Highlighting 4 More Classes Offered in the Second Half of ER-82

This week, we’d like to give you a glimpse at some of the class offerings available to students during this, the second half of the 82nd trimester. You might notice references in these class descriptions below that talk about Individual Learning Plans (ILP), Power Standards, Distribution Requirements, and Required Experiences.

If you’re new to Eagle Rock, we feel compelled to fill you in on these terms and what exactly is required from each member of our student body before graduation. First off, a student’s Individual Learning Plan (ILP) is just that — individual and personal. It is made up of three sections, including Power Standards, Distribution Requirements, and Required Experiences.

When we talk about Power Standards, these are proficiency requirements in each of our Five Expectations — Healthy Life Choices, Effective Communication, Engaged Global Citizen, Leadership for Justice, and Expanding Knowledge Base. These standardized graduation “musts” can be attained via successfully completing a select class offering, or independent study projects.

For Distribution Requirements, students must meet proficiency standards for at least 24 credits. Those include two credits for each of the Five Expectations, with the remaining 14 earned in other classes. Work performed outside the classroom can garner another two credits. All Eagle Rock classes offer distribution credits, so students have the opportunity to participate in many such experiences.

For more details about Power Standards, please consider reading The Role of Power Standards in this Trimester’s Class Offerings. And for Distribution Requirements, check out Distribution Requirements Play a Big Role in This Trimester’s Latest Class Offerings.

Here then are the four classes we’d like to tell you about: Continue reading…

Eagle Rock Community Puts a “Stamp” on Social Justice

This week, we wrap up our synopses of a number of classes currently underway at Eagle Rock School with It’s Lit! Circles — a gathering of students and community members in what’s known as a Literature Circle for the purpose of discussing literature in depth.

(Source: Schlick Noe, K.L. & Johnson, N.J. (1999). Getting Started with Literature Circles. Norwood, MA: Christopher-Gordon Publishers, Inc.)

Literature circles such as ours provide a way for students to engage in critical thinking and reflection as they read, discuss, and respond to works of literature. In this case, the Eagle Rock community has dedicated this trimester to reading the book STAMPED, Racism, Antiracism, and You, which was written by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi.

STAMPED is a “remix” of Kendi’s 2016 National Book Award Winner, Stamped From The Beginning. And as the author explains, it’s not a history book. Rather, it is a “book about the here and now. A book to help us better understand why we are where we are. A book about race.”

That falls in step with one of Eagle Rock’s founding principles, which calls for a commitment to Continue reading…

Eagle Rock Students Explore a Half-century of U.S. Social Movements

This week, we highlight the fourth post in a series that is shining a spotlight on some of the classes here at Eagle Rock School. Today, I’m pleased to tell you about Then and Now: A History of Social Movements, which is a class I am co-teaching with Societies & Cultures instructional specialist, Cedric Josey.

I feel very fortunate to be co-leading this class, where we are exploring how Black lives have mattered to the judicial system and the American public at large. And we are doing this by exploring social movements for justice spanning more than 50 years. In the United States, this question is popularly and painfully analyzed via the image of dead and brutalized bodies in print or on a screen, and eulogized in hashtags in our social media feeds.

(from L to R) Emmet Till, Trayvon Martin, and Ahmaud Arbery

Whether by a private individual or a law enforcement officer, the cases and victims memorialized throughout the ages generally share similar features:

  1. A shocking act of dehumanization.
  2. Outrage boils to the surface as demands for justice.
  3. A nation is conflicted and brought to violence.
  4. Repair is rare.

Often, the state and the law shields the perpetrator from accountability; this was vividly evident in the blatant disregard for the loss of human life demonstrated by the Attorney General of Kentucky in the case of Breonna Taylor — a recent tragedy in a long history of names, known and unknown.

In some way, everyone reading this experienced the largest social movement in our nation’s history — the one that erupted earlier this year when at least 29 million people protested after the world witnessed the Continue reading…

Our 82nd Trimester Offers Life-Changing Classes for Students

As we began our 82nd trimester here at Eagle Rock School & Professional Development Center, we again found our student body proactively participating  — albeit online and at home for now — in a half-dozen classes that are likely to have real-life impacts on our committed and engaged students.

Nearly all of this trimester’s class offerings are explored with an informed lens on what’s occurring across the United States at the present moment. From the Black Likes Matter movement and the upcoming Presidential election, to the health pandemic, students are exploring and learning about the important issues behind peace, social justice, nonviolence, the current and future state of the nation, and one’s own health and wellbeing.

As you’ll read below, this time around, students are looking at nonviolent protests through the works of Nobel Peace winners, as well as the determination of athletes who have opted out of participating in their current season, instead dedicating their efforts to activism.

Finally, below, we introduce three personal growth experiences in which all students are participating. These cover stress, resilience, and staying connected during these most unprecedented and changing times.

Over the next five weeks or so here on the blog, we plan to shine an additional spotlight on five of the classes mentioned below. In the meantime, here’s a short synopsis of what our students are studying and experiencing this trimester at Eagle Rock School:

Voting MATHers: Granted, it’s a clever name for a math class, but Eagle Rock Math Instructional Specialist Stephany Subdiaz is showing students how mathematics plays an important part in our nation’s complex voting system. Stephany’s students are exploring the math behind the ballot box. How are the ballots counted? Why does it matter? How do statistics and demographics affect the outcomes? There’s plenty of math in Voting MATHers.

You Are What You Eat: In this class, students are taking a close look at how Continue reading…

Eagle Rock Welcomes 7 Public Allies Fellows to Our Community for 2020/2021

Joining us remotely at Eagle Rock School & Professional Development Center this trimester is a new cohort of Public Allies fellows, each with eyes set on their own personal growth and professional development while learning about and directly supporting alternative approaches to engaging students in their own education.

This cohort is the 18th since Public Allies first came to Eagle Rock in 2002 and will be the first to ever start their fellowship from their homes instead of our campus in Estes Park, Colo. That’s because of the health pandemic and because on campus learning remains paused and remote for the time being.

Each of these five new and two returning Public Allies Fellows are either beginning or continuing a year-long commitment of service within our residential and community-based experiential education program between now and next August.

Funded largely by AmeriCorps, Public Allies is centered around the notion that everyone has the ability to lead, and anyone can be an inspiration to others. Each of our new and returning fellows has already demonstrated a passion for progressive education and social justice, and each has participated in our Fellow Core Training program held Aug. 28 to Sept. 11.

The focus of that training was to support the fellows in preparing to serve students at Eagle Rock by building relationships with the community and getting to know the Eagle Rock way, even as that way forward evolves during the health pandemic. They will now become integrated into the staff team and co-teach or co-counsel with our full-time staff online.

But more about that later. Below, we present a brief overview and some interesting facts about each of these young leaders: Continue reading…