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Elementary & Upper School Overview

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Students at the Upper School level generally select between French and Spanish, committing to studying one language during grades 6-8. Putnam Ave. Upper School also offers Chinese in Gr. 6-8. These students generally enter level two honors of that language at the high school level. There is a minimum language requirement at CRLS of two courses in the same language. There are several elementary level immersion programs with pathways for continued learning through the upper school and high school levels.

  • Chinese is offered at the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. School in grades JK-5, and those students have the option to continue their Chinese studies at the Putnam Ave. Upper Campus and CRLS. The school offers pathways for Chinese dual language immersion as well as a Chinese FLES model.

  • The Amigos School offers a dual-language immersion model is a rigorous academic program where students receive 50% English and 50% Spanish instruction and are expected to become biliterate, to read, write and speak with the same high level of proficiency in both Spanish and English. Most Amigos graduates continue on to Spanish IV Honors and Spanish Advanced Placement Language.

  • At the King Open School, students have the option of participating in Olá, a two-way Portuguese-English bilingual immersion program in JK-5. Students in the Olá program have the option to continue their Portuguese students at the Cambridge Street Upper School. Portuguese has been discontinued at the high school level in recent years due to low enrollments.

  • Spanish Program at Fletcher Maynard Academy
    Fletcher Maynard Academy offers Spanish instruction for students in Jr. Kindergarten – Grade 5. The program utilizes the foreign language in the elementary school (FLES) model for Spanish instruction. Grades 3, 4, & 5 receive lessons of 30-45 minutes each, three days per week and lessons of 20-30 minutes for grades 1 & 2. Jr Kindergarten and Kindergarten will have three, 20 minute lessons each week. The model is structured on best practices recommended by the Center for Applied Linguistics. 



    The FMA Spanish program uses innovative curricula and instructional practices that maximize opportunities for students to learn about different cultures and use the Spanish in the classroom. The Spanish program is experiential with a variety of performance assessments structured into each lesson plan. Elementary World Language program goals are for students to:
    • Acquire proficiency in listening and speaking with the degree of proficiency to be determined at each grade level
    • Acquire an understanding of and appreciation for other cultures
    • Acquire some proficiency in reading and writing

    Each lesson and unit follows expectations that generally apply to any high caliber world language content-enriched FLES program.

    • Provide a language-rich environment that presents vocabulary in context
    • Include meaningful culture in every lesson
    • Use authentic songs, games, stories, and rhymes
    • Incorporate reading and writing skills
    • Teach around a theme
    • Provide students with opportunities to talk about topics that are meaningful to them
    • Assess students’ progress on a regular basis, using a variety of methods.

  • Peabody/Morse Spanish Program
    The 2017-2018 school year marks the start of Elementary Spanish instruction for fourth grade students at the Peabody and Morse schools in Cambridge. During this year, students in fourth grade will have world language instruction for ninety minutes a week. The World Language learning expectations are based on the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) World-Readiness Standards for Learning Languages. The curriculum is proficiency-based, meaning that it focuses on what students can do with the language and daily lessons emphasize using language in real life situations. Students are assessed based on ACTFL performance descriptors for language learners which create a pathway with clear benchmarks as students grow in their language skills. The CPS Elementary Spanish program at Morse and Peabody schools is designed to be project-based, interactive, student centered, and empirical. The lessons incorporate songs, art, games, and storytelling, which provide both context to the learning experience and opportunities to enjoy the learning of Spanish.