November 6, 2020

Dear Students, Staff, and Families,

I hope everyone is doing well during this trying time for everyone.  As you know, there are a growing number of positive Covid-19 cases in Rhode Island and across the country.  We have had a number of positive cases in Cumberland that have required us to take action in several schools.  As I mentioned in my email to you this week, since students at the elementary and middle schools are in stable pods, we are able to do distance learning with the pod until we get direction from RIDOH.  It is not necessary to have the entire school do distance learning.  Unfortunately, we can not do the same thing with the high school since students are not in stable pods.

Given the increased number of positive cases, RIDOH is having difficulty completing contact tracing in a timely manner.  We have heard that RIDOH is hiring more contact tracers in order to complete this important task in a more timely manner.

Listed below are a number of other items for your review:

  • Given the snow and cold weather we experienced last week, there was concern regarding the requirement to have windows opened on the bus.  As a result, new guidelines have been created.  These links provide guidance moving forward. The links are in English and Spanish.

  • The Governor is allowing fans to attend high school athletic events.  Effective Monday, each athlete will be allowed to have two spectators attend each athletic contest.  However, there is a cap of 150 individuals at an event and that may have an impact on the number of spectators allowed to attend.

  • Governor Raimondo’s recent changes to the Phase III guidelines will begin on Sunday.

  • The next flu clinic is scheduled for November 18th. Please register at

  • Planning for the renovations to our schools is ongoing.  Cumberland Hill Elementary School will be the first school that has major work done.  Before that work begins, the Transitional Building will be prepared as a swing space for the elementary schools with the exception of Community.  Work on the Transitional Building is scheduled to begin in April.  While work is being done at each of the buildings, students and staff will be housed in the Trans. Building.

  • There will be three new members of the School Committee, two of the three have been decided and a decision on the third has not been determined to date.  The two members are Kerry Feather and Keri Smith.  We look forward to working with the new members on the challenging work that lies ahead.

  • I want to extend a special thank you to the three members who have left the School Committee. We wish Jennifer Bernardo, Heidi Waters, and Raymond Salvatore well and thank them for their years of service to the students, staff, families and residents of Cumberland.

Have a good weekend.  As always, thank you for your patience and understanding as we navigate the challenges presented by the pandemic.


Robert A. Mitchell

Superintendent of Schools

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