The BASIS Charter School Curriculum is comprised of courses in language and literacy, math, civics, history, science, and physical education/martial arts. Our enrichment curriculum includes courses in engineering & technology, fine arts (visual arts, performing arts, and music), and Mandarin. Students in grades 1–3 take integrated, 85-minute blocks of content, supplemented by their enrichment courses. These courses are the same in each of the primary years, so that important skills and concepts can be revisited in increasing complexity and detail. “Mastery of the basics” is a key component of the BASIS Charter School Curriculum, and early consistency is critical. Additionally, students take an interdisciplinary course called Connections weekly.
BASIS Charter School students are co-taught by two caring faculty members. The first is a Subject Expert Teacher (SET), who uses their deep knowledge of that discipline to design and teach their own lesson plans. The second is a Learning Expert Teacher (LET), who focuses on effective pedagogy, travels from class to class each day with their cohort of students, and co-teaches with each SET. This model is implemented in the primary grades based on school maturity and needs.
The role of the LET is to make sure that students understand what they are being taught, and that every individual student is working to the absolute best of his/her personal abilities. The LET provides a high level of individualized progress-monitoring. This unique level of student-teacher engagement allows teachers to quickly identify students who are struggling, assist them in getting the extra support they may need, and prevent them from falling behind. It also builds a relationship based on mutual respect, trust, and understanding. Importantly, LETs communicate with parents regularly to discuss progress.
The synergy of the SET and LET facilitates a relatively rapid transition from instruction in foundational skills and knowledge to independent thinking and active learning in the primary grades. These teachers work together to help students make interdisciplinary connections through the reiteration of key concepts across the curriculum. This fosters the progression from acquisition to application of knowledge, and prepares students for the challenges and opportunities of the 4-12 program in BASIS Charter School Curriculum.