School Profile 2023-2024

Bellevue Big Picture School


14844 SE 22nd Street, Bellevue, WA 98007
P: 425-456-7800 F: 425-456-7805
Principal: Bethany Spinler Assistant Principal: Matt Stokes
HS Counselor: Amy Stephens,

425-456-7832 – [email protected]

CEEB/ACT Code: 480114
Bellevue Big Picture School Mission Statement

To prepare all students for success in college, career, and citizenship through personalized, rigorous, and relevant learning experiences.

Bellevue School District Vision

To affirm and inspire each and every student to learn and thrive as creators of their future world.

Big Picture Learning Network

“The Met [the original Big Picture school in Rhode Island] now has the lowest drop-out rate and the highest college placement rate of any high school in the state. These are the kind of results you can get when you design a school to prepare every student for college.”

Bill Gates, National Governors’ Association Education Summit

Bellevue Big Picture School (BBPS) opened in 2011 and is one of two 6th-12th grade public schools of choice in the Bellevue School District, located in the Seattle suburb of Bellevue, Washington. Bellevue is the fifth largest city in Washington and encompasses a large technology and retail hub.

The Bellevue School District (BSD) serves approximately 18,000 students in grades K-12. BSD has a connected curriculum across grades, which is anchored to honors, Advanced Placement, and International Baccalaureate courses at the high school level. High schools frequently rank among the top schools in Washington state and earn recognition in national rankings such as US News & World Report. BBPS was ranked #22 in Washington state this year.

Bellevue Big Picture School provides the standard BSD curriculum with an emphasis on project-based coursework. Bellevue Big Picture students are independent, driven, and self-motivated learners who focus on 21st century skills such as collaboration, critical thinking, innovation, communication, personal and academic resiliency, and technology integration (1:1 student computer ratio). Students work in teams to investigate authentic questions, reflect on and revise their work, and present to public audiences. Bellevue Big Picture School coursework is aligned to district, state, and Common Core Standards. The school is accredited by the Association of Educational Service Districts of the State of Washington.

District Graduation Requirements

Credits: 24 (0.5=1 semester)

English: 4.0

Math: 3.0

Science: 3.0

Social Studies: 3.5

Career/Tech Ed: 1.0

PE/Health: 2.0

Fine Arts: 2.0*

World Language: 2.0*


  • Pass English Language Arts & Math State Tests (or an alternate graduation pathway)
  • Complete WA State History
  • Complete 40 hrs of Community Service
  • Earn a minimum 2.0 Cumulative GPA

*WA State’s Personal Pathway Requirement allows students to replace 1.0 of Fine Arts and 2.0 of World Language with classes more beneficial to their future plans.

2024 Senior Class Size: 43

2023-2024 total 6th to 12th grade enrollment: 385

Ranking: Bellevue School District does not use class rankings.

GPA: Unweighted only.

Grading Scale: A=4.0, B=3.0, C=2.0, D=1.0, F=0.0, W=Withdrawal (no +/- included in GPA per BSD policy).

Schedule: 2 semesters per year; 7 courses per semester on a modified block schedule.

Class of 2024 GPA range: 2.0-4.0

BBPS offers approximately 32 high school courses, taught by a professionally certified faculty of 16 teachers.

The Big Picture Model design is a dynamic approach to learning, doing, and thinking that has been changing the lives of students, educators, and entire communities since 1995. The design components are based on three foundational principles:

  • first, learning must be based on the interests and goals of each student
  • second, a student’s curriculum must be relevant to the people and places that exist in the real world
  • finally, a student’s abilities must be authentically measured by the quality of her or his work

The school is highly personalized due to the unique teacher-as-advisor relationship. Each student has an advisor who meets daily with a group of students for multiple years, monitors the student’s personal and academic development, and serves as the point of contact for the family. BBPS is one of over 100 Big Picture schools worldwide, including 15 in Washington State. For more information on the Big Picture model, see

Standards-based Assessment and Grading: At BBPS, grades are based on Washington State’s learning standards, which are aligned to national standards in multiple content areas. Grades are designed to communicate progress on standards for each course. At least 80% of each student’s grade per course is based on summative assessments of content-specific standards. Up to 20% is based upon demonstration of proficiency within 21st century skills such as communication, collaboration, critical thinking and problem-solving.  All assessments are rubric-based on a 1-4 scale with a 3 denoting proficiency. The overall weighted average of the content standards and 21st century skill-based scores is used to calculate the letter grade for each course.

Honors: All students take honors level Composition and Literature their freshman and sophomore years.

AP: BBPS offers rigorous college-preparatory coursework, including four Advanced Placement courses:

  • AP Statistics / AP Calculus (rotating years)
  • AP Environmental Science
  • AP Human Geography

College in the High School: BBPS students may earn college credit through College in the High School for:

  • Physics of the Universe
  • Senior English
  • Pre-calculus
  • Spanish 3/4
  • Digital Media
  • AP Calculus

Dual Enrollment: Running Start, Washington State’s dual-enrollment program, allows eligible juniors and seniors to enroll at local colleges tuition free. A 5-credit college course is equal to 1.0 high school credit. 100% of the Class of 2024 is enrolled in at least one college credit-granting course their senior year.

Internships: Students meet 30 minutes four days per week in an internship advisory course and spend one full day per week in a pre-professional position at an internship site of their choice. Students may have multiple ten-week internships each year or one extended yearlong internship. By the end of their senior year, each student has completed over 500 pre-professional hours in one or more occupational roles. Internship experiences culminate in the completion of a project co-designed by the site-based mentor and the student, which students present at semester exhibitions. Internship sites have included: City of Bellevue, University of Washington, Pacific Science Center, Overlake Hospital, Aurora Veterinary Hospital, Talking Rain, KPFF Engineering, Microsoft, Google, etc.

Freedom Project: Our passions are what drive us all. In the last two months of every school year, students design, create, and implement a Freedom Project centering on a topic of their choice. The Freedom Project gives students the time and space to explore interests that are not attached to classes or an internship. At the end of the year, students present their projects to their teachers and school community and exhibit them to the public.

Senior Defense: Many of the skills students will need to use after high school cannot be assessed by a standardized test. The Senior Defense is an opportunity for students to tell the story of their high school experience. Presenting evidence of their four years of personal learning, and highlighting internships, projects, and extracurriculars, students provide insightful reflections that demonstrate their growth as a learner and the impact of the choices (the highs and lows) that have made them who they are today. The Defense includes a presentation, questions from a panel of adults, and assessment and feedback (including self-assessment).

Student body by ethnicity 2023-2024

African American: 6%

Hispanic: 11%

Multi-Ethnic: 10%

Asian: 31%

White: 42%

  • 28% of students speak a first language other than English.
  • 16% qualify for free or reduced-priced meals
  • Admission is by lottery without regard to financial or scholastic ability.
Clubs and Activities: Students start and lead clubs at BBPS and may choose to participate in high school athletics at their attendance area high school. 2023-2024 clubs include: ASB, Robotics, GSA (Gender Sexuality Alliance), SOAR (Students Organized Against Racism), Newspaper, Yearbook, Green Team, Prom Committee, National Honor Society, Sports Club, Pre-Med Club, Game Club, Music Club, Book Club, Multicultural Club, and Art Club.

Test Scores

BP=Bellevue Big Picture School; S=State; N=National

SAT Scores

Class of 2020

  BP S N
EBRW 639 539 528
Math 581 534 523
ACT Scores

Class of 2023

  BP N
English 33.7 18.6
Math 30.7 19.0
Reading 35.7 20.1
Science 33.7 19.6
PSAT Scores

Class of 2024

  BP S N
EBRW 512 511 501
Math 483 494 486


Bellevue Big Picture School 2015-2023 graduates were accepted to the following institutions:
Allegheny College Evergreen State College Portland State University University of Denver
Arizona State University Franklin Olin College of Engineering Purdue University University of Hawaii
Bard College Franklin and Marshall College Quest University University of Idaho
Bastyr University George Fox University Reed College University of Maine
Belmont College Gonzaga University Rensselaer Polytechnic University of Michigan
Boise State University Hampshire College Rochester Institute of Technology University of Montana
Bradley University Harvey Mudd College Rutgers University University of Oregon
Cal Poly Hofstra University Saint Louis University University of the Pacific
Cal State Los Angeles James Madison University San Diego State University University of Portland
Cal State Long Beach Joffrey Ballet School Santa Clara University University of Puget Sound
California Lutheran Johns Hopkins University Santa Monica College University of Redlands
Carleton College Knox College Savannah College of Art Design University of San Francisco
Carroll College Lewis and Clark College Scripps College University of South Carolina
Central Washington Linfield College Seattle Pacific University University of South Dakota
Chapman University Loyola Marymount Seattle University University of Texas, Austin
Coe College Macalaster College Seton Hall University University of Utah
Colgate University Miami Dade College Stetson University University of Vermont
College of William & Mary Miami University, Oxford St. John’s College University of Victoria
Colorado College Montana State University St. Mary’s College of California University of Washington
Colorado State University Murray State University SUNY Cobleskill University of Wisconsin
Concordia University New York Institute of Technology The College of Wooster University of Wyoming
Cornell College Northeastern The New School Washington State University
Cornell University Northern Arizona University University of Alaska Western Oregon State University
DigiPen New York University University of Arizona Western Washington University
Earlham College Oberlin College University California, Irvine Whitman College
Eastern Washington Ohio Wesleyan University University of California, LA Whitworth University
Elon University Oregon State University University of California, SB Whittier College
Eckerd College Otterbein University University of California, SC Willamette University
Emerson College Pacific Lutheran University University of Colorado, Denver Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Penn State University University of Dayton York University

90% of Bellevue Big Picture School Graduates Enrolled in College


Due to the closure of schools during the Covid19 pandemic, the Bellevue School District pivoted to remote learning in March 2020. High School students received an “A” for second semester of the 2019-2020 school year if they regularly engaged in the assigned activities and met the minimum curriculum standards. Students who did not engage and/or did not meet curriculum standards received an “I” (Incomplete). For the first semester of the 2020-2021 school year, the Bellevue School District fully engaged in a virtual learning model, providing synchronous live instruction with standard grading practices in place. In April 2021, we returned to in-person hybrid instruction while continuing to offer the option of fully virtual access to classes. All “F” grades were replaced with “NC” (no credit) and students could opt for a P” designation to replace any passing grade (A-D).

Internship Program:

When the district shifted to virtual learning in March 2020, Bellevue Big Picture School halted all in-person internships and refocused the high school advisory class on supporting the social, emotional, and academic needs of the students during this crisis. In the fall of 2020, BBPS launched two options for all high school students at the school for the internship program since instruction was still virtual:

  • Pursuing a virtual internship during asynchronous time for up to four hours per week or
  • Engaging in an entrepreneurship project led by their teacher-advisor

Roughly one-third of high school students pursued virtual internships while the rest engaged in the entrepreneurship project, learning about disruptive innovation, marketing, and business. Virtual internship participants completed exhibitions of their internship projects while those who participated in the entrepreneurship project created and presented a business plan for a start-up business of their choosing to a panel of experts.

With the return to in-person learning in September 2021, our high school students were fully engaged in the internship program, though were able to have virtual or in-person internships for one full-day per week.

The Bellevue School District acknowledges that we learn, work, live and gather on the Indigenous Land of the Coast Salish peoples, specifically the Duwamish and Snoqualmie Tribes. We thank these caretakers of this land, who have lived and continue to live here, since time immemorial.