chelsea (556 W. 22nd St) and will serve grades 6-12. The Upper School Campus, specifically, is a harmonious dichotomy of a historic and modern facility with an established yet innovative approach. This can be seen in the exterior and interior renderings shared below, as well as understood through an introduction to the leadership and culture that is being built.
Twice a year, our grade 2-5 students enthusiastically participate in a unique math challenge that gets them thinking logically, critically, and creatively. The Noetic Math Contest encourages students' interest in math, expands their problem-solving skills, and conveys the message that “It is COOL to be good at math!”
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.
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.
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.
At BASIS Independent Schools, we are constantly looking for ways to optimize our program while staying true to our foundation of academic excellence.
SPORK is an exciting new tablet-based math textbook program implemented at BASIS Independent Schools this year. The program, which offers many useful applications and learning tools, was initially tested last year at a few of our campuses as a new tool for BASIS Independent students and teachers in select math courses: Pre-Algebra, Algebra I/Geometry, and Algebra II/Geometry. Keep reading to learn more about how this initiative is elevating our curriculum.
Cognitive theorist Jerome Bruner wrote, “We begin with the hypothesis that any subject can be taught in some intellectually honest form to any child at any stage of development” (1960). We believe that even our youngest students at BASIS Independent Manhattan are capable of engaging with and understanding the most difficult material if it is structured and presented appropriately. BASIS Curriculum Schools ensures major course topics are “spiraled,” or re-addressed at each grade level with increasing complexity.
Finding the right PreK or Kindergarten program for your family is a big decision, wading through the sea of options, and considering your immediate needs while prioritizing your child’s long-term educational journey.
We sat down with two of our Early Learning Teachers to provide insight and specific examples about their approach and techniques in order to balance an academically rigorous curriculum with a joyful learning environment for our youngest learners.
For a parent-perspective, we also spoke to one of our families with a current PreK student and a first grader, who started at BASIS Independent Manhattan in Kindergarten. Read more below to hear about their decision-making process and the progression and growth seen in their children.
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.