choose your approach
Just as there's no one path to become a Big Picture Learning school, there's no one approach to getting started. You may be starting a brand new school or reimagining an existing school. (You may not be a school at all!) You may be ready to jump in the deep end, or perhaps your community is more comfortable wading in. Whatever your starting point may be, it's worth mentioning that in our 30 years of working with schools to reimagine education, we've seen it all. Thus, we are ready to work with you to build a personalized - yet transformational - experience.
Please take a look at the services below, as well as bundled examples that follow to get a sense for how you'd like to start. And if there's an approach you don't see, or if you have questions that remain unanswered, we're only an email, tweet, Facebook post or direct inquiry away! Let's get started!
SCHOOL SUCCESS STUDY
The BPL School Success Study is a one or two day on-site study of your school and community. BPL staff spend time interviewing students, parents, staff and community stakeholders; analyze your data; and review your current goals and past successes and/or gaps. At the conclusion of the study, BPL provides a customized report with suggested next steps for building an approach that puts students at the center of their own learning.
Each study is led by a BPL Director and/or School Design Coach. The agenda for the study is created with the school, following the recommendations of BPL staff.
A natural step following the School Success Study is building out a comprehensive, yet emergent coaching plan which takes advantage of your school's existing strengths to move toward adopting one or more of BPL's Distinguishers. Your school's coaching plan will likely consist of a combination of onsite, virtual and hybrid coaching sessions.
NETWORK WIDE CONVENINGS
Far too often we hear from BPL schools about how disconcerting it can sometimes feel being transformational change agents in isolation. Our two annual conferences pull together educators, leaders, community member and - of course! - students from across the network, not only to share best practices, but also to remind folks that they are part of a powerful international community of like-minded visionaries. For additional details, please visit bplevents.org.
One of BPL's critical design elements is learning by doing. Visiting existing BPL network schools is an opportunity to do just that; a chance to see and experience our design in real time. School site visitors speak with students about their Individual Learning Plans, participate in Advisory, visit student internship sites, learn from leadership, and - depending on the time of year - sit in on student exhibitions of learning. In building and sustaining transformational change, school visits are instrumental when it comes to deepening practitioners' mind and skillset for the work. (Learn more about BPL's Guided Experiences.)
TYBO (The Year Before Opening) PLANNING COHORT
BPL schools don't sprout up overnight. In any meaningful endeavor, there's a need for intentional planning, studying what has worked before and listening to the community in order to understand both assets and needs. To launch a successful innovative school, districts and school leaders need one powerful planning year. TYBO is a cohort model of fellowship, mentorship and guided planning; bringing together teams of leaders from cities and districts across the US, pairing them with BPL coaches and principal-mentors from existing schools within the BPL network, all designed to make sure that their school is off on the right foot before their doors even open to students.
ADDITIONAL SERVICES AND INITIATIVES
In addition to the above opportunities for engagement, BPL has added additional services - such as ImBlaze (our internship management platform), Learning Big Picture (our online professional development gathering place), Virtual Advisories (born out of the pandemic) and more - which can be layered on top of coaching or chosen ala carte. In addition, we've launched a number of initiatives to support out-of-school learning, reimagine assessment, encourage healthy living as a compliment to healthy learning, and more! To learn more about these initiatives, please visit our Innovations page.
Big Picture Learning schools live by the motto "one student at a time", signaling a teaching and learning approach directly personalized to a student's interests and passions. We approach working with schools, educators and leaders in the same fashion. We want to help craft a partnership based upon the services that best fit your needs at the time and can suggest service bundles based largely on pace and readiness. Ultimately, we encourage you to contact us directly so that we might help you think through what approach might work for you.
a personalized approach
Veteran network schools in need of a tune-up, or those who want to be more connected and engaged with other schools.
New schools who are not ready to adopt the full Big Picture Learning design, but are rather exploring one or more of its distinguishing features.
Community of Practice Membership
Licenses to Learning Big Picture and/or ImBlaze
Virtual Coaching Calls
Big Picture Ukiah
Knowing that people actually care about the youth in our community is so powerful; getting youth to know their own power...that's pretty great!