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…

Eagle Rock Hosting Mid-June Pre-Service Education Retreat

School Reform Initiative (SRI), in partnership with Eagle Rock School and Professional Development Center, is excited to host its third annual summer retreat for pre-service teacher educators here on our campus in Estes Park, Colorado, June 18-19, 2018.

Pre-service teacher educators represent schools or organizations interested in School Reform Initiative tools that include protocols in supporting their teacher training programs. The retreat targets educators interested in strengthening their teacher training programs as well as those interested in joining a collegial group of others who do.

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The day-and-a-half program runs from 8 a.m. on Monday, June 18, and concludes at noon on Tuesday, June 19. First-time visitors to Eagle Rock can participate in tours of our school that will take place Tuesday afternoon once the retreat concludes. As we’ve done in the past with this program, our Professional Development Center staff is providing facilitation for the day-and-half retreat, as well as sharing insights on work we’ve done here at Eagle Rock as an alternative licensure program.

The retreat promises to provide an excellent educational opportunity for SRI affiliates, whose work includes supporting pre-service teacher candidates in both traditional and alternative certification programs. In fact, before reading more about the 2018 retreat, take a look at the following video recapping the 2017 experience: 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…

Tips for Videoconferencing with Professional Learning Communities

School Reform Initiative (SRI) protocols within Professional Learning Communities (PLC’s) have more impact when they are facilitated face-to-face by a skilled facilitator.

Being a member of the professional development team here at Eagle Rock School and Professional Development Center, I personally support about 10 school network or district clients nationally, which means there are times when I can’t be with them in person. Such face-to-face meetings are important, and I try to arrange these more personal consultations when possible.

But for those times when that’s not possible, I’ve facilitated such gatherings using Zoom’s video and web conferencing platform — a simple to use online tool that allows me to increase the amount of support I can offer clients sandwiched between in-person consulting visits to their local context.

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If you’re unfamiliar with them, School Reform Initiative protocols offer structured processes to support focused and productive conversations, build collective understanding, and drive school improvement. Thoughtful use of these protocols is an integral part of building resilient professional learning communities.

In recent months, I’ve gathered up and written down a number of tips I believe can greatly increase efficacy of such gatherings online. These tips, which I’ll offer here as suggestions, include: Continue reading…

Fall 2017 Update from the Professional Development Center

Editor’s Note: Often traveling by themselves and sometimes as a team, Eagle Rock’s Professional Development Center (PDC) staff works with educators and school administrators across the country with the goal in mind of ensuring high school becomes an engaging experience for youth.

We see all high schools as having the potential of being high-functioning centers of learning that are fueled by engagement. For more than two decades, we have facilitated school improvement and supported practices that foster each student’s unique potential, thus stimulating their minds, through the engagements we’ve facilitated under the work of our PDC.

Below is a list of what we’re working on this fall as our staff facilitates, convenes, supports, and participates with local schools spanning both coasts.

This schedule was compiled with support from Sebastian Franco, Eagle Rock’s Public Allies Fellow in Professional Development. The calendar is just a small illustration of what Eagle Rock does on a national scale, offering schools and communities of practice the tools necessary to develop their own youth engagement initiatives:

SEPTEMBER                                                                                       

Sept. 11

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Toronto High School, Ohio Valley, Ohio — Toronto High School, part of the Toronto City Schools, is one of the newest facilities in eastern Ohio providing various enrichment opportunities for students. These include Destination Imagination (a program that teaches students the creative process and empowers them with the skills needed to succeed in an ever-changing world), science fairs, debate team, among others. The school also offers more than 30 semester hours of college credit as they prepare students for post-secondary education. Professional Development Associate Anastacia Galloway Reed revisited this school as it continues collaboration on implementing the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) framework.

Sept. 11 — 12… Continue reading…