Eagle Rock School & Professional Development Center (ERS) is an independent, full- scholarship, residential high school. We serve students who are seeking an experiential, project-based, interdisciplinary approach to learning and are working to engage more fully in their high school experience.
ERS is an anti-racist, social justice institution. We are actively working to upend the historical and structural oppression that has played a significant role in the lives of our students. We spend specific time, energy, and resources on grappling with issues of diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice. All ERS students are committed to transforming their lives and pursue a path of responsibility for their personal growth, education, and future. CEEB - 060551
Eagle Rock is accredited by the Association of Colorado Independent Schools (ACIS) under the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), and the Association of Experiential Education (AEE).
Honors, AP, IB, GPA, & Class Rank
Eagle Rock does not offer Honors, AP, or IB courses. All courses are competency-based. Students must demonstrate mastery at a high standard to earn credit and therefore do not earn grades in their coursework. A GPA is not calculated and Eagle Rock does not rank its students.
The Path to Graduation
Students can enter ERS starting at age 15, and typically have some previous high school experience. Students must complete a minimum of 6 POLs before graduation. Many complete between 9-12 trimesters.
The completion of the Individualized Learning Plan (ILP) is the pathway to graduation at ERS. This includes the demonstration of competency in our 5 expectations, completion of a minimum of 24 distribution credits, and completion of a series of required experiences. Additional information about the ILP and graduation requirements can be found in our course catalog (available upon request).
Eagle Rock students pursue a range of opportunities after graduation, including matriculation to the following colleges, universities, and programs:
Antioch College, Berklee College of Music, Cal State Univ-San Francisco, Clark Atlanta University, Colorado College, Colorado State Univ, Columbia College Chicago, Contra Costa CC, Culinary Institute of America, Eckerd College, Eugene Lang College, Evergreen State College, Hampshire College, Hollins Univ, Hood College, Humboldt State Univ, Mills College, Morehouse College, Naropa Univ, National Outdoor Leadership School, the National Park Service, Northern Colorado Univ, Outward Bound, Pikes Peak CC, Prescott College, San Francisco State Univ, Sarah Lawrence College, Savannah College of Art & Design, Simmons College, SUNY-Stony Brook, Univ of Colorado, Univ of Denver, Univ of Vermont, Warren Wilson College, Wellesley College, Wesleyan College.
Eagle Rock at a Glance
Location: Rural - Estes Park, CO
Total student body: 72
2022-23 enrollment: 42 (COVID adjusted)
Calendar: Year-around trimesters
Average class size: 8
States represented: 15+ and Puerto Rico
Curriculum: Competency-Based, Interdisciplinary
Signature Learning Experiences
Wilderness - Each new student at ERS begins their experience with a 24 day wilderness trip. This is a critical rite of passage in the ERS community, establishing trust, collaboration, and self-reliance. Students earn academic and personal growth credit for wilderness, and the themes of the experience are interwoven throughout the rest of their ERS career.
Interdisciplinary Courses - Each course at ERS blends multiple disciplines in its approach to teaching and learning. Students are often asked to create art in their language courses, or use empirical research in their literature courses. Thus, each course is a unique blend of disciplinary approaches and learnings.
Presentations of Learning (POLs) - At the end of every trimester, students stand before their peers, staff, and external panelists to speak about their learning. They highlight critical growth moments encountered in their courses, community, and efforts to be a leader. A student must complete a minimum of 6 POLs before graduation. POLs act as a celebration and a significant indicator of learning.
Campus Leadership - Providing and exercising leadership on campus is a hallmark of the ERS experience. Students act as ambassadors to external educators, lead kitchen working teams, act as leaders in their residential houses, and much more. ERS believes that leadership is not simply a status, but a practice that young people must actively hone. Thus, we provide ample opportunity to do so.
Personal Growth - The core ERS curriculum is built around the idea that students must grow academically and personally to be the most authentic version of themselves. We place an emphasis on the growth of each individual student’s person as well as their academic self. Beginning with Wilderness, the student is on a path to uncover who they are, what they care about, and what they are capable of.
Our Unique Student Body
Students come to ERS from all over the country. All students are actively engaged in our admissions process and choose to attend ERS, thus making a full commitment to uphold our values and pursue learning that supports their goals and growth. The community is comprised of 50+% students of color, 50% male, 46% female, 4% non-binary identifying students, representing a range of background experiences, home lives, and income levels.
Students do not earn grades in their courses at ERS. Instead, we capture learning in Learning Experience Records (LERs). These narrative evaluations of student progress and growth provide a robust snapshot of learning, including content learned, skills attained, and personal growth. LERs are available upon request.
Curriculum & Core Values
ERS is a values driven community guided by the principles of 8 themes + 5 expectations = 10 commitments. Students pursue learning in line with these values and the curriculum is designed around the five expectations:
Developing an Expanding Knowledge Base
Creating and Making Healthy Life Choices
Participating as an Engaged Global Citizen
Providing Leadership for Justice
ERS students graduate with a competency- based diploma through academic courses, personal growth experiences, service, community engagement, and campus leadership. All Students must complete a minimum of 24 academic credits to graduate.
Courses are interdisciplinary, experiential, and learner-centered. Students are not divided into grade levels. All classes are open to all students. Students are able to choose the order in which they meet requirements.
Each student is required to pursue Power Standards attached to each expectation. Power Standards share a common set of competencies and assessments, and demonstrate a substantial academic commitment toward the expectation.