Teaching and Learning at the Upper School
(Grades 9-12)

Paul Cuffee’s Upper School nurtures the development of individuals within a vibrant and supportive community of learners. We provide a rigorous curriculum focused on the development of independent, critical thinkers and involved citizens. We empower students to change their own behavior and take responsibility for their learning and we support them in learning the skills necessary to do so.

All students have a home base, or advisory, where they report first thing in the morning to meet and prepare for the day. Advisory periods may focus on college and career preparedness, social-emotional issues that adolescents face, and community development. The advisor serves as each student’s primary advocate and communicator between home and school. The advisor keeps track of the student’s academic and social emotional progress and supports the student in a variety of ways.

Each grade level has a team of teachers who work closely together and meet frequently to monitor and support student growth.

The curriculum and grading at the Upper School are designed to help students succeed in meeting state and school standards of achievement. We work to ensure that all students are prepared to meet the school’s graduation requirements, which are based on the requirements of the Rhode Island Department of Education.

To learn about the achievements of our 2023 graduating class, click here to read the “Paul Cuffee Upper School Class of 2023 Fact Sheet.”



Average Class Size: 20
Current Enrollment: 820
Students of Color: 96%
Female Students: 51%
Male Students: 49%
Free/Reduced Price Lunch Eligibility: 82%
Multi-Language Learners: 19%
Students Receiving Special Education Services: 13%
Total Employees: 168
BIPOC: 45%
Female Employees: 75%
Male Employees: 25%