Utah’s Rugged Desert Areas Host 7 Eagle Rock Student Explorers

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For a full month last trimester, we offered a new experiential outdoor adventure-based course for sevenveteran Eagle Rock School students — a wilderness course that entailed navigating inner and outer landscapes in the pristine desert areas of Utah.

We approached this exploration by focusing on three modalities of backcountry travel — backpacking, climbing, and rafting — which ultimately offered ample opportunities for participants to learn more about themselves nature, and where the two intersect. In addition to a human-powered outdoor adventure, students engaged in a rigorous academic experiences that included creative non-fiction writing and ecological earth science.

Among our group were students Angel Resendiz, Ay’Niah Rochester, Carter Raymond, Dauntay Acosta, Jacob Israel, Sequoia Masters, and Xavier Hagood-Edmeade. Support came from our amazing instructor team, which included Jack Bynum (Adjunct Outdoor Education Instructor), Leila Ayad (our 2017/2018 Public Allies Teaching Fellow in Outdoor Education), and Amelia la Plante Horne (our current Public Allies Teaching Fellow in Outdoor Education, and Eagle Rock graduate). And as you’ll read later in this post, we connected toward the end of our trip with Nia Dawson (Student Services Program Manager).

We also had support from Song Candea, a snowboard instructor at Steamboat Resort and Eagle Rock graduate who has assisted us on our wilderness classes for several years, and myself — Outdoor Education Instructional Specialist Eliza Kate Wicks-Arshack.

And, following a week on campus to ground ourselves in the course curriculum, and packing for the trip, we headed to the desert.

Our course began with a seven-day loop in Escalante-Grand Staircase National Monument. Our route took us down the Twenty-Five Mile Wash, then 14 miles to the Escalante River, and up and out of Scorpion Gulch. We backpacked down massive slick rock domes, bushwhacked through forests of invasive tamarisk (a small shrub that the USGS says “favors sites that are inhospitable to native stream-side plants…”), waded down the frigid water in the Escalante River, and exited the canyon via a  Continue reading…

Recent Explore Week Course Sends Students on College Campus Tours

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Five Eagle Rock students recently joined a pair of administrators in a weeklong tour of California college and university campuses as a part of an Explore Week course called College Tour.

Students Edna, Malyk, Hana, Alizja, and Austin visited Caltech in Pasadena, the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, Santa Monica College, The Studio School in Los Angeles, UCLA, California State University of Los Angeles, and Occidental College during their tour. Leading these students were Chris Lamar, our school counselor, and Laila Hosseinzadeh, our 2019/2020 Public Allies Fellow in the Life After Eagle Rock.

And indeed, life after Eagle Rock was the entire focus of the Explore Week road trip, with students focusing on finding the perfect institute of higher learning while still in high school.

One highlight of the tour was a stop at  Continue reading…

Reflecting on Eagle Rock’s Past and Looking Ahead to the New Decade

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The holiday break is drawing to a close and here at Eagle Rock School and Professional Development Center, our instructors, staff, administrators, and students will be trickling back onto campus next week as the New Year — and a new decade — get underway.

Recently, there has been a flurry of debate on social sites claiming the new decade doesn’t officially begin until next Jan.1, but proponents of that notion forget that there was no Year Zero when the current era began more than 2,000 years ago. As a result, some may feel that all decades, centuries, and Millenia begin with Year 1.

(Photo by David W. Riggs | Sourced from Unsplash)

Now that we have put that silly debate to rest, here’s a quick look at Eagle Rock’s past, and what the future holds for our school and Professional Development Center (PDC).

Back in the spring of 1989, American Honda Motor Co., Inc. contributed ideas and funds for what would become the Eagle Rock School and Professional Development Center. Its vision was for an educational organization that would focus the interest of young people on community, integrity, and citizenship. And it targeted youth who weren’t exactly fitting into the mold demanded in a traditional high school setting.

In addition, through close coordination with other school districts and educational organizations, our PDC team was tasked with  Continue reading…

The ABCs of Eagle Rock’s Language of Learning

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There are times when those of us who communicate on a daily basis in the language of education need to be reminded that our lexicon may not always correlate with those whom we consider extended members of our community. In particular, we’re speaking of the parents, supporters, and friends of Eagle Rock School and Professional Development Center (PDC).

In a sense, we’ve created a language of our own over the past quarter of a century-plus, the result of consistent communication both on our own on-campus community members and with our peers at dozens of educational organizations and schools we interact with each year across the nation.

Photo by Markus Spiske (sourced on Unsplash)

What follows is the first of what we hope will become a series of Eagle Rock linguistic ABC’s, with the objective of bringing everyone into the fold of our own lexicon. This first effort, below, is a complete A through Z rundown of terms, titles, alliterations, and programs that describe or explain our special form of work and communication, starting with All Who Dare Continue reading…

Here’s How to Reach Us During the Winter 2019/2020 Break

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The Winter 2019/2020 holiday break is well underway for us here at Eagle Rock School and Professional Development Center. That means our students, staff, and administrators are all actively in or are preparing for vacation and break mode.

As we mentioned last week, four Eagle Rock Students graduated on Friday, Dec. 13, in a ceremony here on our campus in Estes Park, Colo. Following in rapid succession was an end-of-trimester community meeting before students headed home this past Saturday for what amounts to a monthlong break. A festive end-of-the-trimester staff celebration occurred on Saturday, while some obligatory but important department meetings occurred on Monday to wrap up 2019 in a big red bow.

Our 80th trimester (ER-80) gets underway on Jan. 6, 2020 when staff members return to campus for collaborative workdays; followed the next day by our Public Allies Fellows participating in a traditional mid-year day away in celebration of reaching the near halfway mark in their yearlong commitment to service and Eagle Rock.

Veteran students arrive on campus and settle back into the routine starting on Continue reading…