Weekly Update

Montgomery Elementary School

Welcome Back!

Greetings Families,

I want to welcome you all to the 2020-2021 school year. I am excited for another year as the principal of Mercersburg and Montgomery Elementary schools! While this school year will look and feel different, we are still committed to focusing on the three C’s of Community, Connections and Compassion.

We will remain focused on fostering a sense of community both virtually and in person. Even though our school year will look different, we still want students to always be better than yesterday and give back to the Tuscarora community.

Our goal every year is to make connections with our students. We want to build relationships with each student and family that fosters a healthy learning environment.

Finally, we will always lead with compassion during these times. We understand that flexibility is needed and that things will happen that are beyond our control; however, we are committed to working with all of our families through this difficult time!



All students will be required to wear a face-covering during the school day. We will do our best to provide mask breaks to students, but at this time ALL STUDENTS will be required to wear face-coverings on the bus and once they enter school. Please see the State Department of Education's Frequently Asked Questions link below for more information.

Last week, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released an update to their guidance in regards to face coverings being worn at all times to help mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Prior guidance we released in collaboration with The Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) stated students in schools could remove their face coverings as long as six feet of social distancing could be maintained. Given this recent change from the AAP, and consistent with the Secretary of Health’s Face Covering Order issued on July 1, 2020, DOH is requiring students to wear face coverings at all times while in school, even when six feet of social distancing can be achieved. There are limited exceptions.

All students will be required to wear a face-covering during the school day. We will make every attempt possible to provide the students with multiple mask breaks during the day, but at this time it is required by the Pennsylvania Department of Education and Department of Health that all students wear a face covering.

Student Self-Screening

Prior to sending your child to school each morning, please review the checklist provided below for symptoms as recommended by the PA Department of Health. Follow the checklist to determine each day whether it is safe for your child to attend school in person or whether they should remain at home. Contact the office about getting your child's makeup work.

District Transportation

Face coverings will be required for all students while utilizing district

transportation (buses, vans). The siblings will be seated together.

Pick Up and Drop Off Procedures

To accommodate the increased car riders this school year, we will have pick up and drop off for car riders at the side of the building. Please be on the lookout for a video detailing this process.

Parents are to stay in their cars when dropping off and picking up their children. Students will be required to enter the building wearing a face-covering.


Every Wednesday we will be operating on a two-hour delay schedule. Breakfast will not be served on 2 hour delay days.

School Day at Montgomery

The school will look and feel different this year. Students will be required to wear a mask, per the PA Department of Health and State Department of Education.

When students arrive at school they will have the option of a grab and go breakfast to eat in the classroom. We will eliminate areas of congregation for students. Student desks will be spaced to the maximum extent possible in the classroom. We will be utilizing Odysseyware this school year to help supplement our curriculum and allow us the fluidity of transitioning between the traditional brick and mortar setting and a virtual environment. Students will be in the classroom for the majority of the day. Specialized teachers (Art, Library and Music) will rotate to the classrooms to provide their instruction. Our goal is to transition the students to the specials classrooms eventually. Any/all school-provided tools that are used during instruction will be cleaned and sanitized between student use. Currently, we will provide one 20 minute recess a day. Staff will also be allowed to take kids out for an additional time to get the kids moving. We will be going outside as often as possible for recess, this includes cold weather days, so please have your child prepared for outdoor recess. Students will eat in the cafeteria or a designated classroom, depending on class sizes. Students are expected to sit in their assigned seat daily. The seating chart will allow for contact tracing purposes. It is our goal to continue to focus on creating a community of learners that are constantly striving to be better than yesterday.

School times

7:20: Doors open

7:35: Announcements and Breakfast is done being served

7:40: School day starts

2:10: Dismissal starts

* We will adjust times as necessary

Breakfast and Lunch Prices

Breakfast - $1.55, Reduced Breakfast - $.30

Lunch - $2.55, Reduced Lunch - $.40

Milk - $.45

Notes to school

  • Include child's FIRST AND LAST NAME on any notes sent from home.
  • When your child is absent from school, a note stating the reason for the absence must be submitted within 3 days upon their return to school. PLEASE CONSIDER EMAILING ABSENT NOTES TO THE SECRETARY AT debbie.meyers@tus.k12.pa.us
  • Notes should be sent anytime you are planning to pick up your child for an early dismissal.
  • No bus passes will be given for a change in transportation, unless prearranged through the transportation department.

Visitors and Student Sign Out

All visitors must wear face coverings if entering the building. Parents/Guardians who need to pick up their child during the school day, will sign them out and wait in the foyer area for their child to come out.

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?"

Handbook Highlights

The Student & Parent Handbook is available online at our district website - www.tus.k12.pa.us. Under the Schools tab, select Montgomery, then Students tab. If you would like a printed copy please let us know.

Absences: Please bring in an excuse every time your child is absent.

You have three days to provide an excuse.

Please label all clothing items and backpacks that you send with your child.

Please be sure to include everybody that can pick your child up on the emergency card.

Medications need to be distributed through the nurse's office.

Items that are prohibited: Cell Phones, weapons, tobacco, gaming systems.

Tips for setting up a cyber learning envrionment

  • Provide a suitable workspace. Try to find a well-lit area with minimal distractions. Make sure there is an outlet nearby for charging devices.
  • Minimize Clutter. Too many toys, books, and supplies can create a feeling of chaos. Declutter the learning space.
  • Supplies: determine what your child will need for completing work. Gather those supplies and keep them together in a bin at the workspace. Some things you may want to consider are:
✔ headphones
✔ pencils, markers

✔ notebooks or plain white paper

✔ books

✔ clock

✔ weekly calendar and schedule

✔ list of frequently used websites and passwords

Setting up expectations for cyber learning

  • Set a consistent schedule.
  • Organize the materials needed before beginning. (Younger children need help with this.) Make sure you know what will be needed for the day and that it is available.
  • Alternate high/low concentration tasks. Follow difficult activities with more fun, relaxed tasks.
  • Encourage neat work.
  • Tidy up and sort work at the end of the day.

"Read to Your “Bunny…”

Did you know that twenty minutes a day spent reading with your child can be the most important time you can give them? In the children’s classic, Read to Your Bunny, by Rosemary Wells, reading is described as “twenty minutes of fun, twenty minutes of moonlight, twenty minutes of old-time favorites, and twenty minutes “brand-new.” Reading daily in your child’s early years not only builds critical reading skills, it also instills an importance for the life-long skill that encompasses every subject they will learn in school. Research has proven that the single best way to improve a child’s reading skills is to READ! So give your child twenty devoted minutes, and not only will you get lost in the magic of a book, but you will create lasting memories with your child! It costs nothing but twenty minutes of your time. As best described by author Rosemary Wells, “Reading to your little one is just like putting gold coins in the bank. It will pay you back tenfold!” (Read to Your Bunny, by Rosemary Wells)

Get the most out of reading aloud with these four easy tips:

1. Hold the book so your child can see the words or pictures while you are reading. Run your finger under the text as you read it aloud and be sure to point out interesting things in the illustrations.

2. Take your time and do not rush the story. Your child can tell if you are in a hurry. Reading slowly will help you read clearly, which your child can learn from, and it will give you and your child more time together!

3. Do not be afraid to stop reading a book if your child does not seem interested. Have your child choose a book that he or she would like to hear, or have a back-up selection ready so your read-aloud time can continue.

4. Enjoy your time spent together! I am sure these moments will become those you will “treasure” in the years to come!

(Tips from Reading Connection, Resources for Educators)