Ms. Kaminski graduated from SUNY Plattsburgh in Plattsburgh, New York, with a Bachelor of Arts in History where her focus was on human rights. Later, she received her Master of Science degree in Professional School Counseling from Sage Graduate School in Troy, New York.
As Dean of Students for Grades 5 - 7 at BASIS Independent Silicon Valley, her goal is to inspire and help students discover the skills they need in order to be successful. She enjoys working at BASIS Independent Silicon Valley because teachers, staff, and students are excited to be here, “The overall environment is very welcoming and fun!” In addition, she appreciates that the culture of the school is to engage students in learning and to celebrate their achievements.
Her educational philosophy is the one that reflects the whole child approach, “I believe all students should be in a learning environment that promotes and encourages inclusiveness, safety, engagement, but also challenges.
How would you describe your position to a new incoming student and parent?
BASIS Independent Silicon Valley once again has ranked among the best high schools in America. Niche released its 2021 Best High Schools Rankings and we are excited to share that BASIS Independent Silicon Valley ranked as the #1 best high school for STEM in California and #2 in America for STEM.
This is the second consecutive year that BASIS Independent Silicon Valley has earned the #1 Best High School in California for STEM ranking and first for its #2 in America for STEM ranking.
BASIS Independent Silicon Valley moved up in the 2021 rankings as Niche recognized our school as the #11 Best College Prep Private High School in California. Our campus also earned the #5 ranking for Best College Prep High School in the San Francisco Bay Area.
As the 2020-2021 school year started with Distance Learning, our Bobcats are at home taking their classes and working on their assignments. Several months into the year, our adaptable students are doing well, and are even thriving, in this new normal. However, most will acknowledge that there is a lot more to school than the school work itself: social connection and having fun with peers both being a tremendously important aspect of education. So many of our Bobcats typically connect with each other via our fantastic extracurricular activities on campus, but when you are not on campus-what do you do?
We know no one can express what it is like to be a BASIS Independent Silicon Valley student better than our Bobcats. We also know, for prospective parents, there's nothing like hearing your top questions answered by, none other than, an experienced parent! Read below to hear from one of our current parents and what she had to say about her school selection process, why her family chose BASIS Independent Silicon Valley for middle school, and what changes she has seen in her two students since starting in our program in grades 5 and 6.
Tell us a little about your background, your children, and what you looked for in a school.
"We began our BASIS Independent Silicon Valley journey when our eldest child was looking for a middle school. We looked around the Bay Area for a school that would provide more of a daily challenge in the classroom. My eldest is an avid book reader, but he would often end up reading in his classes because he felt they were so basic. We discovered they were teaching just enough to pass the state standardized test. He would self learn via Khan Academy after school. It was completely backwards of how it should be! He would say “I’m so bored, Mum!”, about his school day.
We are proud to announce that 11 of our students have earned places as Semifinalists in the 2021 National Merit Scholarship Program. Roughly 16,000 students across the nation have qualified as Semifinalists, and we are thrilled to have continued representation on our campus. 57% of our senior class was recognized this year including National Merit Semifinalists and Commended Students.
Head of School Ms. Sara Kolb was thrilled to receive this news, "One of the things I love best about this school is that it is full of students who genuinely love to learn. At BASIS Independent Silicon Valley, smart is cool, which is further proven by the fact that more than half of our senior class has been recognized as either a National Merit Semifinalist or Commended Student this year. I couldn't be more proud of these students and cannot wait to see what their futures bring as they embark into the world as Bobcat alumni next year."
Thank you for your interest in BASIS Independent Silicon Valley for the 2021-22 school year. We are excited to know that you are wanting to participate in a internationally benchmarked program where our teachers ignite passion in the mind, heart, and soul of every student. When students love to learn, they excel!
All applicants are required to take an online BASIS Independent Schools Entrance Exam. This admissions season is unlike any other given the current health crisis, and although the content is the same, we have adjusted the manner in which we test. Our traditional process of in-person testing has shifted to an online model. This online examination is created, administered, and proctored by BASIS Independent Schools.
The Admissions Team offers a number of virtual events throughout the admissions season. We provide a variety of opportunities, different in scope, so that families can experience a broad overview of the BASIS Independent Silicon Valley experience and difference.
With all of our Bobcats distance learning from the comfort of their homes, we have been looking for ways to reproduce that feeling of community that is inescapable when on our campus. With just this in mind, Mr. Meyerowitz, one of our Master Teachers who teaches English and History, was looking for a way to keep his learners connected when he requested the following assignment. He asked students to photograph their work spaces, and then share them with the rest of the class to help foster a sense of classroom community.
He explained, "Each student identified the most significant features of their workspace as though annotating a poem; while some students were extremely objective in their characterizations of the elements of their workspace, others were more abstract or provided greater commentary. The finished product, which I shared with my class, is a view of the classroom from their perspective."
On Friday, August 14 we got to see our Bobcats in person, via our socially distanced Back to School Parade. It was HOT, with it topping over 100 degrees in the afternoon. While a heatwave definitely made things interesting for all of us, it was all worth it to get to see our students. Please enjoy some photos of our teachers and staff, and even a few cameos of our Bobcats. We can't wait to get back to school with everyone, but for now, fun days like this help get us through. Go Bobcats!
The 2020-2021 school year began last week on Wednesday, August 12. As we started the year utilizing a distance learning model, we were unable to spend this important day in person with our amazing Bobcats. However, our families came to the rescue, and we received many wonderful photos of our students all ready for the big day!
One of the most amazing aspects of this process was that as the photos poured in from our proud Bobcat Parents, they were often accompanied by wonderfully supportive messages about the upcoming year. We know that this year will be unusual, but our Bobcats can handle anything.
We are excited to share several first day of school photos!
Inspired by the blissful feeling of uncovering connections, our blog Eureka! Silicon Valley is about sharing moments that capture the essence of what it is to be a BASIS Independent student, teacher, administrator, or family.