2018/2019 Welcome Back Letter

Thu, 08/09/2018 - 10:51am

August, 2018


Dear Centennial High School Community,


Do you have any idea what day it is? Well, we do and that’s why we’re sending this friendly reminder that the summer holiday is just about through. I know what you’re thinking, but we assure you, a reminder is just what you need! Before you know it, you’ll be back at school and we need you to be well rested and ready to tackle the new school year.


By now, we have already posted a lot of important information on our website such as important dates to ‘save’ like BTSN on 9/6/18 and dates for Safe Driving sessions, as well as information about our fall athletic programs. News and information items will be uploaded throughout the remainder of the summer and into the school year, so check back every week or so to be sure you stay updated. During the school year, we will send out a weekly newsletter on Fridays and our website and our social media accounts will have up-to-the-minute information.


What follows is information you need to know to get this year started off on the right foot. The Administrative Team and I hope you have found creative and interesting ways to recharge your batteries this summer. Haven’t done anything exciting during the summer yet? Now’s the time! Read a good book, call a friend, help out a neighbor – there are plenty of ways to make good use of what’s left of this summer. While you’re doing that, we’re going to continue getting ready for your return on September 4th.


Looking forward to seeing you all fill these empty halls!

Cindy Dillon, Principal




August 29 - 6:30 PM                           Safe Driving Seminar (required to obtain parking permit)

August 30                                          Student Orientation 9:00 a.m. Freshmen Dance 6:30-8:30 p.m./

                                                         9th Grade Parent Meeting at 6:30 p.m.

September 3                                       Labor Day – Schools and Offices Closed

September 4 - 7:25 AM                      School begins

September 5 - 6:30 PM                      Safe Driving Seminar (required to obtain parking permit)

September 6 - 6:00 - 7:00 PM             Gallery Walk – Parent Groups, Clubs and more!!!

September 6 - 7:00 PM                       Back to School Night

September 10                                       Rosh Hashanah – Schools and Offices Closed

September 19                                       Yom Kippur – Schools and Offices Closed

September 28                                       Carnival and Homecoming Football Game

September 29                                       Homecoming Dance

October 3                                              Professional Work Day – School closed 3 hours early for students

October 9                                              Interim Progress Reports Issued for First Marking Period

October 10                                            PSAT for 9th, 10th & 11th graders

October 19                                            Professional Learning Day – School closed for students




All families must update their emergency contact information annually. While we recognize many of you may not have any changes to make, you must click through all of the screens and click submit in order to have this task completed. Some decisions require annual permission, such as permission to photograph your student, for example (this one is pretty important if you want your student to appear in the yearbook or in team/activity postings). We’d like Centennial to be the first high school to have 100% of the Family File information to be fully updated, so visit HCPSS Connect today and click submit on the final screen!


Common Roadblocks to Successfully Updating the Family File:

You can now reset your password with or without a security Q&A. So, if you've tried to update and hit a roadblock, please try again.
If you are having trouble remembering your username (which is the full email address for an adult responsible for the student account), call or email us and we'll let you you know what you should be using to access the initial time. Please note: You can not complete this task using the student login/account. It can only be completed via a guardian account.
Families new to HCPSS should receive an authorization key in your email. Follow those instructions.
If you've requested a reset, and haven't received an email, we need you to check your junk or SPAM folders. That seems to be where a bunch of those things are ending up. If you still don't have it, give us a call.

This year, the school system has determined all HCPSS high school students will receive schedules electronically via Synergy during the week of August 13-17. Schedules will be emailed to the address(es) in Synergy, so it’s very important you take the time now to ensure your Family File is updated.

Schedule Changes Will Only Be Made for one of the following reasons:

You are scheduled for less than 7 classes.
You passed a class in summer school and need to update your schedule.
You need a class to graduate and it is not currently on your schedule.
You need an adjustment to accommodate release time or the intern/mentor program.


Students fully scheduled, who wish to make changes will be able to do so Tuesday, September 11th through Friday, September 14th.


Questions about schedules should be directed to Student Services:  410-313-2857



Please closely review the courses/graduation checklist you will receive in the mail in the coming week. It should show all of your courses taken to date as well as the corresponding grades.  If there are any discrepancies, please contact your school counselor.    



Centennial staff members will host an orientation session for 9th grade students and new students on Thursday, August 30th from 9:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.  Students will receive a copy of their schedule at the orientation.  Students will learn about the school, access their lockers, follow their schedule, and have a panoramic class picture taken (bring the enclosed order form with a check payable to Lifetouch studios to order a copy).  Pizza will be provided for lunch.  Students should report to the auditorium at the start of the morning.  Unfortunately, transportation to the orientation activities is NOT provided.  Parents please plan on picking up your student between 12 – 12:30 p.m.


We invite all 9th grade students to a welcome Freshmen Dance from 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. on the evening of August 30th at the school. A 9th Grade Meeting for parents will be held at 6:30 p.m. in the Auditorium on August 30th.  There will be an orientation meeting for parents of incoming 9th grade special education students with Ted Steel, Instructional Team Leader of Special Education, at 6:00 pm in Room 306 on August 31st.



The official school hours for Centennial High School for the 2018-2019 school year, as set by the HCPSS Board of Education, will be 7:25 am to 2:10 pm. Bus schedules will be printed the week prior to school in the local newspapers.


We believe that the safest way for students who do not drive themselves to get to school is by accessing the transportation provided.  However, we do understand that there may be occasions when it is necessary to drive your student to school.  When that happens, please follow the procedures listed below to help ensure the safety of all students during school arrival time:


Students who must be driven to school are to be dropped off at the gymnasium doors at the side of the building following the established traffic pattern.
Students may not be dropped off along Centennial Lane.
Parents are to refrain from making U-turns on Centennial Lane as it impedes traffic and contributes to unsafe conditions for students and drivers.


Students who are driving themselves to school are encouraged to arrive early to avoid being tardy. Traffic jams occur daily during the morning rush along Centennial Lane. We very much appreciate your partnership to ensure our commitment to student safety.



Seniors and juniors who wish to park at Centennial High School must complete a parking permit application AND attend the required driving seminar with a parent.  The first seminar will be held Wednesday, August 29th at 6:30 pm, in the Auditorium and the final driving seminar @ CHS for students will be held on Wednesday, September 5th at 6:30 p.m. A parent/guardian and the student must sign an attendance sheet upon completion of the presentation.  Please be prompt!  Doors close at 6:30 p.m.  Parking applications will be available on our website or may be picked up in the front office. All Howard County students are required to pay a fee of $15 to park at school during the school day.  Additionally, neighboring high schools offer subsequent safe driving seminars throughout the year. The complete schedule of dates/times are posted on the HCPSS website.


Students may mail in or drop off their completed parking application signed by parents together with a copy of a valid driver’s license and $15 fee in the form of a check payable to Centennial High School or online school payment at https://osp.osmsinc.com/HowardMD/.



Students will report to their first period classes following the schedule posted in Synergy.


All students should note that they will receive a Personal Organizer the first day of school.  This serves as a student’s hall pass throughout the year and should be used to help organize assignments and commitments both within and outside of the school day.


All students and parents are required to sign and return the Student Honor Code and Academic Integrity, Alcohol and Drug Policy Agreement, and other documents that will be distributed the first day of school. 



Centennial High School’s website is a great source of information at www.chs.hcpss.org
On Twitter @hcpss_CHS
Visit the CHS PTSA website at www.chs-ptsa.org and CHS Boosters website at www.centennialboostersonline.com.
Also another source to receive school news via email is the HCPSS News.  To register please go to www.hcpssnews.com, click on Subscribe and select Centennial High School.


GOT BOOKS?  IT’S NOT TOO LATE TO TURN THEM IN! - Outstanding Financial Obligations:

If you spent part of your summer vacation cleaning your room and you found some CHS Textbooks or Media materials, you should bring them in to school as soon as you get a chance.  Any fines that were previously paid will be refunded in full. Because textbooks will be withheld from all students with outstanding obligations, those students should contact the Front Office as soon as possible to clear their obligations.


Students who require medication to be administered during the school day need to have new forms completed for this fall.  Summer hours book fast and some physicians require a wait time for medical forms to be completed so schedule your appointments now!  For your convenience, you can find these forms on-line at the HCPSS website by clicking on the link for Physician’s Orders (http://www.hcpss.org/aboutus/forms.shtml). 



The Howard County Public School System has instituted a Diploma Name Form for graduating seniors.  A high school diploma is an OFFICIAL document.  Accordingly, diplomas will be printed using the senior’s full legal name as it appears on the birth certificate, passport or court-ordered name change document.  Any family that wishes to have the printed diploma use a name other than that which appears in Synergy should download a copy of the Diploma Signature Change Form and submit it to Student Services no later than Friday, October 5, 2018. 


BACK-TO-SCHOOL NIGHT - Thursday, September 6th, 6:00 – 9:00 P.M It is suggested parents and guardians who attend BTSN arrange to carpool or if you choose to walk, arrive early. We ask that you support our efforts to reduce the impact of our event on our school neighborhood by following these suggestions.  Please do not park on the road or in our neighbors driveways.


In order to ensure the safety of all students and staff, all visitors must press the buzzer located to the right of the main entry doors to be admitted to our building.  When we greet you, please provide us with your name and the reason for your visit.  For example: 'I'm Mrs. Suber and I'm picking up my daughter, Tracy, for early dismissal.' -or- 'I'm Mrs. Dillon and my son, Cameron, forgot his lunch - again.' ...you get the idea.  We will buzz you right in and direct you to report to either the main office, student services, or the health room, as indicated. 

As a gentle reminder, please remember to bring in a valid form of identification (e.g. Drivers License) if you are picking up one of our students.  It's also a good idea to double check your Emergency Procedure information to ensure the list of individuals authorized to pick up your student during the school day is up to date.