Alex Washburn/Wired

Cumberland has purchased tablet computers for all of its middle school students. The district tells Rhode Island Public Radio’s Elisabeth Harrison the new technology is changing classrooms in a big way.

Cumberland middle school principals say the traditional teacher-led class has been turned on its head since the district purchased Chromebooks for every sixth, seventh and eighth grader.

Students are doing more group work, and teachers act more like facilitators.

A parent in Cumberland filed has filed a lawsuit against the Cumberland School District and the State Board of Education, challenging the practice of charging tuition for summer school.

In a complaint filed last week, parent Susan Giannini alleges the fees are unfair to students with learning disabilities and low income families. Her attorneys argue they fly in the face of longstanding state policy that prohibits public schools from charging fees for other programs, like afterschool sports and AP classes.

The State Department of Health says it notified school officials in Cumberland as quickly as possible after a student tested positive for enterovirus D68.

The 10-year-old student died last week of a bacterial infection. Health Department Director Dr. Michael Fine says enterovirus may have played a role, but a staph infection was the cause of death.

"We notified them very quickly as soon as we notified the family after we got confirmation of D-68, " Fine said. "The death was not from E-D68, the death was from staph aureus sepsis."

Cumberland school officials say they were not told until Wednesday morning that the death of 10-year-old student was linked to enterovirus D68.

In an email to parents, Superintendent Philip Thornton says he first learned of the girl's death last week, but was told it not a case of the virus. Health officials notified him Wednesday the girl had a rare combination of staph infection and enterovirus D68.

"Within an hour of receiving this information, we pulled our crisis team together and sent out to parents and staff this new information," Thornton wrote.

John Bender / RIPR

A Cumberland teenager received honors at the Statehouse Thursday for his work to get Rhode Island to ratify the 17th amendment of the U.S. Constitution.  The amendment allows direct election of U.S. Senators, previously selected by state legislatures. Rhode Island never ratified the amendment when passed in 1912.

17 year old Samuel Ackerman began spearheading efforts pushing legislation to ratify the amendment last year.  It passed this session.

The Cumberland American Little League team is in Williamsport Pennsylvania this week for the National Little League World Series.  This is the team’s second visit to the competition.

The team first made it to Williamsport in 2011.  Though they went home empty handed they’re back this year to try for the world title.  The team claimed the New England Championships earlier this month beating Connecticut. 

Nancy Belisle of Cumberland is rooting for the team, not least because her husband is coaching, and one of her sons is playing.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

It’s the summer reading season, and for this month’s Artscape we explore books for young adults starting with what some kids at the Cumberland Public Library plan to read this summer.

Summer Reading Students

Phillip DiDomenico, 10 years old, recommends Frindle by Andrew Clements, which he read during the school year.

Sophia Dauphine, 7 years old, plans to read Diary of A Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney

Isabella Dauphine, 9 years old, wants to read Little House on the Prairie, the Laura Ingalls Wilder classic

Beavers Gnawing on Trees at Diamond Hill Park

Apr 24, 2013
Michelle Plant

In Cumberland, a colony of beavers is bringing down trees at Diamond Hill Park. The town is busy deciding how to stop the animals.