Eagle Rock Students Embark on Second Batch of Non-traditional Classes

The second half of this trimester at Eagle Rock School is underway this week with students embarking on new classroom experiences ranging from poetry to piano to percussion to prime numbers. This marks the middle of our 73rd trimester since the school was founded in the early 1990s.

The final day of class is Friday, Dec. 8, and Presentations of Learning (POLs) take place on Monday, Dec. 11 and Tuesday, Dec. 12. Ceremonies for those graduating from this trimester will be held on Friday, Dec. 15.

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Below is a rundown of the five-week classes offered now through early-December, along with a 10-week class where students are halfway through an intense Spanish language enterprise:

Sacrificial Poets — In this class, fledgling poets are reading, writing, watching and performing spoken-word poetry — all the while exploring their identities, refining their writing and analytical skills, developing performance and public speaking abilities, and building self-confidence.

Students enrolled in this class are traveling off campus to watch nationally renowned poets from the Denver Youth Poetry Team, Minor Disturbance, and poets from around the United States perform in Continue reading…

Another Successful Explore Week Draws to a Close

Here at Eagle Rock School, we find ourselves halfway through another highly anticipated Explore Week (Oct. 30-Nov. 3, 2017). And even though the regular class schedule has been sidelined for the week, our students aren’t ignoring their regular community chores and responsibilities.

Our student body strives to become a well-oiled machine, and our many and varied campus routines are just part of what keeps us accountable on this small mountainside community that we’ve worked so hard to establish and maintain.

After all, we know dishes aren’t going to wash themselves. Which is why we maintain a strict KP schedule during this “off” week from classes. Same goes for daily exercises, taking meals together, regular Gatherings and evening programs.

Turns out the magic of Explore Week is a full five days of exciting course offerings that fall well outside the realm of reading, writing and arithmetic. Below is a description of some of these unique offerings for Explore Week 73 (the 73rd such event since the founding of Eagle Rock in the early-90s), a little about their instructors, and what the students are getting out of the experience:

Step into the Cipher — In this musical adventure, students who fancy themselves as potential emcees, rappers, poets, or beatboxers, get together to make music, test rhymes, and share their talents.

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The title of the class comes from hip-hop, which describes a “cipher” as a sacred space — a circle of talented musical people where community is firmly established. It’s a laboratory where our students can make music, test rhymes, and share a piece of themselves with all who enter. Students are exploring hip-hop as a tool for community building, and they’re writing verses, poems, and hooks to bring their stories to life with sound.

The instructor for this course is Continue reading…

This ‘Language Class’ Offers More Than Just a Brush Up on Spanish

Five Eagle Rock students are well into a 10-week class that is enabling them to explore their own identities through the lens of political views, human stories and the visible and invisible walls that individuals and nations construct between themselves.

Called Borders & Identity, this class places learning to speak and write Spanish as an objective, with the goal of actively helping build bridges between people and communities as its primary goal. Tied into this class is the concept of “Enduring Understanding,” which is a guiding idea for each of our classes. Also referred to as our “10-year Takeaway,” Enduring Understanding asks us to consider what it is students will remember about this class and their learning in 10 years.

Getting Hands-on with Identity

In order for this class to be truly effective, the students needed to understand that changing the dominant narrative of immigration requires hearing directly from — and taking action with — those affected by our own country’s immigration history and policy. With that in mind, the first five weeks of class saw students diving into the world of migration and identity, creating their own informed perspectives through video and fieldwork, while learning ways to communicate in Spanish through dialogue and poetry.

Eagle Rock School Bordrs and Indentity Class

Student involvement was immediate, with a visit to the El Movimiento Exhibit at the Michener Library on the University of Northern Colorado campus in Greely on the second day of class. There they met to discuss the Chicanx movement in that part of the state with Dr. Priscilla Falcon, the head of the university’s Hispanic Studies Program.

They also visited the Continue reading…

Eagle Rock Students Learn How to Run a Nature-based Summer Camp

Several Eagle Rock School students had the opportunity to work with children in the nearby Estes Park community this past summer where they learned how to successfully run a nature-based summer program.

Our four fledgling camp counselors / para-administrators had a lot to learn. The month-long Eagle Rock School class (the Roots Summer Camp Internship) entailed so much more than just keeping a watchful eye on enthusiastic youngsters. Budgeting, marketing, and child development were just a few of the skills taught to our students as they mentored and managed sometimes as many as 16 children enrolled in Roots Nature Camp, offered by Estes Park-based Roots Community School.

Roots Community School

Fact is, Eagle Rock students who applied for the summer class first had to undergo a series of interviews and tests before being accepted into the program. For starters, students had to demonstrate a strong desire to Continue reading…

Latest Eagle Rock Job Opening: Outdoor Education Instructional Specialist

If you’re an experienced outdoor educator who is truly passionate about working with high school students (not to mention, you’re someone who can’t understand how 35 television seasons of “Survivor” can continue to produce finalists who can’t build a fire — even with a hefty chunk of flint in their hands), then you need to know about our latest job opening.

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Eagle Rock School students during a wilderness orientation trip.

At a 30,000-foot level, what is mostly required of our new Outdoor Education Instructional Specialist is a dedication to teach others and, more specifically, high school students who haven’t found a lot of success in traditional school settings. If you can wear a variety of hats that weren’t just designed for warding off the sun, this jobs for you.

Successful candidates must be enthusiastic about implementing an outdoor education curriculum and hiring and supervising field instructors, in addition to teaching classes both on campus and in the backcountry. Most important, our new outdoor education leader will lead our traditional 24-day wilderness orientation trips for incoming students — a rite of passage for all incoming Eagle Rock School students that takes place three times a year within areas designated as Wilderness.

The position also includes conducting outdoor education classes for veteran Eagle Rock School students, keeping track of all of the equipment that goes along with an outdoor-focused campus, mentoring at least one Public Allies Fellow, and an Continue reading…