5 Ways BASIS Independent Schools Are Redefining Education In New York City


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It seems impossible that summer is already nearing its end. For many families, back-to-school tasks loom ever large, with the search for the perfect school at the forefront, whether for preschool, high school, or anywhere in between. This can be a formidable task, considering the seemingly endless schooling options available in New York City.

However, in the midst of a vast educational landscape, it is hard not to notice the impact BASIS Independent Schools have already made, with their two campuses in New York City: BASIS Independent Manhattan on the Upper West Side (PreK-8) and BASIS Independent Brooklyn in Red Hook (PreK-12). Part of the lauded BASIS Curriculum Schools network (including six out of the top ten high schools in the country, according to U.S. News & World Report), the schools offer a time-tested liberal arts and sciences curriculum benchmarked to the best education systems in the world, approaching education by carefully considering what it takes for students to be prepared for a future of rapidly changing unknowns.

In just a few short years, BASIS Independent Schools have grown to prominence in the city, with over 1,200 students enrolled.

Here’s what makes these schools stand out:

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1) Since the program’s founding in 1998, the BASIS Curriculum Schools network hasn’t lost sight of its mission to educate students to the highest international levels.

As economists and university professors, co-founders Dr. Michael and Olga Block created the first BASIS Curriculum School to provide American students with the type of rigorous and comprehensive education found in the world’s best-performing countries. The BASIS Curriculum was and remains a blend of the best education practices from high-achieving school systems worldwide, with the creativity and innovation of top U.S. schools.

While educational fads and trends come and go, the Blocks have never wavered from their mission of preparing students with the content knowledge, critical thinking proficiency, and self-advocacy skills needed to be successful throughout their education and well beyond. Since BASIS Curriculum Schools first became eligible for national rankings, the network’s campuses have been ranked among the top schools in the country.

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2) The advanced, well-rounded curriculum provides students with exposure to courses like Mandarin, engineering, logic, economics, and performing arts from a young age.

To compete in an increasingly complex world, students need more than what traditional education provides. BASIS Independent Schools are laser-focused on driving true content mastery through a wide breadth of disciplines that span the liberal arts and sciences as early as PreK, including coursework in Latin, fine arts, advanced mathematics and science, the humanities, and ultimately AP® and capstone courses in the upper grades as they transition to knowledge application.

3) The teaching model at the school is unlike any other in the city.

It only seems logical that someone with expertise in or a degree in a specific subject would teach that subject, right? Starting in grade 1, Subject Expert Teachers (SETs), professionals with an advanced degree in the subject they teach, lead every class at BASIS Independent Schools. In grades 1-4, SETs are paired with a Learning Expert Teacher (LET), an instructor with expertise in education and pedagogy. Their teachers’ passion for and knowledge of the subjects ensures students connect with the material, become critical thinkers, and apply their learning creatively.

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4) Students are high-performing and happy.

Core to the schools’ high standards is fostering a joyful learning culture that celebrates achievement, centered on the notion that students can do more than what is typically expected of them. Various opportunities for support, including teacher office hours, peer tutoring, and customized support plans, help students feel confident, happy, and prepared to participate.

As it turns out, when students love to learn, they excel. BASIS Curriculum students are among both the highest achieving in the world and the most satisfied with their teachers according to data from the OECD Test for Schools, based on the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA).

5) BASIS Independent Schools inspire excellence in all forms.

At BASIS Independent Schools, hard work and intellectual pursuits result in extraordinary outcomes. From student autonomy to organizational and time management tools to test-based mastery, the bar is set high for students. However, they rise to meet it: each year BASIS Curriculum students take the OECD Test for Schools (based on PISA) and are six times more likely than their U.S. peers to score in the highest performance levels.

BASIS Independent Brooklyn and BASIS Independent Manhattan are accepting applications for fall enrollment. Visit basisindependent.com/nyc for more information or to apply today.

This post is a sponsored collaboration between BASIS Independent Schools and Gothamist.

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