November 4, 2022

Dear Students, Staff and Families,

As we progress into the fall season, our school climate continues to strengthen. It is great to see our students actively engaging in their everyday school schedules and after school activities/sports.

Sharpening the Vision Toward 2025 – 2022-2025 District Strategic Plan

On Thursday, October 27, 2022, the Cumberland School Committee adopted the 2022-2025 District Strategic Plan. Our Strategic Plan over the next three years remains laser-focused on student achievement. The plan has been posted to our school district’s website. To view, please click here.

SAT/PSAT – From the office of the High School Curriculum Coordinator

Our recent PSAT and SAT scores reflect both growth toward our (post-Covid) goals as a district and slight declines in percentile scores in line with student – learning losses both locally and nationally. While there was a significant increase in the percent of students meeting or exceeding expectations on the ERW section of the PSAT from 70.9% to 75.6%, there was a nominal decrease on the Math section of the PSAT from 41.7% to 41.3%.  On the SAT there was a slight decrease in the ERW section  from 58.3% to 56.7%, while there was a decent increase on the Math section from 34.3% to 37.5%.  While we continue to outperform many districts in RI in terms of the number of students meeting and exceeding expectations on both the PSAT and SAT, we are always aiming to improve our performance on such assessments and accelerate student learning as a district.

The mandate by RIDE to adopt high quality curricula materials has been an opportunity to identify gaps in our current curricula by analyzing PSAT and SAT data, the blueprint of the PSAT and SAT, and the high quality curricular materials we recently purchased for ELA and Math at the district level.  These gaps are being addressed in the development of the new CHS ELA curriculum and Math curriculum, which will be implemented during the 2022-2023 school year. We are hopeful that these changes will increase the percent of students meeting and exceeding expectations on the PSAT and SAT by year 2024-2025.

Rhode Island Teachers at Sea (RITAS)

My office received the following announcement from the URI Graduate School of Oceanography’s Public Engagement office.

Community School teacher, Cathy Knasas is taking part in the RI Teachers At Sea (RITAS) program. On October 21st, Cathy and eleven other RI educators set sail for three days aboard URI’s research vessel the Endeavor. Cathy was part of the scientific crew and was provided a hands-on experience about oceanographic research at sea. Through their participation, Cathy will bring this experience and ocean science topics into the classroom through lessons, conversations and guidance.

URI Graduate School of Oceanography’s Public Engagement office posted this press release.

We look forward to hearing about her adventure and what she learned from her experience.

2023 Rhode Island Art Educator (RIAEA) Award Recipient

Congratulations to Carolyn Dooley! Ms. Dooley is an art teacher at Joseph L. McCourt Middle School. She received the 2023 RI Art Education Middle School Art Educator of the Year Award at an award ceremony held on Thursday, November 3. We are very proud of her accomplishment and grateful for her devotion to the student art program.

Flu Vaccination Clinic

A flu vaccination clinic is scheduled for Wednesday, November 16 at the Cumberland High School Cafeteria from 4:00 – 7:00 pm.

Please refer to the RI Department of Health-Flu (Influenza) for additional information.

PARTICIPANTS: Community Clinic (ages 3 and up)

You will need to register online to schedule an appointment:

Limited walk-in availability will be accepted as resources allow.

Additional information is provided in the Flu Vaccination Clinics Folder.

The RI Department of Health has announced that the Covid-19 vaccination is now available through the Vaccinate Before You Graduate (VBYG) Program

  • The VBYG program is available to all students in middle and high school at no out of pocket cost.
  • Clinics are convenient for families since all immunizations are administered during the school day.
  • Immunizations are reported to KIDSNET (RI Immunization Registry) within 48 hours so physicians have documentation of all vaccines administered outside of their office.
  • Students can catch up on 11 required or recommended vaccinations that they may need for school, college or work.


  • Chickenpox (Varicella)
  • COVID-19
  • Hepatitis A                                                                            
  • Hepatitis B
  • Human Papilloma Virus (HPV)
  • Influenza: Injectable or FluMist (ages 3-18 only)                                                     
  • Meningitis
  • Meningitis B
  • Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR)
  • Polio
  • Tetanus and Diphtheria (Td)
  • Tetanus, Diphtheria and Pertussis (Tdap)

CSEAC Meeting

The Cumberland Special Education Advisory Committee meeting will be held on Tuesday, November 15th at 6:00 PM at the newly renovated J.J. Mclaughlin Cumberland Hill School at 205 Manville Hill Road Cumberland.  You are also welcome to join via Zoom: Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 969 2573 3282

Passcode: 556707

One tap mobile:  +16465588656, 96925733282# US (New York)

All CSEAC meetings are open to the public. The C-SEAC is a parent-led committee working to foster open communication among parents, teachers, administrators, and the school committee regarding special education supports and services provided to children in the Cumberland School system. Any meeting cancellations can be found on the district website at or


Fall Sports Update

It’s an exciting time of the fall athletic season as our High and Middle School teams continue great success in regular season and postseason play.


* McCourt Middle School had the Individual State Cross Country Champion in Cecelia Ludwig, while North Cumberland Girls captured the team title!

* North Cumberland Boys Soccer were Northern Division Champions with an 11-0 record . Both NCMS and McCourt boys qualified for the State Tournament  as well as the  NCMS girls squad.

* CHS Boys and Girls Cross Country Squads were undefeated (12-0) in the regular season. Girls have won 103 consecutive dual meets while the boys streak of not having lost is up to 5 years.

* Girls Soccer, Boys Soccer, Field Hockey, Football, Unified Volleyball, Volleyball, Boys and Girls Cross Country and Cheerleading are all heading to postseason competition.

* Cumberland High School recently sent student athletes to the RIIL leadership conference at Camp Fogarty.  Students learned the value of leadership, teamwork and what it means to be a successful leader within their communities.

On the Horizon

* Cumberland High School will be hosting RIIL semi-final playoff activity on November 7th for Boys Soccer.

* The Clippers and Woonsocket will play for the 58th consecutive time on Thanksgiving day. It is the 4th longest Thanksgiving day rivalry with the Clippers leading the series 35-18-4.

This year’s contest will be played at Barry Field in Woonsocket with kickoff slated for 10 am.



Philip D. Thornton, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools


Translate »