November 3, 2023
We are excited to meet many wonderful families considering a BASIS Independent Brooklyn education for their family.
During each admissions season we field a wide range of questions about the admissions process, our program, the transition, student life, electives, extracurriculars, and so much more!
While we are delighted to speak to every one of our families, we have observed certain questions that are commonly asked.
Continue reading below to learn more about the top ten questions asked every admissions season.
1 – How many students are at each campus?
Our Upper School campus is home to almost 600 students, while our Lower School campus is just under 200.
2 – What is the teacher model at your school?
Present in all grades 1 and above, Subject Expert Teachers (SETs) are the shepherds of academic content and are focused on high-level mastery. SETs use their passion for their subjects to inspire students while teaching them at a higher level than what is expected of students at any given age. SETs almost always hold advanced degrees in or have a great deal of experience in their discipline.
Present in most Grade 1 – 4 classrooms, Learning Expert Teachers (LETs) are masters of the learning process and of social-emotional growth in students. They accompany their students all day, from class to class, and ensure that the SETs are reaching each and every child in the class. LETs also play a lead role in literacy and Connections classes. The partnership of one LET and SET in each classroom and for each subject forms the Symbiotic Classroom of our primary program.
Unlike the Primary, Middle, and High School Programs, the Early Learning Program is primarily self-enclosed. Students don’t move classrooms for each subject and remain engaged in their vibrant, specialized classrooms throughout the school day. ELTs lead our Kindergarten and PreK classrooms and are responsible for delivering most of the content to students by bringing their own pedagogical expertise to the classroom, with the consistent support of an Early Learning Teaching Fellow.
3 – What special classes do students have the opportunity to take?
For the Early Learning and Primary Program, students will take Performing Arts, Music, Visual Art, and Engineering. For the Middle and High School Programs, students will continue to have access to these courses as electives as well as Band/Orchestra and Computer Science.
4 – Do you offer any Clubs or Athletics?
Our Clubs include AI for Kids, Chess, Leadership Club, Math Team, Science Bowl, Student Newspaper, Black Student Union, LatinX Affinity, Chess Team, and many more.
We also have competitive and league sports for students to play. Offerings include basketball, flag football, running, soccer, tennis, and volleyball.
Every year our club and athletic offerings grow in number and vary based on student interest.
5 – Do your campuses have any outdoor space?
Our Upper School campus located in Red Hook has three different outdoor spaces. Our Lower School campus at City Point will have direct access to a new park right across our street!
6 – What is your student-to-teacher ratio?
It depends on the grade! Our classes are capped at the below student-to-teacher ratios. We have between two to five sections of each grade.
Grades 1 – 4: There are two teachers in every classroom, with one Subject Expert Teacher per each discipline. Our average class size is around 21 students.
Grades 5 – 12: Our average class size is around 20 students, with one Subject Expert Teacher per each discipline.
7 – What is the diversity of your student population?
Brooklyn is home to such a wonderful, diverse community and our student community reflects this! 48% of our student population are students of color and 41 different languages are spoken.
8 – Do you offer financial aid?
At this time we do not offer any financial aid. We do offer tuition payment plans in one, two, or ten installations.
We do award a select number of scholarships based on academic merit to a highly selective group of current BASIS Independent Brooklyn students in grade 8, planning to stay for high school. Qualification for the scholarship is determined by the student’s academic record, teacher recommendations, and demonstration of leadership.
At most private and independent schools, financial aid and scholarships are funded through school fundraising, whether from parents, outside donors, alumni, or employees. BASIS Independent Brooklyn does not do any fundraising and does not expect or accept any monetary donations from our community.
9 – Do you offer transportation?
We encourage families at both campuses to make use of nearby public transportation options; we offer free or reduced MetroCards for students who plan to use public subways or buses. The BASIS Independent Brooklyn Upper School campus in Red Hook is conveniently located near stops for the B61 and B57, as well as the F and G trains at Smith & 9th Street Station. BASIS Independent Brooklyn Lower School is located centrally in Downtown Brooklyn near stops for the 2, 3, 4, 5, A, C, D, F, G, N, Q, and R trains; the LIRR at Atlantic Terminal; and many MTA bus lines, including the B25, B26, B38, B52, B54, B57, B61, B62, and B67.
Families are also welcome to use CitiBikes, bikes, strollers, skateboards, and scooters. We have storage at both campuses for these modes of transportation.
For those families with students at both our Upper and Lower School campuses, BASIS Independent Brooklyn offers a “Connector” bus.
Our fee-based transportation program at the Red Hook campus includes morning and afternoon bus services throughout New York City. Our bus routes attempt to accommodate the majority of students who sign up, and they are carefully planned with each school year. Please inquire directly for more details on our current routes.
10 – What community opportunities will my student have if they join your program?
We have very active National Junior Honor Society and National Honor Society chapters at our school leading regular service initiatives. Moreover, our student leadership society, Leadership Club, has prioritized building both a culture of service and sustainability at the school. That means students lead annual drives and regularly promote ways to volunteer with Red Hook and Downtown Brooklyn organizations throughout the school year. Our Student Affairs team started an Annual Day of Service for our entire high school before Thanksgiving Break three years ago which has become an anticipated tradition.
Our school community has worked to develop partnerships with impactful non-profits making a difference in the community. One great example is the Red Hook Art Project, which provides tutoring and mentoring for under-served children and youth. The organization offers free classes and tutoring in visual art, music, and homework help. Our students have volunteered for the homework help program and just started teaching guitar classes. They also work to ensure our leftover school lunches are transported to RHAP and given to students and their families.
The level of community involvement differs by grade. Many of our students start service work in middle or high school that continues through to their Senior Project. In our younger grades, teachers often lead service projects as part of their Connections class. This year we are excited that many of our high school students will teach a class on the importance of service to our Lower School Cubs that involves a service project.
We want to ensure that our students not only feel the comfort and sense of belonging that comes with their own community but also recognize the ways to give back to society.
We invite you to attend an upcoming informational event or campus tour to learn more about our program, difference, teachers, and approach to helping students discover their potential.