The PACT Process: Building a School Community Where Everyone Thrives

The Eagle Rock community has always prided itself on a tradition of coming together to create positive change. We believe that a thriving educational community is the direct result of skills, structures, and trusting relationships that are constructed through effective change processes.

As a result, school leadership, staff, and students are gathering together for a school-wide afternoon class during the second five weeks of our current trimester (ER 77) to explore an Enduring Understanding that affects us all. (For those unfamiliar with the language, an enduring understanding is a statement summarizing important ideas and core processes that are central to a discipline and have lasting value beyond the classroom.) The end result is to collectively bring our entire community together to learn and grow. The belief is that everyone involved will leave the process with a deeper understanding of each other, the skills to make positive change in communities, and specific structures that will make Eagle Rock a stronger community.

We are calling this afternoon course, “Participatory Action Community Time,” or PACT, which focuses specifically on five main areas: Continue reading…

Eagle Rock Joins Estes Park High School in Encouraging Active Citizens

Change can often be a good thing, and such was the case last month when we switched up our traditional two-day Eagle Serve program for something new: tasking our students to put in the time, energy, and resources in order to benefit the local community in a new and profound way. In previous trimesters, Eagle Serve challenged returning Eagle Rock students withthe importance of being of service to others through participation in open enrollment courses that drive home the idea of “giving back to the community”— especially for students we believe can become the nation’s future leaders and/or active citizens within their own communities.

But this time around, we partnered up with about 40 students from nearby Estes Park High School  interested in participating in an intense, two-day intercultural conference that we called The Necessity of Exploration. And while the goal of being of service to others hasn’t changed from prior trimesters, we did alter how this is being done.

In order to achieve this, we found it necessary to remove the ignorance over social and cultural issues affecting our local community, and to prepare our students to be of service to others by first recognizing their role in diversified communities. By raising awareness and holding courageous conversations with peers from a local school, our students discovered and uncovered what is missing and what must be done to truly serve others.

So, for two full days last month — Jan. 17 and 18 — students from both schools joined together at the Estes Valley Community Center in hopes of Continue reading…

The Role of Power Standards in this Trimester’s Class Offerings

It’s the beginning of our 77th trimester here at Eagle Rock School and Professional Development Center and our students are already well entrenched in furthering their education with meaningful classes — many promoting strong leadership and good citizenry in the world they will soon inherit. A rundown of those classes is offered below, but first, we’d like to give you some insight into how we plan for and assess educational progress here at Eagle Rock School.

(image courtesy of Josán Perales)

At Eagle Rock, we’ve long maintained an “Individual Learning Plan” for our students, as well as “Power Standards” that assess student progress within this plan. All of this is organized around what we call our “5 Expectations,” which include:

  1. Creating Healthy Life Choices
  2. Effective Communication
  3. Leadership for Justice
  4. Engaged Global Citizen
  5. Expanding Knowledge Base

The Individual Learning Plan (ILP for short) is a means of assessing each student’s progress in completing their graduation requirements. The plan is divvied up among three sections, which include: Continue reading…

Winter-Spring 2019 Briefing from the Professional Development Center

As Eagle Rock School’s staff members and students immerse themselves into the school’s 77th trimester, our non-stop Professional Development Center (PDC) continues its work in helping high schools across the country develop programs and protocols aimed at re-engaging youth in their own education.

For decades, our dedicated Professional Development Center team has signed on to collaborate with progressive and innovative educators around the United States in order to enhance educational strategies and design. To achieve the objectives and goals these educational organizations have developed for themselves, our facilitation builds on the assets they already possess (we refer to it as asset-based facilitation).

Please see the schedule below to see what’s on our facilitation agenda for now through the middle of April (and use the information presented at the end of this briefing to get in touch with us about your organization’s upcoming professional development-related needs):

JANUARY 2019

Jan. 21 – 23

Princeton Program for Teacher Preparation, Estes Park, Colo.: Dan Condon, Eagle Rock Associate Director of Professional Development, along with Doen Lee, our 2018/2019 Fellow in Professional Development, are hosting Ally Markovich from the Princeton Program for Teacher Preparation here on the Eagle Rock campus. In this visit, Ally will have many opportunities to observe Continue reading…

House Parents Describe Their Eagle Rock Student Housing Experiences

At first glance, the job of being a house parent for a group of six teen-aged boys and an equal number of teen-aged girls could be a tall order. And as challenging as it is to properly support a dozen students on a daily and nightly basis, imagine a house full of young adults when it comes to being engaged in their own education and living community.

Three of our six house parents recently wrapped up their first trimester in this critical on-campus role. And, not unexpectedly, our administrators again proved to be really good at selecting the best staff members to serve as house parents. We’re also experts at preparing and supporting those house honchos for what the job entails, but some things — as you’ll read below — can only be learned while performing the job itself.

That being said, no one can describe the house parent experience as well as these fresh adult leaders. We’ve asked the three newbies to reflect on what those experiences meant to them personally. But first, a little background on our on-campus Living Village, which is made up of six houses — each designed to accommodate up to 12 students in two separate sleeping areas. Continue reading…