High Performance Schools
Opportunities for Youth
Cambridge prides itself on its quality of schools and opportunities for youth. Student achievement, based on standardized tests, is usually above the state average. So is the percentage of college-bound graduates. Class sizes are small -- averaging 15 to 16 students in elementary and middle school, 22+ in high school. After-school and summer activities programs have been greatly expanded, especially in performing arts and intramurals. New schools are being built thanks to a $ 47.74 milion bond issue passed in 2004. In addition, an operating levy was passed to open and operate the schools.
The district is goal-driven. Taking its lead from businesses, it uses continuous improvement plans to advance four major goals: academic achievement, good fiscal stewardship, safe and supportive environments, and appropriate facilities. The district is striving to become an academic powerhouse.
Committed to Character Development
The schools work closely with the community to foster character development. They created a comprehensive character education program that emphasizes five essential traits -- honesty, responsibility, respect, compassion and self-discipline. The program has been integrated into every grade level and adopted by local businesses, churches and organizations.
High School Prepares the Next Generation of Workers
Widely recognized welding, computer science and automotive mechanic training programs at Cambridge-Isanti High School » provide a ready pool of skilled graduates to local employers. The 1,600-student high school partners with local manufacturers on career readiness and tech education training programs ». The school is a national model for cooperative education.
Graduation rates top 92 percent -- well above the national average. Almost 70 percent of students go on to college -- nearly four points higher than the rest of the state.
Cambridge athletes compete almost every year at the state level in gymnastics and wrestling.
While other districts are cutting K-12 technology programs, Cambridge is reinvesting in them. It has adopted National Educational Technology Standards (NETS) in every grade level. It's one more reason that Cambridge remains a place of promise for youth and employers.
Early Childhood Development
A 20-year study by the Minnesota Department of Education* proves what Cambridge has always known: that investing in early childhood education has significant long-term pay-offs for students and society. The Cambridge-Isanti district is one of 36 Minnesota districts with fully funded early childhood development programs. (confirm stat)
*Source: Ready for K, Minnesota Department of Education
Community & Technical Colleges
The Cambridge campus of Anoka-Ramsey Community College » offers 14 associate degree programs, numerous certificate programs and customized training for businesses. Located on the scenic Rum River, the Cambridge campus delivers career programs in computer networking, geographic information systems, business, nursing and physical therapy.
Manufacturing Training Programs
Nearby Pine Technical College » works extensively with existing Cambridge manufacturers on a variety of manufacturing training programs.
Oak Land Area Learning Centers
Oak Land ALCs » provide high school students with alternative ways of completing their academic and vocational training. The program helps students gain practical skills as well as a better understanding of themselves. It participates in the state-wide open enrollment program. Oak Land also operates a Vocational Cooperative Center in partnership with three area school districts and the business community. The cooperative provides career and technical programs in area high schools.
"Most people talk about one particular teacher that made a difference in their lives. In my case, there were four: Deanna Hanson, Kay Pekel, Wendy Gruss, and David Faust. Whatever success I've enjoyed is in part the result of the time and care and inspiration these great people gave me as a kid. When I tell people this, they often say, 'Four? You had so many good teachers in your schools that four of them inspired you? How does that happen?' 'Well,' I answer back, 'I guess you've never been to Cambridge, Minnesota.'"
— Bill True, Screenwriter and Producer