Kindergarten Enrollment



  • The mission of Highline Big Picture Schools is to use internships, apprenticeships and rigorous, interest-based projects to immerse students in work they are passionate about in order to develop the skills, habits, and knowledge to succeed in higher education, overcome obstacles to their well-being, and contribute positively to their communities. This mission is implemented one student at a time within a supportive network of students, staff, advisories, families, and community partners.
    • Big Picture Middle School provides highly personalized and relevant instruction in small classroom setting.
    • Students learn in collaboration with teachers, families, professionals and mentors.
    • Students are in advisories and stay with the same advisors for two years in middle school and four years in high school.
    • Learning is project-based and incorporates the five Big Picture Competencies.
    • Students work independently on interest-based projects daily in addition to advisory work.
    • All students present their learning at exhibitions three times a year.  We do not have grades or credits.
    • High School students are off campus two days a week at internship sites.
    • Middle school students are at service learning sites one day a month and out in the community weekly.
    • Middle school students are provided district transportation.  
    • High school students are provided ORCA cards and take public transportation.
    • We do not offer extra-curricular activities.  Students are able to participate in activities at their home school.
    • Big Picture students graduate prepared for the post-secondary adventure of their choice - college, career and citizenship.

    To learn more about Big Picture School and to see if it is a good fit for you, please visit the website www.bigpicture.org.  In addition, the following books are very helpful in understanding our innovative approach to education:

    The Big Picture by Dennis Littky

    Leaving to Learn by Elliot Washor and Charles Mojkowski

    A Letter to Teachers by Vito Perrone

    Creative Schools by Sir Ken Robinson

    What School Could Be by Ted Dintersmith


  • Lisa Escobar


    Dear Big Picture Community,

    It is May and we are quickly winding down the year.  It is a time of reflection, appreciation and celebration.  We will soon be having our ceremonies for students that are “leveling up” and are ready to tackle the challenges of next year.  This year we are excited that our graduation will be held during the day and our middle school will be joining us at the graduation.  It is wonderful to be able to share such an important event with our entire community!

    Last night was our Mentor Appreciation Night.  It is one of our favorite events at Big Picture.  Mentors were treated to a wonderful meal and meaningful accolades from advisors and students.  The heart of our educational approach at Big Picture is the internship experience.  In his book “Leaving to Learn”, Elliot Washor (co-founder of Big Picture Learning) says the following:

                Leaving-to-learn opportunities include internships, travel, community service, work, entrepreneurial ventures, and gap years.  Many schools provide a few of these opportunities, but it is rare to find whole-school leaving-to-learn programs that are open to all students in all grades, are integral part of students’ learning plans, and are awarded academic and graduation credit.  By employing such programs, schools can deliver on students’ expectations and help them learn at “the edge of their competence”. 

    Mentors are a critical part of our leaving-to-learn educational approach.  The relationships that develop between mentors and students is so important. It is how students learn and apply the knowledge, skills and professional socialization needed in a real world setting connected to their interests and passions.  These experiences will increase a student’s chance to find success and happiness throughout life.  We are well aware of the time and energy commitment mentors make to our students and we simply cannot thank them enough.

                “There is no such thing as genuine knowledge and fruitful understanding except as the offspring of doing….this is the lesson which all education has to learn.”

                                                                                                                           John Dewey


    Have a wonderful rest of the school year.  As always, if you have any questions and/or concerns as we head into the summer months, please feel free to call, email or drop by Big Picture.


    Lisa Escobar

    Principal, Big Picture Schools


About Us

  • 440 South 186th Street
    Burien, WA 98148
    Lisa Escobar
    Office Manager
    Big Picture Middle
    Monday-Thursday: 8:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
    Friday: 8:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
    Big Picture High
    Monday & Wednesday: 9:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
    Tuesday & Thursday: 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
    Friday: 9:00 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
    Office Hours
    8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.



  • State Superintendent: Schools Must Be Safe for All

    Following comments to a congressional committee by U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, State Superintendent Chris Reykdal issued a statement reiterating Washington state's stance on protecting our students who are undocumented in our K-12 schools.

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  • 17 Superstar Teachers

    If you are looking for real-life superstars, look no further than Highline. All of our teachers are stars, and we want you to meet a few who earned gold stars this year from someone who especially admires their commitment to know every student by name, strength and need.

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  • Celebrating Our Dedicated Support Staff

    We are honoring the often unsung heroes of our schools, our classified employees—support staff who serve lunches, drive buses, clean schools and support our students in so many ways. We are grateful for their dedication and outstanding work on behalf of our students.

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  • New Website Coming Summer 2018

    We are in the process of redesigning our website. Our new site will be easier to navigate, accessible to users with disabilities and will require less staff time to create and manage content. We now need your feedback to figure out what you need and expect from the new Highline website.

    Comments (-1)
  • 5 Bold Goals for 2018-2023

    What if the entire community rallied around our promise to know every student by name, strength and need and our goal for every student to graduate prepared for the future they choose? Our updated strategic plan points the way.

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