Winter/Spring 2018 Professional Development Center Update

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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.



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 NWRESD’s Professional Learning Team that focused on reflection and action steps to meet the organization’s objective of facilitating professional development that can lead to deep, culturally-sustaining learning for all students.

Jan. 18

I Have a Dream Foundation of Boulder (IHAD), Boulder, CO — IHAD of Boulder’s mission is to actively assist high school students graduate and pursue a college education. Most students in this program have an opportunity to receive a four-year scholarship to a college or a vocational school. Associate Director of Professional Development Dan Condon and 2017/2018 Professional Development Center Public Allies Fellow Sebastian Franco met with IHAD leadership and program directors to facilitate increasing program director capacity through monthly Leadership & Culture staff gatherings. This is a long-term project with Dan and Sebastian returning to IHAD on Feb. 15 and April 13 to continue support of the team.

Jan. 19

International Leadership Entrepreneurial Development Arts Design (iLEAD), Santa Clarita, CA — iLEAD is the parent organization of nine charter schools that focuses on developing self-directed student learners, leaders, artists, multilingual speakers, entrepreneurs, and compassionate world citizens. Dan Condon worked with the iLEAD team on issues and opportunities associated with proficiency-based graduation for two of the California-based organization’s independent study programs: Empower Generations and Innovation Studios.

Jan. 23
Winooski Middle/High School, Winooski, VT — Sarah Bertucci facilitated a retreat for the leadership team at Winooski Middle/High School as it continues its work in the area of becoming a student-centered, proficiency based school. Sarah will continue this work on April 4.

Jan. 24 – 26
Pioneer Lab, San Francisco, CA — The Pioneer Lab Community exists to demonstrate learner-centered education can successfully address the most pressing education challenges facing our country. Eagle Rock was invited to a commissioned inquiry to identify tools and resources that identify learner-centered education. The inquiry was attended by Dan Condon, Science Instructional Specialist Sara Benge, Music Instructional Specialist Meghan Tokunaga-Scanlon, and Human Performance Instructional Specialist and Instructional Coach Jon Anderson.

Jan. 25 – 26
Vermont Adult Learning (VAL), Burlington, VT — VAL is part of Vermont’s Adult Education and Literacy System. Through partnership agreements with all of Vermont’s high schools, it offers basic skills instruction, high school completion, transition to college and career services, and English instruction for English Language Learners. Sarah Bertucci led a two-day retreat for VAL that focused on creating proficiency-based graduation requirements and an implementation plan. She will be heading back on April 5 and 6 to continue this work.

Jan. 29

New Tech Center for Excellence, Napa, CA —  The New Tech High Center for Excellence offers extended trainings for schools and educators related to Project Based Learning. Dan Condon was on hand to work with the Center on its business model and joined an exploration of an issue of practice through Improvement Science.

Jan. 29 – 31
Austin Independent School District (AISD), Austin, TX — Michael Soguero and Outdoor Education Instructional Specialist Jon Anderson returned to Austin to continue supporting Eastside Memorial High School as it prepares to launch its Innovation Academy this September. The pair then worked with Crockett High School as its students pitched their startup ideas as a part of Eagle Rock’s continued support for spreading entrepreneurial education throughout Central Texas.


Jan, 31 – Feb. 2
Alpine Institute, Flagstaff, AZ — The Alpine Institute is a magnet program within the Flagstaff Unified School District that has existed at the elementary and middle school levels and — as of the 2017 – 2018 school year — has been implemented at the high school level. This program is intended to provide an academically focused place-based service-learning educational opportunity for all students. Professional Development Associate, Anastacia Galloway Reed continues to support the work completed by a group known as The Watershed Collective Team as it searches for ways to improve the Alpine Institute.

Feb. 1 – 2

Future Focused Education Future Focused Education, Albuquerque, NM — Future Focused Education is a not for profit organization that invests only the best ideas in underserved students and communities for a healthier and more prosperous future. One of the organization’s primary objectives is to create a network of schools responsive to the most underserved communities, and to identify and work alongside industry partners focused on improving the health of local communities. Michael Soguero and Human Performance Center Instructional Specialist Anna Magle-Haberek assisted the STEM-New Mexico Network study of performance assessments. Building on previous success with the New Metrics project, this new phase is exploring opportunities provided by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Dan Condon and Anastacia Galloway Reed will revisit the site later this month to lead a workshop on improvement cohorts.

Feb. 6 – 7
Rochester City School District (RCSD), Rochester, NY — Sarah Bertucci and Sebastian Franco — along with Eagle Rock School students Carolina Avalos and Anaya Monet — flew to upstate New York to work with ROC Restorative — RCSD’s Restorative Practices initiative. ROC Restorative supports schools that engage in the restorative practices of community building and healthy conflict resolution. The team facilitated asset inventories of two RCSD schools in order to identify bright spots upon which they can continue to build restorative practices in those schools.

Feb. 7 – 9
High Tech High Graduate School of Education (HTH GSE), San Diego, CA —For the past three years, the Center for Research on Equity and Innovation (CREI) at the High Tech High Graduate School of Education (HTH GSE) has brought together a diverse group of 13 high schools (district, alternative, charter) to tackle the persistent problem of improving college access for all. And for a third year in a row, Michael Soguero co-facilitated the work of the group at the College Access Breakthrough Collaborative.

Feb. 19 – 20
Toronto High School, Toronto, OH — Toronto High School, which is part of the Toronto City Schools, is among the newest facilities in the area providing various enrichment opportunities for students. These programs include Destination Imagination, science fairs, a debate team, and many others. The school also offers more than 30 semester hours of college credit to prepare students for post-secondary education. Anastacia Galloway Reed will be re-visiting this school Feb. 19 & 20 to continue working on the implementation of the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) framework.

Feb. 19 – 21

Innovations High School Reno
Innovations High School, Reno, NV — Innovations High School is a Big Picture Learning School focused on educating students with the three pillars of relationships, relevance, and rigor. Both real-world learning and strong community are infused throughout students’ experience. Sarah Bertucci will host school leaders at Eagle Rock Feb. 19-21 to continue work on restorative practices, including pro-active community building and the implementation of Restorative Justice Circles to effectively resolve conflict.

Feb. 21 – 22
Future Focused Education, Albuquerque, NM —Anastacia Galloway Reed and Dan Condon will be back in Albuquerque to continue support of PDSA (Plan, Do, Study, Act) cycles through Improvement Science processes related to the school network’s evening engagement programs and math programs. (For those unfamiliar with it, the PDSA method is a way to test a change that is implemented.)

Feb 23
Future Focused Education (FFE), Albuquerque, NM —   Michael Soguero will be in Albuquerque working with FFE to bring community partners together with the Leadership Schools Network to develop a paid internship program.

Feb 26
Crosstown High School (CXH) and Future Focused Education, Memphis, TN — Michael Soguero continues the work both with the Leadership Schools expansion and preparing for Project-Based Learning orientation for Crosstown High.

MARCH 2018

March 1 – 2

Fannie Lou Hamer Freedom High School (FLHFHS), Bronx, NY —  FLHFHS focuses on the development of minds through academic research and college and career readiness. in its engagement with Eagle Rock, the school seeks to ensure the best possible future as it works with high-risk youth. Anastacia Galloway Reed is again visiting the school to continue supporting its professional development focus of peer observations and student interventions.

March 6 – 8
Jefferson County Education Service Center (JC ESC), Steubenville, OH — The JCESC provides services and leadership to local school districts and counties to improve the quality of education provided to students. Anastacia Galloway Reed continues to work with the JCESC’s Related Arts staff as they dive deep into differentiation through the natural project-based learning that occurs in the related arts.

March 8 – 9

McCormick Foundation, Chicago, IL — The McCormick Foundation is dedicated to providing the underserved youth of Illinois the chance to succeed academically by focusing on the first eight years in the life a child. Dan Condon is returning to Chicago for the second time to support the organization by meeting with the democratic-based schools network (i.e., schools where there’s shared decision-making among staff and students, equality exists among staff and students, and there’s a learner-centered approach where students have a voice in their daily activities).

March 16
The New Teacher Project (TNTP) Satellite Milwaukee, WI — TNTP is focused on ending the injustice of educational inequality by providing excellent teachers to the students who need them most, and by also researching and advancing policies and practices that ensure effective teaching in every classroom. Dan Condon will be in Milwaukee on March 16 to meet with TNTP’s Executive Vice President of Public Affairs, David McKinney, to discuss the opportunities associated with Improvement Science.

APRIL 2018

April 19
Belleville Township High School (BTHS) District 201- West, Belleville, IL — Dan Condon will be facilitating a daylong Instructional Rounds Process with BTHS in partnership with the McCormick Foundation’s Democracy Schools Program, which fosters the civic development of the next generation of individuals, communities and institutions in Illinois. Instruction Rounds, for those unfamiliar with the term, affords educators and administrators with an opportunity to look closely at what is happening in their schools’ classrooms and to work together systematically to try to provide high-quality teaching and learning for all their children.

April 23 – 26

Big Picture Learning (BPL), Winnipeg, Canada — BPL was founded for the sole purpose of putting students at the center of their own education. Annually, Eagle Rock has crafted and delivered a two-day STP (Senior Thesis Project) Conference now termed Project Con for Big Picture’s unique approach to senior capstone projects and learner-centered projects that are built upon passion, internships and service. This year’s conference will be held at Seven Oaks in Winnipeg.

April 24
Rochester City School District, Rochester, NY —   Sarah Bertucci will continue work with ROC Restorative, the Rochester City School District’s Restorative Practices initiative. This event focuses on community visioning with a number of school district staff, along with many community partner organizations and individuals. This group was instrumental in revising RCSD’s Code of Conduct to be more restorative, and they will be visioning their next focus, after having achieved that goal. (Community Visioning refers to a planning tool that enables stakeholders to have a voice in the decision-making process in their community.)

MAY 2018

May 3 – 4

Rowland Foundation, Stowe, VT — The Rowland Foundation is a program that aims to improve the quality of education of schools from Vermont through leadership and commitment to change by both staff and students. It offers a fellowship program to improve the quality of secondary teachers by providing training, research, and grants to find new ways of supporting and improving the education students receive. Sarah Bertucci is continuing her support of the Rowland’s Fellows by facilitating a New Fellow Project Planning retreat for 2018 cohort.

Editor’s Note: If you are interested in the work we do at Eagle Rock, or want to know how your school or organization can connect with the team of talented facilitators in our Professional Development Center, please contact our associate director of professional development, Dan Condon, by emailing DCondon at EagleRockSchool dot org.

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