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Student Handbook

Letcher Elementary School

Student Handbook


Letcher Elementary School 

Where Eagles Learn to Fly!


160 LHS Drive

Blackey, KY  41804

Phone: 606-633-2524   Fax: 606-633-8190

Principal:  Wendy Madden-Rutherford

Counselor: Amy Bates

Family Resource Coordinator: Martha Watts

School Nurse: Sandy Haley 

Secretary: LuAnne Ison

Cafeteria Manager: Lillian Roark


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Letcher Elementary School

Where Eagles Learn to Fly!


The Mission of Letcher Elementary School is to provide….

…A challenging learning environment that encourages high expectations of everyone: parents and caregivers, staff and students.

…Engaging, rigorous instruction that is also developmentally appropriate and allows for individual differences and student interests.

…A safe and orderly environment that is caring and supportive of all students and their individual needs and situations fostered by positive relationships with students and staff.

…Positive interactions with parents and caregivers to meet the needs of our students while engaging our community at large to become actively involved in our school and students’ learning.



Our Schedule

Our doors will be open by 7:20 each day. Please do not bring or drop off students before that time. No supervision is provided and it is against the law to leave minor children unsupervised, even on school property. Teachers and school staff will be available to monitor and keeps students safe after 7:20. The morning bell will ring at 7:50 and the tardy bell will ring and teaching begins in all classes by 7:55. Our final bell will ring at 2:50 when our day ends. Once buses leave the school hill, parents may arrive, park in the bus zone, and walk in to sign out students who are being picked up. Please do not park behind Letcher Middle School in the drive through lane and block the flow of traffic.

Meeting with Teachers and the Principal or Counselors

Teachers have a planning period each day. Your child’s teacher will let you know what time of day that is. No calls will be placed to teachers during class time while they are teaching and supervising students. Ms. LuAnne will take messages and relay those on to teachers, who may return your call during their planning time or after school. You may also email teachers. Their email addresses may be found on our school website.

Counselors are available to talk with you and your students as needed. You may call our school counselor, Amy Bates, or make an appointment with our Kentucky River Community Care Counselor, Wendy Hatton or our Hospice Grief Counselor, Susan Houston.

Schools are busy, hectic places, but your needs and concerns are important. If you have an issue that you cannot resolve with your child’s teacher or bus driver, or if you need to share information in a confidential manner, you may make an appointment to come in to see the principal. Please call the school to set up a time that is most convenient for both you and Mrs. Rutherford. There may be times you might want to just pop in, but it may or may not be a good time for her. Please call ahead to set up your meeting times in advance or leave a message for her to return your call. You will be contacted as soon as her schedule allows.

Permissions and Forms

At the beginning of every year, you will get multiple copies, papers and forms to be signed and filled out. We need these sent back to school as soon as possible. Students are rewarded for returning the required paperwork promptly. We appreciate your help with this task and realize it is time consuming. We are required by law to gather this information each year from our families.

If your child’s living arrangements have changed, please be sure to bring by copies of Court Orders, Custody and/or Visitation Orders, Emergency Protection Orders, or other documents which tell our school who has rights concerning your student. In order to protect students, we need the most current information at all times and ask that you please keep us updated as those circumstances change.


At the beginning of the year each student in grades 3-5 will receive an academic planner. It is part of our required curriculum and will be used as a tool to help students stay organized. Students can record their daily and weekly responsibilities such as homework assignments, projects, tests, spelling words, etc. If a student loses this planner, he/she will be required to purchase a replacement one from the office for $5.oo. Students in grades K-2 will use an Eagle Binder or Important Papers Folder that will come home every night with homework, notes, important information, etc. Please check those nightly and return all forms needed by the school back in this folder.


All students in grades 2 -5 will be issued their own locker in the hallway. (K-1 students have lockers or cubbies in their rooms.) Students may keep personal items in the locker such as books and school supplies, a change of clothes in case of emergencies, clean gym shoes, an umbrella, a jacket, etc. Students in grades 2-5 may rent a combination lock from the office for $2.00 or they may bring a combination or key lock from home. If they bring a key lock, one key should be given to the homeroom teacher and the student may keep the other on their person at all times. When students lose the keys and need to get inside the locker, the lock may be cut off if necessary. Student lockers are subject to search if there is a suspicion of any contraband or weapons on the property (drugs, alcohol, firearms, knives, fireworks, etc.)

Grading Scale and Progress Reports

A new grading scale is in place for the 2014/15 school year. Students in grades 3 – 5 will be receiving letter grades as well as grades for conduct and participation. The grading scale for those students is listed below:

A = 92 – 100%

B = 83 – 91%

C = 70 – 82%

D = 60 – 69%

F = Below 60%

Students who are struggling with scores below 80% will be targeted for Response to Intervention instruction to help them learn required skills and concepts they may be lacking. You will be contacted if your student is in need of these services. Students who need assistance with homework and/or practicing certain skills may attend “morning tutoring” (during breakfast) or stay for “homework help” during the after school program.

Students will receive report cards every 6 weeks in grades 3 – 5. They will also get a mid-term progress report every 3 weeks. Parents of students in grades K-2 will receive newsletters and progress reports from teachers frequently and will receive progress reports every 6 weeks and report cards every 12 weeks. Parents and students in grades 4-5 may sign up to see the teacher’s online grade book through Infinite Campus Parent Portal. Please call the school office to learn how to create an online account to see student grades at any time.



Students in most grades will have homework most every night. Homework assignments will never be new material. Homework is given to help students practice skills that have already been taught. It may also be assigned to help students work toward meeting goals they have set for themselves in class. For example, students in 3rd grade are expected to know multiplication tables through 12’s and be able to read  150 words of 3rd grade level texts by the end of the year. Students may bring home practice activities to help them meet those goals. Parents and caregivers should make homework a very important time each afternoon by providing help as needed, having a quiet spot with no distractions, and positive encouragement for completing the assignments. 

After School Activities

Our 21st Century Community Learning Center Grant will be providing after school programs for both students and the community. A schedule of events will be sent home soon and posted on our website. Buses will run to take students home at the end of each day’s programs. 

Other school sponsored programs that are held after school include Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Pee Wee Football, Pee Wee Basketball, Pom Pom Cheer and Dance, Student Technology Leadership Program, and Pick and Bow music lessons. Students may sign up throughout the year for these activities. This year, all students who stay after school for any reason will be fed a supper meal immediately after school! J

Parent Volunteers, Support Groups, Site Based Council and PTO

If you would like to be a school volunteer, please sign up for training with Martha Watts, our Family Resource Coordinator. Training will be held in early August and again throughout the year as needed. Volunteers must undergo specific training, be fingerprinted and pass a criminal records check as required by KY law. Violations for assault, drugs, weapons, theft, or abuse of any kind will prevent you from being allowed to volunteer with our students or serve as a parent coach or coaching assistant. If you are found on school grounds appearing to be under the influence or 

Our SBDM Council meets every second Thursday of the month at 5:30. These meetings are open to the public. This year’s SDBM members are: Marcus Miller (parent) Bridget Back (parent) Tyler Watts (teacher) Sarah Adkins (teacher) and Daniell Ratliff (teacher.)

Our PTO will meet every third Monday of the month at 5:30. Please consider joining our PTO to assist and support our school and students. 

We will be offering a monthly support group entitled “Grandparents as Parents” for all grandparents and extend family members who are raising elementary and preschool children. We encourage anyone who has custody of grandchildren or nieces/nephews to attend. Dates and times will be announced soon!

Attendance, Tardies and Absences

Our school begins at 7:50. Our doors will not be opened or unlocked until 7:20. Please do not drop off students until after that time. No supervision of students is provided until after 7:20.  After 7:55 students are considered tardy. Students who must be absent should bring in a written excuse provided by the physician’s office, court, etc. or from the parent. Excessive tardies and unexcused absences will result in home visits by the School Resource Officer from the Letcher County Sheriff’s Dept.

Students are expected to be present in school every day. They are also expected to be on time. In order to benefit from all the instructional opportunities and to develop habits of responsibility, punctuality, and self-discipline we ask that students arrive at school on time.  Please make school attendance a priority. 

Buses/Transportation/Picking up Students

All students are provided the privilege of riding a bus to and from school every day. However, if parents wish to drive students to school we ask that you use the Letcher Drive entrance to drop off and pick up students near the Letcher Middle School entrance. (The lane coming up the hill in front of the gym is for bus traffic and staff parking only in the mornings and afternoons.) Students who are picked up in the afternoons will be kept in the cafeteria until after the buses depart from the campus. Parents/caregivers must sign out students every day. 

Students who ride the bus daily may lose that privilege if they fail to follow bus safety rules. Students must remain seated, keep hands and feet to themselves, use quiet voices and avoid distracting the driver in any way. If a bus driver feels a student creates a serious distraction, refuses to cooperate with the driver or harms other students, that student will face disciplinary action which may include being

removed from the bus. A contract regarding bus behavior will be sent home with students for the student and parent to sign at the beginning of every year. 

To keep all students safe and accounted for, we now have a new rule. If a student is going to ride a different bus home in the afternoons, parents must notify the school no later than 1pm. Students must now have a note signed by the principal before they can ride a different bus home in the evenings; bus drivers have been told not to allow students on their bus who do not have a note signed by the principal. If you must make a change in the bus, you must call before 1 pm to do so or send a note from home that morning. Those notes must be turned into the office for approval. We may call to verify that you wrote the note to ensure no student rides to a place they are not supposed to be.


All students are expected to follow the Letcher County Schools Code of Conduct, available online at At LES, we use positive reinforcement (rewards) for appropriate behavior, good attendance, and classroom cooperation. Students who break rules, bully others, or disrupt the learning process will be punished according to our Behavior Matrix (adopted by our school Site Based Council.) All students will also receive a copy to show consequences for misconduct.

Meals and Snacks

Our campus is a peanut free facility. No peanut or peanut butter products can be sold or eaten at school. All students at Letcher Elementary receive free breakfast and lunch. Students who stay after school for ball games, practices, after school clubs and other events will be fed supper immediately after school.  If students wish to purchase extra items at lunch or breakfast, you can place money in their school account. Please see Ms. Lilian, our cafeteria manager, to add money to your child’s account. Students may not charge additional items; they must pay as they go.

All students will be allowed an opportunity to purchase snacks daily from the school store. Snack items sold meet federal nutritional guidelines. Flavored water, low calorie juice, and low fat/low sugar ice cream is sold daily. Students may bring money daily and keep it in a secured location in lockers and backpacks until snack time. Students may also bring a snack from home or purchase one from school. 

Our school is a recipient of the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Grant, which provides all students with a snack of fresh fruit or vegetable every day (Monday-Thursday.) All students are given time to eat a snack daily during their break. Snack time is never taken away for misbehaviors.

Educational Opportunities outside the School

Each class works to raise funds to take a field trip each year. This trip is designed to enhance the learning in the classroom. Some trips are provided by the school but others are chosen by the teachers. We try to raise the money for all trips, but sometimes it may be necessary for parents and caregivers to assist with costs.

If your family plans an out of town trip or visit to another area, this may count for an Enhanced Educational Opportunity, which means your child may be counted present at school even if they are on a trip. Trips to museums, in-state or out-of state events and attractions, or other trips out of town

may not count as an absence if the child is doing something beneficial to their educational development. Please call our school secretary, Ms. LuAnne, for more information and to see if your upcoming trip meets the requirements. 

160 LHS Drive | Blackey, KY 41804
Phone: (606) 633-2524
Fax: (606) 633-8190