Eagle Rock’s Student Body Begins 74th Trimester of Progressive Classes

The first trimester of 2018 is well underway here at Eagle Rock School, marking a total of 74 trimesters since we began our own progressive brand of education back in the early 1990s.

And by progressive education, we’re talking about competency-based learning rather than a traditional education platform, the latter which might offer students “book learning,” but often falls well short of life experience, personal development and an open-eye view of the people who populate this planet.

Photo © by Jeff Sheldon on Unsplash | Used with permission

Photo © by Jeff Sheldon on Unsplash | Used with permission.

For example, this trimester we’re offering a class for camera buffs who appreciate that photography doesn’t have to revolve around a rectangular cellphone with a camera attachment. We’re talking old school black-and-white photography here, complete with darkroom experience and creative writings to accompany students’ camera art.

Or a human sexuality class that goes way beyond the typical high school “sex ed” programs of yesteryear that featured archaic body part posters and stern warnings about promiscuity. In this class, students find themselves in a safe, comfortable environment where they can discuss important issues such as gender and sexual identity, consent, contraceptives and healthcare access.

Below is a listing and short description of each of this trimester’s class offerings, with the first three classes scheduled for 10 weeks and remainder for five weeks. Continue reading…

Eagle Rock 70 Classes Underway — And Here’s What’s Being Offered

Classroom instruction began a month ago for the 70th semester of Eagle Rock School, with returning students participating in many of the classes listed below.

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Meanwhile, incoming ER 70 students set off on Sept. 26 for what serves as an initiation process here at Eagle Rock — our signature New Student Wilderness Orientation Program. These new students have since returned from that 24-day experience, and are busily preparing their Wilderness Program presentations of learning (POLs) that will be presented Saturday, Oct. 29.

Other activities on the immediate horizon include Explore Week — which takes place Oct. 31 through Nov.4 — and the beginning of the second half of the trimester beginning Nov. 7. The last day of classes before winter break is Dec. 9.

Below is a partial list of class offerings for the trimester, along with a description of the courses:

Harlem Renaissance

In this class, students are transported back to Harlem, New York between 1919 and 1935, seeing the neighborhood through the eyes of some of the brightest minds of the 20th century. A renaissance is a rebirth, and theirs — preempted by freedom — is expressed through bold colors, strong voices, and passion that launched a culture and was the foundation for the Continue reading…

Eagle Rock Classes That Add New Meaning to the Term ‘Non-traditional’

Editor’s Note: Here at Eagle Rock, we’re known for modeling successful strategies and tactics in the effort to re-engage students in their own education. What that means in part is that we often offer classes in our Estes Park, Colorado, high school that resemble in no way those offered in a traditional school setting.

We tell you this because we use our blog to share our work, and we share our work because it’s not in our fabric to keep it to ourselves. In fact, publishing posts like the one you’re about to read is meant to inspire you to examine how education is delivered in your community.

With that in mind, here’s part one of a two-part series by our own Dan Condon detailing the unique class offerings that are already underway this trimester at Eagle Rock:

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By Dan Condon, Associate Director of Professional Development

Listen to me!” We all have times when we feel alone, believing we’re the only ones who suffer both tragedy and happiness. But no matter how dark things may get, you must know that you are not alone, someone has felt it, lived through it and can empathize.

This is the story of the characters in Spring Awakening, a dramatic play that is also the subject of an Eagle Rock class by the same name. In this class, students are developing basic singing and acting concepts through their character’s perspective. This is a rigorous class that tests beginning and advanced students in the development of performance skills.

Those accepted as cast members through an audition and call back were asked to commit to weekly rehearsals (class), final week dress rehearsals, costuming, makeup, set construction, and a final cast dinner and reflection. The show goes on in April.

In Rocky Mountain National Park Murals, the class is painting three murals in two different buildings located in Rocky Mountain National Park. The class is studying the visual communication power that is unique to mural art as they work alongside national park employees to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the park.

Students are studying significant historical murals in America as they design, plan and paint two sites in the Hotshot dorm, and one in the Science Studies Center. Students are using stencils and project images and are creating art that honors the work that explores the park — some of it created by park service employees.

This is an opportunity to continue to strengthen the bond between Eagle Rock and the park, as well as explore opportunities within this beautiful wilderness area.

In a class called Research, students are investigating and researching a topic that interests them, steadily progressing from a novice to an expert in that particular field. Students choose a topic through a process that balances their interests with the general feasibility of the topic, including resources available, rigor and depth.

These students then learn how to find and evaluate both print and digital sources and examine the main arguments, purposes and biases within them. Students pull key ideas and details from the sources in notes that support their emerging research questions and claims.

Participants learn how to synthesize and represent their Continue reading…