BASIS Independent McLean Moves Up in 2022 Niche Rankings

BASIS Independent McLean
BASIS Independent McLean | Photo: BASIS Independent Schools


BASIS Independent McLean received the highest overall rating on Niche in its 2022 rankings for public and private K-12 schools in the United States.

Part of a national network of pre-K-12 private secular schools with a focus on liberal arts, sciences and advanced Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) studies, the Fairfax County school earned an A+ rating.

Its academics, teachers and college prep received A’s. Clubs, activities and sports received C’s.

“The BASIS Independent McLean community is proud of the most recent Niche rankings,” says Head of School Jason E. Shorbe. “Our formula for a great college prep school is simple: great teachers who are experts in their field, high expectations and student autonomy.”

BASIS Independent McLean head of school Jason Shorbe
Head of School for BASIS Independent McLean, Jason E. Shorbe | Photo: BASIS Independent Schools

The school lists a 7-to-1 teacher-student ratio compared to a 17-to-1 ratio nationally.

Niche is a commercial platform that aggregates data from the U.S. Department of Education, U.S. Census and other public data sources, as well as input from 100 million reviews and surveys from students, parents and residents to grade schools. A full breakdown of how schools are graded can be found on the Niche website.

With paid memberships, schools can also update their profiles with additional information.

As part of its 2022 rankings, Niche also named BASIS the No. 1 best college prep high school in Virginia, No. 2  best high school for STEM in Virginia, No. 2 best private K-12 school in Virginia and No. 4 best private school in Virginia.

These rankings are a step up from the school’s rankings last year, where it was No. 3 in the college prep and private school categories and the sixth best private school in the state. It retained its No. 2 STEM ranking from 2021 to 2022.

Nationally, it ranks 56th in best high schools for STEM and 60th for best K-12 private schools.

BASIS Independent Schools grew out of a curriculum established in 1998 by co-founders Michael and Olga Block, who saw a gap in education practices in the United States compared with the college preparation offered internationally.

Their curriculum was drawn from top systems across the world, including Shanghai, Singapore and Finland.

“BASIS Independent McLean is unique because our high school curriculum encourages students to develop a broad understanding across advanced STEM and humanities courses, to dig deep into the subjects they are passionate about, and to actively participate in college-level classes focused on research, writing and seminar-style discussions,” Shorbe says.

The school opened in the fall of 2016 and serves grades 2-12.

According to the school’s blog, by first grade, students are learning subjects in STEM and visual arts, as well as Mandarin. By fifth grade, they are taking classes such as logic and economics.

High school students are focused on university-level capstones and independent research.

For more information on BASIS, visit



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