New school building gets a name thanks to students

The construction of the new Cambridge-Isanti School District’s building has been going on for several months now, but nobody knew what to call the location that will house Riverside Academy, Moving Forward and the district’s Level IV special education classes. That changed during the Nov. 21 school board meeting as the board unanimously approved the name “Cambridge-Isanti Woodland Campus.”

The building is located near the corner of Highway 65 and County Road 19 on a 60-acre parcel of land.  

While the final decision for the name was up to the school board, the list of finalists was determined during a meeting with some of the Riverside Academy students. According to interim Superintendent Dr. Nate Rudolph, the students were very engaged in the choosing of the name.

“We had a really great discussion with some Riverside students,” Rudolph said. “We were able to sit down and bring back the feedback.”

According to Rudolph, during a previous school board study session, the board came up with four “bullet points” for the students to consider when making their suggestions for the name. Those included keeping “Cambridge-Isanti” in the name, utilizing the word “campus,” incorporating the current programs and “to represent something.”

Some of the student feedback Rudolph mentioned was the importance of “uniqueness” in the name, “commonalities,” and a sense of support and success.

“They made the comment that they liked that ‘it was made for us,’” Rudolph said. “They really liked the idea of having a theme that would be connected to their program name.”

Incorporating that idea, Rudolph said the students utilized Google Maps and Google Earth during the brainstorming process. 

“They liked the idea of a nature theme,” Rudolph said as he listed off the students’ final recommendations. Those included “Cambridge-Isanti Woodland Campus,” “Cambridge-Isanti Fieldview Campus,” “Cambridge-Isanti Educational Tributary Campus,” “Cambridge-Isanti Horizons Campus” and “Cambridge-Isanti Education Horizons Campus.”

After a brief discussion, it was decided that the two “Horizons” options might not be unique enough considering the daycare program with the same name. It was also noted that the “Woodland” name was the top choice of the students.

“How often do kids get the chance to name their school?” commented board member Gary Hawkins. “That is so cool they were able to think of something like that.”

“They were very appreciative of that,” Rudolph said.

“You did an awesome job of facilitating that,” added Riverside Academy director John Droubie. “They were empowered and everything went great.”

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