First Blackstone Valley Prep high school set to open in Cumberland

First Blackstone Valley Prep high school set to open in Cumberland

The former St. Joan of Arc parish school at Cumberland Hill will be home Ð for two years Ð to the first Blackstone Valley Prep Mayoral Academy High School. The Catholic school closed many years ago, and when public school populations rose in the 1990s and 2000s, it was used as the J.J. McLaughlin Cumberland Hill School Annex. (Valley Breeze Photo by Tom Ward)

CUMBERLAND - The first Blackstone Valley Prep Mayoral Academy high school will open on Sept. 3 at the former St. Joan of Arc Church school building, 3357 Mendon Road, just a two-minute drive from Cumberland High School but quite a distance from the Valley Falls-Pawtucket area that school officials had been hoping for.

The space is temporary, according to an announcement that says a two-year lease was signed.

The new high school, serving students from Cumberland, Lincoln, Pawtucket and Central Falls, will start off with just a 9th grade, with most desks filled by current 8th-graders attending middle school at the former Fairlawn school in southern Lincoln.

"The vision for the BVP high school is for it to be a center of 21st-century learning so that our scholars leave for college with the skills and knowledge they need to be successful in a world that demands they can learn and adapt in increasingly complex environments," said BVP executive director Jeremy Chiappetta.

"Although we are still actively pursuing options for a permanent site, we are excited about this location for its capacity to fulfill our vision and needs related to technology and space."

The site had served Cumberland district for many years as an annex to the Cumberland Hill Elementary School.

It's the third parochial school site that mayoral academies have converted in Cumberland. The former St. Patrick's School, at 291 Broad St., was purchased outright and renovated as its first elementary school.

Our Lady of Fatima classrooms off High Street continue to house a second elementary school that will be replaced by the new school under construction at 52 Broad St.