Frequently asked questions for incoming 7th graders

  • Will I have to use a locker?
    In previous years, students were required to keep their belongings in their lockers and go to the locker frequently. At this time, we are not using lockers and do not plan to use them in the future. Students are provided two sets of books to help lighten the load each day in the back-and-forth.

    What is lunchtime like?
    In a typical year, 7th graders and 8th graders have separate lunch breaks. You get 30 minutes, and you get to sit wherever you want. No assigned seats! There is a bathroom located in the lunchroom, and there is access to the outside area after you sit and eat for the first 15 minutes.

    Will I get to see my friends at school?
    Of course! 7th grade classes are mostly downstairs and 8th grade classes are mostly upstairs, so you will probably see your friends between classes, but you can't visit too long because we don't want you tardy to class! Typically, we have five elementary schools coming together and with a total of about 350 new 7th graders sharing the halls and lunchroom, so you will definitely see old friends and make new ones.

    What activities are offered at CMS?
    We have both clubs and sports at Centennial for students to get involved in. Sports seasons are as follows:

    • Fall – football, softball, and co-ed cross country
    • Winter 1 – boys basketball and girls volleyball
    • Winter 2 – girls basketball and co-ed wrestling Spring – co-ed track and field.

    Clubs are student driven and can change from year to year. Some of the more consistent clubs include Art Club, Game Club, Garden Club, Marvel Movie Club, Sci-Fi Club, and many more. 

    How much time do I have to get from one class to another?
    Passing time is 4 minutes long, which is plenty of time to get from class to class! Some classes are right next door to each other, and others are across campus, but you will figure out how to make it work to ensure you transition in a timely fashion. We have bells that ring throughout the building to indicate start and end time of class.

    What happens if I’m late to class?
    For the first couple weeks of school, while everyone is learning how to do things, teachers are very forgiving. After you have learned how to find your classes and how long it takes to walk between them, you will be marked tardy if you’re late.

    What happens during Patriot Period?
    How Patriot Period has worked in the past is that you would be assigned to a 30-minute Patriot Period class, Monday-Thursday, after 2nd period. During Patriot Period, you can work on homework, make up tests or quizzes, and make appointments to get help from any of your teachers with a pre- approved pass. We also use this time to do building-wide activities.

    What classes do I get to choose?
    You get to choose between regular or honors language arts (please read the course descriptions, talk to your parents and maybe even ask your 6th grade teacher’s opinion before you choose).
    You get to choose two semester-long electives OR one year-long elective. We have several elective options, and it’s a good idea to try something you’ve never tried before! You will also get to take 3 more semester-long electives in 8th grade, so you will have plenty of opportunities to try some fun classes.

    Please note, we build our master schedule around student choices, so you will be committing to the choices that you make. It is very difficult to make schedule changes, so read the course descriptions and choose classes you think you will like. Also, it is very unlikely that you will get classes with your friends so be sure you are choosing classes based on what YOU like. We cannot drop students from year-long classes such as band and choir, so make sure you are ready to commit to those classes if you choose them.

    Do students need to purchase a PE uniform?
    Seventh grade students take one semester of health/ fitness where they attend health class two days a week and PE three days a week. During the fitness days, students are required to wear a CMS PE uniform which consists of a school-bought t-shirt and shorts. PE uniforms will be available to purchase at the Summer Start Up in August, as well as online, or in the front office with the bookkeeper. The price is $16 for a uniform. 

    Will there be advanced or accelerated classes available in 7th grade?
    Students can access higher level math classes and advanced English langauage arts classes in each grade at CMS. Students wanting to sign up for honors English language arts should be reading/ writing/ thinking at or above grade level. The expectation of a commitment to participate at an accelerated pace with minimal practice, to keep up with the increased homework and study expectations, and to invest the extra time needed outside of school to keep up with the faster pace of the course.

    What if I don’t like the elective I picked after classes begin?
    Because we create our teacher’s schedules based on the classes you choose in the springtime, there is typically no room to change classes in the fall. That said, you can make a schedule change request during the first three days of the semester with your school counselor. The counselors keep a waitlist and try to accommodate schedule change requests (for electives only) within the first week of the semester as much as possible. We cannot make schedule changes for year-long courses. We do not make schedule changes for teacher requests.

    How will I know what my grades are in my classes?
    We use Skyward to keep track of your grades and progress. Students and parents/guardians should check Skyward/Family Access at least once per week to see how you are doing in your classes. Some teachers at CMS also use the Canvas grading tool for students or teachers to track progress. This is a great place to also check, but please note not all teachers use that system and the only place an official grade exists is in Skyward. Your school counselor will also check Skyward/Family Access regularly and might send you a hall pass to talk to you about grades if it looks like you need some help. Or you can also ask to see them if you want some help yourself!

    When should I talk to my school counselor?
    There are two school counselors who divide the school by alphabet by last name. Mr. Childers is assigned to students last name A-K and Mrs. Fortune is assigned to students with last names L-Z.
    The counselors’ offices are located in the main office area, and they are available during the same hours as teachers (including before school, lunchtime and after school). The Counselors are often walking around the halls between classes and can be found in the lunchroom. We are easy to reach! Reasons you might see your counselor: Talk about your schedule; Get help with organization and keeping up with schoolwork; You’re concerned with a friend or family member; Having conflict with another student; Making a plan to improve grades; You need money or help with school supplies, clothes or food; Career Exploration and High School & Beyond planning; Social Emotional Lessons.

    Where do we get info on middle school busing?
    Transportation works hard to assign routes over the summer months. Those bus routes and times will be available sometime in August. Please check the district website under “departments” and then “transportation” in August for more information.