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2022 Principal's Report

January, 2023

It is once again my distinct pleasure to update the Cambridge community about the amazing school that you support in a variety of ways. What a difference a year can make!  A return to normalcy can be seen throughout our school with the return of beloved in person traditions, visits from volunteers, field trips, and so much more.  Despite all of the obstacles facing us over the past two and a half years, I am in awe of the continued incredible accomplishments and growth achieved by our students and school community.  Each and every day, I see evidence of this work as I observe our current and former students in action and collaborate with our exceptional staff and community members. The pride and admiration that I feel toward this community is genuine and this school holds a special place in my heart. This year’s report will provide you with a snapshot of what our school assessments are telling us about the academic achievement of our students and how we are supporting their strengths and challenges. Additionally, I will highlight some examples of how we, sometimes in  collaboration with generous and kind hearted people from your community, celebrate our students and offer them a variety of experiences that will help them to develop into well rounded citizens of the future.  There is so much to be proud of!

Understanding the many limitations placed on how schools could operate over the past two years along with the frequent absences experienced by both students and staff from illness and quarantine requirements, the question has frequently been asked, “How are our students performing academically?”  In the spring of 2022, our students were once again required to take the SBAC state assessment.  This assessment measured our student’s acquisition of math and language arts skills as compared to grade level standards in grades three through six and science skills in fifth grade. The state has not yet released individual schoolwide data to the public, however I am very pleased and proud to report to you that our school wide student results on these assessments far exceeded statewide results.  The reason for this incredible showing is simple:  this little town is extremely fortunate to include a school staff like no other and a community that values education and demonstrates this appreciation through the support of its children and school. 

We have achieved our strong student assessment results by remaining focused on supporting individual students through dedication and deployment of supports tailored to  address their unique strengths and challenges. We have maximized federal recovery funds to offer our students increased services in academic intervention, school counseling, and behavior support.  These funds will continue to flow into our school during the 2023-2024 school year and it is our intention to continue to staff these much needed positions. Teams of teachers gather every Wednesday morning to examine student assessment data and plan supportive instruction for students who need it.  Our school based professional development activities continue to be  focused on how we as educators can become even better at our craft. Our team of teachers and support staff are intelligent, creative, and highly skilled at matching students with interventions and learning opportunities that work.

Each month, I am tasked with preparing a Principal’s report for our school board. The majority of these reports are dedicated to showcasing the amazing opportunities offered to our students by our staff and community. These opportunities, along with high quality academic instruction help us complete our most important mission which is to develop our students into responsible, creative, and civic minded individuals. All of our students have access to meaningful and varied enrichment experiences with the goal of broadening their horizons, teaching problem solving, and providing them with a glimpse of what the future holds for them.  Fifth and sixth graders can become technology ambassadors allowing them opportunities to use their technology skills to help others and the school while also learning to use different kinds of applications and equipment. Students in fifth and sixth grade are also able to join a drama club or an Iron Chef team that will ultimately participate in a statewide competition.  Sixth graders join me every week to volunteer at North Country Animal League in Morrisville. Our younger students have the opportunity to showcase their math and science skills during engineering classes and practice their reading with some very patient golden retrievers!  Our students love to come to school in part because of these opportunities which are made possible through the extra efforts of staff members and community volunteers. 

The theme of all of these activities is an emphasis on rigorous content, application of skills, and working with others to create something bigger than themselves. Members of the Cambridge community have modeled these ideals to our students time and time again through the efforts of our Rotary Group who read to our students and help to make our winter wellness days at Smugglers Notch possible, our dedicated and creative PTA organization, Cambridge residents who contribute their knowledge and expertise to the Cambridge history project in third grade, the Cambridge fire department who teach our students about fire prevention and response, our team of reading dogs and their wonderful handlers, and so many others.  CES is a special place because of all of the caring people working together to improve the lives of our students.  For those who serve, thank you for everything that you do for us.

Every person in our school, no matter what position, plays an important role in the development of our students. Consultants, volunteers, and other visitors to our school consistently comment on the intelligence and professionalism displayed by our staff and how welcome they feel when they enter the building. This year we are saying goodbye to our treasured school nurse Sue Reed who has taken care of us for over two decades. She is retiring and ready to enjoy her golden years. She will leave a lasting legacy and we wish her all the best.  Diane Jacobs has served us as an instructional assistant for several years following a lengthy teaching career. She is also retiring and we thank her for all she has done for our students. 

Despite all that we do at CES, we recognize that the cost of education is expensive.  Our school budget was created with fiscal conservatism in mind as we sought efficiencies, based our staffing on our projected student enrollment, and continue to keep a careful eye on the bottom line. Based upon our current enrollment, next year we plan to combine our present second grade which consists of three classes, into two classes for third grade, therefore eliminating the need to add a teaching position for 2023-2024.  

I encourage you to visit us to see your investment in action and learn more about how your talents and interests could benefit our students. I can guarantee that you won't be disappointed. It is a pleasure and an honor to serve your children and community and on behalf of our students and staff, I thank you for your continued support. 

Respectfully Submitted,
Mary Anderson