Eagle Rock’s PDC Checking Off Items on its “To-do” List

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Once again, a quick look at our “to do” list here at Eagle Rock’s Professional Development Center (PDC) shows we’re running in all directions to get things done. And by get things done, we mean working hand-in-hand with educators who seek us out for our expertise and thoughts in retaining, reinvigorating and re-engaging the students in their particular areas of the country.

In February, we hosted researchers from the University of Michigan to study our approach to personalized learning. Researcher Jeremy Golubcow-Teglasi heard of us through his study of the Big Picture design and connected to our work.

Later that month, on Feb. 25 and 26, Opportunity Nation heard from our very own Dan Condon (Associate Director of Professional Development) at a conference in Washington, D.C. (read: Eagle Rock Participates in National Opportunity Summit).

During that same week, Innovations High School in Reno, Nev., invited Sarah Bertucci from Eagle Rock and Eunice Mitchell from Big Picture Learning to collaborate on supporting staff as they shift into Year Two of their Big Picture journey. They have a well-established student culture in Year One and we are working to help them sharpen their focus on instructional practices going into Year Two.

In mid-March, we hosted representatives from Holy Heart of Mary High School (St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada) and New Village Girls Academy (a Big Picture School) from Los Angeles. New Village was working on integrating outdoor education more seamlessly into their school, while Holy Heart was working toward more fully engaging their disengaged young people.

Later that month, we began a search for a new Public Allies Director to replace Mark Palmer, and that search resulted in the hiring of Christi Kramer from Family League of Baltimore.

Dan Condon was at MetWest High School on March 26 and 27 and we have been providing ongoing support for them around their strategic plan and making data-based decisions as they work toward achieving their goals.

At the end of March and into April we conducted observations of competency-based systems for the Iowa State Department of Education. We also visited a pair of school districts in Collins-Maxwell and Van Meter near Des Moines. This is all part of a larger project where our team is developing a cohort of trained student observers and interviewers to look at schools through the eyes of students. Our professional development center fellow, Kelsey Baun, has contributed significantly to the design and delivery of the student trainings and will soon accompany students to Iowa. Her efforts are part of her contribution as a Public Allies fellow to build Eagle Rock’s capacity to better use students to extend our national reach.

Also in early April, representatives from Innovations High School in Reno, Nev., and Big Picture Learning came to Eagle Rock for a leadership retreat focused on sharpening focus for the year ahead.

The second week of April saw Kelsey Baun travel with Eagle Rock students to conduct focus group interviews of students at four schools: Health Leadership High School, ACE Leadership High School, South Valley Academy and Amy Biehl High School (all in Albuquerque, N.M.). The intent here is to assist our partners at New Mexico Center for School Leadership to better understand personalized learning.

Below are some of the activities scheduled from now through the next several months. If you would like to know more about our work or how your school or organization can work with our Professional Development Center, please contact our associate director of professional development, Dan Condon, by emailing DCondon at EagleRockSchool dot org.

April 20 — 24, and May 27

Eagle Rock’s professional development associate, Anastacia Galloway, is leading our work in Bronx, N.Y., at Fannie Lou Hamer Freedom High School (FLHFHS). There, Anastacia is following up on two previous FLHFHS visits focused on deploying Fred Newmann’s Authentic Intellectual Framework. This time around Anastacia is observing classes and conducting interviews of staff engaging in a peer-coaching model launched by Eagle Rock. We will return May 27 to provide a final session reflecting on peer coaching using the framework. Eagle Rock’s director of professional development, Michael Soguero, will join Anastacia in New York, and will additionally be meeting with Bronx Compass to help that organization prepare for an upcoming Mid-Atlantic Critical Friends Group gathering (Eagle Rock School World Languages Instructional Specialist, Brighid Scanlon, will be traveling to New York City to assist with this Critical Friends Group gathering).

April 24

Anastacia Galloway will fly from New York City to Steubenville, Ohio, to conduct an exploratory of work with Jefferson County schools.

April 27 — 29

Eagle Rock Professional Development Center associate Sarah Bertucci, Eagle Rock professional development associate, will be in Rochester, N.Y, to support progressive education developments in Western New York. Among her projects, she will work with Lafayette Big Picture, discussing a possible collaboration there.

May 5 — 6

Michael Soguero, along with Anastacia Galloway, Dan Condon, and Eagle Rock School Language & Literacy instructional specialist Dan Hoffman, will be in Albuquerque to facilitate a reconvening of the schools involved in the New Metrics initiative taking shape in New Mexico. As part of this visit, on May 6 we will meet with community partners working on a new charter school that’s focused on entrepreneurship.

May 6— 8

After a group of Rowland fellows had a successful visit at our mountainside campus in January, Dan Condon and Sarah Bertucci will be headed out to Burlington, Vt., to work with all of this year’s fellows at their home schools.

May 14 — 15

Sarah Bertucci returns to Innovations High School in Reno, Nev., for a follow-up visit. She is contributing to the design and facilitation of a student work fair with the assistance of two Eagle Rock School students.

May 19 — 21

Eagle Rock director of professional development Michael Soguero, along with professional development associate Sarah Bertucci, will be in Seattle, Wash., to facilitate a convening of Big Picture Learning’s regional directors for network support and innovation.

May 27 — 28

Dan Condon will be leading a training of Public Allies’ site consultants in Milwaukee, WI. Site consultants take the lead support role for the 23 Public Allies sites across the country, including Public Allies Eagle Rock.

June 10 – 12

Sarah Bertucci and Michael Soguero will be attending Solution Tree’s sold out Professional Learning Communities at Work™ Institute in Las Vegas, Nev. Michael and Sarah are attending as part of the team being sent by the Estes Park School District. The PDC has been meeting with this local school district’s superintendent (Sheldon Rosenkrance) to see how we can support their school improvement efforts.

June 12 – 15

Michael Soguero will be working with Javier Guzman, Big Picture Regional Director for California, to help develop a California-based Critical Friends Group that mirrors the success of the Mid-Atlantic convenings.

June 15 — 19

Eagle Rock Professional Associate Sarah Bertucci returns to Winooski, Vt., for a weeklong training with the Winooski School District focused on developing a robust system related to graduation expectations.

July 21 – 24

Dan Condon will be returning to Albuquerque to support Technology Leadership High School and their staff who are meeting with local leaders in the tech community.

July 27 – 31

Dan Condon will be returning to Seattle, Wash., to work with Jeff Petty and the Puget Sound Consortium for School Innovation. In particular, Dan will be working on a focused support of the Danforth Educational Leadership Program.

August 3 – 7

Christi Kramer, Eagle Rock’s new Public Allies Site Director, and Dan Condon, will be attending Public Allies National Leadership Institute in Milwaukee, Wis.

Aug 4 – 7

Sarah Bertucci and Michael Soguero supporting the convening of the 14th annual Big Bang in New Orleans. Big Bang is Big Picture Learning’s signature summer conference. Registration is now open for this event and we hope our colleagues in the Eagle Rock family would consider attending.

Once again, if you would like to know more about the work of Eagle Rock’s Professional Development Center or how your school or organization can work with us, please contact our associate director of professional development, Dan Condon, by emailing DCondon at EagleRockSchool dot org.

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About the Author: Michael Soguero is the director of professional development at Eagle Rock School and Professional Development Center in Estes Park, Colo. There, he is primarily responsible for developing strategy that positively affects public education throughout the United States.

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