Amanecer Elementary will be the District’s first Cambridge Primary Center

Amanecer Elementary will be the District’s first Cambridge Primary Center
Posted on 12/06/2022
Amanecer Elementary will be the District’s first Cambridge Primary Center

The School District of Lee County is preparing to open its first Cambridge Primary Center at Amanecer Elementary School. As a Cambridge Primary Center, the school will provide Cambridge curriculum to help students develop deep subject knowledge, conceptual understanding and higher order thinking skills.

“At five years old there is no line in the sand that says you can’t,” says Amanecer Elementary Principal Holly Mathews. “This is an opportunity, at five, to really help our students expand what their brain can do.”

Amanecer Elementary is the District’s newest school and welcomes students in August 2023. Every student will be involved in the Cambridge Program. It will be part of their elective wheel, meeting once a week for 40 minutes. Teachers will also incorporate the projects and skills being taught into their everyday lessons in math, English and science.

“The Cambridge pathway assures students have the same skills from start to finish,” says Jeremy Ridgeo, School Implementation Manager in North America for Cambridge International. “So the kids in 11th and 12th grade have the same learner attributes that Amanecer students will have in 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th grade. Those attributes are responsible, reflective, engaged, innovative and competent.”

Cambridge International classes are currently available at all 15 of the District’s traditional high schools and 17 middle schools. Students who graduate with a Cambridge/AICE diploma earn a Bright Futures Scholarship to pay 100% of their tuition at Florida’s state colleges and universities. By expanding to the elementary school level, the pathway is being set for student success.

“The skills transfer more than the content does,” say Don Myers, Regional Manager in North America for Cambridge International. “You may never use ‘The War of the Roses’ again, but knowing how to understand it and take it apart is a skill you will you use no matter what job you do. We’re giving the students a chance to be prepared for whatever comes their way.”

Cambridge representatives recently toured the school site to help finalize the program’s implementation. Students can select to attend Amanecer early next year during the annual open enrollment period. Principal Mathews is excited at how being a Cambridge Primary Center will help her students not just learn, but gain skills for life.

“We will give them that opportunity now so that when they move to middle and high school the experiences are engrained in them,” Mathews says. “So later, when it comes to trying something new, or challenging, or looking at something from a different vantage point, they will say I’m going to do it because I know I can.”