Big Picture Learning at South Valley High School
Students and staff at South Valley High School are involved in a ground-breaking alternative education program called Big Picture Ukiah. This is a student-centered learning system, where students pursue their own interests with a community of educators, local professionals, family members, and fellow students. Each student is urged and supported to complete a local internship working closely with a mentor, learning in the real world.
UUSD students are now interning at local businesses and organizations all over the area including Airport Barbershop, Canova Records, Coyote Valley Landscape Project, Mendocino College Horticulture, Menton Builders, School of Performing Arts and Cultural Education (SPACE), Stained Glass, Ukiah Animal Shelter, Ukiah Unified School District, Yokayo State Preschool, and the Youth Action Project to name just a few.
Thank you to Principal Kris Swett and the South Valley staff for making the commitment to positive change and for the tough work it takes to create this educational opportunity that meets the unique needs of our community. Your efforts are making a difference for kids, families, and our community.
Deb Kubin, UUSD Superintendent
Big Picture Learning schools exist throughout the country and the world. They are in rural environments and urban environments. They serve both large and small populations of students. Some Big Picture schools exist in gleaming new buildings, while some can be found in retrofitted structures which haven’t been in use for some time. In short, Big Picture schools (like the students they serve) often look dramatically different than one another. Each is its own unique environment where students can flourish as individuals within a community of learners. However, there are many elements within our learning design that are uncommon and distinct, which pull our network together and distinguish them from most other schools.