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School closing; too few students

A private school on San Juan Ridge plans to close in December and move where there are more students to draw from.

EnCompass Education Center, which opened last year and served 24 students ages 6 to 13 over the course of the year, will reopen in fall 2003 in Portland, Ore., Robin Martin, assistant to the director of education at the school, confirmed Thursday.

“The EnCompass school is moving,” Ba Luvmour, the center’s executive director, said. “We need a bigger population to draw for the school.”



Currently there are five students, aged 8 to 10, at the holistic school on Tyler Foote Crossing Road, Martin said. Tuition is $400 a month, or $4,800 a year.

The school’s board of directors plans to issue a formal statement about the move in November, Martin said.




The nonsectarian school is part of EnCompass, a nonprofit organization that includes a conference center with a recycled copper roof, 10 adobe cabins, a ropes course, an amphitheater and other facilities that reportedly cost $8 million to build.

The facilities include seven classrooms, a library with a vaulted ceiling and science, art and music rooms.

The rest of the center continues to operate, said Martin, who is “personally enthused” to be moving to Portland.

“I think the world needs more schools like this,” she said of the curriculum that emphasizes a student’s relationship to his teacher as well as his feelings. “I came out here from Iowa to be a part of this.”

But, Martin said, San Juan Ridge “was a little more rural than I thought it would be.”


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