News from the Break at The Rock

Like all of the 78 trimester breaks that preceded this one, the one that starts this week at Eagle Rock School will end the same way — with students returning to campus for another trimester of engaging classes and experiences (this time around, on the 16th of September). What distinguishes this current break from all others is what we’ve got planned between now and then.

Below is a rundown of what’s happening during our summer break from classes, along with information on how to reach us from now until all staff members return to campus the second week of September:

Student graduation: Since the spring of 1995, each of our trimester breaks has been foreshadowed by an on-campus ceremony honoring the journey of Eagle Rock School students who are set to graduate. This trimester — the 78th since our founding in the early-1990s — a record 10 students took to the stage at our Human Performance Center, where each donned cap and gown to address family, friends, and the Eagle Rock community before leaving campus as high school graduates. Watch a replay of the August 9, 2019 graduation ceremony here.

Public Allies fellowship graduation: Our students weren’t the only learners honored with an on-campus graduation ceremony last Friday. Our 2018/2019 cohort of Public Allies Fellows, which included Continue reading…

Eagle Rock Debuts New on-campus Low-energy Faculty Triplex

A ribbon cutting ceremony and open house were held late last month here at Eagle Rock School and Professional Development Center, marking the completion of a much anticipated 3,700-square-foot triplex on campus that will house three staff members and provide a common room for select campus gatherings.

In addition to providing living quarters for three Eagle Rock staffers — all of whom will now be highly integrated into our residential life program — the triplex affords additional support for house parents, which means enhanced opportunities for student growth and success.

The floor plan includes two, one-bedroom apartments — each measuring about 750 square feet — a 1,500-square-foot two-bedroom apartment, and a shared common area similar to the commons found in all six of our student houses. The common area is designed for residential life activities such as support groups, movie nights, enrichment and club activities, as well as other recreational opportunities.

Our new triplex is unique in that it Continue reading…

Community offers Eagle Rock’s Free Store the Coat Off its Back

Estes Park community members have always been big supporters of Eagle Rock School and Professional Development Center, and an excellent example of that local love came near the end of last year. That’s when a group of community members began making regular donations toward what would become our organization’s Free Store.

Located in our on-campus Lodge, the Free Store became fully functional at the end of 2018, and today displays unused garments, school supplies, toiletries, and other day-to-day items that can be used by our students and others in the Eagle Rock community.

Instead of driving these items to thrift stores in town, community members save up a few bags of clothing and other items, then deliver them to our mountainside campus to be displayed in the Free Store. And don’t think for a moment these hundreds of items are just strewn around an upstairs open space. In order to make Free Store items appealing for students and staff, volunteers separate them in order to determine which are appropriate to display, which can be offered to thrift stores, and which are most suitable for recycling. This process includes a detailed inspection. For example, with the apparel we receive, volunteers inspect each item to assess cleanliness and even wearability and durability for our sometimes harsh-weather environment here in Estes Park.

The Free Store is arranged categorically, with racks full of options for Continue reading…

Not Everyone Catches a ‘Break’ During Eagle Rock School’s Trimester Break

Once again, we find ourselves between educational sessions as our 77th trimester draws to a close and ER-78 stands in line for its debut next month. It is during this trimester break that our instructors take a break from the classroom, and students enjoy a well-deserved vacation from independent studies, nontraditional classes, leadership responsibilities, and duties as stewards of the Eagle Rock community and our natural environments.

Last Friday, we celebrated the graduation of four students during a ceremony held here on out mountainside campus. Those grads include Alethea Auguste, Mohammad Thabata, Yxcelline Serafin, and Maria Suaste Perez. An End of Trimester Community Meeting took place the following day, with the trimester’s final staff meeting taking place yesterday.

For the most part, this period is technically a respite from school. However, several of our Professional Development Center (PDC) staff remain at work supporting our efforts to reengage youth from around the nation in their own education. That occurs through the work of the PDC as well as various administrative functions taking place on campus.

On Monday, Dan Condon, our Associate Director of Professional Development, was hard at work with the Boulder County, Colo., office of Continue reading…

The PACT Process: Building a School Community Where Everyone Thrives

The Eagle Rock community has always prided itself on a tradition of coming together to create positive change. We believe that a thriving educational community is the direct result of skills, structures, and trusting relationships that are constructed through effective change processes.

As a result, school leadership, staff, and students are gathering together for a school-wide afternoon class during the second five weeks of our current trimester (ER 77) to explore an Enduring Understanding that affects us all. (For those unfamiliar with the language, an enduring understanding is a statement summarizing important ideas and core processes that are central to a discipline and have lasting value beyond the classroom.) The end result is to collectively bring our entire community together to learn and grow. The belief is that everyone involved will leave the process with a deeper understanding of each other, the skills to make positive change in communities, and specific structures that will make Eagle Rock a stronger community.

We are calling this afternoon course, “Participatory Action Community Time,” or PACT, which focuses specifically on five main areas: Continue reading…