Big Picture Learning's 10 Distinguishers

Posted by Jarrod Taylor on 8/7/2018

Big Picture Learning schools exist throughout the country and the world. They are in rural environments and urban environments. They serve both large and small populations of students. Some Big Picture schools exist in gleaming new buildings, while some can be found in retrofitted structures which haven’t been in use for some time. In short, Big Picture schools (like the students they serve) often look dramatically different than one another. Each is its own unique environment where students can flourish as individuals within a community of learners. However, there are many elements within our learning design that are uncommon and distinct, which pull our network together and distinguish them from most other schools.

Big Picture Junior, Tryston C. describes his experiences in Big Picture Learning and the ATC.

ONE STUDENT AT A TIME - The entire learning experience is personalized to each student’s interests, talents and needs. 

ADVISORY STRUCTURE -  Students stay with an advisor and a group of fellow classmates for four years, building close personal relationships that last a lifetime.

LEARNING THROUGH INTERESTS AND INTERNSHIPS (LTIs) - Big Picture students intern with experts in their field of interest, completing authentic projects and gaining experience and exposure to how their interests intersect with the real world.

PARENT AND FAMILY ENGAGEMENT - Parents are welcome and valued members of the school community and play a proactive role in their children’s learning, collaborating in the planning and assessment of student work. 

SCHOOL CULTURE - Student voice is valued in the school decision making process and visitors are struck by the ease with which students interact with adults.

AUTHENTIC ASSESSMENT - Students present multiple exhibitions each year and discuss their learning growth with staff, parents, peers, and mentors.

SCHOOL ORGANIZATION - Schools are organized around a culture of collaboration and communication. They are not bound by the structures of buildings, schedules, bells, or calendars. 

LEADERSHIP - A pervasive sense of shared ownership drives a positive culture dedicated to ongoing improvement.

POST-SECONDARY PLANNING - Students develop plans that contribute to their future success--be it through college, trades, schools, travel, the military, or the workforce.

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT - A Big Picture School is a community of lifelong learners who embrace continuous improvement.

Big Picture Learning's 10 Distinguishers align perfectly with our SCPS Profile of a Graduate, allowing us to better prepare wise students who master standards, lead by example, and embrace social responsibility.


Shelby County Public School Profile of a Graduate

To read more about our 10 Distinguishers, check out the Big Picture Learning website.