How to Apply

How to Apply


How to Apply

  • Written by rich-bennett
  • Category: About
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  1. Call The Met at (916)395-5417 and schedule a shadow day/family meeting.
  2. Attend a shadow day/family meeting. This gives you a chance to understand more about our school's culture and learning environment.
  3. After you have complete step 2, your parent or guardian must fill out a registration packet provided in our office. Make sure to supply us with a current/revised final transcript to assure proper placement and assessment of your individualized learning plan.


Please Note: You must be dis-enrolled from your current school before becoming a Metster!

All application materials should be sent to:

The Met
810 V Street
Sacramento, Ca, 95818
Office    (916) 395-5417
Fax: (916) 264-4701

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About The Met


The Met Sacramento was established in 2002 as part of the Sacramento City Unified School District’s Small Schools Initiative.  The school is a member of the Big Picture Network, a worldwide network of schools founded in 1996 in Providence Rhode Island and funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.  We were founded as the 7th school in the network that now includes more than a hundred school both in the United States and abroad.  Our basic mantra is “One Kid at a Time”.  We have a strong belief that every student can succeed if the parameters of success are defined individually.   

A week at the Met Sacramento looks very different from a conventional high school.  First, students only come to the school site three days a week.  The other two days students work at internships in their areas of interest.  The Met is not a vocational school. The goal is to create motivated learners--not specialists in specific fields. We emphasize internships because students learn best when they are deeply engaged in real-world projects, and because their lifelong success as workers and citizens depends on developing a passion for learning.  At their internships, students are expected to take on long term projects that benefit the internship site.  The type and duration of the project work is determined through conversations between the mentor at the site and the Met advisor and the student.  Below is a short list of some projects students have completed in the last twelve years.

Three days a week, students come to the school site.  But even here it does not look like a normal high school.  There are no bells; students are expected to know how to leave classes and move to their next classes without having to be directed externally by a bell.  Students address their teachers by their first names.  Since we expect students to act like adults two days a week at their internship sites it would be wrong to treat them as less than responsible adults the other three days when they are on the school campus.  During these three days, the students receive the more traditional high school curriculum but, as much as possible

The Met enrolls the whole family, not just the individual student. Parents and other family members  attend quarterly exhibitions, where their child demonstrates his or her learning progress.  After the exhibition, they all meet together to determine a curriculum for the following quarter or year. Based on the exhibition, parents have a voice in determining whether their student has "passed" for the quarter or needs to do makeup work. In addition to their involvement in academic affairs, parents are members of all the committees that guide school policy and decision-making. Met parent involvement goes far beyond the bake sale.

The Met is strikingly different from most schools. Students study fewer topics but in far more depth, and they work closely with adults inside and outside the school. In addition to taking tests, they give public exhibitions of what they've learned. Along with grades, students/families receive detailed narratives written by teachers. Each student's learning team--teacher, parents, and, when practicable, internship mentor--meet with the student quarterly to assess progress and plan upcoming learning activities.

Relationships are the Met's foundation. An advisor and 20-25 students form a tightly knit group that stays together for four years. Teachers know each student deeply and have time to help with even the toughest academic and personal problems. Because of the strong connections made between teacher and student, many times the teacher-student relationship continues outside of the school day/week and long after the student has graduated.

Enrollment at the Met is on a first come first served basis.  But because the school is unique, we ask that students first do a Shadow Day at the school in order to experience first hand how the Met campus feels and how the classes work.  And, since there is so much more parental involvement at the Met than most conventional high schools, we ask that a family member come to a Shadow Day orientation in which the Met program is described. After the Shadow Day orientation, the family can fill out the enrollment forms.  Then students are admitted in the order in which the forms are received. Shadow Days can be scheduled with the office.



In 2001, as part of the Small School’s Initiative funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, The Sacramento Unified School District approached Dennis Littky and Elliot Washor, founders of The Big Picture school in Providence Rhode Island, to open a Big Picture School in the Capital City.  The Met in Providence Rhode Island had opened in 1996 with a mission to educate traditionally underserved students in what was then a very depressed post-industrial city.  Elliot and Dennis recognized immediately that the traditional educational model did not work for these students and so constructed a school that would serve students’ needs using as their organizing principle the question:  What is best for kids?  The school they opened was so successful that in 1999 they received a large grant from The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to open another 12 schools based on the Big Picture Model.  The convergence of those two movements, SCUSD reaching out the Big Picture, and the substantial funding from the Gates’ coalesced in the founding the Met Sacramento High School.

In 2002, the then current superintendent of SCUSD, Jim Sweeny, during a tour of innovative small schools on the East Coast, met an administrator at Fenway High School in Boston (another school strongly influenced by The Met in Rhode Island) named Beth Kay and asked her to come to Sacramento and open the new Big Picture School.  Beth met with Dennis Litky and together they worked on the design for the Sacramento School.  In 2002 she came to Sacramento and began the difficult work of beginning a new school, which included outreach to the greater business community for the internship program, securing a site, hiring staff, furnishing the school, solidifying the overarching vision and mission of the school, recruiting students from Middle schools in the greater Sacramento area and finally, in September 2003 starting The Met Sacramento High School with 4 teachers and 60 9th grade students in a small office building on Martin Luther King Blvd.

In September 2004, the school moved to the Old Marshall Building at the corner of 28th and G streets in Midtown Sacramento.  There four new advisors were hired and the school grew with a new Freshman class of 60 students.  2005, the school moved to its current location at the corner of 8th and V streets on Southside Park and hired several new advisors and added another 9th-grade class.  Finally, the school grew to full size in September 2006 and in June of 2007 having achieved 100% college acceptance, the inaugural class celebrated its graduation at the amphitheater in Land Park.

The school site at 8th and V was an old elementary school that had been built for smaller children and never upgraded for adolescents.  There was a ballot initiative to fund remodeling of smaller schools and some of that money was earmarked for renovation for Met High School.  This was a good thing since the school we inherited had paint peeling off the walls, bathrooms designed for elementary school kids and radiators that fell out of walls without provocation.  In keeping with the Met philosophy, we had a year-long renovation planning process in which all of the stakeholders: parents, teachers, and students, worked closely with the architects to design the new school.  Students were so intimately involved in the process, that one of our students designed the color scheme and another student was trained on Autocad and made all of the blueprint changes on the plans used to construct the school.  Finally, renovation began in June of 2011.  The school took up temporary residence at Sacramento Charter High School and finally in January of 2012, we were able to move into a brand new Leed Certified, Green building.

In the meantime, while many of the faculty came and went, the core group who began with the school have continued to maintain the focus of the original program.  Our internship database has grown from a few mentors to several thousand.  Our population has grown and stabilized at around 300 students.  Each year, the staff revisits and refines the overall school model and our pedagogical practices in order to better serve each generation of students according to the basic motto “One Kid at a Time”.   Because we have a strong culture of “permanent revolution”  we constantly examine and revise our practices; this keeps the educational program from becoming stale and allows us to serve each new generation of students’ individual needs.  Each year our curriculum becomes more coordinated across grade level.  As individuals, each staff member continues to further their own educations in order to serve their students better, model the importance of education to their students, and further their own career aspirations.   At this point, the majority of the staff has master’s degrees and administrative credentials.  And we each according to our abilities continue to deliver solid, innovative and academically rigorous educational experiences to each student according to his/her needs. 


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