Harding County School District 31-1

Harding County Schools

Harding County PTO

Harding County Booster Club

Email: hardingcountyboosterclub@gmail.com


Kindergarten Round-Up Schedule

August 12, 2020

Kindergarten Round-Up Schedule:
9:00 am Students and Parents Arrive
*Puzzles, Books and Coloring Sheets
9:15 am Mrs. Lyons meets parents in the Commons Area
9:15-9:45 am Stories and Butterfly Craft
9:45 am Mrs. Lyons returns to the classroom and the group will work on “The Very Hungry Caterpillar”
9:45-10:00 Read Aloud “The Very Hungry Caterpillar”
10:00-10:45 am Caterpillar Craft with Mrs. Lyons
10:45-11:05 am Recess
11:05-11:40 am Color a Caterpillar sheet and work on our names.
11:40-11:55 am Practice using our scissors and counting
11:55-12:00 am Parents return

Printable PDF Flyer

2020-2021 School Plans

Good day to all!  I wanted to update you on the Harding County School District preparations for the 2020-2021 school year.

  • We are planning to have students and teachers in our buildings on August 19th.   We believe kids need to be back in school and this is option number one.  With that, we will work with every family to address their concerns and listen to feedback as we move forward.
  • Athletics – Harding County High School is a member of the South Dakota High School Activities Association (SDHSAA), as are all high schools that wish to participate in interscholastic activities.  As of today, the SDHSAA is planning on having fall sports and activities.  Harding County High School will participate in fall activities if they are being held by the SDHSAA.  This situation is very fluid, and changes can happen quickly.
  • The district will have to be flexible and adjust to changing medical issues in the county and state, but we have a committee working and planning for many of these situations.  Within the next few weeks more detailed plans will be developed and communication to parents/stakeholders will be disseminated.

In closing, every new school year begins with a sense of hopefulness. That is the gift I present to you as my staff gears up for the start of the school year. More than ever our learning partnership will be important. This year more than most, I ask that our partnership be strengthened with resolve, cooperation, and patience.

If you have any further questions or concerns, please let me know

Josh Page




Sports Physicals

It is time to start thinking about athletic physicals.  Any student in grades 6-12 must have a physical before they will be able to participate in practice.  You can schedule an appointment with the medical professional of your choice at any time.  Monument Health In Buffalo (605-375-3744) is offering physicals free of charge and Southwest Healthcare Services in Bowman (701-523-5555) is offering them for $25.

HCHS Graduation Ceremonies Planned

The HCHS Graduating Class of 2020 will have two opportunities to celebrate their graduation.  Due to continued CDC and state guidelines on large gatherings, the district had to get creative in coming up with a solution to honor the seniors.  “From the moment school was closed due to COVID 19, we have been trying to come up with an acceptable and special way to make sure the seniors get to experience their special day”, explained Superintendent Josh Page.  “We all know how important Graduation and everything Graduation Day means to the seniors, their parents, their families, and the community so we did our best to make sure that happened.  After listening to the seniors and their families, it became apparent that we needed to do something small for the seniors and their immediate family on their scheduled Graduation date of May 16 as well as choose another date later in the summer where we could have a traditional graduation where everyone in the community will be invited”, added Mr. Page.

Below are the dates and schedule of events.

 Saturday, May 16 at 2:20

*Each senior and their family will decorate a vehicle or flatbed.  The seniors will wear their cap and gown in a parade around town while the community comes out of their houses to recognize the seniors.  Residents of Harding County and any other out-of-towners are welcome to park in the old gym parking lot as well as the football field and rodeo arena parking lot to recognize the seniors.

 *The parade will start at the school where each senior will receive their diploma from Mr. Page-Superintendent, Mr. Messmer-Principal, and Mr. Glines-President of School Board.  This will only be for the senior and their immediate family, but the ceremony will be broadcast on FacebookLive as well as being covered by the Nations Center News with pictures of each student receiving their diploma.

 Sunday, June 28 at 2:20 (tentative and subject to change)

*Traditional graduation in the new gym or football field with the entire community invited. 

*Baccalaureate will also take place on this date at 11:00 in the gym.

*Please be aware that this date and ceremony is under the assumption the CDC, state and local guidelines will allow schools to have gatherings of this size. 

*The school district will send out further information regarding the traditional graduation when it gets closer.

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