Eagle Rock an Active Participant in Recent CES Forum

Nine of our staff members actively took part in the recent 2013 Fall Forum hosted by the Coalition of Essential Schools (CES). The conference was held earlier this month at Mission High School in the heart of San Francisco, with this year’s theme titled “Making the Invisible Visible: Stories and Counter Stories for Educational Equity.”

Our Eagle Rock staffers got the long weekend off to a good start by facilitating a two-hour meeting with directors from about a dozen CES Affiliate Centers — including our hosts, the San Francisco Coalition of Essential Small Schools — at the Clift Hotel.

That meeting presented a great opportunity for directors to check in with each other and explore the nature of their collaboration.

In addition, Eagle Rock staff members led three of the longer workshops on Saturday afternoon, including Michael Soguero and Dan Condon co-presenting “The Ten Principles as the Lens for Implementing the Common Core.”

CES is celebrating more than 25 years of what it terms “creating and sustaining personalized, equitable, and intellectually challenging schools.” The 2013 gathering saw representatives from schools and organizations from as far away as the Netherlands and Japan — all eager to explore how the CES 10 Common Principles apply to their practice.

Each year, the fall forum presents an opportunity for educators to continue “a conversation among friends,” as CES founder Ted Sizer once said.

Richard Carranza, superintendent of San Francisco’s Unified School District, started Saturday’s sessions off by addressing the need for Continue reading…

Eagle Rock Convenes Coalition Of Essential Schools Affiliate Centers

On May 16 of this year, eight folks sat around a long conference table in a windowless room – except for the windows to the hallway – of a high school in the Bronzeville neighborhood of Chicago. The sky was clear and, if you squinted hard enough down East 35th Street, you could catch the glint of Lake Michigan lapping against the south shore of the city. Bringing their focus to students, affiliate center directors from the Coalition of Essential Schools (CES), flying in from both coasts and cities in between, convened at Chicago High School for the Arts (ChiArts), college-preparatory and training program for dance, music, theater, and the visual arts started in 2009. ChiArts is also a CES affiliate school.

CES affiliate centers provide technical assistance to schools that have embraced the Common Principles. Each CES center is an independent organization with the autonomy to create services appropriate for the schools it serves. Directors and staff from CES centers meet regularly to exchange ideas and share resources. CES centers intentionally describe themselves as affiliate centers rather than regional centers, reflecting the capacities that they have not only to focus within a region but also to provide technical support to schools and school systems elsewhere.

“I’m so glad to be rooted in a school this time. It’s such a good way to stay grounded in our practice,” said Mary Hastings at the start of the day. Coming from Maine, Mary is a Senior Associate with the Great Schools Partnership in New England and has done extensive coaching with schools in Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts.

Timothy Sermak, part of the academic faculty team teaching social studies at ChiArts, sought out Dan Condon, Associate Director of Professional Development at Eagle Rock School & Professional Development Center, to discuss his interest in Continue reading…