Central Elementary School

Welcome Back Newsletter

2022 - 2023 School Year

Welcome back staff and students! We are excited to kick off another school year. 2022 - 2023 brings lots of new changes to Central Elementary School that are sure to make this year great! We have beautiful new lockers and a handful of new staff members! Please take a moment to read through this newsletter for important information about our school policies and upcoming events. As always, please feel free to contact us with any questions.


Welcome new staff...


Principal - Matt Saunders


Fourth Grade Teacher - Liz Southwell


Fifth Grade Teacher - Shelley Kennedy


PE Teacher - Kate Barbour


Technology/STEM Teacher - Hillary Thorin

Open House

Wednesday, Aug. 31st, 4-5:30pm

410 State Street

Petoskey, MI

Come meet your teacher and visit your classroom.

First Day of School

Tuesday, Sep. 6th, 8am

410 State Street

Petoskey, MI

FULL DAY OF SCHOOL. Doors open at 8 am. School starts at 8:10 am. Please have your child here on time and ready to learn.

Picture Day

Friday, Sep. 9th, 8am

This is an online event.

Please look for your students picture order form in their Friday Folder (received at Open House or will be sent home with your student on the first day of school). Retakes on October 11th.

Welcome Mr. Saunders

Please help us welcome Mr. Saunders to Central Elementary School. Mr. Saunders comes to us from Vanderbilt School District. He lives in Petoskey with his wife and three children. He is active with the high school theater department and loves to spend time with his family outside of work. As a lifelong resident of Petoskey, Mr. Saunders attended Central Elementary when it was once the middle school. He then went on to complete his student teaching at Central Elementary. His two youngest children attended Central for kindergarten through fifth grade. His pride in this school runs deep and he is over the moon excited to be the new principal.


Please be sure to welcome Mr. Saunders to our Central Family!

Important Information

Start of School Information


Doors open for students at 8:00 am. School starts at 8:10 am. Kindergarten and first grade students are to be dropped off at our front entrance on State Street. Second through fifth grade students will utilize our Grove Street entrance. If you have a kindergartener and/or first grade student IN ADDITION TO a second through fifth grade student, you are welcome to drop off and pick up on State Street. Parents will say goodbye at the door and students will go straight to their lockers to put their things away before coming into the classroom. Staff members will be inside to greet and assist students at both entrances, as well as at the bus loop. Please review our attendance policy (below) for important information.


Dismissal Information


Central Elementary has a staggered dismissal;


Kindergarten - 2:55 pm


First grade - 3:00 pm


Second through fifth grade - 3:05 pm


Please note that parents are not allowed in the school during dismissal. If you need to meet with your child's teacher or school administration, please reach out to them individually to schedule a meeting.


Parent Volunteers


The Central PTO (Parent Teacher Organization) is a wonderful way to get involved with fun activities for the school. There will also be opportunities to volunteer in your child's classroom working with small groups or stations, helping with classroom parties, and more. Please know that it is up to the teacher to establish volunteer needs per classroom.

Attendance Policy

It is the parent’s responsibility to report each and every absence. Please contact the office by calling (231) 348-2110 to report your child’s absence before 8:00 am. Your call will be directed to voicemail or handled directly by office personnel. We are working hard to simplify our attendance process and appreciate your help to make this happen. In addition, if your child will need to leave during the school day for an appointment or other matter, please notify the office ahead of time. Last minute arrangements are difficult during our busy day and we can’t guarantee that your child will be ready and waiting unless we have ample notice.

In order to obtain the best possible education, it is important that students attend class on a daily basis and arrive on time. School starts at 8:10 am. Please do your best to have students here before that time. Regular classroom participation is necessary to achieve the best possible learning situation for every student. This policy statement has been developed to encourage good attendance and to discourage tardiness. Our goal is to maximize every student’s opportunity to learn.

Parents - please sign up for Be Alert (click here)

For important school closing/delay notifications and school related emergencies such as evacuations. We encourage everyone to utilize this system.

Employment Needs

We are in need of health care aides, substitute teachers and custodial staff. Please help spread the word of our need by sharing this link. Thank you!


https://www.petoskeyschools.org/employment/