A New Brooklyn School Raises the Bar for American Students

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BASIS Independent Brooklyn will offer everything you would want for your well-rounded scholar, including a theater and a regulation-sized gymnasium. Photo: BASIS

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Few things concern Brooklyn parents more than getting their child into a good school. Desirable public schools offer no guarantee of admission, and most private schools are priced out of reach, which is why any parent currently weighing their options should consider the new k-12 BASIS Independent Brooklyn opening in Red Hook this fall.

The school is one of the first two private schools from BASIS.ed–the other is in Silicon Valley–and it will draw upon the successes of its flagship charter schools. To name a few: BASIS students take an average of 10 AP exams each, and most complete them by their junior year. BASIS students also outperform their peers in Shanghai, China–the top students in the world according to international assessment tests.

“We’re bucking the trend of American kids falling behind their international peers,” says BASIS Independent Schools communications director David Schulz, a New York City native and Stuyvesant High School alum who understands the need for superior schools in the city.

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Even if global test scores mean little to you, the way that BASIS teaches its own, rigorous curriculum is exciting in its own right. From the first through the fourth grades, students have two teachers in every class–a subject expert and a learning expert who travels with the students throughout the day, ensuring that any child experiencing difficulty in a subject can lean on this person for support. Mandarin is taught beginning in kindergarten, and by the first grade, students attend a class called “Connections” in which they’re given challenges to tie together their studies. A typical challenge might start with the children translating “The Three Little Pigs” into Mandarin, and then calculating the distance required for the wolf to blow down each house. All in the second grade.

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“We believe teachers who love teaching create students who love learning, and our goal is to create life-long learners,” says Schulz. Hiring masterful teachers is the first guiding principle of the BASIS philosophy. The belief that all students can rise to much higher levels than those typically expected of them is the second pillar of their foundation. The third is holding students and teachers accountable for their success; teachers, for instance, are given bonuses in line with their students’ achievements.

BASIS Independent Brooklyn offers everything you would want for your well-rounded scholar, including a theater and a regulation-sized gymnasium. Both will also be available for local performing arts and sports groups, says BASIS Independent Schools CEO Mark Reford, who is eager to share resources at BASIS that will benefit Red Hook, like their extraordinary STEM and computer facilities “that can play an important role for members of the community who don’t have easy online access.”

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What Dr. Reford and the BASIS staff are most excited to share is the opportunity for children in the Red Hook community to attend the school regardless of income. Said Reford, “We’re going to offer two neighborhood children ‘full-ride’ scholarships at kindergarten every year; by the time these first students are seniors, as many as 26 neighborhood children will be attending BASIS Independent Brooklyn on full scholarships.”

BASIS Independent Brooklyn is currently enrolling grades k-10 for its first year, at an affordable annual tuition compared to the city’s other private schools. Learn more about the tried and tested BASIS method, and register for an information session here.

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