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Enrollment rates in the free tutoring described in my story today vary dramatically from school to school and tend to be paltry at middle and high schools. The highest rate last year in San Diego Unified was at Encanto Elementary, where nearly 43 percent of eligible students got the federally-funded tutoring last year, and the lowest was at the School of Communication, one of the schools-within-a-school at San Diego High, where less than 2 percent of eligible students took part.

“We use every opportunity to beef up how good this is for the students,” said Kristi Dean, the new principal of Encanto Elementary. A parent coordinator at the school frequently invokes the tutoring, and an automated phone message reminds parents to look for a brochure in the mail. Staffers offer to help parents with filling out the paperwork. “It is a good thing, and we need it.”

EMILY ALPERT

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