December 2019

December 2019

Centennial Elementary School
Shannon Ritter, Principal December 2019

Hello families ~
We have much to be proud of here at Centennial and one of the things I am especially proud of this year has been our 4th and 5th grade Peer Mentors. Peer Mentors are brand new to Centennial. Interested students use their 35-minute recess, once a week, to volunteer in a classroom. In fact, 40% of the students in 4th and 5th grade are Peer Mentors! That is 68 students supporting students in both of the DLC classrooms and all the Kindergarten and 1st grade classrooms! These students provide students with academic support in the classroom, give encouragement and friendship. Students and staff look forward to this time each day.

Peer Mentors also support the District Student Outcomes:
Outcome 1: Be compassionate and kind
o Be aware of and appreciate one’s similarities and differences with others.
Outcome 5: Discover their passions, be curious and love learning
o Understand and demonstrate the value of service in their community and learning by doing.

Here are a few quotes from some Peer Mentors.
“I enjoy being a Peer Mentor because I get to help them read. Some of the 1st grade students I read with struggle and it makes me feel good that I can help them out. Some kids ask to read with me even when it is not their turn. I also got to help one student learn about “doubles” which has to do with addition.”4th Grade Student Zachary

“I help out in a Kindergarten classroom. I usually go around and help students during Free Choice time. Sometimes we draw together and I teach them how to draw shapes. Sometimes I help them decide which game to play and how to play the game. Sometimes I help them turn the pages while they listen to the story with their headphones. Basically, I just help out whenever there is a need.” 5th Grade Student Maddy

“I work in a DLC classroom. I think it is a good idea to be Peer Mentor because I can be a role model for students. I can show students how to play a game and that it is okay to lose. I have made some new friends by working in this classroom and I enjoy going there each Monday.” 5th Grade Student Cyrus

 “I like being a Peer Mentor because I like to help the kids. A lot of them need help cutting and getting materials. I like going into the Kindergarten classroom plus she was my teacher in Kindergarten so it is fun to be back in her classroom. I am excited to be in the classroom and get to know the kids.” 4th Grade Student Anderson

“I love to hang out with the kids and every Friday I look forward to helping them. I don’t have a favorite student I work with, I just like them all. Usually I check in with the DLC Teacher and she tells me how I can help. I enjoy being a Peer Mentor because it is fun and I think they really like having me in their classroom too.” 5th Grade Student Aria

As always, thank you for sharing your students with us! Mrs. Shannon Ritter Principal

Centennial STEAM Fair 2020 on January 22, 2020
Mark your calendars for the Centennial STEAM Fair 2020 on Wednesday, January 22nd during the school day! We will be mixing it up a bit this year and encouraging all classes to display STEAM learning for the fair, as well as encourage families who want to do a science fair trifold presentation to proudly display these as well, especially if there's interest in the regional science fair in March. Volunteers will be vital to the success of this event. From setting up, to brainstorming creative ideas, to helping with demonstration stations throughout the school, to hands-on demos from resident scientists and artists, we need all types! We would love to have you involved in this all ages event!

Please contact Jennifer Knight with any questions at Also please check out this Google Form to sign up for one of the many volunteer opportunities.

More details to come in the coming weeks. If you're wondering what STEAM is, check out these resources: What is STEAM?
Resource for families and teachers:
What is STEAM?

Change in Weather
The days are growing shorter which means that it’s a good time to remind students, parents and community members to exercise caution in and around school zones, bus stops and roads that are frequently used by walkers and bikers. Reflective clothing is a good idea, especially for those students who walk or bike to school in the morning and afternoon when it is dark. Dress for the Weather Every child at Centennial has outdoor recess during the day. While indoor options are available during the very wet weather or extremely cold weather, children are otherwise expected to be outside. Children in kindergarten - fifth grades have recesses up to 35 minutes in length. This is a long time to be outside if improperly dressed for the weather. Thank you for double checking to be sure your student is dressed appropriately each day. Also, remember to write your child’s name in their coats or jackets. We have a number of coats with no names in the Lost & Found Closet. We will be calling The Little Red School House to take items we have had since September and October that are still in Lost & Found, in another month. Please check the closet by the gym. Lots of coats and jackets!

We’re a Family of Readers
When families share a love of reading, children develop stronger literacy skills and are more motivated to pick up a book. Here’s how some of our readers have made reading a family affair. After-dinner novel “We pick a novel all ages can enjoy—often one my wife or I enjoyed as a child—and take turns reading a chapter a night. The kids look forward to it, especially if we stopped at a cliff-hanger the day before. After each chapter, we share our opinions of the book and say what we think will happen tomorrow.” Reading adventures “Every time we visit the library, we look for books related to someplace we’re going soon. Before a visit to the aquarium, we found nonfiction books about sharks and dolphins. And before a trip to my sister’s apartment in the city, we read about skyscrapers, subways, and taxis.” Treasure hunts “When my son first learned to read, he searched for free reading ‘treasure.’ He’d collect maps from parks and malls, brochures from the vet’s office, and even fortunes from cookies. Soon, our whole family was adding to the ‘treasure chest.’ We’ve learned a lot, like how dogs communicate and what fun things there are to do at our favorite park.” ♥ Home & School Connection, December 2019

Health Room Donations
When you are cleaning out any clothes that your child has out grown, think about the school. We are looking for both boys and girl’s pants (all sizes). Please send to the office. Thank you.

Lion’s Vision & Hearing Screening
On Friday, November 22 Lion’s Vision and Hearing team stopped at Centennial to screen all kindergarten, first, second, third and fifth grade students. It was a busy day and thank you to all our volunteers that helped with this event.

Walk ‘n’ Roll to School!
Hey Centennial Stars, it’s time to Walk N Roll to School! Intercity Transit’s Walk N Roll program invites all students and families to join Centennial in walking or rolling to school and getting some outdoor activity in before getting cozy inside for the holidays with a fun morning on December 11th. Don’t forget thick socks, gloves, and a scarf to make your walk or roll safe and enjoyable! Students who walk or roll to school get a prize!
Save these dates. Dec. 11 Jan. 8 Feb. 12 March 11 April 1 May 13 National Bike to School Day June 10

Connect with History
Become history “tourists” in your own town. These activities help your child learn about history and make connections to what he’s learning in school.

Exhibits: Visit historic sites and museums. Your youngster may learn how people made hand-dipped candles or crafted armor. Encourage him to ask staffers questions about the time period. He might inquire about chores children did, for instance.

Historical Markers: These plaques tell what happened in specific locations. Perhaps a one-room schoolhouse once stood in your town or a famous inventor was born nearby. Stop to read and discuss the markers. Tip: Search for markers near you at Home & School Connection, December 2019

I Can Handle That!
What is your child capable of doing for herself? Probably more than she realizes. Encourage her to become more responsible with these tips.

Manage a social life. Let your youngster call friends to set up her own get-togethers. She can also RSVP to birthday parties and pick out and wrap gifts. If she’s sleeping over at a friend or relative’s house, ask her to pack her own overnight bag herself.

Do minor repairs. Teach your child how to use a screw-driver and other tools safely. You can watch as she puts her know-how to work fixing a younger sibling’s toy or tightening a loose doorknob.

Track “inventory.” Is your youngster running low on crayons, shampoo, or her favorite cereal? Have her keep a list on the refrigerator?

Cook food. Your child can learn to make sandwiches and salads, mash potatoes, and whisk eggs. With supervision, she could peel and chop vegetables and use the microwave. Idea: Encourage her to be creative in the kitchen and come up with her own recipes. ♥ Home & School Connection, December 2019

Upcoming Events: 
12/10 Winter Band & Orchestra Concert at Centennial at 2:30 p.m.
12/11 Walk ‘n’ Roll to school
12/12 Third Grade Field Trip 9:15 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. 12/20 All School Sing at 2:45 p.m.
12/13 Wear Festive Sweaters
12/20 Wear “PJs” to School Day
12/20 Booster Club’s Family Movie Night at 6:00 p.m. - “Polar Express”
12/23-1/3 Winter Break
1/8 Walk ‘n’ Roll to school
1/9-10 Science on Wheels at Centennial
1/14 Booster Club Meeting at 7:00 p.m.
1/17 Martin Luther King Assembly at 9:15 a.m. at CES Gym
1/20 MLK Jr. Holiday – No School
1/22 CES – Steam Science Fair
1/31 Half Day – Dismissed at 12:05 p.m. – Grading for First Semester

OSD 2019-20 Notice of Nondiscrimination
The Olympia School District will provide equal educational opportunity and treatment for all students in all aspects of the academic and activities program without discrimination based on race, religion, creed, color, national origin, age, honorably discharged veteran or military status, sex, sexual orientation, gender expression or identity, marital status, the presence of any sensory, mental or physical disability, or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability. The district will provide equal access to school facilities to the Boy Scouts of America and all other designated youth groups listed in Title 36 of the United States Code as a patriotic society. District programs will be free from sexual harassment. Auxiliary aids and services will be provided upon request to individuals with disabilities.
The following people have been designated to handle inquiries regarding the nondiscrimination policies, reports of alleged sexual harassment, concerns about compliance, and/or grievance procedures:
 Autumn Lara, Executive Director of Elementary Education, (360)596-8534
 Ken Turcotte, Section 504 and ADA Coordinator,, (360) 596-7530
 Pat Cusack, Director of College and Career Readiness,, (360) 596-6102
 Scott Niemann, Title IX Officer and Affirmative Action Officer and Civil Rights Compliance Coordinator,, (360) 596-6185. All four individuals may also be contacted at 111 Bethel Street N.E., Olympia, WA, 98506.

Centennial Families Contributed to the OHS Annual Canned Food Drive We have been asked to participate in the annual Olympia High School Canned Food Drive. The food drive will support our local Thurston County Food Bank. Thank you for donating cans and other non-perishable foods. The food drive will continue through December 13th .

The Downtown Host Lion’s Club
Lion’s Club made their annual visit to Centennial and presented free dictionaries to all our third grade students on November 22nd. The students and teachers were very appreciative of their generous gift.

As part of the Olympia School Districts commitment to maintaining a healthy environment, the following guidelines are provided to assist you in determining when to keep your child at home.


Fever Over 100.4 Degrees
Diarrhea or Vomiting
Rashes with a fever or itching, (Unless diagnosed by a physician) 
Sore throat
Head Lice or Scabies
Cough with congestion or fever
Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye) is highly contagious
Strep Throat
Chicken Pox
No fever for at least 24 hours. Temperature under 100 degrees, without assistance of a medication, (e.g. Tylenol, Advil, etc.) 24 hours after
Diarrhea &/or Vomiting Stops
Physician note &/or no longer present for at least 24 hours. No fever for at least 24 hours, (See above “Fever Over 100.4 Degrees”). Recommend consulting a physician. Stay home at least 24 hours after starting antibiotic treatment. Stay home if uncomfortable.
Head Lice or Scabies treated & Nits/Eggs Removed (Wait at least 24 hours & must be rechecked by the nurse or health room assistant upon return)
Cough has lessened, or illness has been treated by physician (Coughing can be a real distraction to the class &/or student if severe)
Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye) is highly contagious Physician note.
Strep Throat Diagnosed & at least 24 hours after starting antibiotic treatment.
Chicken Pox May return to school after all lesions have formed crusts, usually 5-10 days after start of rash.

These guidelines are meant to help decrease illness so your children can be in the best environment for learning. Please cover all wounds & encourage hand washing. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact your child’s school nurse. By working together, we can prevent the spread of illness and keep our children the healthiest they can be.

THANK YOU The Olympia School Nurses