About Us

What is Gibson Ek?

Our mission statement: Gibson Ek students thrive by engaging in rigorous interest-based learning and real-world experiences in a vibrant and supportive community.

Gibson Ek High School is a choice school open to any Issaquah School District student looking for a more independent, project-based approach to learning. Students may apply in eighth grade. We opened our doors on Sept. 1, 2016, to freshmen and sophomores, and by the 2018-19 school year hosted a full student population spanning grades 9-12. The current student body of about 200 reflects a wide diversity of goals, from college to entrepreneurship to careers in a trade or the arts.

With no traditional classes or grades, Gibson Ek students learn through self-directed projects, incorporating reading, writing, science, social studies and math along the way. Certificated teachers guide and assess students as they work independently. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, students intern with regional businesses and organizations to explore career interests.

Gibson Ek follows an innovative model established by Big Picture Learning, a Rhode Island-based organization that promotes student-directed, real-world learning. Gibson Ek is among more than 65 Big Picture schools nationwide, including — locally — choice schools in the Bellevue, Highline and Snoqualmie Valley school districts.

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Read our Student Handbook to learn the nuts and bolts of our model.

View our Frequently Asked Questions page.


Videos about Gibson Ek

Preview image for I Choose Gibson Ek: Students Tell Why they Love their School 03:53
I Choose Gibson Ek: Students Tell Why they Love their School Gibson Ek High School does things differently than most high schools. Student... Posted December 4, 2019
Preview image for Gibson Ek High School 03:07
Gibson Ek High School Posted December 4, 2019

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Read the Gibson Focus

Gibson Focus is our newsletter for students, families and mentors designed to highlight student projects and internships and to celebrate our students' great work. 


Issue 1 * Issue 2 * Issue 3 * Issue 4 * Issue 5 * Issue 6Issue 7 * Issue 8

2019-20: Coming Soon

Reimagine Education

Innovative Real World Learning: One Student at a Time