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Back to School Publication
Back to School Publication
Joe Schwan
Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Groton Area School District 06-6 – “Mission Statement” Each school will foster a school climate conducive to learning by encouraging good behavior and citizenship, good attendance, a thirst for knowledge, and high academic standards.  Teachers will employ strategies and approaches to instruction to meet the needs of all children assigned to them.  With proper motivation and instruction, all children can learn!

Teacher Qualifications All teachers of core academic subjects must hold at least a bachelor’s degree, have full state certification, and demonstrate knowledge in the core academic subject they teach.  For information regarding the qualifications of your child’s teachers, you may contact the superintendent’s office at 397-2351.

Registration Anyone new to the District should contact the respective building principal(s) as soon as possible.  Middle School and High School Schedule changes can be made on Wednesday, August 12, 2020 from 9:00 AM to 3:30 PM.  New student registration for students entering grades JK-5 will be held on Tuesday, August 6 at the Elementary School.

School Supply Lists Students’ school supply lists for the elementary school (preschool – grade 5) are posted on the District’s web site at www.grotonarea.com under the District Info Heading.  Students in the middle school (grades 6-8) will be required to have the same color notebook, folder, and book cover for each class.  Math will be green; English, blue; reading, red; science, purple; and social studies, black.  The students can choose their own colors for PE, art, health, and computer classes.

6th Grade Welcome Walk – Friday, August 14 Groton Area Middle School is hosting a 6th Grade Welcome Walk on Friday, August 14 from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM.  Students and their parents are invited to contact the MS/HS Office at 605-397-8381 to schedule an appointment to get a class schedule and other important information from the school office, find the student locker and classrooms, and begin to learn the new building.

Tablet PCs or Ipads Issued to All Students Prior to being issued their tablet PC, students and their parents must sign and return the following documents:  Laptop Computer Protection Agreement, the Student Pledge, E-mail Acceptable Use Agreement, the Groton Area School District Network/Internet agreement, and the Parental Consent to Publish Student Photos/Work.  Required forms can be picked up in the School Office or will be sent home with students on the first day of classes.

First Day of School – Wednesday, August 19 The first day of school is on Wednesday, August 19.  Buses will run and school lunch will be served.  Each route driver will contact parents to confirm bus arrival times.  Other bus route questions may be referred to transportation supervisor, Loren Bahr, at (605) 397-8117.  The GRASP (OST) program at the elementary school will be available on the first day of school. 

Junior Kindergarten and Kindergarten The District offers all-day, every day kindergarten classes. Children may enter kindergarten if they are 5 years of age on or before September 1 of the year in which they are to enter school.  The District offers a junior kindergarten program each day from 12:15PM – 3:31PM for students that are eligible to attend kindergarten, but are not quite ready for kindergarten.  Students enrolling in first grade must be 6 years of age on or before September 1 of that school year.

Non-Resident Enrollment For out-of-district students, applications to open enroll may be accepted throughout the school year.  Applications are available from any school district administrative office.  All open enrollment requests and related questions should be referred to school superintendent, Joe Schwan, at (605) 397-2351.

2020-2021 School Hours 

 Groton Area Elementary               

8:15AM                                    Arrival Time      (Supervision)
8:22AM – 3:31PM            Classes in Session

Groton Area MS/HS                       
8:13 AM                               First Bell
8:18AM – 3:40PM        Classes in Session

GRASP (OST) Program The GRASP program services children in junior kindergarten through grade five with before and after-school homework help, supervised learning activities, and snacks.  The GRASP program will be held in the Groton Area Elementary School from 7:00AM - 8:00AM and 3:31PM – 6:00PM each day that school is in session.  Rates are $2.75 per hour, per child.  Any OST questions or registrations may be directed to Elementary Principal, Mr. Brett Schwan, at (605) 397-2317.

K-12 Breakfast and Lunch Program The school provides breakfast and lunch for all students each day school is in session.  All meals are on a cash basis (i.e. pay as you go), while recognizing the provisions for free and reduced price meals.  Guidelines for 2020-2021 applications for free and reduced priced meals were mailed out the week of August 10th.  Parents are encouraged to apply for free and reduced priced meals if there is a possibility they may qualify.  Prices can be found here.

Activity Tickets Activity tickets are intended to admit all students to regularly scheduled home activities or events, with about the only exceptions being tournaments and the Pops Concert.  Students in grades 1-5 may purchase an activity ticket, if they wish.  All students who participate in activities for which an activity stipend is paid are required to purchase an activity ticket as a condition of participation since they are the primary beneficiaries of the activity programs.  For example, staff activity stipends include:  all sports, marching band, forensics, cheerleading, drama, oral interp, DI, FFA, FCCLA, FBLA etc.

Activity Ticket prices for 2020-2021 are as follows:
Grades 1-5                          $25.00
Grades 6-12                        $30.00
Adults                                     $45 (10 events)
Adults – All Events         $75.00                

Admission Prices:
Adults = $5.00; $6.00 for double headers
Students, Grades 1-12 = $4.00

School Cancellations All school cancellations or early dismissals due to inclement weather or emergencies will be sent out via the Apptegy Messenger System.  Within minutes, Apptegy automatically sends a pre-recorded message to every recipient on a selected list.  Parents will be asked to provide phone numbers and e-mail addresses (when available) to the school so that a selected calling list can be created.  Emergency cancellations will be broadcast over TV stations KSFY, KDLT, and KELO as well as the District Facebook page and website, www.grotonarea.com, and by push notifications on the District app (Groton Area Tigers, SD).

Groton Area Tigers, SD Mobile App The Groton Area School District has a mobile application available for both Apple and Android devices.  Search “Groton Area Tigers, SD” in your app store and download the free app.  Be sure to set up the app to allow push notifications to receive timely and important updates from your child’s school.  The app includes event calendars, athletics schedules, staff contacts, school menus, access to up-to-date news and information and access to archived documents.

Immunization Requirements (SDCL 13-28-7.1) State law requires that any pupil entering school or an early childhood program in the state shall, prior to admission, be required to present the appropriate school authorities certification from a licensed physician that the new child has received or is in the process of receiving adequate immunization against poliomyelitis, diphtheria, pertussis, rubeola, rubella, mumps, tetanus, and varicella, according to recommendations provided by the Department of Health.  The Department of Health may modify or delete any of the required immunizations.  As an alternative to the requirement for a physician’s certification, the pupil may present:

  • 1)Certificate from a licensed  physician stating the physical condition of the child would be such that immunization would endanger the child’s life or health; or
  • 2)A written statement signed by one parent or guardian that the child is adherent to a religious doctrine whose teachings are opposed to such immunization; or
  • 3)A written statement signed by one parent or guardian requesting that the local health department give the immunization because the parents or guardians lack the means to pay for such immunization.

Students enrolling in 6th grade are required to get one dose of Tetanus, Diptheria, Pertussis (Tdap) vaccine and one does of Meningococcal vaccine on or after their 11th birthday.

Harassment and Bullying Policies The district has harassment & bullying policies in place in both buildings.  Bullying among students can be defined as intentional, repeated hurtful acts, words or other behavior, such as name-calling, threatening and/or shunning committed by one or more students against another.  This definition also includes “cyber-bullying” which is the sending or posting of cruel or harmful texts or images using the Internet or other digital media such as cell phones, etc.  For a complete copy of the district’s harassment or bullying policy, please contact the building principal.

Grievance Procedure In an effort to maintain effective communications, if you have a particular concern about your child’s progress or about what is happening on the bus, at school, in a class or activity, first discuss it with the driver, teacher, or director of the activity.  If your concern or grievance remains unresolved at that level, or if there is a need to share your concern, contact the principal in charge of the school in which your child attends.  If the concern/grievance remains unresolved at that level, contact the superintendent.  If school policy is at issue or if the concern grievance remains unresolved, you may request that the superintendent include the subject on the school board meeting agenda.  To maintain confidentiality, student matters may be confined to an “executive session” with the Board and administration.

Complaint Policy for Federal Programs and Homelessness Policy A parent, student, employee, or district stakeholder who has a complaint regarding the use of federal funds and is unable to solve the issue, may address the complaint in writing to the district’s superintendent.  Disputes addressing the enrollment, transportation, and other barriers to the education of children and youth experiencing homelessness are also addressed under this procedure.  For a copy of the complete policy, contact the school superintendent or refer to the District web site.

Child Find Parents or guardians are to be informed that the Groton Area School District 06-6 continuously conducts a “Child Find” search to identify and evaluate District children ages 0-21, with special education needs.  Persons who know of a child with un-served education needs may refer the child, by name, to the appropriate building principal.  With the parent or guardian’s consent, an evaluation will be made.  After the evaluation has been completed, a placement committee will meet with the parent or guardian to determine if special assistance is needed.

Title I The federal government provides funding to states each year for Title I services.  The goal of Title I is to provide extra help in math and reading for eligible students.  Students are selected for the program based on information provided by classroom teachers, parents, and achievement test results.  Title I services in our district are provided to students in grades K-5, with a strong emphasis on students in grades K-3.

Title I Right to Know – Teacher Certification As a parent or guardian of a student attending a school that is receiving Federal Title I dollars (Groton Area Elementary), you have the right to know the professional qualifications of the teacher(s) and instructional paraprofessionals who instruct your child.  We are happy to provide this information to you. At any time, you may ask: 1. Whether the teacher met state qualifications and certification requirements for the grade level and subject he/she is teaching; 2. Whether the teacher received an emergency or conditional certificate through which state qualifications were waived, and; 3. What undergraduate or graduate degrees the teacher holds, including graduate certificates and additional degrees, and major(s) or area(s) of concentration.

You may also ask whether your child receives help from a paraprofessional.  If your child receives this assistance, we can provide you with information about the paraprofessional’s qualifications.

Federal Compliance Notice Students, their parents, and employees of the Groton Area School District #06-6 are hereby notified that this school district does not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, national origin, color, age, disability or religion in employment practices and educational activities.  To ensure compliance with Section 427 of GEPA, effective steps shall be taken to remove potential barriers so as to ensure equity of access and participation in grant programs and to achieve high standards.  Any person having inquiries concerning compliance or application of Title VI, Affirmative Action, Title IX, Section 504, and the Americans with Disabilities Act is directed to contact Federal Program compliance coordinator, Joe Schwan, Superintendent, Groton Area School District 06-6, Phone 397-2351 or, Department of Education, Civil Rights Office, 8930 Ward Parkway, Suite 2037, Kansas City, MO 64114; Phone: (816) 268-0550; TTD (800) 4370-0833; FAX: (816) 823-1404; Web link: http://www.ed.gov/about/office...

FERPA Notification of Rights The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords parents and students who are 18 years of age or older ("eligible students") certain rights with respect to the student's education records.  These rights are:

  1. The right to inspect and review the student's education records within 45 days after the day the Groton Area School District receives a request for access.

Parents or eligible students should submit to the school principal a written request that identifies the records they wish to inspect.  The school official will make arrangements for access and notify the parent or eligible student of the time and place where the records may be inspected.

  1. The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the parent or eligible student believes are inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights under FERPA.

Parents or eligible students who wish to ask the Groton Area School District to amend a record should write the school principal, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it should be changed.  If the school decides not to amend the record as requested by the parent or eligible student, the school will notify the parent or eligible student of the decision and 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.

  1. The right to provide written consent before the school discloses personally identifiable information (PII) from the student's education 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 interests.  A school official is a person employed by the school as an ad­ministrator, supervisor, instructor, or support staff member (including health or medical staff and law enforcement unit personnel) or a person serving on the school board.  A school official also may include a volunteer or contractor outside of the school who performs an institutional service of function for which the school would otherwise use its own employees and who is under the direct control of the school with respect to the use and maintenance of PII from education records, such as  an attorney, audi­tor, medical consultant, or therapist; a parent or student volunteering to serve on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee; or a parent, student, or other volunteer 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 school discloses education records without consent to officials of another school district in which a student seeks or intends to enroll, or is already enrolled if the disclosure is for purposes of the student’s enrollment or transfer. 

  1. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the Groton Area School District to comply with the requirements of FERPA.  The name and address of the Office that administers FERPA are:

Family Policy Compliance Office U.S. Department of Education 400 Maryland Avenue, SW Washington, DC  20202

Student Directory Information The Groton Area School District routinely discloses names, addresses, and telephone numbers to the South Dakota Board of Regents, South Dakota Technical Institutions, and upon request, to military recruiters, subject to a parent’s or eligible student’s request not to disclose such information without written consent.  Parents or eligible students who wish to opt-out of the disclosure of this information may contact the school office for the appropriate document or may obtain it here: https://bit.ly/3fFyC58

Notice of Nondiscrimination Applicants for admission and employment, students, parents, employees, and all professional organizations holding negotiated agreements or professional agreements with the school district are hereby notified that this district does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, age, gender, disability, national origin, or ancestry in admission or access to, or treatment or employment in, its programs and activities.

Section 504 Section 504 is the part of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 that applies to persons with disabilities.  Section 504 is a civil rights act that protects the civil and constitutional rights of persons with disabilities.  It states that no person with a disability can be excluded from or denied benefits of any program receiving federal financial assistance.  Section 504 and special education are two separate services.

Notification of Asbestos in School Building(s) In compliance with the Asbestos-Containing Materials in Schools Rule, the Groton Area School District had its school buildings inspected on 3/19/2019 by an asbestos inspector, accredited by the state of South Dakota.  During that inspection, areas of suspected asbestos (ACBM) were identified and inspected.  The Groton Area School District has an Asbestos Management Plan which provides information on the periodic monitoring of the condition of asbestos (ACBM) remaining in the school buildings.  Anyone that would like to see the Asbestos Management Plan can contact a building principal or superintendent.