About Big Picture
About Highline Big Picture
Highline Big Picture is a small, personalized community of learning, where students are encouraged to be leaders and where school leaders are encouraged to be visionaries. Our school strives to create a respectful, diverse, creative, exciting, and reflective culture. At Big Picture, there is no cannon of information that all students must know. In a world where available information is growing exponentially, we believe that the most important thing a student needs to know is how to learn. Highline Big Picture is part of a national model of schools seeking to transform education, one student at a time.
HBP opened in 2005 and now has 190 students in 6th through 12th grade. At the core of our approach is developing close relationships with students and families, helping students identify what they are passionate about, and then harnessing this motivation to drive rigorous learning connected to real experiences in adult workplaces. Our work is focused on relationships, relevance, and rigor. The tools we use include real-world learning, internships, individualized learning plans, a small school setting with low staff: student ratios, and a breakthrough college transition program.
- Middle school students have the opportunity to explore their interests through weekly field trips. High school students pursue their passions through internships under the mentorship of professionals in the community. Starting in the 9th grade, every student spends two days a week at an internship, where they are immersed in the professional work of the site. In this approach to learning, students develop and complete projects that serve real needs in adult workplaces among adult colleagues. The relevance, ownership, and accountability inherent in such work are difficult to simulate in the classroom. Internships motivate and provide context for students’ academic pursuits.
- Big Picture accepts students at all grade levels based on space availability. Typical entry grades are at the 6th grade for middle school and 9th grade for high school.