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Story of the Creation of the STEM Academy: Part Seven

By Dr. Richard Canfield, Superintendent of Schools

In the midst of celebrating the town’s 375 years, 2014 also heralded the opening of the Sandwich STEM Academy.  I felt it was appropriate to document the story of The STEM Academy, as it becomes part of a proud tradition of excellent schooling in Sandwich. 

Part Seven: Reflecting on the Sandwich STEM Academy and looking forward…

There is so much to be said about the quality of the design of this program, and the students themselves are the best spokespeople.  I enjoy my opportunities to visit and to speak with students about their experience so far.  The feedback is extremely positive.

Recently, I was asked about my own feelings as I consider what we now have at The STEM Academy; now that my vision for STEM has been realized.

I enjoy seeing happy students and happy faculty when I visit the school.  It is meaningful to see the collaboration of students and faculty as they come to see learning as continuous, rigorous, and rewarding.  It is important to me that everyone  know that the story of the Creation of the STEM Academy is really about everyone working together. The successful creation of the STEM Academy depended upon the support of the school committee, the STEM Parents Advisory Board, the STEM Science and Humanities Advisory Boards and the dedication of many staff members of the Sandwich Public Schools! 

As you can see throughout each part of this article, it is the product of many people contributing the best of their ideas and their support.  This program is also the result of the unification of grades 7 & 8 from three separate locations into one.  It would not have been financially feasible to offer it in three locations.

It is my belief, that if everyone works together, the Forestdale PreK-2 campus and the Oak Ridge 3-6 campus will result in a unified elementary program that reflects the best in programming for all of the children in those schools….I know it is what I would want for my own children.  I thank the community at large for supporting their hometown schools.


Part One: How the idea for a Middle School/STEM Academy came to be….

Part Two: Starting the process of building a new and different school for Sandwich…

Part Three: Considering what Teaching and Learning in The STEM Academy would look like….

Part Four: Parents and Community Members become involved….

Part Five: Attending to the details….

Part Six: Teachers and Students contribute in a variety of ways…