As we continue to explore Middle School at BIM, I met with Riya ’27 to spend a day in her shoes and talk about transitioning to middle school at BIM! Riya and her twin brother, Ronit, came to BIM in grade 6 and quickly joined the Student Ambassador Program. Riya enjoys the freedom to look more deeply into topics that peek her interest – both inside and outside of the classroom. She particularly likes that BIM encourages students to start new clubs and enjoys being involved on campus.
Here Riya shared a typical school day in grade 7 and more details about the support that students receive as they transition to BIM.
What better way to learn about Middle School at BIM than from a current student! Naina ’28 enjoys being part of the BIM community, especially the relationships that she has built with fellow students and teachers. She loves BIM so much that she became a student ambassador. While BIM is a school focused on building a supportive community, students in the BIM Student Ambassador Program take an active role in sharing our school and their experience with prospective and admitted families.
In this blog, I follow Naina through a day at BIM and ask her what makes BIM unique. At BIM, each period is 50 minutes with a 5-minute passing period before and afterwards. The day includes 8 periods with one period being a combination of lunch and an advisory period in the middle school years.
Though I have run the Admissions team since 2017, the Toddler Program was my first experience as a BIM Mom. And, it really laid the foundation for my son, Marcus, to love learning. Last week, I revisited the toddler classroom to showcase a day in the life of a toddler at BIM.
When we first entered the kindergarten classroom, the energy, excitement, and curiosity coming off the students was palpable; it’s very clear that our 5-year-old Hawks love to learn! We spent the day in kindergarten to get to know the curriculum, the students, and the joyful learning environment that inspires such wonder and enthusiasm.
Step into the world of 4Mo—grade 4 Molybdenum* that is. Bold and brave, as they call themselves in their self-created class song, Ms. Peck’s class is ready to tackle anything. We tagged along with Grace ’26 for a typical Wednesday and learned grade 4 at BASIS Independent McLean is awesome.
“All the teachers are epic,” says 6th grader Leo with great enthusiasm.
Leo joined BASIS Independent McLean its founding year in grade six. He was excited about joining the school after meeting with Head of School, Mr. Sean Aiken, and learning about the program.
“At BASIS Independent McLean, I am learning every day and it is challenging,” Leo expressed in comparing his current experience to that of his previous school. “What I am learning I now find interesting. Also, there are student hours and you can go and the teachers can help you with whatever you need.”
Aurian M. is part of the BASIS Independent McLean founding 8th grade class. Aurian's passion and drive for success are truly inspiring. Outside of school, Aurian loves to play basketball, and film and edit movies with his video camera. He enjoys watching comedy and action movies, and wants to be a movie producer when he grows up.
Aurian joined BASIS Independent McLean from a local public school and views our school as very different from his prior school. In comparing his previous school with BASIS Independent McLean, Aurian replies, "Here at BASIS Independent McLean, the teachers know their material, and the teachers offer me so much help I don’t even need a tutor. I had a tutor with math and English last year, but this year the teachers are better at teaching so you don’t need to get extra help. They actually have student hours. For example, if I need help in English, I can see the teacher every Friday."
Claire P. is part of BASIS Independent McLean's founding 2nd grade class. Claire enjoys ballet and playing with her older brothers and sister in her free time. Claire joined BASIS Independent McLean from a local public school and remarks that this school is a little harder, and she likes it because it has a lot of different classes every day.
Claire enjoys moving around to different rooms and having different teachers. She says "no matter where we move, Mrs. Peck, my Learning Expert Teacher, stays with me all day. She’s really nice. She likes to do fun projects. Right now we’re making a giant boat out of cardboard. We’re going to put it on display in the hallway in primary so everyone can see it. It’s part of our Visual Arts and Connections class." Connections is a class that meets once a week and brings all of the disciplines together.
Tad B., grade 9, came to BASIS Independent McLean from another private school. “I came to BASIS Independent McLean because I liked the well-rounded liberal arts and science focus and I liked the individualization that a smaller school provides. I was impressed with the Head of School, Mr. Sean Aiken, when I came to visit BASIS Independent and how he got to know me personally and my interest in transportation, including bridges and traffic patterns.”
Tad defines the culture at BASIS Independent as “academically focused, diverse, and supportive.” He said that the students come from a variety of backgrounds and schools. “The teachers and deans hold the students accountable but also want them to succeed and are willing to invest their time and help students however they can.” Tad also likes that fact that his teachers are subject matter experts. “I've never had a teacher with a doctorate before and six of my eight teachers at BASIS Independent McLean have a doctorate. My teachers are passionate about their subject areas and can go deeper into each subject as a result of their background and experience.”
Sophia C. is a part of BASIS Independent McLean’s founding 5th grade class. Sophia’s passion and drive for success is truly inspiring. She is extremely creative and is widely recognized by her teachers as a student who is always willing to help out her classmates. Outside of school Sophia is an avid squash player, loves playing with her dog, watching movies, and working on the 5th grade newsletter. The BASIS Independent Prophet is a newsletter Sophia and her friends hand out weekly to their classmates. Sophia writes ghost stories and is also the newsletter editor.
Sophia joined BASIS Independent McLean from a local private school and views our school very different from her last. “Right now I am glad to be here because I get to learn way more. My teachers pay more attention to me while teaching me something new every day. The teachers here make an effort to understand you. They know their subject because they have a lot of experience and allow you to go further in less time. If you are on a certain level the teachers work to get you to the next level and I think that is what is special about BASIS Independent McLean teachers,” said Sophia.
Inspired by the blissful feeling of uncovering connections, our blog Eureka! McLean is about sharing moments that capture the essence of what it is to be a BASIS Independent student, teacher, administrator, or family.