Eagle Rock School Graduates ‘Lucky 7’ This Friday — Onstage and Online

Working on a trimester system, ours is an alternative and non-traditional school that works hard to recognizes the accomplishments of graduating students who have gone through all the requirements needed to earn their high school diplomas.

As our current trimester draws to a close, we are proud to announce that seven students have proved to the Eagle Rock community that they deserve to be up on our Human Performance Center stage — in front of their peers, families, instructors and staff — in order to receive their high school diplomas.

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Marking the 72nd trimester since our founding back in the early 1990s, our latest trimester graduation ceremony begins at 4 p.m. Mountain Time this Friday and will be broadcast live on Facebook. If you want to watch this momentous event, visit the following Facebook Page starting at around 3:55pm MT Friday — https://www.facebook.com/EagleRockSchool — and look for the post containing the live video.

Below is a short biography about each of the seven graduates, along with info on what they did while at Eagle Rock, their short and long-term goals, along with advice for current and incoming Eagle Rock School students.

Courtney Coleman (arrived at Eagle Rock in May of 2015) — Courtney hails from Harlem, N.Y., and is a proud member of the Ponderosa House. She has been one of the leaders on campus these past few trimesters as she taken on lead positions in several campus groups and organizations.

Some of  her involvements included being a member of Mag 7 (a campus group featuring Eagle Rock’s seven most veteran students that focuses on various leadership roles and opportunities); helping lead our Continue reading…

Summer Institute Helps Educators and Students Grow Equity Together

Editor’s Note: Courtney Coleman of Harlem, N.Y., arrived at Eagle Rock in May of 2015 as a member of ER66 (the 66th trimester since our founding in the early-1990s). This blog post describes Courtney’s exposure to, and experience with, Eagle Rock’s Growing Equity Together Project, where our young author discovered the difference between Equity and Equality and helped to coordinate and facilitate Eagle Rock’s Summer Institute for educators seeking to improve equity at their schools.

By Courtney Coleman

The first seeds of the Growing Equity Together Project were planted in 1994, when Sarah Bertucci, Eagle Rock’s professional development associate, was an intern during Eagle Rock’s first summer in existence.

Eagle Rock is known for its positive influence on people. Sarah was one of the early staff members who were changed forever by getting to know Eagle Rock students and seeing them thrive in our innovative learning environment.

Her summer internship was Sarah’s first experience working in a non-traditional high school. As she adjusted her lessons and provided individualized support to meet students’ needs, she experienced what equity entailed, even though she didn’t yet call it by that name. This was also her first exposure to deeper learning — an approach to learning that focuses on knowing a smaller set of topics in depth while developing lifelong learning skills, rather than covering vast amounts of information at a surface level. Sarah says Eagle Rock internship is what inspired her to become a teacher.

Educator and student participants — Eagle Rock's 2016 Summer Institute.

Educator and student participants — Eagle Rock’s 2016 Summer Institute.

The Growing Equity Together Project was inspired by Sarah’s Deeper Learning and Equity fellowship. Part of the fellowship included a capstone project, so Sarah designed a project with three parts: Continue reading…

Professional Development Center adds ‘Student Ambassadors’

For the past two years, Eagle Rock School & Professional Development Center team members have been developing a student-centered program to engage students in Eagle Rock’s Professional Development Center.

After swiftly exiting its brainchild stages, the program has given students myriad opportunities to connect with the Professional Development Center (PDC) like never before. The PDC Ambassador Program encourages Eagle Rock School students to participate alongside our PDC staff in furthering Eagle Rock’s national mission of re-engaging high school youth.

The students, known as ‘Student Ambassadors,’ receive extensive training and experience to effectively contribute to the Professional Development Center’s works, gaining professional skills and real-world experience in order to meet the needs of clients. And for students who participate in the program, they have opportunities to host visiting educators, the exciting possibility of travel to partnering sites and conferences, and more.

Taking a step back for a moment, in order for a student to become a student ambassador, they must complete at least two trainings and two activities (from the list of offerings below) that reflect skills and practices PDC team members utilize in their work nationally on almost a daily basis: Continue reading…

Follow the Yellow Brick Road to Eagle Rock’s Take on ‘The Wiz’

Eagle Rock School students and faculty members are busy rehearsing for a series of performances of the Tony Award-winning 1975 musical, “The Wiz,” which are scheduled in Estes Park at month’s end.

The Wiz Eagle Rock SchoolOur production of “The Wiz” (March 31-April 2, 2016) is an urban retelling of L. Frank Baum’s 1900 tale, “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz,” using Motown, Funk and Soul music to rework the story into the context of modern African-American culture. A film adaption of the show was released in 1978, starring Diana Ross and Michael Jackson.

Eleven talented Eagle Rock students and four staff members will perform in our staged version, backed by a live four-piece professional pit band. Meghan Tokunaga-Scanlon, Eagle Rock School’s Music Instructional Specialist, directs the show, with co-direction by World Languages Instructional Specialist Brighid Scanlon and musical direction by 2015/2016 Public Allies Teaching Fellow Michael Grant.

Performances will be staged beginning at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 31 as well as Friday and Saturday, April 1 and 2 at the Hempel Auditorium within the YMCA of the Rockies in Estes Park. Admission at the door is “pay what you like” and all proceeds benefit the Eagle Rock Graduate Higher Education Fund.

But we digress. The story of Dorothy and her road trip to Oz has become known worldwide for its themes of home, belonging, belief in oneself and freedom. “The Wiz,” with its original premiere in 1975 with an all-black cast and African-American styles, boldly showed that this classic story belongs to everyone, with audiences of all races flocking to watch productions of “The Wiz” over the past four decades. In addition to be culturally empowering, it is a “joy machine,” gorgeously designed, with quick humor and irresistible melodies.

Preparations for our production began last fall with a Continue reading…