READING ROOM & NORTH ATRIUM
In collaborative spaces like our reading rooms and lounges, our students are encouraged to consider problems in an interdisciplinary fashion, and then marshal the additional resources that may be necessary to test their ideas. These areas suggest that problems in the future will be just as much about information as they are physical matter, and that the workplace may not look like we imagine from the past.
Early Learning Program
Our goals in the Early Learning Program involve establishing foundational knowledge and skill while concurrently fostering the spirit of discovery and curiosity that will be necessary for success down the road. The environments dedicated to these learners need to be flexible, fun, and engaging.
Much of what we do in early childhood and primary school is geared toward expanding opportunities for new ideas, and proving how curiosity in one area leads to answers in another. Imagine our youngest learners peering out the window as the cherry trees bloom, and then suddenly noticing the exposed ductwork on the ceiling. How does water move through a tree, or a classroom, they suddenly wonder. And do trees breathe air like we do?
Or, imagine setting up an ancient Egyptian marketplace in the common areas, where confidence from drama, product descriptions from writing, currency conversions from math, and cultural appreciation from history make for a great gather of families, and spark continued discussions at the playground and the dinner table later on.
Athletic facilities play a vital role in the development of students across the world. Not just in their physical education and health, but in inter- and intrapersonal learning experiences. We all know that teamwork and cooperation are essential for the 21st century, and certainly environments like a light-filled and central multi-purpose room can support those ends in ways a traditional classroom may not.
UPPER SCHOOL CLASSROOM
A world-class education should empower students to think creatively and critically about the world around them. But in order to do that, to make meaningful and informed decisions about their lives, to become innovative and independent thinkers, they have to know the foundations. In moving through our program, turning from concrete to abstract thought, we need to ensure students are exposed to the essential knowledge originating for all core academic disciplines.
The vast majority of these classrooms will have access to natural light and are surrounded by old growth green spaces. But from that point, the look and feel of a given classroom will be shaped largely by the teacher’s expertise and passion, and the student’s contribution and engagement. Whether this classroom is for Latin, logic, economics, literary theory, statistics, cultural analysis, creative composition, or something we haven’t thought of yet, it’s a place where teachers and students will come together to co-create their own paths forward.
STUDENT COLLABORATION SPACE
Challenging students and raising expectations is part of success at BASIS Independent McLean, but no measure of success would be complete without an equally ambitious program of support. So often in K–12 education, asking for help is tantamount to disciplinary action. If we want to reach the greatest highest possible, we must flip this norm on its head. We have to praise the best questions over the credited answers.
When our students visit their Academic Dean or join a peer tutoring group, we want them to take pride in that commitment and ownership of their own destiny. As such, many of our support spaces are placed right in the middle of the normal flow of movement. Support shouldn’t be peripheral, and by places these services and environments, students have constant informal and formal opportunities to extend and enhance their networks. Moreover, this design allows ease of peer-to-peer support in both spontaneous and planned fashion, and makes asking for help something that happens for everybody, adults and children alike.
We'll be releasing additional renderings in the coming weeks, which include the front entrance, science lab, auditorium and lobby.
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Disclaimer: Images are artist renderings and subject to change.