Upper School Curriculum

We use the standards identified by the Rhode Island Department of Education, as well as the framework of Developmental Designs, as the basis for our work. Each year, students take at least 6 courses that are aligned to state and national standards and encourage critical thinking, problem-solving, and real-world application. Most students will take math, English, history, science, and physical education courses each year. In addition, students are offered a variety of electives, including visual and performing arts, Spanish, college readiness, AP courses, and math and literacy supports. 

English Language Arts

We utilize the Odell English Curriculum as the basis for our English Language Arts courses. The focus on this curriculum is to provide students with the skills they need to read deeply, collect evidence, and then create evidence-based claims. 


Our science curriculum in all courses is inquiry-based, and we use a variety of different curricular resources to support science instruction. Our core science courses include biology, chemistry, and physics. 


We utilize the enVision math curriculum as the basis for our mathematics courses. The curriculum takes on a problem-based approach, which asks students to think critically about mathematical tasks that are applicable in the real world. 


Our history curriculum is aligned to the Rhode Island social studies standards and places an emphasis on learning about the history of populations and communities that have not always been represented in typical history instruction. Most Paul Cuffee Upper School students take world history, two courses in U.S. History and History of Identity, which includes elements of philosophy and sociology. Civics is embedded into both of our U.S. history courses.


Students have a choice of electives each year that include Spanish, visual and performing arts, college readiness, AP courses, and math and literacy supports, among others.



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%