The Professional Development Center at Eagle Rock School joins the Grad Nation Campaign

Eagle Rock School and Professional Development Center has been working tirelessly for 17 years to provide a school for high school age students who are dropping out of high school. Equally if not more importantly, we have been providing professional development services: consulting, coaching and hosting for educators from around the country who wish to work on re-engaging students in learning, keeping them in school, and supporting them through graduation.

With General Colin Powell’s March 1st announcement of the Grad Nation 10-year campaign to mobilize the country and reverse the dropout crisis, the Professional Development Center’s efforts are validated and encouraged in the work that is now receiving so much national attention. Grad Nation is an initiative of America’s Promise Alliance, the nation’s largest partnership providing support to young people.

The Professional Development Center at Eagle Rock School is especially heartened by the five promises of the Alliance: caring adults, safe places, a healthy start, effective education and opportunities to help others. All promises exemplified at Eagle Rock School, the school associated with the Professional Development Center.

For the past several years, the Professional Development Center at Eagle Rock School has been working through networks and organizations, bringing together schools in large numbers who are working with disenfranchised youth. We have mentored schools through the Coalition of Essential Schools Small School Project, engaged with the founding team of the New Mexico Building Education Congress committed to launching 23 charter schools, and provided staff development to schools in various districts including Mapleton in Thornton, Colorado and Highline in SeaTac, Washington.

Most recently, we’ve been instrumental in supporting principal training for the Big Picture Learning network. A clip of our recent summit convened in San Diego drawing together seven California schools can be seen here. Last week, we convened a half dozen Big Picture schools in Bloomfield, Connecticut to study how to further improve the innovative model developed by these schools to “give students that individual attention, while also preparing them through real-world, hands-on training and the possibility of succeeding in a career” as cited by President Obama during the March 1st announcement of the Grad Nation campaign.

For years, we have been endorsing and supporting the work that General Powell’s Grad Nation campaign is designed to address and we are pleased to find our focus amplified through this nationwide initiative. It is our intent that working through the expertise of the existing reform networks mentioned above, the application of our professional development experience and through the addition of the national spotlight of the Grad Nation campaign, every student, regardless of their background will ultimately have the opportunity realize their full potential.

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