Eagle Rock School Produces Colorado Premiere of the Musical Allegiance

The Colorado premiere of the musical Allegiance will be staged early next month in Estes Park by students at Eagle Rock School, with a talk-back session with cast members on the docket for one of the three performances.

Allegiance, which was inspired by the personal experiences of noted actor George Takei (who currently stars in the Los Angeles premier of the musical), is the story of the Kimura family, whose lives were upended — along with those of 120,000 other Japanese-Americans, all of whom were forced to leave their homes following the events of Pearl Harbor that preceded World War II.


The Colorado performance constitutes Eagle Rock School’s 2018 Spring Musical, and in preparation, students attended numerous local theater performances, visited with Japanese American internment survivors, attended history lectures and toured a traveling Smithsonian exhibit called “I Want the Wide American Earth,” and participated in a rigorous 10-week Eagle Rock School class aimed at supporting students in the development of their acting and production support skills.

Allegiance will be shown at Continue reading…

New Class Offerings Challenge Students’ Leadership, Learning Capacities

Among the visions we pursue here at Eagle Rock School and Professional Development Center is for each of our nation’s students to become meaningfully engaged in his or her own education. That objective sounds good on paper, but where it differs from other schools is that our own students — students here at Eagle Rock School — actually learn in part by engaging.

What is standard practice here at Eagle Rock — and what we have made available to our students for more than two decades — are both traditional and nontraditional classroom offerings that ignite the imagination, encourage curiosity, and prepare young minds for the real world.


With that in mind, we have just introduced seven new classes to the curriculum for this, the second half of our first trimester at Eagle Rock for 2018. These five-week classes join three 10-week classes that began in January and are still underway.

Those 10-week classes include Data Analysis, where students continue to use statistics to look for patterns to self-generated questions. A second 10-week class — Neuroscience — has students examining not only the physical makeup of the brain, but the physiology, or habits, of the human nervous system. And in Exposure, the third 10-week class, students have been mastering black & white photography, processing their film in a darkroom, and are now preparing their photographs for a public exhibition in just a few weeks.

Below is a brief description of the new classes at Eagle Rock that got underway just this week: Continue reading…

By Facing Her Fears, Eagle Rock Student Becomes a Certified Lifeguard

When I first spotted Brianna by the swimming pool, I only knew her as “Javonnie’s little sister.” This was back in July of 2016 when I was teaching Javonnie how to face her trepidations about getting across large bodies of water (see Eagle Rock Students Overcome Fears and Take the Plunge).

Brianna eventually joined her older sibling in the Eagle Rock pool, steadily improving her limited swimming skills and overcoming her own discomfort with deep water. She continued to put a lot of work into that effort and the result was a notable increase in her physical skills, as well as a gain in confidence when in the school pool

Brianna Eagle Rock School Swimmer

As with most fledgling swimmers, Brianna’s style was “all out,” which means she swam with all of her effort in order to stay afloat. This frantic floundering resulted in a rapid depletion of energy and an increase in the resultant fear of head-high water. It took a long time for her to develop the stamina to swim one length of the pool

After a few months of taking her morning swims most seriously, Brianna joined our Learn to Swim Class where we work on form, confidence, style and the rudiments and history of swimming in the United States.

The class also provides a video analysis of each swimmer’s skills, and it was through this visual assessment that Brianna was able to Continue reading…

Eagle Rock Teacher Lauded for His Impact on Student

If we’re fortunate in this lifetime, many of us can point to one individual who made a huge difference in our lives, whether that person gently steered us in an unexplored direction, or presented us with life-changing options that corrected the course in which we were headed.

Jon AndersonHere at Eagle Rock — an alternative high school designed to engage high school students who haven’t had success in a traditional educational setting — one such role model has been recognized for effecting change in his students by means of a unique style of teaching that is anchored on building meaningful relationships with each of his young charges.

Jon Anderson, a 16-year veteran instructor here at Eagle Rock School, is being recognized this month by Honored — a national nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to keeping great teachers in the classroom and inspiring a new generation of talent to pursue teaching.

It was while focusing on a teaching degree at the University of Northern California that Jon recalls being approached by one of his professors who suggested he might check out a nontraditional school up in Estes Park called Eagle Rock.

Jon did just that, and was hired as a student teacher in 1998, followed by an internship the following year. And after a stint teaching in nearby Denver, he became a fulltime Eagle Rock instructional specialist in 2002.

If you ask Jon, he will tell you he was attracted to Eagle Rock’s focus on students as individuals, which enabled him to not only build trust with each student, but work with them on issues specific to their future successes in life.

But what most impressed Jon was our Continue reading…

Winter/Spring 2018 Professional Development Center Update

Winter/Spring 2018 Professional Development Center Update

Editor’s Note:  Each year, the highly skilled and energetic staff from within Eagle Rock Professional Development Center (PDC) pack up and head off to visit dozens of high schools from coast to coast. Once on the ground, they meet up with teachers and administrators in support of efforts intended to engage students in their own education.

Professional Development Eagle Rock

Our insistence on creating high-functioning centers of learning — fueled by active student engagement — is what has kept our professional development services so popular with educators nationwide for nearly 25 years.

What we offer below is a calendar listing of what we have done so far this year, and what lies in the immediate future as our PDC crew participates with schools in cities that touch all corners of our country. This schedule was compiled by Sebastian Franco, our 2017/2018 Public Allies Fellow in Professional Development.



Jan. 8 – 11
Crosstown High School (CXH) and Future Focused Education (formerly the New Mexico Center for School Leadership) Memphis, TN — Crosstown High School (CXH is among the newest public charter schools, opening this August. Last month, Eagle Rock’s Director of Professional Development Michael Soguero, 2017/2018 Public Allies Teaching Fellow in Music Josue Quintana, and World Languages Instructional Specialist Josan Perales led a retreat for CXH. They facilitated this XQ Super School’s efforts to build curriculum in partnership with community partners. Josan and Josue followed up by conducting three local student focus groups while Michael joined with leaders from Future Focused Education to assist with the creation of new schools.

Jan. 10
Northwest Regional Education Service District (NWRESD), OR — NWRESD supports school districts northwest of Portland with the mission to provide students with the right tools and resources to prepare them for higher education and potential careers. Professional Development Associate Sarah Bertucci headed a team retreat for Continue reading…