Dansville Middle School will be initiating a new program this fall geared to help at-risk students reach their life’s potential.


The program, titled En-Co, will be in cooperation with Rochester-based EnCompass Resources for Learning.


EnCompass was initiated several years ago as a sister agency to The Norman Howard School (an independent day school in Henrietta for students with learning disabilities).


The Dansville Central School District is the first site in Livingston County to partner with EnCompass.

Dansville Middle School will be initiating a new program this fall geared to help at-risk students reach their life’s potential.


The program, titled En-Co, will be in cooperation with Rochester-based EnCompass Resources for Learning.


EnCompass was initiated several years ago as a sister agency to The Norman Howard School (an independent day school in Henrietta for students with learning disabilities).


The Dansville Central School District is the first site in Livingston County to partner with EnCompass.


Although EnCompass is designed to serve ages 5 to 21, Dansville will be fostering the program to 7 through 9th graders, hoping to reach about 60 students.


The district will be working with a core group of students who will help gather ideas for some of the program’s adventure and inquiry-based activities.


Middle School Principal Amy Schiavi said that the incorporation of students into the planning of the program may help gain them greater success.


The program will run as a pilot, whereby the school will track whether or not the program is making a difference in students’ lives over a two year period.


The inquiry-based learning component will allow the students to investigate a topic, requiring them to become engaged in their learning with hands-on experiences such as field trips to help the students develop answers and solutions to the topic.


In the meantime, inquiry-based learning helps students develop learning skills such as math and reading comprehension.


The strength-based component may include a rope course, obstacle course, kayaking and other activities that students might not be traditionally exposed to.


This is designed to help students develop trustbuilding and teamworking skills as well as help students who engage in risky behavior find a more positive way to channel their desire for stimulation.


John Lee, EnCompass program director, said the goal of EnCompass is to not only help students succeed in school, but also help them prepare for a successful future.


To help do this, EnCo will also engage students in job shadowing experiences.


In the mean time, EnCo will be looking for a program director and support staff, which will likely come from within the school district. Staff for the program will be paid by EnCompass.


Schiavi expressed her appreciation for the private donations that are also making this possible.


She said that in her 15 years of experience, she has “never observed such a wonderful opportunity in public education,” and that she is “very, very thankful for this opportunity.”


EnCo will be administered at no cost to students, so long as a student meets three out of 12 factors for at-risk criteria.


The after-school program will run two hours a day, three days a week in the high school. The adventure-based components will take place off campus.


Contact Jeff Miller at 585-335-2271 or jeffmiller@dansvilleonline.com.