Annual Estes Park Duck Race on May 4 Benefits our Graduate Education Fund

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Here’s an interesting fact about the upcoming Estes Park Duck Race — a benefit event that helps to raise funds for among other things, our Graduate Higher Education Fund. What used to be called the Rotary of Estes Park Duck Race has been elevated in status to a genuine festival.

2019-Duck-Race-Estes-Park

Now known as the Estes Park Rotary Duck Race Festival, the daylong event maintains its tradition — dating back 30 years — in which participants launch thousands of little yellow duckies downstream in hopes of winning from among hundreds of prizes. The grand prize is $5,000 in cash, with the following three winners picking up destination vacations at national parks. In addition, hundreds of prizes from Estes Park merchants and others will be handed out at the finish line.

However, the real winners of this duck float and fest are the benefiting organizations and charities whose supporters “adopt out” the rubber racing ducks, with 95 percent of each duck’s adoption fee going directly to locally-based organizations, including Eagle Rock. In the past three decades, more than $2.4 million has been Continue reading…

Distribution Requirements Play a Big Role in This Trimester’s Latest Class Offerings

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A little more than a month ago, we offered a behind-the-scenes look at a number of class being offered during the first half of our 77th trimester (of Eagle Rock School). In addition to highlighting new five- and 10-week classes, we preceded that listing with a description of the role Power Standards play in Individual Learning Plans (ILPs) here at Eagle Rock.

To review, a student’s ILP is comprised of three sections: Power Standards, Distribution Requirements, and Required Experiences. And this time around, as we rundown the latest classes to be offered (during the second half of this trimester), we’re going to go into the details surrounding the role Distribution Requirements play in our curriculum and how students acquire credits as a means of assessing progress in order to complete their graduation requirements.

Here’s how Distribution Requirements fit into the scheme of things when it comes to Individual Learning Plans: Continue reading…

Eagle Rock to Host Council for Aid to Education Training March 14

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Early next month, we’ll be opening the doors of our on-campus Professional Development Center for a daylong Council for Aid to Education (CAE) training on Performance-Based Assessments. For a few years now, we’ve been closely associated with the works of this nationwide, non-profit council, which is committed to helping education institutions measure and improve learning outcomes by offering innovative assessments and developing custom tests.

In particular, here at Eagle Rock, we use CAE’s College and Work Readiness Assessment (CWRA+) alongside more than 300 other schools throughout the country and internationally. The CWRA+ assesses higher-order thinking and written communications skills for students from all walks of life — from the most privileged to the most disengaged.

So, it’s no wonder we were eager to help out when CAE asked us to host the March 14 training from 8:30am-5pm, which is entitled, Performance-Based Assessment Workshop.

The training offers participants the opportunity to Continue reading…

The PACT Process: Building a School Community Where Everyone Thrives

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The Eagle Rock community has always prided itself on a tradition of coming together to create positive change. We believe that a thriving educational community is the direct result of skills, structures, and trusting relationships that are constructed through effective change processes.

As a result, school leadership, staff, and students are gathering together for a school-wide afternoon class during the second five weeks of our current trimester (ER 77) to explore an Enduring Understanding that affects us all. (For those unfamiliar with the language, an enduring understanding is a statement summarizing important ideas and core processes that are central to a discipline and have lasting value beyond the classroom.) The end result is to collectively bring our entire community together to learn and grow. The belief is that everyone involved will leave the process with a deeper understanding of each other, the skills to make positive change in communities, and specific structures that will make Eagle Rock a stronger community.

We are calling this afternoon course, “Participatory Action Community Time,” or PACT, which focuses specifically on five main areas: Continue reading…

Eagle Rock Joins Estes Park High School in Encouraging Active Citizens

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Change can often be a good thing, and such was the case last month when we switched up our traditional two-day Eagle Serve program for something new: tasking our students to put in the time, energy, and resources in order to benefit the local community in a new and profound way. In previous trimesters, Eagle Serve challenged returning Eagle Rock students withthe importance of being of service to others through participation in open enrollment courses that drive home the idea of “giving back to the community”— especially for students we believe can become the nation’s future leaders and/or active citizens within their own communities.

But this time around, we partnered up with about 40 students from nearby Estes Park High School  interested in participating in an intense, two-day intercultural conference that we called The Necessity of Exploration. And while the goal of being of service to others hasn’t changed from prior trimesters, we did alter how this is being done.

In order to achieve this, we found it necessary to remove the ignorance over social and cultural issues affecting our local community, and to prepare our students to be of service to others by first recognizing their role in diversified communities. By raising awareness and holding courageous conversations with peers from a local school, our students discovered and uncovered what is missing and what must be done to truly serve others.

So, for two full days last month — Jan. 17 and 18 — students from both schools joined together at the Estes Valley Community Center in hopes of Continue reading…