• What is school like in the United States?




    Public schools in the United States are free. Schools want parents to be involved in their child’s education. Classrooms are positive places for children to learn. We encourage students to express themselves. They can be creative and use critical thinking skills. Parents do not pay for students to attend the Centennial School District. Schools are funded by local, state and Federal tax monies.

    • Attendance at school is mandatory until the age of 17. Mandatory school age refers to the period of a child’s life from the time the child enters school as a beginner, which may be no later than at the age of 8 years, until the age of 17 or graduation from a high school, whichever occurs first.
    • School is Monday through Friday. No school on Saturday or Sunday.
    • Each school begins the day at a different time. Check with your school.
      • Middle and high school students must be in the classroom at the start of school.
    • If a student is absent because of illness, the parent or guardian must send in a note on the day the child returns to school. By doing so, the student is excused from that day of absence. The note must state the student’s name, date of absence, brief reason, and parent/guardian signature.
      • If you receive a note about your child’s attendance, please contact the school office or the community worker.
    • Sometimes schools are closed or delayed because of extreme weather. School closings or delays are listed on the district website, www.centennialsd.org and on local radio and TV stations.
    School Day
    • Text books are provided in classes, but students are not allowed to write in them. Books must be returned at the end of the year.
    • Every school has a library that students are allowed to use.
    • Students may eat breakfast and lunch at school. You may bring or buy food in the cafeteria. You may qualify for free or reduced meals. Click here for the form (insert links for free and reduced applications in every language).
    • Students are not allowed to have food or drinks in the middle and high school classrooms.
    • Middle and high school students keep coats, backpacks, books, and lunch in their lockers.
    • Students raise their hands and wait to be called on to speak.
    • Homework is assigned regularly and expected to be completed at home by the student.
    • Students must have permission from the teacher to leave the classroom.
    • All class work and homework must be completed by the student unless the teacher assigns it as group work.
    • Teachers consider it cheating when students copy homework from another student or talk during a test.
    • Teachers consider it cheating when you copy directly from a book, magazine, newspaper, or the Internet.
    • Students must show the same respect to male and female teachers.
    • Students are expected to learn the names of their teachers and classmates.
    • Classroom learning occurs in many different ways, including playing games, singing, music, drama, art, working in groups, and students talking with other students. Teachers will introduce these activities in class.
    • Field trips (trips to museums, historical sites) are an essential part of student learning. All students are expected to attend and the school will help to pay the cost if families are unable to pay.
    • Teachers welcome contact from parents. Please make an appointment and arrive on time.
    • Middle and high schools have a bell system to begin and end classes. Students are expected to arrive in class before the bell rings.
    • All adults in the school building should be treated with respect.
    • Check with the math teacher regarding differences in solving math problems, writing numbers, and showing your work.
    • Check with teachers for grading policies.
    • Students who need to take prescribed medication must leave the medication with the school nurse. They must go to the nurse’s office to take the medication.
    • We communicate with students and parents through a computer program called "Skyward." As you child’s teacher about how you can be a part of this program.

    General School Rules

    In order to maintain a safe and comfortable environment, all students must follow the school’s rules. This is a brief list of the most common rules.
    • No chewing gum in school
    • No running in the hallways
    • No hats or head coverings, except for religious reasons
    • No cell phones (Limited usage at the high school)
    • No electronics or toys (this includes iPods, Gameboys, etc) (Limited usage at the high school)
    • No smoking, alcohol, or drugs
    • No weapons (including pocket knives) and no toy weapons
    • No inappropriate language or profanity (in any language) or hand gestures
    • No selling or buying on school property
    • No bullying, play fighting, or physical contact with any student or teacher
    • No name calling
    • Do not take anything that does not belong to you. If you find something, take it to the lost and found.
    • Respect personal and school property (no graffiti).
    • Check with your school for the dress code. Students are not required to wear uniforms.
    • Transportation to school is a privilege. You must follow the rules or you will lose your transportation. Check with bus drivers or student handbooks for the bus rules
    • When students break a school rule there will be a disciplinary action taken by the teacher or school administration. This could include detention, in school suspension, confiscation of inappropriate items, etc. Check with each school for a list of rules and consequences.
    Before and After School
    • Middle and high school students may participate in after school activities (no cost) and transportation is provided.
    • Child care is available at the elementary schools (before and after school). Click here for applications and cost. http://www.tottimekids.com/NEW/cent.html  An outside organization provides this service, not the school district.
    • It is common for students to participate in after school sports, clubs, music, theater, etc.
    Relationships with Others
    • Students are expected to be kind and to show respect to all students and adults.
    • It is important to show understanding and respect for different religious and cultural backgrounds.
    • If your student is teased or bullied by other students, please contact the school principal, teacher, counselor, or community worker immediately.
    • Staring is considered rude, but it is important to make eye contact when talking with someone (including adults).
    • Students generally don’t show affection at school. In general, it is best to keep your hands to yourself.
    • Sexual harassment is taken seriously in the school district. This includes any unwanted touching, comments, or gestures. What is flattery in some cultures is considered sexual harassment in the United States.
    Spanish Handbook - Click to the left for the Elementary Report Card/Parent Version.
    For additional information about your school, please contact your child’s teacher, guidance counselor or principal