Professional Development from Eagle Rock Continues its Blistering Pace

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Our staff returned last week from our most recent trimester break, and most Eagle Rock School students are back this week as we kick off what is arguably the best part of the year — summer trimester.

Classes for returning Eagle Rock School students begin on Monday, May 20, while our new incoming class of students is set to arrive on campus on Tuesday, May 21. The following Monday the new students head off for our school’s traditional three-week Wilderness Orientation program that is a requirement for all new Eagle Rock School students.

Not only are we enjoying the bright sunshine and longer days in Colorado, but we are also initiating the school’s 78th trimester — also known as ER 78. And while administrators, staff, instructors and students take on the work of reengaging in education here in Estes Park, our Professional Development Center (PDC) facilitating school improvement workshops throughout the country as well as hosting educators here on campus in Estes Park. In this post, we bring you the latest update on the working engagements of the PDC.

As you can see below, we have listed the schedule of professional development deliveries that we are hosting, participating in, or offering from now until the middle of August. Continue reading…

Field Trip Shows Just How Much Black Lives Matter

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For a second consecutive year in the month of February, Eagle Rock students and staff gathered to celebrate our organization’s Black Lives Matter Day. On Saturday, February 23rd, forty-plus members of our community traveled 70 miles to Downtown Denver to participate in four distinct educational and community-focused activities.

One group of students and staff visited the United Capoeira Association – Colorado chapter in Denver’s Santa Fe Arts District to learn about the history and practice of capoeira— an Afro-Brazilian martial art that combines elements of dance, acrobatics, and music. Developed 500 years ago by African slaves mainly from Angola, capoeira served as a self-defense technique that today incorporates kicking, head-butting, slap-boxing, deception, evasion, and even walking using one’s hands.

A second group of students met with Adri Norris— a Denver artist known for crafting art and stories of women throughout history to inspire, teach and empower. Alongside Norris, Eagle Rock students and staff created Continue reading…

Community offers Eagle Rock’s Free Store the Coat Off its Back

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Estes Park community members have always been big supporters of Eagle Rock School and Professional Development Center, and an excellent example of that local love came near the end of last year. That’s when a group of community members began making regular donations toward what would become our organization’s Free Store.

Located in our on-campus Lodge, the Free Store became fully functional at the end of 2018, and today displays unused garments, school supplies, toiletries, and other day-to-day items that can be used by our students and others in the Eagle Rock community.

Instead of driving these items to thrift stores in town, community members save up a few bags of clothing and other items, then deliver them to our mountainside campus to be displayed in the Free Store. And don’t think for a moment these hundreds of items are just strewn around an upstairs open space. In order to make Free Store items appealing for students and staff, volunteers separate them in order to determine which are appropriate to display, which can be offered to thrift stores, and which are most suitable for recycling. This process includes a detailed inspection. For example, with the apparel we receive, volunteers inspect each item to assess cleanliness and even wearability and durability for our sometimes harsh-weather environment here in Estes Park.

The Free Store is arranged categorically, with racks full of options for Continue reading…

Hiring our First-ever Learning Specialist

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We’re pleased to announce that if all goes according to plan, the first-ever Eagle Rock School and Professional Development Center Learning Specialist will join our Instructional Team by Sept. 2 of this year. This new position, which was created to ensure all Eagle Rock School students receive the academic support they need, calls for someone possessing an entrepreneurial disposition (to help us, in sense, co-create the new role).

Reporting to our director of curriculum, the learning specialist will be responsible for serving students with learning needs by means of creating and managing learning plans, directing tutoring and instruction, and coaching our instructional specialists in new and emerging learning techniques.

To accomplish these and other responsibilities, the successful candidate should have a bachelor’s or master’s degree in Special Education or a related field. Applicants should also have experience in progressive models of education at the high school level and have participated in a successful Learning Specialist program — or better yet, have experience in building such a program — in the past.

Additional responsibilities the new staff member will take on include: Continue reading…

Not Everyone Catches a ‘Break’ During Eagle Rock School’s Trimester Break

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Once again, we find ourselves between educational sessions as our 77th trimester draws to a close and ER-78 stands in line for its debut next month. It is during this trimester break that our instructors take a break from the classroom, and students enjoy a well-deserved vacation from independent studies, nontraditional classes, leadership responsibilities, and duties as stewards of the Eagle Rock community and our natural environments.

Last Friday, we celebrated the graduation of four students during a ceremony held here on out mountainside campus. Those grads include Alethea Auguste, Mohammad Thabata, Yxcelline Serafin, and Maria Suaste Perez. An End of Trimester Community Meeting took place the following day, with the trimester’s final staff meeting taking place yesterday.

For the most part, this period is technically a respite from school. However, several of our Professional Development Center (PDC) staff remain at work supporting our efforts to reengage youth from around the nation in their own education. That occurs through the work of the PDC as well as various administrative functions taking place on campus.

On Monday, Dan Condon, our Associate Director of Professional Development, was hard at work with the Boulder County, Colo., office of Continue reading…