Milestone Democratic School Highlights Our Latest PDC Work

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It’s a brand new trimester here at Eagle Rock School and Professional Development Center, and that means a brand new and very busy schedule for our Professional Development Center (PDC) staffers as they crisscross the nation, meeting with administrators and teachers at more than a dozen school districts and youth service organizations.

Today’s post covers our PDC’s engagement agenda for our 80th trimester, all with the objective of facilitating student engagement through school improvement events for organizations across the nation. The idea is to help create healthy, high-functioning learning environments.

And, in order to accomplish this aim, we have the hardworking staff from our Professional Development Center, including PDC Director Sarah Bertucci, Associate Director Dan Condon, and Professional Development Associate Anastacia Galloway Reed.

A highlight of our work this trimester is Milestone Democratic School — a Fitchburg, Wisconsin, charter school that opens in August of 2020. This independent, tuition-free school serves students ages 12 through 20 by placing them at the center of the conversation about how education should be designed and supported. By empowering their students to assist in decision-making when it comes to the teaching and learning that takes place in this school, Milestone is squarely focused on creating a school  that inspires and engages students.

Milestone’s planning team will visit us here in Estes Park in March, where Dan Condon will work the group on approaches to values-based learning, proficiency/competency-based assessment, and student-directed project-based learning.

Milestone is envisioned as a school that is equitable, inclusive and welcoming to all, including those with disabilities, migrant students, English learners, and students facing poverty. Many of Milestones student will eventually serve on the school’s Design Team in order to ensure the organization’s vision of a free and open environment to anyone willing to learn.

In the meantime, while we prepare for the team at Milestone to arrive here for their March 16-18 retreat, below is an update focused on all of our current professional development engagements. If you’d like to enquire about engaging with our PDC for a project at your school or organization, please use the  PDC Contact Form on our website.


Jan. 15

Public Allies, Inc, Milwaukee, Wis.: Dan Condon continued his work with Public Allies to best understand the landscape and the unique ways that Public Allies can impact communities by expanding our reach and scaling with existing and new programming. January’s session offered a brief review of the process we went through and then reviewed our broad direction for the next 10 years with an additional extra focus on the next three years.

Jan. 17

I Have a Dream Foundation, Boulder, Colo.: Dan continued the PDC’s support of the program team at the I Have a Dream Foundation of Boulder County (IHAD). IHAD backs underserved students from kindergarten through 12th grade. Dan’s consulting with IHAD furthers its organizational development and analysis of the organizational framework.

Jan. 22 to 25

iLEAD Schools Castaic, Calif.: Dan visited iLEAD Schools, a network with an emphasis on international education, leadership, entrepreneurial development, arts, and design thinking. During his engagement with the organization, Dan —who serves on iLEAD’s Charter Network Advisory Board— attended the All Boards Retreat where he presented a session based on Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, David Maxfield, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzler book, Influencer : The Power to Change Anything.

Jan. 29 to 31

I Have a Dream Foundation (IHAD), Boulder, Colo.: Dan continued his work with this Boulder-based organization as it evaluated and innovated its program model and outcomes measurement.


Feb. 7

STEAD School (Commerce City, Colo.): Dan will host representatives from the STEAD School — a project-based learning school with a focus on career and technical education in science, technology, the environment, agriculture, and systems design. Opening in the fall of 2021, STEAD is planning its launch and visiting Eagle Rock for technical assistance.

Feb. 10 through 14

Flagstaff Unified School District, Flagstaff, Ariz.: Anastacia Galloway Reed is traveling to Arizona to support the Flagstaff Unified School District in developing a place-based experiential education program for its kindergarten through 12th-grade students.

MARCH 2020

March 3

Genesee Community Charter School (Rochester, NY).: Dan and Travis Burhart (our 2019/2020 Public Allies Fellow In Professional Development) will host the Genessee Community Charter School on our campus in Estes Park. Genessee works to erase boundaries and embraces diversity, social justice, and active citizenship in its school culture. While visiting Eagle Rock, Dan and Travis will support the group in engaging in student research to inform the creation of a new code of conduct for their school. This year they are spending investigating conflict and communication and will learn about Eagle Rock’s program model specific to restorative practices.

March 5 and 6

New Technology High School, Napa, Calif.: Dan travels to Northern California to collaborate with New Tech High’s Center for Excellence. New Tech High School focuses on providing engaging, experiential education and building technological competencies within students. While at the school, Dan will work with the Center for Excellence as it improves its study tours.

March 10 through 13

Jefferson County Educational Service Center, Steubenville, Ohio: Anastacia will work with the Jefferson County Educational Service Center in support of infusing trauma-informed practices into the county’s related arts curriculum and instructional practices.

March 16 through 18

Milestone Democratic School (Fitchburg, Wis.).: Dan will host Milestone Democratic School at Eagle Rock. While the planning team is at Eagle Rock, Dan will specifically be working with them on values-based learning, proficiency/competency-based assessment, and student-directed project-based learning.

March 16 through 18

The Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics (Oklahoma City, Ok.): Travis Burhart will host an administrator from The Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics, a residential high school for junior and senior students, and facilitate work to support the school’s student life programs.

March 23 to 25

Puget Sound Consortium for School Innovation: Dan continues work in the Greater Seattle area with Jeff Petty, director of the Puget Sound Consortium for School Innovation, including support of an area Big Picture Learning School along with future planning regarding School Foundry.


APRIL 2020

April 13

Champlain Valley Union High School, Hinesburg, Vt.: Anastacia will head to Vermont and finish her work supporting Champlain Valley Union High School’s efforts in developing a more comprehensive and cohesive approach to student wellness.

April 28

Colorado Department of Education, Denver, Colo.: Director of Professional Development, Sarah Bertucci who oversees our Licensure Program, will be present at the statewide convening of organizers, offering alternative teacher licensure.

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