Big Picture is a network of just under fifty small schools around the country, and Highline’s Big Picture is the only school of its kind in Western Washington. Highline Big Picture High School uses internships and rigorous, interest-based projects to immerse students in work they are passionate about in order to develop the skills, habits, and knowledge to succeed in higher education, overcome obstacles to their well-being, and contribute positively to their communities.
In his address to the National Governor’s Conference in 2005, Bill Gates described the Big Picture design by saying “These are the kind of results you can get when you design a high school to prepare every student for college.” Their school is designed around the ideas that learning happens best when students are known well and when they are doing “real world work” that is connected to their interests.
They opened in September of 2005 with 34 ninth graders and are adding that same number each year to reach capacity in the 2008/09 school year with 136 students. The Big Picture Company was founded by educators Dennis Littky and Elliot Washor, both formerly of the renowned Thayer High School in New Hampshire and the Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University. In 1995, they began collaborating with Rhode Island policymakers to design a student-centered high school, and created The Big Picture Company as the launching pad for what has now become a national education reform movement.
Cumulative Grants: $90,000
SVP Funded: 2005-2007
Lead Partners: Glenn Chin & Anna Deliganis