A new trimester is about to get underway here at Eagle Rock and — just as in Septembers past — our Professional Development Center (PDC) finds itself gearing up to help schools across the country learn more about reengaging students in their own education.
Here in Estes Park, we’ve got a new cohort of Public Allies Fellows arriving on campus and the PDC team will help by launching a Strengths-based Fellowship Initiative that enables these fellows to access their strengths and talents in order to thrive in this demanding year of service and leadership.
And as we welcome six new staff members (in addition to the new Fellows mentioned above), the PDC team will be facilitating sessions for the Eagle Rock orientation for new staff.
Below is a listing of our Professional Development Center’s activities scheduled from now through the Thanksgiving holidays.
- Working with Tony Monfiletto, executive director of the New Mexico Center for School Leadership, and the McCune Charitable Foundation for our third convening of six schools developing new metrics for school success. The schools are ACE Leadership, Health Leadership, Amy Biehl, South Valley Academy, Native American Community Academy and American Sign Language Academy.
- Facilitating the third monthly Google Hangout in our series with Public Allies Alumni in the education space.
Sep. 25 – 26
- We regularly explore new opportunities for mission appropriate projects and have recently been introduced to the Cowen Institute for Public Education Initiatives in New Orleans, La. We will be meeting with John Ayers, Executive Director, to explore intersections in our work for reengaging youth in their own education and communities.
- Continuing our work in Detroit, Mich., with Blanche Kelso Bruce Academy. Here, we are coaching staff and leadership on further refinement with the Big Picture Learning design.
October 6 — 7
- We’ll be hosting Rochester Public Schools (N.Y.) as a group of teachers, principals and district-level administrators look to continue their work in improving student engagement efforts.
October 8 — 10
- We’ll be hosting Expeditionary Learning Schools where school leaders from a variety of schools nationally will convene to work on continuous improvement of their model. This is where teaching and learning inspires and empowers teachers to unleash the potential of their students.
- Having launched data reference projects to meet the annual goals at Met West in Oakland, Calif., we will be returning to meet again with the staff to study what we have learned from the projects. The projects include instituting new approaches to writing, designing and implementing an integrated arts curriculum and maturing the restorative practices work to be more responsive to student needs.
October 14 – 16
- We are returning to Washoe Innovations High School in Reno, Nev., to support that school’s staff in setting up new advisory structures.
October 15 — 18
- We’ll be hosting the first set of dates for a School Reform Initiative Critical Friends Seminar where critical friends group facilitators will be trained on how to coach groups.
Oct. 16 — 17
- With a new principal in place at Health Leadership High School, we’ll be meeting with the school’s leadership and will follow up on recent work focused on instructional strategies.
- Eagle Rock returns to the Rowland Conference at The University of Vermont for our second year. This year we have designed a workshop on integrating grit, perseverance and other intra and interpersonal skills in the pursuit of high academic achievement. This workshop is designed to follow Dr. Angela Duckworth’s keynote address.
- Sara Bertucci, our newest PDC associate, will lead staff development on proficiency-based education in Winooski, Vt., for Winooski High School.
- We’ll be returning to Fannie Lou Hamer Freedom High School (Bronx, N.Y.) to support the integration of Fred Newmann’s Authentic Intellectual Work approach with a peer-observation model used by the teachers.
Nov. 6 — 8
- Attending the Coalition of Essential Schools (CES) Fall Forum (San Francisco, Calif.) where we will continue to convene the CES center directors for their biannual meeting.
Other activities in the hopper for the PDC include a request from Big Picture Learning California to start a critical friends group that coordinates the six California schools. They would like us to launch and facilitate that CFG.
In another development, Washoe Innovations High School in Reno, Nev., has asked us for a total of seven coaching days from Big Picture Learning (BPL) over the course of the school year. They would like Eagle Rock to partner with BPL on some of those days beginning in the fall.
And Maricopa County (Phoenix, Ariz.) has approved a new Big Picture Learning school and would like us to work with them on start up.
Like we said, we have a full plate this fall, and if you have a burning desire to work with the Professional Development Center, by all means email our associate director, Dan Condon, at DCondon at EagleRockSchool dot org.
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About the Author: Michael Soguero is the director of professional development at Eagle Rock School and Professional Development Center in Estes Park, Colo. There, he is primarily responsible for developing strategy that positively affects public education throughout the United States.