What kind of student will succeed at Big Picture School?

The success of the Bellevue Big Picture School community depends on the hard work, positive attitude and growth of each individual. At each grade level, students work daily with a tight-knit cohort of students and teachers. Since students and teachers “loop” with each other from grade to grade, students who value a high degree of personalization and close relationships thrive at Big Picture School. This school may not be the right fit for students who desire a larger school social atmosphere that changes from one year to the next. The curriculum is project/problem-based and involves frequent collaborative group work. Students who thrive here are committed to working with and learning from their peers who may possess diverse ideas, interests, and skill sets. Successful students will also possess a strong curiosity and willingness to explore new ideas, particularly about college and careers.

What if Big Picture School receives more qualified applicants than it can enroll?

Big Picture School will carefully consider the application of each applicant. If Big Picture School receives more applications from qualified applicants than it is able to accept, Big Picture School will consider socioeconomic status, geography, and gender as “plus factors,” if necessary, to achieve diversity among its student body. For example, because Big Picture School is committed to achieving economic diversity among its students, the school will consider eligibility for free and reduced price meals as a “plus factor,” if necessary, until the district free and reduced price meal average is reached. Because Big Picture School is committed to serving students throughout the District, the school will consider the student’s address as a “plus factor,” if necessary, until the four school zone areas (East, West, North, and South) are equally represented. Because Big Picture School is committed to achieving gender diversity among its students, the school will consider gender as a “plus factor,” if necessary, until male and female students in a grade level are equally represented.

Parents may consent to disclose free and reduced price meal eligibility to the district as part of the application process. This consent will be limited to the enrollment process and all information will be held confidential as provided by Federal and State law. Of course, parents may choose not to provide this consent and their applications will be processed without consideration of socioeconomic status.

How many students are admitted to Big Picture School each year?

In 2015-16, Big Picture School will serve a capacity of 75 students per grade.

When will I know if my child is admitted?

The application process for Big Picture School coincides with Bellevue School District’s open enrollment schedule. Applications are due at the end of the open enrollment period. If more students apply than available openings, a lottery will be conducted and results posted at the beginning of March. Students will have two weeks from the notification date to solidify their commitment to the school.

Can special education students or English language learners (ELL) apply?

Yes. ELL and special education students may apply through the same process as other students. ELL and special education teachers will co-teach and work with the general education teachers to plan and deliver instruction. There will be time in the schedule devoted to special education students needing specially designed instruction as per their IEP’s.

Does Big Picture School serve students with disabilities?

Yes. As a public school within Bellevue School District, Big Picture School does not discriminate against students based on race, creed, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation including gender expression or identity, the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability, or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a student with a disability.

Big Picture School will implement the IEP or Section 504 Plan for any enrolled student with a disability, and will not condition a disabled student’s admission on the student waiving his need for special education or related services; however, Big Picture School is not required to fundamentally alter the nature of its program to meet the needs of a disabled student. For example, Big Picture School provides high school students with classroom instruction for 3 days each week and internship experiences for 2 days each week. If a disabled student, even with the provision of special education and related services, is unable to participate in an internship experience, the school will recommend non-admission of the student.

Will Big Picture School ever recommend non-admission of a disabled student?

Yes, in appropriate circumstances.  Whenever placement at Big Picture School is considered for a student on an IEP, an IEP meeting must be convened to determine whether placement at Big Picture School is appropriate. If an IEP team determines that a student’s individual educational needs cannot be met at the Big Picture School (e.g., the student needs a therapeutic placement), Big Picture School will recommend non-admission.

What can I do to improve my child’s chance of admission?

Big Picture School makes every attempt to admit all qualified applicants. If you have a special situation that is of concern, we invite you to contact Bethany Spinler, principal, by email at spinlerb@bsd405.org, or by phone.

Does Big Picture School ever revoke an enrolled student’s admission?

Students exhibiting a pattern of failure of the Big Picture Code of Commitments will result in varied interventions up to and including a mutual discussion about appropriateness of placement at this choice school.

What can I do if my child is denied admission or has his/her admission revoked?

A letter of appeal should be prepared and addressed to Bethany Spinler, Big Picture School principal. Bethany will forward your appeal to the appropriate District administrative staff. Include all pertinent information related to the reason for your appeal. Remember to include your full address including zip code and telephone number(s) where you can be reached. Responses are generally sent within two weeks.