Kyrene open houses equip incoming families for future success in district - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Community Focus

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Kyrene open houses equip incoming families for future success in district

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Posted: Monday, March 24, 2014 8:09 am

For two weeks, Kyrene middle schools have been hosting open houses to better equip parents through the selection process on what school their child will be attending in the fall.

Kyrene Centennial Middle School invited families on Wednesday evening to explore the school and meet with teachers.

Families flooded the school’s gymnasium to see a short video presentation about the Saber Cat life at Centennial.

The video was created by two eighth-graders, Antoine Kepczyk and Braden Terry, who learned skills in videography in their computer-media class.

Principal Jocelyn Sims addressed families, welcoming them to the school and informed them what’s offered at Centennial through curriculum standards and student life.

“This is the opportunity for our feeder schools and other schools with fifth-graders to come in and check out Centennial to see what it’s all about. In some cases, it’s for parents to decide if this is the school that they want to send their child to,” Sims said. “This is such a big transition for them from fifth to sixth grade, for them to get some of those initial fears out of the way.”

Co-president for the Parent Teacher Organization, Michal Korer, was familiar with that fear when her oldest son attended Centennial as a sixth-grader.

She currently has her youngest son entering middle school and said the open house was a way for her to know that the school would take care of him academically and be a safe place.

Superintendent Dr. David Schauer was present during Cenntennial’s open house and said it was really important for people to be on the campus and see for themselves firsthand before making a decision on where to send their child.

“Often times the perception is that it’s so big and overwhelming, but when you start to explore and see the different areas, it’s really reassuring,” he said.

After the presentation, families explored the school grounds and met with different teachers.

Different school clubs such as Honors Society, Science Club, Orchestra and Band program gave additional information to families about extra-curricular activates offered at Centennial.

The band students at Centennial spoke with their “future classmates” on what to expect from the program, and also taught a brief lesson on how to play different instruments.

Families also participated in a scavenger hunt, where they were asked to visit all the classes listed on the sheet and turned in by the end of night.

Winners received Centennial apparel and coupons for P.E. uniforms.

Kyrene Middle School will have its open house on Wednesday, March 26 at 6:30 p.m. and Kyrene Pueblo Middle School on Thursday, March 27 at 6 p.m.

For more information about the Kyrene School District, visit

• Contact writer: (480) 898-4903 or

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