Eagle Rock Students Embark on Second Batch of Non-traditional Classes

The second half of this trimester at Eagle Rock School is underway this week with students embarking on new classroom experiences ranging from poetry to piano to percussion to prime numbers. This marks the middle of our 73rd trimester since the school was founded in the early 1990s.

The final day of class is Friday, Dec. 8, and Presentations of Learning (POLs) take place on Monday, Dec. 11 and Tuesday, Dec. 12. Ceremonies for those graduating from this trimester will be held on Friday, Dec. 15.

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Below is a rundown of the five-week classes offered now through early-December, along with a 10-week class where students are halfway through an intense Spanish language enterprise:

Sacrificial Poets — In this class, fledgling poets are reading, writing, watching and performing spoken-word poetry — all the while exploring their identities, refining their writing and analytical skills, developing performance and public speaking abilities, and building self-confidence.

Students enrolled in this class are traveling off campus to watch nationally renowned poets from the Denver Youth Poetry Team, Minor Disturbance, and poets from around the United States perform in Continue reading…

This ‘Language Class’ Offers More Than Just a Brush Up on Spanish

Five Eagle Rock students are well into a 10-week class that is enabling them to explore their own identities through the lens of political views, human stories and the visible and invisible walls that individuals and nations construct between themselves.

Called Borders & Identity, this class places learning to speak and write Spanish as an objective, with the goal of actively helping build bridges between people and communities as its primary goal. Tied into this class is the concept of “Enduring Understanding,” which is a guiding idea for each of our classes. Also referred to as our “10-year Takeaway,” Enduring Understanding asks us to consider what it is students will remember about this class and their learning in 10 years.

Getting Hands-on with Identity

In order for this class to be truly effective, the students needed to understand that changing the dominant narrative of immigration requires hearing directly from — and taking action with — those affected by our own country’s immigration history and policy. With that in mind, the first five weeks of class saw students diving into the world of migration and identity, creating their own informed perspectives through video and fieldwork, while learning ways to communicate in Spanish through dialogue and poetry.

Eagle Rock School Bordrs and Indentity Class

Student involvement was immediate, with a visit to the El Movimiento Exhibit at the Michener Library on the University of Northern Colorado campus in Greely on the second day of class. There they met to discuss the Chicanx movement in that part of the state with Dr. Priscilla Falcon, the head of the university’s Hispanic Studies Program.

They also visited the Continue reading…

Eagle Rock’s Fall 2017 Classes Are Informative and Interesting

The summer of 2017 is history, and for new and returning Eagle Rock School students, it’s the beginning of a fresh trimester — the 73rd since our founding in the early 1990s. And as reliable as the season’s change is here in the Rocky Mountains, so to comes the promise of a progressive lineup of class offerings tailor-made for our diverse student body. Take mathematics for example. Your typical high school curriculum lists class offerings in spades, ranging from Algebra, Geometry and Algebra 2, to Pre-Calculus and Calculus.

But how does this sound as a more engaging alternative: The mathematics of casino gambling? We’ve got that class already underway for those who like to have fun with their numbers while learning.

Or how about chemistry? Most high schools feature classes that entail a lot of memorization, periodic tables, and some lab work. Unless it’s a class about the chemical changes that take place when preparing a meal. Now we’re really cooking. And the “final exam” for that class revolves around a student-hosted food fair.

Classes at Eagle Rock School

Below are descriptions of a number of class topics offered this trimester — most of them unique and all of them designed from the ground up to be both interesting and engaging:

Borders & Identity: In this class, students are exploring their own identity through the lens of the U.S.-Mexican border and the human stories, learning and reflecting on the visible and invisible borders we each confront every day. Learning Spanish is a goal, in order to build bridges between people and community, and compare, contrast and write from multiple points of view. During the first five weeks, participants are diving into the world of migration and identity, formulating their own informed perspectives through video and field work — all the while communicating in Spanish. During the second five weeks, they will continue to explore borders and identity and develop a culminating action-project that propose solutions to the immigration and border debate.

Chemistry of Cooking: In this unique chemistry class, students are studying the chemical changes that food undergoes when it is Continue reading…

Eagle Rock Students Take Ethnic Studies to the Streets

Last trimester, a group of seven students participated in Borders Fronteras — an Eagle Rock School class that afforded students the opportunity to explore their own identities through the lens of the U.S.-Mexico border and the very personal human stories from the line between us.

The students prepared for this work through the timeless Mayan precept of In Lak’ech, which is affiliated with the Mayan definition of the human being — known as huinik’lil or vibrant being, which claims we are all part of the same universal vibration. This was the origin of the recitation, excerpted from Luis Valdez’ epic poem, Pensamiento Serpentino (see below):

Borders Fronteras Class at Eagle Rock School

Students discovered that In Lak’ech was a major component of the Tucson Mexican-American Studies programs serving six Arizona high schools from in 1998 to 2010 — an ethnic studies offering that was subsequently banned from all of Tucson’s kindergarten through 12th grade schools under the Continue reading…

Searching The Globe for a World Languages Teacher

Do you favor an educational process that backs diverse high school students in their search to discover their gifts and passions and then nurturing those gifts and passions? Does that sound better to you than rote instruction based on standardized tests and curricula?

Eagle Rock School World Languages

Do you like the notion of enabling students to explore and examine their lives and the world around them through language and culture? Do you think Spanish and other languages can be taught in cross-curricular experiences that are meaningful to teens that are actively working on reengaging themselves in their own education? Does a boarding school that bases its ”disciplinary action” on relationships and mutual respect resonate with you?

If you answered yes to those questions, consider applying for our latest job opening: World Languages Instructional Specialist.

At Eagle Rock School and Professional Development Center (PDC), our instructional specialists work together to develop empowering active-learning opportunities for our students. We care about each other’s success and our student’s experience, and the way we work constantly and consistently leads to innovations that have an impact at our school and beyond.

That means we’re not only committed to our students here at Eagle Rock, but we learn from those experiences in order to Continue reading…