George Lucas Educational Foundation

Schools That Work| Case Study

Nashville Big Picture High School

Grades 9-12 | Nashville, TN

Personalized Learning: Discovering Passion Through Real-World Context

At Nashville Big Picture High School, student voice and choice, intentional relationships, and two internship days each week are staples of the academic program.
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What This School Is Achieving

A male teacher and female high school student are sitting across from each other at a black classroom table, talking and smiling. There's an opened laptop and notebook on the table.

Nashville Big Picture High School -- a public, urban school in Nashville, Tennessee -- is one of 65 U.S. schools in the Big Picture Network. Big Picture's philosophy puts students at the center of their own learning through personalized learning projects, advisory, and internships two days a week. The school’s commitment to helping students explore their passions in a real-world context shows in their high engagement -- a 95 percent attendance rate and a 98 percent graduation rate. See how it works in this one-minute video.

  • Achieved a 90% graduation rate in 2014 and 98% in 2015.
  • Outperformed the district and the state on the TCAP English I standardized test every year since 2013.
  • Network wide, Big Picture Learning students are more likely to persist in college and earn degrees than students from equivalent backgrounds nationally.
A male teacher and female high school student are sitting across from each other at a black classroom table, talking and smiling. There's an opened laptop and notebook on the table.

How They Do It

Advisory: Building Relationships for Student Success

Advisory: 22 Ways to Build Relationships for Educational Success

Nashville Big Picture High School shares many ways to build intentional relationships with students -- strategies that can work at schools of any size.

8 175 15,313 views
Learning Through Internships: Connecting Students' Passions to the Real World

Learning Through Internships: Connecting Students' Passions to the Real World

Explore five ways to adapt internships (from field trips to shadow days), or follow nine steps to make Nashville Big Picture High School's internship program your own.

33 2,961 views
Personalized Learning: Enabling Voice and Choice Through Projects

Personalized Learning: Enabling Student Voice and Choice Through Projects

Adapt these six tips to bring personalized learning projects into your classroom and build student engagement.

1 194 13,090 views

Voices From the School

4 Student Engagement Tips (From a Student)

Harley Center
Filmmaker and Recent High School Graduate

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