June 15, 2021
Dear Centennial Colleagues, Students, Families and Community,
A bright light shines at the end of this tunnel, as we may have come to a turning point in the pandemic. The light is “Hope,” as we have worked through many barriers and challenges to get us closer to returning to a new normal. Vaccine rate continues to increase, COVID-19 positivity rates are dropping and public health restrictions are loosening—all of which provide hope of a large-scale return to in-person learning in the Fall. I thank our parents, our students and our staff for braving the storms that we have been sailing and navigating all of the challenges we faced this school year. This school year, along with last spring, will be one that we will never forget. While we are not defined by adversity, the challenges we have faced this year have created defining moments for all of us! In Centennial, we moved from distance learning to a hybrid learning environment, we faced wildfires, ice storms and a cyber attack just to name a few. Despite it all, on June 10, 2021, 360 Centennial Seniors graduated! I would like to recognize their agility, flexibility and perseverance despite ongoing adversity. This year we were able to gather together in person for their commencement ceremony at Centennial High School – Congratulations class of 2021 - we are all very proud of you! As a district, we are ending the year strong due to your unwavering dedication and commitment to our students.
Later this month we will be provided with guidance at the state level regarding requirements for the Fall and will keep you updated as more information is made available. In the meantime, we are looking for your input on returning to school in the fall so we can learn what’s most important to everyone before we move ahead together. We are using ThoughtExchange so everyone has a chance to share their perspectives. We will be using your thoughts to establish best practices and understand what’s most important to the group.
https://tejoin.com/scroll/454300540 to share your thoughts and then rate at least 20-30 of the thoughts that others have shared. Your participation is confidential, so no one will know who shared or rated which thoughts. Please come back often until June, 22, 2021 to rate new ideas and contribute.
I also want to take this time to thank and recognize all of our retirees. Your dedication to our students, families and each other is what makes the Centennial School District a special place.
As you know, we are offering a robust plan for summer school and expanded learning opportunities which are set to begin later this month. Our summer programs will provide a wide array of learning and social-emotional support. We kept a close eye on our students' needs throughout the school year and specifically designed unique summer learning programs for the elementary, middle, and high school levels. It is great to report that summer school participation is high and students are ready to take advantage of this extended learning experience. If you are interested in knowing more about summer school contact your child's school.
Moving forward, I would like to share with you an update on Oliver as we continue the process of converting the school from a K - 6 elementary school to a 6th through 8th Grade Middle School. Earlier this year, a committee of school staff and administrators engaged in virtual facilitated work sessions to identify, explore, and develop methods to align a vision for Oliver Middle School. This included the drafting of a guiding purpose, goals, learner profile, and educator profile. We plan for these elements to be ready to share with the broader Centennial community this fall. In the meantime, to help further shepherd this work, within the next month we will be identifying the planning principal for Oliver Middle School. Throughout the 2021-2022 school year, the planning principal will guide the development of the staffing, instructional model, and school schedule for Oliver Middle School. The planning principal will become the founding principal of Oliver Middle School in Fall 2022.
I would like to thank the following individuals who participated in this Oliver Middle School Visioning process: Aeline Reamer (CMS), Amy Lindahl (MESD), Carol Fenstermacher (Communications), James Owens (District Office), Jared Austin (Powell Butte), Jeb Hubbs (Oliver), Mairi Scott-Aguirre (CHS), Zach Ramberg (CHS), Johanna Castillo (CMS), Marin Miller (Powell Butte), and Tina Acker (Curriculum & Student Learning). Broader stakeholder engagement with respect to the Oliver Middle School conversion will take place in the 2021-2022 school year.
As you know, I will be transitioning into the role of Superintendent of Multnomah Education Service District (MESD). I remain strongly committed to the Centennial School District, and the success of our students. I look forward to continuing to serve the Centennial community while providing systems supports for students across the county.
It has been an honor to serve with all of you, your commitment to equity and excellence is admirable. In the past seven years, we have made some significant progress and overcome many obstacles, challenges, and milestones together. I am proud of the work we have done, and know that our staff, students and community will continue to make a positive impact!