It’s back to school time

By Ron Burtz

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The roar of motorcycles still lingers in the air and the roads are clogged with summer travelers, but the first day of school in Custer is just one week away on Wednesday, Aug. 21. 

For teachers and support staff, their big day is even closer. All staff will meet at the Hermosa School gymnasium for a back-to-school inservice on Monday morning. The school offices in Custer will be closed in the morning for staff to attend the inservice.

Even now, the calendar is crammed with events to prepare for the start of the new school year. 

Going on now through Thursday from 8 to 4 p.m. is new student enrollment at both Hermosa School and Custer Jr./Sr. High. New student enrollment at Custer Elementary School (CES) is from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. today and Thursday. 

Class schedule distribution and class changes will be held at the same time as laptop check-outs, which is going on through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the jr./sr. high school. 

Paperwork will need to be completed and a parent’s signature and necessary payment is required prior to a laptop being issued. There is a $25 nonrefundable fee per student or a maximum of $50 per family. Prices for computer insurance coverage do not include lost chargers or battery replacements. Laptops are for students in grades seventh through 12th only. Legal guardians must be present to sign the required paperwork.

Students and parents will have an opportunity to get a head start on the new school year and get questions answered at open houses planned for all of the schools. 

The Hermosa School and CES open houses are set for Monday, Aug. 19, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The Custer kindergarten and junior kindergarten (a new class started this year) meeting is also set for Monday at 6:30 p.m.

The jr./sr. high open house will be held from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday. 

Preschool/developmental screenings are set for Custer and Hermosa on Aug. 26 and 28, respectively. Parents are asked to call call 673-2171 (Custer) or 255-4345 (Hermosa) to set up appointments for their preschoolers. 

There has been a slight increase in food service pricing for the 2019-20 school year. The price for breakfast will be $1.70 and lunch will be $2.95 for K-5, $3.05 for grades 6-12 and $3.65 for adults. The Cruisin’ Cafe Lunch for grades 9-12 will cost $4.15 per meal. The price of milk goes up to 55 cents per half-pint container. 

The inclement weather policy remains the same this year. School will be closed when, in the judgement of the superintendent or someone he designates, conditions would not be safe for buses to operate or for children to walk to school. The official statement of school closing will be made via School Messenger — in which announcements are sent via phone/cell phone — and also over television stations KOTA, KEVN/FOX, KELO and KNBN in the morning. 

Parents are also urged to make sure their numbers are current on School Messenger. To add or remove a phone number from this automated messaging system, parents should contact their child’s school. Staff members and students are urged to notify the school office of address, phone number and/or email address changes.

School announcements and schedules are regularly distributed through the district’s “Tidbits” email newsletter. 

To sign up for or unsubscribe from the mailing list, visit  k12.sd.us/mailinglist/ CSDTidbits.  

At CES and Hermosa, the school day will begin at 7:45 a.m. and end at 3:35 p.m. The school day begins at 7:50 in the morning at the jr./sr. high and ends at 3:44 p.m.

The first day of no school for the new year will be Labor Day, which is Monday, Sept. 2 … barring a snow day, of course.