Many families have asked our Founding Families about their experience to better understand what life is like at BASIS Independent McLean.  Our Admissions Team recently sat down with founding parent Mr. Daisuke Utagawa and his daughter Angelika, a fifth-grader at BASIS Independent McLean to ask a few commonly asked questions of our Founding Families.

Utagawa.jpgMr. Utagawa and his family lived in Washington, D.C. and they wanted to make a change from D.C. Public Schools as their daughter approached middle school.  They were not satisfied with the quality of the public middle schools in Washington D.C. and wanted to ensure that their daughter was challenged by a well-rounded program.

What inspired Mr. Utagawa to apply to BASIS Independent McLean for your daughter?
Mr. Utagawa attended an Information Session last spring and was excited to learn that the founders of BASIS.ed, Michael and Olga Block, were economists and he liked their evidence-based approach to education. He applied for his daughter because he wanted an education that incorporated “best practices from arou nd the world.”

Angelika, what's the biggest difference between your previous school and BASIS Independent? 
Angelika is a fun, energetic, and curious student. She enjoys singing, piano, acting, Russian school, and art projects.  When asked about the biggest difference between BASIS Independent McLean and her former public school, Angelika responded “we learn more here and are exposed to a greater variety of topics.”  Her favorite class is Latin because Dr. Grissom “makes learning fun and lets us learn in a variety of ways, including Latin conversations outdoors where we can practice our Latin in nature.” 

How would you describe the culture here at BASIS Independent McLean?
Angelika commented that the other kids are friendly and open-minded and the teachers make classes interesting.  Angelika also enjoys interacting with the older kids at BASIS Independent.  Mr. Utagawa describes the culture at BASIS Independent McLean as welcoming and accepting.  He finds that the school provides a diverse international perspective, both culturally and academically.  

What differences has Mr. Utagawa seen in his daughter in her first year?
Mr. Utagawa remarked that his daughter is now the most organized, well-rounded person in his family, which was not the case in August.  “She manages time better than I do.  She can concentrate on what she needs to do and utilizes her time wisely so that she can still participate in a variety of outside activities while also having free time.”  He wished he could have gone to a school like BASIS Independent when he was growing up. 

Background on Founding Parent Mr. Daisuke Utagawa
Mr. Utagawa was raised in Tokyo and became a Sushi Chef at age 16.  Prior to settling in the United States, Daisuke spent eight years in Europe and four years in Dubai, spending time as a Contributing Editor at National Geographic, writing about food as a portal for understanding people. He currently owns several Japanese restaurants including Sushiko in Chevy Chase, Maryland and three restaurants in Washington, D.C.:  Daikaya, Bantam King, and Haikan.   His family recently moved from Washington, D.C. to Northern Virginia.

BASIS Independent McLean is a Preschool-12 private school located in McLean, Virginia providing students an acclaimed liberal arts and science curriculum. Learn more about our program at an upcoming informational event. The Regular Admissions deadline for fall 2017 is Tuesday, January 31.

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