Superintendent's Update

Centennial School District - September 22, 2021

Dear Centennial Colleagues, Students, Families and Community,

We're entering our third week of the school year, and I'm especially proud of our staff and parents for working together to make the start of the school year a strong one. After visiting all schools, a common theme I heard from staff was the excitement to have students back in the building. You can see the intentional focus of building relationships and community with our students.

I was also impressed by the ways in which schools are prioritizing health and safety in terms of following the established health and safety protocols, such as mask wearing, and how schools are being creative in how they are seating students in the classroom and how lunch times are coordinated.

We continue to build awareness about our COVID-19 notification, communication, and quarantine protocols. We're launching our district's COVID-19 data dashboard today, Wednesday, September 22, 2021. It will be updated weekly and it's located at in our Back to School section (accessible from our homepage).

One of the challenges we're experiencing this year is staffing. As many of you know, staffing shortages are a common issue for not just school districts, but other organizations as well. The good news is we're finding some new and innovative ways to tackle this challenge. For the first time, we hosted virtual job fairs to attract individuals for rewarding careers in our district. We know how important it is to recruit and retain the very best to serve students in our schools and on our busses. Learn more about our position openings below.

I want to provide an update on the Boundary Review process. Our boundary review survey had a high response rate with with over 400 respondents who participated. Mark your calendars for the Boundary Review Open House dates of Thursday, November 16 and Tuesday, January 11 from 6-8 p.m. (location details to be announced). Additionally, we're in the process of convening a Boundary Review Committee with a diverse group of parents who will review community input and analyze potential boundary review scenarios. Parents and guardians, if you’re interested in participating on the Boundary Review Committee, email or contact your child’s school.

Students and staff coming back to buildings are witnessing all of the amazing work that's taken place over the summer, thanks to voters' support of the 2020 bond. You'll find these highlights on our social media pages, on our website, and in these e-newsletters. We are incredibly grateful for our community's support.

Speaking of community support, a big thanks to Safeway Manager Jacen Moore, a Centennial graduate who donated much needed supplies to our schools in the form of health and safety supplies. Read more about his generosity in this e-newsletter.

As you may be aware, there are four priorities we're focused on in our Strategic Plan Destination 2023:

  • Student-Focused Teaching & Learning;
  • Healthy Culture & Environment;
  • Effective Systems & Programs; and
  • Community & Partnerships.

You'll see how we're aligning our efforts to these key priorities in this and future e-newsletters.


James Owens, Superintendent

National Hispanic Heritage Month

From September 15-October 15, join us in celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month. This is a time dedicated to recognizing the cultural experiences and contributions of Hispanic and Latinx individuals who represent 600+ languages and dialects. In Centennial School District, 28% students identify as Hispanic. In our district, you'll find schools celebrating the month in various ways such as displays and class activities. Now and throughout the year is a great time to learn about the value of Hispanic cultures and what they bring to our community.
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Hear and see the excitement for the 2021-22 school year with this video featuring our students, leadership, teachers, support staff, and more!

Back to School Video
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Food for Families for Fall 2021

Distribution takes place on the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month, from 4-5:30 p.m., at Centennial High School, 3505 SE 182nd Ave, Gresham, OR 97030. This is a drive-up style distribution. Thanks to our Centennial High School Future Business Leaders of America students for helping reduce hunger in our community by providing this mobile food pantry.

For more information or if you'd like to help volunteer, visit:

Centennial Alum Gives Back to School Community

Centennial School District recently received a donation from the Safeway on Martin Luther King Blvd. in Portland. The manager of the Safeway, Jacen Moore, is a graduate of Centennial School District and wanted to find a way to give back to the school community.

The donation included more than 300 kids' masks, 30 disinfecting wipe containers, and hand soap. The masks are being divided among our seven elementary schools for students who may be in need.

We are so grateful for our alum’s generous contribution and display of community. Thank you, Jacen and Safeway, for helping us keep our students healthy and safe!

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Join the Centennial School District Team!

Parents, guardians, and community members: Learn about what makes Centennial School District a great place to work! We offer rewarding career opportunities such as a Teacher, Education Assistant, School Secretary, School Bus Driver, Dining Services Technician, and more!

Visit our careers page to see our position openings:!

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Health and Safety Updates

COVID-19 Notification and Communication

When our district becomes aware of a COVID-19 positive case or exposure, we follow Oregon Department of Education’s and Oregon Health Authority’s guidance, in collaboration with Multnomah Educational Service District and Multnomah County Health Department. We’re required to follow Multnomah County Public Health’s directive related to exposure, quarantine, and notification.

Notification includes:

  • The families of individual students were determined to be “exposed” (as determined by Multnomah County Health)
  • The individual staff members who were “exposed” (as determined by Multnomah County Health)
  • The school staff and onsite community partners
  • General school notification letter


  • Staff and students are to follow quarantine dates according to dates provided by the Multnomah County Health Department and Multnomah Educational Service District (MESD).

Spectator Guidelines

For the remainder of the Fall 2021 athletic season, given the prevalence of the Delta variant of COVID-19, the following spectator guidelines will apply in the Centennial School District:

Outdoor Athletics:

Spectators (5 years or older) are required to wear a mask, regardless of vaccination status, and to maintain at least 6 feet of social distance.

Indoor Athletics:

  • 100 total fans will be allowed to attend CHS indoor contests (50 fans per school)

  • Only the friends/family of athletes allowed as spectators

Each event will have a gate list where a maximum of 50 fans (home and visitors) would be allowed into our sports complex to watch athletes compete. All fans must sit upstairs (except for those with mobility restrictions).

Spectators (5 years or older) are required to wear a mask, regardless of vaccination status, and to maintain at least 6 feet of social distance.

Any additional information/details related to these guidelines will be provided by the high school.

COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic for Youth Ages 12+

The Multnomah County Student Health Center is hosting weekly Covid-19 vaccine clinics for youth from ages 12 to 19!

This includes Centennial High School Student Health Center’s clinic which is held on Thursdays from 2:40-4:40 p.m. Call 503-988-5488 to schedule. Other details about the vaccine clinic include:

  • Youth from ages 12-14 must be with a parent or guardian.
  • No out of pocket costs, insurance, identification, or social security number necessary.
  • Students don’t need to attend the school where the center is located. See the image below for additional information.
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Promises Made, Promises Kept: Bond Project Highlights

Oliver receives updates with 2020 bond funds

Change and much-needed improvements are taking place at each of our school locations, district-wide, thanks to the $65 million bond passed by voters in 2020. This includes Oliver Elementary School, which will be converting into a middle school starting in Fall 2022.

Oliver now has a stabilized, resurfaced, and newly striped track. The field event areas have also been resurfaced. Storm drainage has been improved around the track and in the center field to minimize standing water, and irrigation was added in the center of the field to improve playability and maintenance.

The roofing work at Oliver is complete. Floor tiling was removed, concrete floors polished, and wall coverings in all corridors were updated; ceilings were repaired; recessed walk off-mats were installed at each entry; and a welcome sign was stained into the lobby floor to greet staff, students, and parents.

In addition, the upper gym floor was completely stripped, sanded, sealed, and striped, and will be open for use for the first day of school. And, mechanical improvements have been underway to better control heat distribution throughout the school.

Oliver will also receive science lab renovations, media center renovations, and new career technical improvements over the next 12 months, as part of Oliver’s conversion from an elementary to middle school.

The school will also benefit from safety and security updates, further mechanical repairs, lighting repairs, solar paneling, and paved parking in the coming year.

Thank you, voters, for supporting the 2020 bond that’s resulting in much needed improvements to our school buildings.

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Centennial Middle School starts the school year showcasing multiple improvements

Centennial Middle School (CMS) received many improvements over the summer.

Recently completed projects at CMS include roofing repairs, corridor updates, floor tile removal and the polishing of concrete floors, new paint on upper walls and doors, new wainscot, ceiling repairs, walk off mat installations, and mechanical improvements. All three gym floors were completely stripped, sanded, sealed, and striped due to their age.

Due to deterioration that comes with age, the track and field event pads were removed down to asphalt and replaced with modern cushioned rubber surfacing, with striping completed last Spring. It is a full 8-lane track. Field event areas were also resurfaced. Storm drainage was also improved around the track and at the center of the field to minimize standing water.

Over the next year, CMS will also receive science lab and media center renovations, locker room updates, improved safety and security, and more mechanical and lighting enhancements.

These bond projects are creating much-needed improvements at our schools, which allows us to continue prioritizing the education, safety, and well-being of our students. It’s so heartening to see transformation take place across the district. Thanks again, voters, for making this possible for our school district and most importantly, for our students!

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Bond Oversight Committee Tours Schools to See Bond Progress

On Thursday, September 16, 2021, the Bond Oversight Committee met and toured various school sites to see many improvements made on bond projects over the summer.

The tour began at Oliver Elementary School where members were provided comprehensive updates on extensive work done on the track and gym floors, roofs, outdoor soffit work at the front entrance, and heating system repairs. They walked hallways to see flooring and interior wall updates. The next stop was Centennial Middle School where members learned about roofing repairs, explored flooring and interior wall updates, and viewed the new track and gym floors. Centennial High School was the last stop where members viewed tennis court and field improvements, heard about roofing updates, and walked the new gym floor with the new Eagles logo.

We appreciate our committee members for their time and contribution to this important aspect of our 2020 bond projects!

To learn more about the role of the Bond Oversight Committee, visit:

Find bond project highlights at:

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Collaborating in Community - Cultivating Equity - Inspiring Excellence