Families of Custer County School District,


I can’t tell you how excited my wife, Elizabeth, and I are about coming to Custer County.  It is such a great opportunity; we just can’t wait to meet all of y’all.  I intend to watch and learn and see how things are done.  I will preserve and help improve what is working well and collaboratively work on what needs improvement, all of this with support and communication from the community.

I have 32 years experience in public education, 22 as a Principal.  I taught Vocational Agriculture and biology at the high school level and science at middle school.  I have been a principal of 2 elementary schools, a middle school, and a high school.  I grew up in a rural setting but I have worked in suburban and urban schools.

My goal is to work hard to make CCSD the best district in the state where people want to come work because they want to be a part of something great and make a positive difference and parent/guardians want to send their children because they will be safe, cared for, and they will be prepared for life after school.  We will have a vibrant, positive, school culture, and environment.  We will be focused on the whole child not just performance on a test.  Students will be academically successful and graduating ready for college or the workforce, with the skills and ability to take care of themselves and make a positive contribution to society.

In short, my goal is to provide a quality education, in a safe environment, and make Custer County School District the finest district in the state.  Below I have included some helpful information that you can use to help prepare your child for the coming school year.

I look forward to getting to know you children and serving the Custer County community.

“Treat each day as a gift not a given.”

Mike McFalls,

The Proud Superintendent of Custer County Schools

Preparing your child for the coming school year:

Parents and Guardians - active support is invaluable to the success of you child in school.  You do not have to be a college graduate or a teacher to help you child be successful. All it takes is you communicating the importance of a good education and creating some routines and structure at home that will enhance your child’s education giving them a better chance to be successful. 


Parents and Guardians - we know how busy you are and how hectic life at home can be but the time we have with your child is limited (you may be surprised to know that Colorado has the shortest school year among all the states.)  Here are some simple things you can do to enhance your child’s education. 


1.  Practice math facts.  You can use flash cards that are homemade to practice addition, subtraction, and multiplication.

2.  Vocabulary.  Words are thoughts.  There are many good vocabulary apps and websites.  High School students should be learning SAT words.

3.  Read, read, read.  Read to your child, have them read to you, encourage them to read 20 minutes everyday.

Addressing Summer Slide:

• Access to books is critical.  The public library is an excellent free resource for families to have access to books of a wide range of interests and reading levels, as well as librarians to guide children and families in selecting great books.

• When children select reading materials themselves and read for enjoyment, they receive the most gains in reading achievement, including better reading comprehension, writing style, vocabulary, spelling, and grammatical development.  Also, the longer that this free voluntary reading is practiced, the more consistent and positive the results.  Thus summer programs, such as those offered in public libraries, that allow and encourage children to choose what they read are likely to be most successful.

• Children and teens tend to read more when adults in their lives encourage them to read, and also when they see those adults reading often themselves.

• Children that feel that reading is fun tend to read more often, so summer programs that help make reading enjoyable and social are most successful.

• Reading just 4 to 6 books over the summer has the potential to prevent a decline in reading achievement scores from the spring to the fall, so even small steps are very beneficial.

• Preventing summer slide is most effective when community organizations—including schools, public libraries, community centers, parent groups, social service agencies, and others—work together to encourage kids to read, make reading fun, and to reach families about the importance of reading over the summer.

• Parents, caregivers, and other adults can help stem summer slide by reading themselves, as children see adults in their lives reading often tend to read more themselves.

Research Findings on Summer Slide:

• Children in low-income households fall behind an average of 2 months in reading during the summer.  And, summer slide is cumulative, with these learning losses building up each summer.

• Summer learning loss accounts for two-thirds of the 9th grade achievement gap in reading between students from low-income households and their higher-income peers.

• Students from low-income households with access to books over the summer see significantly more gains in reading scores from spring to fall than students from high-income households with access to books and those from low-income households without access to books.

• Differences in children’s summer learning experiences during their elementary school years can ultimately impact whether they earn a high school diploma and continue to college.

Our Vision & Mission

Vision - The vision is to provide a quality education in a safe environment.


Mission - The mission is to prepare students for life beyond graduation.  

Our History

Early education was tended to in a church in the Colfax colony and a log cabin four miles southwest of Silver Cliff. As the county grew, so did the demand for education and in the fall of 1879 the first school districts were formed.  It was decided that schools should be no more than five miles apart so that each child had a school within walking distance. This resulted in twenty-four one room schools and two classrooms in private homes.

© 2020 by Custer County School District C-1

709 Main Street, P.O. Box 730, Westcliffe, CO 81252, School Office - (719) 783-2291, Fax - (719) 783-4944

Background photo courtesy of 2015 Custer County graduate Brittanee Bohannan


In compliance with Titles VI & VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008, and Colorado law, Custer County School District does not unlawfully discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, ancestry, creed, age, marital status, sexual orientation, genetic information, disability or need for special education services in admissions, access to, treatment, or employment in educational programs or activities which it operates. Complaint procedures have been established for students, parents, employees and members of the public. The following person(s) have been identified as the compliance officer for the district:  Principal, Joe Vergilio, 709 Main Street, Westcliffe, CO 81252, (719) 783-4921.


Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act


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