New private school brings top global academic program to NYC’s Upper West Side

June 14, 2017

BASIS Independent Manhattan, a K-8 private school teaching the acclaimed BASIS Curriculum, is opening this fall in a 45,000-square-foot school at 795 Columbus Avenue. Although new to NYC, BASIS Curriculum Schools is no strangers to praise. Steadily since 1998, they’ve grown their network to 28 campuses around the world while gathering many accolades, including that of U.S News and World Report. This year, BASIS Curriculum Schools was ranked #5 on the publication’s list of the “Top 10 Best High Schools in the Country.”

Designed with the modern child in mind, BASIS Independent’s upcoming Manhattan campus will feature state-of-the-art facilities that support everything from daily physical education in the elementary grades, multiple recess breaks, weekly engineering sessions, and, for middle school students, the study of chemistry, physics, and biology in a laboratory setting. Indeed, thoughtful spaces designed to elevate performance are at BASIS Independent’s heart, and they work in tandem with the school’s curriculum developed to provide students with the strongest academic foundation—and for a fraction of the tuition expected in NYC, at that. Ahead, Head of School Jesse Rizzo shares how the upcoming New York City schoolhouse has been designed to help create and fortify Manhattan’s next school community.

BASIS Independent School Upper East Side Classroom

“At BASIS Independent Manhattan, many classrooms have large stretches of windows that allow for natural light to flood the space,” says Rizzo. “The look and feel of a given classroom will be shaped largely by the teacher’s expertise and passion, and the student’s contribution and engagement.”

Whether this classroom is for Latin, logic, economics, literary theory, statistics, cultural analysis, or creative composition, the classroom will be a place where teachers and students can come together to co-create their own paths forward.

BASIS Independent School Upper East Side Lab

Science Lab
“A world-class education should empower students to think creatively and critically about the world around them,” Rizzo expresses. “But in order to do that, to make meaningful and informed decisions about their lives, to become innovative and independent thinkers, they have to know the foundations. Here we present one of our science labs, since both strong STEM and Liberal Arts classes lie at the heart of our curriculum.”

And what will make the sciences at BASIS Independent Manhattan so special? Their Subject Expert Teachers who are faculty with degrees in the subjects they teach. “They go out of their way to make science exciting for kids,” says Rizzo. “Many BASIS Independent teaching faculty previously taught in the college or university setting, and there is a real drive among them to make science exciting for children at an early age when they are very receptive to it.”

She adds, “From small group projects to independent work, the environment is always collegial within BASIS Independent Manhattan science classes. It’s not about competition. It’s about finding the answers together.”

BASIS Independent School Upper East Side Gym

“Athletic facilities play a vital role in the development of students across the world,” says Rizzo. “Not just in their physical education and health, but in inter- and intrapersonal learning experiences.”

BASIS Independent understands that teamwork and cooperation are essential for the 21st century, and certainly environments like a light-filled and central multi-purpose room can support those ends in ways a traditional classroom may not.

BASIS Independent School Upper East Side Outdoor Terrace Playground

Outdoor Terrace Playground & Collaborative Space
Outdoor space will be an important feature for BASIS Independent Manhattan faculty and students.

“Play and physical activity are critical to a child’s development and focus in school,” says Rizzo. “We know that fresh air and outdoor play fuels creativity which leads to academic gains in the classroom. Free play also provides students with opportunities to develop social competence.”

“We all start to move around after sitting and listening for a long stretch, and that is why BASIS Independent has designed their academic day to have short bursts of recess in between blocks of focused time. Recess periods will be woven throughout the school day and take place on the 8,000-square-foot second-floor terrace playground. Central Park, which is only one block away, will also be utilized to supplement the curriculum. Middle school students will have the option of using the terrace during lunch and other academic time during the day. There will also be areas for games of soccer and running, not to mention holding class discussions near the garden space during warm weather. Community programming is also a part of the space, and will include School Field Days and Family Fun Runs, among other series.”

BASIS Independent School Upper East Side Outdoor Collaborative Space

BASIS Independent Manhattan’s newest hub for K-8 education, located in the heart of the Upper West Side, will be designed with spaciousness, safety, comfort, and of course academic rigor to maximize student play and performance.

Curious to learn more? Join BASIS on Wednesday, June 14th for “A Closer Look at the Revolutionary BASIS Curriculum” hosted by Vice President of Academics, Julia Toews and founding BASIS Independent CEO, Dr. Mark Reford.



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