Over 83% of BASIS Independent McLean high school students have earned an AP Scholar award, recognition from the College Board based on their performance on their 2019 AP exams. These awards recognize students who have demonstrated both a depth and breadth of knowledge through college-level mastery across multiple disciplines.
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.
“It makes a huge difference to have teachers who are passionate about the subjects they are teaching in every class. It makes you more excited to learn!” –Sophie, BASIS Independent McLean
BASIS Independent Schools raises the standards of student learning to the highest international levels through our advanced, globally benchmarked curriculum. However, our schools are only able to achieve such incredible outcomes thanks to our passionate expert teachers—not just because they teach with expertise, but because each one inspires students to truly love learning. Good luck asking any of our students who their favorite teacher or class is; they will usually answer, “all of them!”
When our students enter the Middle School Program in grade 5 at BASIS Independent Schools, they leave behind the two-teacher model that defines grades 1–4 and are solely led by Subject Expert Teachers (SETs). Focused on high-level mastery, SETs are the shepherds of academic content; they have real-life experience in the discipline they teach, and often even hold advanced degrees in the field.
Last weekend, our Theatre transformed into a humble home in Massachusetts during a Christmas season (and beyond) of the American Civil War. The students of the BASIS Independent McLean Drama Club became the cast of Little Women, a play by Scott Davidson that is adapted from Louisa Mae Alcott's classic novel. It tells the coming-of-age story during the Civil War of the four March sisters--Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy--as told by Jo. In addition to acting, students also ran the light board and managed the stage.
It’s been a great fall here at BASIS Independent McLean! Our students participated in a variety of in- and out-of-school academic and athletic competitions. Students were not only awarded for their hard work, but they had a lot of fun being challenged and achieving new goals. Read about their accomplishments below.
Humor can be found in any subject, but you can find it daily in Mr. Calhoun’s science and math classes. He loves using humor, especially bad puns, in his classrooms to engage the students. “Math puns are the first sine of madness,” he says with a laugh.
Middle school is a time of substantial transition—academically and emotionally—for students as they leave the more nurturing elementary years and begin their preparation for high school and beyond. Because these years are filled with increasingly complex content, it is critical for students to build and fortify their foundational knowledge across a wide variety of disciplines.
This is the first in a three-part blog series that will provide an in-depth look into the BASIS Independent Middle School Program, which is designed to ready students with the knowledge, confidence, and independence needed to excel inside and outside the classroom, as well as provide them ample opportunity to discover their passions. This first blog post will focus specifically on the BASIS Curriculum in the middle school years, which has been honed and optimized to reflect today’s growing expectations in education.
Our fourth annual Fall Festival brought together students, families, and staff for an afternoon of Halloween and fall fun! The festival featured familiar favorites like pumpkin painting, inflatable games, Trunk or Treat, and the Time Warp dance, as well as new additions including the Chili Cook-Off, sensory tables, potato sack races, and hot cider.
Laughter, discovery, smiles, playtime—you’ll find these in every BASIS Independent McLean (BIM) Toddler class, just like any toddler room. You’ll also find Mandarin, STEM, performing arts, and more learning mixed in with their curiosity and joy. Our Toddler Program (ages 2–3) is your child’s first classroom, not a daycare.
If you scan the Quarks classroom too fast, you might miss Ms. Setty and her co-teacher, Ms. Johnson, because they are often on the same level as their PreK-1 3-year-old students. They understand where their students are at socially and emotionally and meet them at the level, literally. Ms. Setty is more than just a teacher, she’s a coach, supporter, and friend. She loves hands-on activities that engage her students, as well as helping them learn how to be a good friend.
She is excited to be a member of a teaching staff that not only empowers children to ask big questions, but also builds an atmosphere where teachers are encouraged and expected to ask big questions of themselves and each other. She believes that learning is a lifelong pursuit. We sat down with Ms. Setty to learn more about her passion for PreK-1, what it’s like having a co-teacher, and her own interests!
Inspired by the blissful feeling of uncovering connections, our blog Eureka! McLean is about sharing moments that capture the essence of what it is to be a BASIS Independent student, teacher, administrator, or family.