Custer Elementary Schools

Student/Parent Handbook


Custer School District
Custer Elementary School
Hermosa Elementary School
Fairburn Elementary School
Spring Creek Elementary School

To Educate Every Student to His/Her Potential


Tim Wicks, Board Chairperson
Tanya Olson Ann Sandvig Brian Lintz
Tom Martin Larry Vickers Alan Webster

527 Montgomery, Custer, SD 57730

Superintendent: Mr. Scott Lepke Business Manager: Lisa Fluck
Nurse: Jean Witt Maintenance Supervisor: Joe Uhrich
District Librarian: Jean Diedtrich Special Education Director: Marsha Leininger

1415 Wildcat Lane, Custer, SD 57730
Principal: Carol Veit

PO Box 27, Hermosa, 57744
Principal: Jeremy Hurd

PO Box 135, Fairburn, SD 57738
Jeremy Hurd

HC 89 Box 27, Hermosa, 57744
Principal: Jeremy Hurd


Welcome to Custer’s Elementary Schools!

We are looking forward to an exciting and successful year. This handbook was prepared in an effort to inform parents and students about our schools. We believe that parents/guardians are partners with the schools in the education of our children, and that through open communication and shared beliefs we can “educate every student to his or her potential.” Please take time to read this handbook thoroughly.

On behalf of the faculty and staff, we would like to extend an invitation to you to visit our schools, attend your child's programs, and be an active participant in your child’s education. We are very happy to have you and your child with us at Custer’s Elementary Schools.

Carol Veit, Custer Elementary Principal
Jeremy Hurd, Hermosa, Fairburn and Spring Creek Principal


Students with disabilities at Hermosa/Custer Elementary may exit several areas with
their classmates with the assistance of certified staff or classified staff
member(s) present. All classrooms in the building have exit route strategies
for emergencies (Tornado and fire) posted on the walls. The buildings are equipped
with handicapped accessible doors, railings, and ramps for quick exit inside and
outside of the building. All exit routes are clearly marked overhead. All Certified
staff conducts trainings for quick exit at a minimum of 4 times/yearly.
Hermosa/Custer Elementary is a one-level structure and the need to access rooms is
done with ease w/o relocation of rooms or offices should students with disabilities
need to access these areas.

Students with disabilities at Hermosa/Custer Elementary have paraprofessionals or
certified SpEd Teachers to assist them with transport to and from a safe place in
the event of an emergency. If needed, these individuals call parents/guardians. It
will also be the responsibility of these individuals to see that medications are
available. In the event that medical supplies are necessary, the administrator or
the administrative assistant knows to have those supplies readily available.


For student protection, animals are not allowed in school.


Building schedules are:
Custer and Hermosa Schools: 7:50-3:35
Fairburn Schools: 7:50-3:35
Spring Creek Schools: 7:50-3:35

For those students who ride with parents, we ask that they arrive at school no earlier than 7:30 a.m. Students should not be in the building prior to the beginning of school unless attending an authorized activity. Breakfast is served between 7:30 a.m. and 7:45 a.m. Adult outside supervision begins at 7:30 a.m. Once students have arrived on school grounds in the morning, they are not to leave.

We encourage you to try and schedule your child's doctor and dental appointments outside of school hours. If this is not possible, you must come to the main office first to check your child out. If someone other than a family member is going to pick your child up, please inform the school.

Playground supervision before school is provided between 7:30 and the beginning of school. Students will be brought into the building if the wind chill is below 0°F. There will be a red pennant flag attached to the flag pole on those colder days (Hermosa). Supervision after school will be provided until the busses leave at Custer Elementary, or until 3:45 at Hermosa, Fairburn and Spring Creek. Also, any children still on the playground after 3:45 will be brought back inside the school until parent or guardian is able to pick them up (Hermosa).

Children are not allowed on the playground after school unless they are supervised by parents/guardians.


Regular attendance is essential to succeed in school. Frequent absences disrupt the continuity of the instructional process. Therefore, it is very important that students attend on a regular basis.

State law requires consistent school attendance. A student with frequent absences and/or tardies may be reported to legal authorities for truancy. Please remember that a written note or a phone call explaining the absence is required when a student is absent.

We realize that there will be instances when your child may be tardy, but please avoid this whenever possible. Tardiness interrupts your child's instructional time. A note should accompany your child explaining the reason for his/her tardiness. If a student is tardy, he/she must stop at the main office before reporting to the classroom. Students will be counted as tardy at the elementary if they are more than 10 minutes late (8:00).

Children staying in during recess need a note stating this from a parent/guardian or a medical practitioner.

If you know in advance that your child will be absent from school, please notify the teacher and office. We try to work with parents on having students make up the work that has been missed; however, make-up work is no substitute for classroom instruction. Parents may pick up make-up work at the end of the school day and should follow the teacher’s directions regarding the return of the make-up work.

Parents will receive letters on the 5th, 8th and 10th absence per semester stating concerns for the student’s well being and academic achievement.


All bikes ridden to school should be stored immediately upon arrival at school in the designated bicycle racks on school grounds. Always walk your bike while on school grounds. We recommend that bikes be locked while at school. The school does not assume liability for bicycles or other personal items brought from home.

Skateboards, roller blades, scooters, snowboards, snow sleds, heelies, ripsticks etc. are not to be ridden on school grounds at any time. Student motorized transportation is not permitted at school.


Scheduled bus transportation is offered to students in the district, to assist families in having their children come to school and return home. Safety is very important in coming to the bus pick-up area, while on the bus, and in returning home after being dropped off. Please review the rules with your child so they may have a successful bus experience.

Discipline issues for students riding the school bus will be addressed by the building principal. Violation of these rules and regulations may result in temporary or permanent suspension of busing privileges. Students riding buses to school or students being dropped off by parents MUST remain on the school grounds.

  • The bus driver is responsible for the safety of the students on their bus. Students are to follow the directions of the driver at all times. Driving a school bus requires the driver’s full attention, so it is important that riders not engage in activities that distract the driver.
  • Be at the bus stop on time. Drivers have a schedule to stick to and will not wait for students who are late. While waiting at the bus stop students are to stay out of the road, not create a roadside hazard or violate any rules that apply at school.
  • Students are to be seated from the time they are picked up by the bus until they are dropped off. Conversation is permitted on the bus; however loud and/or inappropriate language is not acceptable. Riders can help the driver by helping keep the bus clean and in good condition. Do not throw anything from the bus or put any part of your body out of the window. Please report any damage to the bus.
  • Students cannot leave the bus at any other than their designated bus stop.

If a student who rides the bus is held after school by a teacher, 24 hour notice can be given to the parent, so transportation arrangements can be made.

High school students who drive to Hermosa and ride the bus to Custer need to park their vehicles on the SW corner of the Hermosa parking lot.

If there are questions about the rules and regulations, bus stops, and time schedules, the parent can call Sturgis Bus Co., 574-2249 or the District Business Manager, 673-3154.


We are very interested in your ideas and suggestions to improve our schools. Concerns involving your child’s education should first be discussed with your child’s teacher, then the principal. The parent advisory meetings also provide parents an opportunity to discuss ways to enhance educational opportunities for children.


Parents are encouraged to meet with their child’s teacher anytime it is felt that communication needs to occur between the parent and the school. School staff also contact parents whenever communication is needed to insure the success of students in school. The school also schedules Parent-Teacher Conferences in the Fall and Spring to meet with parents to review progress the student is making.


There are no scheduled school activities on Wednesday night after 6:00 p.m. No school activities will be scheduled on Sundays. Any exception to this policy must be approved by the Superintendent. This policy allows the students to participate in the youth activity programs in their church.


Students need to dress appropriately for the weather and activities in school. Clothes that do not fit the child or create a distraction from the education of our students will not be allowed. Examples of inappropriate dress or grooming include: underwear that is visible, see-through clothing, spaghetti straps, bandanas, visors, halter tops and half shirts that expose skin on the stomach, extremely short skirts or shorts, bare feet, chains, pants that don’t fit and are not worn at the waist, and clothes that display drug, alcohol, tobacco, or gang affiliation/symbols, are inappropriate. Hats are not to be worn in the building.

Students need to have appropriate foot wear to participate in P.E.

We live in an area that typically has cold weather and weather conditions that can change quickly. Students are expected to be outside before school and during recess. They need to be dressed for the weather.


South Dakota State Law (SDCL 13-28-7.1) requires that any pupil entering school in this state shall be required to present to school authorities certification from a licensed physician that they have received the required immunizations according to the State Department of Health.
Also South Dakota State Law (SDCL 13-27-3.1) requires that parents/guardians provide the school with a certified copy of the child’s birth certificate. You will have 30 days to provide this to the school office.
Children entering kindergarten must be five (5) years of age on or before September 1 of the year in which they shall enter school.


From time to time your student will participate in a class field trip. His/her classroom teacher will provide you with all necessary information. Parent permission must be granted prior to a student traveling in a vehicle in or out of town. Parent drivers must present their driver’s license and proof of vehicle insurance to transport children for field trips.
Parents will not need to give permission for teachers to take students on walking field trips in the vicinity of the school. Teachers, however, will try to inform parents of walking field trips. If you have any concerns, please visit with your child’s teacher. Inappropriate behavior while on fields trips will result in a phone call to parents to come retrieve child.


Fire, tornado and security drills are held every year. Emergency information for drills is posted in each classroom. Teachers or the Principal will review these with students.


The district contracts with Lunchtime Solutions to provide our breakfast and lunch programs. The goal of our food service is to provide a nutritious breakfast and lunch for students. Through the Lunchtime Solutions program we will be able to offer more choices to students. Breakfast is served between 7:30 a.m. and 7:45 a.m.

We encourage families to pay by the month for their child’s lunch and breakfast. A breakdown of the costs for morning milk, breakfast and lunch will be sent home in the packet of information that is sent home at the beginning of the year.

If a student does not bring a lunch from home and does not have money in their lunch account, they will only be served the vegetable/fruit portion of the main course, bread with peanut butter and a milk. The main course will not be served to them. Once parents put funds in their child’s account their student may have the full menu. If students habitually eat without paying for their lunch, they will not be able to participate in the lunch program and will need to bring their lunch from home. Students must have money in their account to eat breakfast or have morning milk.

Morning milk is offered to students’ K-6. The milk program is separate from LSI (our lunch provider) and therefore requires parents or guardians to place money in separate accounts in the office. Hermosa Students - this money rolls over from year to year and may be transferred to cover siblings participating in the morning milk program.

Breakfast and lunch money is turned into the homeroom teacher at the beginning of the school day or taken to the office before 9:00am.

Application forms and information regarding our free and reduced breakfast and lunch programs will be sent home with all students during the first week of school, or during registration. If a family qualifies for free or reduced lunch/breakfast prices, they need to reapply every year during the 1st month of school. Failure to reapply will place the child onfull-pay status for both breakfast and lunch. Both breakfast and lunch are included if a child qualifies for free or reduced price meals. The school handles the free and reduced meal information in a confidential manner, so children and adults are unaware of who qualifies for these programs.

It is recommended that families purchase lunches by the month or week rather than on a daily basis.
Meal Prices for the 2012-2013 School Year:

Category Breakfast Lunch
K – 5 $1.45 $2.65
6 – 12 $1.45 $2.95
Adults $1.80 $3.45
Reduced Price Meal $0.30 $0.40
A.M./Extra Milk $0.45 $0.45
Extra Entrée $1.05 $1.50


1. Our lunchroom will be a pleasant place if everyone is polite to cooks, supervisors, students and visitors.
2. Messes will be kept to a minimum if food is handled carefully. Inappropriate behavior is never allowed.
3. It will be a healthy meal for everyone if you eat only the lunch you brought or purchased - not someone else's (exchanging food passes germs).
4. Pop is prohibited in the lunchroom.
5. Leftover food may not be taken out of the lunchroom.
6. Each building may have additional lunchroom procedures.


All fundraising projects must be approved by the building principal.


In the event that a student feels ill or is injured, the student needs to notify their teacher. If your child is injured or becomes sick at school we will make every effort to call you immediately. If you cannot be reached, we will attempt to contact the emergency number that you list on the registration form. If the information on the registration form changes, please be sure to notify the office. Students can call their parents with the permission of the teacher.

If a child is sent to school, they need to be prepared to go to recess outside. If a child is too sick to be outside, they are probably too sick to be in school. Information on the school’s specific procedures in dealing with illnesses (pink eye, ring worm, head lice, etc.) can be obtained at school or from the school’s nurse (673-4483) or from the district’s Board of Education Policy Handbook, which is available on-line at on page 64.

All medications (prescription or non-prescription) should be brought to the nurse’s office (or the designated area in the school) by a parent or guardian and complete the district medication form (contact the school nurse or office for a copy) before the medication will be administered. All medications need to be stored in the nurse’s office (or with the teacher in rural buildings), unless prior arrangements have been made between the doctor, parents and school. If the student needs to carry a prescription medication on them, please contact the school nurse.

Prescription medications must be in a pharmacist-labeled container that specifies the student's name, the prescribing physician's name, the date of the prescription and the directions for use. (Pharmacists will give you an extra labeled container for school use if you ask for it.)

Non-prescription medications should be in an original bottle or container labeled with the student's name. (This includes cough drops, cough syrup, aspirin, and so on). The nurse will determine if the non-prescription medication can be kept and administered by the classroom teacher.

If your child needs medication at school, please come into the office to fill out the proper forms. No medications will be dispensed without the proper forms being filled out (see appendix).

The school does not keep on hand non-prescription medications (aspirin, cough drops, etc.) to give to students.

Again, all medications will be kept and administered in the nurse’s office or designated area of the school.


Homework may be given at any grade level, and is used to help students complete work not finished at school, to give students additional practice, and to give parents the opportunity to be involved in their child’s learning. Homework can be a powerful learning tool. It is our experience that when parents are interested in what their child is doing in school and supports the child’s academic growth, then the student will find success in their studies. Providing a place and a time for your student to do their work can have life-long benefits.


The school accident insurance policy is available at a minimum cost. It can offset the high cost of medical care with school-time accident coverage, 24 hour accident coverage, etc. Information on the insurance will be available during the first week of school. The insurance can be purchased any time during the year. Student dental insurance is available as well.


Custer School District 16-1 has filtering in place that works to greatly reduce the opportunity for students to search inappropriate sites on the Web. The Internet provides valuable learning opportunities and the district cannot implement procedures that will remove all possible sites that all parents might find objectionable. The district has policies in place and provides education to students on the appropriate use of technology, including the use of the Internet.

The district publishes a newsletter that spotlights student achievements, meaning that student names and/or pictures will be published. Teachers also send pictures to area newspapers; occasionally, these pictures may appear on Web sites of those publications. The district takes pride in ensuring that the use of the Internet, use of pictures, and use of student names is done appropriately.

We are asking that if you do not approve of your child being included in any of the above that you notify, in writing, the building secretary. In this request, please be specific about which area you are objecting to. Not filing an objection will be deemed a grant of permission for your child to use the Internet and for the school district to use your child’s name and/or picture as deemed appropriate for those purposes stated above.

Parents and community members are invited to visit our school district web site at . You will find information about our school programs and classrooms. The District’s website also has a Parent Portal that gives parents access to student information. Contact your child’s teacher for more information.


The mission of the library media program is to ensure that students and staff are effective users of ideas and information. The primary objective of the school library is to support literacy development and the educational program of the school.

Kindergarten through fourth graders may check out books for two weeks, plus one renewal of two weeks. Fifth-sixth grade students may check out books for three weeks. Kindergarten, first and second graders may check out up to two books at a time, and third through sixth graders may check out up to three books at a time. Reference materials, such as encyclopedias, dictionaries, atlases, etc. are not to be checked out. Special permission may be obtained for use in the classroom.

The replacement amount for lost or damaged items will be charged. Students may be deprived of library privileges because of undesirable conduct or abuse of library materials.


Lockers and desks are the possession of Custer Schools and may be inspected by school officials at any time. Students may be assigned a hall locker for coats, boots, and personal items. Students may check out a paddle lock for their locker at the Central Office by making a $5.00 deposit. When they turn the paddle lock in at the end of the year the $5.00 will be returned to them. Students are not allowed to bring paddle locks from home. They can only use ones the school provides. Custer Schools are not responsible for lost or stolen items.


Have your child check the lost and found box if he/she has lost an item. Please mark your child’s personal belongings (coats, jackets, boots, overshoes, caps, etc.) with his/her name or initials so the items can be identified. The lost and found box will be emptied periodically throughout the school year. Unclaimed items will be donated to good will.


The Custer School District 16-1 does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or age in its programs and activities and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies:

504 CoordinatorMarsha Leininger, Special Education Director
527 Montgomery St.
Custer, SD, 57730
(605) 673-3154Title IX Coordinator Dr. Paul Anderson, Activities Director
1645 Wildcat Lane
Custer, SD, 57730
(605) 673-3154

South Dakota Regional US Office for Civil Rights:
US Department of Education
Office for Civil Rights
8930 Ward Pkwy, Ste 2037
Kansas City, MO 64114-3302
Ph: 816-268-0550
Fx: 816-823-1404
TDD: 877-521-2172


Parent Advisory Committees meet quarterly during the school year. The committees also serve as our Title 1 Advisory Committees. The focus of the group is to help parents be informed about our school, and provide parent input on ways that we might improve. We will be looking for classroom parent representatives to serve on this committee. If you are interested in coming to our meetings, please contact your child’s teacher or the office. Notices about the meeting time and location will be in our school newsletters. Any parent/guardian is invited to attend; we hope you will be able to find the time to come to our meetings.


Custer and Hermosa Schools will put into operation programs, activities and procedures for the involvement of parents in all of its schools with Title I, Part A programs. These programs, activities and procedures will be planned and operated with meaningful consultation with parents of participating children. As a component, a school parent compact will be implemented in Title I schools. The Custer and Hermosa Elementary Parental Involvement Policy will guide the development of parental involvement activities which will be incorporated into the Custer and Hermosa Elementary Schools Improvement Plan, Schoolwide Plan, and the Consolidated Application when applicable. Custer and Hermosa Elementary Schools will hold Title I parent meetings to review and evaluate the effectiveness of the Custer and Hermosa Elementary Parental Involvement Policy in improving student achievement and identifying barriers to parent participation. Parents will also be involved in the development of the Custer and Hermosa Schoolwide Plan, Transition planning and district/Custer and Hermosa School Improvement planning that takes place with other programs, such as Head Start, Parents as Teachers, preschool and other applicable programs. Parents are invited to serve on the Parent Advisory Committee to assist with data analysis and the development of goals. The consolidated application committee, which includes parents, reviews the application each fall and at the same time evaluates the prior application and goals. When applicable, parents will be involved in professional development activities that take place at the school.

Parent Involvement is vital to student academic achievement and students’ performance. The statutory definition of parental involvement will be used for Title I programs, activities and procedure:
Parental involvement means the participation of parents in regular, two-way and meaningful communication involving student academic learning and other school activities, including ensuring –
(A)that parents play an integral role in assisting their child’s learning;
(B)that parents are encouraged to be actively involved in their child’s education
at school;
(C)that parents are full partners in their child’s education and are included,
as appropriate, in decision-making and on advisory committees to assist in the
education of their child;
(D)the carrying out of other activities, such as those described in section 1118 of
the ESEA.

To the extent practicable, Custer and Hermosa Elementary Schools will provide full opportunities for the participation of parents with limited English proficiency, parents with disabilities, and parents of migratory children, including providing information and required school reports in an understandable and uniform format and, including alternative formats upon request, and, to the extent practicable, in a language parents understand by having the documents translated by a translator. Custer and Hermosa Elementary staff will assist parents in understanding the State’s academic content standards, students academic achievement standards, and local academic assessments including alternate assessments, the requirements of Part A, how to monitor their child’s progress, and how to work with educators; to include providing materials and/or training to help parents work with their children. The Custer and Hermosa Elementary Schools will work with parents for the purpose of developing positive avenues and methods for meaningful communication.

If the plan for Title I, Part A is not satisfactory to the parents of participating children, the Custer and Hermosa Elementary Schools will submit any parent comments with the plan when the school district submits the plan to the State Department of Education. Custer and Hermosa Elementary will involve parents of Title I children in decisions about how the funds reserved for parental involvement are spent consistent with federal law.

Parents who have concerns about the programs being implemented in Title I, or any other federal program, may address those concerns through the district’s Conflict Resolution Policy found in the Board of Education’s Policy Handbook located on the district’s website,, and in each school’s Student/Parent Handbook.


Each school receiving funds under Title I of the No Child Left Behind Act must develop a written school-parent compact. This compact must be developed jointly with parents for all children participating in Title I activities, services, and programs. The compact is a component of the school parent involvement policy developed by the school and parents. The compact must outline how the school staff, parents, and students will share responsibility for improved student academic achievement and the means by which the school and parents will build and develop a partnership to help children achieve the State’s high standards.


As a student I will
Always try to do my best in my work and in my behavior.
Work cooperatively with my classmates.
Show respect for myself, my school, and other people.
Take pride in my school.
Come to school prepared with my homework and supplies.
As a Parent/Guardian will
See that my child attends school regularly and on time.
Provide a home environment that encourages my child to learn.
See that all homework assignments are completed.
Communicate regularly with my child’s teachers.
Support the school in developing positive behaviors.
Talk with my child about his/her school activities.
Encourage my child to read at home.
Volunteer my time at school.
As a teacher will
Provide parents reasonable access to staff.
Show respect for each child and his/her family.
Provide parents with frequent reports on their children’s progress.
Help each child grow to his/her potential.
Provide high quality curriculum and instruction to assist students in learning the state standards.
Enforce school and classroom rules fairly and consistently.
Maintain open lines of communication with the student and his/her families through parent teacher conferences at least annually.
Seek ways to involve parents in the school program (volunteer, participate, observe).
Demonstrate professional behavior and a positive attitude.


Patriotism is encouraged in Custer School District. Students are not required to take part in the flag salute, Pledge of Allegiance or the singing of the National Anthem; however, dissenting students should respect those who do participate by remaining silent or requesting to leave the area.


Custer School District offers a Special Education Preschool at Custer Elementary School room 118.The preschool operates between 8:00 and 11:00 a.m. Child development screenings are held four times a year. For more information about the preschool screening call Marsha Leininger at 673-3154.


Student progress through school is marked by a student’s grade placement. A student’s placement is based on a number of factors, including academic progress, age and maturity. If retention or grade skipping is considered, the parents and school staff will meet to determine the proper course. If the parents and school cannot agree on the best grade placement for the child, the school principal will determine grade placement. Parents may appeal the principal’s decision to the Superintendent and the Board of Education.


Report cards are sent home with students the week following the end of each quarter or given to parents at parent-teacher conferences. The following grading system is used:

Effort Achievement Achievement_
S = Satisfactory S+= 92-100% A = 92-100% Excellent
U = Unsatisfactory S = 91-83% B = 91-83% Above Average
N = Needs Improvement S-= 82-73% C = 82-73% Average
U = Below 72% D = 72-60% Below Average
F = Below 59% Failing

Effort marks are given as an indication of the effort a pupil applies to his or her work. Achievement marks are based on the level of achievement the student has earned from testing, projects, etc.

Report cards will be sent home with students within 1 week of the end of each quarter. The report card for the 4th quarter will be mailed. We ask that all school materials (band equipment, sports uniforms, classroom texts, Library books, negative balances for Morning milk accounts and Lunch accounts) be returned or settled upon your child exiting the School or School District.


No person who is registered as a sex offender pursuant to SDCL Chapter 22-24B may knowingly be present on Custer School District property. The school board may, in its sole discretion, waive, subject to any reasonable restriction, limitation, or condition that the school may elect to impose, enforcement of this policy. Upon issuance of any waiver the school board retains the right to revoke or modify the waiver. Waiver forms may be obtained by contacting the district administrative office.


In the event of inclement weather when buses cannot run, the information will be given by the following radio/TV stations: KFCR (1490 AM), KZMX (580 AM, 96.7 FM), KOTA (1380 AM), KOUT (98.7 FM), KFSX (100.3 FM), KIMM (1150 AM), KKMK (93.9 FM), KKLS (920 AM), KTOQ (1340 AM), KEVN (FOX-TV), KELO (CBS-TV), KNBN (NBC-TV), KOTA (ABC-TV) If the buses do not run, but school is still in session, the children will be allowed excused absences. If you have a cell phone, please note that our automated system does not work if you have music playing while your call is being connected. So that we may communicate with you at all times, it is our recommendation to not use the optional music offered by your cellular provider.
In the event that school is called off for the day or that there will be a school dismissal prior to normal time, information will be available on above mentioned radio and TV stations.


The Custer School District has policies dealing with harassment, weapons, alcohol, tobacco and drugs. The district also offers due process rights for students who may be accused of being in violation of district policy. For more information than what is listed below on these policies and related state laws, please contact the building principal.


Damage to school property through carelessness or malicious acts will be considered a serious offense, and the offenders shall be reported to the authorities and called upon to bear the expense of repairs and replacements.

Students are responsible for all textbooks and equipment issued to them during the school year. All lost or damaged books and equipment must be paid for by the family. Report cards will be issued when all fines are paid. If the lost book or equipment is found prior to the beginning of the next school year, any money paid will be refunded.


The Custer School District prohibits harassment, hate crimes or sexual harassment. These actions will not be tolerated under any circumstances. All persons are to be treated with respect and dignity. If you believe you or your child has been a victim of harassment, a hate crime or sexual harassment, contact the building principal or counselor. See the appendix for the Harassment Report Form.


The Custer School District prohibits the possession or use of any weapon on school grounds, unless allowed for under state law. Weapons included in the ban include firearms, air guns, knives or pocket knives or any item that is used in a menacing or threatening manner. Possession of a weapon may result in a school suspension of not less than 12 months.


The Custer School District prohibits the possession, use or distribution of alcohol, tobacco or drugs anytime on school grounds or school functions. It is not a violation for a student to be in possession of their own prescription, but the distribution to another student of one’s own prescription may be a violation of this policy. We support education and standards of conduct related to a drug-free environment.


Custer Schools staff works with students to help them understand the expectations and rules while at school. In the event that students are unable or unwilling to meet those expectations or follow the rules, staff will work with the child and parents to help the child meet success in this area. Strategies such as Think Time, Character Counts, STARS, and behavior plans are examples of tools used at school to help our students. For more information about your child’s teacher’s plan for setting classroom expectations and discipline, please visit with the teacher.


Recesses are intended to give students fresh air, exercise and a chance to play and visit with peers. It is a privilege to have recess and that privilege will be taken away if a student is disrespectful to others or does things that are inappropriate or dangerous to themselves or others. Our goal is to teach students social skills.

We expect the following:

  1. Treat all students and supervisors with respect.
  2. Hats/caps may be worn during recess. All hats or caps worn by either boys or girls must be removed when entering the building.
3. The following are dangerous activities and will cause a student to lose playground
  • Play on streets, near parked cars, or near bicycles.
  • Bicycle riding on school grounds.
  • Riding skateboards, roller blades, scooters etc. on school property.
  • Playing on garbage containers and fences.
  • Hard balls and bats of any kind.
  • Fighting of any kind (including chicken fighting, pretend fighting, wrestling, and piggy back riding).
  • Rough games that involve knocking people down, tripping, tackling, shoving or punching.
  • Water guns or other water-type toys.
  • Snowball or rock throwing.
  • Dangerous toys.
  • Keep your hands on the bars-no flipping or jumping off.
  • Items such as laser flashlights/pointers, matches, incendiary devices, etc. are not permitted at school.
  • Trading of toys and cards of all types.
  1. Please keep balls, Frisbees, jump ropes, etc. away from other playground equipment.
  2. Do not loiter in the entry ways. They are used to get to and from the playground areas.
  3. Once outside, students are to stay outside until the bell rings. Permission to come in before the bell rings may be granted by the supervisor on duty.


After-school detention may be appropriate if a student needs to get their work done or for violation of school rules. Parents will be notified prior to the student staying after school. If a student who rides the bus is held after school, the parents will receive a 24 hour notice from the teacher so that transportation arrangements can be made. If parents have any questions they can contact the classroom teacher or principal.

Students may need to miss recess or other activities to get caught up on their work or for violation of school rules.


ISS allows the student to remain in school, work on their schoolwork in a supervised environment, receive credit for their work, and demonstrate that they are ready to follow the rules. If the student is referred to the Principal for consideration for In-School Suspension, then the Principal will discuss the matter with the teacher, student and parent.


OSS is appropriate only in extreme circumstances, when the school does not have the means or the parental support to control the behavior of a student. The Principal has the authority to suspend a student from school for up to 10 days. A long term suspension or expulsion requires the Superintendent/Board’s approval and may be up to 12 months in length. See Board Policy for more information.


At Custer Elementary, where there is more than one section per grade, class lists are developed in the spring for student placement in the fall. The classroom teachers, building principal and counselor work closely together to group children in classrooms to insure the success of the children and teachers. Philosophically the school believes that student needs can best be met in a classroom where there is a balance of student abilities, personalities and learning styles.

As a result it is very difficult to honor parent requests for students to be placed with specific teachers and maintain the classroom balance we strive for. If a parent has a concern about their child's placement, they may submit a Request for a Specific Learning Environment form in the spring to the office. If a parent requests that a child not be placed with a specific teacher, we will work with the parent to honor that request.

Students who enroll during the summer or during the school year will be placed by the building principal.


The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) afford parents and students over 18 years of age certain rights with respect to their student’s records. Records are confidential and if parents want to see their child’s educational records please contact the office. Further information can be found below, on the website at or by calling Marsha Leininger at 673-3154.

Educational Records
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords parents and students over 18 years of age (“eligible students”) certain rights with respect to the student’s education records.
They are:
  1. The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days of the day the district receives a request for access. Parents or eligible students should submit to the school principal or special education director a written request that identifies the record(s) they wish to inspect. The administrator will make arrangements for access and notify the parent or eligible student of the time and place where the records may be inspected.
  2. The right to request the amendment of student’s education records that the parent or eligible student believes are inaccurate or misleading. Parents or eligible students may ask Custer School District to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate or misleading. They should write the school principal or special education director, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading. If the District decides not to amend the record as requested by the parent or eligible student, the District will notify the parent or eligible student of the decision and advise them of their right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the parent or eligible student when notified of the right to a hearing.
  3. The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s educational records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. One exception which permits disclosure without consent is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interest. A school official is a person employed by Custer School District as an administrator, supervisor, instructor, or support staff member (including health or medical staff and law enforcement personnel); a person serving on the School Board; a person or company with whom the district has contracted to perform a special task (such as an attorney, auditor, medial consultant, or therapist); or a parent or student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility. Upon request, the District discloses education records without consent to officials of another school district in which a student seeks or intends to enroll.
  4. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the district to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the Office that administers FERPA is: Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20202-4605.


Students are to have permission from their teacher to make calls from school. Students and teachers will not be called to the telephone during class time unless it is absolutely necessary. Forgetting one’s gym clothes, books, lunch, or milk money is not considered an emergency. The secretary will get a message to your child or the teacher. If you need to contact the school to leave a message with a student, please do so by 2:30 so we can be sure the message is received. If a parent wishes their child to have a cell phone, pager, text messenger or beeper at school, permission must be granted by the principal. Camera use at school is prohibited. While there is no need for a child to have a cell phone at school, if they choose to bring one, it must be turned into the office in the morning and picked at the end of the day. Texting will not be tolerated at any time during school hours. If a student is found to be using the cell phone during hours they will be subject to these consequences:

1st offense – Cell phone will be collected until the end of the day.
2nd offense – Cell phone will be collected for one week w/ loss of recesses for the week; phone to
be picked up by the parent.
3rd offense – Cell phone collected and not returned w/ referral to ISS.


Students are NOT to bring unnecessary valuable items or large amounts of money to school. Students are allowed to bring marbles, balls and jump ropes (labeled with their name) to be used on the playground, but students are not allowed to trade or sell items at school without the permission of the principal. We discourage the use of walkmans, iPods, mp3 players, video arcade games, stereos, or other valuable items, but may be allowed by the classroom teacher. The school will not be responsible for any lost, stolen, or damaged items. Bikes, roller blades, skateboards, scooters, heelies, ripsticks, etc. are not to be ridden on school grounds at any time. Student motorized transportation is not permitted at school.


Videos, DVD’s and other media may be shown to students throughout the school year. Teachers will inform parents prior to the showing of any movies rated PG or greater.


We encourage parent participation in our schools. We ask that parents prearrange their visits with individual classroom teachers and that they come through the front doors and check in at the office. Students are asked not to bring school-aged visitors to school with them. Although it may be interesting for visitors to see another school besides their own, it is a distraction for the students and the teacher in the classroom.


Custer Schools recognizes the importance of parents and community members being involved in our schools. Parents and community members are encouraged to volunteer. We have a variety of ways that volunteers can help the school, from helping in the classroom, helping with parties, driving on field trips or helping in our library. Please contact the school about signing up to volunteer if you are interested. Volunteers who are in school on a regular basis need to have a background check completed by the Sheriff’s Office. The background check information will be reviewed by the Superintendent to determine if the volunteer is suitable for placement as a volunteer.


If you are moving and are withdrawing your child from school, please notify the school by stopping in or phoning as soon in advance as possible. This will give ample time to complete the student check-out sheet. Please make sure your child’s lunch account is paid or reimbursed to you, library and school books are returned, and fines for damaged books are paid. Your cooperation is always greatly appreciated.


The Custer School District prohibits harassment/bullying and hate crimes. These actions will not be tolerated under any circumstances. We firmly believe that all persons are to be treated with respect and dignity. The District will respond to harassment/bullying and hate crimes in a manner that effectively deters future incidents. The use or threat of violence is unacceptable and will not be tolerated by the District. If you believe you or your child has been a victim of harassment, a hate crime or sexual harassment, contact the building principal or counselor. See the appendix for the Harassment Report Form.


Constructive feedback to the schools is welcomed by the staff and Board of Education. Conflicts are best handled and resolved as close to their origin as possible. Every consideration will be given to attempt to resolve the problem prior to involvement by the Boardof Education. If there is a conflict with a staff member, it is important the concerned party meet with the staff member.

1. All conflicts, except harassment, are best resolved at the level the conflict originates. Concerns can be made verbally or in writing. If the conflict is not satisfactorily resolved at that level, then it is the responsibility of the individual having the concern to forward it, in writing, to the next highest level. Concerns made initially, to anyone other than the level at which it originated, shall be referred to the level where the concern originated for initial review and investigation.
2. If there is no resolution, the concerned party may do one of the following:
  1. Request the principal set up a meeting of the concerned party, the staff member, and the principal,or
  2. Complete the Conflict Resolution Form (See Appendix D). If there is still no resolution, a conference will be scheduled with the above parties at the appropriate administrative level.
3. If there is no resolution in Section #2, then the concerned party may forward the conflict to the next highest level.
4. If still there is no satisfaction, then the parties involved will be scheduled to meet with the Board of Education. Administration is to assure the conflict resolution process is completed in a timely manner. Concerns regarding Board of Education’s actions or Board operations will be presented directly to the Board of Education.
5. This form is also used for concerns about the district’s use of Federal Funds and the implementation of Federal Programs including Subtitle B of the Title VII of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act. Disputes addressing the enrollment, transportation (including inter-district disputes), and other barriers to the education of children and youth experiencing homelessness are also addressed under this procedure. Parents, guardians, and unaccompanied youth may initiate the dispute resolution process directly at the school they choose, as well as at the district or district’s homeless liaison’s office. Complaints related to federal programs should be directed to the Superintendent of Schools. Unresolved complaints related to the implementation of Federal Funds may be forwarded directly to the SD Department of Education.

Staff members, in the course of an investigation of a complaint, shall be accorded all due process rights.
These rights shall include the right to know the nature and content of the complaint that has been filed,
including the identity of the complainant, the right to review the investigative findings, and the right to
provide verbal and written input, to address the issues raised in the complaint.Complaints appealed to the Board of Education shall be heard by the entire Board of Education in executive session, as provided by law. The decision of the Boardof Education shall be communicated to the complainant and the Superintendent, who shall implement the decision of the Board. Decisions of the Board of Education may be appealed to circuit court pursuant to SDCL 13-46.
Procedural Process for Investigation and Resolution at Each Level:
  1. Discussion among parties directly involved.
  2. Investigation is conducted by the supervisor, upon initial receipt of the Conflict Resolution Form. The investigation will include discussion with all parties directly affected and written results made available for further review by school officials at the next level, if necessary.
  3. The review at the next level (or ensuing levels) consists of a determination if the investigation was conducted appropriately and if school policies were followed. If it is determined that the investigation was not appropriately conducted and in accordance with policy, it will be remanded back to the appropriate level for continued investigation and resolution.
  4. Conflicts will be resolved in an expedited manner.

*Conflict Resolution Forms may be obtained from the building secretaries. (See also Appendix D of the Board of Education Policy Handbook, which is also available on the District Website Adopted: 6/30/08; Revised: 7/13/09


*ACCELERATED READING PROGRAM allows students to utilize computers to help our staff track student reading progress.

*CHILD FIND: Custer School District identifies, locates and evaluates children in need of special education or special education and related services, birth to twenty-one years of age within the jurisdiction of the District.

This includes children in public/private agencies or institutions, private/religious schools , or those receiving alternative instruction under SDCL-13-17-3 . If you are aware of a child with a disability , birth to twenty-one years of age, regardless of the severity of his/her disability who is not now attending school, please contact the Director of Special Education, Marsha Leininger, Custer School District, 527 Montgomery, Custer, SD 57730; (605) 673-3154.

*COMPUTER lab time may be scheduled for classrooms during the week. Students have the opportunity to learn skills related to the use of computer technology such as: keyboarding; research skills; communication skills; Internet usage for classroom projects; and a variety of other applications supporting all areas of our curriculum.

*COUNSELING: The school counselor works with children individually, in small groups, and in the classroom. The counselor is interested in helping with any student problems or concerns involving school, peers and/or family. The goal is to be a supportive resource to help families through the various stages of their children’s lives.

*EXTRA-CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES: Students will be informed as the year progresses about programs available for students. Activities for both boys and girls are scheduled in Hermosa and Custer. Activities such as Destination Imagination, basketball, and wrestling, as well as activities organized by community organizations such as Scouts and soccer are available. Notes will be sent home regarding sign-ups and practices.

*LIBRARY: The primary objective of the school library is to support literacy development, and implement, enrich, and support the educational program of the school.

*MUSIC provides an opportunity for all students to explore and experience many facets of music and how to utilize its intellectual and emotional benefits.

*PHYSICAL EDUCATION is an integral part of the total educational process, provides movement-centered, wellness, and knowledge-based activities that focus on the intellectual, social, emotional and physical needs of students that enables them to realize their full potential.

*SCHOOL NURSE: The district has a full-time nurse on staff. If you have any special health concerns or questions regarding your child, the nurse can be contacted through the office or the classroom teacher.

*SCHOOL RESOURCE OFFICER: The district, in cooperation with the Custer Sheriff’s Department, Custer County, and City of Custer, provides an officer in the schools. For more information please contact your building principal.

*Second STEP: Custer Elementary School will use the 2nd STEP program to enhance the safety of our school.

*SPECIAL EDUCATION: A full continuum of special education services is available to students who have special needs. For more information, parents should contact their child’s classroom teacher or the Special Education Director at 673-3154.

*TITLE I provides supplemental help in the areas of reading and math. Services are provided in and out of the classroom, depending on the needs of the student. Title 1 also provides the Reading Recovery program for first grade students who qualify for the program.
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