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…

Instructors Tackle Tools for Competency-based Learning and Equity

Each year, our school’s Instructional Team selects an annual focus for improving our educational practices. Past focus areas have included student-centered coaching, classroom culture, and common assessments. This year, we are focusing on competency-based learning and equity.

Competency-based learning can go by other names in educational literature, including proficiency-based learning and mastery learning. Competency-based learning is one tool we use at Eagle Rock toward the achievement of our ultimate goal for students: equitable attainment of high standards of learning. We drew from a variety of sources to define what competency-based learning and equity mean to us and honed in on our definitions: Continue reading…

Summer Break 2018 at Eagle Rock School

It’s not necessarily a ghost town around campus today as the first week of the summer trimester break gets underway, but with three of our students graduating last Friday and our student body departing for their hometowns the following day, it’s quieter here than normal.

Adding to the lack of frenetic activity is the fact that we recently said goodbye to our 2017/2018 cohort of Public Allies Teaching Fellows, although three of them — Tommy McAree (Literature & Literacy), Felicia Walker (Residence Life) and Micah Saugen (Science) — will be returning as second-year fellows for Eagle Rock School trimesters 76 through 78.

We also bid farewell to a handful of veteran staff members, including Jon Anderson, a Human Performance & Outdoor Education Instructional Specialist and2018 Instructional Coach. John has been named instructional coach at Mapleton Expeditionary Learning School of the Arts (MESA) in Thornton, Colo.

(Jon Anderson — top & left — leading his final piece of national work for Eagle Rock ... helping launc Austin’s newest Innovation Academy. Image credit: Michael Soguero.)

(Jon Anderson — top & left — leading his final piece of national work for Eagle Rock … helping launch Austin’s newest Innovation Academy. Image credit: Michael Soguero.)

Jen Frickey headed back to Canada and will be working with Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario. Jen began her Eagle Rock career as an intern in our Human Performance Center back in 2001 and served in several capacities before becoming our Director of Curriculum in 2012. Meanwhile, we recently had the opportunity to welcome Professional Development Associate Sarah Bertucci as our new Director of Curriculum.

Other staffers departing include Continue reading…

Sarah Bertucci Named Eagle Rock’s Director of Curriculum

Editor’s Note: You might recall earlier this year that we announced Eagle Rock was actively seeking a new Director of Curriculum to replace Jen Frickey. Following months of reviewing cover letters and resumes, as well as a lengthy interview process, we arrived at a candidate who shined throughout the entire process: our own Professional Development Associate Sarah Bertucci. Sarah begins in her new role work this summer — just in time for our 75th trimester (ER 75). Below is some information on Jen and Sarah, as well as an in-depth Q&A with both of these Eagle Rock veterans.

So, let’s start with Jen:

Jen-FrickeyJen Frickey began her Eagle Rock career as an intern in our Human Performance Center (HPC) during our 25th trimester (ER 25) back in 2001. She was quickly promoted to the Instructional Staff (assigned to the HPC) and became a Lodgepole houseparent the following year, leaving in 2008 to raise two kids in Canada. She returned in 2012 as Director of Curriculum and is and is now returning to Canada to focus on spending more time with her kids.

Eagle Rock: What were your proudest accomplishments in curriculum?

Jen: When I came into the role I took over a strong instructional team based on the work of Jeff Liddle and Michael Soguero, continuing the curriculum in the direction they had taken it with the previous Individualized Learning Plans update. During my time, I worked on getting our practices more aligned, dialed, high-quality, and consistent across the entire instructional team. Continue reading…

Winter/Spring 2018 Professional Development Center Update

Winter/Spring 2018 Professional Development Center Update

Editor’s Note:  Each year, the highly skilled and energetic staff from within Eagle Rock Professional Development Center (PDC) pack up and head off to visit dozens of high schools from coast to coast. Once on the ground, they meet up with teachers and administrators in support of efforts intended to engage students in their own education.

Professional Development Eagle Rock

Our insistence on creating high-functioning centers of learning — fueled by active student engagement — is what has kept our professional development services so popular with educators nationwide for nearly 25 years.

What we offer below is a calendar listing of what we have done so far this year, and what lies in the immediate future as our PDC crew participates with schools in cities that touch all corners of our country. This schedule was compiled by Sebastian Franco, our 2017/2018 Public Allies Fellow in Professional Development.

JANUARY 2018

Crosstown-High

Jan. 8 – 11
Crosstown High School (CXH) and Future Focused Education (formerly the New Mexico Center for School Leadership) Memphis, TN — Crosstown High School (CXH is among the newest public charter schools, opening this August. Last month, Eagle Rock’s Director of Professional Development Michael Soguero, 2017/2018 Public Allies Teaching Fellow in Music Josue Quintana, and World Languages Instructional Specialist Josan Perales led a retreat for CXH. They facilitated this XQ Super School’s efforts to build curriculum in partnership with community partners. Josan and Josue followed up by conducting three local student focus groups while Michael joined with leaders from Future Focused Education to assist with the creation of new schools.

Jan. 10
Northwest Regional Education Service District (NWRESD), OR — NWRESD supports school districts northwest of Portland with the mission to provide students with the right tools and resources to prepare them for higher education and potential careers. Professional Development Associate Sarah Bertucci headed a team retreat for Continue reading…