Parents Play a Vital Role at Eagle Rock

Road leading to mountainsParents (including guardians and sponsors) play a vital role in the success of each and every Eagle Rock School student. Here, in today’s blog post, we’re going to share some practical suggestions — along with a few expectations — intended to open lines of communication between parents, students and the Eagle Rock staff.

For starters, believe us when we say we’re fully aware there will be disagreements, conflicts, and emotional confrontations — i.e., drama — from time to time. We’re not behavioral experts, but we’ve been doing this for a long time. And we’ve been doing it quite successfully.

So when, for example, our director of students suggests that we’ll promise to believe only half of what your child tells us about you, if you promise to believe only half of what your child tells you about us, it’s only half in jest. We have a vested interest in your child’s success and your participation in that success.

And at the top of our priorities for parents is an expectation that you will keep up to date with your child’s experience — providing emotional support and asking us questions or presenting concerns as soon as they arise. This is especially important when there are cultural, religious or medical needs that you feel are not being addressed.

Next, we expect you to be familiar with our Continue reading…

Meet Eagle Rock’s 2014/2015 Public Allies Fellows

Like clockwork, each and every year since 2002 we’ve hosted a dozen Public Allies Fellows, and every year, we proudly introduce these Fellows to you, our stakeholders. Today, we’re presenting 10 new young leaders to you, along with two who we’re fortunate to hang onto for another year, as well as offering up a little information about each of them.

And in case you wondered what Public Allies is all about, here’s a primer:

Public Allies is a program with the intent of developing leadership skills in young adults. This AmeriCorps-funded program is a national movement with a mantra that’s pretty much this: “Everyone leads.” The thought here is, everyone can work to inspire others to believe in themselves, step up to the plate and take action.

Since its founding in 1992, more than 5,000 Allies have completed the program at sites in 23 cities with more than 80 percent of them continuing careers in the nonprofit and public sectors.

And so, without further ado, we’d like to introduce you to Eagle Rock’s 2014-2015 Public Allies Fellows:

ER-PublicAllies20142015

Courtney Lancaster, Service Learning Fellow: Courtney received her Masters of Art degree in social change from the Iliff School of Theology in Denver. Most recently she worked for the Center Consolidated School Districts and has experiences with Transformational Ventures /Trading Hope. Courtney also has service experiences as a VISTA volunteer with AmeriCorps.

Molly Milota, Life After Eagle Rock Fellow: Molly worked at Kansas State University for the past few years as part of house and dining services. She brings to the Eagle Rock table extensive knowledge about what it takes to get into college — and also what it takes to stay in college. Molly has worked with Spectrum Series groups along with Functional Literacy tutoring. She has a Masters of Science from K-State in counseling and student development.

Nicholas Viglione, Human Performance Center Fellow: Nicholas, who hails from Purdy N.Y., has taught physical education at Rippowam Cisqua School in Bedford, N.Y., in both the upper and lower campus. He has also worked as a track coach as well as with project-based adventure after school programs. Nicholas earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree in physical education.

Aaron Guggenheim, Literacy and Literature Fellow: Aaron picked up his bachelor’s degree at the Continue reading…

Recapping Our Work With the Staff at MetWest High School

MetWest High School — a partnership between the Oakland Unified School District (Oakland, Calif.) and the Big Picture Learning Network — prepares its students to recognize and take advantage of all the resources that can further their personal well being, as well as the well being of their communities.

Here at Eagle Rock, our Professional Development Center has been working with MetWest for two years now — with associate director Dan Condon as the lead — on ways that the school can use relevant, key data indicators to guide them in their work.

In particular, MetWest is interested in using data to support existing efforts with respect to their students:

  • Real world thinking
  • Critical thinking
  • Social and emotional intelligences
  • Literacy and communication
  • Resistance to oppression / social change agents / promoters of social change

Our most recent engagement with MetWest took place in Continue reading…

New Faculty And Staff Members Join Our Ranks

We’re not exactly a revolving door here at Eagle Rock, but staff members do come and go on occasion, as was the case this summer when we said farewell to last year’s Public Allies Fellows and a handful of staff members.

And now we’re turning around and tossing down the welcome mat for eight new full-time staffers — some of whom we already know who have taken on new positions, and some who are brand new to our mountain side high school.

Without further ado, let’s introduce our new staff members, in no particular order:

Brighid_Scanlon_Eagle_RockBrighid Scanlon, World Languages Instructional Specialist, Ponderosa House Parent

Brighid has a Master of Arts degree in foreign language pedagogy (Spanish focus) from the University of Delaware Newark, Del., and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the same institution in Spanish studies and mass communication.

Recent Eagle Rockers will recall that Brighid was the World Languages Fellow two years ago, and this past year was the interim performance and music instructor after Ike Leslie moved on. She will be co-house parenting this year with second-year Public Allies Science Fellow, Sara Benge.

Dan-Hoffman-Eagle-RockDan Hoffman, Language Arts Instructional Specialist

Dan received his teaching certification in secondary education and social studies From Prescott College after earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Urban & Environmental Policy from Occidental College in Los Angeles.

Some of you will recognize Dan from his year as the Eagle Rock/Public Allies Societies and Cultures Fellow in 2009-10. Dan returns to Eagle Rock having worked at Voyager Academy High School in Durham N.C., as a curriculum specialist and social studies teacher.

Dan will join the Ponderosa House team.

Diego-Duran-Medina-Eagle-RockDiego Duran-Medina, Societies Cultures Instructional Specialist

Diego’s impressive creds include a Bachelor of Arts degree from Colgate University; a Masters of Arts degree from New York University; and, a Masters of Education degree from Teachers College, Columbia University. While at Columbia, he studied educational administration at The Klingenstein Center for Independent School Leadership.

Diego has extensive experience with independent schools, having worked at the Punahou School  (Honolulu, HI) and The Edmund Burke School (Washington, DC).

He will join the Juniper House Team.

Stephanie Dixon, Registrar and Life After Eagle Rock Counselor

Stephanie worked for five years as a career and post-secondary counselor and teacher in the high-need Denver Public Schools that featured a diverse population of young people between 14 and 24 years of age — most with multiple obstacles to educational success.

She was also a Continue reading…

A Day In The Life of an Eagle Rock Student

JHP_0047Editor’s Note: Eagle Rock student Jaliza Perez walks us through a typical day for her – from sunrise to bedtime – helping future Eagle Rock students understand the routine here in Estes Park, Colo., on any given school day. Jaliza wrote this piece earlier this year and has since graduated. Her plan now is to start an apprenticeship with Public Allies in Los Angeles doing community-based work.

7:00 a.m.: The sound of an unpleasant alarm goes off and I have no other choice but to wake up. It’s 7 a.m. on a Monday and it’s time to get up and run the gate. I put on my sneakers and walk to the bathroom to brush my teeth.

Once I’m done I hurry down the stairs out of the girl’s wing and head over to where everyone meets to run to the gate that serves as the entrance to our school property and back. Sometimes it takes us only 30 minutes to do the gate and other times it can take longer. Breakfast starts at 8 a.m., so I try to make it back before then. When I’m done I walk into the lodge grab a glass of water and wait for breakfast.

9:20 a.m.: When I’m done eating I head back to my house to get ready for the day. It’s now 9:20 a.m. — just 10 minutes before class. I grab my bag, coat and hat. I’m taking this class called Learning Spanish where we teach Spanish to second graders who are also learning Spanish.

We teach the little kids Spanish one or two days a week, and today is one of those days. So we meet in the lodge before we head out so that my teacher can make sure we have all our materials ready for our lesson plans. After she checks everything we head out to the bus.

At the elementary school I teach three kids how to express their emotions in Spanish. Sometimes I need to remember to have patience with the little kids but for the most part they do a great job of staying engaged. Whenever we go see the second graders I leave in a better mood because they’re always so happy to see us and working with them makes me forget about other things.

11:50 a.m.: It’s almost noon and we’re back on the Eagle Rock campus just in time for chores. Sometimes we will just sweep and wipe surfaces, but if its really dirty we will do a deep clean and leave a note on the whiteboard reminding people to pick up after themselves. By now its 12:30 p.m. and time for lunch! I head over to the lodge and wait for Kitchen Patrol to yell, “Put down chairs.” After everyone helps take the chairs down we can all Continue reading…