Eagle Rock Alumni Return to Campus Teach Explore Week

After the first five weeks of classes at Eagle Rock School, students take a break from regular classes and participate in Explore Week — so named because it offers an opportunity for our students to explore outside interests in structured courses taught by guest instructors.

Instructors come to our mountainside campus from all over Colorado and across the country. Past instructors have included previous staff members, fellows, and other important members of the Eagle Rock community. Over the summer trimester, we welcomed back not one, not two, but three alumni: Charmaine Mitchell-Persens (she arrived at Eagle Rock as a student in the spring of 2002 — aka ER 27), Stephanie Sweets-Baldwin (winter 2001 — ER 23), and David Sanchez (winter 2010 — ER 53).

Charmaine and Stephanie were co-teachers for a course called Hair Care, Hair Design and Extension Wear. Of course it was one of the most popular courses during Explore Week and Stephanie and Charmaine were able to encourage self-discipline among the students.

Explore Week Course Eagle Rock School

For instance, students were asked to come prepared, which meant Continue reading…

Reporting on Another Successful Explore Week

The effects of our most recent Explore Week — that staple of the Eagle Rock School experience whereby our students have the opportunity to learn about careers, hobbies, art, music, physical pursuits and other offerings that may not necessarily fit into the daily academic curriculum — are now being felt here on campus.

The latest installment of this thrice-annual event took place June 20-24 with students vying for learning experiences related to earthen building, canoeing through Canyonlands National Park, music, poetry, beauty and hair care.

Eagle Rock School Explore Week

In addition to a few of our own instructional specialists, Explore Week offers experiences presented by instructors from the community and as you’ll see below, Eagle Rock School alumni — all highly experienced in what they do.

Here’s a short recap of courses and instructors from our most recent Explore Week:

For those musically inclined students with an interest in turning their words into lyrics, the Songwriting, Stories, and Live Performance course was the perfect opportunity to complete songs that they might have started writing and put aside or put time into new materials that they wanted to turn into song. The course included a lot of interaction, discussions, writing activities — all capped by live musical performances by the students, completed individually and sometimes collaboratively.

About the instructors — Eric Ian Farmer, Ph.D and Juan Torres: Farmer is no stranger to Eagle Rock. He served as an intern from the fall of 1999 through the summer of 2000, and was an Eagle Rock School instructional specialist from the fall of 2005 through the summer of 2008. Torres studied music at the VanderCook College of Music in Chicago and now plays with the Estes Park Jazz Big Band and teaches concert, jazz, and marching percussion at schools in the Estes Park School District.

Led by a pair of street poets, Poetry of Initiation: From Pain to Purpose was best described as a writing and performance course fueled by the Continue reading…

Eagle Rock Radio Makes Waves During Explore Week

In the midst of each trimester here at Eagle Rock School, students break from their normal classes to engage in Explore Week, a weeklong exploration of new and diverse subject areas.

It’s a time when visiting educators from across the country descend upon our mountainside campus, bringing with them expertise in everything from holistic medicine to theater production to entrepreneurship.

During the most recent Explore Week this past February, some of our students had an exciting opportunity to learn the basics of radio production. Taught by Lisa Morehouse, an award-winning public radio journalist from the San Francisco Bay Area, a half dozen students explored how to record, edit and publish audio pieces.

Eagle Rock School Radio

In addition to the technological aspects of producing radio programming, the students analyzed pieces from SoundsLA, StoryCorps and Lisa’s own pieces on California Foodways to identify different styles of radio. Students also dissected specific sounds or tools that each piece used, such as Continue reading…

Explore Week — An Opportunity for Students to Go with the Flow

When we hear that someone is “in the zone,” or “on fire,” we know these terms are describing a person who is performing at his or her peak. Whether it’s the basketball player who hits 15 free throws in a row or a jazz drummer improvising complex patterns at breakneck speed, we recognize great skill when we see it.

However, what we might not realize is that the potential to achieve this state of being exists in every one of us. And unlocking this potential is possible given the right circumstances and application of willpower. In fact, by becoming concurrently relaxed, alert, focused and responsive, achieving Flow is a mental and physical condition allowing most of us to operate at the top of our abilities.

Learning how to go with the flow is the topic of just one of Eagle Rock School’s learning options underway this week (Feb. 22-26) both on and off campus. It’s all part of our Explore Week, an opportunity for students to explore a variety of topics that don’t start with the “three R’s” of “reading, writing and ’rithmatic.”

Eagle Rock Explore Week

Instead, our student population is participating in a week’s worth of education surrounding music, art, hobbies, sports, outdoor activities and other pursuits intended to expand the mind and body beyond regular classes.

We’re going to begin this list of course titles underway through Friday, including the above-mentioned “Go with the flow,” offering, as well as a short description of the instructors teaching these one-of-a-kind courses: Continue reading…

Understanding Eagle Rock’s Co-Curricular Student Leadership Development Prototype

Promoting leadership skills has always at the top of the list when it comes to maximizing the personal growth of each of our students at Eagle Rock School. If you need examples, just look to our evolving Leadership for Justice (LFJ) curriculum and the Power Standard portfolio that is required of each student prior to graduation.

All students at Eagle Rock School are given the opportunity take on a variety of leadership roles throughout their time here, starting with our Wilderness Orientation Course where they are required to serve as Leader of the Day on several occasions.

This expectation continues at school with Kitchen Patrol, House Leader responsibilities, Chore Leader roles, Intramural Captainships, as well as other activities inherent to living in a high-functioning on campus community. In addition, we honor the times students are often quietly leading in non-formal leadership capacities around the community.

Co-Curricular Student Leadership Development Prototype

Enter the Co-curricular Leadership Development Prototype — a framework developed to enhance leadership opportunities and support throughout our students’ time here at Eagle Rock.

The first trimester of the “prototype” provided us with valuable insights into what was most important and engaging for the students as we worked with them in their real life leadership situations. You can give kudos to our Continue reading…