A little more than a month ago, we offered a behind-the-scenes look at a number of class being offered during the first half of our 77th trimester (of Eagle Rock School). In addition to highlighting new five- and 10-week classes, we preceded that listing with a description of the role Power Standards play in Individual Learning Plans (ILPs) here at Eagle Rock.
To review, a student’s ILP is comprised of three sections: Power Standards, Distribution Requirements, and Required Experiences. And this time around, as we rundown the latest classes to be offered (during the second half of this trimester), we’re going to go into the details surrounding the role Distribution Requirements play in our curriculum and how students acquire credits as a means of assessing progress in order to complete their graduation requirements.
Here’s how Distribution Requirements fit into the scheme of things when it comes to Individual Learning Plans:
- In order to complete the Distribution Requirement section of the ILP, students must meet proficiency standards for a minimum of 24 credits.
- Among those credits, students have to obtain two credits in each of our Five Expectations, before fulfilling requirements for the remaining 14 credits in other classes.
- Independent outside-the-classroom work can earn another pair of credits.
- Happily, all Eagle Rock classes offer distribution credits, which means students have the flexibility to dive in and participate in experiences from among those above-mentioned Five Expectations (Healthy Life Choices, Effective Communication, Engaged Global Citizen, Leadership for Justice, and Expanding Knowledge Base).
Below is a description of the next batch of five-week classes that just got underway. Among these offerings is the continuation of a 10-week class called Research 2: Rise of the Machines. In addition, the first class outlined below is one all Eagle Rock students are participating in:
Participatory Action Community Time (PACT): As we noted in our February 20 blog post, The PACT Process: Building a School Community Where Everyone Thrives, Participatory Action Community Time occurs for all Eagle Rock students during the afternoon time block from now through the last day of classes (April 9). PACT sees all of us at Eagle Rock working together as a community to brainstorm and make an implementation plan to improve Eagle Rock and bring it closer to the ideal that it can be. Through community activities, small working groups, and the use of action research to select changes, we aim to meet Eagle Rock’s mission of all students being engaged in their education and being able to use their minds well and embody their best selves. This offering, which challenges everyone intellectually and personally, satisfies a Leadership for JusticeDistribution Requirement.
Leadership Through Art: Not just another pretty face, art is a tool — and sometimes a weapon — that can be an influencer for change. From Roman frescos to modern presidential campaigns, art has been used to inform and persuade. This morning class focuses on developing leadership skills and exploring art history. Students in this class are designing an Eagle Rock School-specific campaign and using art to persuade the campaign’s intended audience. As developing leaders in the Eagle Rock community, students will also be practicing mediation techniques, and developing skills grounded in Restorative Justice. And like PACT, this class satisfies a Leadership for Justice Distribution Requirement.
How Many Cookies? If we have limited time and ingredients to make different types of cookies to sell, how can we make the right amount to maximize profits? This class gives students the opportunity to explore some of the fundamental aspects of algebra and how they can be applied to real-world considerations. Through learning functions, inequalities, graphing and systems of equations, students are seeing firsthand how algebra can capture certain relationships in a way that allows us to resolve complex situations with a few simple math moves. This class satisfies an Expanding Knowledge Base Distribution Requirement.
Human Sexuality In this class, students are exploring sex and sexual health from many different perspectives. But this isn’t your typical sex-ed class. We’re looking closely at sexuality though different media — newspaper, magazine, websites, documentaries, film, fiction and non-fiction — and along the way, students are improving their reading, writing, and thinking skills. By focusing efforts on using stories and experiences from people around the world to better understand sexuality and healthy relationships, this class — which satisfies a Creating Healthy Life Choices Distribution Requirement — examines issues around sexual orientation, gender identity, healthy relationships, consent, and much more.
Environmental Justice: In this class, students are exploring topics of environmental injustice, including the notion that some communities or human groups are disproportionately subjected to higher levels of environmental risk than others. As our need for environmental sustainability solutions grows, so does our need for environmental justice. In this class, we are encouraging our students to seek answers to questions such as:
- What is environmental racism?
- How is climate change disproportionately affecting communities of color and poor communities?
- How can I join the fight for justice in my community?
As you may have imagined (considering the subject and focus of this class), successfully participating in and completing the Environmental Justice class satisfies a Leadership for Justice Distribution Requirement.
Comments, questions, thoughts about the current lineup of classes? Let us know by leaving a comment below.