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.

JANUARY 2018

Crosstown-High

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…

Eagle Rock’s Take on Letter Grades vs Competency-based Education

In her recent article for Edutopia entitled Will Letter Grades Survive?, freelance education writer Laura McKenna writes that hundreds of top schools, lawmakers and boards of education have determined A through F grades and their subsequent grade point averages are outmoded, unfair and inaccurate gauges of a student’s educational progress.

Hear, hear!

McKenna is an educator, researcher, professor, parent and a writer. Specializing in the politics of education and education policy, McKenna’s article also opines about the future of the archaic A-F letter grade system that appears on most of this nation’s student transcripts.

Will Letter Grades Survive

“The old models of student assessment,” she writes, “are out of step with the needs of the 21st century workplace and society, with their emphasis on hard-to-measure skills such as creativity, problem solving, persistence, and collaboration.”

She writes that there is a growing consensus among educators and legislators that grades, standardized tests — even homework — cannot accurately reflect a students’ skills. Further, she sees these tools as Continue reading…

Eagle Rock School Seeks New Director of Curriculum — and a Teacher

Eagle Rock School & Professional Development Center is currently looking to hire an experienced leader to become our next Director of Curriculum, as well an English Language & Literacy instructional specialist to join our teaching staff.

Photo © Ian Schneider on Unsplash | Used with permission.

Photo © Ian Schneider on Unsplash | Used with permission.

The application deadline for the Director of Curriculum position is Feb. 26, 2018, while the deadline for the instructional specialist is March 2, 2018. Further details about the application and interview process for both openings can be found below.

Director of Curriculum

Our next Director of Curriculum will continue to support the development of Eagle Rock School’s academic curriculum, working with our Director of Students to insure continuity across the entire student experience. The successful candidate will also be asked to collaborate with our Director of Professional Development to continue Eagle Rock’s support of schools across the country that have an active and meaningful interest in engaging students in their own education.

From a 30,000-ft. perspective, the director of curriculum works with our leadership team and oversees the Continue reading…

Eagle Rock’s Student Body Begins 74th Trimester of Progressive Classes

The first trimester of 2018 is well underway here at Eagle Rock School, marking a total of 74 trimesters since we began our own progressive brand of education back in the early 1990s.

And by progressive education, we’re talking about competency-based learning rather than a traditional education platform, the latter which might offer students “book learning,” but often falls well short of life experience, personal development and an open-eye view of the people who populate this planet.

Photo © by Jeff Sheldon on Unsplash | Used with permission

Photo © by Jeff Sheldon on Unsplash | Used with permission.

For example, this trimester we’re offering a class for camera buffs who appreciate that photography doesn’t have to revolve around a rectangular cellphone with a camera attachment. We’re talking old school black-and-white photography here, complete with darkroom experience and creative writings to accompany students’ camera art.

Or a human sexuality class that goes way beyond the typical high school “sex ed” programs of yesteryear that featured archaic body part posters and stern warnings about promiscuity. In this class, students find themselves in a safe, comfortable environment where they can discuss important issues such as gender and sexual identity, consent, contraceptives and healthcare access.

Below is a listing and short description of each of this trimester’s class offerings, with the first three classes scheduled for 10 weeks and remainder for five weeks. Continue reading…

Meet the Team: Eagle Rock Chef Instructor, Carlos Perez

After more than 15 years as a cook in several Miami Beach restaurants, Carlos Perez joined the Eagle Rock School family last fall, working in our kitchen as a chef instructor.

Carlos-Perez-Eagle-Rock-SchoolWhile professionally trained to prepare gourmet meals in a number of styles — including Latin, Italian and American — Carlos admits his favorite task at Eagle Rock is coming out from behind the stoves and ovens and supervising student kitchen patrol teams in meal preparation and cleanup, as well as instructing students in food preparation technique for a few hours each week.

We asked Carlos to let us in on a few details of his life for this blog post. Here’s what he had to reveal:

Eagle Rock: What exactly is it that you do at Eagle Rock?

Carlos Perez: As a cook instructor, I get to spend time each Wednesday and Saturday instructing Eagle Rock School students in a variety of cooking functions and techniques. And while I love to cook, what I really look forward to the most is instructing the students and being a part of their development.

Eagle Rock: What did you do for work before arriving at Eagle Rock?

Carlos: I was a cook in Miami at several restaurants, including a steakhouse, and restaurants serving Continue reading…