May 7, 2021

Dear Students, Staff, and Parents,

I hope all is well with you.  It is nice to see things starting to open up.  In fact, the high school had its first in-person gathering in over a year last night.  The induction ceremony for the Rhode Island Honor Society and National Honor Society was held in the auditorium.  There were two induction sessions, one at 6:00 p.m. and the other at 7:30 p.m. to accommodate all of the students being inducted and their families.  It was very well organized and it was nice to have a large group of people physically together for the first time in a long time.  Congratulations to all of the high school students who were inducted into those organizations last night and thanks to the high school staff who worked so hard to make the event special.

Listed below are a number of items for your review:

  • As you know, as of Monday, May 3rd, students in special programs, grades K-2, and 9-12 returned to full in-person learning for 5 days a week.  By all accounts things have gone well.  Students in grades 3-8 will return to 5 days of in-person learning on June 1st.
  • We have had a number of students ages 16 and up take advantage of the vaccination clinics at the high school.  The Department of Health is developing plans for children ages 12-15.  We will be sure to pass along more information we receive from the DOH.
  • All superintendents in the State of Rhode Island received an email from Ana Riley, Deputy Commissioner of Education related to the vaccination of students in Rhode Island.  The email includes a link to FAQs and a letter from Dr. Alexander-Scott and Commissioner Infante-Green
  • You may have heard that distance learning will not be an option next year per Governor McKee and the Rhode Island Department of Education.  The expectation is that we will be back to full in-person when students return to school in August.
  • Planning for the move of Cumberland Hill School to the Trans Building continues on a weekly basis.  As you can imagine, there are a lot of things to consider in a move of this magnitude including furniture, technology, supplies, etc.  Meetings have been held with Cumberland Hill staff and a meeting is being planned for the high school staff that will be impacted by Cumberland Hill’s move to the Trans Building.
  • I received this YouTube video in an email from Shannon Davis, the chorus teacher at McCourt Middle School.  In her email she stated “My community virtual choir “performed” Imagine by John Lennon.  Many of your music teachers and a HS student (Henry Brown) contributed their talents to this project.  I hope you enjoy it.”  I did enjoy the video.  Please take some time to listen to it.  I’m sure it will give you a lift as it did me.
  • I received this information from Penny Ferrara.  Penny is with the National Association on Mental Illness (NAMI).  She wanted to let us know about this program being offered by NAMI.  NAMI is offering a free program at NAMI-RI called Ending the Silence. It’s intended for students, teachers or parents to observe warning signs of mental illness and suicide in young people in order to get them the help they need as early as possible.

Please refer to our website for more information. In the “News” section you can register for classes during May.  May is Mental Health Month.  Given all that we have been through in dealing with the pandemic, this is something many of us would benefit from at no cost.

Click here to access the “For Schools “section on our NAMI-RI website.

It was nice to have an audience of parents and honor students at last night’s induction ceremony.  We are getting closer to having more of these activities where we’re able to celebrate the accomplishments of our students at every level.  As always, thank you for your patience, understanding, and support as we work through this challenging time. 

Happy Mothers Day!


Bob Mitchell

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