Parent-Student Handbook





Dear Parents and Students,


Welcome (or welcome back) to Callaghan Elementary School for the 2018-2019 school year.  It is an honor to serve the Callaghan and Boiling Spring communities as the fifth principal of the “greatest school in the universe” since its opening in 1964.  For students, everything possible has been arranged to ensure a pleasant and successful school year.


This handbook is designed to help you become familiar with Callaghan Elementary.  It is full of helpful information that is both valuable and important. Please take time to read through this handbook as well as the parent-student handbook for Alleghany County Public Schools so that you will be familiar with our policies and procedures.


It is the goal of the faculty and staff of Callaghan Elementary to provide an environment in which each student can grow academically, physically, socially, morally and emotionally to reach his or her maximum potential.  The high standard of excellence that is historic to this school has been made possible through the efforts of parents, students, the school staff and community members working closely together. I am very much looking forward to being a small part of its continuing legacy of success.   


I wish everyone an enjoyable and successful school year.


With warmest regards,

Joshua Craft, principal

2018-2019 Callaghan Elementary School Staff


Joshua S. Craft




Nancy J. Turkewitz


Side Room


Jessi L. Turner




Mary Ann Morris




Lynne R. Seldomridge




Deborah L. Rose




Elisabeth C. Thompson




Ashley Dotson




Gina B. Middleton




Kimberly A. Fix




Bailey K. Cahn




Lori A. Dressler




Linda D. Liptrap




Sharon J. Shreve




Jeremy C. Bartley

Physical Education



Susan R. Clonch




Angela G. Nicely




Tammy S. Crane


Room A


Andrea L. Douglas

Title 1

106   Tues. & Thurs.


Nancy E. Fry

Title 1



Cassandra H. Brookman

Special Services



Jessica Lanehart




Melanie L. Hartman




Cynthia D. Crowder

Assistant, Sp. Ed



Pam R. Hirt

Computer Assistant



Angela M. Jones

Assistant, Sp. Ed



Paula Bell

Occupational Therapist



Sidney E. Birchfield

OT Assistant



Sarah Lythgoe

PT Assistant



Melanie Mason

Physical Therapist



Tracey O’Connor


Room F; Fri.,every 4th Mon.


Ricky Bates

Resource Officer

Side Room


SGT. Chris Fisher




Donna L. Harris


Office- Room W


Kristina Nelson

Therapeutic Day Couns.

Room E


Rick L Hartman

Head Custodian

6:00 AM - 2:30 PM


Norval S. Campbell (Butch)


4:00 PM - 8:00 PM


Belinda J. Ramsey


1:30 PM - 10:00 PM


Jessica J. Nicely



Sherry H. Wolfe

Cafeteria Manager



Gina K. Adkins




Victoria D. Callahan

Bus Driver

# 33


D. Michelle Harris

Bus Driver

# 18


Brittany Dressler

Bus Driver

# 34


Johnny M. Miller

Bus Driver

# 59


Kathleen M. Sexton

Bus Driver

# 54


Teresa J. Urban

Bus Driver

# 49


The 1964-65 school year marked the beginning of the new Callaghan Elementary School.  Students from Callaghan, Hunter, Boys' Home, and Dunlap schools entered a new 14 classroom building constructed at a cost of $342,900.  An open house was observed on November 1, 1964.

Mr. R. Lynn Graham who had been principal at Dunlap School since 1948, was the first principal of the new school.  In that first year, Mr. Graham welcomed 416 students in grades 1-7. A multipurpose room was used as a cafeteria as well as for physical education activities and school programs.

In 1970, four additional classrooms were added to the building.  Kindergarten classes were started during the 1975-76 school year.  In that same year, the gymnasium building was completed. At the close of the 1977-78 school year, Mr. Graham retired and Mr. David Peters became the principal.

During the 1978-79 school year a Student Cooperative Association (SCA) was organized, red and white were selected as the official school colors, and a constitution was written and adopted by the student body.

At the beginning of the 1982-83 school year the school systems of Alleghany County and Clifton Forge merged to form the Alleghany Highlands School Division.  Callaghan seventh graders of that year became part of the first class of the Clifton Middle School for the 1983-84 school year.

In June 1988, Mr. Peters completed his tenth year as principal.  He moved to another position in the school division and later retired in 1999.  Mr. Paul D. Linkenhoker became the third principal of the school and served for five years until he was promoted to the Alleghany Highlands Public Schools Central Office; he retired in 2004.  On May 17, 1993, the Alleghany Highlands School Board named the Callaghan gym the R. Lynn Graham Gymnasium in honor of Mr. Graham for his educational guidance, leadership, and service. On March 26, 1995, a gym Dedication Ceremony and Open House for the community was held.  Approximately 200 people attended to honor Mr. Graham.

In July 1993, Mrs. Nancy M. Moga, former principal of Boiling Spring Elementary School, became principal and retired in 2018.  During July 1993, Callaghan hosted the first elementary summer school for the entire Alleghany Highlands. An average of 100 students attended this 15-day morning program.  In June 1995, Mrs. Daisy Hartman, secretary for 42 years at Dunlap and Callaghan Schools, retired. She died August 9, 2011, and the school planted two red maples in April, 2012 near the playground in her memory. Mrs. Sue Brown served as secretary from 1995-2010. Mrs. Melanie Hartman then became the secretary.  Mr. Graham, our first principal, died March 7, 1998. An apple tree was planted in his memory in our budding orchard on May 11, 1998. The orchard was started on May 19, 1997 with trees planted in honor of Deputy Todd Frye, DARE Officer; in memory of Pauline B. Graham, Mr. Graham's wife; and in memory of Archie L. Massie, Mrs. Moga's father.

Mr. Josh Craft, former principal of Falling Spring Elementary School and assistant principal at Clifton Middle School, became the 5th principal at Callaghan in 2018.

Technology entered our school to enhance learning in three ways in the fall of 1996:  a new computer lab with 25 stations, a direct connection to the Internet in each classroom, and an automated library book check out system. A TV and VCR were mounted in each classroom in 1998 to assist in instruction. The CCC lab used for 9 years was replaced with Compass Learning in August 2005. In fall 2009, Callaghan installed a new computer attendance program, Power School, and a new computer lab program, Brain Child. During 2008-2009, a new emphasis was placed on cursive writing and handwriting. In 2011 we received new computers in our lab and used Compass Learning Software. These computers were replaced in 2015. In 2012, we started to use 4 parts of Renaissance Learning in the computer lab. In 2015, we also installed a new mobile lab.

The school parking lot was paved and marked with lines on July 28, 1998; it was marked again in May 2003 as a gift from Mr. John Franson of Alleghany Asphalt; and it was remarked again in July 2008. The lot was resurfaced and marked again in July, 2017. In the fall of 1998, staff members wrote a school pledge.  The pledge was first said by students on October 21, 1998. It is:

I pledge to try.  (Point thumb up on right hand.)

I will reach for the sky.  (Point index finger up, also.)

I will listen, learn, and apply.  (Now point last three fingers up and smile!)

The playground was marked with court lines in August 2000.  On July 1, 2001, our school system once again became the Alleghany County Public Schools. The former city of Clifton Forge became a town within Alleghany County at this time.  Two new schools, Mountain View Elementary and Clifton Middle, opened on September 4, 2001, and grades 6-7 from Callaghan enrolled at the new Clifton Middle School. New playground equipment was installed near the gym by the PTO in the fall of 2002. The Early Childhood playground was replaced in Fall 2010.  The ECSE program closed at Callaghan in June, 2014.

Callaghan underwent a major 14- month renovation that started in the summer of 2003.  This renovation included air conditioning, electrical, technology, and communication upgrades, lowered ceilings and installed energy efficient windows. A new floor was placed in the cafeteria in August 2003. A connecting breezeway was completed between the main and gym buildings in the summer of 2004. Instruction by an art teacher started during the fall of 2004. Students created a butterfly garden at the front of the school in spring 2006.  During the summer of 2007, the gym floor was refinished, new tile was laid in the hallway, and the exhaust hood in the kitchen was replaced. In the summer of 2008, video surveillance cameras were installed. In the summer of 2009, an electronic lock was added to the front door and the roof was replaced on the main building. In the summer of 2017, interior safety doors and a check in window were added at the main entrance.

Two schools closed in Alleghany County on June 30, 2013 due to declining enrollment.  The students at Boiling Spring were redistricted to the Callaghan attendance area. We welcomed these students and the 19 staff members new to Callaghan!  On October 7, 2013, wireless was added to our school. The Wi-Fi was upgraded in the summer of 2017. In August, 2014, the old ECSE classroom became the new library. In August 2018, we will implement the One to One computer initiative. Students in grades 1 through 5 will receive Chromebooks. Grade 1-4 devices are kept at school and grade 5 will take their Chromebooks home.

Callaghan currently serves a school population of approximately 220 students in grades JK-5.  In addition to a quality regular program, the school offers special programs to disabled and gifted students and, to the extent possible, all children are educated together.  Callaghan Elementary School is committed to excellence in the education of children.


Callaghan Elementary School  is committed to improving students’ learning skills and providing quality instruction in a positive, nurturing, safe and success-oriented environment so that all students have the opportunity to reach their full learning potential and have the tools to make sound decisions for their future.


Our vision for education is to prepare 21st Century Learners by:

  • Nurturing creativity.

  • Providing opportunities for critical thinking and problem solving.

  • Encouraging collaboration and cooperation.

  • Teaching communication skills.

  • Promoting healthy social-emotional growth and good citizenship.

  • Instilling a love of learning.


We believe that the purpose of education is to help students develop desirable moral, ethical, and academic preparation in order that each individual will have the skills necessary to assume a positive role in shaping the future of our community, state, and country.


We believe that all children must have the same opportunity to obtain the skills they will need to be successful in the adult world.  We accept the premise that the center of the school curriculum is the student and that the instructional program should be tailored to fit each child’s developmental pattern of learning.

We believe that the school shares the responsibility with parents and community for keeping our school safe and helping students become self-sufficient contributing members of society.


  • To provide a clean, safe and healthy learning environment for student and staff.

  • To achieve the goals and objectives of public education in Virginia and Alleghany County Public Schools and to preserve the unique identity and culture of Callaghan Elementary School.

  • To teach and assess local and state learning objectives, including the Standards of Learning.

  • To use any and all available data and performance indicators in monitoring group and individual achievement progress for goal setting.

  • To recognize and accommodate different learning styles that provide experiences that will help students develop intellectually, socially, morally, physically and emotionally.

  • To develop competency in the basic learning skills through a wide range of experiences.

  • Promote physical fitness and good health practices, especially cardiovascular fitness.

  • Provide discipline and teach good decision making skills that foster respect for self, others and property.

  • To prove each student with the skills necessary to find success in further educational endeavors.


The school calendar is developed by the Alleghany County Public School Division and published in newsletters and local newspapers.  Inclement weather conditions or other emergencies may cause the delay or cancellation of a school day. Local radio and television stations broadcast school closing information as soon as decisions are made.  This information is posted on the ACPS website and an automatic call is made to the number provided by parents to give notice of a delay or closing. Since our school division includes Clifton Forge and Alleghany County, poor road conditions in one section of the division may result in the closing or delayed opening of all schools.  Your attention to local morning broadcasts should keep you informed of these situations.

The 2018-2019 calendar is designed to start school on August 8 and finish May 22.  Schools are closed during traditional holiday periods and at various times throughouth the school year to allow for teacher preparation and professional development.  Specific calendar dates are located on the back cover of this handbook.


Parents are welcome to visit the school.  Please notify the teacher in advance if you desire a conference.  If you plan to each lunch with your child at school, please notify the cafeteria by 8:45 a.m. (Parents who eat lunch with students are encouraged to purchase food from the cafeteria.  Do not bring fast food or food from a restaurant to eat during lunch.)

All school visitors must report to the office before going anywhere in the school.  All volunteers and visitors must sign in at the office and receive an identification badge to wear at all times while on school property.  Visitors must be with a staff member at all times. New school division policy beginning this year:  All visitors will be required to show a form of identification upon entering the building.  Visitors going beyond the main office will be required to sign in and leave their driver's license or other form of ID until they return to checkout. The parent or guardian's ID will cover minor children. Any visitor without an ID will need to be screened by an administrator and accompanied by a staff member to and from their destination.

Students may not bring guests (friends, relatives, etc.) to visit with them during school hours. To protect the learning environment, please silence your device while in the building and do not use cellphones in the presence of students.


Parents are asked to keep the school office informed of any changes in a student’s residence, mailing address, contact information, phone numbers and/or court-related orders so that our records are as up-to-date as possible.

It is extremely important that the office, nurse, and child's teacher have current telephone numbers where parents or a responsible adult can be reached during the day.  Parents must ensure that the school can make contact with parents or designee(s) in case of illness or emergency involving their child. We respect an individual's choice of an unlisted phone number and do not share that information with outside parties.


The school does not distribute student information to requesting parties without parental request or permission; however, at times, the names and addresses of students are released to agencies that have legitimate needs for such information and may be done so legally without parent permission.


Arrival time at school for students is from 8:15 AM. until 8:35 AM. Parents who bring their children to school must ensure that they arrive during this time.  Students arriving after 8:40 AM will be counted tardy. Students may not arrive before 8:15 AM. Teachers will be on duty beginning at 8:15 AM to supervise students upon arrival.


The instructional day begins at 8:40 AM and ends at 3:20 PM.  It is important that students regularly be in school during these hours.  Please make every attempt to schedule doctor and dentist appointments before or after instructional school hours.


8:15- 8:35 a.m. Student arrival.  Students report to homeroom upon arrival.  Those eating breatkfast will go to the cafeteria after checking in with their homeroom teacher.  Students who are driven to school and plan to eat breakfast must arrive in time to allow for adequate time to eat and return to homeroom before the tardy bell.

8:35 a.m. – All students in homeroom for Moment of Silence, Announcements, School Pledge, Pledge of Allegiance

8:40 a.m. – Tardy bell rings and instruction begins.  Students arriving after this time must check in at the office before reporting to their classrooms.

3:20 p.m. – The instructional day ends.  Car riders will meet parents in the cafeteria.

3:21 p.m. - Grades 4-5 Bus riders are dismissed *NOTE: Early dismissals begin at 1:20 p.m.

3:22 p.m. - Grades 2-3 Bus riders are dismissed

3:23 p.m. - Grades JK-K-1 Bus riders are dismissed

3:24 p.m. – Students particpating in after school activities are dismissed.


Alleghany County Public Schools provides students with the privilege of transportation to and from school.  This privilege comes with responsibilities for students while riding a school bus. Many of the roads in the school district are narrow and winding and require the constant attention of our bus drivers.  Students must recognize that their primary responsibility while riding the bus is to cooperate with the bus driver. This cooperation is essential to ensure the safe transport of students to and from school.  Failure to follow bus safety rules and/or cooperate with the driver may result in disciplinary action including the temporary or permanent loss of bus riding privileges.

Parents are strongly encouraged to discuss with their children the safety rules and regulations issued by the school division at the beginning of the year.

In the event of an emergency involving student transportation, alternate arrangements in getting affected students to or from school will be determined by the Supervisor of Maintenance and Transportation.  All students will be transported by an Alleghany County School Board employee with a valid driver’s license.


Requests for a student to ride a different bus or get off at a stop other than his or her regular bus stop must be made to the school by the parent in writing.  Such requests should state the date, bus number, bus stop and name of student or adult with whom he/she will be visiting. Requests must be sent to the office for approval before 9:00 a.m.  Students will be issued a bus pass to be given to the driver and teachers will be notified. Do not send verbal messages with students; such requests will not be honored. Unless the office has been provided with a written request signed by a parent, children will be sent home according to normal procedures.  


Students who will be picked up after school, regularly or occasionally, must bring a note to the office from a parent/guardian stating that their child(ren) will be picked up and not be riding a bus.  Notes must state the student’s name, the date and the name of the adult who will be picking up the student. These students will report to the cafeteria at 3:20.  All adults arriving to pick up students after school must park in a designated parking spot.  Parents may not stop or park in the traffic flow area.  Parents must then come inside the building where a school employee will ensure that students are delivered to the appropriate adults.    


Parents and other adults are reminded to abide by all traffic laws.  Parents who transport their students to and from school must follow these procedures to ensure a safe and orderly flow.  Buses will move to the lane in front of the school for loading students in the afternoon starting at 3:00 or 20 minutes before the dismissal time.  Parents are advised NOT to drive vehicles between buses or in the bus area at this time.  Please park in a designated parking space of the parking lot where your vehicle will not interfere with bus loading.  Do not park in front of the handicap ramp at any time unless you are using it for a disabled individual. The School Resource Officer and/or local law enforcement will monitor and enforce our traffic laws and patterns.


It is Virginia State Law that all vehicles must stop when students are boarding or exiting a school bus in front of a school.  There will be a supervisor on duty to monitor this daily procedure; however, supervisors cannot always predict what students will do.  Do not violate this law and put the safety of your child in danger.

Traffic using the circle should proceed in a counterclockwise manner around the circle.  Vehicles that will park should proceed in a clockwise manner and pull into a parking space.

The drop off area is in use for students being dropped off at school in the morning.  You are asked to pull into one of the marked spaces, allow children to exit your vehicle, and to proceed forward in a counterclockwise manner out of the school lot or into a parking spot.  Do not park in the drop off area between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. Vehicles are to park in the paved school lot. If your stop at school is less than 5 minutes and between 9:00 a.m. 2:30 p.m., vehicles may park in front of the school for this brief period of time.


Callaghan Elementary School provides standards based instruction for students in Reading, Math, Language Arts, Science, Health, Art, Physical Education, Social Studies, Music, and Guidance, with 75% of the instructional time spent with a focus on the core areas of Language Arts, Math, Science and Social Studies.  The school offers services for students with special learning needs and remedial instruction in Reading and Math. Services are provided for students identified as gifted and talented.

A copy of the semester instructional plan for each subject is available for parents upon request.


Alleghany County Public Schools will roll out the next phase of its 1:1 initiative to provide all students with a personal learning device.  This year, all students in grades 1-5 will be issued a Chromebook to use in conjunction with teachers’ instruction. These personal devices foster multiple learning pathways, greatly enhance teaching and learning experiences and are invaluable resources for students both in and outside of the classroom setting.  A parent must participate in a scheduled school division Chromebook training and sign a release form before his/her child is issued a Chromebook. Fifth grade students have the privilege of taking their Chromebooks home; however, it is the student’s responsibility to charge it each evening and bring it back the next day. Students in grades 1-4 will leave their devices at school at the end of the day.  All Chomebooks are linked to the ACPS server and are filtered for inappropriate content and can be monitored for acceptable use and violations.  See the Chromebook Use Handbook for more information.  


Students are expected to arrive at school on time and stay for the entire school day.  Research has shown that good attendance is important for school success; therefore, is important that students attend school on a regular basis. Attendance is included in the criteria that Virginia uses to determine school accreditation, so all absences, regardless of the reason are registered.  According to Virginia Law, students who are absent 10 percent of the days as the school year progresses are considered “excessively absent”. Attendance is monitored daily, and the school will communicate with parents regarding a child’s attendance status if it becomes an issue, and formal plans to improve school attendance may be developed.  Parents are encouraged to help us by providing a written note or professional excuse verifying the reason for a child’s absence or tardiness.


Students should arrive to school on time.  Tardies can be disruptive for everyone involved:  office staff, cafeteria workers, teachers, and students.  Students arriving to school late must present a written excuse from a parent when they arrive at school.  


The school day does not end until 3:20 p.m.  Parents are encouraged to avoid picking up their child(ren) until that time.  Checking a student out of school prior to 3:20, regardless of the reason, will count as an early release.  

Leaving School Early:  

Any student who will be leaving school prior to 3:20 must be signed out by the adult picking him/her up.  When possible, students should bring a note from a parent upon arrival at school stating the time and reason he/she will be picked up early.  If a student is to be signed out by someone other than a legal guardian, parents must send a written note identifying the person who will picking up the student.  Such requests over-the-phone will not be accepted. Identification may be asked of anyone signing out a student. This is for the safety and security of our students and your children.  In custody situations, the school will follow the exact wording in the court order.

Perfect Attendance

Students who come to school every day will be recognized with certificates at the end of the year.  To qualify for perfect attendance recognition, a student must be present every day and have less than a combination of six tardies and/or early checkouts.  


A Honor Roll Distinction granted to 4th and 5th graders achieving all As with no grade below S in any noncore content area.

AB Honor Roll Distinction granted to 4th and 5th graders achieving all As and Bs with no grade below S in any noncore content area.

Honor rolls will be published each six weeks in the Virginian Review.   


Report cards will be sent home at the end of each six-weeks grading period.  Again, parents are encouraged to monitor their student’s grades using the Parent Portal and to consult with their child’s teachers at any time questions or concerns arise about students’ academic progress.

In addition to report cards and other academic reports, the school maintains open communications with families through face-to-face conferences, local newspaper articles, the school website, email, semester outlines, newsletters, personal notes and other written communication, Google Classroom or other digital interface, telephone calls. A future avenue of communication may include Twitter or other social media.


The telephones in the school offices are business phones and not for student use.  In cases of emergency, special permission may be granted by the office staff to allow a student to use an office phone. Phone messages will be taken by the office staff and given at the earliest convenience.  Before coming to school, students are responsible for making arrangements with parents regarding after-school activities.


The school has scheduled dates for parent-teacher conferences at the end of the first and third six weeks grading periods.  On these days, parents are able to request specific times that best suit their schedules. A form with a list of potential conference times will be sent home for scheduling convenience and should be returned to your child’s teacher as soon as possible.  Even though conference days are scheduled, parents are encouraged to communicate with their child’s teacher(s) at any time throughout the school year.


Callaghan Elementary School has a detailed Crisis Management Plan which is reviewed and updated annually. Our plan covers procedures and protocols to follow in the event of such emergencies as severe weather, fire, intruders, bomb threats, weapons, hostage situations, hazardous materials, suicide and death.  The Callaghan Crisis Management Team includes teachers, administrators, school resource officer and other law enforcement officers, and emergency personnel.


A student’s personal property such as CD players, IPods, sports equipment, electronic games, cameras, expensive jewelry, pocketbooks, large sums of money, etc. should not be brought to school.  Students who bring such items to school must keep them inside their backpacks at all times during the instructional day. If a teacher sees a student in possession of such items, he/she may take these items and hold them until the parent picks it up or until the end of the school year.  If these items are necessary for the instructional program, special permission may be granted by the principal.  The student is responsible for keeping up with his/her own personal property.  The school and school employees are not responsible for the loss or damage of a student’s personal property. Parents are encouraged to label their child's jacket, book bag, lunch box and other items with the child’s first and last name.  


The school mantains a stash of items that have been found (mostly jackets and other items of clothing).  Any found items not claimed by the end of the school year will be held until July 1. After that date, items will be discarded or donated to a local charity.  Parents are encouraged to label all belongings.

Students should be aware we do not operate on a finders-keepers system.  Any student who finds an item that does not belong to him/her must report it as lost by turning it in to the office.  Incidences in which students apply the finders-keepers system will be handled as thefts.


Student grades are determined by multiple measures collected by teachers based on daily performance and assessment tools as part of the instructional program and evaluation process.  Scores and results will be used as determining factor in student promotion.

The Virginia Standards of Learning (SOL) tests measure skills that students have learned from classroom instruction in specific content areas.  SOL tests results provide information which helps the school evaluate instructional needs of the individual student and the entire instructional program.  These scores are not used to promote or to retain elementary students.

The profile sheets of the SOL tests offer explanations of the terms and skills tested.  When the final report card is issued, a test profile sheet for each SOL test that your child was administered will also be sent home. These reports will provide information on your child’s score.    

Parents are also encouraged to regularly monitor their child’s grades on the Parent Portal interface of PowerSchool. Teachers update student grades at least once per week.  One password entry will work for the entire time your child is enrolled in Alleghany County Public Schools. Please contact the office for your login information and password.

If you have concerns or questions, please schedule a conference with the teacher or principal to help you better understand how your child is performing in school.  By working together we can help your child achieve his or her best!


Student Health History forms must be completed for each student and returned to school promptly.  Permission to administer Tylenol, cough drops and/or other non-prescription drugs is included on this form.  No student will be given medication until the form has been completed, signed and returned to the school nurse.  

When a student becomes ill at school; parents will be notified by the school nurse.  General first aid will be administered for minor scrapes and cuts. If a student becomes seriously injured at school, every effort will be made to contact the student's parent/guardian in advance of arranging for emergency medical services.  In emergency situations, the school will immediately arrange for medical assistance by contacting the rescue squad or transporting the student to the emergency room at LewisGale Alleghany while simultaneously making contact with the parents.

Students may not transport medication to and from school on a school bus at any time. A parent must bring all medication to the school office in its original container along with the medication sheet provided by the school nurse program.  Parental permission and written directions from a physician are required before any medication can be dispensed to students. An elementary student found in possession with any type of medication is violation of school board policy.


Callaghan Elementary School participates in the Federal School Breakfast and Lunch Program and serves a nutritious breakfast and lunch each school day.  Breakfast will be served when schools are operating on a delayed opening schedule; however, modified menu choices will be offered.

All lunch and breakfast meals are subsidized by the US Department of Agriculture.  Depending on income, families may qualify for free or reduced meals. Applications may be requested from the office at anytime during the year.  Any student who qualified for free or reduced meals last year is eligible for the same benefit for the first 10 days of school. Applicants must file a new application each year.

Students may bring their lunches to school if they wish.  Milk may be purchased at school for $0.45. When packing lunch for students, parents must not send soda pop or other carbonated beverages as they are not permitted during lunch or at other times during the school day except for approved special activities. All glass containers are prohibited.  

Meal prices for 2018-2019 are as follows:

                     Regular      Reduced      Adult

   Breakfast:           .80                .30        $1.30

   Lunch:          $2.15                 .40        $3.00

Students may purchase juice or additional food items a la carte.

School meals can be prepaid to the students’ individual cafeteria accounts. This is the preferred method of payment; however, students may pay for meals daily.  Payments are made to the cashier in the cafeteria in the form of cash or check.   There will be a $20 charge limit for students and adults. All returned checks must be collected within five school days or check privileges will be suspended until the unpaid amount has been satisfied.  The cafeteria will notify parents with a weekly statement to students whose accounts are not paid in full.

Again, fast food or restaurant food deliveries must not be brought to students to eat during breakfast or lunch.

Ice cream will not be sold during the lunch period; however, the PTO supplies the school with ice cream for student purchase.  Ice cream costs $0.50 and $0.75, and may be purchased at teacher discretion between 1:00 and 2:00 according to individual teachers’ schedules and preferences.  At times fruit and other snacks are available. Depending on the item and the season, the cost may vary between $0.50 - $1.00.

The school observes special events in the cafeteria throughout the school year.  Parents and grandparents are encouraged to visit and eat lunch with their child. Please send a note or call the school if you would like to eat lunch with your child.  Adults pay the adult price for meals.


School pictures will be taken of each student and staff member at Callaghan Elementary School.  Information regarding the schedule and ordering will be sent home as the date approaches. These pictures will be used in our school yearbook; however, there is no obligation for parents to purchase pictures or a yearbook.

A Callaghan yearbook is published in the spring.  All students who have their photographs made by the school photographer will have their pictures and names in the yearbook.  Any parent who desires to not have his child's picture and name in the yearbook must notify the principal in writing by November 1, 2018.


Callaghan Elementary participates in the Character Counts educational program designed to model and promote the six pillars of character.  Those six pillars include respect, responsibility, trustworthiness, caring, fairness, and good citizenship. Lessons are taught by the guidance counselor and reinforced by teachers.  All staff, students, and school visitors are expected to model these pillars of good character.

For more information on the program, you may visit the website:


Callaghan Elementary is committed to creating a safe and secure learning environment by teaching and modeling appropriate behaviors.  Through discussion and modeling, students are to become familiar with the Code of Conduct issued by the Alleghany County Public Schools Division as well as the Callaghan School Discipline Plan. Teachers will review this with all students at the beginning of the year and discuss any additional rules that may be particular to our school or their classroom.  Teachers use a variety of methods to encourage students to exercise self-discipline and restraint when necessary.

All students are expected to follow all school and classroom rules and conduct themselves in a manner that is appropriate for school and social environments.  Basic manners are expected at all times. Respectful communication and interaction with teachers, cafeteria workers, custodians, bus drivers and other adults as well as peers are required.  Any behavior less than what is mentioned above is unacceptable. Students who fail to abide by rules are subject to disciplinary consequences. The severity of a disciplinary consequence is related to the severity of the misbehavior.  The severity of disciplinary action also increases for multiple infractions or each time a student is referred for disciplinary reasons.

Most often, consequences for inappropriate behavior include a warning and counseling or loss of special classroom privileges; however, teachers and staff may issue one of three types of behavior interventions: Time Out, Extended School Detention and In School Suspension. When the principal becomes directly involved in disciplining students, consequences are likely to result in more severe consequences such as the types listed above, the loss of priviliges (such as riding the bus) or Saturday School.  Severe behaviors or inappropriate behaviors that continue after prior consequences or strategies have not been effective, the principal may issue out of school suspension as a consequence. The discipline chart on the next page will provide additional information about certain behaviors and consequences.  Descriptions of the types of consequences are below.

  • WARNING AND COUNSELING- In dealing with inappropriate behaviors, warnings and counseling will be used first and where appropriate to help a student identify when his/her conduct interferes with the educational process, threatens the rights of others, or is contrary to school policy or regulation and needs to be corrected.  Teachers, counselors, and/or administrators will communicate with parents in an effort to keep them informed of their child's conduct so that discipline can be a valuable learning experience to prevent further or escalating behaviors. Parents with concerns should contact the school.

  • TIME OUT is used for short periods of time as needed for minor offenses.

  • EXTENDED SCHOOL DETENTION may be used for students who do not turn in assignments, fail to complete homework, disrupt the class, and/ or violate school rules and policies.  If there is a concern with your child, a teacher will notify the parents of the problem and request your cooperation in picking up your child from school after the end of the school day.  If your child is asked to stay after school, he will be supervised and expected to work on assignments required by the detaining teacher.

  • IN SCHOOL SUSPENSION is used when students are unable to stay for ESD or when removal from the classroom is necessary.

Teachers are encouraged to contact parents when a student’s behavior is problematic in the classroom setting.  Parents will be notified immediately if a student is referred to the principal’s office. Parents are strongly encouraged to maintain regular communication with their child’s teachers so that potential discipline issues can be addressed before escalating.  For in depth details regarding the school division’s policy on student discipline, refer to the Alleghany County Public Schools Parent-Student Handbook.

At all times, all students should be: 

  • Responsible for their words, actions, property, and school work.

  • Respectful of themselves, other students, property, and all adults.

  • Be ready to learn with all needed materials, homework, and a positive attitude






Bus Misconduct

Violation of ACPS Bus Rules


Possible 1-10 day bus suspension.  

May result in loss of bus riding privileges.

Possible 1-10 days bus suspension.  

May result in loss of bus riding privileges.

Disruptive Behavior and Minor Misconduct

Examples include:  Class disruption, running, shouting, failure to work in class, and other minor misconduct.


Possible ISS.

1 Day ISS.

Parent/Guardian Notification.

Possible ISS up to OSS.

Dress Code Violation

Failure to adhere to Dress Code Policy

Request change of clothing.  

Warning given.  

Parent/Guardian notification.

Request change of clothing.  

Parent/Guardian notification.  

Possible ISS.

Incorrigible Behavior

Continued violation of the ACPS Student Code of Conduct

Up to 1-10 Days OSS.

Possible recommendation of Suspension for the year.  

Parent Guardian Conference.

Up to 5-10 days OSS.  

Recommendation of Suspension for the year.  

Parent/Guardian Conference.


Refusal to carry out a request by any staff member.


Possible ISS.

Parent/Guardian Conference.

Up to 1 day OSS.

Parent/Guardian Conference.

Profanity and/or obscenity

Use of inappropriate language and/or material.


Possible OSS.

Parent/Guardian Conference.

ISS up to OSS.


Stealing property belonging to another person or school.  

Up to 1 day OSS.

Parent/Guardian Conference.

Restitution as necessary.

Possible charges.

Up to 3 days OSS.

Parent/Guardian Conference.  

Restitution as necessary.  

Possible charges.

Sexual / Racial Harassment

Unwanted and/or unwelcome behavior as defined by ACPS Policy JFHA

As determined by Compliance Officer.  

Responses may range from mediation and/or counseling to recommendation of expulsion with referral for criminal charges.

As determined by Compliance Officer.  Responses may range from mediation and/or counseling to recommendation of expulsion with referral for criminal charges.


The willful destruction or defacement of school property


Up to OSS.

Parent/Guardian Conference.  

Restitution as necessary.  

Refer for criminal charges.

ISS up to OSS.

Parent/Guardian Conference.

Restitution as necessary.  

Refer for criminal charges.

Violence:  Fighting

Participating in, instigating, or aiding in a fight.

ISS up to 3 days OSS.

Parent/Guardian Conference.


ISS up to 5 days OSS.

Possible refer for criminal charges.  Parent/Guardian Conference.

Violence:  Verbal Abuse and/or Threat, Bullying, Hazing

Threatening, insulting, or in any other manner, verbally abusing another person.


Up to 3 days OSS.

Possible referral for criminal charges.


Up to 5 days OSS.

Possible referral for criminal charges.  

Parent/Guardian Conference.

Weapons in School

Violation of ACPS Policy JFCD

Category A:  10 days OSS, Recommendation of Expulsion, Refer for criminal charges.

Category B:  Disciplinary action up to and including a recommendation for expulsion and refer for criminal charges.

Category A:  10 days OSS, Recommendation of Expulsion, Refer for criminal charges.

Category B:  Disciplinary action up to and including a recommendation for expulsion and refer for criminal charges.

Thank you for taking the time to read this handbook.

Some Detailed Definitions Regarding Student Behavior

DISRUPTIVE BEHAVIOR- Students are entitled to a learning environment free of unnecessary disruption. Any physical or verbal disturbance which interrupts or interferes with teaching and orderly conduct of school activities, or is dangerous to the health or safety of students or others, is prohibited. Disruptive conduct will result in suspension.

PROFANE OR ABUSIVE LANGUAGE- Students shall not use vulgar, profane, or obscene language or gestures or engage in conduct that is vulgar, profane, or obscene or disrupts the teaching and learning environment.  Use of vulgar, profane, or obscene or abusive language will result in suspension.



THREATS OR INTIMIDATIONS- Students shall not make any verbal, written, or physical threat of bodily injury or use of force directed toward another person. Students shall not use electronic technology or communication devices, such as the internet or cell phones, to intimidate or threaten for any reason.  Students who make online and/or digital threats, whether or not the act was committed during school hours, may be subject to both school and legal consequences.



ASSAULT AND BATTERY- A student shall not assault or commit battery upon another person on school property, on school buses or during school activities on or off school property. An assault is a threat of bodily injury. A battery is any bodily hurt, however slight, done to another in an angry, rude or vengeful manner.  Voluntary fighting resulting in physical injury to another person shall be considered assault and battery.  Physical assault includes any physical confrontation that may result in no injury, minor injury, or serious injury that includes, but may not be limited to kicking, shoving, pushing, hitting, and fighting.  Fighting and/or assault and battery will result in suspension.



BULLYING - “Bullying” is defined as any aggressive and unwanted behavior that is intended to harm, intimidate, or humiliate the victim; involves a real or perceived power imbalance between the aggressor or aggressors and victim; and is repeated over time or causes severe emotional trauma.  “Bullying” includes cyber bullying. “Bullying” does not include ordinary or age-appropriate teasing, horseplay, argument or peer conflict.

A student, either individually or as a part of a group, shall not harass or bully others either in person or by the use of any communication technology including computer systems, telephones, pagers, or instant messaging systems.  Prohibited conduct includes, but is not limited to, physical, verbal, or written intimidation, taunting, name-calling, and insults and any combination of prohibited activities.  Prohibited conduct includes verbal or written comments regarding the race, gender, religion, physical abilities or characteristics or associates of the targeted person.  Students and parents should understand the definition of bullying and distinguish behaviors that are and are not considered bullying. Students should report any form of bullying to an adult. All reports will be investigated and dealt with appropriately and according to ACSP policy.


School sponsored activities are an extension of the school day and all school rules apply.  School sponsored activities also include events not held at Callaghan Elementary, such as sporting events at Alleghany High School or Clifton Middle School.  Misconduct of any Callaghan student reported by a school official at such events will be handled by the principal and consequences will be issued according to the discipline policy.  


In addition to providing all students with a high quality educational experience at Callaghan, it is also our top priority to ensure that those experiences occur in a safe, secure learning environment.  During the 1999-2000 school year, a committee of employees and concerned parents was formed to ensure the safety of students, faculty and visitors in the school. A division Safe Schools committee consisting of school division administrators, personnel, Alleghany County Sheriff’s Department, Virginia State Police and other community organizations responsible for safety meets regularly.  A School Resource Officer will be assigned to each school for the 2018-2019 school year. Other preventative practices, which may be slightly inconvenient for school visitors, have also been implemented for the further protection of our students and staff. Parents and community volunteers who receive training will be placed in the hallways to monitor movement of students and visitors in the school and to heighten awareness of safety issues within the school. If you have suggestions or concerns about the safety program, please contact the principal.


The following regulations are for appropriate dress at Callaghan Elementary:

Students CANNOT wear:  

  • Messages on clothing, jewelry, and personal belongings that relate to drugs, alcohol, tobacco, sex, vulgarity, or that reflect adversely upon persons because of their race, sex, color, creed, national origin or ancestry.

  • Revealing shorts, skirts and tops that do not adequately cover the body.

  • Clothing that exposes underwear

  • Chains attached to clothing

  • Flip flops or other footwear that does is not fully secured to the foot.

  • Hats and other forms of headwear inside the building.

Students in grades 4-5 will be held to a higher standard of modesty with the slightly stricter regulations closely in line with the Clifton Middle School dress code policy which includes:

  • Shorts and skirts should come to or just above the knee.

  • Tank tops, spaghetti straps and low necklines are not allowed without a cover.

  • Muscle shirts cannot expose more than the arm pits.

  • Backside billboards are not allowed.  Do not wear pants or shorts with words across the rear end.

  • Continuous and/or intentional failure to comply with dress code may result in disciplinary action.  

If student dress is deemed “disruptive to the learning environment” by the classroom teacher or out-of-compliance with the dress code, the student will be asked to comply with guidelines, to provide adequate coverage or to change clothes.  Parents will be notified if necessary to provide a change of clothes. In the event that parents cannot be reached in a timely fashion, the students will be asked to change to appropriate clothes from the school supply.  

Decisions regarding the appropriateness of clothing, footwear, and accessories will be made by the principal or a designee.  

Students participating in P.E. on designated days must wear tennis shoes.  Wearing inappropriate footwear may result in a student not being allowed to participate in P.E. or recess for safety reasons.  Participation is a major factor in a student’s P.E. grade; therefore, a reduction in a student’s P.E. grade may result for those who continually miss P.E. due to wearing inappropriate shoes.   

During cold weather, parents should ensure that their child(ren) are dressed adequately for outside activities.  

If there is a question about an article of clothing, check with the teacher or principal first before wearing it to school.

For a complete description of the Alleghany County Public Schools Dress Code, please refer to the Alleghany County Parent-Student Handbook.


The majority of the Family Life Curriculum is taught in health, science and social studies classes as students learn about safety rules, the roles of family members and respect for themselves and others.  Trained Family Life Education teachers will provide instruction on sensitive topics in gender-separate classes for third, fourth and fifth graders. Family Life Education objectives and curriculum are available for preview in the office on request.  Parents will be notified prior to the sensitive areas being taught. Parents have the option of allowing or disallowing their child(ren) from participating in this portion of instruction.  Parents wishing to opt-out must visit the school office in person to complete a form. Such forms will not be sent home.


If conditions or circumstances, such as inclement weather or emergencies, become necessary to close schools, the decision will be made by school officials and announced on the local radio and television stations.  Such information will also be posted on the Alleghany County Public Schools website. Homes will also be contacted by the automated phone alert system.


The Callaghan Staff recognizes the valuable contributions that volunteers can make to the instructional program.  Parents and community members who are interested in serving as a volunteer at Callaghan Elementary must attend a volunteer orientation that will be scheduled as interest is expressed.    Volunteers will be used in situations where there is a need. In addition, according to Alleghany County Public Schools policy, first time school volunteer candidates must subject to a mandatory background check and be approved by the school board.  More information about this requirement will be discussed at the volunteer orientation. Volunteers who wish to stay for lunch are requested to notify the school cafeteria in advance.


Callaghan Elementary School has a very active PTO and parents are strongly encouraged to support their child and school through this organization. Regular meetings are held to plan for Family Fun Fridays, to give information to parents concerning the instructional program of the school, to showcase student talent, to present informational programs, and to organize school events.  Unless directed otherwise, names, addresses, and telephone numbers of parents will be made available to the PTO so that your support can be solicited.  

The PTO Board usually conducts a regular monthly meeting on the first Tuesday of each month after school at 5:30.  See the school calendar for a full list of meeting dates. Members are invited to contribute their ideas to the organization's business by attending the general membership meeting after the board meeting.  The organization also sponsors fund-raising programs to purchase items needed for the school. Annual membership dues are $3.00 for each person or $5.00 for two adult household members. The officers encourage all adult family members and interested community citizens to join and support this worthwhile organization.  

PTO Officers and Committees for 2018-2019 are:


Amber Hepler


President Elect

Tammy Karrh



Amanda Tucker



Stephanie Carter



Suzanne O’Conner


Past President

Amanda Webb


Faculty Representatives

Mrs. Dressler


Mrs. Turner



Amanda Tucker


Hospitality Committee

Amanda Tucker


31 Bingo

Amber Hepler


Holiday Shop

Amber Hepler


Trunk or Treat

Amber Hepler


ParentAdvisory Committee


Amber Hepler

Amanda Tucker

Tommy Morris

Leigh and Josh Brown





Safety PAC

Tommy Morris

Bobby Griffith

Steve Minter





Callaghan Elementary hosts a Parent Advisory Council (PAC) designed to provide two-way communication for parents and the principal.  The purposes of this committee are to focus on the BIG PICTURE, to establish goals, to assess the needs of the school and to evaluate policies, procedures and programs.  Topics of interest concerning our children, school, community, and the educational process will be discussed during meetings throughout the school year. This is an open meeting to ALL parents/guardians.  Meetings are held in conjunction with PTO meetings usually on the first Tuesday of each month immediately following PTO business meetings except in the months of July and December.  

Announcements and reminders of PAC meeting dates will appear on the school website.  Participation is highly encouraged.

In addition to the PAC at Callaghan, Mr. Eugene Kotulka, Superintendent for Alleghany County Public Schools, has a county-wide Parent Advisory Committee.  The represetatives listed above will meet to advise the superintendent on county school issues and concerns and will report information back to the principal and school council participants.  


Students are invited to participate with staff in special dress days.  Special dress days are usually the second and last Friday of each month that school is in session.  The second Friday special dress will be announced each month and the dress usually matches the season.  The last Friday is Callaghan School shirt day. Best Dress days are scheduled to honor education in November and May.

Popcorn will be sold by the PTO in September, December and January.  Parents are requested to send in nutritious snacks for sale in the other months.