From Flying Physics to Dragon Flies: Latest Classes Are Underway

Fresh off our spring break, Eagle Rock School has begun ER 72, which is the 72nd trimester since the school was founded back in the early 1990s. And that means a new offering of nontraditional class is on the schedule for our students.

Enter_To-Learn

For certain there are traditional classroom topics covering everything from English to mathematics, but Eagle Rock has always marched to the beat of a different curriculum, and ER 72 is no different.

For instance, some might consider the topic of physics as rather dry and droll. Not so much when you add roller coasters to the equation. In Physics of Roller Coasters, which you can read about below, our students will learn the physics of roller coasters and build their own Screaming Terror (that’s right, students get to name their rides, too).

Other offerings this trimester include a class called Rethinking Pop Media Culture, another called Dragon Fly Citizen Science — which does not entail giant mutant insects — and a class exploring the classic 1950s stage play, “A Raisin in the Sun.”

Below are class topics and a brief explanation of what it is our students are undertaking in this new trimester: Continue reading…

Meet the Team: Megan Rebeiro, Director of Students

Megan RebeiroMegan Rebeiro is the perfect example of a life coming around full circle. This Eagle Rock School graduate returned to Estes Park in 2016 as our director of students, succeeding Philbert Smith who retired after 23 years of Eagle Rocking.

Today, it is Megan who oversees a range of responsibilities related to student services conducted outside of the classroom, which places her exactly opposite of where she was in the scheme of things just 20 years ago as a fledgling high school student.

Prior to her return to Eagle Rock, this Massachusetts native was a program consultant working directly with our Head of School, Jeff Liddle, on special projects. And she prides herself with her work as sponsor to a number of students over the past five-plus years.

In her own words:

Eagle Rock: What exactly is it that you do at Eagle Rock?

Megan Rebeiro: As the director of students, I serve as a member of the leadership team overseeing the student services team, which includes Admissions, our wilderness programming, the kitchen, Wellness, Life After Eagle Rock, Residential Life including houseparents, evening programs, and service. This means that I make sure students have a fully integrated holistic experience and are prepared to make a difference in the world. My No. 1 priority is to love the students and partner with them to ensure their Eagle Rock School experience is as transformational as possible.

Eagle Rock: What is your favorite Eagle Rock School success story?

Megan: Some of my favorite memories include Continue reading…

Eagle Rock Supports Continued Legacy of the Coalition of Essential Schools

Coalition of Essential Schools LogoIf you’re even a casual supporter of progressive education, you’ve probably heard or read about the shuttering earlier this year of the national operations of the Coalition of Essential Schools (CES). Coming on the heels of more than three decades of ground-breaking work in student-centered teaching and learning, this well-celebrated school reform network ceased national operations at the end of January.

However, the formal closure does not spell an end to the education organization’s website, nor the resources available on that site. In fact, these resources — as well as the Essential Visions video collection and the CES benchmarks — remain available, enabling educators to receive the help and support they require to continue the practice of educational reform.

Of course, we here at Eagle Rock School and Professional Development Center stand ready and able to assist anyone interested in learning more about CES and its unparalleled resources for progressive educators going forward. As the convener of CES Centers, we are a full-service, not-for-profit educational reform organization that operates a year-round residential high school in Estes Park, Colo., and offers professional development services at school and community sites around the United States.

If you aren’t sure where to start, reach out and we will connect you with the appropriate CES Center that best serves your interests. Just use the Continue reading…

This Eagle Rock Mom is Celebrating Mother’s Day With 15 of Her Kids

With my fourth Mother’s Day coming up on Sunday, I find myself grateful for the experience of having my own child and family. Every day is both a blessing and a challenge. Cleaning up messes, receiving sticky kisses, disciplining a small child, and cuddling during family movies are all a part of my daily routine.

Frequently, I’m late to events with friends because of “one more kiss,” and all too often I show up at work with a messy up-do and only mascara on my face because that’s all the time I had to get ready after rushing my family out the door.

When our son was just six months old, Philbert Smith, Eagle Rock’s now-retired Director of Students, sat down with Kevin and I to discuss the possibility of becoming the next houseparents for Pinon House. Having no clue of what raising a child would entail, and having no point of reference for the challenges we would face, we nevertheless eagerly accepted the opportunity.

Anastacia Galloway Reed

Imagine yourself with your own six-month-old. They aren’t really crawling yet and they definitely aren’t talking. They have some pretty basic needs — requirements that often occur in the middle of the night — that once again disrupt your sleep schedule.

That’s fine because you can always go to sleep early the next night and catch up, right? Okay, take this scenario and insert 14 teenagers into the equation. Sounds disastrous, doesn’t it? But here’s the thing. The love you give your Continue reading…

Understanding Eagle Rock School’s 10 Commitments

Editor’s Note (by Eliza Kate Wicks-Arshack, Adjunct Outdoor Education Instructor): We place much emphasis on values here at Eagle Rock School and Professional Development Center, and these fundamentals are centered on what we call “Eight Plus Five Equals Ten.” These values include the eight themes, the five expectations, and the 10 commitments. The eight themes ensure we stay true to our school’s essence and mission, and the five expectations create the framework for our academic classes. It’s the 10 commitments that we explore in this post — the values our students strive to internalize and live by. In fact, this post is an exploration of the 10 commitments by students who first arrived at Eagle Rock in late-January of 2017 (officially known as ER 70). These students conducted interviews with staff and peers to gather different perspectives on the meaning of the commitments, and created a short video showing each of the 10 Commitments in action. Below the video, which appears next, is their take on each of these values, along with a graphical display of each one.

 

Commitment One — Live in respectful harmony with people of all races, cultures, religions, genders and sexual identities, some of whom will have disabilities or different learning styles:

“In this commitment, I learned a variety of things. Conducting interviews and trying to understand others’ interviews lead me to believe that living in respectful harmony is something the majority of people desire. Here at Eagle Rock School we try to understand each other and respect each other’s morals and values. Although we still have room to grow, I think our community is doing pretty well. We should hold each other accountable and hold each other to higher expectations. And we are expected to understand each other’s boundaries. These are things that can be useful to us in the future. To me it means that you dedicate yourself to something that benefits you and others in order to live in respectful harmony. “ — Xycelline Serafin

1 Priscilla Poster

“I too chose this commitment because I think it is important for the community and for myself to feel understood and feel comfortable being who you are without being judged. I believe that being who you are shouldn’t affect the way people treat you and that everyone should have compassion for each other’s mistakes.  I found this commitment to be important because it can make a huge impact on the community if we start living by it. This commitment is also another way to begin respecting other people, no matter the race, sexual identity, background, or age difference. Living in respectful harmony plays out in the Eagle Rock School community when it comes to gatherings and other activities in the community.”  — Priscilla Ramirez Perez

Commitment Two — Develop my mind through intellectual discipline, my body through physical fitness, and my spirit through thoughtful contemplation:

“In order for me to really get an idea of what this commitment means, I had to interview some fellow Eagle Rock School students and staff. This commitment honestly is my absolute favorite, and I’m so glad it’s something we have to follow because we only have Continue reading…