For Some at Eagle Rock, Basketball is the Only Game in Town

One of the highlights of my time thus far while serving as a Public Allies Fellow at Eagle Rock School this year, has been being given the opportunity to start a co-ed basketball team.

Without getting into it too deeply, it was basketball that kept me from dropping out of my own high school. And it was basketball that provided myself — and my friends — with a safe place to not only learn the game, but to pick up life skills in the process.

Basket Ball at Eagle Rock School

I didn’t play basketball on my high school team in Richmond, Virginia, but I did join an Amateur Athletic Union team (AAU) during those years. Instead of quitting school altogether, basketball turned into a gateway to success because, in order to play, I had to attain certain requirements in the school setting.

Meeting these criteria was easier because many of my teammates also struggled with school, and they were using the game in the same way I was. Basketball was our escape from the day-to-day issues we faced, including Continue reading…

From Queer Lit to the Chemistry of Cooking, Our Latest Classes Are Now Underway

Eagle Rock School’s 71st trimester is officially underway this week, with returning students attending classes that offer a lot from which to choose. And, as is our custom, all of these classes place importance on eliciting interest and engagement from students.

This time around, for example, there’s a class that actually makes chemistry interesting. How so, you ask? By combining it with cooking. Full minds and full stomachs appear to be on the horizon.

Eagle Rock School Class Topics

Another class that will likely draw the curious is a research class in which each student picks a project that is of particular interest to him or her. Nobody’s making anybody study “the history of concrete,” for example. What the class promises is this: By the end of the trimester, students will become the resident expert on a topic that interests them and that they thoroughly enjoy.

Interested? Below is a partial list of what we’re offering students this trimester: Continue reading…

Eagle Rock’s Students Step Up to the Plate for the Estes Park Community

One of the most important endeavors we undertake here at Eagle Rock School and Professional Development Center is to instill in our student population a sense of being of service to others. More specifically, we attempt to drive home the concept of “giving back to the community” as a lifelong habit for those who might become the nation’s future leaders or its active citizens.

EagleServe Photo 2017 7

This notion of “becoming a better person through service to others,” dates back to Eagle Rock’s beginnings more than two decades ago. To that end, we continue to start off each trimester with an activity we called EagleServe — two full days of campus and community activities that involve each of our students and many of our staff members.

EagleServe connects our campus with our neighbors through service projects intended to help not only the Eagle Rock community, but nearby Estes Park and the greater Estes Valley. These well-planned events took place last Thursday and Friday, highlighted by students working side by side with community members at large.

EagleServe Photo 2017 9

EagleServe 71 (the 71 represents the 71st trimester since the school’s founding back in 1993) began Thursday, Jan. 19, with the theme “Solution Focused Leadership” (SFL).

Students and staff members met bright and early in the Hearth area of the Lodge, then split up into project work groups. After lunch, students in each project group began the two-hour process of researching their particular group and coming up with a game plan.

Below are the project groups and their participants: Continue reading…

House Retreats Are All Fun and Games With a Side Dish of Seriousness

At the beginning of each trimester here at Eagle Rock School, student residents and staff of our half-dozen on-campus houses participate in informal house retreats that last the better part of two solid days. And fun is right there on top of the agenda.

In anticipation of another trimester of hard work and community building, these house retreats place an emphasis on fun, community building, and great food.

It’s also a time for students and staff members to work on relationships, conduct serious conversations about the trimester ahead, build community and continue to develop their house culture. But it’s also the final hurrah before attending classes, and receiving and working on homework assignments.

Pinon_House_Retreat_1_Jan17

There are house meetings to be attended, leaders and intramural captains to be elected and a no-nonsense discussion of the mission statement for each house. All necessary, considering these houses are, essentially, a smaller community within Eagle Rock that encourage and foster camaraderie and team membership.

In other words, what comes around goes around. And when we build a positive community within the houses, those aspects then spread to the Eagle Rock community at large. And not to neglect the fun part of these two-day events, students and staff do cook and share meals together, and reconnect through games, activities and one-on-one discussions.

Specifically, here’s what each of our houses have been up to this Monday and Tuesday… Continue reading…

Eagle Rock is Now Recruiting New Cohort of Public Allies Fellows

If you’re reading this and you see yourself as a future educational leader filled with a passion to inspire change in the worlds of educational reform, social justice and youth development, we might have a program that’s of interest to you.

Here at Eagle Rock School and Professional Development Center, we offer a Public Allies Fellowship that annually provides a dozen individuals with an advanced yearlong service and leadership development experience like no other.

Ten of our 12 current Public Allies fellows during a recent 'Fellows Day Away' at the YMCA of the Rockies.

Ten of our 12 current Public Allies fellows during a recent ‘Fellows Day Away’ at the YMCA of the Rockies.

Located in the mountainside community of Estes Park in the Colorado Rockies, Eagle Rock is a full-scholarship residential high school, serving students between the age of 15 and 21. These teens and young adults come from diverse backgrounds and neighborhoods around the country. For most of them, success in a conventional school setting was just not in the cards.

In addition to providing nontraditional education to Eagle Rock students, we also support Continue reading…