New Charter School Opening in Fresno

September 7, 2009 7:21:38 PM PDT
Big Picture is a national organization with 50 schools, focusing on individualism for students.Most high school students in the valley have already returned to school, but a new charter school is opening its doors for the first time tomorrow in Southwest Fresno.

Action News reporter Shannon Handy explains why the staff at Big Picture High School says their approach to learning will work.

The staff at Southwest Fresno's brand new charter school, Big Picture is prepping for Tuesday's first day of school.

To start, the school will have grades 7 through 10, giving students a chance to study their area of interest and spend time in internships.

Big Picture is a national organization with 50 schools, focusing on individualism for students.

Classes will be taught at St. Alphonsus' former school which is being leased for the year. "I can't wait until they all file in here tomorrow and we all these seats filled and I can see who it is ill be working with."

Nancy Fraleigh has been a teacher for more than thirty years. She has no doubt Big Picture will be a success. "We have fewer in the classroom, fewer to oversee, we have the advisory program which watches their progress carefully and parents are saying that's what we want."

Of the 80 kids enrolled here at Big Picture, about 40 percent are from Kipp Academy. The charter school closed last year because of financial problems, something the director here says, won't happen.

"We're very conscious of the fact that money drives everything and we're gonna watch that carefully and we've been very lean on everything we've done."

Jon Morse said the school is in line to receive 600,000 dollars in grants, as well as some additional state and federal funding.

More importantly, he and the rest of the staff say, they're committed to making it work. "And especially because of the staff that we have here and the leadership that we have here, I have no doubt that big picture will actually succeed."

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