Part II of our five-year anniversary features another one of our expert teaching staff, Ms. Leila Kosiba. You can see part I of our celebration series here.
Our Head of School Mr. Walker took a few moments to share some thoughts about the incomparable Ms. Kosiba.
I first saw Ms. Kosiba teach back in the mists of time (before we opened BASIS Independent Silicon Valley). She was visiting Arizona and I had the pleasure of watching her give a demo French class to BASIS Scottsdale students. They, and I, loved the class! There was an obvious passion in her teaching and the students were instantly connected to her. At BASIS Independent Silicon Valley, Ms. Kosiba has taught every level of French from 7th Grade to Capstone. She has enriched our community with her dedication to French learning and her insights into life in New Caledonia.
Ms. Kosiba has been a French Subject Expert Teacher at BASIS Independent Silicon Valley since we first opened. She has primarily worked with students in the middle school years.
We also asked Ms. Kosiba some questions about her time at BASIS Independent Silicon Valley, as well as her perspective on our students, curriculum, teaching methods, and more. Read on below:
Meet Keshav N! Keshav joined us in grade 5 from a local private school. Keshav was familiar with BASIS Independent Silicon Valley (BISV) as his older brother joined us as a student in grade 6 the year the school opened. He had a solid idea of what BISV was going to be like before he enrolled, and once he was on campus his brother was a big help and shared lots of strategies. He was initially nervous about the workload, but his teachers "were very communicative and helped a lot" he mentioned. He thinks that it has been easy to make friends from the start, but that over the past few years, he has especially enjoyed seeing more of his friends from his previous school join BISV.
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.
Have you ever wondered what it's like to be a grade 6 Bobcat? Meet Chloe H.! She joined us last year as a student in grade 5 from a local public school. Her older brother paved the way for her, as he started at BASIS Independent Silicon Valley (BISV) a few years before she did, so she was not very nervous to begin at a new school.
When we talked about the difference between a public school and BISV, she said that there is definitely a difference in the work level. She explained "there is a lot more work here, but it is worth the change, I am learning more here and it's more interesting." In grade 5, everyone is new to BISV together. Chloe explained that this year is different for her than last year, as there is more of a mix of students who are both new to the school, and those who've risen up from grade 5. In grade 6, she has made more connections with new friends through clubs. One of Chloe's favorite clubs this year is Robotics, it's new for her this year and she is enjoying every moment of it.
The “in between” years. This is what middle school is often regarded as before students enter the more serious, college-focused portion of their academic path. However, in today’s global education landscape, this mindset needs to change. The years in middle school and the transition into high school have become increasingly important in readying students with the knowledge, confidence, and grit needed to excel in high school and beyond.
How many of you remember what it was like to be in grade 5? Admittedly, it's been a few years for me, so when it came time to highlight what a school day is like for our middle school students, I decided to step into the classroom with one of our brand new Bobcats, Katherine S.
She joined us in grade 5 for the 2018-2019 academic year, and has been enjoying her time at BASIS Independent Silicon Valley. Coming from public school, she was a little nervous about being behind academically, but a summer camp focused on math, science and English helped her feel confident to join BISV. The math she is working on now is review from some of the work she did over the summer, so if she hadn't taken the summer course she would have been ready, but it was "good to feel prepared for anything," she explained.
In celebration of our five year anniversary, our Head of School Mr. Walker took a few moments to share some thoughts about our incredible Mr. Ryan. As a Physical Geography and Chemistry instructor since day one, Mr. Ryan has seen five years worth of students in grades 5 and 6 transition to upper school, and has cheered them on the entire time.
Over the years, a number of parents, faculty, staff and generally any fully grown adult who has some connection with our school, have shared a common thought with me. If you spend any time in our school, and interact with BASIS Independent Silicon Valley teachers, you often end up wishing that you could actually take the classes that we offer. This desire is driven partly by the diversity of our curriculum and the course offerings that we have, but, I believe mostly, by the passionate subject expert teachers in every classroom. Mr. Ryan is a crystal clear example of this. As a founding faculty member Mr. Ryan has provided a rock-solid foundation for our Chemistry department and has helped countless students get a firm grounding in the sciences. We put him under the microscope… no pressure Mr. Ryan.
We sat down with Mr. Ryan to ask him what these past years have been like, and how he has seen our youngest Bobcats fare in his time here.
Sasha I. is one of our grade 7 students! She knew another student who attended BASIS Independent Silicon Valley and that the parents were especially impressed with the campus. Taking initiative, Sasha spoke to her own parents and they attended an Open House to get to know more about the program. As she was not being challenged at her previous school, Sasha and her parents made the decision to join our learning community—she was excited about the prospect of learning new things right away. They discussed how it would be more work for her and for them as a family, but she was absolutely up for the challenge!
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.