Fall 2019 Explore Week Focuses on Unique Student Experiences

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With the first five weeks of this, our 79th trimester (ER 79), under their belts, Eagle Rock School students are now in the midst of Explore Week — an opportunity to pivot from regular classes and explore personally chosen interests in structured courses taught, led, and facilitated by instructors with deep knowledge and expertise in their chosen fields.

As with prior Explore Weeks, our instructors hail from all over Colorado and across the country, and include current staff and fellows, members of the local community, and other notables from the Eagle Rock family — including Eagle Rock School graduates who now have careers of their own.

Here’s a rundown of what’s on the schedule for this week’s courses, both on and off campus:

Producing and Audio Engineering: This course is taught on campus in our recording studios by Bradlie Jones, a University of Colorado-Denver graduate who majored in Music & Recording Arts and minored in Music Business. Known as Jelie, this artist has been writing and performing songs — as well as MC’ing — for close to 15 years. In addition to learning how to build beats, students in this course are focused on  Continue reading…

Eagle Rock Documentary ‘All Who Dare’ Now Streaming on Prime Video

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The award-winning documentary film “All Who Dare,” which records the 24-day wilderness orientation experience for nine incoming Eagle Rock School students, is now available for streaming on Amazon’s Prime Video platform.

Three of the students featured in the documentary have since graduated from Eagle Rock School, including Spencer Lanier, Mohammad “Moe” Thabata, and Morgan Pierce. Each trimester — practically before they unpack their bags — we send our new students to a remote wilderness area where they spend two dozen days orientating to Eagle Rock’s values, understanding their role in self-management, and learning the skills necessary to live, learn, and cordially thrive within a community of peers.

While on the trail within the pristine Lost Creek Wilderness area of Colorado, the students featured in “All Who Dare” — along with our  Continue reading…

PDC Helps Create Competency-based Learning Playbooks

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Eagle Rock’s Professional Development Center (PDC) has embarked on a project that includes facilitating a competency-based education and training initiative with an iLEAD-affiliated high school that supports pregnant and parenting teens in and around Lancaster, Calif.

PDC staff members, including Associate Director of Professional Development Dan Condon, have been instrumental in facilitating a number of initiatives for Empower Generations, including the ongoing creation of a Competency-Based Education Playbook.

Competency-based learning (CBL), which is an approach to teaching and learning of measurable skills rather than abstract learning, is at the core of Empower Generations’ offerings for students pursuing a high school diploma while navigating through new experiences as a result of pregnancy and parenthood. Guided by CBL, students enrolled at the Southern California school focus on what is taught and not on the amount of time spent completing credits. Instead of marinating in a seat for four years, students learning in this particular CBL setting work at their own pace to demonstrate mastery in the competencies necessary for receiving their high school diploma.

In other words, the focus of competency-based learning is on the final outcome and not the journey. This is a huge benefit for independent and adult learners who may be working towards a degree around other schedules.

Specifically, the competency-based learning approach features five core elements:  Continue reading…

Fall 2019 Update from the Eagle Rock Professional Development Center

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As we do several times throughout the year, today’s post covers what’s occurring within our Professional Development Center — Eagle Rock’s conduit to working with schools, school districts, and youth service organizations to create healthy, high-functioning learning environments with the aim of improving student engagement across the United States.

As always, the Professional Development Center (PDC) staff — including PDC Director Sarah Bertucci, Associate Director Dan Condon, and Professional Development Associate Anastacia Galloway Reed — are hosting educators here on campus, as well as traveling to schools and events nationally to facilitate school improvement through workshops and training events. They’re also focusing on our own school — Eagle Rock School — to improve its current practices. This trimester, for example, the team of PDC staffers is helping the school evolve its Presentations of Learning as a mechanism to allow students to learn about and contribute to Eagle Rock’s focus on having a national impact. (If you’re unfamiliar with POLs, please read Understanding Eagle Rock’s Presentations of Learning — then, check back here early next year for an update on how our POLs are evolving.)

In the meantime, 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 connect with us using the PDC Contact Form on our website.  Continue reading…

Eagle Rock’s 79th Trimester Begins with Some Unique Class Offerings

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A quick look at a few of the classes available in this, our 79th trimester, shows that Eagle Rock School and Professional Development Center continues to stand at the forefront of an approach to education that uniquely encourages students to become actively engaged in their own education.

No cookie-cutter classes here. It’s all about leading our students into a future that they can help develop — free of nonsensical edicts, outmoded education models, and unimaginative curriculum. Here on our mountainside campus in Estes Park, Colo., we put the emphasis on classes that will actually turn out to be helpful and useful once our students step out into the real world.

That being said, feel free to check out the list of class names and descriptions below for the first half of ER 79 (the 79th trimester since our founding in the early-1990s). A second list will appear here a few weeks before Thanksgiving: Continue reading…