March 2019 - Welcome Spring

Admin Update - RICAS

Curtis Corner Middle School students will be taking the Rhode Island Comprehensive Assessment System (RICAS) during the first week of April and second week of May. RICAS is the RI state assessment in ELA (Literacy) and Mathematics and is aligned to the Common Core State Standards. Students in grade 8 will be taking the Next Generation Science Assessment (NGSA) in May as well.

It is vital that students bring their laptop to school, fully charged, during the official testing days. Students will be asked to bring self-selected reading materials to each test session in the event they complete the test early. No technology will be allowed once a student has completed the test; this includes laptops, phones or e-readers.

As on any school day, a good night’s sleep and a nutritious breakfast will help your child perform at his/her best. We appreciate your cooperation in avoiding absences, late arrivals and early dismissals during the testing window.

Our schedule is as follows:

RICAS ELA Grade 7 & 8 - April 4 & 5 from 7:45 to 10:00

RICAS Math Grade 7 & 8 - May 15 & 16 from 7:45 - 9:30

NGSA Science Grade 8 only - May 1 & 2 from 7:45 - 9:00

To learn more about the RICAS assessments, information can be found at:

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at


Juno 8th Graders to Get Souvenirs from Deep Within the Southern Ocean

As part of their physical oceanography unit, Juno 8th graders have decorated styrofoam cups that will be sent to the depths of the Southern Ocean and returned to students later this year at a fraction of their former size. The cups will be in a mesh bag attached to a piece of oceanographic equipment aboard the JOIDES Resolution, a 469-foot oceanographic research vessel specializing in core sampling. The JOIDES Resolution is operated from Texas A&M University and funded by the National Science Foundation. Thanks to Marlo Garnsworthy, an SKSD parent and owner of Wordy Bird Studio and Pixel Movers and Makers for this crushingly good opportunity. Marlo will be aboard the vessel as the Education & Outreach Officer, and among other duties will be conducting live ship-to-school broadcasts. To learn more about Expedition 382, Iceberg Alley visit these links link 1 and link 2.

CCMS in Action

Academic Proficiency Center - APC

We are offering the Academic Proficiency Center (APC) again this year for students that need additional instruction. The APC is also available for students to retake a major assessment if they score below 75. Listed below are the areas APC is offered and the teachers that staff the APC rooms. Please feel free to contact the APC teacher with any questions on how the program works. Students have access to a sign up in google classroom.

Updates From The Dean - Mr. Devolve

Happy Spring!

Just a few reminders and tips about cell phone use at CCMS.

Generally speaking, kids should use their phones sparingly and only when permitted, before and after -- but not during -- the school day. Parents, although it can be tempting to text your kid during the day, resist the urge if it's truly urgent please call the office at 401-360-1380.

Students have been known to misuse their cell phones at school. Make sure they know not to use the phone for unsanctioned purposes, such as cheating and videotaping it, taking pictures of other kids without their permission, and so on. Some violations have serious consequences -- and the evidence is all on the phone.

Along this vein, we are hosting a Social Media night for parents and guardians to discuss tips and strategies for appropriate use.

#thecurtiscornerway Mrs. McNeiece

March is the month to celebrate at CCMS! Congratulations to our 8th grade Band for receiving the prestigious rating of "Excellent" at the RIMEA State Junior Band Festival. Good luck to our Unified Basketball team as they continue to reach for the stars during their exceptional season. Please join us at our long-anticipated production of Aladdin Jr., March 28th, 29th and 30th at 7:00 PM

Mr. P's Prevention Corner

How to Talk to Your Teen About Marijuana

With talk of legalizing marijuana for recreational use in RI, we want parents to be prepared with knowledge and tools to help protect teens from the risks and harms of marijuana.

Fast Facts
• 38% of high school students report having used marijuana in their life.
• Research shows that marijuana use can have permanent effects on the developing brain when use begins in adolescence, especially with regular or heavy use.
• Frequent or long-term marijuana use is linked to school dropout and lower educational achievement

Clear Rules Help Keep Teens Safe

The teen years are a time of rapid growth, exploration, and onset of risk-taking. Taking risks with new behaviors provides kids and teens the opportunity to test their skills and abilities and discover who they are. But, some risk behaviors—such as using marijuana—can have harmful and long-lasting effects on a teen’s health and well-being.
Marijuana and the Teen Brain
Unlike adults, the teen brain is actively developing and often will not be fully developed until the mid-20s. Marijuana use during this period may harm the developing teen brain.
Negative effects include:
• Difficulty thinking and problem-solving
• Problems with memory and learning
• Impaired coordination.
• Difficulty maintaining attention
Decline in school performance. Students who smoke marijuana may get lower grades and may be more likely to drop out of high school than their peers who do not use.

Increased risk of mental health issues. Marijuana use has been linked to a range of mental health problems in teens such as depression or anxiety. Psychosis has also been seen in teens at higher risk like those with a family history.
Impaired driving. Driving while impaired by any substance, including marijuana, is dangerous. Marijuana negatively affects the number of skills required for safe driving, such as reaction time, coordination, and concentration.

Potential for addiction. Research shows that about 1 in 6 teens who repeatedly use marijuana can become addicted, which means that they may make unsuccessful efforts to quit using marijuana or may give up important activities with friends and family in favor of using marijuana.

Source: The Center For Disease Control
Check out the American Academy of Pediatrics' Position on the Legalization of Marijuana
What's A Parent to Do?

Adolescence is a tricky time. Teenagers are just beginning to establish their identities and this often means testing the limits of parental controls. When it comes to drugs and alcohol, pushing the boundaries can lead to dangerous territory.

Setting clear rules about marijuana and other substance use helps give teens the structure they need to stay safe. Let’s be realistic: You can’t guarantee that your rules won’t be broken. But research shows that kids who have clear rules are less likely to get into serious trouble than kids who don’t. Even when the rules are broken, teens whose parents have clearly outlined what is and isn’t acceptable are less likely to run to extremes and more likely to make safer choices.

So you need to have the talk, but for a lot of parents initiating a potentially difficult conversation is daunting. A few guidelines can help get the ball rolling and make for a smoother, more productive experience for all.

Plan to Have The Talk

Springing a serious conversation on your teen can make her feel defensive. Give a heads up in advance and make sure to be clear about what the conversation will entail, so everyone can be on the same page. “Tomorrow night let’s have a talk about drinking and drugs. You’re not in trouble. I just want to talk about where we stand and hear any concerns you might be having.”
Get your free Marijuana Talk Kit here And learn more here...

Parents Guide to Co-occurring Substance Use
and Mental Health Disorders

You’ve noticed your teen is increasingly moody and anxious. Is this a sign of a mental health disorder? Or substance use? Or could it be both? What might be behind a young person’s change in behavior is often hard to pin down, particularly when substance use and mental health are both factors.
But understanding how these challenges can manifest in a child’s life, and sometimes entwine to create new problems or complicate treatment, is essential to keeping kids healthy.
Here is a great guide to help!
Today's Teens: Anxiety and Depression "Let them know that you’ve got their back"
How to Help Teenage Girls Reframe Anxiety and Strengthen Resilience
With permission from the Child Mind Institute

Important Dates to Remember

March 21 - Unified Basketball Game

March 27 - Baked Potato Night - Washington DC fundraiser

Marcvh 28, 29, 30 Aladdin

April 3 & 4 - RICAS ELA - 7:45 to 10:00

April 5 - School Dance

April 9 - CCMS performance Festival

April 24 - Parent Social Media Night

April 27 - Savers FunDrive

May 1 & 2 - NGSA Science - Grade 8 only - 7:45 - 9:00

Math 15 & 16 RICAS Math - 7:45 - 10:00


At Curtis Corner Middle School it is important to us to keep our families aware of all the great things happening at our school. In an effort to do this, we utilize multiple communication methods.

  • WEBSITE - The middle school website is the primary tool for all communication. Our website is updated almost daily with all school announcements. It also contains upcoming events, important dates, documents, links to teacher emails, and team information. There is also a guidance page that includes important information from our guidance department. This page is updated weekly. Teams have pages with information on team events, homework and team communications.
  • GOOGLE CLASSROOM - All CCMS teachers have established an individual Google Classroom containing important information for their classes.
  • SKYWARD - Parents are able to access the Skyward parent portal for updates on their child's academic progress. To access the parent portal from the CCMS webpage, click on the parent tab at the top of the page. For your username and password please contact the school secretary.
  • TWITTER - Curtis Corner uses Twitter to promote the wonderful things happening in our school. Follow us at @CurtisCornerMS You may also want to follow @terryt9lynch, @kristenstring Many of our teachers have a Twitter account to highlight the great instruction and activities happening.
  • NEWSLETTER - A goal this year will be to have a Principal's Newsletter distributed at least quarterly highlighting school and student achievement. If you have any suggestions that are worthy of recognition, please email me at If possible, please include a photograph.
  • SKYLERT - Our school utilizes automated phone and email messages. Please make sure you have accurate phone numbers and email addresses in Skyward in order to receive this information. To change this information in Skyward you can contact Mrs. Gleason at or Mrs. Skokowski at