In a word? Kindness. Our Bobcats are many things: they are intelligent, they are resourceful, and they are driven towards success. Most importantly, if our Bobcats see that someone needs help, they will go out of their way to make sure that person is supported. In this specific case, a group of our students have embarked on an amazing project to help our front line medical workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. 11 of our students have been working diligently in various ways to support the local medical community.
Uplifting Hope Together is a community focused group comprised of BASIS Independent Silicon Valley Students including Andrew L. (class of 2022), Anthony Z. (class of 2020), Aprille X. (class of 2022), Bridget L. (class of 2024), Chris T. (class of 2025), Christopher Z. (class of 2022), Ellie X. (class of 2024), Evan W. (class of 2023), Maximus W. (class of 2024), Melinda W. (class of 2026), and Vienna S. (class of 2025). During our first week of distance learning, Aprille and Ellie reached out to Santa Clara Valley Medical Center (SVVMC) to find out what types of supplies they needed. This amazing group of students then used their own money to purchase and donate medical supplies such as gloves, hand sanitizer, antiseptic, and other items for sanitation. As this project continues to grow, their priority is making donations to hospitals and nursing homes, to help keep at risk staff and residents safe. Many family members and friends were also encouraged by their efforts, and over 5,000 masks were donated by those inspired by Uplifting Hope Together. With their message resonating with so many, it is really impossible to tally their impact.
Ms. Sara Kolb is the Head of Operations at BASIS Independent Silicon Valley. She has worked in private education for the last 12 years, and has been at BASIS Independent Silicon Valley for four years.
I grew up in a large Midwestern family that valued tradition and never shied away from creating new ones as our family grew. While I cannot speak for every fellow Midwesterner, I think most of us would agree that a sense of community is definitely a big part of who we are. For me, I can say that it has shaped almost every aspect of my life. After graduation, I spent four and a half years in the United States Navy, an institution well known for tradition and ceremony. I eventually found my calling in private education, and have loved being able to share my love of community and tradition with the students I work with. As I joined BASIS Independent Silicon Valley at the start of the third academic year, I saw an incredible opportunity to help build upon a new community that was already very well established.
One of our amazing Bobcats, Tanvi B. (class of 2020), runs her own non-profit organization No Birthday Left Behind. As a young child, she tagged along with her parents who made it a family custom to volunteer at homeless shelters. After becoming acutely aware that there were many children whose families did not have the resources to throw them birthday parties, she decided that she would do everything possible to help make a difference. In middle school, she began partnering with homeless shelters to host parties for some of the resident children. She has seen more and more community involvement over the years, and has been able to reach even more children due to some amazing local supporters.
In planning for a new school year, there is one task that feels especially important to our Head of School, Mr. Toby Walker. Choosing themes for the upcoming year is done carefully, with a lot of focus placed on the needs of our Bobcats. Themes in recent years have included continual improvement, community engagement, and development of a well-rounded student.
Here, Mr. Walker shares insight into this process, as well as the three established themes for the 2019-2020 academic year at BASIS Independent Silicon Valley.
At the start of each academic year I work with the school leadership team to identify themes for the year. I find it helps to focus our approach and pay attention to specific areas for growth and improvement in our school. As many of you will know, the themes set out for this year are threefold: research skills and methods, inclusivity of diverse opinions, and a renewed focus on promoting academic honesty. I would like to take some time to discuss all three and to encourage faculty, staff, parents, and students to do the same.
Recently, our 5th grade students were able to work with our local Parks and Recreation Department by sprucing up a local park. They were given a very large pile of playground bark and asked to move it into the play area. It was a warm day but our students worked together and closely measured out the material, trying their best to keep the areas as level as possible.
With shovels, wheelbarrows, and teamwork, our students were able to accomplish exactly what they had set out to do! The park looks great and it now has a safer area to play. Way to go Bobcats!
We also received a letter from the local volunteer coordinator, thanking our students for their hard work.
BASIS Independent Silicon Valley's Music Program and Art Department recently hosted its annual Winter Fine Arts Gala at a nearby facility. The Winter Gala is a festive tradition that celebrates the arts as well as the creativity, passion, and hard work of our Bobcat students.
On display was a collection of student work from BASIS Independent Silicon Valley’s 2D Studio Art, 3D Studio Art, AP 2D Art, Grade 5 Studio Art, Grade 6 Art History Studio, and Digital Photography classes. Attendees were also treated to an evening of traditional classics, pop anthems, and epic cinematic music. This delightful experience was presented entirely by our student music ensembles.
Take a look below at a few snapshots from the evening and of our student's work.
Last week was Spirit Week, a fun and dare I say, spirited time on campus. Food trucks and daily lunch activities and a pep rally, oh my! Our kids dressed in themes all week, and thoroughly enjoyed themselves-Bobcats know how to be both serious and playful.
Take a look at some of the photos from Spirit Week, below!
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.