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For Students At L.A.’s Big Picture Charter School, Downtown Is Their Classroom

During geometry, students at Los Angeles Big Picture High School walk outside to study the intricate building facades in downtown’s financial district. Drama classes stroll to the Ahmanson Theatre to catch a play. For lunch, students often go two blocks to the steps of the stately Central Library.

The school’s home on the third floor of 700 Wilshire Blvd. allows teachers to fuse downtown L.A. with their lessons. “It expands our classroom,” said Principal Nicole Nicodemus. “It opens up a whole new world for our kids.”

The school is part of Big Picture Learning, a Rhode Island-based charter group that operates 43 schools in 17 states and four countries. Charters are independently run and publicly funded.