Amy Griffin's Blog

Spring is in the Air!

I hope everyone had a wonderful and restful Spring Break. Over the break, we had a group of students attend the Governor's Youth Development Academy, another group travel to Puerto Rico, and the Valedictorian and Salutatorian for the Class of 2015 were named. I would like to congratulate Wyatt Salinas, Valedictorian, and Ross Fillman, Salutatorian.  Both gentlemen will represent the Class of 2015, CHS, and CuCPS well. It is hard to believe that graduation is just around the corner!
I am excited everyone is back and ready to LEARN!
Cumberland Landmarks by CMS students
April is the Month of the Military Child. On Wednesday, wear purple for Purple Up! for Military Kids Day. Also this weekend Cumberland County will be celebrating Patriot Day. The opening ceremony will take place on Friday at 7:00 p.m. at the Court House. Patriot Day events will take place at the middle school on Saturday from 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. 
CMS and CHS students experienced Civil War Live History with the help from several staff members- Mr. Brandt and Major Amico!
CuCPS Highlights:
  • GSSV seniors presented on the following topics at the Senior Symposium:
    • Kiara Samuels:  O-Range Vitamin C:  The Effect of the Temperature of the Storage Area on the Amount of Vitamin C that Navel Oranges Retain.
    • Wyatt Salinas: Buck$ 'N Balls: The Effect of Various Grades of Titleist Golf Balls on the Overall Distances They Traveled.
    • Jenna Dayton:  Make it Rain!: The Effect of the Concentration of Acid Rain on the Moss, Dicranum.
    • Joe Kingsley: Breaking Bread: The Effect of Sweeteners, With Preservation Capabilities, on Preservation of Bread. Joe also received special recognition for presenting his team's work at James Madison University.
  • Congratulations to the following Nursing Students for passing the State Nursing Exam: Angelique Mitchell, Kayla Lawson, Jessica Johnson, Bre Meinhard, Taylor Parker, Brenna Halvorsen, Brittany Lowe, Chakeria Davis, and Gina Rucci.
  • Congratulations to Kiara Samuels, Jessica Johnson, and Michael Turner for being awarded Cumberland Ruritan Scholarships.

Students attended the Governor's Youth Development Academy.  Students participated in community service at FACES and Habitat for Humanity.

  • CHS Track Teams results from Fork Union:.
    • Girls: Louisa 156, Cumberland 55, St. Anne's Belfield 31. CHS leaders were: Annesha Harris 1st long jump, 1st triple jump, 1st 100 hurdles, 1st 300 hurdles; Marya Elasha 2nd 800 meters, 4x400 relay 2nd (Ebony Jones, Kyera Broxton, Marya Elasha, A. Harris), 4x800 relay 2nd (Tyler Dews, Kyera Broxton, Ebony Jones, Marya Elasha); Tonishea Ford 2nd shot & discus
    • Boys: Fork Union 143, Louisa 90, Cumberland 21, St.Anne"s Belfield 5. CHS leaders were: T.J. Jackson 1st discus, 2nd shot put; Darius Jackson 3rd discus. 
  • CMS hosted the spring Celebrating Excellence Night. Pictures can be found at
  • CHS Track Team seniors Annesha Harris and Tony Ford performed very well at Douglass Freeman HS against 5A & 6A competition. Annesha was 1st place in the 100 & 300 hurdles and Tony was 1st place long jump. The meet featured 9 Central Virginia High Schools (Collegiate, Cumberland, Deep Run, Douglas Freeman, J.R.Tucker, Maggie Walker, Mills Godwin, St. Catherine's, and St. Christopher's).
  • Other members of the CHS Track Team went against Amelia and Bluestone. The Dukes were led by Deitrich Brown - 1st place 1600 meters, 4x800 relay& 4x400 relay; Ronnie Allen - 1st place 800 meters, 4x800 relay & 4x400 relay; Kyle Shuart - 1st place 3200; Christopher Giles - 2nd place 3200; Daquan Trent - 1st place 300 hurdles,2nd place 110 hurdles 1st place 4x800 relay,3rd place long & Triple jump; Jamie Trent - 1st place 4x400 relay; Jaquan Brown - 1st place 4x400 relay; Timothy Jackson - 1st place shot put & discus; Darius Jackson -2nd place shot put & discus; Marya Elasha 1st place 800 meters; Ebony Jones - 2nd place 100, 200 & 400 meters; Kyera Broxton -2nd place 100.

One of my favorite pictures:  PreKindergarten attending the Chef's Academy.

Events for the Week:
  • Monday
    • School Board Meeting (7:00 p.m.)
  • Tuesday
    • Board of Supervisors Meeting (7:00 p.m.)
  • Wednesday
    • Purple Up! for Military Kids Day
    • CCES Focus School Visit
  • Thursday
    • Kindergarten Registration
    • Agriculture Advisory Committee Meeting (3:15 p.m.)
  • Friday
    • Patriot Day Opening Ceremony (7:00 p.m.)
  • Saturday
    • Patriot Day (10-4)
CCES and CMS, in collaboration with the Cumberland Woman's Club, have planted Pinwheel Gardens for Child Abuse Prevention Month.

Passion + Persistence = Excellence

2nd graders perform Shakespeare's Twelfth Night  
Wow!  Last week was AMAZING--from professional development opportunities for staff to a wide variety of quality experiences for our children! Beginning the week, a small cohort of teachers began the journey of developing performance based assessments. This is a start to developing assessments that assess at a higher cognitive level and show legislators that teachers are the best people to develop assessments. Lisa Meyers worked with CMS teachers on increasing student engagement as well as with CCES teachers on balanced literacy.  Lois Williams and Ruth Harbin Miles worked with CCES and CMS teachers in the area of math.
There was a multitude of cultural experiences and learning opportunities for our students.  2nd graders performed Shakespeare's Twelfth Night on Thursday and Friday. Their quality performance was professional and will have a long-lasting impact on mindsets and expectations. On Friday, 4th graders visited Jamestown; 3rd graders attended UVA tennis matches, and the high school hosted the Motivated for Life exhibits, dinner, and youth motivational speaker David Garcia. It is wonderful to see our students and staff taking advantage of expertise and cultural experiences in our community and beyond.
To conclude the week, our students showed our community, the region, and the state just how we measure up!  Alexa Massey was named a State Champion at the State Forensics Competition and the team placed 4th.  At the Charles City High School Track Invitational, Annesha Harris and Tony Ford were named Most Outstanding Performers against 6A, 5A, 4A and 1A competition.  As I have said many times-- CuCPS may be small and have less resources than others; however, we are mighty and strong! We can achieve above all others with passion and persistence. 
I would like to thank every staff member that make these opportunities and successes possible for our students.
2015 CHS All-State Forensics Team:  Brenton Morris, Alexa Massey, Brittny Price, and Wyatt Salinas
CuCPS Highlights for the Week:

Congratulations to our Medford Basketball Team who placed 5th!

  • The CHS Forensics Team tied for 4th place out of 23 teams for 1A level schools at the VHSL Forensics Championship.
  • Congratulations to Alexa Massey for being the State Champion in Impromptu category. Other strong CHS performers were: Brittny Price-Extemporaneous (3rd Place), and Brenton Morris / Wyatt Salinas-Dramatic Duo (3rd Place).
  • Below is the final placement of all CHS Forensics Team participants. 
    • Impromptu – 1st Place – Alexa Massey
    • Serious Dramatic Duo Interpretation – 3rd Place – Brenton Morris / Wyatt Salinas
    • Extemporaneous – 3rd Place – Brittny Price
    • Humorous Dramatic Duo Interpretation – 4th Place – John Jefferies / Shayna Swanson
    • Poetry Interpretation – 4th Place – Cheyenne Johnson
    • Serious Dramatic Duo Interpretation – 5th Place – Kyrra-Mae Hodges / Harleigh Marion
    • Storytelling – 6th Place – Riley Jo Giles
    • Serious Dramatic Interpretation – 6th Place – Justin Crawford
    • Prose Interpretation – 6th Place – Madeline Johnston

CCES students attend UVA Tennis Matches.

  • The CHS Track Teams participated in the Charles City High School Invitational Saturday and performed very well. Annesha Harris and Tony Ford were selected as Most Outstanding Performers against 6A, 5A, 4A and 1A competition. Below are the results:
    • Girls Score: 1. Warhill 135; 2. Patrick Henry (Ashland) 119; 3. Meadowbrook 60.50; 4. L.C.Bird 48.50; 5. Cumberland 50, 6. New Kent 31; 7. Matthews 30; 7. Sussex; 8. Central 30; 9. King & Queen 16; 10. Middlesex 14; 11. Windsor; 12. Nandua 9; 13. Petersburg 8; 14. Charles City 3.
    • Congratulations to Annesha Harris who was named Most Outstanding Performer - 1st Long jump, 1st Triple Jump, 1st 100 & 300 hurdles and Tonishea Ford - 4th discus, 8th shot put.
    • Boys Score: 1. Warhill 95; 2. Meadowbrook 73.50; 3. New Kent 69; 4. Patrick Henry (Ashland) 61; 5. Henrico 57.50; 6. Cumberland 52; 6. Petersburg 52; 8. L.C. Bird 42; 9. Windsor 38; 10. Matthews 24; 11. Middlesex 15.50; 12. Charles City 13.50; 13. King & Queen 13; 14. Nandua 10; 15. Sussex Central 7.
    • Congratulations to Tony Ford - 2nd long jump, 2nd 110 hurdles, 1st 300 hurdles, 5th 4x800 relay team of (Tony Ford, Deitrich Brown, Darron Ridley, Ronnie Allen) and Timothy Jackson- 1st Discus, 3rd shot put; Ronnie Allen -8th 800 meters; and Deitrich Brown 4th 800 meters.

  • The CHS Track Teams performed very well in Buckingham.
    • Girls Score: Cumberland 51, Randolph-Henry 48, Buckingham 44. The Girls were led by: 4x800 relay 1st place-- Ebony Jones, Annesha Harris, Kyera Broxton,Marya Elasha;100 meters & 200 meters 1st place -- Ebony Jones; 800 meters 1st Place-- Marya Elasha, 100 hurdles & 300 hurdles 1st Place-- Annesha Harris.
    • Boys Score: Buckingham 63, Cumberland 51, Randolph-Henry 44. Boys led by 4x800 relay 1st place--Tony Ford, Deitrich Brown, Daquan Trent, Darron Ridley; High jump, 300 hurdles 1st Place-- Tony Ford; Shot Put 1st Place-- Timothy Jackson;800 meters 1st Place-- Deitrich Brown.

CHS students with youth motivation speaker David Garcia.

  • Congratulations to the newest members of the CHS National Honor Society: Infinity “Bria” S. Anderson, Tayziana N. Booker, Shakiera Q. Branch, Lorraine P. Foster, Kasie M. Fowler, Allison P. Gilbert, Chelsea F. Giles, Riley Jo Giles, Charles “Chase” L. Grubbs, John D. Jefferies, III, Madaline O. Johnston, Lora Long, Wyatt D. Long, Harleigh D. Marion, Kaylah D. Paras, Mary Katherine Perry, Brittny L. Price, Zion P. Salmon, Rebekah M. Stevens, Trevis Ali Coles Trent, Demory M. Williamson, and Aniya Shalese Woodley.

Youth motivational speaker David Garcia wearing his new Cumberland Duke shirt!
Events for the Week:
  • Monday
    • 3:00 CHS Data Meeting
  • Tuesday
    • 8:30  Gov. School Senior Symposium
    • 3:00 CMS Data Meeting
  • Wednesday
    • 12:00  Administrative Staff Meeting
    • 3:00  CCES Data Meeting
  • Thursday
    • 5:00 CMS Celebrating Excellence Night
Spring Break:  April 6-10, 2015
  • Board of Supervisors Budget Hearing:  April 7 (7:00 p.m.)

Motivated for Learning and Life

I am so proud of our staff and students. We continue to get out of our "comfort zone" and "the box" in order to motivate learning for students and ourselves. Last week, I enjoyed spending time with Phyllis Langhorne, Kim Page, and Stacy Manuel as they were recognized with SVRTC awards for their use and support of technology.  I had the honor of having a private Art Show hosted by the seniors.  The artwork was beautiful and the invitation from the students meant so much to me. 
I visited CCES and CHS classrooms last week. I loved seeing flexible and comfortable learning environments in many CCES classrooms. While students took a spelling test in one classroom -- some students were seated at a table; several were in small comfortable chairs; one was laying on a sofa; and one was happily tucked in a cubby hole. Talk about an environment conducive to individual student learning.  At the high school, I saw German students describing their Dream Apocalypse zombie teams in German; Kahoots used for assessing learning in Astronomy; and Algebra II students using z-scores to solve real world problems.  You will also see examples of motivation from CMS in the highlights below -- a 5th grade Destination Imagination team,  Egg-speriment Labs, and collecting data from Hula Hoop activities. In the Friday edition of the Farmville Herald, Ilsa wrote a wonderful article about hummingbird robotics being used in Spanish.
Excitement Ahead...
We have an exciting week ahead of us!  A team of teachers will be heading to the Estes Center in Chase City to begin developing Performance Based Assessments for 3rd grade history and science, 5th grade writing, and 6th and 7th grade history.  As I have said before, instead of complaining about the amount of high-stakes testing, we must be able to show legislators alternatives. I look forward to this work and the products that will be designed for a more authentic way of assessing.  
Thursday, Mrs. Hoyt's second grade students will be performing Shakespeare's Twelfth Night. On Friday, CHS will host a Motivated for Life dinner and youth speaker, David Garcia. I heard Mr. Garcia speak several summers ago and he is outstanding! He will deliver a meaningful message filled with humor, inspiration, and motivation.
CuCPS Highlights:
  • For the first time, a 5th grade team competed in Destination Imagination competition.
  • Dr. Jones is highlighted in the SVCC Alumni Spotlight.

  • We would like to recognize the following basketball players who earned All-Conference 44 and 1A East Regional honors for the 2014-2015 season:
    • Girls Basketball
      • Infinity Anderson - 1st Team All-Conference 44
      • Annesha Harris - 1st Team All-Conference 44
    • Boys Basketball
      • Deitrich Brown - 1st Team All-Conference 44 & 2nd Team All-1A East Region
      • Ahmad Booker - 2nd Team All-Conference 44
      • Jeremiah Mayo - 2nd Team All-Conference 44
  • Pictures from my CCES visit:
  • 7th graders in Mrs. Grournard's class collected and analyzed data during an "Egg-speriment" Lab.

  • Math 8 Fun in Mrs. Finnegan's class:
    • Hula Hoop Activity: Students collected data to show the correlation in a table and then a scatter plot for the relationship between time allotted and the number of passes through a hula hoop groups could make.
    • Students also used blocks to model population samples of frogs with mutations and then created a table and made predictions based on their sampling data.
  • Senior Art Show pictures:

Events for the Week:

  • Monday
    • CMS Academic Review Workshop
  • Tuesday
    • Region 8 Performance Based Assessment Development 
  • Wednesday
    • Region 8 Performance Based Assessment Development 
  • Thursday
    • Mrs. Hoyt's Class Twelfth Night Performance (5:30 p.m.)
    • Board of Supervisors Budget Work Session (7:00 p.m.)
  • Friday
    • Mrs. Hoyt's Class Twelfth Night Performance (9:45 a.m.)
    • Motivated for Life Dinner and Speaker (5:00 p.m.)

CuCPS: Movers and Shakers!

2nd Grade Presidential Wax Museum
Finally-- we had a full week of school!  From student highlights, presentations, and celebrations to running a 5K, CuCPS students and staff didn't waste one single minute! We began the week with March School Board recognitions and highlights and a CMS student presentation to the Board of Supervisors on Climate Change.  The middle of the week consisted of a 2nd grade Presidential Wax Museum, a visit to Albemarle County Public Schools to learn about Maker Spaces, and FBLA bringing home gold from the Longwood Conference.  I have to say that the picture above of a student portraying George Washington has to be one of my all time favorites! The end of the week brought great excitement and fun with the celebration of Pi Day at CMS, the CCES PBIS Carnival, the CuCPS Foundation/Centra 5K, and the Longwood Center for Visual Arts Youth Art Exhibit.  There is never a dull moment around CuCPS!

CMS students present on Climate Change to the Board of Supervisors.

CuCPS Highlights:

  • Friday evening, KaTyra Brown (7th grade) represented CuCPS in the Richmond Times Dispatch Regional Spelling Bee.
  • Riley Jo Giles has been selected as the Hugh O’Brian Youth (HOBY) Leadership conference attendee.
  • Caylor Scales has been selected to attend the “Building Leaders for Advancing Science and Technology” (BLAST) program at UVA this summer. 
  • Congratulations to our DAR Winners:  
    • Graceyn Cubbage won the essay contest.
    • Sam Cahoon won the 2015 DAR Good Citizen Award.

LCVA Youth Art Exhibit
Events for the Week:
  • Monday
    • 11:30  SVRTC Banquet
  • Tuesday
    • Tornado Drill
  • Wednesday
    • 9:00 CCES Supt. Student Panel
    • 10:00 Administrative Council
    • 1:00 CMS Supt. Student Panel
    • 2:00  CHS Supt. Student Panel
  • Thursday
    • Report Cards Home

Oh, What Fun!

1A-East Regional Champions
It is good to see the sun and warmer temperatures!  Even with a short school week due to inclement weather last week, our students and staff accomplished a great deal and had loads of fun!  CCES celebrated Dr. Seuss' birthday with guest readers, wacky themes, and lots of spirit. I enjoyed reading The Cat in the Hat to several prekindergarten classes. 
FFA invoked enjoyment, laughter, and humility at CMS and CHS through fundraising efforts with mechanical bull and egg smashing events. To top off the week, the CHS Forensics Team became the 1A-East Regional Champions on Saturday. Additional results are listed below. They now proceed to state competition.
Delegate Wright brings Virginia Activity booklets to CCES 3rd and 4th graders.

Snow Make Up Days: 

(All Snow Make Up Days except for March 19, 2015, are listed in the approved 14-15 school calendar):

  • March 11 (full day, originally a Professional Development Day)
  • March 19 (full day, originally a Parent/Teacher Conference Day)
  • May 21 (full day, originally last day of school and early dismissal day)
  • May 22 (full day, extended year day)
  • May 26  (full day, extended year day)
  • May 27 (full day, extended year day)
  • May 28  (12:00 noon dismissal for students, extended year day)

The Class of 2015 Graduation Ceremony remains on Friday, May 22, 2015.  Spring Break remains intact and schools and offices will be closed for Memorial Day, May 25, 2015.


CCES Wacky Wednesday fun in celebration of Dr. Seuss' birthday
CuCPS Highlights:
  • The CHS Forensics Team is the 2015 1A-East Regional Forensics Champion! 
    • After regional competition was held at West Point High School, CHS was awarded the 1A-East Regional Title. Nine entries with 12 students qualified to proceed to the state competition, and five others may be called upon as alternates.
    • The following students qualify to attend the State Competition on March 28th:
      • 1st Place 
        • John Jefferies and Shayna Swanson - Humorous Duo
        • Cheyenne Johnson - Poetry
        • Alexa Massey - Impromptu
        • Brenton Morris and Wyatt Salinas - Serious Duo
      • 2nd Place
        • Riley Jo Giles - Storytelling
        • Kyrra Mae Hodges and Harleigh Marion - Serious Duo
      • 3rd Place 
        • Justin Crawford - Dramatic Interpretation
        • Madaline Johnston - Prose Interpretation
        • Brittny Price - Extemporaneous
      • The following students are 4th place alternates:
        • Acadia Czeizinger - Prose Interpretation
        • Amatul-Malik Fulani - Original Oratory
        • Katey Hougland and Demory Williamson - Humorous Duo
        • Kaylah Paras - Poetry
      • The following students competed well and earned 5th place finishes:
        • Crystal Rundstrom - Storytelling
        • Chyann Taylor - Dramatic Interpretation
        • Logan Morris - Humorous Interpretation

Events for the Week:
  • Monday
    • 15-16 Prekindergarten Registration Begins  
    • 5:30-7:00  Art Exhibit
    • 7:00 March School Board Meeting
  • Tuesday
    • End of Nine Weeks (Reports home March 19)
    • CCES Focus School Visit and Meeting
    • VSBA Spring Forum and Art Show
    • 7:00 Board of Supervisors Meeting
  • Wednesday: 
    • Maker's Space Visit to Albemarle County Public Schools
  • Saturday
    • 9:00  CuCPS Foundation 5K Run/Walk
Youth Speaker, David Garcia, is coming to CHS!  Find out more information at:
Larry the llama has a new friend...a goat (on loan from Rob French).

CCES Celebrates Read Across America!

In celebration of Dr. Seuss' Birthday, today is Read Across America Day!  CCES will be celebrating all week with the following themes:
  • Monday:  Wear red, white, and black. The cafeteria is serving green eggs and ham!
  • Tuesday: Wear your favorite socks for Sock it to Seuss Day!
  • Wednesday: Wear wacky-tacky attire for Wacky Wednesday!
  • Thursday:  Oh, The Places You'll Go!:  Dress as what you want to be when you grow up.
  • Friday:  Wear your favorite hat and read with the Cat!
CCES will participate in many fun activities to promote the love of reading and get loose with the Seuss!
Meet Larry the Llama, a new family member in the Ag program!
CuCPS Highlights:

  • The CuCPS Foundation Praise Celebration was held Saturday. With approximately 100 attendees, over $800 was raised for teacher grants and student scholarships.
  • The CHS Duke Boys have earned a 6th place slot in the 1A East Regional Basketball Tournament and have their quarterfinal round game at Surry H. S. tonight at 7:30 p.m.  
  • Duke Boys Basketball beat Parry McCluer in the Conference 44 Tournament.
  • The Lady Dukes beat Highland HS in the Conference 44 Tournament.
  • English 10 Honors second edition of their online magazine:
  • CMS students taught CMS staff about Climate Change last week.
  • Congratulations to Graceyn Cubbage, a student at Cumberland Middle School! She won the seventh grade American History Essay Contest sponsored by the Judith Randolph–Longwood Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.
  • Check out CMS Highlights and News at the new CMS Facebook Page:

Events for the Week: 
  • Monday
    • 1:00 CCES DLT Meeting
  • Tuesday
    • 10:00 Administrative Staff Meeting
  • CHS Scholarship Night
Updated Snow Make-Up Day information will be coming soon!
Division Calendar:
Little Duke Leaders count Pay It Forward ballots to determine which elementary school will receive a Buddy Bench.

Teaching our Students Social Media Etiquette

CHS JROTC Air Rifle Team
While I was scrolling through my Twitter feed last week, I found a social media etiquette graphic that made me pause and reflect. It had been posted in a school media center and was meant for students. However, it made me think about how appropriate it was for all ages. It has become ingrained in society to put things on social media that really need not be there.  Many times, posts and messages are negative -- even cruel, and sometimes lead to bullying.  Different from face-to-face bullying, these messages are seen world-wide and spread the cruelty and negativity far and wide.  Kid President and Coca-Cola launched a campaign several weeks ago to combat negative posting on social media. I also caution people to never post anything on social media that you wouldn't want read on a billboard or in the newspaper. What you think may be private is never private once on the Internet (even deleted material). 

I love social media!  It can be a positive tool to network, communicate, and promote the great things in our lives. It is a wonderful professional development tool--I use Twitter daily to read about the latest research and trends in education. I highlight our outstanding students and staff through social media. Let's all remember and teach our students the responsible use of social media:
CuCPS Highlights:
Gustabo Lopez, Keavon Perkins and Davidrick Brooks competed in the 2015 VHSL State Wrestling Championships 
  • The Varsity Lady Dukes are 3rd place in the Conference 44 Tournament and will host Highland HS Monday, February 23rd, in the gym starting at 6:30 p.m. 
  • The Varsity Duke Boys are currently in 2nd place. They will have a first round bye this week and will play at home Wednesday night at 6:30 p.m. against the winner of the Parry McCluer vs. Highland County winner. 
  • CuCPS wants to congratulate the following basketball players for making James River All-District teams:
    • Annesha Harris - 1st Team
    • Infinity Anderson - 1st Team
    • Deitrich Brown - 1st Team
    • Ahmad Booker - 2nd Team
  • JROTC Cadet results from regional competition at Camp Perry, Ohio: CHS Air Rifle Team - 2nd in Virginia; CHS Air Rifle Team - 2nd in 4th Brigade (VA, NC, SC, WV, MD, DE and DC); CHS Air Rifle Team - 5th at Camp Perry (25 states).  CHS Air Rifle Team - 21st nation-wide out of over 1,300 (all Army JROTC); Individual Results: John Ryan Bapties, 15th at Camp Perry, 79th nation-wide; Coleman Phillips, 16th at Camp Perry, 80th nation-wide; Dylan Stimpson, 20th at Camp Perry, 86th nation-wide; Caleb (William) Kinney, 35th at Camp Perry, 117th nation-wide; Mierra Edwards, 44th at Camp Perry, 134th nation-wide. Congratulations, Cadets!
  • Jump Rope for Heart is scheduled for Wednesday, February 25th:
    • 4th grade: 9:30-10:20
    • 3rd grade: 2:00-2:50
    • 2nd grade: 11:25-12:15
  • More February School Board Highlights:
  • CHS student Shayna Swanson's story, The Story Without Color, was printed in the Farmville Herald last Friday:

Snow Make Up Days: 
  • March 11, 2015
  • March 19, 2015
  • May 21, 2015 (1/2 day to a full day)
  • May 22, 2015 (1/2 day)
Events for the Week:
  • Monday
    • 7:00 Public Hearing on the 15-16 School Operating Budget
  • Tuesday
    • CMS Academic Review Visit
  • Wednesday
    • CCES Jump Rope for Heart
  • Thursday
    • 6:00 Technology Advisory Committee
  • Saturday
    • CuCPS Foundation Gospel
Important Change: Scholarship Night will be on Wednesday, March 4th, in the Cafetorium starting at 6 p.m. This meeting will provide more information about scholarships and the scholarship process to receive money for college. Light refreshments will be served.
The Cumberland High School Forensics Team, Conference 44 Champions

Authentic Assessment: What is it?

Paying it Forward: Little Duke Leaders call principals from other schools to to see if they need a Buddy Bench!

Last week, I attended a Dan Mulligan workshop on Performance Based Assessments.  In March, a cohort of teachers will begin working with Region 8 colleagues on developing Performance Based Assessments in the areas of 3rd grade history and science, history 6, and history 7.  This is important for several reasons. For one, we keep telling legislators that the current method of high-stakes testing is not good for our students.  Therefore, it is our responsibility to show legislators what WILL work. We need to find alternatives.  The second and most important reason is that closed-task assessment items (i.e. the majority of current SOL assessment items) only produce low to medium potential in providing meaningful data (Transforming Classroom Grading, McREL, 2002).
According to VDOE, authentic assessment refers to assessment by performance, task, product, or project. Students apply what they have learned by providing evidence of in-depth understanding. Performance assessment is a term used hand-in-hand with authentic assessment. Students are required to demonstrate their knowledge, skills, and strategies by creating a response or a product (Rudner & Boston, 1994; Wiggins, 1989). Performance assessments range from short answer to long-term projects. During the Dan Mulligan workshop, we learned about a variety of types of Performance Based Assessments:  Essay, Short Written Response, Oral Response, Performance Tasks, Teacher Observation, and Student Self-Assessment. The two types that provide the richest data are Performance Tasks and Student Self-Assessment. The Region 8 cohort will be developing Performance Tasks.
I am excited about the chance to develop alternate and more meaningful ways of assessment!  It is critical to assessment and accountability reform in Virginia.
CHS students propose a Sunshine Garden at CCES.
CuCPS Highlights:
  • Congrats to our Forensics Team for placing 1st in the Conference 44 Tournament! EVERYONE moves on to Regional competition at West Point.
    • Crystal Rundstrom Storytelling 3
    • Kaylah Paras Poetry Interp 3
    • Cheyenne Johnson Poetry Interp 2
    • Madaline Johnston Prose Interp 2
    • Amatul Fulani Original Oratory 2
    • Brittny Price Extemporaneous 2
    • Acadia Czeizinger Prose Interp 1
    • Alexa Massey Impromptu 1
    • Riley Jo Giles Storytelling 1
    • Chyann Taylor Dramatic Interp 3
    • Justin Crawford Dramatic Interp 1
    • John Jefferies/Shayna Swanson Humorous Duo 2
    • Katey Hougland/Demory Williamson Humorous Duo 3
    • Kyrra Hodges/Harleigh Marion Dramatic Duo 2
    • Brenton Morris/Wyatt Salinas Dramatic Duo 1
    • Logan Morris Humorous Interp 3
  • The Cumberland Dukes Wrestling Team had their finest performance at a regional tournament since the program was reinstated 8 years ago. Joe Kingsley and Trevon Foster placed 5th in their weight classes and are alternates for the state tournament. Gustabo Lopez paced 4th in a stacked heavy weight division. Davidrick Brooks earned a 4th place finish in a tough 106 lb bracket. Keavon Perkins placed 3rd in the 152 weight class. Keavon Perkins, Gustabo Lopez and Davidrick Brooks will represent Cumberland High School at the Virginia State Wrestling Tournament next weekend at the Salem Civic Center!
  • February School Board Meeting Highlights:

First graders look for text features in non-fiction magazines!
Events for the Week:
  • Monday
    • 1:30 Agriculture Advisory Committee Meeting
  • Wednesday
    • 4:00 Gov. School Joint Board Meeting
  • Thursday
    • 7:00 CHS Scholarship Night
    • 7:00 School Board and Board of Supervisors Joint Budget Work Session

CuCPS has Heart!


CCES students and staff received "red-carpet" treatment as they kicked-off their Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports (PBIS) school-wide initiative last Monday.  With a Hollywood theme, students and staff glamorously dressed, celebrated, played games, and received a visit from Longwood's Elwood and CHS cheerleaders. More information about PBIS can be found at


The week ended with everyone showing support for Go Red Day and 6th grader Teriah Scott who is being honored in the upcoming CCES Jump Rope for Heart on Wed., Feb. 25, 2015. Teriah was diagnosed with cancer during her 4th grade school year (2012-13) while at CCES. Even though undergoing chemotherapy treatment, cancer was winning the battle so the doctors determined that Teriah would need to have her leg amputated below the knee to stop the unrelenting cancer. During the time of chemotherapy treatment, chest pains were becoming unbearable for Teriah and she was becoming terribly ill. 
Upon doctor's further investigation it was determined that the chemotherapy treatment damaged Teriah's heart as the fourth heart chamber had become enlarged. Medicines were not treating the issue and in late fall of 2013 Teriah was going into heart failure just one week before Thanksgiving. Teriah was placed on the heart transplant list on Dec. 10, 2013. A donor heart became available on Dec. 12 through a child in Florida and Teriah underwent a heart transplant at VCU on Fri., Dec. 13, 2013. Her diagnosis is good and has since participated in the ASK 5K & Fun Walk (April 2014) as well as captain of her dance team during football season. She must undergo a heart biopsy every 2 months and because she received her transplanted heart at such a young age she may require a second transplant later on in life.
An option for Teriah was the Left Ventricular Assist Device or LVAD. This device helps the left ventricle pump blood to the aorta. The aorta is the main artery that carries oxygen-rich blood from your heart to your body. Until recently, VADs were too big to fit in many people's chests, especially women and children. Only people who had large chests could get them. However, she would have been only the 2nd child in the U.S. to receive this type of device and the doctors were unsure of the first child's prognosis at that time. Teriah's family chose for Teriah to undergo the more successful procedure for children.  
Teriah's strength and determination are an inspiration for us all.  Her fellow students and staff also continue to inspire through their show of love and support for each other.  The CuCPS family has the biggest heart I have ever seen.
-Bio provided by Glenda Grubbs
Draft 15-16 School Year Calendar:  The School Calendar Committee is seeking input from the public concerning the calendar for 2015-2016. Below is a link to the draft version of the School Calendar. Anyone with comments or suggestions can send them to Elizabeth Jamerson at  
CuCPS Highlights:
  • CHS Forensics placed 3rd in the 2015 JRD Forensics Invitational. Individual awards include:
    • Brittany Price- 3rd place/ Extemporaneous Speaking 
    • Cheyenne Johnson- 3rd place/ Poetry Interpretation
    • John Jefferies & Shayna Swanson- 2nd place/ Humorous Duo
    • Caleb Kinney- 3rd place/ Humorous Interpretation
    • Wyatt Salinas & Brenton Morris- Serious Dramatic Duo 
    • Justin Crawford-1st place/ Dramatic Interpretation 

  • Cumberland wrestlers defeated King and Queen Central High School 64-15 and faced Bluestone HS in exhibition matches. Trevon Foster, Sean Stinnett, Davidrick Brooks, Zach Amos, John Ryan Bapties, Keavon Perkins, AJ Wingo and Gustabo Lopez all earned wins for the meet. The Dukes enter post season wrestling next week at the 1A East Regional Tournament hosted by Parry McCluer High School. Wrestling starts at 4PM on Friday (2/13/15).
  • CHS Boys and Girls Basketball teams defeated Buckingham! Both teams will be competing in the JRD Basketball Tournament starting on Monday Feb 9th. 
  • Go Red Day:
  • Students is Spanish class are using Hummingbird Robotics to teach Spanish vocabulary. Pictures can be found on our Facebook page:
  • HOSA is sponsoring ‘Jeans 4 Teens’ a community service project to provide clothing for children in need. They are seeking slightly used jeans for children and teens. This event runs through February 13th with the donation box being located in the main office.
  • The CHS administration is proud to state that the Class of 2015 is being recognized for their hard work by receiving acceptances from colleges and universities within the state of Virginia and beyond: University of Virginia, Virginia Tech, James Madison University, Liberty University, Old Dominion University, Lynchburg College, Bridgewater College, Sweet Briar, Virginia Union, Elmira College (NY), Full Sail University, Virginia State University, Southside Virginia Community College, and Georgia Tech (just to name a few). 
  • CCES kicked-off school-wide PBIS last week:
  • Seniors that participate in Wrestling, Cheer, and Basketball were recognized during Senior Night.

Events for the Week:
  • Monday
    • 7:00 February School Board Meeting
  • Tuesday
    • 3:00 Maker Space Meeting
    • 7:00 Board of Supervisors Meeting
  • Wednesday
    • CCES Focus School Visit
Monday, Feb. 16th:  Regular School Day (Snow Make Up Day)
CHS Juniors & Seniors: The CHS Guidance Department is hosting Scholarship Night on Thursday, February 19th, at 6:00 pm. This will take place in the Cafetorium and light refreshments will be served. 
Feb 23rd:  First day of spring sports try-outs, please have your physical and concussion forms signed and completed by your parent and physician.

Our Students Striving to Make the World a Better Place!

When you look at the highlights for this week, you will see that we were very busy even with only four days of school. As I reflect on all the events and activities, one theme consistently jumps out at me-- our students are striving to make our world a better place!  The week began with Kiara Samuels and Brenton Morris lobbying at the General Assembly for Assessment and Accountability Reform. Not only did the two seniors speak with Delegate Tommy Wright and Kevin Reynolds from Senator Garrett's office, but they heard Governor McAuliffe, a financial analysts, and VSBA lobbyists speak about the outlook on education legislation and funding in Virginia. On a lighter note, CuCPS joined Instagram (the link is below), since these two students informed me that Facebook was for "old people". 
On Monday afternoon, the Little Duke Leaders continued their commitment to service learning and the Buddy Bench project. They have raised enough money to purchase two buddy benches to complete the project at CCES and are now planning to "Pay it Forward" by raising enough money to purchase a bench for another school.  A true example of caring for their peers and others.
On Wednesday, I met with a group of middle school students in Ms. Whittaker's Exploration of Horticulture class as a follow up from their presentation to the School Board on climate change. During this meeting, I learned how passionate these youngsters are in changing behaviors to literally "Save the World"! They have plans for climate change education for the school community as well as Cumberland County; they plan to present to the Board of Supervisors; and have ideas for a student farmer's market, vertical growing, water conservation, and rewarding positive behaviors. They ended the meeting with giving ME homework to watch the movies, Fresh, Dirt, and DriveCan you believe that???
For me, the most memorable moment of the week was watching the Medford Basketball game on Thursday. To see how proud and happy both teams were to meet each other, network, play basketball, and cheer was an experience that touched my heart and made me so proud of our Medford team athletes, staff, and students who came to support and assist both teams. A special thanks goes to the staff that make these games possible for our students.  It is truly an inspirational and life changing experience for all.
Lastly, this theme emerged from my last Superintendent Student Panel meeting with elementary students. As we casually went around the table to hear ideas from students, our 2nd grade representative Glory Cubbage surprised me when she pulled out three index cards.  On each card were her ideas for change at CCES- (1) install a solar panel to provide energy, reduce electricity costs, and teach kids more about energy sources; (2) compost at CCES; and (3) have a class on how to build an App.  Talk about amazing--I believe I have some work to do!
Our students are amazing and have such passion and wonderful ideas on how to make our schools and the world a better place!   
CuCPS has joined Instagram. Follow us at
CuCPS Highlights:
  • Medford Basketball Game:  Cumberland and Fluvanna
  • Check out 3rd Grade's Simple Machine Gallery Walk:
  • CMS students designing with hummingbird robotics on the front page:
  • CCES Women’s Club 2015 1st Place Art Winners:
    • Samara Long: Winter Buck
    • Gabe Hamby: Bridge over Water lilies
    • Jayven Holman: Red Horse
    • Lilly McConkey: Black Rose
    • Kelly Womack: Winter Bear
    • Khamani Jackson: Water Lilly
    • Kayla Johnston: The State Bird
    • Alyssa Blevins: Native American Portrait
  • The following CHS students are the winners of the 2015 Cumberland Woman’s Club Art Club: Charcoal: Evan Arrighi; Pencil: Chris Allen; Mixed Media: Melissa Marshall; Acrylic: Lia Dalton; Marker: Marya Elasha; Watercolor: Michael Turner; Colored Pencil: Chris Allen; Tempura: Kayla Stockner; Pen: Marya Elasha; Oil Pastel: Heather Bartulewicz
  • Duke Wrestlers had a tri-meet at Franklin High School. Cumberland defeated Region 1a foe Franklin City High School, 36-33. Then the Dukes took on Group 4a Lakeland High School. The score was tied 36-36 at the end of the dual. However, it was determined that Lakeland HS won on the 6th tiebreaker (Criteria F). Trevon Foster, Keavon Perkins, Coleman Phillips, Gustabo Lopez and AJ Wingo all scored pins on the night. Joe Kingsley had a fantastic night scoring two 1st period pins.
  • The Boys Varsity Dukes defeated Nottoway in an exciting game in overtime, 61-52.
  • Congratulations to the Varsity and JV Lady Dukes who defeated the Lady Eagles last weekend.
  • Seniors from Drama, Forensics, and Girls Basketball were recognized along with their parents. For Drama/Forensics they were: Sam CahoonKyra-Mae Hodges, Alexa Massey, Derek Massey, Sarah Massey, Brenton Morris and Wyatt Salinas. For the Girls Basketball team they were: Annesha Harris, Vanessa Jones, Ajah Smith and Kajah Smith.
  • CCES PBIS Teacher Workshop:
  • Students from William Kinney’s carpentry class presented Cumberland Public Library Director Jennifer Beach with three drop boxes earlier this month. Through a special collaborative project between the Cumberland County Public Schools and Cumberland Public Library, drop boxes will be placed in all three school buildings. The elementary box even features an extra wide opening for the large picture books many younger students check out. The library paid for the supplies to construct the boxes and will retrieve books from them once a week. Both High School Principal Jeff Scales and Beach said they were pleased with the project. Pictured above are, left to right, C. J. Miller (ninth grade), Thomas Hodgson (eleventh grade), Chase Cobb (ninth grade), Charles Farman (eleventh grade) and Library Director Jennifer Beach. (Photo by Ilsa Loeser.)
  • Congratulations CCES and Little Duke Leaders who raised enough money to buy both Buddy Benches needed to complete the project at CCES and are only $43.00 short of meeting their goal to "Pay it Forward" and donate a Buddy Bench to another elementary school! Thanks goes to Laura Bowman, Lisa Winslow, Heather Taylor, and Bob King for helping them sort, count, and wrap change.
  • Kiara, Brenton, Dr. Griffin, and Dr. Jones visited with Delegate Tommy Wright and Kevin Reynolds from Senator Garrett's Office
Events for the Week:
  • Monday
    • CCES PBIS Kick-Off
  • Tuesday
    • Administrative Council Meeting
    • 3:00 CMS Data Meeting
  • Wednesday
    • CMS Academic Review Workshop
  • Thursday
    • Interims Home
    • HSTW/MMGW Workshop
    • 4:00 CEA Forum
  • Friday
    • 1:00 CuCPS Foundation Ice Cream Social
Snow Make Up Days:  
  • February 16, 2015
  • March 19, 2015