I'm a licensed social worker & educator. This review is regarding the administration at Sankofa. I've had the privilege of being a guest teacher at most of OUSD's middle and elementary schools. In my time with OUSD, I've found Ms. Brinson to be one of the few administrators that I admire and respect. Ms. Brinson has adopted a social and emotionally supportive environment that builds up....instead of breaking down. She encourages...instead of excludes. It was amazing to see students who were discarded from other schools engage in math lessons that promoted entrepreneurship and social studies assignments that incorporated civic awareness. In professional opinion, her educational style supports a community, that will in the long run, will develop productive adults. If you are truly interested in closing the educational achievement gap, look towards leaders like Ms. Brinson. She is one of the best.
When I entered my children into Sankofa Academy the staff was quite pleasant in welcoming us there. The school was going through gradual reconstruction and the Principal seemed to be quite attentive to the needs of the school. The teachers are still in need of classroom aids to assist with students that are struggling with various issues. There are many bullying issues at this school that go unaddressed and when trying to acquire the help of the administrator, you will be ignored or fingers will be pointed at the parent. Children that are suffering with emotional distress and visible underlying struggles are ignored or pushed out of the school. Morning Circle is a nice way to start the day however staff has to follow implementation of procedures that are not demonstrated by example. Obviously the stated vision of this school is not exuded by it's administrator when a child and/or staff is in need of one of the main "village" leaders.
I read the other review, and I agree that the behavior of the older students was challenging last year, but this year has been great so far. All the students (even older ones) are in uniform, all come to community circle...it seems like all the hard work that was done last year is paying off and that things are really coming together. I love the way the older students sort of mentor the younger ones; this school has made amazing growth with very challenging kids in just one year. I'm proud to send my kids there, and they're proud to go there! All the adults really believe in our kids, and the kids are really starting to trust them.
Sankofa Academy was a great concept school. The idea is that young people will become responsible for their own behavior, become surrounded by a caring and nurturing environment. However it turned into a behavior nightmare with the focus on Middle School. The teachers desperately need aids to help with children that are ready to move on in their education. The extracurricular activities did allow the children a chance to try new an exciting things like African Dance, and Drumming. I belive that parent involvementwas pretty good however parents have to feel that their child is getting everything that the need.