We are so excited to announce our first member of the Student Affairs Team for the new BASIS Independent Silicon Valley Lower Campus! Mr. Joshua Henriquez will be joining as the Director of Student Affairs for our new campus for the 2022 - 2023 school year.
Mr. Henriquez has years of experience in and out of the classroom. He originally joined BASIS Independent Schools as a teacher before transitioning to Dean of Students for the Middle School at our Upper School Campus.
Our Head of School, Ms. Brooklynn Titus, sat down with Mr. Henriquez to ask all the questions that we know our new families are excited to have answered!
Mr. Henriquez, we are so excited to have you join our new lower school campus. When did you originally join BASIS Independent Schools?
I joined BISV in 2018 because I was attracted to the acclaimed reputation of BINS schools. Two factors were key in bringing me to a BINS school: teacher autonomy and student achievement. As a classroom teacher, I found the model of teacher autonomy appealing. It was refreshing to hear that while there were of course curriculum standards to reach, teachers had the freedom to choose how they reached those standards. The achievements of BISV students were also a huge draw for me. I was impressed that students at BISV were able to consistently outperform their peers in both national and international metrics.
I began my time at BISV as a Teaching Fellow before teaching middle school history for three years. Teaching here opened my eyes even more to just how impressive our students and faculty are. Grade level and departmental meetings exposed me to a wealth of experience and knowledge from other teachers that general training could not provide. I also had the opportunity to be the advisor for a variety of clubs and even coached our middle school basketball teams in a winning season. I always appreciate opportunities to support our Bobcats outside of the classroom and see them excel in areas of passion.
Please give our new families a quick introduction to what you do currently at BASIS Independent Silicon Valley.
This school year I transitioned to the role of Dean of Students for our Grades 5 - 7. In my role as Dean, I have had the opportunity to work closely with students by providing academic, social-emotional, and behavioral support. My office is a safe place for students to be vulnerable and to get the tools they need to achieve success. As a member of the Administration, I have also had the opportunity to help guide cultural education by way of planning celebrations and festivals celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month, Diwali, Lunar New Year, and more. This year we hosted a joint celebration for Black History and Women’s History Months by hosting a movie night. Students enjoyed pizza and popcorn as we screened Hidden Figures, a film highlighting the challenges and accomplishments of African American women who played a pivotal role in the development of the NASA space program. It was inspiring to watch as our students gave a standing ovation at the climax of the movie. I’m proud to see that our cultural education program has been the catalyst for conversations in the classroom, the hallways, and at home.
What are some of the tasks of the Director of Student Affairs?
One of my biggest tasks for the new campus is to help create the culture and build community within our school. Character education and social-emotional learning are two important pillars of the Student Affairs department to create a positive and inclusive culture. I plan to implement this in all aspects of the school from the playground to the classroom. Partnering with School Counselor, we will train our teachers, dean, administration, and monitors in social-emotional learning and Restorative Practices.
I am already dreaming up assemblies, contests, and social events to help build a sense of community and belonging on our campus. Two other important pillars of Student Affairs are behavioral support and academic support. As the Director of Student Affairs, I will lead our team to provide individualized support for students who have academic concerns in multiple subjects. Partnering with the teachers and parents, the Dean and I will create and implement support plans and give guidance to students in soft skills such as organization and study habits. It is our desire to develop well-rounded students and Student Affairs helps lead the charge.
You've mentioned a few times the position of a dean. Explain a little bit about your team in Student Affairs.
While I believe every person on campus is a part of our Student Affairs Team, I’m lucky to have a Dean of Students and School Counselor as direct members of Student Affairs. The Dean of Students will primarily assist with academic and behavioral support and the School Counselor will assist with character education and social-emotional learning. Learning Expert Teachers will also play a pivotal role in Student Support.
How are you assisting with the set-up of the new school?
I am really enjoying working with our team to develop a strong foundation for our school. One of my first jobs was hiring our Dean and School Counselor, who will work with me in the Student Affairs department. Both are fantastic, and we are working hard this summer to collaborate on community building activities and school culture development for next year. I have also participated in the hiring process for teachers, including observing teacher demo lessons and conducting interviews. In addition to working with my team, my focus for the remainder of the summer is supporting teachers as they join our program. I will be in charge of managing Social and Emotional Learning on campus and am developing ways to help implement this learning with our incoming faculty and staff. I’m also involved in the very practical side of planning – such as developing student supply lists, creating organization plans, establishing community values, and implementing school-wide policies and procedures.
Thinking ahead to next year, why would parents contact you or a member of your team?
Next year parents can contact any member of my team, including myself if they have any academic, social, and/or emotional concerns with their Bobcat. We will be ready to work with their student's classroom teachers and come up with a support plan for their Bobcat who may need that extra assistance.
If you have any questions, please reach out to the Admissions Team at (408) 291-0907 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
BASIS Independent Silicon Valley is a TK - Grade 12 private school, providing students an internationally benchmarked liberal arts and sciences curriculum, with advanced STEM offerings. Considering joining the Bobcat community? Join our interest list by clicking here to receive admissions updates for fall 2022 and more.