2015/16 Fit Fun Registration starts May 7th at 4pm

Both ONLINE and Paper registration options available beginning May 7th .

Starting times: current Kaleidoscope families- 4pm and new families-6pm


Step 1 – Have an active DPS Parent Portal account and gather the following information: • Emergency contacts • Doctor, dentist and hospital information

Step 2- Login to your Parent Portal account at https://myportal.dpsk12.org

Step 3 – Once in the Portal, you will see the “Kaleidoscope Corner” button on the left menu. Click the button and follow the instructions.

Step 4 – You will be taken into another screen. Click on your “inbox” and select Kaleidoscope Corner 2015-2016 Registration. Complete the application.

Step 5 – From your email, submit your student’s current immunizations and health forms to kaleidoscope@dpsk12.org. Include the site your child will be attending on the forms.

Click here to see the Fall 2015-2016 Registration Flyer.

Second Graders Inspire A Playground for All

Today, the playground at Centennial – A School for Expeditionary Learning in Denver is accessible to all children because of second graders who applied their learning through a project on simple machines.

Teachers Fran Taffer and Ali Bernstein last year led their two classrooms on a real world learning adventure with a purpose. The Simple Machines expedition features case studies in which students learn about force and motion via a deep dive into the mechanics of the wheel. They become experts in their own simple machines (ramps, pulleys, wedges, etc.) and identify an opportunity in which a simple machine can play a role in improving their community.

“When we started it, we had no idea what we were going to do. I heard an NPR story about how students with disabilities did not have access to playgrounds. It got me thinking that we could solve that problem at Centennial,” Fran said. The woodchip surface of Centennial’s playground made it difficult for students in wheelchairs to play on it. Writing letters to Denver Public Schools to ask for a smooth, safe playground surface that students in wheelchairs could access became the goal.

Fran and Ali started by having the students do an experiment about friction and how wheels don’t work on a woodchip surface. They then learned about playgrounds, disabilities, and making change in their community. Experts, including a designer of universally accessible playgrounds, were brought in to share their knowledge with the students. Their visits were coupled with close reading and writing work on the topics.

“The writing process became something that all the students could understand and get behind. We focused on enabling students to understand why being able to play is important to develop social skills. The combination of taking enough time to build background knowledge before writing was important. When they started writing, it never felt forced,” Fran said.

Fran wrote the exemplar letter that served as the model for the students and developed the criteria for success. Student-led assessment and learning targets kept the students on track so they understood the purpose of their work. Additional learning opportunities occurred when fourth and fifth graders mentored the second graders and critiqued their work.

The students read and presented the letters to Denver Public Schools officials who warmly received them. The approval process and construction took a year and the new playground was unveiled last month.

Though the students had hoped the playground would be completed last year, they learned a valuable lesson. “I was worried that it might not happen, but now that it happened, I feel – like accomplished – and proud,” said Maya Cordova who is now in third grade. A fellow student Jason Waters added: “What I learned is that I can make a change no matter how old I am.”

See the KUSA-TV news story here.

Open Classroom Construction Update:

As part of the 2012 Bond, Centennial will have our open classroom’s renovated. However the scope/volume of the work is much greater than originally anticipated because of our outdated HVAC system.
We are currently awaiting the Design Team’s cost evaluation of the following two proposals:
Option 1:
Open Plan Remodel Summer 2016
Mechanical Upgrades Summer 2017 pending acceptance of 2016 Bond
Option 2:
Open Plan Remodel and Mechanical Upgrades Summer 2017 with early release and delayed start calendar adjustment.
Regardless of the decision of which option the Gym Floor abatement and replacement will take place Summer 2015.
Check out this video produced by DPS to better understand the Open Classroom renovation project.


DPS Redesigning ‘70s-Era 'Open Plan' Classrooms – 2012 DPS Bond Update from Denver Public Schools on Vimeo.

Open Letter to Future Crew from a Current Parent

“If you wonder often, the gift of knowledge will come.”

Read aloud by a first grader, this was the opening line to welcome students, staff, and families to the first Centennial Community Circle this October. To me, it epitomizes what underlies the education my children are receiving at Centennial: A School for Expeditionary Learning.


Three years ago, our family followed the support and criticism in response to the massive changes going on at the school. And two years ago, we took a leap of faith and choiced our son into kindergarten at Centennial during their first year as a new Expeditionary Learning school. My son is now a first grader and I have a daughter in kindergarten.

Yes, Centennial is a school in transition which means it still has its ups and down (hey, what school doesn’t?), but if you peek behind their doors, you might be surprised at all of the changes going on inside. This year, Centennial kicked-off an Extended Learning Time plan that provides an additional 300 hours of student engagement time throughout the school year. Forty-five minutes was added to the each school day, the number of days kids are out of school has decreased, and the biggest impact has been that every Wednesday (“Enrichment Wednesdays”), the entire school partners with over 20 outside providers to participate in enrichment activities such as dance, art, soccer, cooking, technology and science, martial arts, and yoga. This has allowed the teaching staff more collaborative planning time.

enrichment building

Honestly, I was skeptical about the longer day. I was concerned that it would mean more
“butts in seats”, worksheets, etc. Plus, ending at 3:45 felt too late to me, but as I’ve seen and heard about what the kids are doing with this extra time, I couldn’t be happier. At a time when schools are cutting regular enrichments, Centennial is adding them! Centennial is creating a learning environment that supports exploring, engaging, wondering, not just sitting and listening (although that is expected too!). These enrichments come in addition to the regular PE, art, music and Spanish “specials” (hooray!).

Plus, through our 21st Century Grant, after school offers a world of free activities for the K-5 kids. Soccer, Daisy Scouts, Destination Imagination, science club, sewing club, book club, sound lab, homework help, to name a few.

Last, one of my favorite things about the school is how open the administration, teaching staff, and PTA are to parent involvement. I am in the school two days a week volunteering in my kids’ classrooms, plus I am active in the PTA. I describe the PTA as a “Yes!” PTA. Bring an idea in and the response is “Yes! Go for it!” There is no opportunity too big or too small to be involved.

Is Centennial the “perfect school”? No, but is there such a thing? To me, Centennial is progress, growth, opportunity, engagement, and constant wonder. And I believe that we will continue to grow and progress with each year.

-Jean Cimino

Upcoming tours:

January 9th, 2:30-3:30

This is a great opportunity to meet with our Principal, Laura Munro and other staff/parents. Each Open House will start with a 1/2 hour Q&A session, followed by a tour of the school.

If you are unable to attend one of these Open Houses, please call up Stacy (720) 424-8900 to schedule a tour.

You can also contact our PTA president directly, who is happy to address any questions you have.

SchoolChoice Enrollment

SchoolChoice Round One opens December 15th.

Please complete your forms by January 30, 2015, 4:00 pm

All transitioning students who are ECE 3 and 4 year olds (transitioning into ECE 4 and Kindergarten) and 5th graders (transitioning into middle school) must complete a choice application even if the student will be attending their home school

Use Parent Portal to fill out your enrollment application.

If you do not have an account, contact Roselle @ 720-424-8929 or email.

Students new to DPS in the 2015-16 school year may participate in the round 1 Choice process in one of two ways.

Documents must be submitted IN PERSON to any DPS school or Enrollment Center:

The first way to participate is to submit an Online Choice form:

Online form (Documents must be submitted by January 9, 2015 to allow time for Parent Portal account creation.)

  1. Pre-enrollment form (15-16 form below)
  2. Child’s birth certificate or other proof of birth
  3. Proof of current residence

Once the Pre-enrollment form has been processed, you will be notified that you may request a Parent Portal account. Please allow 5 – 7 business days for account creation.Once your Parent Portal account has been created and you have a user name and password you will then be able to use your account to access the online SchoolChocie form.

15-16 Pre-enrollment Form English 15-16 Pre-enrollment Form Spanish


The second and only other way to participate in Round 1 SchoolChoice is to submit a paper Choice form:

Paper form

  1. SchoolChoice form, including the Pre-enrollment section. Leave DPS Student ID areas blank.
  2. Child’s birth certificate or other proof of birth
  3. Proof of current residence

Open House, School Tours and Coffee Chats

Open House

Prospective families are welcome to learn more about Centennial and Expeditionary Learning at the following Open Houses:

  • October 10th 9-10am
  • November 14th 2:30-3:30pm
  • December 12th 9-10am
  • January 9th 2:30-3:30pm


This is a great opportunity to meet with our Principal, Laura Munro.

Each Open House will start with a 1/2 hour Q&A session, followed by a tour of the school.

School Tours

If you are unable to attend one of these Open Houses, please call up Stacy (720) 424-8900 to schedule a tour.

Coffee Chats

Wednesday Nov 5 9-11am

Come chat with current parents of Centennial. This is an informal chance for you to ask questions and learn about the Centennial Community.

6530 West 31st Avenue, Wheat Ridge
Coffee and light snacks provided – Kids welcome
RSVP: jeancimino@gmail.com or 919-602-0794

Thursday, Dec 4th, 7-9pm
BookBar (4280 Tennyson St)
RSVP: Not necessary!

You can also contact our PTA president directly, who is happy to address any questions you have.

Shannon Cruwys
Mom to Centennial Students Finn & Greyson





This year Centennial is extremely fortunate to have a partnership with a great organization called Playworks. Some of your students may have already talked to you about Coach Ashley, or Coach A as they call her. One of Coach A’s roles is to be out on the playground every day teaching students recess games in an effort to support our school community to build a safe recess environment where students can be engaged in age appropriate, structured play.

As a member of the Playworks community we were just informed of a super cool opportunity to possibly win $1000 worth of much needed recess equipment.

Please take a moment to fill out this quick online survey, the more surveys filled out for Centennial, the more times Centennial is entered in the competition.


In addition to the survey, Coach A will be hanging posters around the school playground. If parents tweet or Instagram a picture of the poster and our playground using the hashtag #win4recess, Centennial will get more entry credits for the contest.

The more entries we have, the better chance we have of getting more playground equipment for our crew.

1st Friday Family Lunch

You are invited to come and have lunch with your student on the 1st Friday of every month for 1st Friday Family Lunch.
Crew Lunch times are:
ECE: 11:00am
Kinder: 11:30am
1st: 11:30am
2nd: 12:00pm
3rd: 12:00pm
4th: 12:30pm
5th: 12:30pm


Registration and Summer Playdates

Registration is at Centennial August 5,6 & 7, 11am-6pm. If your child is new to Centennial, remember to bring a birth certificate, immunization records, proof of address, and contact information. Please allow at least 30 minutes to fill out forms. You can find out your child’s teacher, sign up for the lunch programs, before/after school programs, the Centennial Volunteer Program, and the Parent Portal, meet with PTA members and pick up your child’s 2014-15 School Supply Lists.

Summer Playdates are a great way to meet other new and current families as we get to know each other whilst our kids play together on the Centennial playground.

  • Saturday July 12 10am-12pm
  • Tuesday July 29 10am-12pm
  • Tuesday August 19th 5pm stay for the first PTA meeting


New Times for the New School Year

Centennial has been approved to move forward with our innovative Extended Learning Time Plan. Centennial will add 5 days to the student calender for the 2014-15 school year. The school year will officially start Thursday August 21 for all Centennial students ECE-5. Thursday August 21 and Friday August 22 will be days devoted to Crew and community building and creative experiences for students to kick-off their learning expeditions. The other 3 days added to the calender were all non-student contact days that we will re-purpose as school days. These additional days are:

November 10

February 17

April 13

For the 2014-15 school year, Centennial’s school day will be 8:00am- 3:45pm for all grade levels ECE-5. This additional time will provide longer blocks of uninterrupted learning. More high-quality time every day allows us to implement the Expeditionary Learning model to its fullest potential. The extended school day will also allow all students to engage in enrichment classes after lunch every Wednesday. Students will attend five, 8-weeks enrichment classes in the areas over the course of the school year. A preview of classes include:

Abrakadoodle Art

Gravity Dance

Kinder Kixx Soccer

Butterfly Pavilion

Challenge Island

Cleo Parker Dance

Radiant Beginning Yoga

Da Vinci Club

Mind Spark

Denver Center for the Performing Arts

Sticky Fingers Cooking

Denver Zoo

Tech Know

Click here for more information about Centennial’s Extended Learning Time Plan