Durango Big Picture High School Home

One student at a time.
Exterior Big Picture High School

About Us

BPHS is a part of the Big Picture Learning Network, a large, international network of schools started in 1995 in the United States. The Durango school has about 90 students, each developing personalized learning plans that include independent projects, content-specific experiences, and comprehensive internships each year. 
students do community service work
Where we’re located
Durango School District map
Ribbon cutting at the new Big Picture High School location


The mission of Durango Big Picture High School is to empower students to use their interests and passions to drive their learning through real world application and experiences in order to reach their personal, social and academic goals.

School & District News

teacher and students in circle, talking

Are you a future-builder?

We need your feedback on a potential bond ballot question for this November. We invite you to visit our new interactive website page to learn about potential investments and funding. We encourage you to spread the word and share this page with your neighbors and fellow community members.
Walk Stars logo and grads

New "Walk Stars" event gives seniors a red-carpet moment

It will be a peak moment of triumph, inspiration, and reunion. The district's new "Walk Stars" event on May 22 and 23 is an invitation for all graduating seniors from Durango High School (DHS) and Big Picture High School (BPHS) to inspire younger students – and teachers – with a celebration at their former schools.
District office front entry

Durango School District Administration Office - Summer Hours

The Durango School District Administration Office summer hours will be in effect June 3rd - July 26. We will operate with regular business hours Monday - Thursday, 8am - 4pm, and be closed to the public on Fridays during this time period.
students with award certificates

Board Of Education Student Awards

On Thursday, April 24, the Board of Education held a Student Awards ceremony, to celebrate students who exemplified the district's Portrait of a Graduate competencies.
potential ballot measure survey

Survey now open on potential ballot measure

Beginning April 18, we encourage everyone in La Plata County – district staff, families, community members – to participate in an important survey regarding public education programs, policies, and a potential ballot measure this November 2024.
Little girl having bandage applied after getting vaccine.

Mobile Vaccine Van Offers Required School Vaccines

We are excited to announce that the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) will be bringing a mobile vaccine van to two Durango 9-R school locations to help families catch up on the required school vaccines.
Colorado Applies Free logo

Colorado's Free Applications Day$, Oct. 17 - 19

Colorado's sixth annual Free Applications Day$ will be held Oct. 17 - 19 for Colorado residents. To inspire more Coloradans to continue their education, all 32 public colleges and universities in Colorado and several private institutions allow students to apply for free on Tuesday, Oct. 17 - Thursday, Oct. 19, 2023 as part of the fifth annual Colorado Free Application Day$.
Samantha Tower

Principal's Message

Big Picture's rigorous and highly personalized approach to education combines academic work with real-world experiences that prepare them for what is next after high school. Students choose their own adventure, with highly personalized and experiential learning tailored to their interests. – Samantha Tower, Principal
Engineer Mountain

Quality of Life

Durango is a beautiful place to live and work. It is located at 6,512 feet elevation in Southwest Colorado near the Four Corners region. Families who live here enjoy a historic steam train, ski resort, rivers, vibrant downtown, bike trails, sky-high “fourteener” mountains, and four distinct seasons with an average of 266 sunny days per year. We welcome new families and new staff members, and we offer excellent benefits and competitive salaries. 

Accessibility Statement

It is the goal of Durango School District 9-R that the information on this website be accessible to individuals with visual, hearing, or cognitive disabilities. Good faith efforts are being made to ensure that our website complies with web accessibility standards.

Most pages on our site are available in HTML format, which can be read by screen readers. Some documents are in Adobe PDF format, requiring Adobe Acrobat Reader, which can be downloaded for free from the Adobe website. Additionally, some documents are in Google Docs, and Google Forms. Most modern browsers and screen readers can access Google-based documents. More information about Google web products accessibility can be found on the Google Accessibility website.

In order to ensure that Durango School District websites are accessible to everyone in our community, including those with disabilities, we are using the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0.

If you cannot access any page(s) on our site, please email us at [email protected]. Include the location of the webpage/document, your name, email address, and phone number so we can provide the information in another format, and address the issue.