In a world where things have changed so much, it felt wonderfully normal to arrive on campus for the First Day of School (FDoS). As a BASIS Independent McLean (BIM) team member and mom, we completed the traditional FDoS steps. New school bag = check! FDoS picture = check! New outfit with matching dinosaur mask…Well, that was a bit different!

And, in the words of one of our high school history teachers, “it was surprisingly normal.” There was music and laughter in the gym. There were kids walking by Admissions waiving on their way to class. And, when I picked up my son, I was greeted to giggles, a bit of dirt, and a report on the number of Spider-Man and dinosaur masks.

Last week, the Admissions team watched application videos for our Student Ambassador Program. These current students in grades 5-12 will be an important part of your family’s application experience, as they share their BIM journey with you.

As I watched these videos, proud Red-Tailed Hawks shared why they love BIM, and I would love to share five of the top reasons why:

  • Participating in a vibrant community – Here, students are excited by their advanced studies and hands-on, learning experiences, which bring the material to life. Plus, they are energized and inspired by being surrounded by others eager to learn.
  • Helping others and learning to ask for help – At BIM, teachers and classmates want to succeed and are dedicated to supporting each other through opportunities like teacher office hours, a peer tutoring program, and more. Students are encouraged and coached on when to take an action to improve a current interest or discover a new one.
  • Making connections and making an impact – A small school provides great opportunity to get to know the entire class as well as upper and lower classes. Teachers and staff take extra time to get to know each child, and our students have a unique impact on the creation of our community and traditions.
  • Learning how to get organized – Our student learn how to balance their academics and extracurricular activities by improving time management and study skills. Students use the BIM Communications Journal (more commonly referred to as the CJ) to keep track of assignments and plan ahead.
  • And, having fun! – Learning, both inside and outside of the classroom, should be fun, engaging, and interactive. BIM provides the chance to explore new interests, meet new people, and try new things!

As you get to know our school, I hope that you will see and experience these things for yourself. While we are unable to welcome you on campus at this time, we are designing authentic experiences that highlight our community (and especially our students).

Over the next few weeks, you will have opportunities to meet our Student Ambassadors; however, let’s begin by meeting our Student Ambassador Group Leaders now in this video. From a classroom lecture in the Science of Disease class to preparation for a drama performance of “Hooray for Hollywood,” these proud Red-Tailed Hawks are ready to give you a glimpse into life on campus. As you get to know them, ask questions, attend their events, and make new friends!

Yes, this year will be a little different, as we get to know each other virtually, but our Admissions team and Student Ambassadors are working on some great activities to help your family get to know our campus. Submit an application today and get the process started. For applicants to grades 5 and above, I also encourage you to sign up for a Virtual Shadow Day, where you will meet our Student Ambassadors, faculty, administrators, and more.

Whether you are learning from home this year or putting on your mask to walk into your school, we hope that your school year is full of fun, excited learning, and feels “surprisingly normal.” We at BIM will do our best to make the admissions process feel that way, too!