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Big Picture Learning Academy

Department of Access and Opportunity

Big Picture Learning Academy Update (5/10/24)

We continue to seek a viable long-term funding source for the Stamford Big Picture Learning Academy (SBPLA) that will enable us to bring this unique program to Stamford’s students without putting additional pressure on the SPS operating budget. We recently received guidance from the State of Connecticut that has prompted us to delay opening SBPLA until Fall 2025. This will give us extra time to secure funding to make SBPLA a reality for Stamford’s students. Look for more updates soon. 

Coming Fall 2025

The Stamford Big Picture Learning Academy (SBPLA) will be a small high school designed to improve access for students to a rigorous, relevant, and relational school experience that focuses on one student at a time.
SBPLA will be part of the Big Picture Learning (BPL) national network of student-centered schools that implement daily advisory, learning through interests/internships, and assessment of learning through student-led exhibitions. 

The SBPLA vision: Embolden students that are curious, courageous, actualized learners with the navigational tools necessary to live lives of their own design that positively connect them to their community and beyond. 

The SBPLA mission: Engage students, one at a time, in personalized, interest-based learning by leveraging networks of families, mentors and the greater community to provide educational experiences grounded in rigor, relevance and relationships.The instructional model is anchored by daily advisory, fostering school connectedness to help students develop a trusting relationship with adults in school. According to research by the CDC, these relationships can reduce the likelihood of poor mental health, sexual health risks, substance abuse, and violence in a teen's life. Moreover, promoting school connectedness has been linked to the likelihood of improved academic success, reduced absenteeism, and increased motivation and engagement.
Students will identify interests to drive their learning experiences and internship work. By accessing real-world settings and standards, students will build independence, leadership capacity and workplace skills. Assessment occurs via exhibitions for which students must show evidence of what they have learned and standards they have mastered, both in school and real-world setting.

SBPLA Community Conversation 5/1/24 - Video Recording (English)

SBPLA Community Conversation 5/1/24 - Video Recording (Spanish)

SBPLA PowerPoint Presentation 5/1/24