What does it take to build life-long skills of self-advocacy and independence?
At BASIS Independent Schools, our educational philosophy is centered around student autonomy and self-advocacy. We want to empower our students when they come to school each day; to do so, we believe students need to learn to exercise their autonomy, which allows them to take greater control of their education.
“It makes a huge difference to have teachers who are passionate about the subjects they are teaching in every class. It makes you more excited to learn!” –Sophie, BASIS Independent McLean
BASIS Independent Schools raises the standards of student learning to the highest international levels through our advanced, globally benchmarked curriculum. However, our schools are only able to achieve such incredible outcomes thanks to our passionate expert teachers—not just because they teach with expertise, but because each one inspires students to truly love learning. Good luck asking any of our students who their favorite teacher or class is; they will usually answer, “all of them!”
When our students enter the Middle School Program in grade 5 at BASIS Independent Schools, they leave behind the two-teacher model that defines grades 1–4 and are solely led by Subject Expert Teachers (SETs). Focused on high-level mastery, SETs are the shepherds of academic content; they have real-life experience in the discipline they teach, and often even hold advanced degrees in the field.
Last weekend, our Theatre transformed into a humble home in Massachusetts during a Christmas season (and beyond) of the American Civil War. The students of the BASIS Independent McLean Drama Club became the cast of Little Women, a play by Scott Davidson that is adapted from Louisa Mae Alcott's classic novel. It tells the coming-of-age story during the Civil War of the four March sisters--Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy--as told by Jo. In addition to acting, students also ran the light board and managed the stage.
Humor can be found in any subject, but you can find it daily in Mr. Calhoun’s science and math classes. He loves using humor, especially bad puns, in his classrooms to engage the students. “Math puns are the first sine of madness,” he says with a laugh.
Middle school is a time of substantial transition—academically and emotionally—for students as they leave the more nurturing elementary years and begin their preparation for high school and beyond. Because these years are filled with increasingly complex content, it is critical for students to build and fortify their foundational knowledge across a wide variety of disciplines.
This is the first in a three-part blog series that will provide an in-depth look into the BASIS Independent Middle School Program, which is designed to ready students with the knowledge, confidence, and independence needed to excel inside and outside the classroom, as well as provide them ample opportunity to discover their passions. This first blog post will focus specifically on the BASIS Curriculum in the middle school years, which has been honed and optimized to reflect today’s growing expectations in education.
As we prepare to announce our 2020 national and internationally faculty led trips, we are taking a look back at our 2019 Project Week trip to Madagascar!
We had a wonderful Wellness Week promoting heath, wellness, and self-care to students, teachers, and parents. Each day had a theme and various activities that went with that theme. We also paired it with Spirit Week to get the students excited about wellness and Spring Break.
Once upon a time…BASIS Independent McLean’s Drama Club turned the Theatre into the Fairytale Forest and Dulac for Shrek The Musical Jr. After months of rehearsing, grades 6-9 students showed off all their hard work in three performances on April 5-7. Students also ran the stage crew and painted the sets. The show was popular with kids of all ages at BASIS Independent McLean! See photos of the show below.
It’s March Madness! No, BASIS Independent McLean doesn’t have a bracket, but our students have been in many tournaments, championships, and involved in other great ventures this month (and last!). They participated in a variety of in and out of school academic and athletic competitions, and we are thrilled to share the results here:
It’s no coincidence that Mr. Williams is in room 314. Every student entering his classroom knows that mathematical Pi is 3.14 (and many can do dozens more digits). The legendary Mr. Williams has been teaching math for 45 years. Though he’s mainly focused on Algebra I to Pre-Calculus, he’s taught it all from number theory to non-routine problem solving.
His excitement for math is easy to see and his expertise and passion sparks the joy of learning in his students. It’s no wonder his middle school students’ rushed to sign up to decorate his door in our December Door Decorating Contest! (They won too.) We sat down with Mr. Williams to learn more about him, the teachers that inspired him, how BASIS Independent McLean’s Math Department is different, and the importance of math contests.
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.