Four More Classes Round Out our 79th Trimester

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

What makes a school’s curriculum unique? Here at Eagle Rock, it’s the totality of student experiences that occur within the content of our educational process.

Robert-Frost-Teaching-Quote

Predicated on the belief that every student has the ability to become fully engaged in their own education, our curriculum focuses on competencies that we refer to as our 5 Expectations:

  1. Learning to communicate effectively: The primary purpose of an Eagle Rock class is to help students understand how to get a message across. That’s why poetry, art, and music often figure prominently into our class offerings.
  2. Expanding one’s knowledge base: Helping students understand and providing them with the tools to learn how to learn, as well as how to apply that learning to other situations, is also part of the Eagle Rock experience. As a result, many of our classes include elements of problem solving.
  3. Becoming an engaged citizen: At Eagle Rock, we’re intentional about helping our students learn something that naturally enables them to interact better with various people and cultures. Sometimes that’s accomplished by learning a second language or taking a class that focuses on worker’s rights.
  4. Acquiring leadership skills in order to achieve justice: Helping students understand what it takes to make a place — our school for example, or the local community in which we are based — more fair and equitable, is another aspect of our educational process.
  5. Creating healthy life choices: Finally, helping students understand that the decisions they make can increase or decrease positive outcomes regarding health of self, society, others, or the environment, is another unique aspect of our curriculum.

With our 5 Expectations in mind, we’re able to conceptualize and offer classes worthy of the student engagement we believe every student is capable of achieving. We also require that all Eagle Rock School students have Individual Learning Plans (ILPs) that guide them on their journey here. And each of those ILPs include distribution requirements. (For more information on distribution requirements, please see Distribution Requirements Play a Big Role in This Trimester’s Latest Class Offerings.)

This trimester, which is our 79th since our founding in the early 1990s, we’re offering five 10-week classes that we’ve previously blogged about and are still occurring (Research, Neuroscience, Jewelry Around the World, Facing History, and Facilitating Educational Change, along with the four new classes highlighted below: Continue reading…

Fall 2019 Explore Week Focuses on Unique Student Experiences

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

With the first five weeks of this, our 79th trimester (ER 79), under their belts, Eagle Rock School students are now in the midst of Explore Week — an opportunity to pivot from regular classes and explore personally chosen interests in structured courses taught, led, and facilitated by instructors with deep knowledge and expertise in their chosen fields.

As with prior Explore Weeks, our instructors hail from all over Colorado and across the country, and include current staff and fellows, members of the local community, and other notables from the Eagle Rock family — including Eagle Rock School graduates who now have careers of their own.

Here’s a rundown of what’s on the schedule for this week’s courses, both on and off campus:

Producing and Audio Engineering: This course is taught on campus in our recording studios by Bradlie Jones, a University of Colorado-Denver graduate who majored in Music & Recording Arts and minored in Music Business. Known as Jelie, this artist has been writing and performing songs — as well as MC’ing — for close to 15 years. In addition to learning how to build beats, students in this course are focused on  Continue reading…

Eagle Rock Documentary ‘All Who Dare’ Now Streaming on Prime Video

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

The award-winning documentary film “All Who Dare,” which records the 24-day wilderness orientation experience for nine incoming Eagle Rock School students, is now available for streaming on Amazon’s Prime Video platform.

Three of the students featured in the documentary have since graduated from Eagle Rock School, including Spencer Lanier, Mohammad “Moe” Thabata, and Morgan Pierce. Each trimester — practically before they unpack their bags — we send our new students to a remote wilderness area where they spend two dozen days orientating to Eagle Rock’s values, understanding their role in self-management, and learning the skills necessary to live, learn, and cordially thrive within a community of peers.

While on the trail within the pristine Lost Creek Wilderness area of Colorado, the students featured in “All Who Dare” — along with our  Continue reading…

PDC Helps Create Competency-based Learning Playbooks

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Eagle Rock’s Professional Development Center (PDC) has embarked on a project that includes facilitating a competency-based education and training initiative with an iLEAD-affiliated high school that supports pregnant and parenting teens in and around Lancaster, Calif.

PDC staff members, including Associate Director of Professional Development Dan Condon, have been instrumental in facilitating a number of initiatives for Empower Generations, including the ongoing creation of a Competency-Based Education Playbook.

Competency-based learning (CBL), which is an approach to teaching and learning of measurable skills rather than abstract learning, is at the core of Empower Generations’ offerings for students pursuing a high school diploma while navigating through new experiences as a result of pregnancy and parenthood. Guided by CBL, students enrolled at the Southern California school focus on what is taught and not on the amount of time spent completing credits. Instead of marinating in a seat for four years, students learning in this particular CBL setting work at their own pace to demonstrate mastery in the competencies necessary for receiving their high school diploma.

In other words, the focus of competency-based learning is on the final outcome and not the journey. This is a huge benefit for independent and adult learners who may be working towards a degree around other schedules.

Specifically, the competency-based learning approach features five core elements:  Continue reading…

Fall 2019 Update from the Eagle Rock Professional Development Center

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

As we do several times throughout the year, today’s post covers what’s occurring within our Professional Development Center — Eagle Rock’s conduit to working with schools, school districts, and youth service organizations to create healthy, high-functioning learning environments with the aim of improving student engagement across the United States.

As always, the Professional Development Center (PDC) staff — including PDC Director Sarah Bertucci, Associate Director Dan Condon, and Professional Development Associate Anastacia Galloway Reed — are hosting educators here on campus, as well as traveling to schools and events nationally to facilitate school improvement through workshops and training events. They’re also focusing on our own school — Eagle Rock School — to improve its current practices. This trimester, for example, the team of PDC staffers is helping the school evolve its Presentations of Learning as a mechanism to allow students to learn about and contribute to Eagle Rock’s focus on having a national impact. (If you’re unfamiliar with POLs, please read Understanding Eagle Rock’s Presentations of Learning — then, check back here early next year for an update on how our POLs are evolving.)

In the meantime, below is an update focused on all of our current professional development engagements. If you’d like to enquire about engaging with our PDC for a project at your school or organization, please connect with us using the PDC Contact Form on our website.  Continue reading…