2017 Public Allies Fellows Tackling a Trio of Team Service Projects

Among the many responsibilities taken on each year by Eagle Rock’s cohort of Public Allies Fellows are Team Service Projects (TSP). This time around, our 2016/2017 fellows have their eyes set on three such projects that are expected to come to a close by the end of this summer.

Taking a step back for a moment, each year, we offer full-time apprenticeships to 12 Public Allies Fellows from across the nation. These fellowships provide an advanced year-long service and leadership development experience at our full-scholarship residential high school in Estes Park, Colo. Once here, the fellows are tasked with working with our educators in re-engaging, retaining and graduating our most prized assets — our students — many of whom have not found success in conventional school settings.

Eagle Rock Public Allies Fellows

Once on campus and acclimated to their new roles, each fellow participates in a Team Service Project that seeks to recognize the assets of a community instead of approaching communities in a needs-based manner. In small groups of fellows — and in partnership with community members — members of the cohort create, implement and evaluate a service project with sustainable and lasting positive impact.

What we offer below are updates to three such projects that have been taken on by our Public Allies Fellows: Continue reading…

Bay Area Educators Learn About Legacy During Eagle Rock Visit

Editor’s Note: Today’s post details a visit to Eagle Rock School by Nora Houseman, former principal of San Francisco Community School (SFC), and Jessica Fishman, a literary specialist at the school. SFC is a Small School by Design (SSD), meaning the school community selects its leader and the school district cannot under policy remove that person unless the leader is ineffective.

By Jessica Fishman, Literacy Specialist — San Francisco Community School

When Nora Houseman shared our intention to start a lab school and professional development center in San Francisco, a former Eagle Rock employee suggested we bring our vision to Michael Soguero and Dan Condon at Eagle Rock’s Professional Development Center.

For years, Nora had heard wonderful stories about Eagle Rock, so we arrived with high expectations, eager to see the school and learn from Michael and Dan.

Aside from the stunning beauty of Estes Park and the campus, the first thing we noticed was a poster that read, “What’s Your Legacy?” That query highlights the Eagle Rock tradition of culminating student legacy projects. The second thing we spotted was a comfy communal meeting area full of colorful throw pillows and handpainted signs signaling various student-led clubs and activities.

Lodge-Hearth-Eagle-Rock-School

Everything at Eagle Rock — from the physical spaces to the carefully worded curriculum and the two- to four-student advisories — is intentionally designed to support the school’s mission of engagement and community.

Everyone is encouraged to pitch in and play a role, and that includes visitors. We had the opportunity to participate in a rousing game of Continue reading…

It’s ‘Back to School’ Time for one Eagle Rock School Architect

Who better to teach a course on architecture to Eagle Rock School students than one of the people who was part of the original team of architects that designed our 640-acre campus back in the early 1990s? Noted architect Jeff Winston has returned to Eagle Rock to co-instruct Architecture — a class which explores the spaces in which we spend our days and how these architectural areas define many aspects of our lives.

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Winston is a member of MIG, a planning, design, communications and management services firm with offices in many cities across the United States. With two decades of architectural expertise, Winston is currently the principal director of MIG’s Colorado office.

Harboring a special interest in the design and function of urban spaces, Winston has designed plazas, malls and streetscapes, along with developing design guidelines for public spaces and entire communities. He has taught at the University of Colorado, is a registered landscape architect in Colorado, Utah and Arizona, and holds masters degrees in Continue reading…

Graduate Higher Ed Funding Grows With Each Rubber Duck Purchase

Whoo-hoo — it’s Duck Race season! We’re very blessed to have such an incredible base of support in the extended Eagle Rock community and we’re super excited to kick off this year’s race.

And when it comes to fundraisers for our school’s Graduate Higher Education Fund, what could be more festive than a Rubber Duck race? Why, you can’t even say rubber ducky without smiling. So, when you’re offered the opportunity to make a contribution to our Graduate Higher Education Fund — and potentially win valuable prizes — it becomes an easy decision.

Estes Park Duck Race Mascot Quilten T. Canvasback visits with Eagle Rock students and staff.

Estes Park Duck Race mascot, Quilten T. Canvasback, visits with Eagle Rock students and staff in advance of the 2017 Estes Park Duck Race.

Which probably goes a long way in explaining why the Estes Park Duck Race is such a huge success. Held each year on the first Saturday in May, this event has raised more than $2 million for local charities and organizations since the first event back in 1989. And among the big beneficiaries of the festivities has been Eagle Rock School’s Graduate Higher Education Fund.

The 2017 edition of the Duck Race & Festival will be held on Saturday, May 6, and here’s how it works and why you may want to considering adopting a duck or two or three or more: Continue reading…

Eagle Rock Students Buckle Down for a New Batch of Classes

We’re already halfway through ER 71 (the 71st trimester since Eagle Rock’s founding in the early 1990s), fresh on the heels of another successful Explore Week that wrapped up just last Friday. And from now until April 6, students will be concentrating on a number of class offerings that should prove interesting, sometimes provocative, and always engaging.

Many of ER 71’s second batch of classes feature topics that you can find at most any traditional high school, with such standard subjects as math, language, art, and music. But even these “basics” undergo a unique transformation when taught at Eagle Rock. They become useful and relatable.

(Photo ©2010 Buckville Publications, LLC)

(Photo ©2010 Buckville Publications, LLC)

Take mathematics for example. During this second half of the trimester, a number of students are taking Math4Life, a no-nonsense class that teaches teens how to manage their paychecks, search for an apartment, buy a car, and file taxes.

On the other side of that math coin is The Art of Mathematics, a class that explores the deep connections between math, art, and the search for truth. Here, students are discovering some of the most beautiful ideas in algebra and geometry. Many mathematicians and philosophers through the ages have talked of the deep connections between math, art, and the search for Truth. Here we give numbers a Continue reading…