Parent-Student Handbook


2020-2021 CES Handbook (word doc.)
2020-2021 CES Handbook Covid Amendments (word doc.)





Dear Parents and Students,


Welcome (or welcome back) to Callaghan Elementary School for the 2020-2021 school year.  It has been a pleasure to serve the Callaghan and Boiling Spring communities as principal of this fine school.  It has been a season of change for us all during this COVID-19 pandemic with more changes to come, I’m sure, but for students and parents, everything possible has been arranged to ensure the least stressful opening of school and the year to follow.  We will all have to be gracefully flexible and learn as we go.


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.


I have added a section to this year’s handbook that specifically addresses some of the important changes that we’ve had to make due to COVID-19 and effects that the pandemic has had on schools.  Please read this section carefully and consult our policies and practices as needed.  Sections within the main handbook that have a COVID-related change will have an indicator that says “SEE COVID AMENDMENT”.  When the pandemic restrictions have been lifted and schools return to a more normal schedule, then the former policies and practices outlined in this handbook will go back into effect.


In the meantime, it is going to take a good amount of patience and grace on everyone’s part as we all explore this uncharted territory together, and together we will make this unconventional year a success.


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; we’ll make it through this.                                                                                                                                                                                                                             With warmest regards, 


                                                                                                                Joshua Craft, principal





for 2020-2021



This special section of the parent-student handbook contains changes (hopefully temporary) to normal operating procedures that are specifically related to health and safety of students and staff as they apply to COVID-19.



The Health Mitigation Plan approved by the Alleghany County School Board on 08.17.20 includes the following requirements for masks and face coverings at school:  “Face Masks are required when six feet of social distancing cannot be maintained except when not medically or developmentally feasible.”

Here is what this means: 

  • A mask or face covering is required to be worn by everyone at all times including:
    • While on the bus
    • When in school hallways transitioning from place to place within the building
    • When in the clinic
    • While out of an assigned seat inside the classroom
    • When six feet of distance between student/student or student/teacher cannot be maintained during school activities
  • All visitors to the building are required to wear a face covering at all times.
  • Students may remove their mask when seated at their assigned desk or learning area at least six feet away from others.
  • Students may remove their masks while eating or participating in outside activities.
  • Students who have documented medical or developmental needs in which wearing a mask is not feasible do not have to wear a mask.

If a student is unable to wear a mask at school during the appropriate times, it will have to be medically or developmentally documented from a health care provider or other professional in order for the student to be able to attend school in person.


If a student refuses to wear a mask, we will work with him or her because we understand that there will be a learning process and adjustment period, but if the student continues to refuse to wear a mask at appropriate times after we have exhausted our resource and means of instruction, then the student will be required to transition to an all-virtual environment and continue lessons full time from home.





During this phase of COVID-19 restrictions, Alleghany County Public Schools will operate on an alternating schedule to reduce the number of students in the school building by half on any school day. Students are scheduled to attend school on Mondays and Tuesdays (A Group)  or on Thursdays and Fridays (B Group). Some students who meet strict criteria based on their academic needs may attend all four days. On days that students are not scheduled to attend school on site, they will participate virtually at home. Wednesdays will be a virtual learning day at home for all students.


Parents have the option for full virtual learning for their child.  A flexibility form must be submitted which can be found on the Callaghan or Alleghany County Public Schools websites.




8:15- 8:35:   Student arrival.  Students who eat breakfast will go directly to the cafeteria for a Grab and Go breakfast to take to their classroom and eat.   Students who do not eat breakfast report directly to his/her homeroom.  Students who are driven to school and plan to eat breakfast must arrive in time to allow for adequate time to collect their breakfast and report to homeroom before the tardy bell.


8:35:   All students in homeroom for Morning Announcements and Pledge of Allegiance


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


3:20:  The instructional day ends.  Students will be released by bus number and go directly to the bus.  Staff will order students in line by seating order back to front and then board the bus.  SRO will coordinate bus departure and then direct the student pick up line. 


3:26:  Car riders will be released and report to the cafeteria area.  Staff will escort car riders individually to their respective vehicles. 


*NOTE: Early dismissals begin at 1:20PM



In addition to the practices outlined in the division’s Health Mitigation Plan,  practices specific to Callaghan School will include but are not limited to:


  • Daily building capacity under the approved instructional plan will be cut by half.
  • Students will be screened at home prior to coming to school.Students will be visually screened at school to monitor health throughout the school day.
  • A room near the clinic has been repurposed as an isolation room for students who display COVID symptoms where they will be kept until picked up.
  • Staff and students in hallways will wear masks.
  • Face coverings for students on the buses are required.
  • Staff and students in classrooms must wear a face covering when out of a seat and not closer than 6 feet to another person.
  • Common areas like restrooms will be cleaned on a schedule throughout the school day
  • Seating arrangements for students in classrooms will ensure 6 feet of distance.
  • Classrooms will be sanitized after a group of students has finished in the area whether it be at the end of the day if used by only one group or in between classes when transitions to different classrooms are necessary.
  • Cafeteria will only be used by JK-1 classes for lunch.All others will eat in their classrooms.
  • The hallways will have positional indicators every six feet on both sides.
  • Outside activities will be encouraged.
  • CDC and Virginia Department of Health signs are posted throughout the building.
  • Bulletin boards will serve as happy billboards reminding students of safe practices.
  • The division is purchasing a face mask, as a one time purchase, for all students.
  • Visitors to the building are screened through a questionnaire.Answering yes to any question will deny access.All visitors must wear a face covering at all times.Visitors will be limited to the main office only.
  • An emphasis will be placed on educating students of practices for keeping themselves and others safe…daily.
  • Dismissal practices will be modified to aleve crowded hallways at the end of the day and parents entering the building.
  • A division flow-chart has been developed to assist in making decisions if/when a building is faced with confirmed positive cases.We will also take guidance from the Health Department who will be our point source of direction in such cases.





Parents who drop off students at school in the morning will follow regular drop off procedures as described in the main handbook.  Refer to the third paragraph under the section “FLOW OF TRAFFIC”.  As we are restricting visitor access inside the school building, parents may accompany students to the main door if desired; however, they may not enter the building. 




Our procedures for  car rider dismissal has to change due to COVID-related safety reasons.  Parents will no longer enter the building to collect their child, but instead pull into an available parking space and wait for direction from the SRO.  After all buses have departed, the SRO will coordinate vehicles to assemble in a parade-style line along the sidewalk where the buses load.  Students will be escorted to parents’ vehicles by a staff member.  Parents will not exit their vehicles.  The SRO will then coordinate everyone’s departure from the parking lot.  It is going to take some time and patience on everybody’s part before this procedure runs like clockwork.  I know frustrations will be high due to the amount of time this is going to take in the beginning, but I ask for patience and understanding until we get it down.  We will go back to the old way as soon as restrictions are eased and it is safe to do so.  Please refer to the “Procedures for Picking Up Students” section in the main handbook for additional safety information.


One more note on this topic: Do not arrive early and check your child out from school in order to simply avoid this dismissal process.  Getting students checked out at the end of the day while we are managing the many tasks associated with dismissal takes up more time and is distracting.  We want to ensure that kids are delivered to the right people and places without mistakes.    





All students in grades JK-5 will be issued a Chromebook to use in conjunction with teachers’ instruction. These devices are essential tools for students as they participate in virtual learning from home.  Care of the device must be taken in order for it to be fully functional. Please take measures to prevent accidental drops, temperature extremes and contact with liquids and other substances that could cause damage. Chromebooks must accompany students between home and school.  Chromebook chargers will be kept at home, and students must come to school on in-person days with a fully charged device.  All Chromebooks are linked to the ACPS server and are filtered for inappropriate content and can be monitored for acceptable use and violations.  Refer to the SCHOOL ISSUED CHROMEBOOK section of the main handbook and See the ACPS Chromebook Use Handbook for more information. 


If you experience trouble with the Chromebook during virtual learning at home, a troubleshooting help desk is available to assist in solving the problem.  Visit the Callaghan School website and click on the Troubleshooting Icon.  You will be directed to a troubleshooting form that will allow you to describe the issues which will help us better understand the problem so we can provide the best possible solution.  Once the form is complete, submit the form electronically.  A troubleshooting manager will be assigned to assist you as soon as possible.  Although we hope to provide you with a solution the same day, please allow up to 24 hours for us to address your issue. 





Even during times of COVID and creative public school scheduling, Virginia still has a compulsory attendance law, and therefore, we will continue to maintain daily attendance records for each student.  Whether participating in a hybrid schedule or a full virtual schedule, the criteria of being present or absent is broad.  Teachers take attendance daily and will mark a student as “present” for a day of school, specifically on virtual learning days, if they are able to document “meaningful interaction” with the student.   We will track daily student attendance through multiple modes of “meaningful interaction” which may include, but not limited to the following:


  • Physical presence during the school day
  • Virtual presence during a synchronous* online lesson
  • Documented viewing of an asynchronous* online lesson
  • Log in time or activity log on Canvas or other learning management system
  • Phone call or real-time, online chat
  • Timestamp that shows progress or completion of an assignment or learning activity
  • Submission of a task, assignment or product
  • Demonstrated evidence of participation with peers or collaborative work
  • Engagement on an electronic discussion board
  • Email exchange between student and teacher


Students will be marked “absent” if meaningful interaction can not be documented within a reasonable amount of time.  Attendance policies and protocols for students who are excessively absent or truant will apply.  Refer to the “Student Attendance” section in the main handbook for more information on this. 


*Synchronous means live, real-time online participation while the teacher is delivering a lesson; student may

   actively participate

*Asynchronous means online viewing of a recorded lesson at a later time; student may participate through 

   assignment or activity submission, email communication, discussion board or phone call/online chat with the








For the health safety of the students and staff during COVID restrictions, the building will remain closed for the use of outside organizations, visitors beyond the main office without an appointment, and volunteers.  We want to keep the germs outside as much as we can.  The following protocols will be required for all visitors to the building:


  • At the main entrance of the building, an Entrance Questionnaire to ACPS Facilities is posted.

    Visitors will need to answer all questions posted.  Answering “yes” to any of the questions  will deny visitors’ entrance into the building.  An appointment at a later time may be made with Mrs. Hartman using the entrance communication system or if it is  an emergency, someone will come outside to assist.  Please remember, although not ideal, we want to keep our school safe and healthy for all.


  • In normal circumstances, parents and grandparents are encouraged to come and eat lunch with their child; however, at this time, this is not possible. Again, this is for the safety of every student and staff member.We hope to get back to a regular state of normalcy as soon as it is safe to do so.


  • At this time, we are not permitting outside volunteers to come into the building to work with students.When restrictions are lifted, the required volunteer orientation training will be scheduled, and we will welcome our volunteers again.See the section “Serving as a School Volunteer” in the main handbook for more information.


Please understand that these restrictions are not our desire, but the need for such safeguards are important to keep students and staff safe and healthy.  When things return to normal, this temporary restriction will be lifted. 





When students do not complete assignments and activities, it puts a hardship on both the student and the teacher.  The student is not given credit for the work required, and the teacher is left with a missing gap of information for her to determine the student’s mastery of the skill and the effectiveness of her instruction.  Whether participating in the hybrid or full virtual learning environment, attending and participating in an educational program is Virginia law for all school aged students.  We all have goals to achieve.  Students will be required to participate in lessons and complete and submit all required assignments and activities assigned by teachers.   Student work will be evaluated, and grades will be determined according to the teacher’s discretion and will include accuracy or mastery credit and not just completion.  Teachers will work with parents to allow for flexibility in this new teaching/learning environment.





The Division has developed four decision making trees that outline the school’s response and protocol in specific events when students or staff become ill.  This document is included at the end of this handbook amendment.  Please refer to it when questions and concerns arise about our decisions in these COVID related situations.  Also, be advised that Federal HIPPA laws protect patients’ right to privacy and prohibit schools from giving out information about students and staff and their health or medical matters. 




While ACPS schools are operating on a hybrid schedule, breakfast and lunch will be provided each school day for students attending school in person and virtually.  On a student’s A or B in person day, breakfast will be picked up in the cafeteria upon student arrival and eaten in his or her classroom prior to instruction.  Students will follow this same routine for lunch; however, grades JK-1 will eat lunch in the cafeteria at different times to ensure spacing.  Students will have the option of a hot or grab-and-go breakfast and lunch. 

Grab-and-Go meals will be prepared for students when they do not attend school in-person.   A form must be completed and turned in so that the cafeteria staff prepares enough meals each day.  A parent can pick up the student’s meals in a grab and go fashion between 9:00 AM and 10:00 AM each morning from the Callaghan kitchen entrance at the east side of the building.  A parent’s designee (babysitter, grandparent, etc.) may also pick up a students’ meals as long as the student accompanies the designee at the time of pick up. Meals will not be distributed through the office or from the main entrance.  Meal pick up will only be available on days when students are learning virtually at home; students attending school in person will be served their meals at school. 


Students will be charged lunch prices according to their status (free, reduced or paid) for both in-person and Grab-and-Go pick up meals. Pick up meals will only be provided to students who are enrolled in Alleghany County Public Schools.  Arrangements can be made with the cafeteria manager for parents who have students at more than one school to pick up student meals at one location. 





During the time of COVID, the Callaghan PTO will still be active in its mission to provide support to the school and its students and staff including recruitment of membership, fundraising and enhancing the overall school experience for everybody.  Scheduled Executive Board meetings will be held virtually.  Meetings that include the PTO general membership may be held virtually as well.  Members will be notified of such meetings and provided in advance with a link to join on the scheduled day and time. 


Similarly, meetings of the Parent Advisory Council hosted by Mr. Craft (open to all Callaghan parents) will be scheduled and held virtually.  Refer to the sections “Parent Teacher Organization” and “Parent Advisory Council” in the main handbook for more information about these support teams.




Alleghany County Public Schools is taking guidance from both the Virginia Department of Health and the Virginia Department of Education to follow all guidelines being set for public schools. When these entities determine that health conditions are such that a 5 day school week for students has returned to a safe level, the division’s decision making team will use this information and guidance to develop a new plan for returning to school to full capacity. Parents will still have the option to continue virtual learning if and when we cross this bridge.





The Callaghan and ACPS websites provide a wealth of information related to school reopening, the hybrid/blended learning schedule and other COVID-19 related documents and items of interest.  Parents and students are encouraged to check out these sites.  Of specific interest is the Parent Questions and Answers tab on the Callaghan website that provides answers to 53 parent generated questions regarding school operations during these times of COVID. 



2020-2021 Callaghan Elementary School Staff


Joshua Craft




Nancy Turkewitz


Guidance Office (109)


Jessi Turner

Junior Kindergarten



Mary Ann Morris




Lynne Seldomridge




Deborah Rose




Elisabeth Thompson




Ashley Hubbard




Gina Middleton




Sharon Shreve




Lori Dressler




Jaclyn Bray




Karie Browning




Linda Liptrap




Jeremy Bartley

Physical Education



Susan Clonch




Angie Nicely




Tammy Crane


Room A


Andrea Douglas

Title 1

108 Tues. & Thurs.


Nancy Fry

Title 1



Cassandra Brookman

Special Services



Jessica Lanehart




Melanie Hartman




Becky Burgess

Instructional Assistant



Cindy Crowder

Instructional Assistant



Pam Hirt

Instructional Assistant



Angie Jones

Instructional Assistant



Paula Bell

Occupational Therapy



Sidney E. Birchfield

OT Assistant



Sarah Lythgoe

PT Assistant



Melanie Mason

Physical Therapy



Tracey O’Connor


Room F; F and 4th M


Ricky Bates

Resource Officer

MPR Office


Sgt. Chris Fisher




Donna Harris


Office- Room W


To Be Determined

TDT Counselor

Room E


Rick Hartman

Head Custodian

6:00 AM - 2:30 PM


Tiffany Rose


4:00 PM - 8:00 PM


Darrel Tucker


1:30 PM - 10:00 PM


Jessica Nicely




Sherry Wolfe

Cafeteria Manager



Gina Adkins




Carla Arritt

Bus Driver

# 18*


Crystal Fridley

Bus Driver

# 33*


Kelsey Nida

Bus Driver

# 34*


Vicky Callaghan

Bus Driver

# 59*


Kathy Sexton

Bus Driver

# 54*


Teresa Urban

Bus Driver

# 49*






*At the time of publication, drivers for specific buses were not finalized. Bus numbers may change.














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.
  • Building a strong academic foundation in reading and math during the primary years to successfully build upon during the upper elementary years.






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 students 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 academic calendar is developed by the Alleghany County Public School Division and published in newsletters, local news media outlets and posted on the division website.  Inclement weather conditions or other emergencies may cause the delay or cancellation of a school day.  Local media will broadcast school closing information as soon as decisions are made.  This information is posted on the ACPS website and an automated call is made from School Messenger.  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 official local media postings should keep you informed of these situations.


According to the 2020-2021 academic calendar, the school year begins on September 9 and finishes June 24.  Schools are closed during traditional holiday periods and at various times throughout the school year to allow for teacher preparation and professional development.  The calendar may be adjusted during the year to accommodate make up days due to unanticipated school closings. You can access the division’s academic calendar on the Callaghan and ACPS websites or on the last page of this handbook.






Parents are welcome to visit the school.  Please notify the teacher in advance if you would like to set up 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. School division policy as of 2018:  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, school nurse, and child's teacher have current phone 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 enter the building before 8:15 AM.   Parents who bring students to school before this time should be prepared to wait with them in their vehicles.  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 the homeroom upon arrival.  Those eating breakfast 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 Morning Announcements and 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 participating 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. 





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.  This is a traffic violation and can result in a ticket.  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.



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.  Instructional programs are also provided for students identified as gifted and talented.


A copy of the year-long pacing guide and instructional plan for each subject are available for viewing upon request.





The Alleghany County School Board adopted a new grading scale and adjusted the grading periods that went into effect during the 2019-2020 school year.   Under this system, there are four grading periods of nine weeks.  Report cards are issued after each nine week grading period; however, unofficial grade reports, which we will refer to as “interim reports” are sent home with students after four and a half weeks into each grading period. 


Under this grading system, grades for students in grades 3-5 are earned in each of the four core areas and are calculated on a 10 point, A-F scale.  Students in Kindergarten through second grades do not see traditional grades.  Instead, they are evaluated on their levels of performance of several developmental skills within the areas of Reading and Math such as “can add single digit numbers with sums through 20”.  Content for science and social studies are taught in conjunction with Reading and Math instruction.  The grading scale is outlined in the chart below.






Grades 3-5

Core Classes-10 point Grading Scale

100-90 =A

89-80 =B



59-0 =F


Grades for Specials/Electives (PE, Music, Art, Library)


EExceeds/Meets Expectations for standard

NDoes not meet expectations for standard




Grades 1-2

Core Areas

E=Exceeds expectations for standard

G = Meets expectations for standard

NP= Needs progress toward expectations for standard

N= Does not meet expectations for standard


Grades for Specials/Electives

E =Exceeds/Meets Expectations for standard

N=Does not meet expectations for standard



All classes

E=Exceeds goal

G = Meets goal

N=Goal not met



Junior Kindergarten

All classes


G = Meets goal

NP = Needs progress

Any student working below grade level will be recommended for remediation and/or intervention






A Honor Roll                        
Distinction granted to 4th and 5th graders achieving all As with no grade below E in any non-core content area.


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


Honor rolls will be published each nine weeks in the Virginian Review and the Alleghany Journal.  




As a major component of Alleghany County Public School’s 1:1 initiative, all students in grades JK-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 one time school division Chromebook training and sign a release form before his/her child is issued a Chromebook.  Parents who have participated in a training session in the past or for another student do not have to repeat the training.  Students in grades 4 and 5 will have the privilege of taking their Chromebooks home daily; however, it is the student’s responsibility to charge it each evening and bring it back the next day. Students in grades 1-3 will leave their devices at school at the end of the day.  All Chromebooks are linked to the ACPS server and are filtered for inappropriate content and can be monitored for acceptable use and violations.  Refer to the ACPS Chromebook Use Handbook for more information. 





Students are expected to arrive at school on time and stay for the entire school day.   Attendance is a in the criteria that Virginia uses to determine school accreditation; therefore, 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 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.  If a student with excessive absenteeism continues a pattern of absences after efforts have been made to improve attendance, a truancy referral will be made to the division’s Attendance Officer and legal processes will be initiated. 



Students should arrive at school on time as late arrivals can be disruptive for everyone.  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 pick 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 child.  In custody situations, the school will follow the exact wording of the most current court order that we have on file for the student.


Perfect Attendance

Students who come to school every day will be recognized with certificates throughout the year and 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. 




Report cards will be sent home at the end of each nine week grading period.  An unofficial report card, which we will call “interim reports” will be sent home every four and a half weeks.  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.


The School and PTO coordinate to send home a weekly newsletter to families with the most current information and reminders.  The newsletter and other information related to school and the school division is posted on the Callaghan School website.  Parents are encouraged to bookmark our website and visit often.


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.  On these days, parents are able to request specific times that best accommodate 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 regularly communicate with their child’s teacher(s) at any time throughout the school year.  This year, teachers may hold parent-teacher conferences virtually. 





Alleghany County Public Schools has a detailed Crisis Management Plan which is reviewed and updated annually.  Emergency protocols that are specific to Callaghan School are also included in this plan.  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 Crisis Management Team includes teachers, administrators, counselors, school resource officer and other law enforcement officers, and emergency personnel.  The plan is available to view in the school office upon request.





A student’s personal property such as cellphones, electronic devices, sports equipment, 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 maintains a stash of found items (mostly jackets and 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.  If your child is missing something that he/she wore to school, call us to check to see if it has been found. 


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 a 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; however, they are used in determining the need for remedial instruction.


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 in violation of school board policy.


Again, it is critical that the school office have up-to-date contact information for parents and designated individuals to call in cases of illness or emergency.  Please notify the office when contact information or designated individuals change.


Refer to the COVID-19 HANDBOOK AMENDMENT section for information and protocols  regarding staff and students during elevated attention during COVID times.






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 any time 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. Glass containers are prohibited.  Meal prices for 2020-2021 are as follows:


                                               Regular                   Reduced              Adult

    Breakfast:                        .80                               .30                    $2.30

    Lunch:                                $2.15                          .40                    $3.85



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 according to individual teachers’ schedules and preferences.  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 School.  Information regarding the fall picture day 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 December 1.




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:





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 2020-2021 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.  If you have suggestions or concerns about the safety program, please contact the principal.




If conditions or circumstances, such as inclement weather, emergencies or COVID-19 related situations become necessary to close schools, the decision will be made by school officials and announced using the School Messenger Automated Phone System and/or on the local radio, social media outlets and TV stations.  Such information will also be posted on the Alleghany County Public Schools website.



Callaghan Elementary is committed to creating a safe and secure learning environment by teaching and modeling appropriate behaviors.  Through discussion and modeling, students become familiar with the Student Code of Conduct as prescribed 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 specific to our school or their classroom.  Teachers use a variety of methods to encourage students to exercise good choices and self control 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, parent notification and/or loss of special classroom privileges; however, teachers and staff may issue one of three types of behavior interventions: Time Out, After-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 privileges (such as riding the bus) or Saturday School.  For severe behaviors or inappropriate behavior that continues 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.


  • AFTER 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 After-School Detention or when removal from the classroom is necessary.


  • OUT OF SCHOOL SUSPENSION is used when a student’s actions are extreme and have violated codes of conduct and thus calls for extreme consequences often for the protection of the student and other students and staff in the building.In some cases, Alleghany County Public School Policy and Code of Virginia require out-of-school suspension for a first offense of certain behaviors that violate Virginia law.


Teachers are encouraged to contact parents when a student’s behavior is problematic in the classroom setting.  Parents will be notified 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

Warning up to a 10-day bus suspension.

1 to 10-day 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.

Possible ISS up to OSS.

Dress Code Violation

Failure to adhere to Dress Code Policy


Request change of clothing.

Request change of clothing.



Incorrigible Behavior

Continued violation of the ACPS Student Code of Conduct

Mediation/Counseling during school day.

Parent Guardian Conference.

3-10 days OSS.

Recommendation of Suspension for the year.

Parent/Guardian Conference.



Refusal to carry out a request by any staff member.


Warning up to all day ISS.

Up to 1 day OSS.

Parent/Guardian Conference.

Profanity and/or obscenity

Use of inappropriate language and/or material.


Warning up to all day ISS.


ISS up to OSS.

Parent/Guardian Conference.



Stealing property belonging to another person or school.

Up to 1 day ISS.

Restitution as necessary.

Up to 3 days OSS.

Parent/Guardian Conference.

Restitution as necessary.



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.

As determined by Compliance Officer. Responses may range from mediation and/or counseling to recommendation of expulsion.



The willful destruction or defacement of school property


Warning up to 1 day OSS.

Restitution as necessary.

ISS up to 3 days OSS.

Parent/Guardian Conference.

Restitution as necessary.


Violence: Fighting

Participating in, instigating, or aiding in a fight.

Mediation/Counseling during school day up to 3 days OSS.

Mediation/Counseling during school day up to 3-10 days OSS.

Parent/Guardian Conference.

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

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


Mediation/Counseling during school day up to 3 days OSS.

Mediation/Counseling during school day up to 3-10 days OSS.

Parent/Guardian Conference.



Weapons in School



Violation of ACPS Policy JFCD

Category A: 10 days OSS, Recommendation of Expulsion


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

Category A: 10 days OSS, Recommendation of Expulsion


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



** The school administration will refer any cases to law enforcement as required by the Code of Virginia.


**The Parent/Guardian will be notified of any discipline referral.  If parent/guardian cannot be reached prior to the end of the day, then the referral will be sent home for signature.


** School administration may take disciplinary action for the good and just cause to preserve academic integrity and school safety.


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. 


Thank you for taking the time to read this handbook.






School sponsored activities such as PTO events, after-school remediation and field trips, are an extension of the school day and all school rules apply.  School sponsored activities also include events not held at Callaghan School, 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. 





The following regulations are for appropriate dress at Callaghan School:


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 will 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.




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 submit to a mandatory background check and be approved by the school board.  (Disclaimer:  This process takes time as background checks are completed by a third party entity.  The school board will approve volunteers as background checks are returned.) Once a background check is completed, it is valid for five years. More information about this requirement will be discussed at the volunteer orientation.  Volunteers working in the school who wish to eat lunch are requested to notify the school cafeteria in advance.




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


The PTO Board usually conducts a regular Executive Board meeting each month.  Other general membership meetings may be held during special school events.  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.  Messages and reminders from the PTO are communicated through Facebook, the weekly Callaghan newsletter and the Callaghan school website.  The PTO By-laws are also posted on the school website. 


PTO Executive Officers for the 2020-2021 school year include:


Amy Jackson-President

Amber Thornton-Vice President

Allison Dean-Secretary

Sarah Deffinbaugh-Treasurer





Callaghan School 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.  PAC meetings are open to ALL parents/guardians and are held monthly and will be advertised well in advance. 


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





There are no specific regulations that prohibit outdoor recess when the temperature is at or below a specific degree.  The location of recess is determined at the teacher’s discretion on a daily basis regardless of weather conditions.  As a general rule of thumb, if it is not raining, students will play outside.  In cold weather, parents are encouraged to ensure that students come to school with attire that would be appropriate for safe and comfortable outside play (coats, gloves, hats, long pants, etc.)  In cases of extremely cold (sub-zero) outdoor temperatures, teachers and the principal will consult to determine if it is safe to hold recess outside.  If a parent feels that temperatures are too cold for his/her child to participate in outside recess, a note can be sent to school with the student that day stating such, and the student will be provided with alternate indoor recess activities supervised by school personnel.

Alleghany County Public Schools Academic Calendar 2020-2021





Holiday (All Schools and Administrative Offices Closed)




New Employees Report (Professional Development)




All Teachers Report (Home School)




All Teachers Report (Convocation)




All Teachers Report (Home School and PD)




All Teachers Report (Home School and PD)




All Teachers Report (Home School)




All Teachers Report (Home School and PD)




All Teachers Report (Home School-Orientation Day)




All Teachers Report (Home School-Orientation Day, 12-6)




All Teachers Report (Home School-Orientation Day if needed)




Labor Day (All School/Offices Closed)




All Teachers Report (Home School)