PDC Helps Create Competency-based Learning Playbooks

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

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…

News from the Break at The Rock

Like all of the 78 trimester breaks that preceded this one, the one that starts this week at Eagle Rock School will end the same way — with students returning to campus for another trimester of engaging classes and experiences (this time around, on the 16th of September). What distinguishes this current break from all others is what we’ve got planned between now and then.

Below is a rundown of what’s happening during our summer break from classes, along with information on how to reach us from now until all staff members return to campus the second week of September:

Student graduation: Since the spring of 1995, each of our trimester breaks has been foreshadowed by an on-campus ceremony honoring the journey of Eagle Rock School students who are set to graduate. This trimester — the 78th since our founding in the early-1990s — a record 10 students took to the stage at our Human Performance Center, where each donned cap and gown to address family, friends, and the Eagle Rock community before leaving campus as high school graduates. Watch a replay of the August 9, 2019 graduation ceremony here.

Public Allies fellowship graduation: Our students weren’t the only learners honored with an on-campus graduation ceremony last Friday. Our 2018/2019 cohort of Public Allies Fellows, which included Continue reading…

Professional Development from Eagle Rock Continues its Blistering Pace

Our staff returned last week from our most recent trimester break, and most Eagle Rock School students are back this week as we kick off what is arguably the best part of the year — summer trimester.

Classes for returning Eagle Rock School students begin on Monday, May 20, while our new incoming class of students is set to arrive on campus on Tuesday, May 21. The following Monday the new students head off for our school’s traditional three-week Wilderness Orientation program that is a requirement for all new Eagle Rock School students.

Not only are we enjoying the bright sunshine and longer days in Colorado, but we are also initiating the school’s 78th trimester — also known as ER 78. And while administrators, staff, instructors and students take on the work of reengaging in education here in Estes Park, our Professional Development Center (PDC) facilitating school improvement workshops throughout the country as well as hosting educators here on campus in Estes Park. In this post, we bring you the latest update on the working engagements of the PDC.

As you can see below, we have listed the schedule of professional development deliveries that we are hosting, participating in, or offering from now until the middle of August. Continue reading…

Not Everyone Catches a ‘Break’ During Eagle Rock School’s Trimester Break

Once again, we find ourselves between educational sessions as our 77th trimester draws to a close and ER-78 stands in line for its debut next month. It is during this trimester break that our instructors take a break from the classroom, and students enjoy a well-deserved vacation from independent studies, nontraditional classes, leadership responsibilities, and duties as stewards of the Eagle Rock community and our natural environments.

Last Friday, we celebrated the graduation of four students during a ceremony held here on out mountainside campus. Those grads include Alethea Auguste, Mohammad Thabata, Yxcelline Serafin, and Maria Suaste Perez. An End of Trimester Community Meeting took place the following day, with the trimester’s final staff meeting taking place yesterday.

For the most part, this period is technically a respite from school. However, several of our Professional Development Center (PDC) staff remain at work supporting our efforts to reengage youth from around the nation in their own education. That occurs through the work of the PDC as well as various administrative functions taking place on campus.

On Monday, Dan Condon, our Associate Director of Professional Development, was hard at work with the Boulder County, Colo., office of Continue reading…