Four More Classes Round Out our 79th Trimester

What makes a school’s curriculum unique? Here at Eagle Rock, it’s the totality of student experiences that occur within the content of our educational process.

Robert-Frost-Teaching-Quote

Predicated on the belief that every student has the ability to become fully engaged in their own education, our curriculum focuses on competencies that we refer to as our 5 Expectations:

  1. Learning to communicate effectively: The primary purpose of an Eagle Rock class is to help students understand how to get a message across. That’s why poetry, art, and music often figure prominently into our class offerings.
  2. Expanding one’s knowledge base: Helping students understand and providing them with the tools to learn how to learn, as well as how to apply that learning to other situations, is also part of the Eagle Rock experience. As a result, many of our classes include elements of problem solving.
  3. Becoming an engaged citizen: At Eagle Rock, we’re intentional about helping our students learn something that naturally enables them to interact better with various people and cultures. Sometimes that’s accomplished by learning a second language or taking a class that focuses on worker’s rights.
  4. Acquiring leadership skills in order to achieve justice: Helping students understand what it takes to make a place — our school for example, or the local community in which we are based — more fair and equitable, is another aspect of our educational process.
  5. Creating healthy life choices: Finally, helping students understand that the decisions they make can increase or decrease positive outcomes regarding health of self, society, others, or the environment, is another unique aspect of our curriculum.

With our 5 Expectations in mind, we’re able to conceptualize and offer classes worthy of the student engagement we believe every student is capable of achieving. We also require that all Eagle Rock School students have Individual Learning Plans (ILPs) that guide them on their journey here. And each of those ILPs include distribution requirements. (For more information on distribution requirements, please see Distribution Requirements Play a Big Role in This Trimester’s Latest Class Offerings.)

This trimester, which is our 79th since our founding in the early 1990s, we’re offering five 10-week classes that we’ve previously blogged about and are still occurring (Research, Neuroscience, Jewelry Around the World, Facing History, and Facilitating Educational Change, along with the four new classes highlighted below: Continue reading…

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

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…

The Role of Power Standards in this Trimester’s Class Offerings

It’s the beginning of our 77th trimester here at Eagle Rock School and Professional Development Center and our students are already well entrenched in furthering their education with meaningful classes — many promoting strong leadership and good citizenry in the world they will soon inherit. A rundown of those classes is offered below, but first, we’d like to give you some insight into how we plan for and assess educational progress here at Eagle Rock School.

(image courtesy of Josán Perales)

At Eagle Rock, we’ve long maintained an “Individual Learning Plan” for our students, as well as “Power Standards” that assess student progress within this plan. All of this is organized around what we call our “5 Expectations,” which include:

  1. Creating Healthy Life Choices
  2. Effective Communication
  3. Leadership for Justice
  4. Engaged Global Citizen
  5. Expanding Knowledge Base

The Individual Learning Plan (ILP for short) is a means of assessing each student’s progress in completing their graduation requirements. The plan is divvied up among three sections, which include: Continue reading…

Eagle Rock’s 2015/2016 Public Allies Fellows ‘Take Flight’ at Summer’s End

Our 2015/2016 Public Allies fellows depart our mountainside campus at the end of this week after spending a year teaching, learning and being an enormous part of the Eagle Rock family.

This latest cohort of fellows joins an impressive 150 Public Allies Fellows who have completed the program here at Eagle Rock. In fact, our program is among the most successful in the nation, scoring in the high 90th percentile. You can learn about this group at their arrival on campus last September by reading 2015/2016 Public Allies Fellows Arrive On Campus.

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Meanwhile, here’s what our “graduating” fellows have planned for their immediate future:

Ally Bolger, Science Teaching Fellow: After Eagle Rock, Ally is moving to Colorado Springs where she will be teaching high school biology and chemistry at CIVA Charter High School. She is excited for the opportunity to apply all she has learned about alternative education, engaging teaching strategies, and building supportive relationships with students. In her free time, Ally is also excited to spend more time outside and explore her new surroundings. And since she’s very familiar with the 2.5-hour drive back to Eagle Rock, we’re looking forward to many return visits.

Aranda Salazar, Residential Life Fellow: Aranda will be sticking around Colorado after her year with us, pursuing whatever her heart desires. During her time at Eagle Rock she was better able to see that she values working directly with people, being a part of a team, and feeling valued as an employee. She hopes to find these qualities in future work places. And in her continued pursuit for happiness, she plans to spend more time with Continue reading…

Follow the Yellow Brick Road to Eagle Rock’s Take on ‘The Wiz’

Eagle Rock School students and faculty members are busy rehearsing for a series of performances of the Tony Award-winning 1975 musical, “The Wiz,” which are scheduled in Estes Park at month’s end.

The Wiz Eagle Rock SchoolOur production of “The Wiz” (March 31-April 2, 2016) is an urban retelling of L. Frank Baum’s 1900 tale, “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz,” using Motown, Funk and Soul music to rework the story into the context of modern African-American culture. A film adaption of the show was released in 1978, starring Diana Ross and Michael Jackson.

Eleven talented Eagle Rock students and four staff members will perform in our staged version, backed by a live four-piece professional pit band. Meghan Tokunaga-Scanlon, Eagle Rock School’s Music Instructional Specialist, directs the show, with co-direction by World Languages Instructional Specialist Brighid Scanlon and musical direction by 2015/2016 Public Allies Teaching Fellow Michael Grant.

Performances will be staged beginning at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 31 as well as Friday and Saturday, April 1 and 2 at the Hempel Auditorium within the YMCA of the Rockies in Estes Park. Admission at the door is “pay what you like” and all proceeds benefit the Eagle Rock Graduate Higher Education Fund.

But we digress. The story of Dorothy and her road trip to Oz has become known worldwide for its themes of home, belonging, belief in oneself and freedom. “The Wiz,” with its original premiere in 1975 with an all-black cast and African-American styles, boldly showed that this classic story belongs to everyone, with audiences of all races flocking to watch productions of “The Wiz” over the past four decades. In addition to be culturally empowering, it is a “joy machine,” gorgeously designed, with quick humor and irresistible melodies.

Preparations for our production began last fall with a Continue reading…