New Class Offerings Challenge Students’ Leadership, Learning Capacities

Among the visions we pursue here at Eagle Rock School and Professional Development Center is for each of our nation’s students to become meaningfully engaged in his or her own education. That objective sounds good on paper, but where it differs from other schools is that our own students — students here at Eagle Rock School — actually learn in part by engaging.

What is standard practice here at Eagle Rock — and what we have made available to our students for more than two decades — are both traditional and nontraditional classroom offerings that ignite the imagination, encourage curiosity, and prepare young minds for the real world.


With that in mind, we have just introduced seven new classes to the curriculum for this, the second half of our first trimester at Eagle Rock for 2018. These five-week classes join three 10-week classes that began in January and are still underway.

Those 10-week classes include Data Analysis, where students continue to use statistics to look for patterns to self-generated questions. A second 10-week class — Neuroscience — has students examining not only the physical makeup of the brain, but the physiology, or habits, of the human nervous system. And in Exposure, the third 10-week class, students have been mastering black & white photography, processing their film in a darkroom, and are now preparing their photographs for a public exhibition in just a few weeks.

Below is a brief description of the new classes at Eagle Rock that got underway just this week: Continue reading…

69 Trimesters Later, Eagle Rock is Still Offering Diverse Courses

One of the many things at Eagle Rock School for which we’re recognized is the diversity of our classroom offerings. For instance, you won’t find many traditional high schools that offer a class in the politics of music. Or how about a class that explores the notion that our educational system is inequitable, and then empowers students to do something about it.

ER Blog Post Image June 2

Below, we present the first of two blog posts listing and describing the unique class offerings for the first half of ER 69 — the 69th trimester since Eagle Rock’s founding in the early 1990s:

Deeper Learning & Equity

Our educational system is inequitable, and there are numerous structures and tools that people use to address that fact. In this class, Eagle Rock School students are looking closely at these structures. That includes those “No Excuses” schools that are exceptionally strict and teach a traditional curriculum, as well as the “Deeper Learning” concept — where students study topics in depth and often do projects to make a change in their communities. Students plan and facilitate a retreat for educators who want to improve equity in their schools, and our students have the opportunity to support those schools next year through the work of our own Professional Development Center. The retreat will take place during the second five weeks of the summer, so students will have responsibilities after the five-week course ends. But it’s a window to making a real difference in education and gain amazing real-world skills.

Music Politics

How does Beyonce fit in the succession of powerful Black divas that preceded her? What does it mean that Justin Timberlake is producing a country album? In this class students are learning the history, economics, politics and cultural context of the music we all listen to. Popular music is more than just beats and lyrics. It is one of the best ways to understand the values, prejudices and fantasies of our culture. Students listen, analyze and discuss songs, thinking critically about race, gender, genre, technology, money and the stories of the artists behind the music. Each student is expected to create an Continue reading…