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.
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.
There is a quote posted on the refrigerator in the staff lounge at BASIS Independent Manhattan from Todd Whitaker. It reads: “The best thing about being a teacher is that it matters. The hardest thing about being a teacher is that it matters every day."
Our dedicated and passionate teachers are a cornerstone of BASIS Independent Manhattan’s success. As we enter our second year, we are thrilled to have a Teacher Mentor program where the focus is to not only have a faculty that supports our students, but also a faculty that feels supported.
Each year, hundreds of teachers from the various BASIS Curriculum Schools gather in Arizona for Summer Institute, a week of learning, networking, and preparing for the upcoming school year. Newly hired teachers and those changing roles attend this annual event, where they gather in peer groups to establish best practices for educating students in the context of the grades and subjects they teach within the BASIS Curriculum.
BASIS Independent Manhattan was recently featured in a news story conducted by TV2 Denmark. They focused on our school's low-tech approach to education in a high-tech world. The McDonald family, including Aurelia (2-Li) and Flynn (5-Mg), gave their perspectives about not relying on technology at school and why BASIS Independent Manhattan's approach to technology in the classroom is important.
Leading education podcast "Edspiration" recently featured BASIS Independent Manhattan Head of School Jesse Rizzo on her vision for nurturing a global classroom at her new school opening on the Upper West Side this fall.
The interview delves into very pertinent discussions: How do you expose students to their role in the world and their own heritage? How does increased empathy and cultural understanding lead to higher achievement?
"At a humanitarian level, teaching our kids to be globally aware can help them understand people who are different," said Ms. Rizzo in the interview. "Diversity can build a peaceful and civil society. As our world continues to become more interconnected, students are expected to work well with many cultures."
“I want to stress…there is no such thing as a gifted & talented curriculum,” Alina Adams told our recent parent panel and audience when delving into selective NYC public school options. Ms. Adams is an education consultant and reporter who wrote the books Getting Into NYC Kindergarten and Getting Into NYC High School.
Ms. Adams moderated our panel to provide parents with more information on the New York City Public School Gifted & Talented (G&T) options, how to navigate the admissions process and how BASIS Curriculum Schools are different. Read on for a brief recap of the key themes from the discussion, as well as personal perspectives shared by current BASIS Independent Brooklyn parents who had transferred from G&T programs.
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.