Summer Break 2018 at Eagle Rock School

It’s not necessarily a ghost town around campus today as the first week of the summer trimester break gets underway, but with three of our students graduating last Friday and our student body departing for their hometowns the following day, it’s quieter here than normal.

Adding to the lack of frenetic activity is the fact that we recently said goodbye to our 2017/2018 cohort of Public Allies Teaching Fellows, although three of them — Tommy McAree (Literature & Literacy), Felicia Walker (Residence Life) and Micah Saugen (Science) — will be returning as second-year fellows for Eagle Rock School trimesters 76 through 78.

We also bid farewell to a handful of veteran staff members, including Jon Anderson, a Human Performance & Outdoor Education Instructional Specialist and2018 Instructional Coach. John has been named instructional coach at Mapleton Expeditionary Learning School of the Arts (MESA) in Thornton, Colo.

(Jon Anderson — top & left — leading his final piece of national work for Eagle Rock ... helping launc Austin’s newest Innovation Academy. Image credit: Michael Soguero.)

(Jon Anderson — top & left — leading his final piece of national work for Eagle Rock … helping launch Austin’s newest Innovation Academy. Image credit: Michael Soguero.)

Jen Frickey headed back to Canada and will be working with Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario. Jen began her Eagle Rock career as an intern in our Human Performance Center back in 2001 and served in several capacities before becoming our Director of Curriculum in 2012. Meanwhile, we recently had the opportunity to welcome Professional Development Associate Sarah Bertucci as our new Director of Curriculum.

Other staffers departing include Continue reading…

Summer 2018 Professional Development Center Update

Editor’s Note: Whenever the summer months begin to make themselves known, you can be certain Eagle Rock School’s Professional Development Center (PDC) staff is fully immersed in working with schools and learning organizations throughout the United States with the mandate of helping engage students in their own education.

Our knowledgeable Professional Development staff is on a tight schedule that continues through the summer months, visiting teachers and administrators at high schools in cities across the nation. For a quarter of a century, our PDC staff has been tasked with facilitating high-functioning oases of education — one school at a time.

Below is the ambitious schedule for Summer 2018 that includes areas where we’ve already met with educators and what’s on the agenda for the remainder of the summer season. The schedule was painstakingly prepared by Sebastian Franco, our 2017/2018 Public Allies Fellow in Professional Development.

MAY 2018

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May 10

Toronto High School, Toronto, Ohio: Toronto High School, part of the Toronto City Schools, provides various enrichment opportunities for students, including Destination Imagination, science fairs, and the debate team. The district offers more than 30 semester hours of college credit as it prepares students for post-secondary education. Eagle Rock Professional Development Associate Anastacia Galloway Reed and Professional Development Center Public Allies Fellow Sebastian Franco conducted an asset observation throughout various classrooms, based on the Universal Design for Learning model.

May 10

Estes Park School District (EPSD), Estes Park, Colo.: The EPSD is in charge of all education programs in the Estes Valley area and its focus is to prepare students to shine as citizens in a world that is increasingly diverse and technological. Professional Development Associate Sarah Bertucci  worked on essential learning outcomes with the school district’s superintendent and teacher leaders on the district’s Global Outcomes team.

May 11

I Have a Dream Foundation (IHAD), Boulder, Colo.: iHAD of Boulder provides support and resources to high school students by helping them graduate and achieve their dreams of attending college. Most students in the program have the opportunity to Continue reading…

Trimester Break is Underway — Classes Start Again May 21

Here at the Eagle Rock School & Professional Development Center, we began our trimester break late last week, highlighted by the graduation of four students last Friday afternoon, followed a community meeting Saturday and a staff meeting that concluded earlier today.

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And while the staff break begins in earnest tomorrow (Wednesday), a number of our instructors, Professional Development Center staff, and other campus staff will be hard at work throughout the trimester breather. Many of our instructors will spend time planning classes for Eagle Rock School’s upcoming 75th trimester (ER-75), and the school’s Leadership Team is heading off to a meeting of the American Honda Education Corporation board of directors on May 3.

Two days later— on Saturday, May 5 — many Eagle Rock volunteers and staff will be in Estes Park, supporting the Estes Park Rotary Duck Race that benefits dozens of local charities and organizations each year — including, of course, our Graduate Higher Education Fund.

For our Professional Development team, there is no real break to speak of, with a schedule packed with program deliveries, meetings, and retreats throughout the country, including: Continue reading…

Summer Break 2017 at Eagle Rock School

To paraphrase the American nonfiction writer Charles Bowden, summertime at Eagle Rock offers the best of what might be.

For new students who arrived in early-June, it’s the beginning of a new high school experience and the wilderness orientation trip that accompanies it. For our Public Allies fellows, it’s the end of an advanced year-long service and leadership development experience. And of course, summer signals the graduation of another group of Eagle Rock School students.

(Image ©2017 Joven Nichols)

(Image ©2017 Joven Nichols)

The summer months on our mountainside campus never fail to impress upon us some of the values we hold so dear — namely, that we choose to focus on continuous improvement and that we are a small organization with an outsized impact.

Along those lines, summer break at Eagle Rock School offers time for some staff, instructors, and administrators to regroup by focusing on Continue reading…

Spring 2017 Update from the Professional Development Center

Since beginning my Public Allies Fellowship with Eagle Rock’s Professional Development Center last fall, I have taken note of the many traits that make our professional development team so successful.

As background, the Professional Development Center team is charged with executing on a mission to support schools (we refer to them as “partners”) around the country to increase high school student engagement. What is not well known is that the team provides those services to our partners at no cost to them, and our team consists of just four facilitators who regularly provide our services. This presents an interesting challenge as we cannot increase our headcount despite the ever-increasing demand for our services.

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To meet that challenge, the team has developed a set of practices characterized by working smarter rather than harder. Hallmarks of the team’s practice include organization, efficiency, and constant communication among staffers. Everyone understands what the goals are for each trimester and how their portfolio of partners needs to be shaped for maximum impact.

In normal circumstances, observing such traits among a high-functioning team should be a simple matter. But circumstances here at the Eagle Rock School and Professional Development Center are not normal, with all six members of the professional development team constantly Continue reading…