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From the Principal

Cambridgeport: Nurturing Individuals, Creating Community

Welcome to Cambridgeport, where connectedness and community are key to the fabric of our school. I wanted to take a moment and share with you our school’s core values, as they are at the heart of our approach to teaching and learning.

Be Kind: Teaching children to care about one another, to look out for one another, and to think about the world beyond is a key component of the Cambridgeport experience. Teaching content is not enough, if children don’t care about one another. Being kind goes beyond simply “not being mean”—it means going out of your way to do something for another person.

Be Responsible: We give children a lot of responsibility for their own learning at Cambridgeport. And by the same token, we expect children to take a lot of responsibility for their own learning. What does this mean in the day-to-day reality? In a writing workshop, we ask children to generate topics that excite them to write about. In math, when a child asks if her work is good enough, we may turn the question around and ask a student to think about whether she thinks it’s good enough. In literature circles, we ask students to take on leadership roles in guiding discussions. We believe in the power of children having ownership over their learning.

Be Reflective: Reflecting on our learning is a regular part of school for both kids and teachers at Cambridgeport. At the end of a workshop period, we ask children to talk about what they have learned, how they have grown, and how they could get better. We involve children in their parent-teacher conference (in 1st-5th grade) because we expect children to think about themselves as learners, set goals for their work, and then be able to look back on these goals and reflect on their progress. The culminating project of this reflection is showcased in our annual portfolios, but the truth is that this reflection is happening all year long, at many different moments in the day, week, and year.

Aim High: We encourage children to challenge themselves in everything they do. We acknowledge that this looks different for each individual because we each have our own growing edge. Whatever that growing edge is for an individual, that is where we expect them to push themselves. For some, that growing edge is more likely to be a social or emotional edge, and for others it’s academic. We acknowledge that the work of school is hard, and we encourage all children to find the joy in the hard work they take on; to do more than they thought they could do, and be proud of what they have accomplished in the end.

Katie Charner-Laird, Principal