Meet the Team: Jannai Smith, Human Performance Instructional Specialist

Jannai SmithJannai Smith, the Human Performance Instructional Specialist here at Eagle Rock School, kick-starts her work days by taking our students through their morning exercises, conducting intramurals and recreation activities. In addition, she’s responsible for our Human Performance Center, where she plans, organizes and directs the operations of sports and fitness programs, activities and services aimed at addresses students’ physical fitness and healthy living.

Jannai joined us this past summer, and she arrived here with an impressive work history, having been a physical education teacher at a public school in Muncie, Ind. As a coach, she recalls spending many nights on the road, traveling to different games for volleyball, basketball and track & field. Prior to that, Jannai worked for three years in a juvenile detention/treatment center and another three years as a Ball State Recreational Center intern.

We asked Jannai to tell us a little about herself, and here is what she had to say:

Eagle Rock: Why did you choose to come to work for Eagle Rock?

Jannai Smith: I decided to apply because Eagle Rock offered Continue reading…

Professional Development Team on Pace to Facilitate 30 Events This Trimester

As our 76th trimester gets underway at Eagle Rock School, our Professional Development Center continues to host and facilitate the needs and opportunities of educational organizations around the country — with 30 such events on the calendar for the trimester at hand.

With an asset-based lens embedded in our facilitation, we support educators in determining and applying steps that lead towards powerful organizational transformation. The objective is to re-engage students in their own education. Learn more about our work by visiting the Professional Development Center section of our website. Or, for a more precise accounting of our work — including a partial list of current PDC clients and the work we’re doing between now and the end of this year — please see below:

AUGUST 2018

August 9 – 10

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iLEAD, Castaic, Calif.: Founded 10 years ago in the Santa Clarita Valley area of Southern California, iLEAD  charter schools focus on project-based learning and student-led assessments to improve the quality of education. Dan Condon, Eagle Rock’s Associate Director of Professional Development, spent two days with Empower Generations (a charter school that supports pregnant and parenting teens) and Innovation Studios (a high school with a hybrid learning environment of human resources and technology). Dan’s objective was to cover enduring understandings and learning targets with the two program’s instructors.

August 20 – 21

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I Have a Dream Foundation (IHAD), Boulder, Colo.: With the objective of assisting low-income students to and through college, iHAD’s seeks to provide a long-term, comprehensive educational and cultural enrichment programs to members of Boulder’s student body. Dan Condon was on hand to provide support for launching professional learning communities within this organization.

August 24

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New Visions Charter School for the Humanities IV, Queens, N.Y.: Dan visited the charter school in Queens, N.Y., to discuss a future partnership. New Visions school in Rockaway Park, offers routes to success for urban students who otherwise might not have access to both formal arts training and a college preparatory education. Eagle Rock envisions working with the organization to Continue reading…

Eagle Rock School Seeks a Math Instructional Specialist

If your idea of fun includes empowering diverse teens to learn math concepts and skills, and you believe in learner-centered education, then this blog post could change your life! Here at Eagle Rock School and Professional Development Center, we’re conducting a search for an Interim Math Instructional Specialist — a position on our school’s faculty that works directly with students who have agreed to pivot and engage themselves in their own education.

The initial contract for this position runs from Jan. 3, 2019 through Aug.13, 2019 (thus the “interim” status), with the opportunity for the incumbent to apply for a permanent position as our Math Instructional Specialist post that begins in August of next year.

Video—Watch an Eagle Rock School Math class in action:

Regardless of job status, the Interim Math Instructional Specialist, who will report to our Director of Curriculum, serves as a key part of our instructional team, and will be responsible for students’ development of math reasoning and related skills — both through designing and implementing innovative curriculum and through extracurricular math opportunities.

An obvious plus for us is a candidate who has experience working with diverse adolescents, including a mix of Continue reading…

Eagle Rock School’s Unique Brand of Classes Begin on Monday

As Eagle Rock School kicks off its 76th trimester this month (fondly referred to here on campus as ER 76), our progressive and engaging class offerings are once again taking center stage, with the first batch described below. Classes start on Monday for most students, with the noticeable exception of new students, who head out on their introductory three-week wilderness orientation course the first day of October.

For everyone else, class offerings this trimester range from a class called Fiberlicious, which has little to do with fiber as a foodstuff and more to do about employing fiber items as legitimate artwork. In addition, there is a class called Winning the Votethat explores collecting data, analyzing polls, and making predictions on electoral outcomes.

Without further ado, we offer a partial listing of classes that begin Monday. Unless otherwise noted, each class runs for five weeks:

(Eagle) Rock the Vote: School elections don’t always get the heart pounding, with many students shrugging their shoulders and saying, “Who cares?” Or maybe, they don’t think their vote matters. Or maybe, they’re still too young to vote in a “real” election. This five-week class has students organizing school-wide political campaigns, participating in election rallies, and meeting people from a wide spectrum of political beliefs. In addition, students will learn about our nation’s voting history and electoral process and the history and voting processes of other democracies across the globe.

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Fiberlicious: Fiber art techniques are not limited to weaving, felting, batik work, silk painting, sewing and up-cycling clothing. In this 10-week course, students are learning how to embellish wearable art with ribbons, buttons and beads. Each student in this class must research a period of time and fashion to create a story board for a presentation to share with class. And students will present their wearable fiber arts during a fashion week on the last week of class — offering each a chance to express their voices as fiber artists — both in written form and Continue reading…

Leading for Learner-centered Education Requires a Particular Set of Competencies

Change is afoot all around us, and nowhere is that more apparent than in the way we choose to educate children and young adults through the formal education system here in the United States.

Just a few years ago, the notion of receiving a middle or high school education 100 percent online was unthinkable. However, today — with more than a dozen nationally-recognized and accredited options available — cohorts of eighth graders who are educated exclusively online are matriculating toward starting high school in the same fashion.

Learner Centered Education

Regardless of options touted as innovations in education, most educational offerings operate on a school-centric paradigm — meaning all components of the system are designed for efficiency of education delivery in the context of standardized schools.

Based on a worldview first established in the industrial age, school-centric education relies more on the lessons learned in factories and on assembly lines than it does on the realities that youth face today, as well as the opportunities that will challenge them tomorrow and beyond.

Standardized age cohorts, linear curricula divided into subjects, and learning experiences designed to impart knowledge in long-established categories, are the basic components of school-centered learning. Contrast that approach against one that Continue reading…