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Education

EnCompass Academy Creating Lesson Plans for Student Success

State Superintendent of Schools Tom Torlakson was in Oakland Tuesday touring two elementary campuses.
 
One of the sites he visited was the EnCompass Academy, a school primarily serving low-income children in East Oakland.  As state funding decreases schools like EnCompass are looking for creative ways to meet community needs. And the need among students and families at EnCompass is sometimes desperate.
 
First-grade teacher Marva McInnis recalls an episode with one student, “who raised her hand and said, ‘Ms. McInnis, we’ve run out of money for food, so we have stopped eating at home.’ And my heart was broken.”
 
McInnis took the family to a food bank that day.
 
Now, EnCompass is an example of a “full-service community school” that partners with churches, health-care providers and non-profits to provide counseling, dental care and healthy food.
 
State Superintendent Torlakson was impressed.
 
“So much of what I learned today," he said, "I’m going to take a ‘say, let’s replicate it, and let’s have a how-to manual’ for other districts to follow the example of Oakland.”
 
Torlakson also says that the full service community school model could help Oakland close its achievement gap and raise graduation rates.
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