March 12, 2021

Dear Students, Staff, and Families,

I hope everyone is doing well. We are encouraged by the opportunity to get all school staff vaccinated.  All school department staff will have an opportunity to have both vaccinations by the beginning of April.  I believe there is comfort in knowing that the number of individuals being vaccinated is increasing on a daily basis. That being said, we know that we need to remain vigilant in our mitigation effort.

 Listed below are a number of items for your review.

  • Grades 3, 4, and 5 returned to school for 4 days of in-person learning this week.  The transition went very well.  All of the elementary schools are now full in-person for 4 days a week.  The biggest challenge has been coordinating traffic flow at the beginning and end of every school day.  The elementary school principals are reporting that traffic flow is getting better each day.
  • Grade 12 returned to 4 days of in-person learning on March 9th as well.  By all accounts, that has gone very well.
  • Grades 6, 7, 8, and grade 9 will return to 4 days of in-person learning on Tuesday, March 16th.  The high school administration is developing plans for the return of grades 10 and 11.  Cumberland School Department In-Person Return to School Presentation 
  • As I mentioned in prior communications, there may be some minor changes to the pickup and drop off times for students riding the buses.  We have been assured that there will not be a significant change.  However, we wanted to make parents and students aware of this possibility.  We will post the changes on the district website when we receive the schedule from the bus company.
  • Cumberland’s Reopening of School Task Force agreed to reduce the number of quarantine days from 14 to 10 for students who have traveled to states with a high positivity rate and those students and staff who are quarantined as a close contact.  A negative test is not required for the 10 day return if the student or staff member is asymptomatic during the quarantine period.  We will reassess this decision at our next Task Force meeting and consider reducing the quarantine time with a negative COVID test.
  • The updated COVID-19 spreadsheet is provided for your review.
  • Rhode Island PBS is excited to announce that Cumberland was selected to be featured in the next episode of the popular local series – Our Town! The Cumberland episode will premiere in September of 2021.  I have been asked to invite Cumberland families and friends to a virtual informational meeting with PBS at 6:00 p.m. on March 31st.  If you are interested in learning more, please use this registration link to attend the meeting on the 31st.
  • Sodexo Food Service is hiring part-time positions for 4 or 6 hours per day – school hours, no weekends or holidays. No experience is required; we will train you! Please visit the website and search Cumberland, RI.  

We are hearing that students are excited to be back to full in-person learning.  As we transition the middle schools and grade 9 to 4 days of in-person learning, we will once again utilize the support of EDOC to assess our transition to having more students in the middle schools and the high school.


Robert A. Mitchell

Superintendent of Schools

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