Mercersburg Eagles

News from the Nest


Just a reminder that the 17th is a snow makeup day

From the Principal ( Social Media and the Elementary)

  • As a parent, I was confronted with a great question from my Twelve-year-old son... "Dad, can I get an Instagram Account followed by can I get on Tik Tok?" I asked my son, "Do you know what Instagram is? " He replied, "Yeah, some students were talking about it at school". Not familiar with Tik Tok, I had to do some research.This led to a long discussion with my son that ended with the statement, "according to the rules of Instagram, Facebook and almost any other social media account, you need to be 13 years old to have a page, so we will talk again in a few years." I must admit that I was completely taken off-guard by this statement and shocked... I did not anticipate having a social media conversation with my son, but I feel that I am not alone in this growing topic... Social media is an ever-growing part of society that we all struggle with staying on top of. I thought that since you might be faced with the same issue, I would share some information. A 2015 study finds that children who spend more than 3 hours each school day on social media sites are more than twice as likely to suffer poor mental health. Their immersion in a virtual world may cause these children to experience a delay in their emotional and social development., “one of the largest organizations for young people and social change”, several bad effects of social media, which include sleep disorder, depression, addiction, 24/7 stress, isolation, insecurity, and fear of missing out (FOMO).
  • FOMO or the fear of missing out on something important (like their friends’ jokes, parties, activities and other ways of having fun) leads to depression and anxiety in teen social media users, according to a survey done by the Australian Psychological Society. FOMO is one of the main reasons for teenagers’ heavy use of social media.

Below you will find a link for parents on social media to help with information and to possibly answer questions that you are facing.

Common sense media is a great site for parents! Important tips are to please be aware that all social media sites have an age limit of 13 years or older. Students at times don’t realize that what they are putting out there is permanent and can have a lasting impact on their future. I am not trying to tell anyone how to parent, but as a building principal, I ask that you be mindful of what your children are doing online and keep access to their account.

Kindergarten Registration

The registration site is now open to enroll your child for kindergarten for the 2020-21 school year. Your child must be 5 years of age by September 1, 2020 to start kindergarten. First, create an account at the link below, then enter the required information. You must call the elementary school upon completion of the forms, to schedule an appointment time on Tuesday, March 31st to complete enrollment during our Kindergarten Registration day.

Concert Time!!!

Kindergarten, 2nd and 4th Grades will be performing their concert on Tuesday evening, March 3rd at 7:00 pm in the James Buchanan Middle School auditorium. If needed, the snow make-up date for this concert will be on Thursday, March 5th.


As we enter cold and flu season, please be aware of the attendance policy in regards to returning notes for your child's absences from school.

Attendance Policy: In keeping with PA state regulations and the Tuscarora School Board policy #204, absences shall be treated as unlawful until the school office receives a written excuse for the reason of absence. Written excuses must be submitted to the office within three days of the absence. Even if you have communicated with your child's teacher regarding an absence (by phone call or class Dojo), a written note for the office is still required.

If the office has not received a written excuse for your child's absence, you will receive a call/text from the district's notification system, as a reminder to send in a note with a reason for absence. Sending a note by email is also an option at the following address - .

More than three unlawful absences could lead to notification of the local magisterial district judge, as well as a referral to the County Children and Youth Agency. If you have any questions in regards to attendance or written excuses received, please contact the school secretary at 328-2023 ext. 2500.

Yearbook Sale

The 2019-20 Mercersburg Yearbook is now on sale. You may place orders by returning payment with the order form envelope to school or place orders by phone or online. The cost for each yearbook is $10.00. Refer to the paper order form for more information. All yearbook orders, along with payment, are due by Tuesday, February 18, 2020. To order online, please go to

Conversations about school

When you think of parental involvement, I am sure most often what comes to mind is parents coming into the school. That is one way to be involved, but research has shown that supporting your child's education at home is just as important. Below you will find conversation starters to help. Number seven is by far my favorite.

1."Let's see something that you brought home today. "

2. "Show me what you have for homework."

3. "Describe a book you enjoyed today."

4. "Tell me what you learned about that you would like to know more about?"

5. "What is the coolest thing that happened today?"

6. " Pretend you're the teacher. How would you describe your day?"

7. "How were you kind or helpful today? How did you make a positive difference in somebody's day?" How was someone kind or helpful to you?"

Cell Phones

Board Policy: #237 (Electronic Devices)

Students are not permitted to have electronic devices in school, on school property or at school-sponsored events. School Board policy prohibits use of personally owned electronic devices any time where use of the device would cause a disruption of either in-school or extracurricular activities as determined by the administration. The district shall not be liable for the loss, damage or misuse of any electronic device brought to school by a student.

Electronic devices may be used for other reasons determined appropriate by the building principal.

Cellular phones that have the capability to take photographs or record audio or video are not permitted to be used during the school day in district buildings. Additionally, any device that provides for a wireless unfiltered connection to the internet is not permitted to be used during the school day in district buildings. The use of cellular phones is prohibited during school hours. In an effort to accommodate parents and students, possession of a cell phone will be permitted under the following stipulations:

The cell phone must be in the “off” mode and not visible during the school day.

The use of cell phones will be allowed after the close of the school academic day.

Violations of this school rule will be addressed by the building administrator. The Tuscarora School District is not responsible for lost or stolen phones.

District Policy on Food Allergies and classroom celebrations

Tuscarora School District is a food allergy aware school district. This letter is to inform you that there are several students at our schools who have potentially life-threatening food allergies. The most common allergens that can cause anaphylaxis are peanuts; tree nuts; milk; egg; fish; shellfish; soy and wheat. Eating these foods, even in trace amounts, may cause a severe reaction (anaphylaxis) that can lead to death. Sometimes even touching contaminated surfaces may cause a reaction. School staff have been trained to recognize such a reaction and to administer medication (epinephrine) in an emergency.

You can help staff and students by helping your child understand the foods they freely enjoy can be dangerous to others. Equally important, however, is to let them know they can support their classmates by eating and handling food responsibly.

Here are a few suggestions for you as parents:

· Never take food allergies lightly; they can be serious and life-threatening

· Tell your child, “Do not share your snack or lunch with classmates.”

· Please communicate with your child’s teacher BEFORE sending any food to school (other than their lunch)

· Tell your child to get help from an adult immediately if a schoolmate has a reaction

There is a policy that has been approved by the Tuscarora School Board which states birthday celebrations may be held ONCE per month per classroom. Please communicate with your child’s teacher about when this will happen. We will be enforcing this policy throughout the elementary schools.

We will also be enforcing the following:

· Only store-bought items will be served for birthday celebrations. We encourage healthy food items or non-food items to be shared for birthday celebrations.

· The school nurse WILL review all ingredients before food is served. PLEASE NOTE: even if the word “nuts” does not appear in the ingredients list, it may be noted on the item somewhere that the food was prepared in a facility where nuts are present. These items will not be allowed due to the possible presence of nuts in the food.

· Food will be served in the café on a day at the teacher’s discretion (all birthdays for that month will be celebrated in one day)

If you have questions or concerns, please contact your building principal. Thank you very much for your understanding and cooperation.


Ryan Kaczmark & Brett Kagarise,

Principal Principals

Mercersburg & Montgomery, Mountain View & St. Thomas


As we approach the second half of our school year, please be aware that if you are planning to volunteer for any school day event, which include FIELD TRIPS, RACE FOR ED, and FUN DAY, you must complete and submit the following clearances to the Tuscarora School District Human Resources department:

Volunteer Registration Form

Child Abuse History Clearance

PA Criminal Record Check

Act 24 – Arrest/Conviction Form

Federal Criminal History Record Check

Tuberculin Test Results Form

Mandated Reporter Training (instructions provided in Volunteer Letter)

Volunteer packets with clearance applications, forms and directions, are available in the school office and on the school district’s website at (select Mercersburg > Parents tab). Some applications may take several weeks to process, so plan accordingly to obtain volunteer approval before end of year activities take place.

If it has been longer than five years since completing one or more of your clearances, they may have expired and must be renewed before you can continue to volunteer.

Parent Drop Off!

Please remember if you drop your child off after 7:40 please drive around to the front of the building and sign your child in. If you do not see a member of Mercersburg Elementary Staff, please don't leave your child at the back door. They need to be taken around to the front of the building.


Monday, Feb. 17th, 7:30am

30 South Park Avenue

Mercersburg, PA


ACT 80 DAY No school for students

Monday, Feb. 24th, 7:15am to Tuesday, Feb. 25th, 3:30pm

30 South Park Avenue

Mercersburg, PA

The 24 and 25 of February are both act 80 days

Spring Concert

Tuesday, March 3rd, 7pm

5191 Fort Loudon Road

Mercersburg, PA

Kindergarten, 2nd and 4th Grades will be performing their concert on Tuesday evening, March 3rd at 7:00 pm in the James Buchanan Middle School auditorium. If needed, the snow make-up date for this concert will be on Thursday, March 5th.

PTO Meeting

Tuesday, March 10th, 7pm

30 South Park Avenue

Mercersburg, PA

Early Dismissal

Friday, March 13th, 12pm

30 South Park Avenue

Mercersburg, PA

Act 80 Day No school for students

Monday, March 16th, 7:30am

30 South Park Avenue

Mercersburg, PA

Parent Survey

Please take a few moments and complete the surveys below for Mr. Burkett in the curriculum office.