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Excellence in Education

2021 – 2022

Table of Contents

  1. Principal’s Message
  2. Mission Statement, Safe Schools
  3. Superintendent’s Message, Board of Trustees 2021-2022, Visitor Passes, Safety Drills
  4. Social Distancing, Traffic, Notice of Non-Discrimination
  5. Attendance, Types of absences
  6. Checking out students, Bell Schedules, Bullying/Harassment/Intimidation/Hazing, Cell Phones
  7. Communicable Diseases, Complaints by Students and Parents
  8. Computer Resources, Conduct
  9. Applicability of School Rules, Discipline, Violation of Student Code of Conduct
  10. Gun Free Schools/Firearms
  11. Corporal Punishment, Counseling, Discipline and Due Process
  12. Suspension, Expulsion, Students with Disabilities, Distribution of Materials
  13. Non-School Materials. Emergency Drills, Dress and Grooming
  14. Home School Participation, Food Services, Opportunities for Student Learning
  15. Opportunities for Student Learning (cont’d)
  16. Service for High Ability, High Potential Students, Grading Policy
  17. Progress Monitoring, Student Behavior Expectations
  18. Student Behavior Expectations continued
  19. 4 Bees Matrix
  20. Homeless Students (McKinney Vento Homeless Act), Homework, Immunization
  21. Medicine at School
  22. Illness/Medications, Emergency Medical Treatment and Information, Law Enforcement
  23. Parent Involvement, Responsibilities and Rights
  24. Instructional Materials, Protection of Student Rights
  25. Release of Students from School, Religious Practices, Information from our Speech Therapists
  26. Safety, Drills, Emergency School-Closing Information
  1. Searches and Seizures, Students and Their Personal Effects, Students in Foster Care
  2. Student Records, Access by Parents and Students
  3. Access by Other Individuals and Entities
  4. Challenging Content of Records
  5. Rights under FERPA, Field Trips
  6. Textbooks, Transportation, School Sponsored
  7. Visitors
  8. Primary School Staff Members
  9. Appendix A- FERPA RIGHTS
  10. Appendix A (cont.d)
  11. Appendix B- K-3 Authorization for Electronic Access
  12. Explanatory Notes for Acknowledge and Consent Form
  13. Receipt of Handbook and Acknowledgement of Right

Principal’s Message:

The Stevensville School District Student Handbook contains information that students and parents are likely to need during the school year. Throughout the handbook, the term “the student’s parent” is used to refer to the parent, legal guardian, or other person who has agreed to assume school-related responsibility for a student.

All of our efforts are based on a strong family-school team, and we welcome and encourage your participation. The handbook is designed to be in harmony with Board policy. Please note that references to policy codes are included to help parents confirm current policy. A copy of the District’s Policy Manual is available in the school office.

The school environment is a new experience for our youngest students and their parents, and a good understanding of the school structure is important to the school-family relationship. Providing a positive school environment for all students requires an organized structure of rules, traffic patterns and classroom management. Children learn to assume their responsibilities as a student and parents are asked to support a solid learning environment with positive input, frequent communication and volunteer opportunities in the school. We welcome your ideas.

Although the teacher will review this handbook with the students, we recommend that you also read it and discuss it with your child. General information, as well as a discussion of discipline policies and student responsibilities and opportunities, is included in this handbook.

Our professional staff is fully committed to providing your child with the best possible learning experience. As part of the parent-child-teacher team, we will work with you to ensure your child’s success during the school year. We welcome frequent communication with you, and ask that you encourage your child to accept the responsibilities of a Stevensville student that help him or her make the most of another productive school year. Together, parent-child-teacher, we’re an unbeatable team.

We wish to extend an invitation to you to visit us often concerning school matters. Because it is important that we know who is in the school building, please check in at the office before going to the classrooms.

Please join us in making this a pleasant and productive year for everyone in our district. Thank you,

Jessica Shourd

Mission Statement:

Stevensville Primary School embraces all children and welcomes them in an atmosphere of learning where each individual has the opportunity to reach his/her full potential.

Belief Statement:

At Stevensville Primary School, we believe:

  • In all students having a right to a quality education
  • In the ability of all students to learn
  • In providing a safe environment where learning can occur
  • In a positive, welcoming school environment
  • In having high expectations for each student
  • In regular attendance as essential for learning
  • In students coming to school prepared to learn
  • In the responsibility for educational success being a partnership between school and families
  • In open communication between families and school
  • In continually evaluating areas in which growth and improvement can be achieved
  • In recognizing and celebrating accomplishments


The Stevensville School System is committed to a safe school environment, and works with the Montana Behavioral Initiative Program, law enforcement agencies and the community to put best practices in place that work for a positive school climate in a safe learning environment. Our dress code, practice drills, campus layout, traffic patterns, visitor policy, positive discipline program, special student services, community links and volunteer program are all a part of this effort. Parental feedback and cooperation is of major importance if our efforts are to be effective.

We want our parents to visit and to volunteer, and by reporting to the office first when you visit, you help ensure a safe environment for all of our students. We very much welcome your advice, and we don’t want safe school practices to be a barrier between us. If you see areas in which we can improve the procedures, please let us know.

All visitors to the K-3 building report to the Primary office to pick up a visitor pass for the building. The south door will be left locked during the day. If you simply wish to deliver an article to your child, the office staff will handle that for you. If you are visiting the classroom, or doing volunteer work, you should check in and pick up your pass at the K-3 office. All volunteers will be approved within 24 hours of submitting the volunteer form. No passes for the K-3 building will be issued in any other building.

We encourage your involvement as a volunteer, in the classroom or on the playground.  It takes all of us to provide a safe and positive school environment.

Superintendent’s Message:

Welcome to Stevensville School District. This handbook is to acquaint you with the organization, policies, and procedures of your school.  You and your parents must read this handbook and sign the accompanying signature card for return to the School office. The rules governing our school are a result of the combined efforts of the Board of Trustees, Administration, faculty, students, and community. We sincerely hope that each of you will have a successful and enjoyable year.

Dr. Bob Moore, Superintendent

Board of Trustees 2021-2022

The Board of Trustees would like to extend an invitation to students, parents and community members to come to board meetings throughout the school year and summer. We would also like to encourage you to share with us your concerns, ideas, and general comments. We will be available to listen to and we will provide guidance on how to get your concerns addressed through the proper channels.

Sarah Armijo, Cathi Cook, Stephanie Esch, Jennifer Gunterman, Sean Lenahan, Kris McCoy, Ben Meyer, Daniel Mullan

Procedures for the Safety of All Students

Visitor Passes

All adults visiting the K-3 building for any reason must check in at the K-3 office to receive a visitor pass. We welcome you to our school, but our first concern is always for the safety of all students. Therefore, any adults in either the K-3 building or the music/PE facility building without a visitor pass will be asked to report to the K-3 office or to leave school grounds.

Office Procedures

Please read this handbook and note the procedures for checking out your child, visiting the school, student medication, student absence, etc. It is important that you are aware of general school policies. If, at times, a procedure offers some inconvenience to you, please remember that all  policies are in place to provide a secure, safe environment for all of our students. Parent participation is a very important component of this environment, and we hope you visit our classrooms frequently. We value your observations and invite your input.

Safety Drills

Safety drills start in September. We practice fire drills, earthquake drills and lockdown drills. The teachers work hard to instill a safe, immediate response from students without alarming them.  Fire drills are practiced at unexpected times, without notice after the first practice, but students are always notified when we practice a lockdown drill. If you are in the building during a drill, please follow staff instructions. If you find the main entrance to a building locked, we may be in a lockdown. In this instance, please do not attempt to enter the building. For your own safety, leave campus immediately and stay away until you are able to contact the building office.

Social Distancing

As students work and play together, they are learning social skills necessary for success in the classroom and on the playground. At school, children must learn to resolve problems without resorting to any violent behavior. Our younger students learn problem-solving skills and the older students practice conflict resolution programs conducted by our school counselor. Parental support of cooperative, non-violent problem solving goes hand-in-hand with school rules, and helps your child meet success at school.


Please observe the traffic patterns at school. These patterns have been established to maintain the safety of all students as they travel to and from buses, cars and when walking. We have provided a new drop-off loop on the south end of the building, east of the playground. After school, students may be picked up in any designated loading zone on the southeast end of the building. Please instruct your child to use the marked crosswalks and obey the crossing guards. Parents are requested to not enter the bus loading zones for any reason. Be aware that no one is allowed to ride skateboards, scooters or bicycles once they reach school grounds. Parking for parents may be available in the designated parking lot. Please note that there are loading only zones on either side  of Park Street during school hours, as determined by the Town of Stevensville. Violators may be ticketed.

Notice of Non-Discrimination

The Stevensville School District does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, or disability, in the educational programs and activities it operates including admission and employment. The District is required by federal law, including but not limited to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX, and Section 504 and the Americans with Disabilities Act and their regulations to not discriminate against individuals in violation of these laws.  The District also provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding complaints under Title IX (sex discrimination and sexual harassment) and all other non-discrimination policies for kindergarten through third grade:

Jessica Shourd, Primary Principal 300 Park Avenue

406-777-5613 x300

[email protected]

Inquiries may also be directed to the Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education.


Regular school attendance is essential for the student to make the most of his or her education — to benefit from teacher-led activities, to build each day’s learning on that of the previous day, and to grow as an individual.

  • A student between the ages of 7 and 16 must attend school unless the student is otherwise legally exempted or excused. A student who voluntarily attends or enrolls after his or her sixteenth birthday is required to attend each school
  • A student who persistently does not attend school for the day or any part of the school day equivalent to the length of one class period is truant and may be subject to disciplinary action. Truancy may also result in assessment of a penalty by a court of law against the student and his or her parents. The District’s Attendance Officer may request a meeting with the truant student’s parent or legal guardian to develop a truancy plan in the event of continued
  • The principal or designee will attempt to contact a student’s parent, guardian, or legal custodian by the end of the school day in order to inform him or her of the student’s absence if no excuse has been offered. See Policy

When a student is absent from school, the parent/guardian must call the school secretary any time after 7:30 a.m. to notify the school of the absence. If the parent/guardian does not call, the district personnel will call home when an absence has occurred. If contact has been made with the parent/guardian, it will not be necessary for the parent/guardian to send a written excuse with the student upon his/her returning to school, unless requested by the administration. If no contact was made, the student will have one (1) day to bring a note, or the absence will be unexcused.

A student who is absent for any reason other than an unexcused absence should promptly make up specific assignments missed. A student who does not make up assigned work within the time allotted by the teacher will receive a grade of zero for the assignment.

Types of absences

The ONLY absences that WILL NOT be used in calculating the attendance record are:

  1. Those that occur due to school-sponsored activities, since these are considered an equivalent educational experience. These exemptions will apply to students participating in sports events, cheerleading, music-related events, FFA trips, academic field trips, and others deemed co-curricular.
  2. Bereavement in the immediate Any extended bereavement may be reviewed by the Attendance Board.
  3. Subpoenas to appear in court or court-ordered, out-of-District placements for special
  4. Illness or hospitalization verified by a doctor’s


Students are expected to be in class on time. When a student’s tardiness becomes frequent or disruptive, the student shall be referred to the principal.

Checking Out Students

If you wish to take your child out of school early, please come into the primary office where you will sign your child out for the remainder of the day. Parents are expected to provide accurate and up-to-date information regarding any custodial decisions that may affect the school, including a release for who may or may not pick up your child.

Bell Schedules

Basic Lunch and Recess Times

8:20 School day Begins
10:10-10:40 K-1 Recess
10:30-11:00 2-3 Recess
10:45-11:15 K-1 Lunch
11:05-11:35 2-3 Lunch
1:15-1:45 K-1 Recess
1:45-2:15 2-3 Recess
3:30 School day Ends


Bullying (including cyberbullying), harassment, intimidation, or hazing, by students, staff, or third parties, is strictly prohibited and shall not be tolerated. All complaints about behavior that may violate this policy shall be promptly investigated. Retaliation is prohibited against any person who reports or is thought to have reported a violation, files a complaint, or otherwise participates in an investigation or inquiry. For additional information, please see Policy 3225 and 3226.

Cell Phones

The possession and use of cellular phones, watches, pagers, and other electronic signaling devices on school grounds, at school-sponsored activities, or while otherwise under the supervision and control of District employees is a privilege which will be permitted only under the circumstances described herein. Students may use cellular phones, pagers, and other electronic signaling devices on campus before school begins and after school ends. Students in grades 9-12 may also use such devices during the lunch period. These devices must be kept out of sight and turned off during the instructional day. Unauthorized use of such devices disrupts the instructional program and distracts from the learning environment. Therefore, unauthorized use is grounds for confiscation of the device by school officials, including classroom teachers. Confiscated devices will be returned to the parent or guardian. Repeated unauthorized use of such devices will result in disciplinary action.

Students are prohibited from operating a cell phone or other electronic device (or camera embedded in such device) while in a locker room, bathroom, or any other location where the privacy rights of others may be violated. Students may not use cell phones, pagers, or other electronic signaling devices during classes unless such use is under the direction of certified staff for educational purposes.

Unauthorized possession or use of  these devices is grounds for confiscation.  Repeated unauthorized use will result in disciplinary action. Depending on the nature of the unauthorized use, the student’s parents and/or law enforcement may be contacted and the student’s cell phone may be searched.

Communicable Diseases

To protect children from contagious illnesses, students infected with certain diseases are not allowed to come to school while contagious. Parents of a student with a communicable or contagious disease should phone the school nurse or principal so that other students who may have been exposed to the disease can be alerted. These diseases include, but are not limited to:

Amebiasis                    Mumps Campylobacteriosis     Pinkeye

Chickenpox                 Ringworm of the scalp

Diphtheria                   Rubella (German Measles)

Gastroenteritis             Scabies

Hepatitis                      Shigellosis

Influenza                     Streptococcal disease, invasive Measles (Rubeola)       Tuberculosis

Meningitis                    Whooping Cough (Pertussis) Coronavirus

Complaints by Students and Parents

Usually student or parent complaints or concerns can be addressed simply — by a phone call or a conference with the teacher. For those complaints and concerns that cannot be handled so easily, the District has adopted a Uniform Complaint Procedure policy for most complaints (Policy 1700) with the exception of complaints/concerns regarding sexual harassment and/or disability discrimination.

If a student or parent believes that the Board, its employees, or agents have violated their rights, he or she may file a written complaint with any District Principal or Supervisor under the applicable grievance procedure. If still unresolved, the matter generally may be referred to the Superintendent. Under some circumstances, the District provides for the complaint to be presented to the Board of Trustees in the event the matter cannot be resolved at the administrative level.

Some complaints require different procedures. Any building office or the Superintendent’s office can provide information regarding specific processes for filing complaints. Additional information can also be found in Policy 1700, available in any Principal’s and Superintendent’s offices.

Students shall use the Title IX Grievance Procedure to address complaints/concerns about sexual harassment. A copy of the Title IX Grievance Procedures can be obtained on the District’s website or any District or school office or by contacting the Title IX Coordinator. Title IX coordinator for K-3 is Jessica Shourd, 406-777-5613 or [email protected].

If a student has a Section 504 plan, students shall use the Section 504 Grievance Procedure to address complaints/concerns about disability discrimination. A copy of the Section 504 Grievance Procedures can be obtained on the website or any District or school office or by contacting Jessica Shourd, 406-777-5613 or [email protected].

Computer Resources

Computer resources, including the District’s electronic networks, are an integral part of the District’s instructional program. Use of these resources is a privilege, not a right.  Students have no expectation of privacy in material that is stored, transmitted, or received via the District’s electronic networks or the District’s computers. General rules for behavior and communications apply when using the District’s computer resources. Students must sign the Authorization for Electronic Access Agreement prior to being authorized to use the District’s computer resources. See Appendix B for the form. For additional information, see Policy 3612P.


In order for students to take advantage of available learning opportunities and to be productive members of our campus community, each student is expected to:

  • Demonstrate courtesy — even when others do
  • Behave in a responsible manner and exercise self-discipline.
  • Attend all classes, regularly and on
  • Prepare for each class; take appropriate materials and assignments to
  • Meet District or building standards of grooming and
  • Obey all building and classroom
  • Respect the rights and privileges of other students, teachers, and other District
  • Respect the property of others, including District property and
  • Cooperate with or assist the school staff in maintaining safety, order, and

Applicability of School Rules and Discipline

To achieve the best possible learning environment for all our students, the Stevensville School District’s rules and discipline will apply:

  • On, or within sight of, school grounds before, during or after school hours or at any other time when the school is being used by a school
  • Off school grounds at a school sponsored activity or event, or any activity or event that bears a reasonable relationship to
  • Traveling to and from school or a school activity, function or
  • Anywhere, including virtual networks, if conduct may reasonably be considered to be a threat or an attempted intimidation of a staff member, an interference with school purposes or an educational function, or a threat to the safety and welfare of the student population, or conduct that detrimentally affects the climate or efficient operations of the

Violation of Student Code of Conduct

A student is in violation of the Student Code of Conduct if the student engages in any inappropriate behavior, including but not limited to:

  • Using, possessing, distributing, purchasing, or selling tobacco or vapor products (tobacco includes, but is not limited to, cigarettes, cigars, snuff, smoking tobacco, smokeless tobacco, alternative nicotine product, or any other tobacco or nicotine innovation).
  • Using, possessing, distributing, purchasing, or selling alcoholic
  • Using, possessing, distributing, purchasing, or selling illegal drugs or controlled substances, including marijuana, look-alike drugs, and drug paraphernalia.
  • Using, possessing, controlling, or transferring a weapon in violation of the “Possession of a Weapon in a School Building” section of this
  • Using, possessing, controlling, or transferring any object that reasonably could be considered or used as a
  • Disobeying directives from staff or disobeying rules governing student
  • Using violence, force, coercion, intimidation or other comparable conduct toward anyone or urging other students to engage in such conduct.
  • Causing or attempting to cause damage to, or stealing or attempting to steal, school property or another person’s
  • Engaging in any activity that constitutes an interference with school purposes or an educational function or any other disruptive
  • Unexcused
  • Misconduct of any sort on any means of District transportation.
  • Bullying, hazing, harassment (including sexual harassment), or intimidation, including cyberbullying.
  • Forging any signature or making any false entry or attempting to authorize any document used or intended to be used in connection with the operation of a

Gun-Free Schools/Firearms

In accordance with the Gun Free School Act, any student who brings a firearm onto school property shall be expelled for a period of not less than one calendar year unless the Board of Trustees has authorized the school administration in writing to modify the requirement for expulsion, including eliminating the requirement for expulsion, on a case-by-case basis.

An administrator may immediately suspend a student if there is cause to believe the student brought a firearm to school or possessed a firearm at school prior to any board hearing on a recommendation for expulsion. If there is a recommendation to expel a student for bringing a firearm to school or possessing a firearm at school, the trustees shall notify the adult student or parent/guardian of a minor student in a clear and timely manner that the student may waive his or her privacy right by requesting the hearing be held in public and may invite other individuals to attend the hearing. At a due process hearing on the recommendation for expulsion due to a student bringing a firearm to school or possessing a firearm at school, there shall be a presentation of a summary of the information leading to the allegations and an opportunity for the student to respond to the allegations. The Board of Trustees is permitted to expel a student only when the trustees determine that the student knowingly (had knowledge of the facts) brought a firearm to school or possessed a firearm at school.

The Board of Trustees is not required to expel a student who has brought a firearm or possessed a firearm at school as long as the firearm is secured in a locked container approved by the District or in a locked motor vehicle the entire time the firearm is at school unless the firearm is in use for a school-sanctioned instructional activity.

If a student is determined by trustees to not have knowingly brought or possessed a firearm at school, the student’s record will be expunged of the incident.

Corporal Punishment

No person who is employed or engaged by the District may inflict or cause to be inflicted corporal punishment on a student. Corporal punishment does not include, and district personnel are permitted to use, reasonable force as needed to maintain safety for other students, school personnel, or other persons, or for the purpose of self-defense.


Academic Counseling

Students and parents are encouraged to talk with a school counselor, teacher, or principal to learn about course offerings, the graduation requirements of various programs, and early graduation procedures. Each spring, students in grades 7 through 12 will be provided information on anticipated course offerings for the next year and other information that will help them make the most of academic and vocational opportunities. [See Graduation Requirements on page 12.] Students who are interested in attending a college, university, or training school or pursuing some other type of advanced education should work closely with their counselor so that they take the high school courses that best prepare them. The counselor can also provide information about entrance examinations and deadlines for application, as well as information about automatic admission to state colleges and universities, financial aid, housing, and scholarships.

Personal Counseling

School counselors are available to assist students with a wide range of personal concerns, including such areas as social, family, emotional issues, or substance abuse. Counselors may also make available information about community resources to address these concerns.

Please note: The school will not conduct a psychological examination, test, or treatment without first obtaining the parent’s written consent, unless required by state or federal law for special education purposes.

Discipline and Due Process

Students who violate District policies, rules, and directives are subject to discipline at the discretion of District administration. Discipline may include referrals, detention, in-school suspension,

out-of-school suspension, and expulsion. Administrators have the discretion to impose, or in the case of expulsion, recommend, the level of discipline deemed appropriate for the misconduct.


An administrator has the authority to suspend a student for up to ten (10) school days. The student is entitled to oral or written notification of the charges and is entitled to the opportunity to provide his or her version. Immediate suspension when the student’s presence poses a continuing danger to persons or property or an ongoing threat of disruption to the educational process may occur without notice or the opportunity to be heard provided that notice and the opportunity to be heard shall follow as soon as practicable. Written notice of the suspension containing a statement of its basis and notice of the right to a review of the suspension will be sent to the parents as soon as possible. At the request of the parents, the Superintendent will review the appropriateness of the suspension. The decision of the Superintendent is final.

An administrator has the authority to extend a suspension for an additional ten (10) school days. Prior to extending the suspension beyond the original length not to exceed ten days, the administrator must hold an informal hearing with the student and determine that the student’s immediate return to the school would be detrimental to the health, welfare, or safety of others, or would be disruptive to the educational process.


Expulsion is any removal of a student for more than twenty (20) school days without the provision of educational services. Only the Board has the authority to expel a student after holding a hearing that provides the student with an opportunity to be heard. After an investigation into the student’s conduct, the administrator must send a written notice to the parents regarding the recommendation to expel the student, the specific charges against the student and supporting evidence, a description of the rule or regulation broken, the date, time, and location of the board hearing, a copy of the Board’s procedure, and a description of the student’s and parents’ rights at the hearing.

Students With Disabilities

Students with rights under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 may be suspended in the same manner as students without those rights or expelled under certain circumstances, but prior to the imposition of either penalty, the District must follow all procedural requirements of those Acts, including holding a manifestation determination meeting when necessary, as required by these Acts.

Distribution Of Material School Materials

All school publications are under the supervision of a teacher, sponsor, and the principal and are part of the curriculum. School officials have the discretion to edit or delete material which is inconsistent with the District’s educational mission. School-sponsored groups are permitted to distribute materials directly to students upon approval of the building Principal or Superintendent.

Non-School Materials

Written materials, handbills, photographs, pictures, petitions, films, tapes, posters, or other visual or auditory materials may not contain material that is obscene, libelous, invasive of the privacy of others, substantially disruptive to the proper and orderly operation and discipline of the school or school activities, or which advocates conduct inconsistent with the shared values of civilized social order are not permitted. Outside groups, including governmental agencies, parent and student organizations not sponsored by the school, and community organizations are permitted to display their materials on a centrally-located bulletin board and/or table available for the displaying of these materials.

Any student who posts material without prior approval will be subject to disciplinary action. Prior approval must be obtained before displaying these materials. Materials should be submitted to the building Principal at least one week prior to the requested distribution.

Emergency Drills

As required by law, the Stevensville School practices several fire drills and other emergency drills during the year. A lock-down drill is a prepared response for a possible weapon incident, and fire drills test our alarm system. It is important that students remain calm, but take the drills seriously. Visitors in school during a drill will participate with the students. The drills your child will be trained for include: fire, earthquake, intruder lock-down, shelter in place, and evacuation.

Dress and Grooming

We appreciate the students’ and parents’ choice of appropriate clothing for school, and suggest that students wear comfortable clothing suitable for the classroom as well as gym and the outdoors. To enjoy recess in cold weather please bring warm clothing such as winter coats, snow pants, snow boots, hats, and gloves. When warm weather arrives students should continue to dress appropriately for school.


  • Drug/alcohol related, including those with multiple interpretations
  • Sexually related or suggestive
  • No bare midriffs, strapless or backless tops or dresses
  • Spaghetti straps are not acceptable
  • No gang related clothing
  • Shorts and skirts must be “fingertip length”
  • Undergarments must be covered at all times
  • Anything that creates the potential for the disruption of the school learning environment
  • In the event a student is to be sent home, parental contact must take place, or he/she will remain on campus

Home School Participation

A student attending a nonpublic school or home school that meets the requirements under MCA 20-5-109 may participate in extracurricular activities offered by Stevensville School District subject to the student’s eligibility as set out in the Student Activities Handbook. The student’s academic eligibility must be verified by the head administrator of the nonpublic school or educator providing the student instruction in the home school as verified by the principal.

Food Services

The District participates in the National School Lunch and Breakfast Program and offers students nutritionally-balanced and appealing meals daily. Free and reduced-price meals are available based on financial need. The District will make every effort to prevent the overt identification of students participating in the free and reduced-price meals by utilizing electronic identification and payment systems. See the building secretary to apply.

Breakfast costs $1.25; lunch costs $2.25 for grades K-5, $2.50 for grades 6-12. Your child may qualify for Free or Reduced price meals. Reduced price is $.30 for breakfast and $.40 for lunch.

Please refer to Policies 2510-2 and for additional information regarding the District’s wellness program.

Opportunities For Student Learning MTSS (Multi-Tiered Systems of Support)

Stevensville Primary School has adopted the MTSS model. MTSS is an integrated multi-tiered system of instruction, assessment and intervention designed to meet the achievement and behavioral needs of all students. Multi-Tiered System of Support, MTSS, creates a structure for the delivery of high-quality instruction for all students and, when needed, additional supports and interventions varying in intensity. Please visit: port-MTSS.

Literacy and Mathematics

K-3 students participate in research-based academic instructional programs. Reading and math curricula are based on the content standards approved for our students by the Montana Office of Public Instruction.

The reading program is presented in an uninterrupted reading/ELA time in all grades.  Please help us maintain the integrity of the reading program by contacting your student or your student’s teacher during recess times or before or after school. The primary office staff will be happy to assist you with concerns that arise during ELA time. Reading at least 15 minutes daily with your child can greatly strengthen children’s literacy skills.

Students use math materials to help them master and maintain skills. Families will receive information to assist them in helping their child with these materials.


Students write using 6 +1 Traits as a guide for writing practice. Teachers and students use an assessment rubric based on the 6+1 Traits to measure students improving writing skills during the course of the school year. The traits are used in all types of writing and are the foundation for writing instruction.


Students are introduced to age appropriate handwriting instruction using a variety of research-based educational tools. By using common language, teachers and parents are able to remind students to form letters beginning at the top and so on. Cursive writing instruction is introduced in third grade and students will continue to practice cursive writing during the remainder of the third grade.


Science curriculum is based on the content standards approved for our students by the Montana Office of Public Instruction and teaches students the inquiry process and investigative methods. Field trips to our surrounding natural environment and science assemblies enhance the science program.

Social Studies

Social Studies curriculum is based on the content standards approved for our students by the Montana Office of Public Instruction. Field trips to the various historic sites around our region greatly enhance the students’ understanding of history and the significance of our local area.

Health Enhancement

The health and physical education curriculum has been created by our teachers along with the Ravalli County Curriculum Consortium and follows the standard adopted by the Montana Office of Public Instruction.

Fine Arts

Students receive regular instruction in the fundamentals of vocal and instrumental music. The students perform annually for parents and the community. Art instruction is provided by the classroom teacher. Many classrooms provide opportunities for students to participate in a variety of dramatic and theatrical presentations.

Report Cards, Progress Reports, and Conferences

Report cards are issued to parents each trimester.

The District may require that report cards and unsatisfactory progress reports be signed by the parent and returned to the school within 5 business days.

Services for High Ability, High Potential Students

The district provides individualized opportunities as needed to meet the needs of students who are academically advanced or otherwise identified as needing additional options. These services may be provided through differentiation in the regular classroom, grouping students by tiered intervention/enrichment levels, or acceleration within the grade level. The services provided will be determined by the building problem solving team (MTSS). Additionally, Stevensville Primary School has implemented an intervention/enrichment reading time 4-5 times a week for each grade level.

Grading Policy

Grading for kindergarten through third grade is explained on the report card. Kindergarten through third grade use standards-based report cards. Please see your child’s classroom teacher if you have specific questions regarding grading procedures.

Academic Assessment

All students will participate in periodic classroom, district and state evaluations. The results of these assessments are available to parents. They are also combined with formative observations/assessments done by the classroom teacher, who will provide continual feedback to parents on student’s progress.

Benchmark Assessment

Student achievement in English Language Arts (ELA) and math are measured every fall, winter, and spring to determine students’ academic growth. The assessments are nationally normed and studies show that students who perform at or above grade level benchmarks are more likely to maintain success in school. Students who perform significantly above or below benchmark may be identified for enrichment and/or differentiated instruction provided in the classroom or by another teacher or paraprofessional, according to the individual student need.

Progress Monitoring

A student’s progress may be measured throughout the course of the school year if the student does not reach or significantly exceeds the benchmark level. Progress monitoring tells teachers and parents if the student is responding to the instruction given and helps to identify areas where the student may require extra instruction and practice. Progress monitoring may happen on a weekly or biweekly basis, depending on student need.

Student Behavior Expectations

The purpose of the Stevensville Primary Positive Behavior System and Montana Behavior Initiative (MBI) is to insure a safe, orderly climate for students and staff to promote responsible student behavior. Stevensville Schools encourages a positive and safe learning environment. We hold our students responsible for their actions and encourage self-discipline.

Student discipline is based on the following premises and students shall comply with the universal behavior expectations in school buildings, on school grounds, in all school vehicles, at all school/school-related/Board-sponsored activities, including but not limited to field trips, school sporting events, and/or any additional extra-curricular activities.

  • Students are expected to contribute to a positive learning environment by respecting the rights of others.
  • Students are not allowed to stop teachers from
  • Students are not allowed to stop other students from
  • Students will participate in productive classrooms and take an active part in their own
  • Building self-esteem is an important part of the primary school years. Good behavior and citizenship will be recognized and
  • Understanding the expectations and consequences is the key to the success of this discipline program. Goals of this plan include the expectations that students will learn from their mistakes, reflect on appropriate behavior and choose successful strategies for a personally productive school environment. Please contact individual classroom teachers for information on specifics for individual classroom expectations.

Stevensville’s MBI program has allowed the teachers to continue teaching without disturbance, and the other students to keep learning without distraction. In other words, it has helped all of us maximize academic time. The program also allows a very positive attitude and firm guidance as students accept responsibility for their actions, and it is a productive bridge to parent/school communication. Parental support is very important to your child’s school environment and his or her progress in the system.

All students are taught the “teach to’s,” which are expectations of school behavior. This includes modeling and discussion of many topics, including traveling in the halls, classroom management expectations, lunchroom behavior, playground routines, classroom work expectations, peer interaction, etc. There are many opportunities for success in school and it is important that the children be taught the “going to school skills” that help them succeed. Refer to the 4 Bees Matrix for expectations that will be taught.

The 4 Bees matrix on the following page will help you and your child understand the expectations for student behavior in the common areas of the school. Please review these expectations for positive behavior with your child. Adherence to these expectations by all students, supported by their parents, will greatly enhance the learning opportunities for all students as well as provide a safe and secure environment




Hallway/ Transition  






Library, PE, Music,


Assembly/ Field Trips  


Emergency Situations



Be Safe

1.  Keep hands, feet & objects to self

2. All legs on the floor

3.  Walk

4.  Put things where they belong

1. Walk single file 2.Stay to the right

3. Check spaces

4. Wait for an adult at all crosswalks


1.  Inform playground adults of any safety problems

2.  Follow playground rules

3.  Dress for weather

4.  Ask before going in the building early.

1.  Wash hands

2.  Use appropriate bathroom behaviors

3.  Keep hands & feet to self

1.  Follow the traffic pattern

2.  Keep hands, feet, & objects to self

3.  Stay seated until dismissed

4.  Follow directions

1. Follow rules/

2. Wait for the teacher before entering

1.  Sit on your bottom

2.  Follow entry seating & dismissal directions

3.  Keep hands & feet to self

1.  Keep hands, feet to self

2.  Do what the driver says

3.  Line up single file to load bus

4.  Stay behind curbing

5.  Use quiet voices

6.  Sit in your seat

& face forward

1.  Listen

2.  Be safe

3.  Follow directions quickly

4.  Stay silent



Be Respectful

1.  Raise hand

2.  Use quiet voices

3.  Put things where they belong

4.  Use good effort

5.  Treat others how you want to be treated

6.  Follow individual

classroom rules

1. Stay right

2. Go with the flow

3. Respect others’ space

4. Quiet voices


1.  Use equipment properly

2.  Share equip- ment and space

3.  Practice good sportsmanship

4.  Show respect to all playground adults/students

5.  Use proper language

1.  Respect others’ privacy

2.  Keep bathroom clean

3.  Flush toilets

1.  Show respect to all lunchroom staff

2.  Wait your turn in line

3.  Use appropriate voice and volume

4.  Practice manners

5.  Keep hands, feet, and objects to self

1. Show respect to all staff members

2. Treat books & equipment properly

3. Follow the rules of each area

4. Listen and be cooperative

1.  Show respect & courtesy to all presenters by giving your full attention

2.  Applaud appropriately

3.  Wait until speaker asks for questions

1.  Respond to adult directives

2.  Respect others’ space

3.  Use appropriate voice & volume

4.  Keep hands, feet, and objects to self

1. Respect personal space

Be Ready

1.  Come to class prepared and on time

2.  Follow directions

3.  Come with a positive attitude

1. Move promptly to next destination

2. Stay together

3. Everyone ready before leaving the room

1.  Go to your area immediately when the bell rings

2.  Use appropriate voice and volume

1. Observe time limits 1.  Sit in one spot

2.  Have lunch tickets ready

3.  Be ready to return to class

1. Bring necessary items for work 1.  Be in your assigned area as soon as possible

2.  Participate when appropriate

1.  Be to the bus on time

2.  Once on the bus, stay in seat

1.  Be alert

2.  Listen for adult directives




Be Responsible

1.  Complete assignments

2.  Turn in assignments on time

3.Use agenda books

4.  Come to school and be on time

5.  Keep areas neat

6.  Follow classroom rules

7.  Help others

8.  Do your best/neat work

1. Keep hallways and pathways clean

2. Keep hand, feet, & object to self

3. Move quickly and quietly without running

1.  Be patient and wait your turn

2.  Use equipment properly

3.  Stay in or on playground area

4.  Report any problems to staff right away

6.  Bring it out, bring it in

7.  Play fair, include others

1.  Use restrooms at appropriate times

2.  Wash hands

3.  Flush toilets

4.  Report any problems to the staff

5.  Keep bathrooms clean

6.  Follow classroom procedures

1.  Use trash cans properly

2.  Clean up messes

3.  Report any problems to the staff

4.  Keep account up to date

1. Use library and lab efficiently

2. Return materials on time and in proper area

3. Treat books and equipment properly

4. Clean up

1.  Sit in assigned areas

2.  Follow adult directions

3.  Be a good participant

4.  Report any problems to staff

5.  Enter and exit quietly

1.  Keep doorways clear

2.  Stay on sidewalks when possible

3.  Report any problems to staff

4.  Must have note from parents and initialed by school to ride different route

1.  Be careful

2.  Follow directions quickly

Homeless Students (McKinney Vento Homeless Act)

In accordance with federal and state law and regulations, the District will provide homeless students with access to the instructional programming that supports achievement of the content standards and to other services for which they are eligible. Students shall not be segregated into a separate school or program based on their status as homeless, nor shall they be stigmatized in any way.

The District will determine, according to the best interest of the child whether the child will be enrolled in the school of origin or in the public school that non-homeless students who live in the attendance area in which the child is actually living are eligible to attend. In determining the best interest of the child the District will, to the extent feasible, keep the child in the school of origin, unless doing so is contrary to the wishes of the parent.

If the child is unaccompanied by a parent or guardian, the homeless liaison will assist in placement and enrollment decisions, with the views of the child taken into consideration.

The District shall immediately enroll the homeless child, even if the child into the selected school even if the parent/child is unable to produce records normally required for enrollment, such as previous academic records, immunization records, evidence of residency, or other documentation.

Homeless students shall be provided services comparable to services available to other students in the school system including, but not limited to, transportation services; educational services for which the student meets the eligibility criteria, such as educational programs for disadvantaged students, students with disabilities, gifted and talented students, and students with limited English proficiency; vocational and technical programs; preschool programs; before and after school-care programs; and school meals/nutrition programs.

Homeless students are entitled to transportation to their school of origin or the school where they are to be enrolled.

McKinney Vento Liaison: Jessica Shourd 406-777-5613 x300 or [email protected].


The Primary School has a no homework policy, outside of simple math practice and nightly reading. If teachers assign homework, it is usually because a student did not use their class time responsibly. Infrequently, a teacher may assign a special project for a student to do with his/her family.


A student must be fully immunized against certain diseases or must present a certificate or statement that, for medical or religious reasons, the student will not be immunized. The immunizations required are: diphtheria, pertussis, rubeola (measles), rubella, mumps, poliomyelitis, varicella and tetanus. Haemophilus influenza type B is required for students under age five (5). Except for those vaccinations required by law, the District will not discriminate against a student by denying or withholding educational opportunities based upon the student’s vaccination status.

A student who transfers into the District may photocopy immunization records in the possession of the school of origin. The District will accept the photocopy as evidence of the immunization.

Within thirty (30) days after a transferring student ceases attendance at the school of origin, the District must receive the original immunization records for the student who transfers into the District.

If a student’s religious beliefs conflict with the requirement that the student be immunized, the student must present a notarized form signed by the student (or by the parent, if the student is a minor) stating that immunization conflicts with the religious tenets and practices of the parents and student. This certificate will be maintained as part of the student’s immunization records.

If a student should not be immunized for medical reasons, the student or parent must present a certificate signed by a health care provider who is licensed, certified, or otherwise authorized by the laws of any state or Canada to provide health care under Montana law, is authorized within the provider’s scope of practice to administer immunizations to which the exemption applies, and has previously provided health care to the student seeking the exemption or has administered an immunization to which the student has had an adverse reaction. This certificate must indicate the specific nature and probable duration of the medical condition or circumstances which contraindicate immunization. This certificate will be maintained as part of the student’s immunization records. For further information, see Policy 3413.

Medicine At School

A student who must take prescription medicine during the school day that is necessary for his or her health and well-being must have a written authorization signed by the parents and the licensed health care provider allowing the dispensation of the medication. The student must bring the medicine in its original, properly labeled container, to the school nurse. The school nurse or school employee to whom the task is delegated pursuant to Montana law will either give the medicine at the proper times or give the student permission to take the medication as directed.

A student who has authorization to possess and self-administer medication must have completed and filed, with the office, a written order for self-administration of a medication from a licensed healthcare provider or dentist as well as written authorization from the parents for the

self-administration. The principal may authorize, in consultation with medical personnel, a student with asthma, severe allergies, or anaphylaxis to possess and self-administer emergency medication from an epinephrine pen (EpiPen) or asthma inhaler. The written order and written authorization must be provided annually. For additional information, please see Policy 3416.


If your child complains of not feeling well, please keep the child home and avoid a sick call later in the morning. Children must be fever-free for 24 hours without Tylenol or Ibuprofen before  returning to school. A fever is considered 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher and children will be sent home if they have a fever. Members of the staff are not responsible for administering any medications. Please inform our school nurse of anymedication that your child needs, and discuss any special circumstances regarding your child. Medications should be given to the nurse, who will make arrangements for proper dispensing of them if needed.

Please send a note if medical reasons require your child to stay inside during recess or PE. A doctor’s statement is required after three days if the condition still exists.

Latex Allergies

To protect students who have latex allergies, latex products, including balloons and gloves, are not allowed in school buildings or at events in the district.

Emergency Medical Treatment and Information

If a student has a medical emergency at school or a school-related activity when the parent cannot be reached, the school will need to have written parental consent to obtain emergency medical treatment and information about allergies to medications, etc.  Therefore, parents are asked each year to complete an emergency care consent form. Parents should keep emergency care information up to date (name of doctor, emergency phone numbers, allergies, etc.). Please contact the office to update any information.

Law Enforcement Questioning of Students

Law enforcement or social service workers must contact students through the administrative office.

Students will not usually be questioned or interviewed by law enforcement or other lawful authorities while at school. When law enforcement officers or other lawful authorities, however, wish to question or interview a student at school or the principal requests that the student be interviewed at school:

  • The principal shall verify and record the identity of the officer or other
  • If the interview is not at the request of the principal, the principal shall ascertain the authority of law enforcement to question or interview the student at the school. If the interview is by court order or other exigencies exist (concern about loss/damage of evidence, flight from jurisdiction, or health, safety, or welfare of the student or other students or staff), the principal has the discretion to allow the interview to take place. Otherwise, if law enforcement can reasonably interview the student at a time when the student is not in school, the principal may, absent a court order or warrant, deny the request for an immediate interview of a student.
  • The principal will make reasonable efforts to notify parents unless the officer produces a court order prohibiting the notification of the
  • In the event that a parent cannot be present or cannot be reached, the principal will observe the
  • Law enforcement must comply with all legal requirements regarding notification of parents and consent prior to interviewing
  • Social service workers may be permitted to interview students at a school consistent with Montana The principal will observe the meeting if the social service worker declines to notify the parents.

Parent Involvement, Responsibilities, and Rights

The District believes that the best educational result for each student occurs when all three partners are doing their best: the District staff, the student’s parent, and the student. Such a partnership requires trust and much communication between home and school. To strengthen this partnership, every parent is urged to:

  • Encourage his or her child to put a high priority on education and commit to making the most of the educational opportunities the school
  • Review the information in the student handbook with his or her child and sign and return the acknowledgment form(s) and the directory information notice. A parent with questions is encouraged to contact your student’s
  • Become familiar with all of the child’s school activities and with the academic programs, including special programs, offered in the District. Discuss with the counselor or principal any questions, such as concerns about placement, assignment, or early graduation, and the options available to the
  • Monitor the child’s academic progress and contact teachers as needed. Parents have the right to review their child’s education records upon
  • Attend scheduled conferences and request additional conferences as needed. To schedule a telephone or in-person conference with a teacher, counselor, or principal, please call the school office at 406-777-5613 or email for an appointment. A teacher will usually arrange to return the call or meet with the parent during his or her conference period or at a mutually convenient time before or after school.
  • Become a school volunteer. For further information, contact your student’s teacher via
  • Participate in campus parent organizations. Parents have the opportunity to support and be involved in various school activities, either as leaders or in supporting Parent organizations include the Parent Teacher Club (PTC) and the Booster Club.

Instructional Materials

Parents have the right to inspect instructional materials used as a part of their child’s educational curriculum, within a reasonable time. This does not include academic tests or assessments.

Protection of Student Rights Surveys

Parents have the right to inspect any survey or evaluation and refuse to allow their child to participate in such survey or evaluation.

Collection of Personal Information from Students for Marketing

The District will not administer or distribute to students any survey or other instrument for the purposes of collecting or compiling personal information for marketing or selling such information, with the exception of the collection, disclosure, or use of personal information collected for the exclusive purpose of developing, evaluating, or providing educational products/services for, or to, students or educational institutions.

Pursuant to federal law, the District will seek parental consent prior to and will not request, nor disclose, the identity of a student who completes any survey or evaluation (created by any person or entity, including the District) containing one or more of the following:

  • Political
  • Mental and psychological
  • Illegal, antisocial, self-incriminating, and demeaning
  • Criticism of other individuals with whom the student or the student’s family has a close family
  • Relationships privileged under law, such as relationships with lawyers, physicians, and
  • Religious practices, affiliations, or beliefs of students or the student’s parent/guardian.
  • Income, except when the information will be used to determine the student’s eligibility to participate in a special program or to receive financial assistance under such a program.

Release of Students from School

A student who will need to leave school during the day must bring a note from his or her parent that morning. A student who becomes ill during the school day should, with the teacher’s permission, report to the office or school nurse. The administrator or nurse will decide whether or not the student should be sent home and will notify the student’s parent. When in doubt as to custodial rights, the District will rely on the most recent information available in the student’s records. A student will only be released with prior written permission from the custodial parent to a previously unauthorized adult unless an emergency situation justifies a waiver. Religious Practices

Religious Practices

Each student has a right to individually, voluntarily, and silently pray or meditate in school in a manner that does not disrupt instructional or other activities of the school. Students may also pray in groups and discuss their religious views with other students as long as they are not disruptive or coercive. The school will not require, encourage, or coerce a student to engage in or to refrain from such prayer or meditation during any school activity. Student prayer, even if nonsectarian or non-proselytizing, will not be broadcast over the school public address system.

Students may study religions ancillary to the studies of human history and development and various national, cultural, and ethnic groups. This study will give neither preferential nor derogatory treatment to any religion or religious belief. The inclusion of religious music, symbols, art, or writings during instruction or in school programs or performances may occur where the religious content has a historical and/or independent educational purpose consistent with the approved curriculum. For additional information, please see Policy 2332.

Information From Our Speech Therapists Hearing Screening

Hearing Screenings are conducted annually for all kindergarten, first grade, and 9th   grade students.

Students who do not pass the initial hearing screening will receive follow-up screenings at school, and parents will be contacted for referrals to outside agencies as indicated. Hearing screenings for students in other grade levels may be done upon teacher or parent request with signed permission from the parents. Questions can be directed to our speech-language therapist, Erin Bauer at [email protected] or 777-5613.

Speech-Language Screening

Speech-Language screenings are conducted in the fall for all kindergarten students. Screenings for students in other grade levels may be done upon teacher or parent request with signed permission from the parents. Questions can be directed to our speech-language therapist, Erin Bauer at [email protected] or 777-5613.


Accident Prevention

Student safety on campus and at school-related events is a high priority of the District. Although the District has implemented safety procedures, the cooperation of students is essential to ensure school safety. A student should:

  • Avoid conduct that is likely to put the student or other students at
  • Follow the behavioral standards in this handbook, as well as any additional rules for behavior and safety set by the principal, teachers, or bus
  • Remain alert to and promptly report safety hazards, such as intruders on
  • Know emergency evacuation routes and
  • Follow immediately the instructions of teachers, bus drivers, and other District employees who are overseeing the welfare of

Drills: Fire, Tornado, and Other Emergencies

From time to time, students, teachers, and other District employees will participate in drills of emergency procedures. When the alarm is sounded, students should follow the direction of teachers or others in charge quickly, quietly, and in an orderly manner.

Emergency School-Closing Information

The District may close the schools in the event of hazardous weather or other emergencies that threaten the safety of students, staff members, or school property. Emergency school closing information will be broadcast on: television channels, KECI, KPAX, KTMF and radio 102.5 FM,

  • FM, and Z100 FM.

The Superintendent may order closure of schools in the event of extreme weather or other emergency, in compliance with established procedures for notifying parents, students, and staff. See Board Policy 2221 and 2221P.

Personal Protective Equipment

The District may require the use of personal protective equipment (PPE), including but not limited to face masks, if determined to be necessary for the safety and welfare of students and staff members. Exceptions may be made to any such requirement for PPE as permitted by law and on a case-by-case basis.

Searches and Seizures

To protect students, employees, and visitors from the serious risk to the health and safety of students posed by alcohol, drugs, drug paraphernalia, and weapons, which are compelling interests, it is necessary to conduct searches of persons and property under certain, limited circumstances. Such searches are necessary to: deter the presence and possession of prohibited substances and items; deter drug and alcohol abuse among the student population; to educate students as to the serious physical, mental and emotional harm caused by drug and alcohol abuse; to prevent injury, illness and harm as result of drug, alcohol abuse and/or weapons; to help identify student drug use and assist parents in pursuing evaluation and appropriate counseling; and to maintain a safe environment free of weapons, alcohol and drug use by vigilant monitoring. In the school environment students have a lower expectation of privacy due to the District’s responsibility for maintaining discipline, health, and safety. District officials may conduct reasonable searches of  school property and equipment, students and their personal effects, and vehicles parked on District property to maintain health, safety, and security in the schools. The types of property that may be searched by school officials include but are not limited to lockers, desks, purses, backpacks, cellular phones or other electronic communication devices.

Students and their Personal Effects

School officials may search a student, the student’s personal effects (e.g., purses, backpacks, coats, etc.), and/or District property under the direct control of the student when there is reasonable suspicion that the search will produce evidence that the student has violated or is violating the law or the District’s policies or rules.  Reasonable suspicion shall be based on the specific and objective facts that the search will produce evidence related to the alleged violation. The parent of the student shall be notified of the search as soon as possible.

School Property

School property, including, but not limited to, desks and lockers, is owned and controlled by the District and may be searched by school authorities at any time it is not under the immediate, direct control of the student, regardless of whether there is reasonable suspicion. School authorities are authorized to conduct area-wide, general administrative inspections of school property without notice to or consent of the student and without reasonable suspicion. The District may employ contractors to handle trained dogs to assist in these searches.

Students in Foster Care

Students in foster care are entitled to educational stability under Title I for the duration of their time in foster care. “Foster care” means “24-hour substitute care for children placed away from their parents or guardians and for whom the child welfare agency has placement and care responsibility.” This includes, but is not limited to, placements in foster family homes, foster homes of relatives, group homes, emergency shelters, residential facilities, child care institutions, and pre-adoptive home.

The District will take efforts to ensure that a child in foster care:

  • Remains in his or her school of origin (school last enrolled in at the time of placement in foster care) unless it is not in the child’s best interest; or
  • If the school of origin is not in the child’s best interest, the child must be immediately enrolled in a new school regardless of being able to produce records otherwise

The District will collaborate with the child welfare agency involved in a particular student’s case to make the “best interest” determination as quickly as possible. The District will also collaborate with the child welfare agency regarding the provision of transportation to the selected school for the student.

Student Records

Access by Parents and Student

A student’s school records are confidential and are protected from unauthorized inspection or use pursuant to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). The District maintains two sets of records: a permanent record and a cumulative record.

By law, both parents, whether married, separated, or divorced, have access to the records of a student who is under 18. A parent whose rights have been legally terminated will be denied access to the records, if the school is given a copy of the court order terminating these rights.

The building principal will be responsible for maintenance, retention, or destruction of a student’s permanent or cumulative records, in accordance with District procedure established by the Superintendent. The principal will respond to reasonable requests for explanation and interpretation of the records. Access to records will be granted within 45 days of receipt of a written request. If circumstances prevent a parent or eligible student from inspecting the records, the District will either provide a copy of the requested records or make other arrangements for the parent or student to review the requested records.

Parents of a minor, the student (if 18 or older), and school officials with legitimate educational interests are persons who may regularly access a student’s records. “School officials with legitimate educational interests” include any employees, agents, or Trustees of the District; cooperatives of which the District is a member; or facilities with which the District contracts for the placement of students with disabilities, as well as their attorneys and consultants, who are working with a student or otherwise performing functions the school would perform in accordance with Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.

The parent’s or student’s right of access to, and copies of, student records does not extend to all records. Materials that are not considered educational records, such as teachers’ personal notes on a student that are shared only with a substitute teacher, records pertaining to former students of the District, and records maintained by school law enforcement officials for purposes other than school discipline do not have to be made available to the parents or student. Access will also not be granted to the parent or the student to confidential letters and recommendations concerning admission to a post-secondary educational institution, applications for employment, or receipt of an honor or award, if the student has waived his or her right of access after being advised of his or her right to obtain the names of all persons making such confidential letters or statements.

See Policy 3600P for more information.

Access by Other Individuals and Entities

Certain officials from various governmental agencies may have limited access to the records without prior consent by the parents or student (over 18 years of age). Disclosure to these governmental agencies may be done under some of the following circumstances:

  • The District may grant access to or release information from student records to employees or officials of the District or the Montana State Board of Education, provided a current, legitimate educational interest is
  • The District may grant access to or release information from student records without parental consent or notification to any person, for the purpose of research, statistical reporting, or planning, provided that no student or parent can be identified from the information released, and the person to whom the information is released signs an affidavit agreeing to comply with all applicable statutes and rules pertaining to school student
  • The District will grant access to or release information from any student record as specifically required by federal or state
  • The District may release student records or information in connection with an emergency, without parental consent, if the knowledge of such information is necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or other persons. The Superintendent or Principal will make this decision, taking into consideration the nature of the emergency, the seriousness of the threat to the health and safety of the student or other persons, the need for such records to meet the emergency, and whether the persons to whom such records are released are in a position to deal with the emergency.
  • The District may disclose student records or information to the youth court and law enforcement authorities, pertaining to violations of the Montana Youth Court Act or criminal laws by the
  • The District will comply with an ex parte order requiring it to permit the S. Attorney General or designee to have access to a student’s school records without notice to or consent of the student’s parent.
  • The District may disclose student records in a court proceeding where the parent is a party to an action involving child abuse or neglect or dependency matters without parental consent or notification if ordered to make this
  • The District may disclose student records to caseworkers or other Child Protective Services representatives when DPHHS/CPS is legally responsible for the care and protection of the student without notification or consent of the

The District forwards a student’s records on request and without prior parental consent to a school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll. Records are also released in accordance with court order or lawfully issued subpoena. Unless the subpoena is issued for law enforcement purposes and the subpoena orders that its contents, existence, or the information sought not be disclosed, the District will make a reasonable effort to notify the parent or eligible student in advance of compliance.

Parental consent is required to release the records in most circumstances. When the student reaches 18 years of age, only the student has the right to consent to release of records.

The District charges a nominal fee for copying records; however, no parent or student will be precluded from copying information because of financial hardship. An access log will also be maintained for each record which details those individuals accessing the records and their legitimate interest in the records.

Challenging Content of Records

Students over 18, and parents of minor students may inspect the student’s records and request a correction if the records are inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy or other rights. If the District refuses the request to amend the records, the requestor has the right to ask for a hearing. If the records are not amended as a result of the hearing, the requester has 30 school days to exercise the right to place a statement commenting on the information in the student’s record. Although improperly recorded grades may be challenged, parents and the student are not allowed to contest a student’s grade in a course or references to expulsion and out-of-school suspensions through this process.

Maintenance of Records

Permanent records are maintained in perpetuity for every student who has enrolled in the District. Cumulative records will be maintained for eight (8) years after the student graduates or permanently leaves the District. Cumulative records which may be of continued assistance to a student with disabilities, who graduates or permanently withdraws from the District, may, after five (5) years, be transferred to the parents or to the student if the student has succeeded to the rights of the parents.

Rights Under FERPA

Specific parental and eligible student rights are Appendix A in this Handbook.

Privacy Matters – Photographs and Social Media

Because of the advent of cell phones and social media, it has become almost impossible to fully protect the privacy rights of any individual from having his or her picture taken and shared with others. Parents have the right to annually opt out of the District sharing their child’s photograph in publications or through District media events. The District will honor any parent opt-outs and not share this information. However, the District cannot prevent others who are present from sharing photos and videos from school events open to parents and/or the public, including music performances, sporting events, open assemblies, or field trips.

Videotaping of Students

The District has the right to use video cameras on District property to ensure the health, welfare, and safety of all staff, students, and visitors to District property, and to safeguard District facilities and equipment. Video cameras may be used in locations as deemed appropriate by the Superintendent. Students in violation of Board policies, administrative regulations, building rules, or law shall be subject to appropriate disciplinary action. Others may be referred to law enforcement agencies.

Video recordings may become a part of a student’s educational record. The District shall comply with all applicable state and federal laws related to record maintenance and retention. Signs will be posted at various locations to inform students, staff, and members of the public that video surveillance cameras are in use.

Field Trips

Field trips are valuable educational tools that require a substantial commitment of extra preparation and expense. When on a school-sponsored trip, our students are expected to adhere to school standards of behavior and dress code. Parents are invited to serve as chaperones, and volunteer permission forms will be available at the primary office. Parent Volunteers must be approved by the building principal through filling out a volunteer permission form. This is a 24-hour approval turn around. Parent chaperones must sign it at the office before leaving with a group. School liability prohibits attendance of preschool siblings or other guests on field trips. A parent’s signature is required for a student to participate in a field trip. Without the signature, the student will be assigned to another class for the day and remain at school (Policy #8132).


Board-approved textbooks are provided free of charge for each subject or class. Books must be covered by the student, as directed by the teacher, and treated with care. A student who is issued a damaged book should report the damage to the teacher. Any student failing to return a book issued by the school or damaging a book issued by the school may be charged to replace the book.

Transportation School Sponsored

Students who participate in school-sponsored trips are required to use transportation provided by the school to and from the event. The principal, however, may make an exception that the student be permitted to ride with the parent, or the parent presents before the scheduled trip a written request that the student be permitted to ride with an adult designated by the parent.

Buses and Other School Vehicles

The District makes school bus transportation available to all students living 3 or more miles from school. This service is provided at no cost to students. Bus routes and any subsequent changes are posted at the school. Further information may be obtained by calling the bus director, Paul Ludington at 406-777-5481 x646.

Students are expected to assist District staff in ensuring that buses remain in good condition and that transportation is provided safely. When riding school buses, students are held to behavioral standards established in this handbook. Students must:

  • Follow the driver’s directions at all
  • Enter and leave the bus in an orderly manner at the designated bus stop nearest
  • Keep feet, books, band instrument cases, and other objects out of the
  • Not deface the bus or its equipment.
  • Not put head, hands, arms, or legs out of the window, hold any object out of the window, or throw objects within or out of the
  • Wait for the driver’s signal upon leaving the bus and before crossing in front of the
  • When students ride in a District van or passenger car, seat belts must be fastened at all

Misconduct will be punished and bus-riding privileges may be suspended.


The District has the discretion to permit visitors. For the safety of those within the school, all visitors must first report to the principal’s office. Visits to individual classrooms during instructional time are permitted only with approval of the principal and teacher and so long as their duration or frequency does not interfere with the delivery of instruction or disrupt the normal school environment. Non enrolled students are not permitted to visit classrooms.

Primary School Staff Members


Dr. Bob Moore Superintendent of Schools [email protected]
Mrs. Jessica Shourd Primary Principal [email protected]
Mrs. Nicole Sylvester Primary Secretary [email protected]
Ms. Chanda Gum Kindergarten Teacher [email protected]
Mrs. Riley Golder Kindergarten Teacher [email protected]
Mrs. Maralee Johnson Kindergarten Teacher [email protected]
Mrs. Jennifer Walthall Kindergarten Teacher [email protected]
Mrs. Karla Baney First Grade Teacher [email protected]
Mrs. Yvette Larson First Grade Teacher [email protected]
Mrs. Cecily Jarvis First Grade Teacher [email protected]
Mrs. Cejay Paulsen First Grade Teacher [email protected]
Mrs. Vicki Motley Second Grade Teacher [email protected]
Mrs. Jaime Praast Second Grade Teacher [email protected]
Mrs. Beth Schreiber Second Grade Teacher [email protected]
Mr. Bruce Jessop Second Grade Teacher [email protected]
Mrs. Nichole Oyler Third Grade Teacher [email protected]
Mrs. Heather Minster Third Grade Teacher [email protected]
Mrs. Valerie Pateman Third Grade Teacher [email protected]
Miss Shawna Lenz Reading/math Recovery [email protected]
Mrs. Lori Jette K-5 Librarian [email protected]
Mr. Robert Prince K-5 Music Teacher [email protected]
Mr. Joey Wark Health Enhancement [email protected]
Ms. Paula Onstad Title I Teacher [email protected]
Mrs. Peggy Diepstraten Title I Para [email protected]
Mrs. Paige Bierly Title I Para [email protected]
Mrs. Debbie Stevens Title I Para [email protected]
Mrs. Theresa Lombardi K-1 Special Ed Teacher [email protected]
Miss Candace Briggs 2-3 Special Ed Teacher [email protected]
Mrs. Lori Jackson Special Ed Para [email protected]
Mrs. Vanessa Lehnan Special Ed Para [email protected]
Mrs. Libbi Hyde Special Ed Para [email protected]
Mrs. Christann Schmid Special Ed Para [email protected]
Mrs. Maria Severson Recess Aide/Lab Para [email protected]
Ms. Connie Johnson School Nurse [email protected]
Miss Erika Burgess K-2 Counselor [email protected]
Miss Alison Swanson 3-5 Counselor [email protected]
Mrs. Wendy Wood Physical Therapist [email protected]
Mrs. Kim Mutchler Occupational Therapist [email protected]
Mrs. Erin Bauer Speech Therapist [email protected]
Miss Caitlyn Nogle Speech Therapist [email protected]
Mrs. Paula Lampi School Psychologist [email protected]
Miss Terran Brown CSCT Therapist [email protected]
Miss Jennifer Clifton Behavior Specialist [email protected]
Mr. David Haacke Maintenance Supervisor [email protected]
Mr. Paul Ludington Transportation Supervisor [email protected]
Mr. Greg Sheller Technology Director [email protected]
Miss Elyse Peterson Meal Program Supervisor [email protected]


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:

The District is providing you notice of these rights, as outlined below:

  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 a written request that identifies the record(s) they wish to inspect. The principal will make arrangements for access and notify the parent or eligible student of the time and place where the records may be


  1. The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the parent or eligible student believes are inaccurate or misleading. Parents or eligible students may ask the District to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate or misleading. They should write to the school principal, 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


  1. The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in 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 District as an administrator, supervisor, instructor, or support staff member (including health or medical staff and law enforcement unit 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, medical 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

Upon request, the school district discloses education records without consent to officials of another school or 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 District classifies the following as Directory Information: a student’s name, address, telephone number, electronic mail address, date of birth, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, photographs, dates of attendance, and honors and awards received in school. School officials may release this information to any person without the consent of the parents or the student. Any parent or eligible student who objects to the release of any or all of this information without his consent must notify, in writing, the principal of the school where the records are kept by October 1 of this school year, or within 10 working days following enrollment if enrollment takes place after October 1 of this school year. The objection must state what information the parent or student does not want to be classified as Directory Information. A parent has the right to provide a limited opt-out of directory information, which could include but is not limited to the District’s disclosure or sharing of student photographs or images. If no objection is received as required above, information designated above will be classified as Directory Information until the beginning of the next school year.


  1. Copies of the complete FERPA Policy adopted by the District may be obtained from the Superintendent’s Office or from the Principal’s Office of each school within the


  1. The right to file a complaint with the S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the Capitan Municipal 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 20202-4605


Parents and Students:

Please read together and after signing, return this document to the school.

Statement of Purpose:

The District believes that all students should have access to technology when they act in a responsible, efficient, courteous and legal manner. Internet access and other online services, available to students and teachers, offer a multitude of global resources. Our goal in providing these services is to enhance the educational development of our students.

Acceptable uses of technology are devoted to activities that support teaching and learning. The following are our agreements about the use of technology in District schools:

Terms of Agreement

Using the computer correctly and responsibly is very important. I promise to follow these rules:

  1. I promise to use all computer equipment carefully and not damage, change or tamper with the hardware, software, settings or the
  2. I promise to use the computer and the Internet for schoolwork I will use only the programs and websites that my teacher has approved.
  3. I promise to print only when my teacher tells me to
  4. I promise to use my own file or my own folder on the student
  5. I will not view, send or display inappropriate or illegal messages or
  6. I promise never to use any form of electronic communication to harass, frighten or bully anyone while at
  7. I promise to tell a staff member if I read or see something on the computer that is
  8. I promise to obey copyright
  9. I understand that if I break any of my promises, I might lose my computer

 Explanatory Notes for Acknowledgement & Consent Form

Field Trips

During the year, students attend field trips that support the curriculum. These trips require a great deal of planning and some expense, and offer the student an expanded curriculum. Parents will receive notice of these trips and will be offered the opportunity to volunteer as a chaperone. Your child must have your permission to attend, and rather than issue a permission slip for each event, we are using one form that will cover all trips. This will eliminate those times when the slip is forgotten, we can’t reach you, and the child must remain at school while his classmates are on a field trip. If a trip is more complicated, and requires a parental pickup after school hours, information slips will be sent home regarding student pickup and needed supplies. If there is a particular field trip that you do not want your child to attend, even though it is part of the curriculum, please discuss it with the classroom teacher.

Accident Insurance

Optional supplemental accident insurance is available through a variety of insurance agencies. Information regarding an option for purchase of accident insurance is distributed to all students at the beginning of each school year. Some children who are not covered by accident and/or health insurance may be eligible for insurance through Medicaid or CHIP insurance programs. Contact the office for information regarding these insurance programs.

Internet Access Conduct Agreement (See Policy #3612)

My child agrees to comply with the district policy for access to the Internet and the district computer system. Access is being provided to the students for educational purposes only. It is impossible for the school to restrict access to all offensive and controversial materials and therefore it is the child’s responsibility to follow teacher instructions for Internet and computer use. Any child who violates computer/Internet policy or misuses computer access and equipment, may lose access to the computer network and the Internet. Copies of District Policy No. 3612, District Provided Access to Electronic Information, Services and Networks are available at the office at parent request.

Receipt of Handbook and Acknowledgement of Rights

I have received a copy of the Stevensville Primary Student Handbook for 2021-2022 school year. I understand that the handbook contains information that my child and I may need during the school year. I understand that all students will be held accountable for their behavior and will be subject to the disciplinary consequences outlined in the handbook.

I further acknowledge that I have been provided the opportunity to opt out (or limited opt-out) of the release of directory information about my child. If I so choose, I will make that designation in writing to my child’s principal by October 1 of this school year.

Student  First & Last Name (printed)                                        

Student Signature

Parent Signature


*Please detach this form from the Student Handbook and return to the K-3 Office. Please keep the handbook for your records.