The Big Picture South Burlington school year is broken into 3 types of terms: advisor designed, student designed, and guest educator designed. Advisor designed terms consist of curriculum that is planned and delivered by Big Picture staff members. Student designed terms are driven by individual student learning plans, so each student will be working towards proficiencies in a different way. Guest Educator designed terms are when we bring in outside experts to teach unique skills and learning related to a specific professional field (for instance: financial literacy, mindfulness, transportation planning, etc.).
September: ORIENTATION TERM
Students are introduced to the community, review the program requirements, and go through an abbreviated independent project process.
October-December: FALL TERM
Students pursue internships, complete comprehensive independent projects, and demonstrate proficiency through learning plans, power assessments, and exhibitions.
January (1st week): EXPLORE WEEK
Students are immersed in workshops that allow them to explore fields of study that are not easily accessible during the regular school year. Workshops are typically off campus, hands-on experiences.
January-April: SPRING TERM
Follows the same structure as Fall Term.
April-May: SERVICE LEARNING TERM
Staff design a month-long term that is centered around a service topic of the students’ choosing. The term will consist of in the field research, collaboration with outside experts, and implementing a group service project.
June: YES (Year End Studies) TERM
We dedicate the final week of the school year to reflecting on and celebrating our learning. Graduating seniors give speeches, continuing students update their portfolios, and all staff and students engage in community activities.