Fall weather doesn’t just signal the end of summer, it means school admissions season has officially begun! Many families are in the thick of their search for the perfect school, whether for preschool, high school, or anywhere in between. This can be a formidable task, considering the extensive list of options available in the greater D.C. area.
This year, even more area families have the opportunity to add to their list a school whose program has students performing at the very top of the world. BASIS Independent McLean (age 2–grade 12) in Tysons Corner has made quite the impact since opening in fall 2016 amidst the impressive education landscape of Northern Virginia. 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), BASIS Independent McLean offers an advanced liberal arts curriculum with a STEM focus benchmarked to the best education systems in the world, designed to provide true college readiness.
In just two years as a learning community, the school has had two state MATHCOUNTS competition wins and participated in various national and state competitions, such as the Washington National Youth Music Competition, the High School Quiz Bowl National Championship Tournament, and the National History Bowl, just to name a few!
Just what makes BASIS Independent McLean unique?
1) Since BASIS Curriculum Schools was founded in 1998, the mission has remained the same: 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.
And, since BASIS Curriculum Schools first became eligible for national rankings, they have been ranked among the top schools in the country.
2) BASIS Independent McLean lays the foundation for success from day one.
From the moment students first step into BASIS Independent McLean Early Learning classrooms, they are set up for success academically, emotionally, and physically. The Twos Program, the first step in their Early Learning Program (age 2–kindergarten), lays the building blocks for physical, social, emotional, and language development, and nurtures a love of learning that students carry with them throughout their educational journeys.
3) 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 McLean is focused on driving true content mastery through a wide breadth of disciplines that span the liberal arts and sciences. All students are expected to complete a rigorous schedule, including coursework in Latin, fine arts, advanced mathematics and science, the humanities, and ultimately AP® and capstone courses in the upper grades as they learn to apply their knowledge across subjects and in the real world.
4) The school seeks out world-class educators with real-life experience in their chosen field to teach every class.
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 and all the way through grade 12, Subject Expert Teachers (SETs), professionals with an advanced degree in the subject they teach, lead every class at BASIS Independent McLean. SETs incorporate their passion for and knowledge of their subjects to ensure students connect with advanced material, become critical thinkers, and employ their learning creatively.
In grades 1–4, SETs are paired with a Learning Expert Teacher (LET), an instructor with expertise in education and pedagogy. Together, they work to curate the learning experience for every student.
5) BASIS Curriculum Schools leaders are innovators who seek to optimize the learning experience.
The Academy is a new program track that will be offered to BASIS Independent McLean students entering grades 8–10 in the 2019–20 school year. The Academy offers a primary-text, seminar-based approach to the study of English and history. Students fulfill humanities requirements specific to The Academy, including Honors History Seminars, AP Seminar and AP Research, while continuing to take all other courses with their BASIS Independent McLean peers.
Peter Bezanson, CEO of BASIS.ed, informs, “The Academy courses model and teach civil discourse through primary text analysis. As a result, students are deeply prepared for high-level collegiate work and are primed to be leaders in our larger society.”
6) Students grow to become participants, not spectators, in their education.
From very early on in their education, students at BASIS Independent Mclean learn to grow comfortable with challenge and develop the autonomy to take charge of their education. Students learn when and how to take action to improve their skills or grades or pursue a new interest. For example, the school relies on students to create extracurricular clubs and volunteer to help with school activities, and many students are actively involved in the local community.
The school stresses crucial skills like organization and time management and incorporates unique tools like the Communication Journal (CJ), a required daily planner students use to own their progress. Students leave BASIS Independent McLean with a readiness that goes beyond classroom knowledge.
BASIS Independent McLean is accepting applications for fall 2019. Learn more today.