B.F. Norton's Kristen Costa is Cumberland's Teacher of the Year

 
In front of a classroom of cheering students and jubilant colleagues, Superintendent Robert Mitchell surprised Kristen Costa with the announcement that she is Cumberland's 2018 Teacher of the Year. 
 
"Kristen Costa, in my opinion, epitomizes the quintessential teacher in our community," Mr. Mitchell said. "She's dedicated. She works tirelessly in the best interest of her students and she knows how to push them to find their own personal level of success." 
 
Ms. Costa was selected out of more than 400 teachers in the Cumberland School Department for this year's recognition. 
 
As those who nominated her stated, 'Kristen celebrates the small successes of each student as she is working to help students realize that their hard work is paying off as well as to help them see their potential. She makes every effort to work with grade level teachers to provide students with as much inclusion time as possible."
 
Ms. Costa is a special educator in B.F. Norton's  "Success" program for students in grades K-2. A graduate of Rhode Island College, she has a bachelor's of science in elementary and special education and has been a member of the Cumberland School Department since 2006. 
 
"Kristen is passionate about teaching students to identify and regulate their emotions. She helped bring an emotion regulation curriculum to the school and created an evening parent training to help parents uses similar evidence based strategies at home. Her devotion to her students is remarkable. She has been available to help families after hours, on weekends, and before school. Kristen created parent training opportunities, is in constant communication with families, and collaborates with outside providers regarding ways to improve student behavior. 
 
Her nomination letter states "Kristen creates a collaborative working environment that utilizes the strengths of those working with her. Her colleagues look to her to understand behavior, guide interventions, and support them in helping students in need. She has modeled best practices and strategies for new staff both inside and outside of the Success program, while she continues to hone in on her own professional growth."

Screenagers Documentary - Two Showings

The PTO groups from each of our schools will be sponsoring two showings of a documentary on the impact that electronic devices are having on teenagers titled SCREENAGERS - Growing up in the digital age.  We are encouraging parents and students to attend.

"Parents need to know that Screenagers is a documentary that will likely strike a chord with many parents.  It explores how teens interact with each other using an electronic device (smartphones, computers, social media, etc.) and looks at whether parents can -- or should -- try to limit or control this behavior.  Many experts share their thoughts on the topics the movie covers, which include tech addiction, violent video games (some clips from the games are shown), digital citizenship, and more.  It's sure to prompt conversations about family communication and responsible tech use if kids and parents watch together."   

This link provides additional information about this documentary.

Synopsis - Screenagers

We are planning two showings.  One will be held on Tuesday, May 15th, at 6:00 p.m. in the McCourt Middle School Cafeteria (Ashton, BF Norton, Garvin and McCourt MS families) and another showing will be held on Monday, May 21st, at 6:00 p.m. in the Cumberland High School Auditorium (Community, Cumberland Hill, NCMS & CHS families).  

We are hoping that many parents and students will attend.

Adolfo Costa Named Principal of CHS

Cumberland - The School Committee and Superintendent have selected Adolfo Costa to be the next principal of Cumberland High School.

Mr. Costa, of North Attleboro, MA, holds a bachelor of arts degree from Rhode Island College, and earned his master’s degree in School Administration from Providence College.

“This was a collaborative effort on the part of the school committee and the school department’s leadership team in selecting Mr. Costa as the next principal of CHS,” said Superintendent Robert Mitchell. “Teachers and staff were involved in the interview process, as was a member of the School Committee. We believe we have found the right person to take CHS to the next level.”

For Mr. Costa, it is a homecoming of sorts. He served as assistant principal of teaching and learning at CHS from 2013 to 2017. He left CHS last June to serve as principal of Lincoln Middle School. His career also includes spending 12 years as a teacher, and later as social studies coordinator, at William H. Davies Technical High School.

Mr. Costa says his approach at CHS will be “a focus of personalizing instruction and embedding technology to further enhance student-centered learning environments.”

“I want to contribute to the establishment of a school that offers strong academic programs, a supportive environment, and high expectations for all students. I believe that this position will allow me to leverage my leadership skills to continue building a culture reflecting a 21st century education our students deserve and need,” he said. “ I’m excited to get started.”

Mr. Costa is a member of the Rhode Island School Principals Association, the League of Innovative Schools, the National Association of Secondary School Principals, and the New England Secondary Schools Consortium.

 

Building the Community Coalition to Implement Later School Start Times

Cumberland School Department leaders now have a better understanding of what is needed to implement evidenced based school hours which will contribute to the improvement of health, safety, and academic achievement of all students.

Using lessons taken from ‘Leadership Matters’ RI, a professional public leadership program hosted by the Pell Center at Salve Regina University and the Public Sector Consortium a national non-profit, Cumberland Leaders are building the necessary partnerships to achieve this goal.

With a new tool box of leadership skills, school officials have taken several action steps toward making the change; creating a school start time committee, conducting an independent study to provide the cost of a later start time and developing surveys to collect data on the current status of the Cumberland High School Students.

The initial survey was completed by 870 high school students.  The survey indicates that 79% of the students get seven hours of sleep or less during the week.  According to sleep researchers, teenagers should be getting nine hours of sleep each night. 77% of CHS students feel they don’t get enough sleep. 68% of CHS students stated that if school started later they would get more sleep. 71% of CHS students report feeling tired during class often or most of the time. 72% of CHS students feel they would perform better if school started later. 72% of CHS students feel that school starts too early.

“Creating these methods of communication to study the health and safety of our students has been critical in our initiative,” said Bob Mitchell, Superintendent of Cumberland schools.  “After taking the ‘Leadership Matters’ RI course we realized that a comprehensive communication plan was crucial for this initiative to have the support it needs to succeed.  Stakeholders throughout the community are now more aware of the research on sleep deprivation and student performance and mental health.”  They are also aware of the impacts on the community as well.

Research from Start School Later, an organization committed to later high school start times around the country shows that the impacts of sleep deprivation are more than bleary eyed students at a bus stop. Sleepy student drivers pose a risk to themselves and other citizens on the road, and students who don’t get enough sleep are more likely to cost the health care system money in the form of treatment for depression, obesity and ADHD. In addition, test scores for students increase with more sleep and criminal activity decreases helping communities be safer. 

Building the coalition of leaders and stakeholders has been a large part of the Leadership efforts in making their vision of a later school start time a reality for the community of Cumberland, RI.

BobTalks – High School Start Time

               

In this month's BobTalks, I wanted to discuss the amount of sleep high school students need and how the start time at Cumberland High School is affecting that. There has been a lot of research on this subject - and we did a survey of our own students, too - and all of it points to the same thing: when students get the right amount of sleep, they also have more success in and out of school.

You can watch this edition here: https://youtu.be/1zmv6vsLOhQ

Thanks for taking a few minutes to watch.

Early Admittance Information for Kindergarten and Grade One

Cumberland School Department is now taking applications from March 1 to May 1, 2018 for Early Admittance Testing to Kindergarten/Grade One. Kindergarten students must turn 5 on or before September 1, 2018.  This test is offered to children who are not eligible for kindergarten in the fall but will turn 5 between September 2nd and December 31, 2018; Grade one students must turn 6 between September 2nd and December 31, 2018.
                                                                                                                                                        
For application and Frequently Asked Questions brochure, go to website (www.cumberlandschools.org), or they can be picked up in the Assistant Superintendent’s Office, 2602 Mendon Road.  For more information, call Laurie Jencks, 401-658-1600, x303
All applications must include a copy of updated and certified immunizations, copy of certified birth certificate and proof of residency.

Please read the Early Entry Letter from the Assistant Superintendent's office. This link is also found below.

 

 

Please choose the Early Admittance Procedure file below for the proper forms.