Rob Underwood, Indian Lake High School Assistant Principal, recently visited Eagle Rock in Estes Park, Colo., a year-round residential high school for at-risk students ages 15-17.
The school utilizes trimesters for its 96 full scholarship students. Eagle Rock opened in 1993 and works to keep teens in school and on track to graduate through a variety of unconventional measures aimed at promoting community, integrity and citizenship among its students.
“We’re trying to reach our at-risk students,” said Mr. Underwood, “and Eagle Rock is on the cutting edge when it comes to new educational technology.”
Mr. Underwood says he hopes to implement some of those new methodologies in the Indian Lake curriculum.
“I’m especially interested in exploring the possibilities of restorative justice, a disciplinary approach that allows students to repay the harm they’ve done to others through their corrosive behavior,” he said. “There’s also an interesting student-led approach to education where the teacher will give the students a prompt and they are then responsible for discussing the topic in groups.”
During his three-day visit to Eagle Rock in September, Mr. Underwood attended the professional development center for educators.
“I was most impressed with the ability of the school to bring together a diverse group of troubled adolescents and help them live in harmony with one another and with the environment,” he said. “Eagle Rock is helping potential dropouts grow personally and academically and is giving them a chance to be productive members of society.”
Eagle Rock is an initiative of American Honda Education Corp., a non-profit subsidiary of the American Honda Motor Company. American Honda, located in California, contacted Honda of America branches in Marysville and Alabama and offered to send one Honda representative and one educator from each region.
Tom Rippey of Honda attended the professional development seminar with Mr. Underwood.