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…

Eagle Rock Teacher Lauded for His Impact on Student

If we’re fortunate in this lifetime, many of us can point to one individual who made a huge difference in our lives, whether that person gently steered us in an unexplored direction, or presented us with life-changing options that corrected the course in which we were headed.

Jon AndersonHere at Eagle Rock — an alternative high school designed to engage high school students who haven’t had success in a traditional educational setting — one such role model has been recognized for effecting change in his students by means of a unique style of teaching that is anchored on building meaningful relationships with each of his young charges.

Jon Anderson, a 16-year veteran instructor here at Eagle Rock School, is being recognized this month by Honored — a national nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to keeping great teachers in the classroom and inspiring a new generation of talent to pursue teaching.

It was while focusing on a teaching degree at the University of Northern California that Jon recalls being approached by one of his professors who suggested he might check out a nontraditional school up in Estes Park called Eagle Rock.

Jon did just that, and was hired as a student teacher in 1998, followed by an internship the following year. And after a stint teaching in nearby Denver, he became a fulltime Eagle Rock instructional specialist in 2002.

If you ask Jon, he will tell you he was attracted to Eagle Rock’s focus on students as individuals, which enabled him to not only build trust with each student, but work with them on issues specific to their future successes in life.

But what most impressed Jon was our Continue reading…

Winter/Spring 2018 Professional Development Center Update

Winter/Spring 2018 Professional Development Center Update

Editor’s Note:  Each year, the highly skilled and energetic staff from within Eagle Rock Professional Development Center (PDC) pack up and head off to visit dozens of high schools from coast to coast. Once on the ground, they meet up with teachers and administrators in support of efforts intended to engage students in their own education.

Professional Development Eagle Rock

Our insistence on creating high-functioning centers of learning — fueled by active student engagement — is what has kept our professional development services so popular with educators nationwide for nearly 25 years.

What we offer below is a calendar listing of what we have done so far this year, and what lies in the immediate future as our PDC crew participates with schools in cities that touch all corners of our country. This schedule was compiled by Sebastian Franco, our 2017/2018 Public Allies Fellow in Professional Development.

JANUARY 2018

Crosstown-High

Jan. 8 – 11
Crosstown High School (CXH) and Future Focused Education (formerly the New Mexico Center for School Leadership) Memphis, TN — Crosstown High School (CXH is among the newest public charter schools, opening this August. Last month, Eagle Rock’s Director of Professional Development Michael Soguero, 2017/2018 Public Allies Teaching Fellow in Music Josue Quintana, and World Languages Instructional Specialist Josan Perales led a retreat for CXH. They facilitated this XQ Super School’s efforts to build curriculum in partnership with community partners. Josan and Josue followed up by conducting three local student focus groups while Michael joined with leaders from Future Focused Education to assist with the creation of new schools.

Jan. 10
Northwest Regional Education Service District (NWRESD), OR — NWRESD supports school districts northwest of Portland with the mission to provide students with the right tools and resources to prepare them for higher education and potential careers. Professional Development Associate Sarah Bertucci headed a team retreat for Continue reading…

Eagle Rock’s ‘School Improvement Project’ Focuses on Common Assessment

Strategic-Planning-Eagle-Rock-SchoolEditor’s Note: “Vision 2020” is the name of the strategic planning process adopted five years ago by Eagle Rock’s board of directors. It helps ensure that our long-term goals coincide with what we do on campus on a day-to-day basis. The vision focuses on seven distinct areas — known as domains — that guide our board, administrators, instructors, staff members and students. One of these domains centers on our academic curriculum, focusing on creating a framework for normed common assessments.

In today’s post, Eagle Rock staffers Jen Frickey, director of curriculum, and Jon Anderson, outdoor education instructional specialist and this year’s instructional coach, address and update the work our staff is doing in the domain of academic curriculum.

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Eagle Rock’s ‘School Improvement Project’ Focuses on Common Assessment
By Jen Frickey (Director of Curriculum) & John Anderson (Human Performance & Outdoor Education Instructional Specialist / 2018 Instructional Coach)

This year, the theme for professional development within Eagle Rock School’s instructional realm, is a close scrutiny of our academic curriculum — specifically pinpointing our power standards. At Eagle Rock School, all students must successfully pass power standard classes on each of our 5 Expectations. These include:

  1. Leadership for Justice
  2. Expanding Knowledge Base
  3. Effective Communication
  4. Healthy Life Choices
  5. Engaged Global Citizen

Top of mind for our educators this year are the school’s Enduring Understanding and long-term learning targets for their own professional development. Enduring Understanding — also known as our 10-Year Takeaway — asks teachers to consider what it is that students will remember about their particular class and what they retained a decade from now.

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By creating and implementing schoolwide common assessments, instructors can improve teacher capacity, thus enhancing Continue reading…

What it’s Like to Intern at Rocky Mountain National Park — 3 Eagle Rock School Students Tell All

A trio of Eagle Rock School students who are currently enrolled in this trimester’s Rocky Mountain National Park internship class were asked by their instructor to write down some thoughts on their unique experiences within the park’s 415 square miles of unmatched natural beauty.

Human Performance & Outdoor Education Instructional Specialist Jon Anderson asked the students to describe their service learning projects and what they’ve acquired from the experience thus far. And suffice to say, the park system, which offers internships in a number of divisions including trail maintenance, recycling, fire fuels reduction, and visitor education, just to name a few, has been very supportive of our educational objectives and goals.

Below is brief info of each student, along with each student’s thoughts on their internship:

SOREN ARVIDSON
Hometown: Springfield, Mass.
Eagle Rock School start date: May 8, 2015 (ER 66)
Projected graduation date: Dec. 15, 2017 (ER 73)

I am involved in the Forestry Division within the park. We go out and treat or cut trees that are affected by the pine beetles in the park. Rocky Mountain National Park’s mission is to protect and preserve the land for the wildlife and public use. The idea is to have a high-quality experience with a low-environmental impact from humans.

Eagle Rock School student Soren Arvidson and co-workers at Rocky Mountain National Park

Eagle Rock School student Soren Arvidson (far left) and co-workers at Rocky Mountain National Park

I really love protecting the wildlife because I feel the National Parks are strong at protecting wildlife and ecosystems — especially because there are Continue reading…