Elliot Washor, the co-founder of the international Big Picture Learning model, is visiting the high school in Durango for the special event on Oct. 10 from 4-7 p.m. at the new location, 150 Tech Center Drive, Suites A & E. Washor has been invested in school reform for more than 50 years. He will be signing copies of his new book, Learning to Leave, at the event.
According to his bio: “Elliot is deeply committed to imagining Big Picture Learning as a ‘do-think-do’ organization, and persistently pushes the boundaries of its design in order to continually innovate practice and influence in the world of education, especially for those youth living in communities furthest from opportunity.”
The Grand Opening event is open to the public and will include speeches by district leadership, Board of Education members, BPHS Principal Samantha Tower, and Washor. The evening will also include a ribbon-cutting ceremony, light refreshments, student-led tours of the new space, a silent auction, and student musical performances.
“Our goal for this event is to create excitement about our school’s evolution and alignment with the international Big Picture model,” said Tower. “We also want to celebrate the support of the district and Board for this innovative, non-traditional school choice.”
Durango Big Picture High School began its first year on August 24, 2009 as one of Durango School District 9-R’s educational options for high school students. The first class graduated in May 2012. The unique high school follows the Big Picture Learning model, which is centered on individual student growth through community-based internships and student-centered curriculum. Durango Big Picture High School is a public, four-year Colorado Department of Education accredited high school with an enrollment of approximately 100 students. There is a student-to-teacher ratio of no more than 19 students to one advisor.