Eagle Rock Supports Austin’s Youth Entrepreneurs

The Austin (Tex.) Independent School District’s Board of Trustees has many admirable core beliefs, including “All students will graduate college-, career-, and life-ready.”  With that in mind, the District’s latest Strategic Plan Scorecard (PDF file) reveals that 90 percent of its students graduate from high school in four years, but only 70 percent enroll directly in college within one year of graduation (or earn college credit prior to high school graduation).

Among the district’s many efforts to improve college enrollment rates — and prepare more of its students for what life holds in store for them post-graduation — is an innovative program aimed at raising the bar on youth entrepreneurship. Aptly named Student INC, the district-embedded program is on a mission to ignite and align the youth entrepreneurship movement in Austin, and along the way, play a leading role in establishing the central Texas community as the youth entrepreneurship capital of the world.

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In South Austin, where Crockett High School is located, the school district turned to our Professional Development Center to facilitate the enhancement of an existing Student INC program and implement programming that sets students up for success after graduation. That’s a perfect project for our professional development team, which works with educators across the country to make the high school experience more engaging for young people.

It turns out, Austin ranks No. 6 in the nation for its ability to attract experienced entrepreneurs and tech talent to the city’s south side. It also ranks No. 3 for economic growth potential and is No. 2 when it comes to the concentration of tech jobs within the country, according to Business Facilities’ 2018 Metro Rankings Report. In addition, the city is ranked No. 4 in the Technology IT Hiring Forecastwhen it comes to desirable locations where CIOs would like to add tech teams.

But if you stop to ask Desiree Morales, the Austin Independent School District’s entrepreneurship program director, about those figures, she’s quick to point out a Continue reading…

It’s #GivingTuesday and Eagle Rock is the Perfect Recipient for Your Gift

The leftovers have been warmed up — and warmed up again — and there’s finally room in the refrigerator for regular groceries. Nearly everybody’s back at school or work following the Thanksgiving holidays. Black Friday is a memory, Cyber Monday wrapped up a few hours ago and we’re now well into Giving Tuesday.

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What is Giving Tuesday? Often touted as #GivingTuesday for those aficionados of hashtags, this 24-hour period — celebrated the Tuesday after Thanksgiving — is designated as an international day of charitable giving at exactly the time many families and corporations are focusing on their end-of-year donations. Donors often turn to their own communities for such offerings, and for those supporters, friends and alumni of Eagle Rock School & Professional Development Center, we can think of no group that would be more grateful than our own Graduate Higher Education Fund recipients.

Back in the 1997 when our school was still in its infancy, we realized that while our new graduates had accomplished great feats in their personal growth, maturity and education, they were often faced with insurmountable financial needs — especially when it came to Continue reading…

Eagle Rock Participates in School Reform Initiative’s Fall 2018 Meeting

Earlier this month, Dan Condon, Eagle Rock’s Associate Director of Professional Development — along with three of our 2018/2019 Public Allies Fellows — attended the School Reform Initiative Fall Meeting in San Antonio, Texas. Joining Dan in representing Eagle Rock were Doen Lee, Professional Development Center fellow, Kim Tellez, Societies & Cultures fellow, and Zach Greimann, Math fellow.

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For those unfamiliar with it, the School Reform Initiative (SRI) is an independent, Denver-based organization that creates transformational learning communities that serve thousands of educators and students throughout the United States and elsewhere. The non-profit specifically targets educational equity and excellence, and its annual fall meeting attracts educators for the purpose of fostering a community of learners to practice the skills, habits, and dispositions of professional collaboration and reflective discourse — using SRI’s protocols and resources.

Our attendees used the time in San Antonio to renew their commitment to Continue reading…

Round 2 of Eagle Rock’s Fall Trimester Classes Now Underway

This week, we find ourselves well into our 76th trimester here at Eagle Rock School, and we’re taking advantage of this space today to describe another offering of classes in which our students are currently participating. Whether you’re a perspective Eagle Rock School student, client of our Professional Development Center, or a parent of a current Eagle Rocker, reading the following class descriptions may be beneficial to the journey you’re currently on or are about to undertake.

Since a significant portion of our focus is on delivering an education that truly seeks to engage students in their own education, we take pride in describing these topics for our many stakeholders. The idea is to keep you informed about the learning experiences offered here at Eagle Rock and hopefully, enhance your own engagement in — and takeaways from — our unique approach to education.

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While we consider the basics of education to be most important, we believe students are eager to acquire knowledge through the learning of practical life tips, current social issues, appreciation of the arts, and the benefits of staying physically and mentally active. As a result, we believe you’ll find this current listing of Eagle Rock School classes meets all those objectives and more.

The most recent group of five-week courses began earlier this week and, unless otherwise noted, run for five weeks: Continue reading…

Part of What Makes Explore Week so Successful is the Instructors

This trimester’s five-day Explore Week is currently underway, with four course offerings that include jewelry making, woodworking, dance, and preparing for life after Eagle Rock School. Our campus in Estes Park, Colo., is nationally known for the quality of our progressive approach toward reengaging youth in their own education, and never are our educational offerings more exciting and well, non-traditional, than during Explore Week.

That acknowledgement of excellence has a lot to do with the subject matter, which — in past trimesters — has included helpful real-life topics such as balancing a budget, wilderness first aid, and video production. Just as important, and perhaps a bit more fun, are course offerings that instruct students in salsa dancing, whitewater rafting, or using improv poetry to communicate.

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But the main ingredient for all of these courses is the instructors, each one sought out and invited to relate their own expertise and life experiences on the topics they know best. Our staff go to great lengths to attract these educational guides for each of the unique courses offered during Explore Week. Many of the instructors, as you’ll see below, have no teaching background — at least in the traditional sense. However, each has a passion for their particular skill or calling, and with a little persuasion of our staff’s part, we ask these diverse individuals to take a week off and share that passion and knowledge with our students.

That being said, below we are introducing each of these instructors for current edition Explore Week, as well as a little about each course itself: Continue reading…