House Parents Describe Their Eagle Rock Student Housing Experiences

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At first glance, the job of being a house parent for a group of six teen-aged boys and an equal number of teen-aged girls could be a tall order. And as challenging as it is to properly support a dozen students on a daily and nightly basis, imagine a house full of young adults when it comes to being engaged in their own education and living community.

Three of our six house parents recently wrapped up their first trimester in this critical on-campus role. And, not unexpectedly, our administrators again proved to be really good at selecting the best staff members to serve as house parents. We’re also experts at preparing and supporting those house honchos for what the job entails, but some things — as you’ll read below — can only be learned while performing the job itself.

That being said, no one can describe the house parent experience as well as these fresh adult leaders. We’ve asked the three newbies to reflect on what those experiences meant to them personally. But first, a little background on our on-campus Living Village, which is made up of six houses — each designed to accommodate up to 12 students in two separate sleeping areas. Continue reading…

Cultivating Democracy in High Schools Across Illinois

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As you may have read in the Press Release section of the Eagle Rock website, our Professional Development Center is deeply engaged in supporting education renewal work in Illinois. Specially, we’re working in collaboration with the Robert R. McCormick Foundation to further the organization’s Democracy Schools program in select high schools across the Prairie state.

The Democracy Schools program is based on the premise that a healthy democracy requires the informed and active participation of all its citizens. Together, Eagle Rock and the McCormick Foundation are supporting a growing network of Illinois high schools committed to educating and empowering students to nurture and sustain democracy. Through high-quality civic learning experiences, students develop the knowledge, skills, and dispositions that facilitate informed participation in democratic institutions and communities.

Democracy Schools Belvidere

Research has shown that these experiences also promote civic equality, build 21st century competencies, improve school climate, and reduce high school drop-out rates.

Instructional Rounds: The Mechanism for Improvement

Digging a little deeper, the Robert R. McCormick Foundation has engaged our Professional Development Center to provide a key mechanism for improvement in Continue reading…

Meet the Team: Chris Lamar — School Counselor/Life After Eagle Rock Instructional Specialist

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Chris Lamar joined us in November of 2017 as a part-time mental health therapist and admissions support specialist and is now our school counselor and Life After Eagle Rock instructional specialist.

His primary responsibility here at Eagle Rock is to empower students to overcome their internal and external obstacles, as well as ensuring that they fulfill all requirements necessary to graduate and move toward whatever post-graduation opportunity they’re seeking. In addition, Chris works in admissions, interviewing incoming students to assess whether they’re a good fit for Eagle Rock. He says it’s also an opportunity to discover their personalities, their strengths and the ways in which they might need support.

Chris_Lamar_Eagle-Rock

We asked Chris to flesh out his school and job experience in an informal Q&A setting and here’s what he had to say: Continue reading…

Wrapping Up Another Trimester of Progressive Education

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Our winter trimester break is now underwayhere at Eagle Rock School and Professional Development Center, which means many of our students have returned to their hometowns or headed elsewhere for this thrice annual vacation from school. Back here on campus, it’s been a busy trimester, with the graduation celebration for three of our students last Friday, followed by a mass departure of students the following day after an end-of-trimester community meeting. The staff held a holiday party on Saturday, and individual work teams met this past Monday for some trimester wrap-up work.

And while many of our instructors and staff head off to their holiday destinations, some — including Dan Condon, our Associate Director of Professional Development — are working during parts of the trimester break with educators who are committed to making high school a more engaging experience for our country’s youth. In Dan’s case, he was working earlier today on a Restorative Practices project with the Étude Group in Sheboygan, Wis., while tomorrow he’ll be working with TNTP (formerly known as The New Teacher Project), and on Friday he will be participating in a meeting at Public Allies, Inc. in Milwaukee.

Etude Group (Sheboygan, Wis.) engaging with Eagle Rock's Professional Development Center.

Etude Group (Sheboygan, Wis.) engaging with Eagle Rock’s Professional Development Center.

As for our organization itself, our campus schedule for the weeks ahead is as follows: Continue reading…

Eagle Rock’s 3 Latest Grads Have Big Plans Following Graduation

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If you work at Eagle Rock, there’s always a lot to celebrate and be thankful for, especially at this time of the year. In addition to celebrating Thanksgiving on our mountainside campus in Estes Park, Colo., many of our students, staff, faculty and administrators are making plans for the upcoming Winter Trimester Break (Dec. 18, 2018 – Jan. 6, 2019).

But before parting ways until the New Year, there’s one more major year-end celebration on the calendar. This Friday, Dec. 14, the Eagle Rock community will gather or go online to celebrate the high school graduation of three more Eagle Rock School students.

Eagle Rock School Dec 2018 Graduates

In particular, it’s Spencer Lanier, Hailee Williams, and Itxel Nava-Barron’s turn to take to the stage at our Human Performance Center — beginning at 4 p.m. (Mountain Time) — to accept their high school diplomas. For the folks at home, you can follow along online via the livestream that’ll be made available exclusively through the Eagle Rock School and Professional Development Center page on Facebook.

As you’ll learn by reading the entries below, one of our new graduates says his immediately plans call for enrolling in a community college and completing his college prerequisites before taking classes at a four-year college or university in starting in 2020. Our other two grads say they’re going to grab their scissors and combs and take on cosmetology classes in order to learn hairstyling, with one expressing interest in buying an Continue reading…