Welcome to Big Lake High School
Big Lake High School is an award-winning college and career readiness school that is home to students in grades 9-12. The hallmark of the school is its REAL program that provides innovative work-based learning through apprenticeships, entrepreneurship, on-the-job training, and work experience for special education students.
Our high school students can choose from more than 150 course options available in art, business, college and career, English, family and consumer science, mathematics, media education, music, physical education, science, social studies, technology education, world language, advanced placement, college-in-the classroom (CIC), post-secondary education option (PSEO), online, and Wright Technical Center.
Each of our classes is aligned to one or more career pathways in Agriculture; Food and Natural Resources; Arts, Communications and Information Systems; Engineering; Manufacturing and Technology; Health Science Technology; Human Services; and Business, Management and Administration. Students are highly encouraged to take courses from several different pathways in order to help discover an interest in a certain career or college major. Once a student finds a strong interest in a certain pathway, he/she is encouraged to focus on classes identified as being aligned with that pathway.
REAL (Relevant Experience Through Apprenticeship Learning)
Our REAL program is a nationally-acclaimed college and career readiness program that prepares students for life after high school by connecting learning in the classroom with real-world applications in the workplace. REAL classes include:
- Youth Apprenticeship - students are matched with an employer in their chosen field, and are employed by the organization under the supervision of a skilled mentor. Students attend work, earn a wage on the job, and complete high school credits in the process. We have had many students placed with a company who continues to employ them after graduation (and some who have covered college costs with an agreement that the student will continue to work for the company).
- CEO (Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities) - this class is for students interested in starting their own business one day. Students spend their class time touring local businesses and learning from company owners the process they went through to get to where they are today. Students will create a business plan and work through the steps required to start their own business.
- On-the-Job Training - this unique class allows students the opportunity to make their job part of the classroom experience. Students attend class one afternoon per week at Wright Technical Center and spend the remaining time at their place of employment.
- Work Experience - this class is available to our special education students looking to gain valuable work place experience.
STING (Student Targeted Instruction and Goals)
Teachers develop close relationships with students, and students receive the support they need through Hornet Hour and the STING (Student Targeted Instruction and Goals) program, held weekly. During STING, students identified as needing additional support meet with a teacher for targeted instruction. Students who have not been identified can spend STING time with a requested teacher, go to the homework help center, math center, test center, media center, study hall, computer lab or work freely in commons areas in the building.
Wright Technical Center
Big Lake High School has a unique partnership with Wright Technical Center (WTC) that allows students to take career and technical classes at WTC in Buffalo. These classes range from cosmetology to welding careers. See the registration guide for a list of all available classes.
Students can choose from 40+ afterschool activities in athletics, fine arts and clubs. Visit the Activities Website for a list of all options. Big Lake is a member of the Mississippi 8 conference.
Minnesota’s education commissioner, Mary Cathryn Ricker visited Big Lake High School to see first-hand the educational benefits of Big Lake High School’s REAL program.