It was not that long ago that I believed this was the top elementary school in the State. However, over that past two years the quality of education and standards has dropped visibly. First it was the Passport and geography program. Many students just did not study for the test and so the school, instead of enforcing the standards and holding students accountable for their studies decided to succumb to the lazy and made it voluntary and during recess....oh, that will make sure kids are inspired to study. My daughter is now in 4th grade and preparing (theoretically) for Middle School. How does Centennial get them ready? Well, the teacher stopped sending home homework at Christmas....have not seen any since. Apparently the school feels that homework would interfere with the kids video games and TV time and so they do not want them to stress over homework. Again, emphasizing progress.....my 4th grade daughter is doing the same math she was doing in 2nd and 3rd grade. Very disappointing. During Spring Break we travelled and took a friend of my daughter who is in the same class. She had no clue how to perform division problems because she had not been taught division yet...I mean we are at the end of 4th grade and they have not done division yet. Reading Olympics are no longer reading Olympics....just reading. Kids were required during February to read 100 minutes a week at home (14 minutes a day)....the kids could not count minutes read at school. My daughter read 4,400 minutes. Those kids who did not turn in reading slips - they got to read at school and count their minutes. Now that will ensure these kids read at home. It seems the new answer is to teach at the lowest level, discourage learning standards and allow the lazy to decide the standards for those who really want to excel. I am so disappointed this year! Having said that the Music and PE programs are top notch as is the Office Staff. If you were expecting your kids to learn excellence here this year, think again. You will have to greatly supplement learning at home if you want your kid to be ready for Middle School....assuming of course Washington Middle School is still a place of learning and instruction with some semblance of standards.
Was not impressed!! We had 2 kids in this school for two years. We are a military family and have had the opportunity to live in several states and have had our kids in several school systems. This is not a bad school, but like most schools in Western Washington, the focus is not academic, but more towards "diversity." The teachers in the school are nice, but not that engaged. Your child is part of the herd thats getting pushed through, don't kid yourself. It seemed to me the academic effort was ramped up a bit just before the mandatory state testing, (which has a lot to do with "No child left behind.") In the end, we pulled our kids out and are now paying for private school. They are still taught diversity, but they are actually being prepared for High School and College. The good news is Olympia High School is actually a good school. We have friends whose kids are in this school, and they are happy with it. These friends had their kids in the same private school (K-8) as ours, then put them in Olympia High School. We probably won't be here that long, but if that is your plan, live in the Centennial, Washington Middle School, Oly HS district.
I have one child at Centennial with another starting in the fall. My son's experience has been excellent. He has progressed rapidly this year to well above grade level in reading (from being just average last year) and I feel that his classroom teacher and his reading teacher have been very responsive in moving him up and providing him with material at his level. He is excited to go to school. There is a great deal of parent involvement at Centennial and I'm very happy to have my children there.
Centennial Elementary is a wonderful school! My 4th grader has been going since Kindergarten and I also have one that just started Kindergarten this year. I can not think of anything that this school lacks or needs to work on. The staff is awesome, supportive, understanding and sensitive. My child loves it here and from what I hear of other schools or districts, I could not imagine being elswhere. They aim high and always achieve success!