Job Announcement — Professional Development Associate

Even in the midst of a pandemic, life within the Eagle Rock community continues, as does the occasional opportunity for new staff members to join our team. With that in mind, we are currently seeking candidates for the position of Professional Development Associate, and we would like to have that new staff member onboard by March 1, 2021.

As with all of our positions at Eagle Rock, we’re looking for a person who believes in the potential of young people and is eager to join educators and communities in being a part of enacting major changes in schools across the country. Our winning candidate should be completely comfortable with working at a diverse, tuition-free boarding school that has at its core a belief system that is based on antiracism, relationships, and beloved community.

Why Eagle Rock Professional Development

Before we get to the responsibilities required for the position, we need to outline the qualifications.

  1. First, you must possess a bachelor’s or master’s degree, excellent facilitation and organizational skills, extensive public school experience, and connections to organizations and supporters of antiracist educational change.
  2. In addition, you should be skillful at collaborating with young people, fellow colleagues, educators, administrators, and networks of school partners. You should have experience in working with individuals from diverse racial, ethnic and cultural background, as well as those who identify as LGBTQ+.
  3. Finally, we are looking to hire someone who considers working at Eagle Rock as more of a calling than a 9 to 5 job. This means possessing boundless energy, a team mentality, visionary thinking, seasoned judgment, and a sense of humor.

Among the responsibilities of the professional development associate are these specific requirements: Continue reading…

Eagle Rock Community Puts a “Stamp” on Social Justice

This week, we wrap up our synopses of a number of classes currently underway at Eagle Rock School with It’s Lit! Circles — a gathering of students and community members in what’s known as a Literature Circle for the purpose of discussing literature in depth.

(Source: Schlick Noe, K.L. & Johnson, N.J. (1999). Getting Started with Literature Circles. Norwood, MA: Christopher-Gordon Publishers, Inc.)

Literature circles such as ours provide a way for students to engage in critical thinking and reflection as they read, discuss, and respond to works of literature. In this case, the Eagle Rock community has dedicated this trimester to reading the book STAMPED, Racism, Antiracism, and You, which was written by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi.

STAMPED is a “remix” of Kendi’s 2016 National Book Award Winner, Stamped From The Beginning. And as the author explains, it’s not a history book. Rather, it is a “book about the here and now. A book to help us better understand why we are where we are. A book about race.”

That falls in step with one of Eagle Rock’s founding principles, which calls for a commitment to Continue reading…

Getting into ‘Good Trouble’ at Eagle Rock School

As has been the case over the past four weeks here on our blog, this week we’re highlighting another class that focuses much of its attention on presenting Eagle Rock School students with important issues surrounding social justice and nonviolence. Fittingly called Good Trouble, this class is exploring the history of peaceful opposition and social justice through the lives and works of Nobel Peace Laureates from around the world.

The title of the class, Good Trouble, comes from John Lewis, an American statesman and civil rights leader who served in the United States House of Representatives for Georgia’s 5th congressional district from 1987 until his death in 2020, who said, “Never, ever be afraid to make some noise and get in good trouble, necessary trouble.”

In Good Trouble, students are looking at ways to peacefully engage with those who might hold opposing views to their own — always in a constructive manner. In addition to learning how to correspond civilly across lines of difference, students are exploring the intersections of identity, history, current events, and social change and action.

The class is being taught by Josán Perales, our World Languages instructional specialist; Lucia Sicius and Matisyn Darby, two of our 2020/2021 Public Allies fellows; Courthney Russell, Jr., our Residential Life Program coordinator; and Annie Kelston, a student services program specialist and Explore Week coordinator.

And for the first time in Eagle Rock history, we’re using a curriculum that was designed by a Public Allies fellow! Second-year fellow Lucia Sicius spent this past summer preparing six chapters of action-oriented curricula for and by youth, in collaboration with interns at the Peace Jam Foundation —an international organization working through the inspiration of past Nobel Laureates. As an alum of the program, Lucia saw an opportunity for Eagle Rock to model a class that explores identity, storytelling, and deliberate action among students.

The Good Trouble afternoon block is a direct response to current events in the world. Lucia said that, with the inspiration of Continue reading…

Class Focus: Tending to Mind, Body and Soul Creates a Champion

Much more than just a scheduled workout program, In the Mind of a Champion is a new class offering at Eagle Rock School that asks participating students to reflect on their own mind, body, and spirit, and to also consider how the world currently aligns with their personal values.

With intent on developing a personalized physical fitness program, students are also being asked to contemplate on how the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement and COVID-19 have had an impact on professional athletes.

Led by Jocelyn Rodriguez, Eagle Rock’s athletics coordinator, and Dan Marigny, a 2020/2021 Public Allies Fellow, students enrolled in this class are listening, researching, and speaking up about how the coronavirus has changed the way sports are viewed, and how athletes are now standing in solidarity on issues put forth by social justice movements like Black Lives Matter. Specifically, each student is asked how they may be able to adopt these athletes’ platform practices into their own lives.

Mind of a Champion Eagle Rock

In addition to highlighting aspects of their physical workout with Jocelyn and Don each week, students are asked to reflect on their mind, body, and spirit and how each aspect contributes to their personal views on the world around them and what it means to be a “champion.” Specifically, they are asked for their take on why athletes in various sports have opted out of participating in their current season, dedicating  time to activism, and walked off of fields and courts to make a statement about the importance of justice.

What is each student expected to take away from this class? Simply put, the primary objective is to Continue reading…

Ballot Box Stats Prove Voting MATHers

Hilary Clinton wasn’t the first presidential candidate to win the popular vote yet lose the election. Truth is, statistics and demographics have affected several elections over the centuries. And that’s important stuff to know, according to Stephany Subdiaz, Math Instructional Specialist, who is teaching a class this trimester called Voting MATHers.

So, was it entirely unfair that Clinton received more popular votes in the 2016 campaign than Donald Trump? Perhaps. But maybe not. Students enrolled in Subdiaz’s class are exploring the mathematics behind our nation’s elections. How do all those individual ballots get counted? Is the count generally accurate?

In Voting MATHers, students are also taking a close view of the Electoral College — a complex system that some folks believe should be disbanded. They’re also looking at alternative voting systems and methods of tallying votes, with an eye on the advantages and disadvantages of some of these vote-counting options.

So far students have discovered that depending on what state someone lives in, their vote can count more than others and vice versa. For example, a candidate could potentially win the electoral college vote while winning only 22 percent of the popular vote in certain states.

This week, for example, students are Continue reading…

Our 82nd Trimester Offers Life-Changing Classes for Students

As we began our 82nd trimester here at Eagle Rock School & Professional Development Center, we again found our student body proactively participating  — albeit online and at home for now — in a half-dozen classes that are likely to have real-life impacts on our committed and engaged students.

Nearly all of this trimester’s class offerings are explored with an informed lens on what’s occurring across the United States at the present moment. From the Black Likes Matter movement and the upcoming Presidential election, to the health pandemic, students are exploring and learning about the important issues behind peace, social justice, nonviolence, the current and future state of the nation, and one’s own health and wellbeing.

As you’ll read below, this time around, students are looking at nonviolent protests through the works of Nobel Peace winners, as well as the determination of athletes who have opted out of participating in their current season, instead dedicating their efforts to activism.

Finally, below, we introduce three personal growth experiences in which all students are participating. These cover stress, resilience, and staying connected during these most unprecedented and changing times.

Over the next five weeks or so here on the blog, we plan to shine an additional spotlight on five of the classes mentioned below. In the meantime, here’s a short synopsis of what our students are studying and experiencing this trimester at Eagle Rock School:

Voting MATHers: Granted, it’s a clever name for a math class, but Eagle Rock Math Instructional Specialist Stephany Subdiaz is showing students how mathematics plays an important part in our nation’s complex voting system. Stephany’s students are exploring the math behind the ballot box. How are the ballots counted? Why does it matter? How do statistics and demographics affect the outcomes? There’s plenty of math in Voting MATHers.

You Are What You Eat: In this class, students are taking a close look at how Continue reading…

Eagle Rock Welcomes 7 Public Allies Fellows to Our Community for 2020/2021

Joining us remotely at Eagle Rock School & Professional Development Center this trimester is a new cohort of Public Allies fellows, each with eyes set on their own personal growth and professional development while learning about and directly supporting alternative approaches to engaging students in their own education.

This cohort is the 18th since Public Allies first came to Eagle Rock in 2002 and will be the first to ever start their fellowship from their homes instead of our campus in Estes Park, Colo. That’s because of the health pandemic and because on campus learning remains paused and remote for the time being.

Each of these five new and two returning Public Allies Fellows are either beginning or continuing a year-long commitment of service within our residential and community-based experiential education program between now and next August.

Funded largely by AmeriCorps, Public Allies is centered around the notion that everyone has the ability to lead, and anyone can be an inspiration to others. Each of our new and returning fellows has already demonstrated a passion for progressive education and social justice, and each has participated in our Fellow Core Training program held Aug. 28 to Sept. 11.

The focus of that training was to support the fellows in preparing to serve students at Eagle Rock by building relationships with the community and getting to know the Eagle Rock way, even as that way forward evolves during the health pandemic. They will now become integrated into the staff team and co-teach or co-counsel with our full-time staff online.

But more about that later. Below, we present a brief overview and some interesting facts about each of these young leaders: Continue reading…

SRI’s Summer Confab Featured Music Video from Eagle Rock School

The School Reform Initiative (SRI) recently held its first virtual Summer Meeting. Traditionally, SRI — an independent, non-profit organization that supports the creation of transformational learning communities — hosts an annual face-to-face gathering each fall where educators come together and renew their commitment to educational equity and excellence.

However, this year, given the current health and economic conditions across the country and the concerns related to travel due to COVID-19, the Houston-based organization put off its fall meeting in Memphis until next year, and opted instead to host a summer meeting online. And while the format for coming together as a community of learners changed, what didn’t is SRI’s focus on serving as an agent for its community of facilitators who work with schools, districts, and other agencies and organizations to give students what they need to be successful — regardless of their internal and external social and cultural contexts.

During the opening session of the virtually presented event, Eagle Rock students were highlighted in a music video they created in an Eagle Rock School class named Reflect, Connect, and Create Music. The five-minute video, which you can watch below, features expressive rap, songs, and instrumentals, illustrated by scenes of protest and support of the Black Lives Matter movement.

 

Reflect, Connect, and Create Music was taught by our Societies & Cultures Instructional Specialist, Cedric Josey, and our 2020/2021 Public Allies Fellow in Residential Life, Lucia Sicius. The class encouraged students to focus on reflection, expression, and connection, through music — especially in the time of a global pandemic.

To our way of thinking, especially in the midst of a global health pandemic, students need us to Continue reading…

Virtual Duck Race Benefits Eagle Rock’s Graduate Higher Ed Fund

We’re super excited to finally announce the pandemic version of the Estes Park Duck Race. This year’s highly anticipated Estes Park Rotary Duck Race is still on, featuring cash and high-end prizes, the excitement of a competitive race, and the opportunity to help Eagle Rock School graduates with the cost of higher education.

However, because of the ongoing health pandemic that is curtailing such in-person crowd-pleasing events around the globe, the 2020 duck race won’t exactly be all that it’s previously been quacked up to be. This year’s race will be delivered virtually, online. So when we say, “You don’t have to be present to win,” this time around we really mean you don’t have to be present to win. In fact, we would prefer you stay at home.

On a serious note, the Estes Park Rotary Duck Race is the biggest fundraiser of the year that we’re asked to participate in, and we’re grateful for the Estes Park Rotary Club’s decision to hold the 2020 race — broadcasting the event live and immediately announcing the winners to an audience of duck adopters watching online from the comfort of their homes.

Here’s are how things are going to go down the river this time around:

It’s going to be a virtual Duck Race, run on Saturday, Sept. 19. However, instead of dropping rubber duckies in the river and pulling them out at the finish line, the event’s organizers are going to put all the duck’s bib numbers in a rotating barrel and pull them out one by one.

Each duck’s bib number will be entered into the computer, as has been done for many years, winners will be determined by a Continue reading…

Eagle Rock Students Focusing on Real World Learning Experiences

More than halfway through our school’s 82nd trimester (known as ER 82), all of our students have been tasked with answering this essential question: “How can I best direct my own learning to successfully support my future goals?

We’re calling this new educational experience Real World Learning as our student body continues to learn from their own homes during the 2020 health pandemic, using online tools such as Google Classroom and Zoom. And admittedly, it’s a broad topic, with each student asked to create an individual learning plan that fits in with their passions, curiosities, and virtual learning needs.

At this point in the trimester, each student has already selected from among a range of experiences, focusing on their future and concentrating on those interests that are most likely to put a sparkle in their eye.

Among the interests expressed by students are mastering a musical instrument, learning a foreign language, graphic design, antiracism projects, and college courses in entrepreneurship. Other interests include certification courses in First Aid, wilderness medicine, fitness, real estate, food handling and construction management. And some of our students have also opted to continue employment in their hometowns, focusing on responsibilities associated with those duties during their five-week Real World Learning experience.

To date, all students have announced their own individual learning plan and have met with their Continue reading…