Thanksgiving Offers a Full of Roster of Activities for Eagle Rock School Students

For most of us, it’s tough being away from immediate family during the holidays — especially the big ones like Thanksgiving. So here at Eagle Rock School and Professional Development Center, we go to great lengths to provide two full days of events and activities for our students. In that way, the school environment provides a second family-like experience.

This holiday is no exception, with so many activities on the agenda that there’s little time to think about home. Here’s the rundown:

Thanksgiving Day at Eagle Rock School

Eagle Rock School Applications Are Due Next Week

Willingness is an action word, and if you’re sitting down and filling out an Eagle Rock School application for admission for the May 2016 trimester, you’re already taking action and showing willingness. We like that.

And while we’re eagerly looking forward to welcoming a new group of 15- to 17-year-old young men and women to our mountainside campus, our newest students must display a willingness to commit to change. Primarily, that means changing the circumstances of their current educational experience.


Applicants need to alter the focus of their thinking — and actions — to discard notions of things they can’t do in exchange for pursuing things that they can do, because the focus of Eagle Rock isn’t limited to academic growth. It also encompasses a desire to grow emotionally and socially, in addition to acquiring the type of academic proficiency required of clearly stating and being equipped to handle what you’re going to do after Eagle Rock.

We want new members of our unconventional student body to be willing to explore the ways they’ve been coping and dealing with issues in the past and be willing (there’s that word again) to put away those methods and exchange them for Continue reading…

Eagle Rock Shines at Coalition of Essential Schools’ Fall Forum

Eagle Rock staff and students returned from Portland, Maine, last week, savoring the time they spent working with educators from around the country during this year’s Coalition of Essential Schools (CES) Fall Forum.

This was the 31st such fall conference and Kim Carter, executive director of the QED Foundation kicked things off with her reflections on how the Coalition of Essential Schools came about, reiterating the core ideas put forth in 1984 by CES founder Ted Seizer.

Afterward, Michael Soguero, Eagle Rock’s Professional Development Center (PDC) director, said he loved Carter’s keynote that outlined the history and connections of CES over the decades. He said he was most impressed with how Seizer’s ideas presented way back in the 1980s are today entrenched in school practices. As examples, he cited advisories, demonstrations of mastery (such as Eagle Rock’s own Presentations Of Learning), interdisciplinary courses and more.

As in past forums, Eagle Rock played an active role this time around, with staff and students presenting three sessions at the conference that attracted more than Continue reading…

Can High School Students Learn Cryptography?

Editor’s Note: Below is the second of a two-part blog post outlining the myriad class offerings available this trimester at Eagle Rock School. (Please see our October 4, 2015, blog post — Latest Eagle Rock School Classes Explore Everything from Coaching to Carpentry — for part one in this series.)

What we’ve highlighted here is in no way a complete listing of this trimester’s classes. Instead, it’s a sampling of classes that have the intention of engaging the student in their own education. Each is interesting, challenging, and certainly fodder for use in any number of current and future situation. In other words, useful education. These classes are already underway, and the first three listed below are 10-week courses that started in late-September. The rest are five weeks in length.

CryptographyCryptography: Prime numbers have puzzled and amazed mathematicians for centuries. They are at the center of beautiful patterns and there is no end to them (and certainly no way to ever fit them all into a book.) Prime numbers are also what protects every piece of information you send over the Internet — pictures, emails, passwords and more. Behind this is a long story of coders and hackers fighting a battle to secure information. The outcomes of these battles have had lasting impacts on our society, and will continue to play a role in how we share information. This class explores the mathematics behind secret messages, and the role they have played in history. The mathematics of this class is a branch called Number Theory that assumes only the knowledge of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Traditionally not taught until college, number theory is an exploration into the heart of mathematics. This class is solidifying student skills in mathematics, and giving them a sense of the love of puzzles that drive most mathematicians.

Theater Tech: Ever wonder what goes on ‘back stage’ to bring a story to life? Our Theatre Tech class is designed to provide students with a basic understanding of the practical application of theatre production. This class is an introduction to the methods of scenic design and construction, properties design and construction, painting, costumes, and performance management. Students learn the skills required to create and problem solve in order to design and implement a setting that truly reflects the intention of a theatrical performance. Skills learned in this class include the operation of power tools and equipment. For the final product, students will be designing and constructing the set for the Eagle Rock School winter musical and will also have the opportunity to learn about and consider stage management positions for that particular production.

Exposure: If a picture tells a thousand words, imagine the power of effectively communicating with your photos and writing combined. In this class, students practice different methods of Continue reading…

World Class Instructors Visit Eagle Rock for Explore Week

Did you know that throughout recorded history, humans have had an attraction and affinity for gemstones? People from kings, pharaohs, monarchs, and businessmen, to artisans, shamans, scientists, and commoners have honored the power of the stones and worked with them for various personal and spiritual purposes.

That’s just one of the many topics Eagle Rock School students learned about at the end of October during the latest installment of Eagle Rock Explore Week. Students had a chance to discover a variety of topics related to hobbies, music, art, sporting and outdoor activities and other pursuits intended to enrich our community and better their lives.


The weeklong learning options had the added benefit of offering a slight break for many of our Instructional Specialists, so they can prepare for the rest of the trimester, while enabling students to pick up knowledge they’ve self-selected as being beneficial to the future.

We have listed the titles of some of these opportunities below, along with the name or names of the instructors involved: Continue reading…

House Retreats Convene to Re-energize Students and Staff Alike

On-campus housing at Eagle Rock means much more than a place to hang your hat or fall asleep. It’s a culture within a culture, with students building an intimate identity around one of our half dozen houses and then expanding that identity and familiarity to include the entire school. By concentrating on building a positive community and culture within the houses, these positive efforts encompass the larger Eagle Rock community and campus life.

Because one thing our houses do is promote camaraderie, team spirit, good-natured competition and a sense of belonging.

That being said, sometimes it’s difficult to return from a break and immediately recapture that feeling of oneness that was there when you last walked out the front door. Thus, the advent of the Eagle Rock House Retreat, which let us reconnect with our fellow housemates and spend some time focused on the culture of each individual house.

Below is a recap of the activities that highlighted our latest House Retreats in mid-September:

Aspen House: In addition to preparing several meals and enjoying delicious food, members of Aspen House went go-carting, bowling and teamed up for laser tag at Boodocks. They wound down their retreat with a move in comfy recliners at the Flatirons AMC theater in nearby Broomfield, Colo.


Juniper House: Things got off to a festive start for Juniper House residents with a barbecue at Lake Estes complete with a campfire with s’mores. Students created a house mandala with a statement written by each student about their roots, following by personal learning plans. What followed was some Ultimate Frisbee training and a photo scavenger hunt at Continue reading…