As we prepare for next school year, an exciting and important part for middle and high school students is selecting some of their courses. It is time for middle and high school students to consider the classes they want to take in the 2020-21 school year. 

For PreK through rising grade 5, all courses are pre-selected as part of the BASIS Curriculum. Students take the same engaging core classes (depending on grade), including Connections, Engineering, science, P.E., and humanities. These courses are designed to help students lay a solid foundation in critical thinking and problem-solving skills that will come in handy for the more advanced courses in middle school and up. 

Differentiated math classes begin in grade 5. Grade 4 students will be assessed at the end of the year on a number of factors, which includes a placement test, and the Math Placement Committee will make a placement for next year. Current families should view ParentSquare for detailed information that was sent home to grades 4 and 5 in the fall.  

For students rising into grades 6–12, in addition to taking planned BASIS Curriculum courses, they must choose one or more academic courses to fill their schedules for the upcoming school year. Grade 6 students select one fine arts elective for the first time. Grade 7 students choose an elective from a broader set of offerings, as well as a world language. 

The elective interest survey comes first, followed by course selection. Read on for more details about this process:   

Elective Interest Survey (rising grades 7–12) 

We love encouraging our students to seek out and explore new passions, which is why our electives are driven by student interest and demand. Because of this, electives may vary each year. 

The process starts with our teachers submitting proposals for any new electives they may be interested in teaching. When submitting these proposals, teachers could be inspired by a personal interest or a stimulating discussion they’ve had with their current students. 

Earlier this year, an Elective Course Survey was given to students in grades 6–11 so they could indicate their preference in electives. While they did not register for an elective at this time, the survey helped our Academic Team gauge the interest in each elective to better determine which classes to offer during registration. 

Students in grades 8-12 also have the opportunity to suggest their own elective. Suggesting an elective does not guarantee it will be offered next year, but students can work with the Academics Team to decide whether there is enough student interest and teacher availability to offer the desired elective. If there is, the school offers it as part of course registration.  

Course Registration (rising grades 6–12) 

This year, course registration will take place in May. For students currently in grades 5–11, a course registration link will be emailed to current families and new 2020-21 incoming familiesWe strongly encourage parents and students to discuss and complete course registration together. Current BIM rising grades 9-12 students must complete a Course Planning Worksheet before submitting their course registration. Additionally, the high school team is holding office hours for any students who would like guidance about which courses are best for them. Details are available on ParentSquare and Teams. Incoming students may contact Director of Academic Programs Kate Reynolds with any questions or for additional guidance about completing course registration. 

The courses students register for depends on their grade level, as noted in the chart below.  

Rising Grade 

Courses Selected 

6 

Fine Art (art, drama, or music) 

7 

World Language (Spanish, French, Latin, or Mandarin) and elective 

8 

Elective 

9 

Elective and first science 

10 

Elective, English, and second science 

11 

Elective, English, and third science 

12 

Varies by graduation year and plan 

 

Rising grade 6 students choose which fine art (art or drama or music) to take. 

Rising grade 7 students choose an elective course as well as the world language they want to pursue. As a reminder, students will continue to study this same language throughout their high school careers. 

Rising grade 8 students continue in their world language and math track, but will get to choose an elective. The high school elective selection includes AP-level electives that grade 8 students may enroll in if they want to tackle an additional challenge. For this we ask that students first talk with their teachers to determine if it would be appropriate for them, and to get approval from the Dean before registering. 

For rising grades 9–12, students continue in discipline paths they have already started (i.e., math, history, and world language), but they now get to choose a science course, an English course, and an elective. In history, our course sequence recently changed and some cohorts will have an option to select between AP and seminar classes.  

As always, our Academics Team, teachers, and other resources are always available to advise families on the best class placement for each student as they make their decisions. We can’t wait to see what they come up with and what areas of interest they are eager to explore in the upcoming school year!