‘EnCompass Learning Hub’ provides free space, support, supplies for RCSD students learning online

Back to School: Facts First

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Dozens of Rochester City School District students are getting in-person learning support in a small teaching and learning pod while their classes are online, through a program called “EnCompass Learning Hub.”

The five day a week programming is all in-person. In addition to educational support from certified teachers — who also offer social-emotional support — EnCompass provides two meals, classroom supplies, and even PPE.

All at no cost.

Currently, most of the students at the Learning Hub are from Schools 17, 33, and 39, but EnCompass is working on expanding the program. All of the families who signed up were first-come, first serve.

The Learning Hub is strictly socially distanced, their classroom is spread out, and blocked off by big groups to keep the kids separate.

But to hear third grader Melinda Smith from School No. 17 say it, coming to learn at the Learning Hub seems just about normal.

“OK so when I come here, I eat my breakfast, I get my computer out, then I get my headphones out of my basket, open up my computer, and get on zoom,” she said. “We do math, social studies, ELA, math, and we talk about the environment, we talk about Hispanic Heritage Month.

While she is at the learning hub, she brings her Chromebook, sits at her desk with a custom decorated cardboard shield, and attends a Zoom class.

“We share screens when our teacher is talking to us, online learning is fun,” she said.

The teachers there take each of the school’s curricula, and intricately plot out each student’s different schedule, and work with students on their individual needs. As Smith says:

“When I need help, I just raise my hand.”

The kids still have social time, too.

“We get to talk to each other,” she said. “We have to stay six feet apart, but when we’re going outside, we can just touch the finger when we’re playing tag… But it’s just not like we’re used to.”

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