If what Newton says is true, a body at motion will remain in motion unless it is halted, and so far this year, nothing has slowed down our Professional Development Center (PDC). Our PDC staff has been working nonstop since late summer, and there are still plenty of engagements to facilitate, guide and complete before year’s ends.
Since late summer, we’ve been working side by side with educators from throughout the country who borrow our expertise and experience in a continuing effort to retain, reinvigorate and re-engage young people in school districts spreading from Washington, D.C. to Washington State.
In late August and the first week of September, PDC staffer Anastacia Galloway and world languages instructional specialist Brighid Scanlon visited Fannie Lou Hamer Freedom High School in Bronx, N.Y., to launch peer observation cycles focused on Fred Newmann’s Authentic Intellectual Work framework. Teachers were asked to focus specifically on substantive conversation in the classroom.
Also in early September, PDC associate director Dan Condon visited Tech Leadership High School in Albuquerque, N.M., a project-based school that develops leaders in the technology field. These young students explore the technology, startup and business professions by engaging in collaborative work within in a small, supportive, school environment.
At the same time, Sarah spent three days at Innovations High School in Reno, Nev., focusing on learning that is relevant, interesting and vigorous. Sarah performed an assets observation of this “engaged learning” concept that she will use as examples at a work fair this winter.
Mid-September found our director of professional development, Michael Soguero, in Santa Fe, N.M., for youth summit meetings sponsored by the city of Santa Fe. Eagle Rock is a cosponsor of the 2015 Youth Summit, training local young people beforehand in the planning of this youth-oriented event. The summit is run on behalf of Santa Fe’s Children and Youth Commission and the youth recommendations gathered by Michael will be a source of a position paper drafted by the Santa Fe mayor’s office.
While in New Mexico, Michael attended a New Metrics Initiative planning session, led by the New Mexico Center for School Leadership, our own PDC and the McCune Charitable Foundation. He then returned to our campus in Estes Park, Colo., to lead a class of students and instructors in asset observation training. This training involved our staff and students from the Eagle Rock course “What Is Education For?” to observe classrooms throughout the entire local school district in Estes Park.
The PDC wrapped up the month of September at John Muir High School in Pasadena, Calif., where Anastacia Galloway continued the Restorative Practice work that began in July and conducted asset-based observations.
Below is a synopsis of our activities in October and what’s planned for the final two months of the year:
Oct.1-2: Dan Condon and PDC associate Sarah Bertucci led professional learning communities training at the Rowland Foundation in Burlington, Vt., supporting its 2015 Rowland Fellows and their steering committees to implement innovative school proposals.
Sept. 30-Oct. 2: Michael Soguero hosted a team performance workshop at the Center for Leadership and Educational Equity (CLEE) in Providence, R.I. The mission of CLEE is to provide leaders with professional learning and support to create equitable outcomes for students in its schools.
Oct. 5-7: Sarah Bertucci hosted coaches for Big Picture Learning schools for a three-day retreat here at Eagle Rock that focused on applying the principles of coaching in various contexts — including observing Eagle Rock classrooms. The retreat focused on training new coaches and deepening the connections and practices of experienced coaches.
Oct 7: Brighid Scanlon, literacy and literature instructional specialist Dan Hoffman and Eagle Rock student Emelia Eller built upon the mid-September training in Santa Fe and continued to coach youth to facilitate the 2015 Santa Fe Youth Summit.
Oct. 7-9: The PDC hosted a district-wide CFG at the Jefferson County Education Service Center in Steubenville, Ohio. Using a text-based protocol from School Reform Initiative, Anastacia Galloway led school leaders from 35 schools in collaborative group learning about Project Based Learning.
Oct. 12-14: Dan Condon was back in Albuquerque, N.M., to provide continued leadership support for Tech Leadership High School’s principal and three pillar directors, as well as facilitate a meeting with local business leaders to identify skills, attributes and knowledge of employees of the future.
Oct. 19-20: Michael Soguero visited High Tech High in San Diego, serving as team leader for cohort of Big Picture schools in Southern California investigating ways to increase college, career and civic readiness, using the Networked Improvement Communities methodology.
Oct. 22-23: Brighid Scanlon and 2015/2016 Professional Development Center Public Allies Fellow Mia Stroutsos worked on wrapping up final trainings for youth and adult co-facilitators for the Santa Fe Youth Summit.
Oct. 27: Following up on preparations earlier in the year in Santa Fe, N.M., Michael Soguero, Brighid Scanlon, Mia Stroutsos and Eagle Rock student Emelia Eller will facilitate a youth summit meeting sponsored by the city of Santa Fe. Jeff Liddle, Eagle Rock Head of School, and Santa Fe Mayor Javier Gonzales will provide opening remarks.
Nov. 3: Anastacia Galloway will visit New York City to continue work with Fannie Lou Hamer Leadership High School and their focus on substantive conversation in the classrooms.
Nov. 4-7: Eagle Rock will present several sessions at the Coalition of Essential Schools (CES) Fall Forum in Portland, Me., with Sarah Bertucci, Michael Soguero, Dan Condon and Dan Hoffman in attendance. These included “How to Make Change Stick: The Secret Sauce of Implementation,” YouTH-Ink: Connecting Conversations Between Youth Using the Language of Poetry,” and “WHO Should Help Create Schools that Serve all Students? STUDENTS!”
Nov. 9: Dan Condon and Anastacia Galloway will conduct an exploratory visit to The Etude Group in Sheboygan, Wis., which is working to empower students through a culture that extends from social engagement to voice in learning.
Nov. 10: Dan Condon and Anastacia Galloway will visit the Critical Friends Group in Milwaukee, Wis., that Public Allies’ national program team supports, enabling them to work on their own professional development, while providing practical tools for supporting the nationwide network of National Service Professionals.
Nov. 11-12: Sarah Bertucci plans to bring together a group of practitioners from Rochester City School District (N.Y.), Partnership for Change, Innovations High School, Bronx Compass and others who are performing restorative practices at their particular institutions. This event, called The Eagle Rock Symposium, will focus on values, programming and evaluation and collaborative learning through dilemmas, successes and experiments underway at various schools.
Nov. 15-17: Michael Soguero will attend the Alternative Accountability Policy Forum in San Diego in order to better support a New Metrics Initiatives project in Albuquerque, N.M.
Nov 18: Michael Soguero, Eagle Rock School art instructional specialist Cindy Elkins and Mia Stroutsos will facilitate a youth panel and a follow up breakout session at the Opportunity Santa Fe Community Summit for Collective Impact. This breakout session — Opportunity Youth: Preventing and re-engaging disconnected youth in Santa Fe — will feature case study on developing collaborative solutions.
Nov. 18-20: We will host staff and leaders from the New Mexico Center for School Leadership and Center for Powerful Public Schools at a networking session in Los Angeles. The idea behind this gathering is to foster synergy associated with these two organizations working together.
Dec. 3-4: Sarah Bertucci will travel to the Rochester City School District in Rochester, N.Y., to work with the district’s leadership team for Restorative Practices. After that, she will facilitate a Networked Improvement Communities (NIC) among Big Picture Schools in Western New York and Vermont as a part of NIC Training. The schools will identify goals and steps needed to meet those goals, then come back together on a regular basis to share success and challenges.
Dec. 9-11: Eagle Rock will support the 2015-16 Big Picture Leadership Conference in Denver, Colo., which is highlighted by the theme, “Practically Speaking: A Call to Action.” “Turning insights into action,” is one of the hallmarks of our PDC’s theory of action.
Dec. 11-15: Eagle Rock is serving on the planning committee for School Reform Initiative’s Winter Meeting 2016, which takes place in January 2016 in Miami, Fla. This gathering in December is to prepare for that winter meeting, which will be attended by a group of Eagle Rock staff — just as it has been every year since 2007.
Dec 17: Following Anastacia Galloway’s work with Jefferson County Education Service Center in Steubenville, Ohio, Toronto High School (Oh.) has requested additional follow up to develop a culture around lesson study and peer observations.