By Facing Her Fears, Eagle Rock Student Becomes a Certified Lifeguard

When I first spotted Brianna by the swimming pool, I only knew her as “Javonnie’s little sister.” This was back in July of 2016 when I was teaching Javonnie how to face her trepidations about getting across large bodies of water (see Eagle Rock Students Overcome Fears and Take the Plunge).

Brianna eventually joined her older sibling in the Eagle Rock pool, steadily improving her limited swimming skills and overcoming her own discomfort with deep water. She continued to put a lot of work into that effort and the result was a notable increase in her physical skills, as well as a gain in confidence when in the school pool

Brianna Eagle Rock School Swimmer

As with most fledgling swimmers, Brianna’s style was “all out,” which means she swam with all of her effort in order to stay afloat. This frantic floundering resulted in a rapid depletion of energy and an increase in the resultant fear of head-high water. It took a long time for her to develop the stamina to swim one length of the pool

After a few months of taking her morning swims most seriously, Brianna joined our Learn to Swim Class where we work on form, confidence, style and the rudiments and history of swimming in the United States.

The class also provides a video analysis of each swimmer’s skills, and it was through this visual assessment that Brianna was able to Continue reading…

Eagle Rock School Seeks New Director of Curriculum — and a Teacher

Eagle Rock School & Professional Development Center is currently looking to hire an experienced leader to become our next Director of Curriculum, as well an English Language & Literacy instructional specialist to join our teaching staff.

Photo © Ian Schneider on Unsplash | Used with permission.

Photo © Ian Schneider on Unsplash | Used with permission.

The application deadline for the Director of Curriculum position is Feb. 26, 2018, while the deadline for the instructional specialist is March 2, 2018. Further details about the application and interview process for both openings can be found below.

Director of Curriculum

Our next Director of Curriculum will continue to support the development of Eagle Rock School’s academic curriculum, working with our Director of Students to insure continuity across the entire student experience. The successful candidate will also be asked to collaborate with our Director of Professional Development to continue Eagle Rock’s support of schools across the country that have an active and meaningful interest in engaging students in their own education.

From a 30,000-ft. perspective, the director of curriculum works with our leadership team and oversees the Continue reading…

Fall 2016 Professional Development Center Update

Editor’s Note: Sebastian Franco, the 2016/17 Public Allies Fellow in Professional Development, is the latest guest author to contribute to the Eagle Rock Blog. Sebastian hails from Buenos Aires, Argentina, by way of Los Angeles, Calif. He recently graduated from Colorado State University with a double degree in political science and international studies and a minor in Spanish. As one of his first opportunities in the PDC (Professional Development Center), Sebastian gathered the information for and wrote today’s Eagle Rock blog post.

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Fall 2016 Professional Development Center Update
By Sebastian Franco — 2016/17 Public Allies Fellow in Professional Development

This year I have the opportunity to be part of the Public Allies Fellowship program working with the Professional Development Center (PDC) and the rest of the team here at Eagle Rock.

Having the opportunity to work with the PDC team allows me to understand further the education system around the country and how we can try to provide resources and chances to improve the quality of education our future generation of students will receive. This is something that I’ve been interested in since my sophomore year at Colorado State University. That’s where I started researching and learning the various styles or professional development employed by education systems around the world.

By being part of Public Allies 2016/17 cohort of Eagle Rock fellows, I have the opportunity to learn more about this interest of mine through events, trips, and connections I will experience throughout the next year. This opportunity will enable me to connect with various professionals in the field and learn first-hand what is needed by the education community. One of my first experiences will be a trip to the Ohio Valley, which encompasses portions of Ohio and West Virginia.

The structure of this trip is, of course, new to me, but it turns out this is only the second time in three years that the entire PDC team is traveling together to an event. The idea is to provide an opportunity for each member of the team to experience and see each other’s style of communication and interactions with the community and sponsors.

Throughout the year, each member of the PDC team manages a “portfolio” of clients around the country, creating limited opportunities to travel together as a team. This also allows myself, as the novice PDC fellow, a chance to observe everyone’s approach and style and have a better understanding of what my responsibilities will entail for the remainder of my fellowship.

Estes Park Colorado Trees Fall 2016

Although the Ohio Valley trip is an exciting rarity, there are many other events scheduled throughout the current trimester, most of which are listed below. If you want to learn more about the work we do at Eagle Rock, or how your school or organization can connect with the PDC, contact Dan Condon (associate director of professional development) by emailing DCondon at EagleRockSchool dot org.

In the meantime, below is a detailed rundown of our Fall 2016 engagements: Continue reading…

Meet The Team: Susie D’Amico, Eagle Rock Administrative Assistant And Receptionist

rhinoSusie D’Amico is Eagle Rock’s receptionist and administrative assistant, and while that includes handling inquiries, keeping tabs on schedules and a host of office duties, she’s tasked with a lot more.

For instance, Susie assists our school’s leadership team in assigned projects and she helps our nurse and the Health and Wellness department obtain medical care for students. She work with our Public Allies Fellows to provide logistics for student health appointments off campus and she assists licensure candidates navigate the Colorado Department of Education for their teaching licenses.

Despite all these administrative chores, Susie calls Eagle Rock a library for finding bliss. She enjoys students’ openness and self-reflection and the fact that many of them share their discoveries with her.

We asked Susie to sit down briefly and fill us in a little bit about her history. Here’s what this busy front-of-the-office Eagle Rock representative had to say:

Eagle Rock: What did you do prior to coming to work for Eagle Rock?

Susie: Before Eagle Rock — when I wasn’t working in other offices — I assisted my husband Dan D’Amico in traveling and promoting his fine art.

Eagle Rock: What attracted you to Eagle Rock?

Susie: Eagle Rock offered an opportunity to serve with a nonprofit. The environment for students is exactly the vision that all schools should provide and I am Continue reading…

“We cannot solve a problem within the same consciousness that created it. We must learn to see the world anew.”

I’ve seen a lot of school reform in the past 25 years. I started my career in education policy. It had a lot of sex appeal for a young idealist because in the early 90s when we were just beginning to talk about public education as the new frontier for civil rights—the idea that fixing our schools could be the catalyst for social change. Public education was our best chance to end poverty and propel our democracy. My first job was in Chicago and I learned a lot about the politics of urban school reform. Not much about the schools themselves, but an awful lot about power and money.

After Chicago I spent four years working for the New Mexico Legislature. It was perfect for me—a job in my home state where I could bring my analytical skills to benefit my own community. I loved it because when you’re a policy analyst for the legislature, you learn about the bottom line and what 27 year-old doesn’t love knowing the bottom line? How much does it cost and what’s the evidence that it worked? It’s the view of a skeptic who isn’t swayed by anecdotes or personal stories.

Here’s a snapshot of educational performance in our state since the time I did policy work: Continue reading…