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.
A school tradition we look forward to is our Middle School Fall Carnival! This carnival is for our students in grades 5-8. We also host a separate Fall Festival for our high school students.
The carnival was held last Friday after school and was an action-packed afternoon. Students enjoyed carnival games, an inflatable obstacle course, food trucks, and the ever popular doughnut eating contest.
It was great to see all of our Bobcats, students and staff alike, celebrate and enjoy the carnival festivities together as a community. Please enjoy a few photos of the event below.
We know there is no more helpful reference point about a school community than a fellow parent. One of our middle school parents graciously agreed to be interviewed by a local radio station. We wanted to share with you 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.
Please 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.
Please join our Head of School, Mr. Toby Walker, as he shares insight into the creation of our incredibly successful Teacher Mentor program.
I have often noted that one of the challenges we face when considering professional development opportunities for educators, is that the best PD examples are regularly happening in the classroom next door. I am a firm believer that we can all improve through observing others. This is especially the case with classroom instruction. Too often, administrators and professional pedagogy ‘trainers’ are too far removed from the classroom to provide authentic feedback based on experience. Essentially, for teachers, fellow professionals are regularly the best resource to support professional growth and improvement.
"BASIS Independent Silicon Valley students are passionate, urgent, thirsty for knowledge, focused committed, determined, and self-motivated." -Dr. Zhao
BASIS Curriculum Schools is no stranger to making the news—whether its large scale recognition for its academic program or stories of the differences our students make volunteering in and supporting their local community. We make a point to share these stories out with families and readers, but want to highlight some of the most recent news.
The past several weeks have been particularly exciting for our schools—with our Silicon Valley campus’ full profile in Business Insider, a piece announcing the newest Thailand campus, and CNBC’s profile of the best high schools in the country (surprise: BASIS Curriculum Schools occupy the first three spots as well as #5 and #7). The stories are exciting in perpetuating the high performance of legacy at BASIS Curriculum Schools campuses and signify a carving out of a path for new, exciting traditions of excellence.
On October 24, 2017, the USA Table Tennis Organization (USATT) announced the creation of the first ever Youth Ambassador Council, a prestigious group of six students selected by USATT CEO himself, Gordon Kaye. Leading this group is none other than our very own Stephanie Chen, a 10th grader at BASIS Independent Silicon Valley.
We are excited to unveil to you the fruits of a couple of non-stop days in October - our BASIS Independent videos! Back in December, we shared with you our first video in the series, our BASIS Independent Parent Video. Check out the BASIS Independent Parent Video here.
Here's a refresher on the project: Over the course of three days, we filmed three separate videos: one about the family experience with our school, the teacher perspective on what it's like to work here, and the student perspective on what it is like to learn here. We love these videos and hope you do, too.
They are raw, spur of the moment, unscripted reflections of what it's like to be a part of the BASIS Independent community.
They breathe life into Education Redefined and demonstrate what happens when you combine an accelerated, rigorous curriculum with exceptional, expert educators in an environment of support and deep respect for the art and science of learning.
We are excited to unveil to you the fruits of a couple of non-stop days in October at our Brooklyn Campus - our BASIS Independent videos!
During Prospective Parent Information Sessions, we are often confronted with a variety of questions that range from the more operational “easy to answer” questions, such as class size, to those philosophical questions that give us pause, that stick in the back of our minds long after we’ve said goodbye to the last lingering few guests.
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.