"The entire school is dedicated to uplifting the children in every way possible."
-EnCompass Academy Family Member, from anonymous survey


Designed by East Oakland parents and public school educators, EnCompass Academy opened in fall 2004. Originally located in portable classrooms on the overcrowded campus of Webster Academy, in 2005 our school moved to our brand-new campus located on 81st Avenue. With rolling lawns and pathways lined with native plants, beautiful play structures, garden beds, an outdoor amphitheatre, a state-of-the-art multipurpose room, and the largest branch of the Oakland Public library opening in 2011, our campus is truly an oasis for children to learn and develop.

As a Title I school with Provision 2 status (100% of students have Free Breakfast/Lunch), our student body is 20% African-American, 73% Latino, 2% Asian/Pacific, 2% Multiracial, 2% White, and 1% "Other." Sixty-seven percent of our children are English Language Learners.

At EnCompass Academy, we believe that education "Starts with Self, is Guided by Families, Engaged in Community, and Rooted in Ancestors." We strive to reach the whole child, and as a result, our students thrive through a culturally-responsive, empowering, and caring school culture with deep relationships, personal attention, data-driven and standards-based learning, family/school partnerships, music, visual arts, gardening, fitness, technology, and "looping" with the same class for 2 years as much as possible. Our rigorous, standard-based academics focus on building academic language in speaking and writing across subjects. Students use computers frequently to work on programs that target their exact level of need in reading and math.

EnCompass After School Scholars (1st-5th grade) get homework assistance or reading support, enriched by African and Latin dance, computers, fitness, media literacy, and/or gardening. Close alignment of general and special education staff helps students in the Resource, Inclusion, and Autistic Spectrum programs to accelerate learning. Partnerships bring graduate student teachers and counseling interns, middle school mentors, and coaches in ELA, Science, and technology to enhance the work of our highly-skilled teachers. A student-centered staff ethos makes this a special place for children. Also, a daily student salad bar lunch option, fruit and vegetable snacks 3 times/week reinforce wellness.


Our vision of an educated child is one who achieves excellence in developing an active, reflective, and disciplined mind; a healthy and physically-fit body; a centered spirit; and a just, caring, and courageous self-conduct. Our program is developed around the EnCompass Life Spiral elements of: the cultivation of Self, the guidance and support of Familial networks, the engagement with Communities, and the rootedness in Ancestors and ancestral heritage.


The word "encompass" means to encircle, surround, include. The school name and spelling of "EnCompass" is a play on the word "compass" to capture our emphasis on nurturing children to develop, strengthen, and clarify their internal compass. Children's innate curiosity to learn and explore and their desire to do the "right thing" are examples of how an internal compass can help guide children toward high academic and behavioral expectations. Academic and behavioral expectations are modeled for students to develop, strengthen, and to be guided by an internal Compass. This internal compass will point children in the four (4) directions/expressions of Personal Power:

the Power of Knowledge to create, recall, and discern information throughout life

the Power of Courage to pull forth the will to make difficult decisions

the Power of Compassionate Right Action to act upon them

the Power of Stillness to pause for rest, reflection, and respond to mistakes and to things that are beyond their control. Through Stillness, time can enable the process for renewal: to become new, fresh, and strong again in mind, body, spirit, and emotions.

Student, family, and community well-being are all connected and critical to each student's life success.


We believe that all children are good and deserve guidance to make appropriate choices. All children can do important and powerful things when given the opportunity to fully develop within the school day. Our learning community fosters:

  • Learning that is purposeful, rigorous, and connected to the real world
  • Students using knowledge from their Histories, Elders, and Ancestors
  • Behavior that promotes Peace, Justice, Honesty, Respect, Responsibility, Compassion, and Courage
  • Pride and honor in each person's Identity, Culture, and Language
  • A Commitment to Social and Community Responsibility
  • Strong and caring relationships between Students, Families, and Staff
  • Family Health and Wellness that supports our children to grow to their fullest potential


2014     Our campus received the AIR Health Award from the California Department of Education for our best practices to reduce asthma triggers on the campus.

2013    We were designated an OUSD Reading Reward School.

2012     State Superintendent of Instruction Tom Torlakson visited EnCompass and called us an example of a full-service community school he would like to replicate.
2011    Ms. Marva McInnis won the Region 3 Teacher Quality Award and Teacher for Student Achievement Leadership.

December 2009    Principal Nguyen was honored by the Legal Justice Center as a "Community Hero" at the Breaking Bread for Social Justice Dinner. Dennis Archer, former justice of the Michigan Supreme Court, Mayor of Detroit, and president of the American Bar Association, delivered the keynote address.

October 2008    Mr. Mario Garcia was one of four elementary teachers honored by Oakland Unified School District for a Teacher Quality Award. This award is given to teachers with consistently high achievement of students.

October 2006    EnCompass Academy was one of four schools in OUSD to receive a "Blue School" status for academic acceleration of students, closing the achievement gap, and overall API gains.


Case Study - EnCompass Academy by The School Redesign Network at Stanford University (PDF)


State, County, School District Supporter
  • Oakland Public Library- 81st Ave. Community Branch
  • East Oakland Building Healthy Communities/Alameda County
  • High School Interns: Skyline HS, Achieve Charter HS
  • Champions for Change (Alameda Dept of Public Health)
  • EBAYC, OUSD Nutritional Svcs, Oakland Farms-to-Schools Network: Oakland Fresh School Produce Markets
  • StopWaste.org
  • Alameda County Department of Public Health /Harvest of the Month
  • TransFormCA.org
  • Big Smiles Dental Program
Business/Private Organizations
  • Broadway Mechanical
  • Scientific Learning
Non profits and Institutions
  • Oakland Schools Foundation
  • Communities for Better Environment
  • Acta Non Verba: Youth Urban Farm Project
  • Rogers Family Foundation
  • Haas Family Fund
  • Valley Fund
  • Oakland Fund for the Arts
  • Aspiranet
  • National Equity Project
  • Arts Learning Anchor Schools
  • Playworks
  • Girls on the Run
  • East Oakland Youth Development Center
  • Sonoma State University Education Department/ Graduate Student Intern
  • Wright Counseling Institute
  • Head-Royce
  • Bechtel
  • Walden West Outdoor School
  • Oakland East Bay Symphony


Help EnCompass Academy Fundraise!


Your donations will help us provide:
Field trips for students
Fitness program for another year
Continue counseling for our students
Provide Academic Interventions for more students

Donate HERE through the Oakland Public Education Fund and choose EnCompass Academy under "PICK YOUR SCHOOL"!
Or mail your tax-deductible donations to EnCompass Academy directly!

Minh-Tram Nguyen, Principal
EnCompass Academy
1025 81st Avenue
Oakland, CA 94621