Encanto Elementary School Makes Diversity Education Primary
Encanto Elementary School is a High Rising School in Downtown Phoenix, with a focus on early childhood education. Encanto serves its students in a unique way. This exemplary primary school educates children in grades Preschool through Third and provides an environment in which students can feel safe, learn, and grow academically, socially, and emotionally.
Home of the Roadrunners, Encanto strives to meet each student’s highest potential. The confident, hard-working Third graders head next door to the sister school, Clarendon, where they attend grades Fourth through Sixth.
Encanto is made up of a community of learners who value, respect, and celebrate the differences and the diversity of those from all around. A school culture that promotes diversity in the classroom teaches students something that is more important: how to live and work in a society where every individual is unique.
In this increasingly fragmented society, the ability to connect with peers, coworkers, and neighbors with diverse backgrounds and abilities is invaluable. Supporting diversity in the classroom improves critical-thinking skills, builds empathy, and encourages students to think differently.
The Scientific American reports, students who are taught in a diverse setting tend to think harder about a topic or subject while being more open to individuals with different backgrounds that bring new information.
As an example, each morning at Encanto Elementary, a priority in every classroom is to teach social-emotional learning. The dedicated teachers start the day with morning circles, which foster emotional intelligence, improve well-being, and create a culture of kindness.
Simply interacting with individuals who are different forces school groups to prepare better, to anticipate alternative viewpoints, and expect that reaching consensus will take effort.
Dual Language Instruction
In addition to learning the effects of diversity in day-to-day education at Encanto Elementary, students are taught a second language in the dual language program they offer. This dual-language immersion program teaches students literacy and content in both English and Spanish.
With roughly 57 million Spanish speakers that live in the United States, these cross-cultural competencies prepare students for academic achievement in the future workforce.
Encanto’s Dual Language program has been in existence for 25 years and students are taught all content areas in Spanish. Its rigor and legacy of excellence produce students that are bi-literate by the end of third grade.
Their dual language program has increased cognitive dexterity and problem-solving skills among students. These skills help children embrace cultural awareness and diversity while strengthening self-perception and identity that shapes young brains for a lifetime.
2016 A+ School of Excellence Award
The A+ School of Excellence award honors public schools that have demonstrated outstanding successes in their learning institution. The Arizona Educational Foundation has proudly celebrated excellence in Arizona public schools for over 35 years.
Encanto was awarded the highly prestigious A+ designation in 2016 for a high-quality teaching and learning environment. Over the past 3.5 years, eligibility requirements have been met and the school has retained its A+ status.
Encanto has been celebrated and recognized as outstanding and is equipped to apply for this label again in 2020. This commitment to excellence is lead by Principal, Felipe Carranza.
“My passion for ensuring that all children experience success every day in every classroom is shaped by my 17 years in education,” said Carranza.
This attitude enables Encanto to meet the challenges of academic excellence in a positive, fun, and nurturing environment.
Notable accomplishments by Encanto Elementary faculty include:
- Esperanza Award Recipients
- Alexis Aguirre 2nd-grade dual, currently a master teacher – 2017
- Michelle Doherty, 1st-grade dual – 2015
- Luis Valencia 3rd-grade dual – 2012
- Osborn Teacher of the Year
- Luis Valencia, 3rd-grade dual – 2019
- Jill Shian, Special Education Teacher – 2019
- Maria Garcia, 3rd-grade dual – 2018
- Sean Conway, 1st-grade – 2016
- Michelle Doherty, 1st-grade dual – 2016
- AZ Teacher of the Year
- Michelle Doherty, 1st-grade dual – 2017
High Rising Schools of Phoenix is a community of institutions that make up some of the most well-rounded schools in the heart of Phoenix. Each school offers a rich environment to provide the same advantages to students as given elsewhere in the nation.