Eagle Rock Supports Austin’s Youth Entrepreneurs

The Austin (Tex.) Independent School District’s Board of Trustees has many admirable core beliefs, including “All students will graduate college-, career-, and life-ready.”  With that in mind, the District’s latest Strategic Plan Scorecard (PDF file) reveals that 90 percent of its students graduate from high school in four years, but only 70 percent enroll directly in college within one year of graduation (or earn college credit prior to high school graduation).

Among the district’s many efforts to improve college enrollment rates — and prepare more of its students for what life holds in store for them post-graduation — is an innovative program aimed at raising the bar on youth entrepreneurship. Aptly named Student INC, the district-embedded program is on a mission to ignite and align the youth entrepreneurship movement in Austin, and along the way, play a leading role in establishing the central Texas community as the youth entrepreneurship capital of the world.

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In South Austin, where Crockett High School is located, the school district turned to our Professional Development Center to facilitate the enhancement of an existing Student INC program and implement programming that sets students up for success after graduation. That’s a perfect project for our professional development team, which works with educators across the country to make the high school experience more engaging for young people.

It turns out, Austin ranks No. 6 in the nation for its ability to attract experienced entrepreneurs and tech talent to the city’s south side. It also ranks No. 3 for economic growth potential and is No. 2 when it comes to the concentration of tech jobs within the country, according to Business Facilities’ 2018 Metro Rankings Report. In addition, the city is ranked No. 4 in the Technology IT Hiring Forecastwhen it comes to desirable locations where CIOs would like to add tech teams.

But if you stop to ask Desiree Morales, the Austin Independent School District’s entrepreneurship program director, about those figures, she’s quick to point out a Continue reading…

Professional Development Team on Pace to Facilitate 30 Events This Trimester

As our 76th trimester gets underway at Eagle Rock School, our Professional Development Center continues to host and facilitate the needs and opportunities of educational organizations around the country — with 30 such events on the calendar for the trimester at hand.

With an asset-based lens embedded in our facilitation, we support educators in determining and applying steps that lead towards powerful organizational transformation. The objective is to re-engage students in their own education. Learn more about our work by visiting the Professional Development Center section of our website. Or, for a more precise accounting of our work — including a partial list of current PDC clients and the work we’re doing between now and the end of this year — please see below:

AUGUST 2018

August 9 – 10

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iLEAD, Castaic, Calif.: Founded 10 years ago in the Santa Clarita Valley area of Southern California, iLEAD  charter schools focus on project-based learning and student-led assessments to improve the quality of education. Dan Condon, Eagle Rock’s Associate Director of Professional Development, spent two days with Empower Generations (a charter school that supports pregnant and parenting teens) and Innovation Studios (a high school with a hybrid learning environment of human resources and technology). Dan’s objective was to cover enduring understandings and learning targets with the two program’s instructors.

August 20 – 21

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I Have a Dream Foundation (IHAD), Boulder, Colo.: With the objective of assisting low-income students to and through college, iHAD’s seeks to provide a long-term, comprehensive educational and cultural enrichment programs to members of Boulder’s student body. Dan Condon was on hand to provide support for launching professional learning communities within this organization.

August 24

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New Visions Charter School for the Humanities IV, Queens, N.Y.: Dan visited the charter school in Queens, N.Y., to discuss a future partnership. New Visions school in Rockaway Park, offers routes to success for urban students who otherwise might not have access to both formal arts training and a college preparatory education. Eagle Rock envisions working with the organization to Continue reading…

Leading for Learner-centered Education Requires a Particular Set of Competencies

Change is afoot all around us, and nowhere is that more apparent than in the way we choose to educate children and young adults through the formal education system here in the United States.

Just a few years ago, the notion of receiving a middle or high school education 100 percent online was unthinkable. However, today — with more than a dozen nationally-recognized and accredited options available — cohorts of eighth graders who are educated exclusively online are matriculating toward starting high school in the same fashion.

Learner Centered Education

Regardless of options touted as innovations in education, most educational offerings operate on a school-centric paradigm — meaning all components of the system are designed for efficiency of education delivery in the context of standardized schools.

Based on a worldview first established in the industrial age, school-centric education relies more on the lessons learned in factories and on assembly lines than it does on the realities that youth face today, as well as the opportunities that will challenge them tomorrow and beyond.

Standardized age cohorts, linear curricula divided into subjects, and learning experiences designed to impart knowledge in long-established categories, are the basic components of school-centered learning. Contrast that approach against one that Continue reading…

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…