Cambridge Street Triad Elementary Schools' Field Day Is A Success!

The Innovation Agenda and its restructuring of Cambridge K-8 elementary schools into K-5 schools and four middle schools will have significant long-term impacts on teaching and learning in Cambridge. While teachers-those that remain at the elementary schools and those at the newly created middle schools-and administration will also have to make significant adjustments to the new structure, students will face a unique set of challenges in the coming year. In their years as K-8 institutions each Cambridge school created its own distinctive nurturing culture and raised its students accordingly. Consequently many of the students have grown accustomed to certain customs, certain teachers, and certain classmates, all within a smaller close knit community. If the new middle schools are to be successful, they must recreate some of the more successful aspects of the outgoing K-8 structure, like the nurturing communities built over years, even as they introduce unique benefits of the middle school model such as the increased academic diversity and rigor that can come with larger cohort sizes.

As part of a larger effort to begin building this nurturing community for the three Cambridge Street Triad elementary schools held a field day for their students. On Friday, May 25th the fifth, sixth, and seventh graders from the three triad schools: Fletcher Maynard Academy, Cambridgeport, and King Open, gathered at the Frisoli field for the field day. Students participated in a number of enrichment activities such as a "treasure hunt" and "human knot". The organizers chose and tailored the actives to require significant interaction and teamwork with the goal of pushing the students to interact and move beyond their school based comfort zones. Groups were structured to ensure that students from the different elementary schools would form mixed groups, allowing students to engage in the various activities together. After rotating through the various activity stations the students gathered on the basketball court to eat a bagged lunch together before going back to their respective schools.

To hear the students laughing and talking throughout the morning and even as they left the field en route to their schools made it quite clear that the event was a success. Students not only met their future classmates, but had the opportunity stand, sit, and run by their sides as they engaged in team-building activities. The event was made possible by the brilliant collaborative efforts of principals and staff from the three schools, and the administration and staff of the CPSD Physical Education department. The Innovation Agenda and the new middle schools hold immense promise for Cambridge students. The faculty, staff, and administration for the Cambridge Public Schools should be commended for their efforts to prepare the students for the coming changes. The better prepared all stakeholder are, the more likely the Agenda's success and ultimately and most importantly, the better off students will be.

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