When Rochester City School District announced 100% remote learning to start the 2020-2021 school year, it sparked ample concern in our community, and for countless families. While 70% of district families polled indicated they would not send their child to in-person school, thousands of other families depended on school buildings opening, and all were without a place to send their children for learning during the day. Some of the challenges families face to creating a successful learn-from-home environment include working parents’ job schedules, WiFi connectivity and technology, access to school-provided meals, and balancing the needs of multiple children in the home. Our EnCompass families and several school partners made it clear that their children would need support for school-provided remote learning during the day. In response, EnCompass Learning Hub was formed!
Beginning September 21, 2020, EnCompass Learning Hub began offering five full days per week of in-person programming, which includes academic assistance from certified teachers and coaches, two daily meals, social skill-building, classroom supplies, personal protective equipment (PPE), and an optional afterschool program. On its first day, the program had thirty students enrolled in the Learning Hub. With new applications coming in daily, we anticipate being able accommodating ninety elementary and high school students while still maintaining CDC-guided COVID-19 precautions.
Students receive full-day, in-person support from EnCompass’ expert teachers, curriculum specialists, and administrators, as well as enrichment coaches and Navigators. Their days are infused with learning, academic support, hands-on learning and projects, outdoor recreation, personalized incentives, and even sensory tools like a “weight room.”
EnCompass Learning Hub is provided at no cost to participating families and, consistent with our holistic approach, the Hub is addressing food stability, IEP support, school communication and advocacy, and childcare, all while ensuring that children are learning in a safe and healthy environment. Our families call the Hub a tremendous resource for supporting their remote learner during the school day.
“The EnCompass Learning Hub is important because it provides a sense of joy, stability, and connectedness for students and families alike during a time when so many aspects of our lives are in turmoil, shares EnCompass Director Cara Fitzgerald. “We’re proud to be providing much needed resources to families at no cost to ensure the best possible outcomes for our city’s students.”
Current students participating in the EnCompass Learning Hub hail from Enrico Fermi School 17, John James Audubon School 33, Andrew J. Townson School 39, East High School, Discovery Charter School and Exploration Elementary Charter School for Science and Technology. This resources designed to uphold instruction provided by each child’s teacher and school, and complement each student’s individual schedule with opportunities throughout the day for recreation, academic support, and more.