Amy Griffin's Blog

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

Student Engagement

During the middle school Academic Review visit, I observed an engaging lesson that brought non-fiction science together with the creation of poetry through accessing information, collaboration, creativity, student voice and choice, and communication. A true example of teaching the required content (the English SOL standards and essential knowledge) through 21st Century learning.  Each student began with finding five words in a science magazine that he/she would like to use in a class poem. After listing all the words chosen, students began working as a class and in pairs to develop a poem using the words.  As the class began "word smithing" each thought and line, a poem began to appear. Students were engaged with interesting and current event topics such as Ebola, robofish, etc. Below are final products from three different classes:
I was impressed to see every student engaged in many high-yield strategies. Kudos goes out to Miss Cannon who took the risk with this lesson which was truly student-centered with student choice and voice leading the way!


CuCPS Highlights:

  • Congratulations to KaTyra Brown, 7th grader, for winning the Cumberland Division Spelling Bee. She will represent Cumberland at the regional spelling bee. Pictures can be found at:
  • CCES Safe Routes Grant information:’s-helmets-heads-program-announce-20
  • CHS students attend VSUP Leadership Conference:
  • Congratulations to the following Juniors for being selected to attend Boys & Girls State: Danielle Dowdy, Erica Bryant, Nicole Riddle, Ahkiya Allen (Girls State); Justin Crawford, Sean Stinnett (Boys State). This is the highest number of attendees to be chosen by the local American Legion for Cumberland High School.
  • The nail art club invited 5th grade girls to have their nails painted. The girls used different techniques that they had learned such as sponging, dotting, and striping.
  • The Duke Boys played at Central. The Varsity Boys won 51-40 while the JV team lost by 11 points. 
  • Congratulations as both the JV and Varsity teams defeated the Lady Chargers in James River District action. 
  • The Duke Boys played at Rappahannock High School. The Varsity lost in a close game while the JV team won. B
  • The Varsity Lady Dukes defeated the Rappahannock Lady Eagles while our JV Girls played well in a tough loss.
  • The Middle School and High School Wrestling Teams had a dual match at Fork Union yesterday. Davidrick Brooks and Keavon Perkins both earned wins. 
  • Parents and students: the library has partnered with the schools to provide drop-off boxes for library materials. These boxes are located in the main office of each school and are marked with a sign. Students (and teachers) may return public library books to these boxes during the school week. Library staff will come once per week to empty the boxes.We hope that this new service will help school children return books before they owe late fees. Many thanks to Mr. Kinney's carpentry classes for building the boxes.

Events for the Week:  Happy Virginia School Principal Appreciation Week!
  • Monday
    • VSBA Capital Conference
    • 7:00  School Board Budget Work Session
  • Tuesday
    • 3:00  CMS Data Meeting
  • Thursday
    • 3:30  CCES Data Meeting

Student Leaders

CCES Superintedent Student Panel
It shouldn't be a surprise to anyone that my favorite part of last week was listening to our students.  From student presentations at the January School Board Meeting to meeting with members of the Superintendent Student Panels from each school, I had the honor of learning from our students and providing them a voice. Our students taught me about climate change and Mars exploration. I heard about student experiences at a National Medical Congress and VSUP Leadership Conference. 
My time spent with students on the Superintendent Student Panels was enlightening and comical. Students from all three schools voiced that things were going well. The middle school students had a lengthy discussion about the new vending machine in the cafeteria (apparently the machine taunts them since they can't use it) and high school students were concerned that a 2-hour delay wasn't truly a 2-hour delay. I explained that the 2-hour delay was the easiest way that I knew to inform students of what time they would be picked up by bus; however, would think about announcing the actual time school starts at all three schools on several media outlets such as Facebook, the alert system, the website, etc. At all three schools, we had good discussions about what students were learning and what we could do to improve.
Lastly, I enjoyed observing our elementary students during a Focus School visit. During my first classroom visit, several students asked me if I would be their reading partner in the Reading Workstation. Of course I couldn't disappoint a child, so I put down my observation tool and listened to them proudly read. One student even assigned me a part in the story. In another classroom, students were writing stories. They chased me down before I left the classroom to read me what they had written. Kindergarten students in the third classroom impressed me greatly with their reading and writing skills.  
Moments such as these, make me so proud and remind me why I chose and remain in public education. A special thanks goes to our CuCPS faculty and staff who make learning and these experiences/opportunities possible for our students.
Gov. School Information Meeting
Special Announcement:
The Snow Make Up Day from last Wednesday, January 14, 2015, will be March 19, 2015, originally scheduled as a Student-Led/Parent-Teacher Conference Day. As of right now, we will keep Monday, February 16, 2015, as a Professional Development Day (no school for students).
CuCPS Highlights:
  • 4H Mentoring Program coming to CMS:  January is national mentoring month and mentoring is one thing that can help Cumberland’s children fight the odds, say community leaders. “I believe in the power of mentoring,” says Yvonne Earvin. “I believe you can make a difference in a young persons life if you spend time with them.” She is the coordinator for the 4-H Mentoring program, which is slated to start next month at Cumberland Middle School thanks to a $20,000 grant. Get all the details in today’s paper or online at
  • The CHS Forensics Team attended the annual Waynesboro High School Forensics Invitational on Saturday, January 10th. The results for the competition are as follows:
    • 3rd Place Alexa Massey (Impromptu)
    • 4th Place Brittny Price (Extemporaneous)
    • 4th Place Shayna Swanson (Prose)
    • 4th Place Cheyenne Johnson (Poetry)
    • 5th Place Kyrra-Mae Hodges (Poetry)
    • 5th Place Katey Hougland /Demory Williamson (Humorous Duo)
    • 6th Place Holly Tillett (Extemporaneous)
    • 6th Place Kayla Paras (Poetry)
  • The CHS Wrestling Team had a tri-meet against Amelia H.S. and Northumerland H.S. Cumberland swept the meet by defeating Region 1A East foe Northumberland HS, 54 to 30, and getting a district win against Amelia HS, 48 to 18. Davidrick Brooks, John Ryan Bapties, Keavon Perkins, Trevon Foster and 7th grader Blake Barker all earned pins last night. The Dukes next match is a Middle School and High School Dual at Fork Union Military Academy on January 21st at 4:30 p.m. Great job, Duke Wrestlers!
  • CHS Varsity basketball defeated Bluestone HS, 58-54, the Dukes were down 12 points in the 4th quarter and fought their way back for a big JRD win!

The hens in our Ag program have been busy laying eggs!


Events for the Week:

  • Tuesday
    • After School Program Begins
  • Wednesday
    • CMS Academic Review Visit
  • Thursday
    • 10:00 Division Spelling Bee
    • 1:00 Administrative Council Meeting
    • 4:00 Division Calendar Committee Meeting

Back in Action!

It was wonderful to see all the bright, shiny, and ready-to-learn students and staff as they returned back to school last week. If weather doesn't get in the way, we have a busy week ahead- a School Board meeting, Board of Supervisors meeting, Superintendent Student Panel meetings, a CCES Focus School visit, and the Division Spelling Bee. My hope is that we get full days of school in this week; however, I am somewhat depressed as I see the weather forecast for the week and the Freezing Rain Advisory scroll across the screen as I write. Why does the frozen participation always have to happen during the morning commute and always- west of Richmond???  Don't be surprised if we try a 3-hour delay if needed and appropriate this season.  Time will tell.

CuCPS Highlights:

  • Congratulations to Justin Caban for being the Herff Jones Believe In You Award winner for the class of 2015!
  • Congratulations to Mrs. Bryant for having her project on funded!
  • Cumberland Middle School and Cumberland High School Wrestling Teams faced Appomattox in a hotly contested dual meet. CHS defeated Appomattox HS for the 1st time since the program was reinstated 8 years ago. The Dukes were down by 6 points with 2 matches remaining. Coleman Phillips got a huge pin to tie the score at 30 a piece. Gustabo Lopez ended the dual with a big come from behind win to clinch a team victory with a final score of 33 to 30. Kajhaun Trent, Blake Barker, AJ Wingo, Nick Yoder, Sean Stinnett, Coleman Phillips and Gustabo Lopez earned wins last night. The CHS Dukes next match is at home against Amelia H.S. and Northumerland H.S. tomorrow. Wrestling starts at 4p.m. in the old gym. Great job, Duke Wrestlers!
  • The JV and Varsity teams defeated Wm. Campbell. The JV team won, 34-22 while the Varsity beat the Lady Generals, 51-37. 
  • The Cumberland County Public Schools Foundation, Inc. AND Centra Southside Community Hospital are sponsoring a 5K Run for Scholarships. The event will start at the River Road Entrance of the High Bridge Trail State Park and offers an out and back run across the legendary High Bridge.  Proceeds will go to scholarships for graduates of the Cumberland County High School. Participants who register before the March 1 deadline will receive a High Bridge t-shirt. Click here for complete information:
Events for the Week:
  • Monday
    • 7:00 School Board Meeting
  • Tuesday
    • CCES Focus School Visit
    • 3:00 CHS SLT and Division Data Meeting
    • 7:00 Board of Supervisors Meeting
  • Wednesday
    • 9:00  CCES Supt. Student Panel Meeting
    • 10:00 CMS Supt. Student Panel Meeting
    • 1:00 CHS Supt. Student Panel Meeting
  • Thursday
    • 10:00 Division Spelling Bee
CuCPS will be closed on Monday, January 19, 2015, for the Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday

Insanity, Resolutions, and School Improvement

Albert Einstein defined insanity as "doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results".  This leads me to wonder-- why then, are we so resistant to change?  Whether the opportunity/challenge of a new year's resolution, moving education into the 21st Century, or working towards school improvement, one can't keep doing the same thing over and over and expect different results. As a new year begins and the second semester takes off, I ask each of you to do the following:  
  • Have high expectations for yourself, peers, and students; 
  • Resolve to see yourself as a learner; and
  • as John Hattie says, "Know thy impact".

One of the most important lessons that we can teach our children is the value of life-long learning. We can teach this through modeling.  The lesson begins with us.


CuCPS Highlights:
  • Cumberland County Elementary School has been selected by the National Center for Safe Routes to School and Schwinn’s Helmets on Heads Program to receive a mini-grant for the Spring 2015 semester. Over 170 applications from across the country were submitted and the selection committee was particularly impressed by the creativity of PE teacher Glenda Grubbs for her proposed efforts to increase safe bicycling to school in our community. 

  • CHS and CMS basketball teams were busy the week prior and during the break:
    • CHS Basketball defeated Nottoway HS, 45-39, in the Brunswick HS Holiday Basketball Classic. The Dukes finished in 3rd place with a 2-1 record. Deitrich Brown was named to the 2014 All-Tournament Team. The Boy's and Girl's team will return to the court on Monday Jan 5th-vs- Amelia County.
    • CHS Varsity Boy's Basketball defeated Sussex Central HS, 51-49.
    • CHS Boy's Basketball defeated Nottoway HS with the JV Dukes- 38, Nottoway-34; and Varsity Dukes -56, Nottoway-46. The Dukes are in 3rd place in the JRD with a 5-2 overall record.
    • CMS defeated Prince Edward MS 37-28 in the Goochland MS Basketball Holiday Tournament. The Dukes finished in 3rd place.
    • Three of our four CHS Basketball teams won against Randolph-Henry. The JV and Varsity Lady Dukes won in Charlotte C.H. The JV score was 27-17 and the Varsity defeated the Lady Statesmen, 38-11. The Varsity Boys beat Randolph-Henry, 64-38. The JVs played well but lost 51-42.
    • The JV and Varsity Lady Dukes played William Campbell as a Conference 44 non-district game. The JV team won 28-18 and the Varsity lost a heart breaker, 48-46. 
    • The JV and Varsity Lady Dukes defeated the Prince Edward Lady Eagles. The JV team won, 29-22, while the Varsity team won 53-29. 
  • CHS Middle & Varsity Wrestling Teams lost a dual meet to Powhatan John Ryan Bapties, Trevon Foster and Nick Yoder all earned victories. The next match will be January 7th at Appomattox H.S.
  • 4th graders performed the annual CCES Winter Musical for a packed house. Pictures can be found at

Events for the Week:
  • Monday
    • K-5 ELA Lesson Planning Meetings
  • Tuesday
    • CMS Academic Review Workshop
  • Thursday
    • Administrative Council Meeting
  • Friday
    • Report Cards Home
Meet Nicholas who was born during break at the Griffin Ranch!

Holiday Wishes

The CHS Junior Ring Ceremony was held on Thursday, December 11, 2014.
Twas the week before Winter Break and all through the division,
the students and staff were fulfilling the CuCPS vision...
From 5th grade students making Ferris Wheels using coding and Hummingbird Robotics to CHS students conducting a Fashion Show in Spanish, students throughout the division are learning using 21st Century skills. Serving our community also has been on top of the list with ROTC and the Marching Dukes participating in the Cumberland Christmas Parade and the Little Duke Leaders preparing to read aloud to students and senior citizens. With a week left of school before Winter Break, CMS will host and celebrate student learning at the Celebrating Excellence Expo Night and CCES will hold the annual Winter Musical.
As we conclude first semester and enter Winter Break, I would like to thank all the CuCPS faculty and staff for their hard work and dedication to the children of Cumberland.  I wish everyone a wonderful and safe holiday and a happy New Year!  Please be safe, relax, and enjoy time with your family and friends.
She sprang to the CuCPS Facebook page, to her team gave a shout-out,
While they all loaded school buses and cars to get about.
But I heard her exclaim, 'ere she blogged at the lake ,
"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good break"
CuCPS Highlights:

Events for the Week:

  • 5:30-7:30 p.m.  CMS Expo Night
  • CCES Focus School Meeting
  • 7:00 p.m.  CCES Winter Musical
  • 12:00 noon Dismissal for Students
  • 12:00-3:30  Teacher Collaborative Planning Day
  • End of the Semester (Report Cards Home:  January 9, 2015)
Winter Break:  Dec. 22, 2014-January 2, 2015