February 2021

February Newsletter

Centennial Elementary School

Shannon Ritter, Principal

February 2021


Dear Centennial Families,


As you can imagine we have all been very busy organizing our school, classrooms and putting the finishing touches on the smaller details in preparation for a shift to hybrid learning for some of our students.


During the first week of February, we transitioned to in-person learning for some of our kindergarten students. These students joined our DLC classrooms, which have been serving students in-person since October. 


Our teachers have built amazing relationships with students since September and for some of our students and staff, having to say goodbye to each other was not easy. We were fortunate enough to be able to start with a short “Meet and Greet” so that our students could come into the building for the first time and meet their teacher.  For kindergarten students staying in a 100% distance learning setting, those students met their new teachers remotely via Zoom. 


On February 4th and 5th, we opened our doors and welcomed our youngest learners to the campus for their first day of in-person kindergarten!  Even though some of our students now have a different teacher and some now have different classmates, there was a lot of excitement in the air.  To quote Elsie, “this is the best day of my whole life” she excitedly shared as she walked out to the playground. 


Many of our staff members and families have decided to remain in a distance-learning format for the remainder of this school year. For many, this has been a very positive experience and I know that ALL of our teachers have gone above and beyond to transition to a virtual classroom and have been doing an incredible job. The very best thing we can all do right now is to continue to support one another and the decisions that people make for their health and family. 


With regards to when additional grade levels will move into hybrid learning, I unfortunately do not have any specific dates to share for students in grades 1 - 5.  The school district will share those dates once a decision has been made. In the meantime, we will continue to actively plan and prepare to welcome more students back to our campus. 


As a reminder, we do have a new start and end time for those who are currently in a hybrid learning setting.  For those students in our DLC classrooms and kindergarten, who will be in-person, school will start at 8:30 a.m. and end at 1:52 p.m.  For those students remaining in a 100% distance learning setting, the school hours will not change.  Our distance-learning schedule will remain the same until grade level transitions to hybrid. Once that grade level moves into hybrid, teachers in distance learning will Zoom for the Morning Meeting on Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. and then have the remainder of the day for planning. Teachers who teach in person will also zoom with their students at 9:00 a.m. and then have the remainder of the day for planning. Students will have specialists and asynchronous work on that day. 


After two plus years of construction and a full year of living and learning during a pandemic, I continue to be grateful to this community and staff for their kindness, their flexibility, patience and their understanding. Thank you for your kind words and continued partnership during these challenging times.  We are better together.  I am so very fortunate to be part of the Centennial team!


Shannon Ritter      



Centennial Hybrid School Hours and Office Hours

Centennial students that have transitioned to in-person Hybrid Learning; school begins at 8:30 a.m. and is dismissed at 1:52 p.m.  (Currently this applies to Kindergarten Cohort A & B and our DLC Programs)

·      Doors open at 8:20 a.m.

·      Warning bell rings at 8:25 a.m.

·      School dismissed at 1:52 p.m.

The front doors will be locked for safety reasons. The camera and doorbell/speaker unit is to the right of the front doors. To gain entrance to the school (picking up or dropping off your child after school has begun) parents will need to ring the doorbell and wait for the office to respond; please identify yourself and the name of your child and their teacher’s name. At this time, we are only having hybrid in-person students enter the school.  We will not have any volunteers or parents in the building. Office staff will meet students and parents at the front door during the school day.


The school’s office hours are now 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. due to the change in the school’s start time. Give us a call if you have any questions at 360-596-8300.


Wellness Screening

The “Wellness Screening” is now a monthly attestation (in Skyward Family Access) for those children coming to the school for in-person Hybrid Learning. The district has decided to go from a daily screening to a monthly screening. Make sure to complete the attestation, before your child comes to school, by the first of the month. Thank you to the families that have started to get in the habit. You will answer one question and then click the submit button. You can complete the survey several days before the 1st. Answer the attestation question prior to your child riding the school bus or coming to school for in person classes. Children will have their temperature checked as an added safety feature in the morning when they come to the school.


If you have not added the Skyward Mobile App to your phone, set this up as soon as you can.  This is a quick and easy way to complete the attestation (Wellness Screening) for your child.


Count Down to Kindergarten

On Saturday, March 6, the Olympia School District will hold its annual Kindergarten informational event starting at 10:00 a.m.-11:30 a.m. This will be a Virtual Zoom Meeting this year with breakout with the different elementary schools. Watch for more details on the OSD School District’s website. A reminder that children should be 5 years old by August 31, 2021 to be eligible to start kindergarten this fall. This informational event is for parents of incoming kindergartners in the Olympia School District.


Classroom Packet Pick-up Change for students in 100% Remote Learning  

Instructional materials aka “packets” are available for pick-up every two weeks on Wednesday starting in February. Completed packets can be turned back in to the teacher when you collect the new packets. Make sure your child’s name and teacher is on the packet. Drive to the Bus Loading Zone to pick up items on these dates and times.


February 10 – Wednesday  

February 24 – Wednesday  

March 3 - Wednesday 

March 17 – Wednesday

March 31 - Wednesday 

  • Morning pick-up time 8:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m. 
  • Lunchtime 11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
  • Evening pick up now 4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.


This date change is due to our transition to in-person Hybrid Learning for Kindergarten students and staff. Staff is only available to help on Wednesdays.  (We are no longer offering Thursday or Friday quick pick up). If you cannot make this Wednesday pick up date, go to the school office and staff will assist you during normal office hours 7:30-3:30 p.m.


Calls going home from Message Center regarding Attendance

·      If your child forgot to complete their Remote Attendance check-in online in OSD Portal in the morning prior to 9:00 a.m.; a courtesy email will go out at 2:30 p.m. alerting parents that their child did not checked in that morning.  Please remind them to go back in and check in.  (For families Grades K-5)

·      Absences not called in to the school attendance line, students not showing up for class in Zoom or who did not complete their Remote Attendance check-in the day before will be marked absent unexcused and a robo call will go out to families on the following day at 2:00 p.m.

·      Teachers that are teaching in-person classes in either Cohort A or B will enter the attendance for the students on their in-person days.  On the student’s non-school day while they are at home working on their school projects they will need to remember to complete their Remote Attendance check-in in the morning on these other three days.

Questions or clarifications call the school office at 360-596-3800.


Attendance Line – calling in absences

Reminder to call the Attendance Line at 596-8303 to report any absences, medical appointments, late arrivals or trips.  You can let your teacher know as a courtesy, but you need to call the Attendance Line as soon as possible so the office can enter your reason for the absence to prevent the robo call going out. This is a 24-hour recording phone line. Please feel free to call this number at any time that you are aware that your child will be absent.


CES Library Books

Books to Go – Your, to-go library service! Visit Mrs. Slater’s Schoology page under “Books to Go”.



Books need to be placed on hold. See the Books to Go link above to walk you through the process. When the books are ready for pick up, an email will be sent to you with the date you can pick them up.  Walk around to the back of the school to the backdoor entrance of the library, to pick up your books. The library back door is across from the three portables, behind the school.


Lunch Pick Up - Grab & Go Lunches

For families with students on a remote learning schedule you can continue to pick up your “Grab & Go” lunch or breakfast from 11:30-1:00 p.m. at the school’s cafeteria side entrance.


Students in the Kindergarten Hybrid Learning Cohort A and B on their non-school day will need to stop by the school and pick up a Grab & Go” lunch or breakfast during these same hours.


Food Bank Weekend Food Bags

The food bank, in conjunction with the local school districts, has created a weekend program, which provides a bag of food items for kids to eat on the weekend. The food bank realizes that families sometimes have trouble getting to the food bank due to transportation and/or work schedules. They want to ensure that students have kid friendly food items that they can eat with minimal adult support if needed over the weekend.


The food bank will take into account your child’s age to create a weekend food supply. They are happy to provide siblings, both older and younger, a bag of food also. Food will go home on Thursday or Friday for In-person learning students. Distant Learning families can continue to pick up their bag at the Grab & Go lunchtime. If you would like to have your children participate in this program, contact the school office at 596-8300.


Upcoming Events




Student Packet Pickup for 100% Remote Learning Students only8-9 a.m. 11:30-1 p.m. 4-6 p.m.


Report Cards posted to Skyward


Mid-Winter Break- No School


Student Packet Pickup for 100% Remote Learning Students only 8-9 a.m. 11:30-1 p.m. 4-6 p.m.


PE Family Night -Zoom Event at 6:30 p.m.


Student Packet Pickup for 100% Remote Learning Students only 8-9 a.m. 11:30-1 p.m. 4-6 p.m.


District Kindergarten Information Zoom Meeting for Fall 2021 10:00-11:30 a.m.


Student Packet Pickup for 100% Remote Learning Students only 8-9 a.m. 11:30-1 p.m. 4-6 p.m.


Student Packet Pickup for 100% Remote Learning Students only 8-9 a.m. 11:30-1 p.m. 4-6 p.m.


Spring Conferences - early dismissal half day


Spring Break – No School




Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Supports





COVID-19 has impacted students and families over the past year in a multitude of ways. For some, the pandemic has chipped away at their resiliency and mental health, creating a sense of helplessness, and at times, hopelessness. As a school district, we will strive to support students, families and staff in every way possible as we navigate the coming months.


Although there are brighter days ahead, with the gradual rollout of the vaccine and in-person learning, we must continue to watch out for one another. This means being tuned in to the emotional needs of those around us and being aware of the warning signs of depression in children, depression in teens and thoughts of suicide. Although we strive for a culture of kindness and compassion, there is a stigma attached to suicide, which makes it hard to talk about. Research shows, however, that when struggling individuals are asked if they are having thoughts of suicide, they are less likely to move forward with a plan to harm themselves; asking directly increases their safety. If someone is in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at 1-800-273-8255.


To further OSD's efforts to prioritize mental health, the Olympia School District Education Foundation (OSDEF) has launched a mental health initiative to expand its support in this area. These include mental health courses for staff and students, Teaching and Learning Grants aimed at funding mental and physical health initiatives, and a mental health resource library for students, families and staff.


The stressors and isolation associated with distance learning are real. The transition to hybrid learning brings with it many positives, as well as the potential for new challenges around childcare arrangements, transportation, possible change of teacher, etc. The refrain that we have been hearing since nearly a year ago has been, “We are all in this together”. Now is the time to increase the volume on that message, turn our eyes and ears to each other and remember to utilize the school district counselors, psychologists and social workers, all of whom can provide support, guidance and referrals to community providers. Please take a moment to review the resources below:


Resources for families from the OSD website


OSD 2020-21 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, [email protected] (360)596-8534

·       Ken Turcotte, Section 504 and ADA Coordinator, [email protected], (360) 596-7530

·       Pat Cusack, Director of College and Career Readiness, [email protected], (360) 596-6102

·       Scott Niemann, Title IX Officer and Affirmative Action Officer and Civil Rights Compliance Coordinator, [email protected], (360) 596-6185.  All four individuals may also be contacted at 111 Bethel Street N.E., Olympia, WA, 98506.