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Cambridge City Schools News Article

Providing More Academic Options

A solid academic base provided at the elementary schools gives students the ability to take advantage of academic options when they move to the Middle School and High School.

That is why the Primary and Intermediate schools are implementing a new curriculum for the 2021-2022 school year that puts emphasis on improving students’ math skills and reading abilities.

Last year, both the Primary and Intermediate schools utilized iReady software in English Language Arts (ELA) and math to help students learn those subjects while learning remotely or working on a Chromebook in the classroom.

This year, they will add in ReadyMath, which is the classroom component of iReady and Really Great Reading, a multi-sensory approach to phonics which teaches students how to read words and write words.

Preschool Director and K-5 Curriculum Director Jill Clay said an inclusive selection process inviting all elementary teachers to suggest curriculums and programs in both math and phonics was utilized. Teachers were invited to attend presentations from curriculum providers and to provide their input.

“The decision was made as a team with teachers and administrators,” Clay said.  “Any K-5 teacher that wanted to be involved in the process was invited to participate.”

As all curriculum programs do these days, ReadyMath and Really Great Reading include hands on components and virtual components
Another exciting addition to the class offerings at the Intermediate School are STEM classes.

Utilizing Project Lead the Way curriculum that is used in the STEM classes at the Middle School and High School, new-to-the-school teacher Michelle Johnston will provide those same options for third, fourth and fifth graders.

At Cambridge Preschool, Director Clay is happy to be returning to full-day classes after students only attended half days last year to reduce the number of students in the classroom due to COVID-19 social distancing protocols.

Preschool students are also excited about the new playground that was installed this summer and upgrades to the sensory rooms.

“We’re really excited for the new playground,” Clay said. “It’s going to give our students a place to grow both physically and socially.”

The improvements inside the building are also exciting as the sensory room gives students a chance to get a break from the classroom when they need it. The sensory room helps students self-regulate their emotions in a calm, soothing place.

Cambridge Preschool is beginning its fourth year and is a 5-Star Step Up to Quality rated preschool, the highest rating awarded by the Ohio Department of Education.

The goal of the Cambridge Preschool is to prepare pre-Kindergarten children for their educational journeys through the Cambridge school system. It is important they are ready for kindergarten and are successful early in their school careers as research shows that early success will likely lead to continued success.

“We are offering many opportunities that we were not offering five years ago,” Cambridge Superintendent Dan Coffman said. “We believe we need to offer students more academic options, more services and more extracurricular activities at all levels. That is why I am excited about what Cambridge City School District is offering.”

Editor’s note: This is the third in a three-part series about new offerings at Cambridge Schools.


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