Big Picture school to replace Tiger Mountain

Anne Wu, Senior Writer

Last month, the Issaquah School District decided upon the 2016 closure of Tiger Mountain High School in hopes of establishing a new school that will accommodate at-risk teenagers more effectively.

While plans for the alternative school have not yet been finalized, the administration is working towards a Big Picture educational framework. Essentially, what makes Big Picture schools truly alternative is that students will not only attend class, but will also attend a trade school or work on a job site as an apprentice.

“The Big Picture field is set up so there are a lot of different things that kids can be passionate about that the school can tailor an academic experience around. When students graduate, they are able to easily transition into a line of work,” Principal Josh Almy said. “This high school experience gives them job skills and connections and skills that allow them to do something they are really passionate about”.

However, students will be held to the same 24 credit requirement as any other student in the Issaquah School District. While the method of distributing credits has not been decided, students will potentially earn credits for whatever off-of-campus training that they receive.

“Giving credits in an alternative setting will require a creative way of thinking,” Almy said. “There will still be core academic course that students will have to take and complete, but they will be structured and paced in a way that will allow students time during their day to, instead of taking some other courses, go out into the street and get those skills there and get credit for it.”