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Portsmouth Abbey School

Private K-12 School

Mailing Address
285 Cory's Lane
Portsmouth, Rhode Island 02871
(401) 683-2000
School Information
"Portsmouth Abbey School helps young men and women grow in knowledge and grace. As a Benedictine boarding and day school committed to excellence, we embrace the Catholic faith while nurturing reverence for God and the human person, love of learning, and commitment to community life" (Source: Furthermore, "The Abbey prepares you for post-secondary academic work by providing you with a broad and liberal education in the Benedictine tradition. We foster crucial academic and life skills through a structured sequence of courses. Our curriculum celebrates the classics of the Western canon and addresses three fundamental objectives: to develop a common background of knowledge among students; to use the study of a classical language and ancient history to train students in disciplined thinking; and to give students a thorough grounding in and appreciation for the written and spoken word" (Source: The school enrolls 350 students, has a student/teacher ratio of 5 to 1, has 43 athletic teams, offers 73 courses and 16 AP courses, and hosts a rate of 80% of its faculty with "advanced" degrees” (Source:
General Information
Portsmouth Abbey School has taken action through solidarity. The school released an open letter emphasizing the importance of Black Lives Matter. A "Committee on Cultural Diversity" was created in August 2020. Moreover, other events throughout the school's programming delve into topics such as diversity, equity, and inclusion. At this time, it does not appear that Critical Race Training is required of students. See developments below:

Actions Taken

  • In August 2020, the Board of Regents, Monastery, and School created a "Committee on Cultural Diversity at Portsmouth Abbey School." Then-Headmaster "summarized its action points: to listen, to learn, to engage, to be clear, to collaborate." The committee, headed by Dr. Marc Lavallee, "has already been meeting over the summer, producing a plan to enhance communication, curriculum, and community support on these action points."
  • The mission of the "Portsmouth Abbey School Human Rights Club" is to "provide education on human rights and international social justice issues to the Portsmouth Abbey School community and identify opportunities for students to take positive action on these issues." One of the Club's goals is to "develop and practice the skills of entering into challenging conversations, create intergroup dialogues, and talk across differences."
Symbolic Actions
  • The school's prior administrator issued an "Open Letter to the Portsmouth Abbey Community" and stated, "If you can’t say 'Black lives matter,' then you have no right to say 'All lives matter' because it is Black lives that are under attack." The prior administrator went on to say, "To be black in America is to be at risk of your life, even from those who are purportedly protecting you. And white privilege means that you are NOT endangering your life when you jog, or sit in your own living room, or go bird-watching. The deep-rooted attitudes and systems of racism are intolerable."
  • In August 2020, the school's then-Headmaster Dan McDonough stated, on the subject of racism, that "Portsmouth Abbey School acknowledges the times when its community has failed to live as Christ taught – to love our brothers and sisters. We apologize for those instances when we have not done enough to respond to and educate about injustices here in our community and in the world. With deep sorrow and regret, we ask for forgiveness from all who have been harmed by these sins committed in the past or in the present." 
  • Portsmouth Abbey School announced that its student athletes attended the “First Annual Student-Athlete Leadership Team Summit,” also labeled SALT. Billy McBridge, the Keynote Speaker, “spoke about how sports and student leadership can help to combat discrimination and other social injustices such as diversity and inclusion.”
Last updated November 27th, 2023
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