BASIS Education Origins

Home  /  Why BASIS Independent  /  BASIS Education Origins

The Origins of a Top-Ranked Academic Program

BASIS Curriculum Schools began as a visionary venture in 1998 when Dr. Michael and Olga Block, world-class academics in the field of economics, found that students in their classrooms who were educated outside of the United States were not only more prepared for the challenges faced in college than their American counterparts, but were simply "better" at being students. Digging further, they found that low expectations among American students led to a lack of curricular substance in U.S. classrooms. Creating a brand new school in Tucson, Arizona, they discovered that American students thrived when challenged, rising to and surpassing the best students in the world. Thus the BASIS Curriculum Schools revolution was born!

They developed a formula for success, refined regularly since then, that proves every child can become a great student when presented a rigorous course of study taught by Subject Expert Teachers and supported by a culture of excellence. What began as a single campus in Tucson has grown to become a unique, high-achieving, and unprecedented network of schools — five independent schools (located in Brooklyn, Manhattan, McLean, and two locations in Silicon Valley) and an international school in Shenzhen, China, and 21 charter schools across the United States.

Today, BASIS Curriculum Schools students have propelled their schools to become the top ranked in the nation and acclaimed world-wide, as noted in Amanda Ripley's book "The Smartest Kids in the World (and How They Got That Way)."

How BASIS Schools graduate the world's best-prepared students

The BASIS Curriculum and program of study are based on two decades of refinement of a rigorous, challenging, supportive experience, ranked among the very best in the world.

BASIS Independent McLean

BASIS Independent McLean is the third to join the family of independent schools quickly establishing some of the very best private schools in the nation. Opened fall 2016, BASIS Independent McLean serves preschool – grade 12.

BASIS Independent Silicon Valley in San Jose, California and BASIS Independent Brooklyn in Brooklyn, New York have become in one short year two of the most sought-after programs in their respective regions. BASIS Independent Silicon Valley opened with the second largest enrollment in U.S. private school history. BASIS Independent Brooklyn opened with the second largest enrollment in New York City history. BASIS Independent Fremont opened in fall 2016. As a transitional kindergarten – grade 8 school, it serves as a feeder school for BASIS Independent Silicon Valley.

BASIS Independent Manhattan opened in fall 2017, bringing our acclaimed program to the Upper West Side.

Together, our five independent schools are redefining private education across America.

Read more in our BASIS Independent McLean At-A-Glance.

The BASIS.ed results speak for themselves, both nationally and across the world. View Our Rankings