As I meet more and more BASIS Independent McLean families at information events and at my popular Coffee Meetings, it is clear by questions asked about our program that we are shaping an engaged, thoughtful parent community. Understandably, there are frequently asked questions and I have listed the two most popular with answers below.  
How can my child catch up in the first year? 

Mary_Riner_high_res-1.jpgIn a founding year all students are starting together from different programs. It is our teachers who are held accountable to ensure that all students, while new to the program, move up together to our standards. The BASIS.ed curriculum is slightly adjusted in a first year school to include content covered in earlier years of the curriculum that students may not have covered at their prior schools. For example, sixth grade World History incorporates geography from the fifth grade Physical Geography course. Additionally, there is a robust student support system in place including our teachers, deans and a peer tutoring center. At our sister private schools in California and New York, students successfully transitioned and performed exceptionally well in their first year.   

You will have students at different levels in the classroom, how does that work?

For all grades teachers are held accountable to ensure that all students are comprehending the content, applying what they have learned and achieving subject mastery. At a minimum teachers are assessing students daily by asking questions to check for comprehension and to challenge students to critically think. All teachers hold office hours during the week and will ask students to attend who may require additional support.   

Primary School

In the primary school there are two educators in the classroom at all times, a Subject Expert Teacher (SET) and a Learning Expert Teacher (LET). The SET has a degree in the subject matter that they teach. The LET typically has a degree in Early Childhood Education and Development. While the SET teaches, the LET is able to focus on your child’s specific needs in the classroom. Students are also matched in small groups in each of their discovery blocks. 

Middle and Upper School

In the middle and high school, starting in the fifth grade we offer various math levels that will offer the appropriate challenge for students of different math preparation. There is a strong culture of collaboration, where it is okay to make mistakes and ask for help. That is the way you learn. 

If you have any other questions for me both as a BASIS parent and as our Director of Community relations, please feel free to e-mail me, otherwise I hope you'll attend one of my upcoming Coffee Meetings and we can talk through your questions in person.

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