Eagle Rock School and Professional Development Center
Estes Park, Colorado

Alex Kotlowitz writes in his 1999 New York Times Sunday Magazine piece about Eagle Rock School and Professional Development Center (ER), “We school people are really gifted and talented at finding reasons why the good things happening at another school can’t possibly happen at my school,” said Roland S. Barth, the founder of the Principal’s Center at the Graduate School of Education at Harvard and a visitor to ERS.

“There’s a lot of conversation now about character, about values, about teaching respect. It’s often rhetorical. I don’t think many schools are as intentional at developing community and really being clear about what the values are of that community as is ERS. It would be only fair to point out that its components – smallness, teaching values, experiential learning, service requirements, presentations of learning are not new. Rather it is the chassis that ERS has welded with each of these parts that presents such a startling new design.”

Eagle Rock, an initiative of the American Honda Education Corporation, a nonprofit subsidiary of the American Honda Motor Company, is both a school for high school age students who have dropped out of school elsewhere and a professional development center for adults, particularly educators. The school is a year-round, residential, and full-scholarship school that enrolls young people ages 15-17 from around the United States in an innovative learning program with national recognition. The Professional Development Center works with educators from around the country who wish to study how to re-engage, retain and graduate students. The center provides consulting services at school sites and host educators who study and learn from Eagle Rock practices. ERS’s success hinges on character development as a means to improve academic performance.

Signature Practices

Lesson Plan: Developing Student Leaders
Students will create S.M.A.R.T goals and reflect on the process of meeting or working towards their leadership goals.
Sample Practice: Creating a Tone of Decency and Trust

Promising Practice: New Student Orientation
The Eagle Rock School's wilderness program places students in unique situations that provide for valuable learning experiences.


The strength of our house culture lies in how we strive to live our stated values - unity and family. We use these values to help students to create relationships, work through conflict, and find common ground with each other as well as with adults. We hold the fundamental belief that every student who walks through our door will graduate.
- Beth Ellis, Instructional Specialist & House Parent

ER has been one of the most life-changing places I have been. It has opened many opportunities and broadened my horizons. I am thankful every minute I am at Eagle Rock . . . because I appreciate the staff and student relationships I have come to develop personally.
- Thu, student

When [staff say], "I love you and will hold you accountable," they mean it. This idea is the foundation of the school and the reason for its success.
- Rayne Engle, parent

Contact Information

Eagle Rock School & Professional Development Center
2750 Notaiah Road, Estes Park, CO 80517
Phone: 960-586-0600
Email: info@eaglerockschool.org
Website: http://www.eaglerockschool.org/