March 25, 2022

Dear Students, Parents and Staff,

During last night’s school committee meeting, I provided some information regarding the proposed changes to the student attendance areas at Cumberland Hill and the middle schools as well as information on proposed changes for elementary school start times for next year given our school construction and Garvin School moving up to the high school campus. Also listed below are proposed time changes and a school construction timeline:


Student Attendance Areas 

With the completion of school renovations at our elementaries, there will be a need to modify our existing elementary school boundaries. The goal in doing so is to better balance the school populations at our schools. Cumberland Hill, our school first in line for renovation, will have some increased capacity next year. The map below and street lists illustrate the proposed new attendance boundary for Cumberland Hill. In total, the new boundary map increases the student population by approximately 35-40 students. Our school committee will continue discussions on the Cumberland Hill proposed boundary change and look to vote on this by the end of April.

Proposed Cumberland Hill Boundary Map 

Proposed Cumberland Hill Street Changes

With regard to our middle schools, we have two conversations, (1) an immediate issue of overcrowding at NCMS and (2) our long term plans for student numbers at both middle schools. Currently NCMS has a student population of 626 and McCourt has a population of 422. Going into next year, we are looking to reduce the incoming grade 6 class by 25-30 students in order to operate NCMS at current staffing levels. Making no modification to the existing attendance areas would trigger the need to hire an additional teacher at NCMS, when we have the capacity to add students at McCourt. To date, we have modeled different areas to consider, however, no decisions have been made. Last night, two members of the school committee were tapped to sit with administration to drill down further and come back to the full school committee in our upcoming meetings. Below is a map illustrating the current middle school boundary areas.

Current Middle School Boundary Map


Elementary Start Times

Given the move of Garvin elementary to the high school campus in 22-23, the district will need to transport students further from the regular boundary area. In order to accomplish this and avoid the cost of adding three buses (approximately $270,000), the District will need to adjust start times to achieve a budget neutral transportation plan. Below are the proposed times for our elementary schools for the 22-23 school year. Our school committee will take up this topic at our upcoming meetings.

Proposed school start times 2023


School Construction Timeline

With the voter approval of the school construction bond in 2018, several construction projects will be undertaken over the next several years. This year, Cumberland Hill has been the focus. Work is slated to be completed this summer with students back in the newly renovated elementary school in the fall of 2021. This summer 3 projects will kick off with Garvin undergoing a major renovation, Ashton seeing the construction of a new wing and Community seeing the construction of a new cafeteria. Work in the years to come will see a renovation at Ashton and Community, and a renovation to BF Norton. The chart below is an illustration of the timeline of the elementary school’s construction.

School construction timeline

Lastly, renovation work is also slated at our two middle schools with a focus on school security (front door areas) at both middle schools as well as upgrades to the middle school science areas. Timelines on this work is TBD and will be based on the pace and scope of the elementary projects already in place.


2022-2023 School Calendar

The 2022-2023 School Calendar was approved by the school committee during its meeting last night.

You can access the calendar here.  It will also be posted on the Cumberland School District website.


Free/Reduced Lunch Program

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is allowing school meal programs across the country to continue serving healthy meals through June 30, 2022. The program continues to provide safe, healthy meals free of charge to children as the pandemic continues to threaten the food and nutrition security of our most vulnerable. Unfortunately, this free of charge meal program for all students will no longer be available at the end of this school year.

Families will need to complete an application for the Free/Reduced Lunch Program.

  • Free/Reduced Lunch Program – Families are encouraged to complete and submit applications to your child’s school to verify eligibility. Please contact your child’s school if a form is needed.

  • The application is also available electronically. Click here to apply online.

We ask for your help now. By applying for the free/reduced lunch program at this time, it will provide the school department with additional state aid for the 2022-23 school year. 

Not only are there advantages for families, there are financial implications for the school department.  For example, the more families that are eligible for free or reduced lunch results in more state aid coming to the school department.  The loss of revenue to the school department could be devastating.  As you know, every dollar counts. The free and reduced school lunch program benefits you and your family as well as the school department.

All information collected is confidential and the process that eligible students follow when getting their lunch is the same as students who are not eligible.

If you have questions about the free/reduced lunch program or the application process, please contact Kathleen Scanlon at 401-658-1600 x322. 


Covid-19 Testing/Vaccination

If your child is experiencing or develops symptoms of illness please keep him/her home and have him/her tested. Visit Portal RI to find a testing site and make an appointment. You can also call 844-857-1814 to schedule an appointment. Upcoming vaccination clinics can be found here.

Please remember,  it is recommended that any individual who is immunocompromised should continue to wear a mask. Also, please be respectful to each other regarding an individual’s decision on whether or not to wear a mask.

Additionally, mask requirements may be required on an individual basis when individuals are allowed to return to school early after testing positive for COVID-19.  Individual circumstances should be discussed with your building principal and school nurse.  

All of the decisions regarding the easing of restrictions and masking have been made based upon the recent drop in COVID cases in RI and locally Cumberland.  If information and guidance from State Agencies change, we will review and consider what, if any, action is necessary.  


April – Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Please consider supporting this cause –  

Hello! My name is Sarah Leduc, I am a 2021 CHS graduate. I just wanted to let you know that I am doing a fundraiser for sexual assault awareness month. All proceeds go directly to Day One, the Rhode Island rape crisis center. I would greatly appreciate it if you could share or donate to my fundraiser! Day One provides therapies, workshops, trauma based yoga, educational classes, hotlines, law enforcement advocacy, and so much more. Day One is a nonprofit and relies solely on donations and grants so this fundraiser is very important! The Cumberland School Department will be having a dress down day on Friday, April 8.

Thank you so much! -Sarah Leduc  GoFundMe Link –


School Sports Accomplishments

Cumberland’s Athletic Teams had a great winter season. Scoring hard earned victories, learning from losses and growing as individuals and teams through every practice and game.

  • Playoff Teams/State Qualifiers

McCourt Middle School Boys Basketball 

North Cumberland Middle School Girls Basketball

Cumberland High Boys Varsity Basketball

Cumberland High Girls Hockey – State Finals – Division 2 Runner Up 

Cumberland High Boys Swim – 5th place overall

Cumberland High Girls Swim – 9th Place Overall 

Cumberland High Boys Track – 13th Place Overall

Cumberland High Girls Track – 8th Place Overall

  • New England Qualifiers Indoor Track 

Grace Carr, Henry Dennen, Wheaton Harvey, Brianna Landry, Alia Nigri, Matt Picchioni, 

Jeremiah Rocha, John Walker, Alyssa Yankee

  • Individual Accomplishments: 

The following Student-Athletes achieved school records at Cumberland High School:

Indoor Track – Ethan Carpenter, 800 Meter Run

Indoor Track – Grace Carr, 1500 Meter Run

Indoor Track – Henry Dennen, 2 Mile Run

Swim – Chelsie Friedland, 100 Meter  Backstroke

  • News Channel 10 – Perfect 10 Highlight – CHS Swim Team Members

We are very proud of our CHS Swim Team Members – Colby Ogilvie and Zachary Slesinger

Click here for the Channel 10 story and video highlighting our amazing swimmers!



Philip D. Thornton, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools

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