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  • Letter from Big Picture Principal, Sarah Horaczek

  • Learn more about Big Picture Learning Here

Updates and Reminders:

We believe that students learn best when they engage in relevant and rigorous work in a culture of care, respect, and belonging. At Big Picture Schenectady, students work in small advisories, and create Individual Learning Plans where they can think about their world and their ability to influence it using their own strengths, passions, and experiences. Students experiment, grow and learn through these foundational opportunities. They will gain valuable college and career skills through authentic learning experiences that are connected to the community, and co-created with their advisors and mentors.  Finally, families are essential partners in all aspects of the secondary educational experiences at Big Picture Schenectady, and participate in multiple facets of school life.

Big Picture Schenectady is committed to the development of  an innovative and personalized school that draws upon our community to help our students learn and grow both academically, socially, and with a personalized college and/or career readiness. 

Big Picture Schenectady will empower students to pursue their passions in an environment that supports independent thinking. We will graduate curious learners who have developed a plan for personal growth based on real world interests and experiences.

Big Picture Schenectady strives to be viewed and utilized as a resource in our community. We continue to develop positive interactions with surrounding communities as we break educational norms. We are in constant pursuit of improvement and our progress is student driven. Students will always be at the center of learning and we commit to honoring ONE STUDENT AT A TIME.

Big Picture Schenectady students design a life of their choosing alongside caring adults and will create individual learning plans based upon their interests and passions. The student and their advisor link the individual learning plan with the New York State learning standards and performance indicators. Students will demonstrate proficiency of learning standards through project and problem based learning experiences. 

Students attending Big Picture Schenectady will graduate with a New York State Regents diploma. Big Picture students are required to earn an equal number of credits and take the same Regents exams as students in a traditional school setting.

What happens at Big Picture Schenectady?

  • Students participate in a daily advisory period for 80 minutes and will remain with their advisor and advisee group for all four years of high school

  • In advisory, students will work on projects tied to their interests and the International Big Picture Learning Standards

  • Students will regularly present to panels and committees on their learning and projects through exhibitions

  • Students explore their community and interests during regular “leave to learn” opportunities

  • Students will be paired with caring mentors in a field of interest and participate in internships beginning in 9th grade

  • Students have the ability to participate in Smart Scholar opportunities and earn college credit while in high school

  • Seniors will engage in a Capstone project

What makes BIG PICTURE Different:

1.) Learning in the Real World (LTI)

2.) Personalization - One Student at a Time 

3.) Authentic Assessment 

4.) School Organization 

5.) Advisory Structure

6.) School Culture 

7.) Leadership 

8.) Parent/Family Engagement: Adult Support 

9.) School/College Partnership: College Preparation and Support 

10.) Professional Development 

Grade 9 Courses:

  • BP Algebra (1 credit)

  • BP English (1 credit)

  • BP Biology (1 credit)

  • BP Global Studies 9 (1 credit)

  • BP Studio in Art (.5 credit)

  • BP Chinese I (1 credit)

  • BP Physical Education (.5 credit)

  • BP Internship: Career Exploration (1 credit)

  • BP Advisory: Freshmen Experience (1 credit)

Big Picture Family Night balloons

Principal, Sarah Horaczek
422 Mumford St.
Schenectady, NY 12307

Call or text: 518-920-4924

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