Parents » Handbook


Gess Elementary Handbook

Start of School

The start of a new school year is a great time for your child to set goals. Keep track of progress using a simple checklist that identifies the activity and provides a box to check off accomplishments. Activities might include household chores, getting to bed on time, giving someone a compliment, or completing homework.

Alcohol and Drugs

The illegal use of alcohol and illicit drugs is wrong and harmful. Chewelah Schools prohibit their possession, use, or distribution on school premises or as part of any school activity. Violation of this standard will result in suspension of the student and referral for prosecution.

Trick or Treating

If your child will be visiting neighbors on Halloween, keep in mind these common-sense tips from the National Safety Council:

Go with your children/travel in groups

Use the sidewalk

Have identification with children is case someone gets lost

Map out the route ahead of time

Eliminate the tricks

Have an adult inspect treats before you eat

Stay in your neighborhood

Have supper or a snack before going out

Wear costumes that are fire-resistant, easy to walk in, a light color and large enough to wear over a sweater or coat.



The Chewelah School District uses a quarter schedule. At Gess Elementary you will see:

4 reporting periods

Our report cards will reflect the 4 quarter grading

3 Early Release Days in the fall (usually in November) for conferences

1 Early Release Day in the spring for conferences

 If you have any questions or concerns please contact the Gess Elementary office.


When Your Child is Ill

When cold weather is here, and with it comes illness and the decision to keep your student home. Here are a few guidelines you might wish to follow:

  • A runny nose may be caused by a common cold or an allergy. Unless your child is having difficulty breathing, this probably isn’t a reason to miss school.
  • A bad cough or cold symptoms can indicate a severe cold, bronchitis, flu or pneumonia. Keep your child home and see your doctor if symptoms persist.
  • Diarrhea and vomiting are difficult to deal with at school. If this occurs, please keep your child home.
  • Fever is an important symptom, and may indicate your child is contagious. Keep your child home for 24 hours after the fever has passed.
  • Lice, once at school, can produce an epidemic of itching and scratching.   Caution your child against sharing combs or clothing.


Recess and Weather 

Prepare your child for cold or wet weather by dressing them properly with a coat, warm shoes or boots, a hat, and gloves. Please write your child’s name on all clothing and other items such as backpacks and lunch boxes.

Children are required to go outside and play during each recess. They are only allowed to stay inside during very cold or wet weather, or when recuperating from a serious illness. A note from a parent will allow a student to stay in for up to three days. Beyond this, a note from a physician is required.


Good attendance and punctuality at school improve learning. Every effort should be made to ensure your child is regular in attendance. Children are required to check-in if they are late and be signed out by a parent or guardian if they leave early. If a relative or friend will be picking up your child, please send a note or notify our office. If absent for an extended period of time, please contact the teacher and work together to complete missed work.

Attendance is monitored daily and calls are made to absent students. Please call when your child is absent, or send a note stating the date absent and the reason. Unexcused absences are processed according to state law. Notification letters will be sent home after 3 or more unexcused absences. If necessary, a juvenile court petition will be submitted.

Community Resources

The Chewelah School District cooperates with county and state agencies in meeting student and family needs. Some of the agencies in our area include:

Alcohol & Drug Help                     800-572-0947

American Red Cross                     684-5428

Child & Family Services                 800-544-0543

Stevens County Counseling             935-6801

Poison Control                                 800-222-1222

Domestic Violence                         800-562-6025

County Health Department             684-5048

Chewelah Food Bank                     935-5204

Rural Resources                             684-5048


Special Services

Special Education, Title I, and Highly Capable services are available for children who possess exceptional needs. If you feel your child has special needs and may benefit from these services, please talk to your child’s teacher.

Gess also provides special education services for pre-school children aged three to five. Any child, through age 21, who resides within the school district boundaries and who is suspected of having a disability, may be referred for possible screening and/or evaluation to determine the need for special education services.   Anyone wishing to make a referral may contact a building principal. If you need information about special education services presented in your native language, or require accommodations to access this information, please contact the district office.

Visiting Children

Occasionally we receive requests from children or parents to have students from other schools visit. We have found that visiting students generally cause an interruption to the educational program and therefore are not allowed.

Gess Safety Drills

  • State required fire evacuation drills are held once each month.
  • An earthquake drill is conducted in which children are trained to crouch under their desks with their hands over their heads.
  • An armed intruder drill is conducted in which students are trained to hide in places away from windows and teachers turn off lights and lock doors to restrict access.



When, if ever, should a child repeat a year of school? It’s an issue that educators and parents have been grappling with for decades. More than two million children are “held back” every year in the United States. Children who repeat a grade in school face serious and long-term social, emotional, and intellectual hardships, and some drop out before graduation. There are important things you can do if your child is having trouble in school and you fear that he/she may be asked to repeat a grade:

  • Make an appointment to talk with your child’s teacher. Find out exactly what the problems exist.
  • Ask for suggestions of things you can do at home that will help.
  • Have the child’s eyesight and hearing checked.
  • See that your child attends school regularly.