View Full Version : All NYC Families moving in from far and wide to get their kids into the new—and challenging—Basis Independent

10-23-2014, 04:36 PM
From Crain's New York Business (http://www.crainsnewyork.com/article/20141022/NONPROFITS/141029950/its-academic-families-flock-to-brooklyn-for-school) by Miriam Kreinin Souccar:

Gundula Brattke and her son Jakob were living in the Berkshires a year ago when she heard about a new private school opening in Red Hook, Brooklyn.

The school, Basis Independent Brooklyn, is a for-profit institution for grades K through 12, promising a more rigorous education than that offered at even the most elite New York City private schools. After meeting with school officials, Ms. Brattke—an entrepreneur who relocated to the U.S. from Berlin a decade ago—was hooked. She and Jakob moved to Park Slope, and he started his eighth-grade year at Basis last month.

"My son complained there was no recess, but the rigor appealed to us," said Ms. Brattke, a handbag and accessory designer. "It's more similar to what we are used to in Europe."

Basis' new $40 million, 90,000-square-foot facility is still under construction in Red Hook, so the school was forced to open this year in a cramped, temporary location in Flatbush. Even so, the school is on its way to shaking up the competitive yet staid private-school establishment in New York.

Using the same curriculum as its successful sister chain of public charter school across the U.S., Basis' mission is to bring the level of American education back to equaling or exceeding its peers in other countries, especially in math and science. And it claims it can do that for half the cost of the city's private nonprofit schools, which now come with the hefty price tag of upward of $40,000 a year. Basis charges $23,500, and its initial families will enjoy a price freeze for their kids' entire education there.

'Rigorous' standard

"We're offering something radically different from other New York City private schools," said Mark Reford, chief executive of Basis Independent Schools, a for-profit venture that runs the Brooklyn school as well as a new one in San Jose, Calif. "We benchmark ourselves against the most rigorous global schools."

A prime example of the difference in the Basis curriculum—and something that has grabbed a number of new families—is its approach to science. Unlike most American schools, which offer rudimentary science in middle school, Basis mandates its students take separate biology, physics and chemistry classes starting in fifth grade, as do many schools in Europe and Asia.

read more>> (http://www.crainsnewyork.com/article/20141022/NONPROFITS/141029950/its-academic-families-flock-to-brooklyn-for-school)