Unlike the traditional self-contained classroom led by one teacher, or one teacher and an aide, BASIS Independent Silicon Valley students in Grades 1 - 4 will benefit from the expertise of multiple full-time teachers, one of whom follows the students as they move between classrooms throughout the day. Students thus have two full-time, qualified teachers in each core class, resulting in a uniquely robust classroom environment.
BASIS Independent Schools philosophy towards teaching, also known as pedagogy, is one of autonomy. The balance between autonomy in the classroom and shared accountability is what maintains academic quality control across all schools. Subjects to be taught and standards for the scope and sequence of instruction in that subject are set through the BASIS Curriculum, but pedagogic autonomy is given to teachers to develop innovative ways to meet and exceed these standards.
Dr. Gerges, one of our fantastic Math Subject Expert Teachers, contributed to a paper that has been published in The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. He worked on the publication, Broadband Acoustic Broadband Lens Design Using the Principle of Reciprocity and Gradient-Based Optimization, with colleagues from both San Jose State University and Rutgers University.
We caught up with Dr. Gerges to congratulate him on this fantastic achievement, and also to ask him a few questions about his field. An explanation of the research was also in order, as it’s quite a complex topic.
“It makes a huge difference to have teachers who are passionate about the subjects they are teaching in every class. It makes you more excited to learn!” –Sophie, BASIS Independent McLean
BASIS Independent Schools raises the standards of student learning to the highest international levels through our advanced, globally benchmarked curriculum. However, our schools are only able to achieve such incredible outcomes thanks to our passionate expert teachers—not just because they teach with expertise, but because each one inspires students to truly love learning. Good luck asking any of our students who their favorite teacher or class is; they will usually answer, “all of them!”
When our students enter the Middle School Program in grade 5 at BASIS Independent Schools, they leave behind the two-teacher model that defines grades 1–4 and are solely led by Subject Expert Teachers (SETs). Focused on high-level mastery, SETs are the shepherds of academic content; they have real-life experience in the discipline they teach, and often even hold advanced degrees in the field.
Walk down any of our campus hallways and you will experience wonderful views of student artwork, rich in creativity and passion. This fall, students across all grade levels have brought their exploration of the arts to life, with support and guidance from our two Subject Expert Art Teachers, Dr. Charuhas and Ms. Jones.
We invite you take a virtual walk-through of just a sampling of some Bobcat creations.
Grade 5 Studio
Students in grade 5 began the year with inspiration from Aboriginal dot paintings to practice the use of color schemes. They used watercolor, acrylic paint, and q-tips to form their Australian animal of choice.
Part of an on-going series from BASIS Independent Silicon Valley Teacher Mentors
By Bryan Meyerowitz, Teacher Mentor and Subject Expert Teacher
My foremost task as an upper-school teacher at BASIS (and particularly as a teacher in the social sciences) is to help students create webs between their subjects and to their own historical moment, so that they can analyze the ways in which imperial ideologies continue to play a role in our culture wars or recognize how 19th-century white nationalism helped fuel the telephone war between President Trump and Australian Prime Minister Turnbull over the resettlement of Syrian refugees.
part of an on-going series from BISV Teacher Mentors
by Steven Vermouth, Teacher Mentor and Subject Expert Teacher
From an outside perspective, BASIS Independent Silicon Valley may often appear as a school with a singular goal: achieve high results on academic assessments. Our national and international test scores speak for themselves, and they have helped us become one of the most sought-after institutions of primary and secondary education in the world. However, the noise made by this measurable data can often overwhelm what else is happening in our halls. We are a school that values a diversity of student desires and passions, and we actively encourage students to create the best culture for their own learning and growth. And creating this culture is exactly what they are doing.
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.
In this new three-part series, we take a look inside some of our Science Labs for a glimpse into how teachers are creatively demonstrating lessons about various topics, such as blood spatter, DNA isolation, Newton’s Laws and…elephant toothpaste!
In part one of our series, Ms. Elizabeth Holve gave us a glimpse into a few of her Middle Grades biology labs, such as growing mold. Our second installment featured Dr. Anuradha Murthy’s Upper Grades biology lab where DNA isolation was one of many interesting experiments. For our third and final installment of this series, we check in with Dr. Simon Hale’s Physics and Advanced Placement (AP) Physics classes for a taste of the personal flavor that he adds to each of his labs.
In this new three-part series, we take a look inside Science Lab classes at BASIS Independent Silicon Valley to see how teachers are creatively demonstrating lessons about blood spatter, DNA isolation, Newton’s Laws and…elephant toothpaste!
BASIS Independent Silicon Valley’s curriculum for grades 8-12 (Upper Grades) is widely acknowledged as one of the most academically advanced programs in the world. Taught by our coveted Subject Expert Teachers, our Upper Grade curriculum challenges students to the highest international standards. Students are held accountable for mastering the material – including our rigorous science program which begins in grade 5 and extends through Honors and Advanced Placement (AP) courses.
So, how do we do it?
As discussed in part one of our Beyond the Microscope series, BASIS Independent Silicon Valley students begin their science journey in grade 5 with Introduction to Science by building a strong foundation of applied learning, critical thinking and philosophy. By grade 8, students are cultivating and refining their analytic science skills, preparing them for the challenging Honors and AP road ahead. Labs are a critical element of mastering science, especially in the Upper Grades, as it brings the curriculum to life and is integral to the success of students’ comprehension and subject mastery.
In this installment of Beyond the Microscope we check in with Dr. Anuradha Murthy, an Upper Grade biology Subject Expert Teacher and scientist who takes great pleasure in guiding students through their science journey.
BASIS Independent Silicon Valley's STEM-focused Liberal Arts curriculum is designed to give students a deep foundation in all academic disciplines and incorporate critical thinking, problem solving and creativity...even in the younger grades.
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.