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Two Rivers to Become a Big Picture School Next Year

 

Two Rivers School is excited to announce plans to become a Big Picture School, starting next fall of the 2019-20 school year. Staff have received training this year and are making preparations to adopt this new educational program that centers around student-driven, real-world learning with competency-based instruction.

 

“The Big Picture Philosophy is very student-driven. It values a student as a learner in all aspects of his or her life, not just school. It also provides mentors, work experience, and exposure to a variety of careers that we believe will help students envision and prepare for their futures,” explained Two Rivers Principal Rhonda Schmidt.

 

To help shape the new Snoqualmie Valley program, Two Rivers staff have been working to learn from the experience of other school districts in Washington State who have successfully adopted the Big Picture model.

 

Other school districts in Washington State who have Big Picture Learning as the foundation for their high school alternative learning program include: Issaquah, Bellevue, Highline, Federal Way, Gig Harbor, Chelan, Quincy and Twisp.  For an overview of those Big Picture schools, click here.

 

Some of the most significant changes will include:

  • Transitioning away from a credit-based system to a competency-based program.
  • Outside internships twice a week for every student, to help provide real-world work experience in local businesses and mentors as role models.
  • Every student will be paired with one teacher “advisor” throughout his/her four years of high school.
  • Two Rivers will serve students in grades 9-12, phasing out its 8th grade instruction next year.

 

Interested students, parents and guardians are invited (and encouraged) to attend one of three upcoming informational meetings to learn about the new program and ask any questions.  All the meetings will take place at Two Rivers School (330 Ballarat Ave. N, North Bend, WA  98045) and cover the same content:

  • Wednesday, May 8, at 6-7:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, May 16, at 6-7:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, May 18, at 10 a.m.-noon

 

The application deadline has been extended to August 23.  All students except current Two Rivers students must apply.

 

The program will be limited to 30 students at each grade level -- 9th through 12th grade.

 

Schmidt explained that during this first transitional year, all 9th and 10th students will engage 100% in the Big Picture model, and will work toward new competency-based graduation requirements. Students in 11th and 12th grades (in the Class of 2020 and Class of 2021) will partially participate in the Big Picture program, as these students have already earned significant credits and must fulfill the current 24-credit graduation requirement.

 

There is additional information on the Two Rivers School website including: the application form, Big Picture competencies, and mentor/internship information.

 

To schedule an appointment to visit Two Rivers, please contact Maria Kritsonis, head secretary, at 425-831-4200.

 

Interested in providing worksite experience or becoming a community mentor? Learn more at an informational meeting on August 13, 6-7 p.m. For questions, please contact Chrissy Riley, Success Coordinator, at rileyc@svsd410.org or 425-831-4197.  

 

The vision of Big Picture Learning is “that all students live lives of their own design, supported by caring mentors and equitable opportunities to achieve their greatest potential.  We move forward prepared to activate the power of schools, systems and education through student-directed, real-world learning.”

 

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