Harding County School District 31-1

Harding County Schools

Harding County PTO

Harding County Booster Club

Email: hardingcountyboosterclub@gmail.com


School Lunch Questionnaire

We are wondering if there are families that would like us to provide a school lunch? We want to make sure that everyone is taken care of during this time. We are willing to deliver, meet at a mailbox, or pickup at the school. You do not have to be on free or reduced meals. Please let the school know by 3pm today (Monday) if you would like meals for the rest of this week (Tues-Thurs). You can fill out the form below or call the school 375-3241.

Coronavirus update

Per Governor Noem, SD schools will be closed through Friday, May 1st. All activities are thus postponed or canceled until further notice.
Once we get more information and clarification, we will pass it on.
Thanks for your understanding and flexibility!


Thursday, March 19, 2020

To: Harding County Staff, Students, Parents, and Community


Monday, March 23rd, 2020

  1. Pick-up and Drop Off Schedule

*Your pickup time is according to your LAST NAME.

*Please stick to your designated time slot for pickup, as we are trying to limit the number of students in the building at one time.

*Please enter through the main doors of the school.  Proceed to your teacher’s classroom(s) and pickup your items.  If you are a middle school or high school student, you will have to get all your textbooks/workbooks from your locker.

*If you have called the school to reserve a laptop/iPad, you will stop and pick it up from Mr. Ginsbach.  Mr. Ginsbach will be in the commons area.

*If you are a middle school/high school student, you will stop and receive your school email and login information from Mr. Ginsbach.  Mr. Ginsbach will be in the commons area.

*We ask that you do your best to get your items as quickly as possible.  Students and parents will receive teacher contact information on Monday, so there will be plenty of time to ask questions, etc., later.

*We thank all of you for your patience, understanding, and cooperation in these difficult and unfamiliar times.  We want nothing more than to have all the students in school.  We are doing our best to provide the best possible education we can with the parameters that the Governor and Department of Education has placed upon us.  If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to call your teachers.  If you have a question for me, you can email me, contact me on the Remind App, or call.


Mr. Messmer

K-12 Principal


Student Last Names Beginning with:

8:00-8:30         Last Names Starting With A-B

8:45-9:15         Last Names Starting With C-D

9:30-10:00       Last Names Starting With F-G

10:15-10:45     Last Names Starting With H-K

11:00-11:30     Last Names Starting With L

12:00-12:30     Last Names Starting With M-P

12:45-1:15       Last Names Starting With R-S

1:30-2:00         Last Names Starting With T-W



  • No school events until further notice
  • No use of facilities for community events.
  • ACT test statewide is postponed- TBA
  • Prom- postponed until later date
  • SDHSAA has cancelled all activities until April 6th



As new information for our school community is available, we will keep you informed via our usual communication methods, which include Facebook, Remind app, school website and our phone messaging system if deemed necessary. We are working hard to make the best of the situation and appreciate the support. There will be some bumps and a learning curve as we move forward, but consistent and direct communication with the staff and school is appreciated. Remember, this is all new to everyone and unfortunately it is our reality for the time being.  Our staff is very flexible and want nothing more than to have normalcy with a building full of kids. We will get through this, but we all need to work together in these times.

With Rancher Pride,

Josh Page

Mr. Page



No School Next Week (March 16 – 20)

After considering all aspects of the COVID-19 situation, Gov. Kristi Noem is recommending that all schools in South Dakota be closed next week, March 16-20. This step is being taken in order to stay ahead of the spread of the coronavirus. The governor recommends that schools use this time to do deep cleaning of their facilities. More information to come soon.



Mary Stadick Smith

Deputy Secretary

South Dakota Department of Education

800 Governors Drive, Pierre, SD 57501

(605) 773-7228 – Mary.stadicksmith@state.sd.us

Mission Statement

The mission of Harding County School’s faculty, staff, students, parents, and community is to provide a safe and challenging learning environment that enables all students to maximize achievement through a variety of educational experiences.

Vision Statement

Establishing a Foundation for Future Endeavors.

Upcoming Events

There are no upcoming events at this time.

Contact Us

12474 Tipperary Street
PO Box 367
Buffalo, South Dakota 57720

Phone:  (605) 375-3241
Fax:  (605) 375-3246


School Board

Jesse Glines, President
Will Meyer, Vice-President
Laura Johnson
Randy Routier
Carmen Gilbert

School Testing Windows

Smarter Balanced

  • Smarter Balanced Assessments are aligned to the Common Core Standards and provide a yearly check of progress in math and English language arts. Smarter Balanced provides feedback to help teachers and students succeed.
  • April 8-May 3
  • English Language Arts and Math
    • There are two subtests for each subject
    • Estimated total testing time: 6-7.5 hours, there is not a time limit for these tests and students receive multiple breaks
    • Overall schedule will be on the school calendar as it is finalized
  • Results are mailed with the final report cards at the end of the year
  • Required by the state

South Dakota Science Assessment

  • Grades 5, 8, and 11 participate in the South Dakota Science Assessment, which measures mastery in life, earth, and physical science.
  • April 10-30
  • Science
    • There are 3-50 minute testing sessions. There is not a time limit for the tests.
    • Overall schedule will be on the school calendar as it is finalized
  • Results are mailed after school starts in the fall. In the future we plan to mail results with the final report cards at the end of the year, if the results are reported at that time.
  • Required by the state

Multi-State Alternate Assessment (MSAA)

  • The alternate assessments are for students with cognitive disabilities who use Core Content Connectors. They measure academic achievement.
  • March-May
  • English Language Arts and Mathematics
  • The length of time needed will vary for each individual who takes this test.
  • Results are mailed after they are reported in the fall.
  • Required by the state

South Dakota Science-Alternate Assessment

  • Students in grades 5, 8, and 11 who qualify to take alternate testing participate.
  • April 1-May 3
  • Science
  • The length of time needed will vary for each individual who takes this test.
  • Results are mailed after school starts in the fall.
  • Required by the state

National Career Readiness Certificate

  • The NCRC measures practical skills for workplace success in areas of workplace documents, graphic literacy, and applied mathematics.
  • This assessment takes approximately 3 hours.
  • It is given to seniors during the fall semester. This year it is scheduled for September 18th.
  • Students are able to know their results within a week, often the same day of testing. If earned, a copy of the certificate will be mailed home and the certificate will be presented to the student at awards day.
  • Harding County High School chooses to participate in the NCRC.


  • Three tests (reading, language usage, math) are given at the beginning, middle, and end of the year to give details about specific skill sets students possess. Students are able to easily compare the growth they make throughout the year. Teachers used this test data to design classroom instruction, interventions, and enrichment opportunities for each student.
  • This is a district wide assessment administered within the first 2 weeks of the school year and within the last 3 weeks each semester.
  • There isn’t a time limit, students are given breaks between sessions and test for a total of approximately 4-5 hours
  • Students are able to see their results immediately and teachers review them in class and often at parent teacher conferences.


  • https://www.asvabprogram.com/
  • This is the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery, which allows students to look into many career fields.
  • Harding County High School requires Juniors take the ASVAB in the fall semester as well as any seniors who would like to retest for military purposes. This year it is scheduled for November 14. Students can test for up to 3 hours
  • Results will be mailed in the fall semester.

Home School Testing

  • This is required for home school students in grades 4, 8, and 11 to measure their academic achievement in math and English.
  • March 25-April 19, it is administered at home.
  • Results are mailed at the end of the school year.

National Assessment of Educational Progress

  • This is a national test, sometimes known as “the Nation’s Report Card.” Students in grades 4 and 8 take a test in a predetermined subject. No scores are given at a school level, as the purpose is to determine student achievement on a national level and track progress over time. Harding County School District is not part of the participating sample this year.


  • Post-secondary educational institutes require placement tests, but the ACT is not required by the Harding County School District or the state. It is offered at Harding County School twice a year (April and October test dates).

ACCESS and ACCESS Alt (for EL students)

  • ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 is a secure large-scale English language proficiency assessment administered to Kindergarten through 12th grade students who have been identified as English language learners (ELLs). It is given annually in to monitor students’ progress in acquiring academic English. ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 is aligned with the WIDA English Language Development Standards and assesses each of the four language domains of Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing. The assessment is available in both paper-based and online formats for Grades 1-12, while Kindergarten and Alternate ACCESS for ELLs are paper-based tests.ACCESS 2.0: Jan. 28 – Feb.28, 2019
    ACCESS Alt: Jan. 28 – Feb.28, 2019