The Big Picture Model
Two Rivers School has been a Big Picture school since the 19-20 school year. The Big Picture Learning model was established in 1995 and now has over 65 schools in the United States, 11 of which are in Washington State. Big Picture schools are all unique, but follow general guiding principles including: internships, advisories, personalization and authentic assessment.
The biggest difference between our school and a typical high school is that we graduate students based on competencies instead of credits. We have five competencies categories with several sub-categories in each. Our competency areas are: Communication, Social Reasoning, Empirical Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning and Personal Qualities. Students need to demonstrate more sophisticated skills in each competency area as they move through the grade levels. We consider the 9th and 10th grade years to be developmental and we tend to provide more support and direction in these grades. As students move into their 11th grade year, more of the burden is on the student to develop their learning plans and projects.
Since we do not use a credit-based graduation system, we also have a non-standard high school transcript. We use the Mastery Transcript Consortium service, which shows competencies, coursework, and a project portfolio. They also communicate directly with colleges and other post-secondary institutions to help these institutions interpret the transcript.