My child started at this school last year and we were constantly upset about his education throughout the year. First, the school is very old and seriously needs to be rebuilt (or at least seriously remodeled). There is no air conditioning in the school (except in a couple classrooms where the teacher provided their own)and several students had heat exhaustion during the heat waves last fall and spring. We tried not to judge a book by it's cover and hoped that the teaching would overshadow the poor facilities, but sadly it did not. It is our understanding that a well-loved principal retired a couple of years ago and since then there has been significant turnover and unhappy teachers and staff. The previous principal has now left and a new one will be starting this fall. Hopefully that will help. While my child loved the teacher this past year, she was not a very good teacher. The school has zero focus on math skills. The math instruction was at least one year behind the previous school we came from. The reading is individualized, however they underplace students in lower level reading groups than they are capable of (continuing to teach them what they already know rather than challenging them to do better than that). The teacher did move my child up into a higher level group after I asked her about whether the previous group was the right level, but did not think about moving up without being questioned about it. (I did not request the move , I just asked how my child was doing and if was in the right group.) Part of the reason that we moved into this area was the combination of an affordable place to live with a decent school (based on the reviews we found from out of the area). Unfortunately, we have been horribly disappointed in the school and we are looking into options to transfer into the Eugene 4J school district under their open enrollment program. If we were not locked into living in this area for at least a couple more years, we would have moved over the summer to be in a better school district.
Centennial is a wonderful school. The entire staff truly care about the success of every child. The support that the parents show to the staff is amazing. You feel a true understanding of community and commitment every time you enter the school. As a parent I feel welcomed by the teachers to participate in my child's education in and out of the classroom. Mr. Donnelly the principal always amazes me the first week of school he knows every child's name even the kinders and knows how to interact with each child and makes them feel that he cares.... Which he genuinely does!
The entire staff of Centennial Elementary is as fine a group of people as you will encounter anywhere. Their extent of caring and meeting student/parent concerns is outstanding. Their level of community spirit has always been exemplary.