What a year!
2020 has been unlike any before, and certainly a year no one will forget. At BASIS International Schools, this year has tested all members of our school community, but in spite of every challenge and change, our network of schools has continued to grow and thrive. Read on for a few highlights from 2020!
Many memories of 2020 will certainly involve the COVID-19 pandemic. While many international schools were forced to cut back, or in some instances even close, our schools not only retained all positions, but our schools continued to grow and we even opened a new campus! Our operations teams and administrators provided remarkable support to teachers and strong leadership throughout these uncertain times, and our school communities have grown even closer as a result.
BASIS Bilingual School Shenzhen Opens
Opening a new school is always exciting–opening a new school during a pandemic is exceptional. BASIS Bilingual School Shenzhen opened in September 2020 with over 500 students in grades Pre-K – 5, and over 70 faculty members. New expat teachers are still arriving on campus, as travel restrictions allow, and our newest school community is continuing to come together.
BASIS Bilingual School Shenzhen is also the first bilingual school in our network. BASIS Bilingual School Shenzhen combines the core of the BASIS School Curriculum with much of the language, history, culture, and values of the traditional Chinese curriculum. Our multi-national team of teachers work alongside each other to build an environment where students and faculty thrive.
BASIS International School Nanjing Completes a Successful Founding Year
BASIS International School Nanjing’s inaugural year showed what a special learning community this campus has already become. Extra-curricular activities, community events, and staff socials have fostered a spirit of camaraderie, which in turn has inspired outstanding outcomes in the classroom, and Award Ceremonies celebrated student academic and personal achievements.
Read more from Head of School Dr. Mark Starbuck.
The Arts are Alive
An important part of ensuring a well-rounded education for our students is their participation in the Arts as well as extra-curricular activities. Our arts programs at every campus have especially produced a wide variety of outstanding productions this year at all grade levels.
A Few Highlights…
After over two years of rehearsals, upper school drama students at BASIS International School Park Lane Harbour presented a lavish production of Aladdin Jr.: The Musical. Under the guidance of our expert teachers, students performed onstage and worked behind the scenes to create the world of the poor thief Aladdin who falls in love with the Sultan’s daughter Jasmine and find their happily ever after.
At BASIS International School Guangzhou, a group of upper school drama students won the Group Scene category at the National EdTA (Educational Theatre Association) Festival and represented China in the Online International Thespian Festival. In late 2020, this same group of students performed a new piece they created themselves, titled “REUNION,” exploring the assimilation of minorities at the Regional Festival–winning the National Directors Award for producing work that has never been seen at a high school level before at a China Festival.
Primary Drama students at BASIS International School Shenzhen presented plays based upon Aesop’s Fables of the Ants and the Grasshoppers. Our teachers truly allowed the students’ natural creativity and personality to shine through with these classic tales and fun performances.
Upper School Art students from BASIS International School Hangzhou participated in a mural painting contest sponsored by the Zhejiang Qiantang River Basin Center & Green Zhejiang Province. The students worked in groups to create artwork centered around three themes given by the organization: “The Finless Porpoise of China,” “River of Happiness,” and “The Top Ten Rivers in Asia.” Twelve drawings by our students were chosen and they were invited to paint these murals on the Qiantang River sea wall alongside local college students. Not only do these paintings enhance the beauty of the sea wall, but they also serve to raise awareness of local environmental issues.
The COVID-19 pandemic put a damper on many events around the world this year, but at our campuses in China and Thailand, we enjoyed the advantages of our locations in areas where the virus is well-controlled, and continued to build relationships within our school communities with amazing events.
A Few Highlights…
Our Halloween celebrations are second to none. From ghoulish haunted houses, to costume parades, all of our students and faculty got into the spirit of the season and showed off their creativity and personality!
At BASIS International School Bangkok, we strive to embrace and be part of many important Thai cultural events and traditions. A Wai Kru ceremony where students honor their teachers; a large Loy Krathong celebration to give thanks for the plentiful harvest; these beautiful events give teachers a taste of Thai culture while still in school, and also allows students and families to embrace their culture alongside our expat teachers and staff.
Saying Goodbye to a Founding Leader
BASIS International School Park Lane Harbour said goodbye to Founding Head of School Dr. John House-Myers as he heads into a well-deserved retirement. Dr. John was an integral part of leading our school community through the challenges of opening a new school in 2018, and the ever changing COVID-19 situation in 2020. We wish Dr. John every success in the future!
From Dr. John House-Myers:
During the past three school years, I had the opportunity and the privilege to serve as the Founding Head of School at BASIS International School Park Lane Harbour in Huizhou, China. I have worked in schools my entire adult life and my three years here were the capstone of my 40 year career. It is an overwhelmingly gratifying experience to launch a brand new school with an entirely new faculty and staff committed to this common cause. The memories of my time here will stay with me forever. There were certainly challenges along the way, but for me it was the most gratifying experience of my wonderful career.
Welcoming a New Head of School
In the fall, a new Head of School came to lead the educational community at BASIS International School Park Lane Harbour. Mr. Mark Lewis brings 26 years of experience in education and leadership in international education. Previously, Mr. Lewis was the founding Middle School Principal at Concordia International School Shanghai for ten years, which gave him an in-depth understanding of China’s international schools and the kids who study in international schools located in China. We are excited to welcome him to the BASIS International Schools family, and look forward to seeing the community blossom under his guidance!
From new Head of School Mr. Mark Lewis:
I am very excited to be here and greatly appreciate the time that Dr. House-Myers has spent with me virtually helping to prepare for my arrival. Park Lane Harbour is such a wonderful school in many ways and I look forward to leading us to becoming the finest boarding school in all of China.
BASIS International School Bangkok Expands
BASIS International School Bangkok continued to grow with new students, new teachers, and new activities this year. Athletics also began to take shape, with inaugural soccer matches taking place with other international schools in Bangkok.
Teacher training also thrived in an unusual time. Innovative ideas such as “Educational Resource Speed Dating” helped teachers introduce new resources to each other, while also fostering a spirit of community and collaboration. Read more here.
Summer Institute Innovates
Summer Institute Teacher Training in China looked a little different this year. Some teachers were able to join us in person, while others joined the sessions via Zoom. As teachers have continued to make their way into China as travel restrictions permit, the training and connection already established during this time have made their transitions into the school communities smooth.
Read more about this year’s Summer Institute training in China here.
A Look Ahead…
2021 promises to be a bright year for BASIS International Schools as all of our campuses continue to grow and add grade levels. We will also be celebrating the first graduating class from BASIS International School Guangzhou! Our commitment to providing a world-class education to our students, supporting our teachers, and fostering close-knit campus communities will continue and the opportunities will only continue to grow with us!
For more information about careers with BASIS International Schools, visit our careers website.