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Blog Graphic - WDC Introducing New HOS Calvery Cooper_v4

Introducing BASIS DC’s New Head of School, Calvery Cooper

Starting in Fall 2024, the BASIS Washington, D.C. campus will have a brand new Head of School!

Calvery Cooper is excited to step into this new role and already has plans for how to build upon the school’s strengths. Learn more about Ms. Cooper and her vision for BASIS DC!

Over 10 years of experience at BASIS DC

Calvery Cooper was born and raised in Washington, D.C. She currently serves as BASIS DC’s Director of Student Affairs—but she first came to the school in 2013! Over the years, she has worked as an ELA teacher, Literacy Interventionist, Director of Planning and Instruction, and more.

In her current role as Director of Student Affairs, Cooper oversees BASIS DC’s student support program. She is very familiar with the BASIS Charter Schools academic program and the kinds of support needed to help students excel, which makes her the perfect person for this leadership role!

“I am honored to be stepping into this new role as Head of School,” says Cooper. “I’m genuinely excited and looking forward to the opportunities and challenges that the coming years will bring!”

Ms. Cooper’s focus for the upcoming school year

Cooper tells us that her vision for BASIS DC is “centered on bolstering the school’s commitment to academic excellence and nurturing a strong sense of community.”

One of her first priorities will be creating a five-year strategic vision for BASIS DC. To create this plan, she will work closely with families, students and faculty. “This vision will focus on refining our educational approach, ensuring consistent communication, and providing equitable access to a world-class education,” she says.

She continues, “My goal is to create a unified BASIS DC community with a shared commitment to excellence.”

Collaboration and transparency

As Head of School, Cooper will work to build upon BASIS DC’s strengths and address any challenges as promptly as possible. In order to help the school improve year after year, Cooper plans to engage in regular feedback cycles with students, families and staff.

“By maintaining a culture of feedback and subsequent change, we can be flexible, dynamic and responsive while not losing sight of our strategic plan,” Cooper explains.

She notes that BASIS DC is already doing a great job of being transparent with its families. The school leaders are always happy to connect with current families and collaborate on ideas for improving the school. For example, based on parent feedback, the school recently adjusted its curriculum to facilitate a smoother transition from grade 5 to grade 6. They also improved the consistency of parent-teacher communications and increased participation in athletics and extracurriculars. Cooper plans to keep this culture of collaboration and transparency going!

“It’s important that students, families and staff are able to have an open dialogue with the administration at BASIS DC,” says Cooper. “I plan to hold monthly town halls with our families, so we can ensure that we are meeting the needs of our community. I will also have frequent ‘Chat and Chew’ lunch sessions with students, where students can foster a connection with the administrative team and share their own ideas for things they would like to see at our school.”

Creating a community where everyone belongs

BASIS DC prides itself on being a school for all learners. Despite its accelerated academic program, BASIS DC has no entrance exams for admittance. Everyone is welcome, and there are a variety of academic and socioemotional support systems in place that ensure that all students are able to succeed.

This culture of belonging is something that Cooper values highly. To her, it is an integral part of what makes BASIS DC unique.

“As someone who has personally experienced the transformative power of education, I understand the importance of creating an environment where every student—regardless of their background—feels valued, respected and empowered to receive a world-class education,” says Cooper.

Cooper has several ideas for how BASIS DC can enrich its school culture and ensure that all students feel welcomed. For example, she says that the Student Affairs team will be working to further integrate extracurricular activities into school life. “Our extracurriculars provide valuable opportunities for students to engage, connect and develop a deeper understanding of different perspectives, so we want to support these clubs and activities as much as possible,” says Cooper.

Additionally, Cooper says she plans to introduce a World Fest Day, offering an opportunity for students to share and explore various cultures. She also wants to create a program that connects current students with alumni, thereby strengthening school pride and allowing alumni to provide ongoing support and inspiration to our younger students.

Optimizing student support

Cooper says she will continue to optimize BASIS DC’s impressive student support system as Head of School. Specifically designed to meet the varied needs of each student, this system includes dedicated deans for personalized academic support across grade levels, interventionists in math and ELA for targeted assistance, and socioemotional support provided by a full-time counselor and psychologist.

This expansion of student support services may also present an opportunity to build connections among students. “Next year, we will be expanding our peer mentoring program. We want to welcome each new grade 5 student with a mentor,” says Cooper. “This initiative will build strong, supportive bonds among students from different grades.”

Ms. Cooper says she’s looking forward to creating a vibrant and thriving school community where all students are equipped for success!

To learn more about BASIS DC and join our interest list, click here. The lottery window for the 2024–25 school year has passed, but you can complete a post-lottery application by visiting the My School DC website. Lottery applications for the 2025–26 school year will open in late 2024.

Amy Licht
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