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Mechanicsburg Area School District

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District Handbook




Catching Kids Up is the district’s program that parallels to Response to Intervention and Instruction (RtII).  The purpose of the CKU is to insure that each child  has the support necessary for a successful school experience. Assessment information is used to determine student strengths and areas of needs. Learning goals are established for those students that need more support in the areas of reading, math and/or behavior. Plans are then developed to help students  achieve these goals. These plans are implemented for the students through a collaborative effort that may include classroom teachers, elementary intervention- ists, the building principal, the school counselor, parents and/or the nurse. Support for the student is adjusted based upon district assessment data and individ- ual student progress monitoring.  Confidentiality is maintained at all times.



Only seniors who have completed the required credits for graduation may participate in the commencement ceremonies. Requests for exceptions for reasons such as severe health problems, family emergencies and endorsed external school activities will be reviewed by the high school principal and senior class coun- selor, with assistance from the school nurse, class dean and/or classroom teachers.



The Mechanicsburg Area School District cooperates with other school districts in the operation of the Cumberland/Perry Vocational-Technical School, which is located in Silver Spring Township near Hogestown.


Mechanicsburg is permitted to send students to the Vo-Tech School on a half-day (PM) basis. During the morning of each school day, students attend academic classes at the Mechanicsburg Area Senior High School. Vo-Tech School students, as their schedules permit, are encouraged to participate in extracurricular activities at the Senior High School.


Students usually enter the Vo-Tech School in 10th or 11th grade, depending upon the area of study. Initial applications are completed during the 9th grade year.  A few students may enroll for 11th or 12th grade, as openings become  available.


Available courses of study are: heating, ventilation and air conditioning repair, automotive collision technology, automotive technology, carpentry, child care and guidance, advertising art and design, cosmetology, diesel technology, culinary arts, graphic communications, health occupations, horticulture/landscaping, crimi- nal justice, precision machine technology, masonry, logistics and warehouse management, office technologies, welding, computer information systems, electron- ics engineering technology and electrical systems technology. For a complete list of programs, please refer to the Vo-Tech school’s website at


Access to programs shall not be denied to any student because of race, sex or handicapping  condition.





Students may not arrive at school before:

Tardy Bell


Kindergarten Academy







Broad Street Elmwood Northside

Shepherdstown Upper Allen













Middle School







Senior High School










The following assessments may be used to screen children for potential participation in programs or further evaluations, as well as, to give diagnostic information for planning and instruction.  Current editions of tests are used but not listed as they change  frequently.


Achievement Batteries

- Woodcock-Johnson Achievement Brief Battery  
- Brigance Diagnostic Inventory of Basic Skills


Language Arts

District Writing Samples, (6-12)  
Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test
Test of Written Language



AIMSweb (1-5)  
Iowa Algebra Aptitude Test
Orleans-Hanna Algebra Prognosis Test


Ability Scales

Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test  
Test of Nonverbal Intelligence
Wechsler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence



AIMSweb (K-8)  
Observation Survey of Early Literacy Achievement
Qualitative Reading Inventory  
Early Reading Diagnostic Assessment
Development Reading Assessment (K-5)  
Gates MacGinitie Reading Tests
Developmental Spelling Assessment  
Texas Primary Reading Inventory (K-2)



Fluharty - 2 Preschool Speech and Language Screening  
Test of Pragmatic Language
Phonemic Awareness Test
FIELD TRIPS (Policy #121)

A field trip is any trip by students away from school premises that is an integral part of approved planned instruction and is conducted as a first-hand educational experience not available in the classroom and is supervised by a teacher or district  employee.


Parental permission must be obtained before any student may participate in any field trip that leaves school property (this includes walking field trips). The Field Trip Parental Permission Form will identify students who have medication needs. Parents of children with medication needs may attend the field trip or may des- ignate permission for a district employee or district approved volunteer to administer medication to their child while on a field trip. Contact your child’s school  nurse for questions regarding medication on field trips.


Students who require medication administration during a field trip must follow the Field Trip Medication Guidelines found on the Health Services page of the MASD









End of Marking Periods:

October 27, 2017

January 16, 2018

March 23, 2018

May 31, 2018

End of Marking Periods:

October 27, 2017

January 16, 2018

March 23, 2018

May 31, 2018

End of Marking Periods:

October 27, 2017

January 16, 2018

March 23, 2018

May 31, 2018

First marking period report cards will be available during conferences. All conferences will be completed by November 16.

First marking period report cards will be distributed at Student Led Conferences in November. All con- ferences will be completed on November 6 & 8.

First marking period report cards will be posted on October 31. Parent Conferences will be held on November 9 and 13.

Second marking period report cards will be distributed to students on January 25.

Second marking period report cards will be available January 18. Parent/Guardian Conferences will be February 8 & 9.

Second marking period report cards will be posted on January 18. Course Registration will be February 1.

Third marking period report cards will be distributed to students on April 5.

Third marking period report cards will be available on March 28.

Third marking period report cards will be posted on

March 28.

Fourth marking period report cards will be mailed on

June 5.

Fourth marking period report cards will be posted

June 4.

Fourth marking period report cards will be posted

June 4.


PLEASE NOTE: Teachers of grades K-8 will schedule individual conferences with parents/guardians at the end of the first and second grading periods. Additional conferences may be scheduled at the request of the teacher or  parent/guardian.



Grades 1-5

The following are used to determine grades for major subject areas:

Assessments - Unit tests and/or end of marking period tests.

Classwork - Recitation, reports, projects, quizzes, and general class participation.

Homework - Based on completion, effort, willingness, and ability to follow instructions.

In the elementary grades, every student's progress is reported through a combination of the report card and parent-teacher conferences. Conference dates are provided in this publication under "Grading Periods".


Grades 6-12

The following are used to determine grades for major subject areas:

Assessments - Minimum of one grade (unit tests and/or end of marking period tests). Teachers retain a master copy of each test with a distribution of grades or scores for one year.  Test results are reviewed with students within a reasonable time period.
Classwork - Minimum of four grades (recitation, reports, projects, quizzes, general class participation, etc.)
Homework - Variable (based on completion, effort, willingness, ability to follow instructions, etc.)


In the secondary grades (6-12), report cards utilize the following grading keys:


A:  93%-100%, Excellent
B:  855%-92%, above average
C:  76%-84%, average
D:  70%-75%, below average
F:  Below 70%, failing
To pass a course in grades 7-12, a minimum final average of 70 percent must be maintained, or a majority of "H's" (Honors) and/or "P's" (Passing), in courses so graded, must be maintained.

Homework is an essential part of a student's education. It provides the opportunity for students to: (1) practice, apply, integrate, extend, or prepare for school learning; (2) reinforce independent work and study skills; (3) use school and community resources; and (4) develop self-discipline.


Parents and students have a shared responsibility for insuring the success of homework assignments. Students are responsible for completing assignments according to the criteria established by the teacher, and the parent is responsible for providing the work area, time and conditions necessary for the student to complete the assignments.


The following time guidelines have been established for homework assignments:


Grades K-1:

5 to 10 minutes per day


Grade 2:

15 to 20 minutes per day


Grade 3:

20 to 30 minutes per day


Grade 4:

30 to 45 minutes per day


Grade 5:

45 to 60 minutes per day


Grade 6:

45 to 60 minutes per day


Grades 7-12:

an average of 1 to 2 and 1/2 hours per academic class per week with a maximum daily average of 30 minutes per major   subject.



To be on the first honor roll, a student must have an average of 93-100 percent in every major subject. Second honor roll students must have an average of 85-  92 percent in major subjects. Honor roll students may not have any grade lower than 76 percent, no incomplete grades, and in subjects graded "H," "P," or "F," a grade of "P" or above is required.


Interim Academic Reports will be available to the parents of elementary students in grades 3-5 in danger of failing, incomplete or who have shown a marked drop in the middle of each grading period, or at any other time a student-teacher conference has been unsatisfactory. Parents of students in grades 6-12 are encouraged to use the Sapphire Community Portal to monitor their child’s performance.



Grades K-5

  • Non-promotion is a serious matter and will be considered on a case by case basis.
  • If non-promotion is necessary, it should occur early in the student’s school experience.
  • Items considered in non-promotion cases:
  • The social adjustment of the child as determined by age, in addition to, physical, mental and emotional  development.
  • Teacher evaluation of the child’s growth and development measured against progress class work, mental      ability score and achievement score.
  • Teachers will keep parents abreast of child’s progress on a continuous basis.
  • The non-promotion of a child will be reviewed by the Building Intervention Team in the building.
  • The decision to approve the recommendation is approved by the principal.
  •  Grades and documentation will be available to justify the non-promotion of a child.
  •  Repetition is of most benefit to students in K through 3rd grade.

Grades 6, 7 and 8

To be promoted to the next grade, students in grades six, seven and eight must pass at least four core subjects. All recommendations for grade level retention must be reviewed by the Building Intervention Team.

Each year a limited number of students are permitted to make up class deficiencies by attending summer school. Refer to the Middle School Student Handbook for summer school information.

  Grades 9-11

A student who fails a major subject in the ninth, tenth or eleventh grade may be short credits for graduation. Any student who fails a major subject(s) is strongly advised to make up the failed subject(s), if offered, in summer school. Students who do not reach a certain credit level will remain with their current grade desig- nation until their credit attainment permits movement to the next grade level designation. Students who are short credits should see their school counselor to arrange to make up credits and review the course selection.

  Grade 12

To advance to twelfth grade with eligibility for any senior privileges (such as early dismissal, senior homeroom, identification as a senior in the yearbook, etc.), students must be able to accumulate the minimum number of credits required for graduation by the evening of commencement. This determination will be made after reviewing the credits earned prior to the start of the senior year. Those students who do not have sufficient credits to graduate will be identified as non- graduating seniors and will not be entitled to senior privileges.



Testing is an integral part of the education program. In general, the purpose of testing is to furnish well-defined and credible information, with regard to the school system and its pupils, to the appropriate school officials, to the parents and to the pupils. Students must be present during standardized test dates as identified on the district calendar.  No trips or doctor appointments will be approved during this time period for students enrolled in tested  grades.

Section 4.4 of Chapter 4 provides for the right of any parents or guardians to excuse their child from the state assessment if, upon inspection of the testing mate- rials, they find the assessment to be in conflict with their religious beliefs. This is the only basis for a parent or guardian to excuse his or her child from statewide assessments. Parents or guardians wishing to view the state assessments must contact their child’s guidance counselor at least two weeks ahead of the sched- uled assessments.

Special Testing: Group or individual screening for participation in special programs or remediation services is carried out at various grade levels under the supervision of certified specialists. This includes, but is not limited to, screening for speech and language services, gifted support, diagnostic reading services and school readiness.

In addition, assessments of present educational or performance levels may be administered by counselors or other certified  specialists.

Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) tests will be administered to students in grades 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8. The PSSA testing schedule for 2017-2018:


Testing Window

Nature of Test

Grades Tested

April 9-13, 2018

PSSA English Language Arts Testing

Grades 3-8

April 16-20, 2018

PSSA Mathematics Testing

Grades 3-8

April 23-27, 2018

PSSA Science Testing

Grades 4 and 8

April 30-May 4, 2018

PSSA Make-up Testing

All Grades


Keystone Exam tests will be for Algebra I, Biology and Literature Students. The Keystone testing will be administered December 4-15, 2017, January 8-22, 2018 and May 14-25, 2018.





Each student-athlete is issued a uniform and equipment for their sport. The school issued uniform and equipment is on loan to the student for the season. Liability for the cost of damage, loss or stolen is to be assumed by the student who has been issued the uniform and equipment. The uniform and equipment must be returned at any time specified by the Athletic Department, but no later than two weeks after the season has concluded. Student-athletes will not be issued a uniform or equipment for any subsequent sport until their uniform and equipment has been returned. Student-athletes will not be granted student privi- leges or receive their diploma following graduation until everything is returned or their bill  paid.


All Athletic schedules for Middle School and High School along with updates can be found at or at



In order to be eligible to participate in any extracurricular activity, the student must be passing at least four major subjects (courses that meet everyday). Eligibility shall be based on cumulative grades for the current marking period and will be checked  weekly.


Academic eligibility to participate in Division I or Division II college athletics is determined by the NCAA Eligibility Center. To be eligible, a student athlete must  meet specific minimum requirements in regard to GPA, SAT/ACT scores and completion of certain core academic courses approved by the Eligibility Center. For detailed information and the materials necessary to register with the NCAA Eligibility Center, see your high school counselor or visit It is not necessary to register until your junior year, but scheduling the appropriate courses by the student should be a consideration during all four years of high school.

ATTENDANCE (Policy #204)

Regular student attendance is essential to a successful school experience. Teachers and administrators are committed to working cooperatively with parents toward that goal.


Parents are expected to call the building (attendance) secretary within the first hour of school any day their child does not report to school. This allows the prin- cipal to account for the whereabouts of all students. Additionally, parents are to complete the school-provided excuse slips and send it to school with their child when he/she returns. The written excuse must be submitted within three (3) school days of the student’s return to school. Failure to submit the excuse within three (3) days will result in the absence being marked as unexcused.


Tardiness – Occurs whenever a student arrives late to his/her homeroom or classroom. Students are expected to follow the building time schedule and be pres- ent in their homeroom/classroom prior to the start of each period.


Attendance Times:

Students arriving after the start of school and within the first two (2) hours of the school day will be marked as tardy to school. A half day AM absence is from two (2) hours to four and one-half hours (4½) hours. A half day PM absence is during the last four and one-half hours (4½) hours of the school day. Students who are absent more than four and one-half hours (4½) hours will be reported as absent for the day. Time lost through unexcused tardiness may be recorded and accumulated as unexcused/unlawful absence time.


The only excusable reasons for absences from school that are not pre-approved are: illness, quarantine of the home, death in the immediate family, or urgent and unavoidable family emergency. The following reasons for absence are excusable, but must be requested a week in advance: observance of religious holi- day, religious instruction, college visits and educational trips. Students must be present during standardized test dates as identified on the district calendar. No trips or doctor appointments will be approved during this time period.


If a parent wishes to have his/her child excused from school early to attend a doctor, dentist or court appointment, the student must submit a written request – signed by the parent – to the (attendance) secretary the morning of the appointment, or, if possible, the day prior to the   appointment.


Copies of excuse blanks are available on the website and in the offices of each building. Request forms for educational trips are available on the website and in the offices of each building.


Any student absence that is not documented with an acceptable excuse will be considered unexcused. Excessive unexcused absences may result in discipli- nary action and/or loss of credit for work missed, and/or participation in a School Attendance Improvement Plan (formerly Truancy Elimination  Plan).


Unexcused absences are also unlawful absences if the student is less than 17 years old. Parents may be fined and/or required to participate in a School Attendance Improvement Plan (formerly Truancy Elimination Plan) if their child accumulates unlawful absences. Students who are 17 years old or older and accumulate unexcused absences will be subject to disciplinary action.


A student who is absent from school three or more consecutive days or who develops a pattern of poor attendance may be required to submit a doctor’s excuse  to confirm illnesses. Failure to submit the required doctor’s excuse results in the absence being marked as unexcused/unlawful and credit for work missed being denied.


Students must make arrangements with their teachers to make-up any missed work as soon as they return from an excused  absence.

Students who accumulate twenty-five (25) absences from any year-length course or twelve (12) days from a semester-length course may be retained or denied credit. The final decision shall be made by the principal after consultation with the counselor and teacher(s). Any parent who has a question about attendance procedures or regulations should contact the building principal.

ATTENDANCE - Extra Curricular Implications

Extracurricular activities are a valuable component of the school’s educational program and provide opportunities for students to grow and excel beyond the classroom. Although these experiences are valuable, it is essential that the student recognizes the importance of regular daily attendance and academic achievement. With this in mind, the school district has instituted the following daily attendance regulations for all students participating in extracurricular activi- ties.


Students participating in any school-sponsored activity (practice, game, competition, concert, production, etc.) occurring on a school day must be in school. Students who arrive tardy to school or are absent from school are subject to consequences limiting their participation in an extracurricular  activity.


Tardy to School – If a student arrives to school after the tardy bell and within the first two (2) hours of the school day the following actions will result:


First Offense: The student will receive a written warning from the coach/advisor with a copy also forwarded to the athletic director or principal’s office that will be mailed to the parents and/or guardians.

Second Offense and Subsequent Offenses: The student will not participate in his/her scheduled school sponsored activity that day or  evening.


Absence, Half Day or Full Day - If a student is absent a half day or the entire day, the student will not be allowed to participate in his/her scheduled school-spon- sored activity that day or evening (no warnings). If a student is absent from school or sent home by the nurse on a given day, he/she cannot return to participate  in his/her activity that day or evening or be a spectator at a school event on that  day.


Exceptions to this regulation must be approved by an administrator and include a student who has a signed excuse from a doctor stating that he/she is fit to par- ticipate that day, school district transportation problems, an unavoidable family emergency or a pre-approved absence for a doctor’s appointment, field trip, job shadowing, post-secondary institution visit, funeral, or religious observance.



No students may be excused or released from school during school hours for reasons other than an appointment with a doctor (medical or dental – written request needed), a sudden family emergency or a pre-approved absence. The following reasons for absence are excusable, but must be requested at least one week in advance of the absence: observance of religious holiday, religious instruction, and educational trips. High School Students - A limited number of  requests for pre-approved absences will be honored for interviews at institutions of higher education or for full-time employment upon evidence that an appoint- ment has been scheduled. Requests should be submitted using the appropriate form in the school office (job shadowing, college visit, educational trip, religious instruction).


Students must be present during standardized test dates as identified on the district calendar. No trips or doctor appointments will be approved during this time period. Parents are urged to make medical and dental appointments that will cause a minimum of interference with the child's school program. Private lessons (music, art, dancing, etc.) must be scheduled other than on school time.


Elementary students excused will be released only to parents or legal guardians or to a person(s) designated by the parent/guardian and bearing a note signed by the parent/guardian.


v     1st February 19, 2018                      v      4th June 4, 2018

v     2nd March 29, 2018                         v      5th June 5, 2018

v     3rd June 1, 2018



Kindergarten registration is held in March or April to identify all children who will enter kindergarten in the fall. Children must be five years of age on or before September 30 of the school year in which they will enter. Verification of the child's birth date, immunization records along with physical and dental examinations and two (2) proofs of residency verification must be presented at the time of  registration.


The Mechanicsburg Area School District does not accept tuition students. Parent’s residence within the boundaries of the district is mandatory in order to enroll your child.  Verification of residency must consist of two (2)  of the  following:


Property Owners - 1) Current PA driver’s license, 2) Agreement of Sale Contract, 3) Settlement Statement, 4) Contractor's Contract (If building new home) 5) Deed  6) Tax Bill


Rental Property - 1) Lease Agreement, 2) Current PA driver’s license, 3) Letter from Rental Property Owner or Rental Agency listing tenant names, address of property and rental effective date


Live-in Situation (the following items are necessary) - Notarized letter from the homeowner stating that both parent and child reside in the home. The letter is to include the names of those residing in the home, property address and effective date of  residency.


Children moving into the district after the school year begins may be enrolled in kindergarten if the student had already been enrolled in kindergarten in another district within the state of Pennsylvania. Children not previously enrolled in any school system will not be permitted to enroll in kindergarten after 20 school days  of the new term have elapsed.


Children who will be six years of age on or before September 30 of the school year in which they will enroll are eligible for first grade. New student registration: All grade levels - the District Registrar at 691-3431.



Pennsylvania School Law requires that schools maintain accurate records for all students. This is possible only with the full cooperation of parents. Please report promptly any change of address or phone number to the District Registrar at  691-3431.


In order for a student to be withdrawn from a school because of a move from the school district, parents must schedule a meeting with the counselor to supply   the exact date of withdrawal, the new address and the name of the school district to be entered. Written parental permission for release of records must be pro- vided prior to withdrawal. When students relocate within the last nine-week marking period, parents may submit a request to the Director of Student Services for permission to complete the school term in the school in which they are currently  enrolled.


Increased enrollment makes it necessary, at times, to transfer pupils from one elementary school building to another. In this event, the prime consideration in choosing transferees is the availability of an alternate school plus a minimum of actual inconvenience for the children transferred, and their parents. Usually, it is not school policy to have children of one family attending separate schools. However, since every attempt is made to keep all sections of each grade in every school as balanced in enrollment as possible, separation is sometimes unavoidable.


Parents have the right to inspect the material and have their student not participate in any activity that results in the collection, disclosure or use of personal information for purposes of marketing or selling that information. This does not apply to the collection, disclosure or use of personal information collected from students for the exclusive purpose of developing, evaluating, or providing educational products or services for or to  students.



The Mechanicsburg Area School District Board of School Directors and professional staff members have a deep commitment to provide the very best in educa- tional services and opportunities for each child. To help every student reach his/her full potential, it is necessary to have mutual support, a wholesome trust, understanding and good communications between the members of the school community and the  home.


We believe that a problem or concern should be discussed on a one-to-one basis with the person with whom it originated. (Problems or concerns are best resolved at the level where they occur.) To help facilitate good communications the above guidelines are suggested for parents. If the concern is unresolved at the building level, it should be referred to the Assistant to the Superintendent for further  disposition.


Individuals to Contact





Academic achievement



Assistant Superintendent

Health problems

School Nurse


Director of Student Services

Adjustment to school




Social behavior - discipline



Director of Student Services

Peer problems






Athletic Director


Extracurricular activities



Assistant Superintendent

Registration of new students or withdrawals

School Counseling Department


Director of Student Services

School policies, rules or any emergency


Assistant Superintendent



One effective method of communication between teachers and the parents of students in the District is email. Email is normally an efficient means of quickly communicating a student's progress or class assignments, sharing effective instructional strategies, monitoring ongoing discipline problems and simply asking  and answering questions on a timely basis.                           If abuse of email occurs, the District will employ a more structured, formal manner of communication.    Email prohi- bitions are listed in the District’s Acceptable Use Policy, which can be located on the district web site under Technology Department. If threatening or harassing email communications occur, the district may refer incidents to local law enforcement.



In an effort to improve school to home communication, the district has implemented an automated electronic communication system called Sapphire Notification System.  This system is a dynamic communication tool that allows schools to communicate information that is either of a routine or emergency   nature.

Principals are able to communicate with the parents in their school community and the district can send messages to the entire school community. Sapphire Notification System is used for both emergency and routine communications such as weather delays, building and PTO newsletters. Sapphire Notification System is Internet based, allowing each family to maintain a secure, password protected online profile. Parents can log into their community portal account at any time to update contact information.  Maintaining profile accuracy will increase the ability of the school to keep you  informed.

For instructions on how to sign up for a portal account and the Emergency Notification System visit the MASD website at and under Wildcat  News in the center of the page, click on Sapphire Community Web Portal – Parent Reference Guide. If you need assistance contact our Technology department  at



In the interest of forging, nurturing and maintaining strong, positive community relations, the Board welcomes the opportunity to provide community organizations another vehicle in their efforts to communicate with the students, parents, employees and members of the school community. The Board, in its efforts to foster and promote environmental awareness and conservation of resources among both students and adults within the community, proposes these communications  be shared through the electronic, telecommunications or broadcast media or other means that will obviate the use of paper, inks and other materials that create problems for the physical environment.


To this end, the Board will offer the electronic resources at its disposal to enable community organizations to share communications through the district through one or more of the following processes in order of preference.


- Posting electronic links on the district’s website “Community Notices” page to an organizations website, blog or wiki
- Providing space within the district’s website to post the organization’s communication
- Allowing the use of Sapphire Notification System to distribute emails to Sapphire Notification System subscribers or
- In case of emergencies (as determined by the Superintendent) allowing the use of Sapphire Notification System to send phone   messages to Sapphire Notification System



The Mechanicsburg Area School District, an equal opportunity employer, will not discriminate in employment, educational programs or activities based on sex, race, religion, national origin, color or handicap. This policy of non-discrimination extends to all other legally protected classifications. Publication of this policy in this document is in accord with state and federal laws including Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1973, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act. Inquiries should be directed to Debra Stouffer, Compliance Officer, Mechanicsburg Area School District, 100 East Elmwood Avenue, Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania 17055.



The Every Child Succeeds Act (ESSA) requires school districts to release to military recruiters and institutions of higher learning (upon request) the names, addresses and telephone numbers of juniors and seniors - unless the parent, guardian or the student (if 18 years old or older) requests in writing that the school not release that information. A “Reservation of Consent” form will be provided to each junior and senior student at the beginning of each school year. Forms are also available in the high school office.


The Mechanicsburg Area School District participates in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and the School Breakfast Program (SBP). All meals meet the nutritional requirements set by the USDA Food & Nutrition Service to support children’s healthy growth and  development.


Mechanicsburg Area School District offers nutritious meals every school day. Breakfast costs $1.25 for Elementary and Secondary students; lunch costs $2.25 for Elementary students and $2.50 for Secondary students. Your children may qualify for free or reduced price meals. Reduced price is $.30 for breakfast   and

$.40 for lunch.

At the beginning of the school year, the school district provides a letter which includes free and reduced priced meal application information. We are pleased to inform you that you can now submit Free and Reduced-Priced Meal Applications online by logging onto The district may disclose, with- out parent/guardian consent, children’s names and eligibility status (whether they are eligible for free or reduced price meals) to persons directly connected with the administration or enforcement of a Federal or State education program, as permitted by section 9(b)(2)(C)(iii) of the Richard B. Russell National School   Lunch Act.


Meals are planned according to a meal pattern called food based menu planning. This was developed by nutritionists as a guide for meeting 1/3 of a student's daily nutrient needs. The school lunch menu pattern consists of five meal components. To eliminate food waste, students may decline two of the five meal com- ponents. Students must choose at least ½ cup of fruit and/or vegetable as part of the meal. Additional a la carte items may not replace any of the minimum requirement foods.


In accordance with the district’s Wellness Policy, all foods available in district schools during the school day shall be offered to students with consideration for promoting student health and reducing childhood obesity. Please speak to a building principal or teacher for more information regarding the Wellness Policy and Guidelines for foods that meet the criteria established.


Any food or beverage item consumed in the food service area from the beginning of the school day until the end of the last lunch period will be limited to items sold by the food service department, except items brought from home and normally considered a "bag"  lunch.


Any food or beverage item purchased or ordered from outside school premises by students, parents or a staff member will not be allowed from the beginning of the school day until the end of the last lunch period. The scheduling of "birthday" parties and the delivery of food prepared outside the food service department by parents or others will not be allowed during lunch periods.


Parents are invited, on occasion, to eat lunch at school with their child, provided they make their request known in advance to the building principal. Adult lunch price is $3.60.


Parents are asked to contact, Karin Marlin, Food Service Director at 691-3437 or if they have questions about the school meal  programs.



As required by P.L. 2541, buses for transportation of students living two or more miles from school are provided by the school district (for elementary the distance is one and one-half miles). However, those students living less than two miles from school will be given careful consideration if road conditions, safety of walking routes, etc., warrant bus transportation.


School buses transport assigned students on a regular daily schedule. Students may secure time, stop and route information on the district website, under the transportation link, or the school office. Student transportation must originate from the requested before and after school location, as was set up at the time of enrollment or at the beginning of the school year.  For example:  A student may be picked up at home in the morning and dropped off at  a daycare in the afternoon, provided the daycare is on a regular bus route, there is room on the bus and the daycare is located in the same school attendance area. This may involve a student riding two (2) different buses, one to school and a different one after school. Only one (1) pickup location and one (1) drop-off location is permitted.  Students are only eligible to ride their assigned bus and guest privileges are not  permitted.


Requests for a permanent change in assignment must be made in writing at least three (3) days prior to the change and must have the approval of the Transportation Coordinator.


Parents of kindergarten students are required to be with their child as they board the bus in the morning and depart in the afternoon. Parents of elementary age children are encouraged to provide supervision for their child at the bus stop both before and after  school.


We ask for the cooperation of both parents and students in our constant effort to provide a safe transportation system. Students must obey State bus regulations and cooperate with the bus driver at all times. Rules of bus conduct are posted in the front of each bus and include no eating, drinking, or chewing gum. Students may not bring skateboards, live animals, glass or sharp materials, weapons, potentially dangerous items or items too large to be held on the student's lap onto the bus.  While on the bus, students are the direct responsibility of the driver who has the authority to assign seats to   students.


The building principal has the authority to refuse transportation, suspend and discipline any student who refuses to submit to the authority of the driver, or whose conduct is considered disorderly while riding the school bus. Pursuant to Board Policy 810.3, students are subject to audio and video recording on school buses and/or vehicles to monitor behavior for security and disciplinary reasons. Recordings may be used as evidence in student discipline hearings and may be turned over to law enforcement officials when appropriate.


Act 153 of 2002, signed into law December 9, 2002, requires the Pennsylvania Insurance Department to prepare a notice informing parents and guardians of the existence of and eligibility for the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and to distribute this notice to all Public Schools by August 15th each year. CHIP information can be found on the school district’s home webpage or by calling  1-800-986-KIDS.


Pennsylvania state law requires that children are immunized and that children in grades K, 3 and 7 undergo dental screening, and children in grades K, 6 and 11 undergo physical exams. Cumulative health, immunization and dental records are maintained on all students. These records are kept on file in the health room of each building. Immunization requirements are posted on the district website under the Health Services tab. Students must fulfill the Pennsylvania immunization requirement in order to attend school.


There are times when it is necessary to administer medication to your child during school hours; therefore the following procedures should be followed:


  1. Any medication, prescription or over-the-counter, will only be administered to your child by order of a licensed prescriber (usually your doctor or medical care provider). You will need to give the school nurse written authorization from the doctor and a written note from you, the parent/guardian, giving us permission to administer the medication. The authorization from your doctor and your permission must be renewed each school year or each time there is a change in instructions and/or prescription.
  2. The permission form is available on the Health Services page on our website at or from the school nurse.
  3. Prescription medication must be brought to school in the original container provided and labeled by the pharmacy or doctor. The label should have your child’s name, date, medication name, dosage, time, and method of administration. Over-the-counter medication must be in the original store  container.
  4. An adult should bring the medication to the school nurse. If this is not possible, you, the parent, must notify the school nurse prior to your child arriving  at school. Tell the school nurse the name of the medicine, dose and number of pills that will be brought to school by your child that morning. Put the medication in a sealed envelope. Tell your child to bring the medicine to the school nurse as soon as he/she arrives at school.
  5. All medication will be administered by the school nurse, or a licensed school employee. Your child may carry an asthma inhaler or epinephrine auto- injector if you have given the school a signed permission form from your child’s doctor and you have completed the district’s self-administration paperwork (see Policy 210.1).
  6. Your child is required to take the medicine in front of the person administering the medication. On a field trip, medication will be given by a district employee or district approved volunteer designated by the parent.
  7. Non-prescription or prescription nutritional or herbal supplements, including homeopathic preparations, will not be given to your child in the school or on any school sponsored activity.  There are no exceptions to this rule.
  8. Medication may not be kept in the student's locker, book bag, purse, or on the student's person, etc. Any student who possesses, uses, or distributes any medication (whether prescribed or non-prescribed) is in violation of this policy and is subject to disciplinary action.

Please contact your child’s nurse if you have questions regarding the administration of medication at school. For more information visit the Health Services page on our website at



Five Certified School Nurses, Five Building Nurses, Two Health Room Assistants, a School Physician and the Mobile Dentists provide health services that are mandated by state law and the Pennsylvania Department of Health.


Policies/Procedures for Emergency Care

Emergency information should be provided by the parent/guardian at the beginning of the school year. It is extremely important that this information be kept up  to date in order to contact a parent/guardian quickly in an emergency situation.  Please notify the school immediately when any changes  occur.


Transportation of students who become ill or who have an accident during school hours is the parents' responsibility. In case this cannot be provided, transportation will be furnished by designated school personnel or emergency transportation authorized by school personnel if an adult is home to provide care (for elementary and middle school students).


Parents will be notified before a student is permitted to return home because of health reasons. Students who have driven to school will be permitted to provide their own transportation only after receiving permission from their parents and the school  nurse.


Positive identification must be made of any adult calling at the school for a student. Parents should report to the office when taking a student from school. Medication will only be given as prescribed by a licensed prescriber, with written permission issued to the nurse by the parent. Refer to “Medication Policy”. Parents should keep the nurse informed concerning any problems relating to the student's physical  well-being.

Pennsylvania Mandated Screening Programs

Pennsylvania state law requires that children in grades kindergarten, three and seven undergo dental screening, and children in grades K, 6, and 11 undergo physical exams.  Cumulative health and dental records are maintained on all students.  These records are kept on file in the health room of each   building.


Health services include hearing, vision and growth screenings, emergency care of students during school hours; consultant service for parents, pupils and teachers relative to health problems; participation in educational projects; and preventive health programs. Parents are informed if referrals are needed for vision and hearing.  All parents are informed of BMI (Body Mass Index) results.


Vision – all grades every year. There will be a near vision and far vision test for every student every year in addition to a depth perception test, color deficiency test, and a PLUS lens test all performed once between grades K to 3rd. Any student demonstrating difficulty with perception can also be tested with telebinocu- lar equipment.


Height and Weight – all grades every year.  The Pennsylvania Department of Health requires parent/guardian notification of BMI screening  results.


Hearing – K (or first entering), 3rd, 7th, & 11th grades. Any child identified with a hearing difficulty will be screened every year unless a future test is normal. Any child failing a hearing screen will be tested again before the results are sent to the parent to rule out a brief cold or infection affecting the   hearing.

Scoliosis – 6th & 7th grade. Sixth grade students are screened by their physician for scoliosis. If this is missed on the physical form, these students will be screened by the nurse. Seventh grade students will be screened and if a scoliosis problem is suspected, it will be checked by the district physician. If con-  firmed, a notice will be sent out to parents. If any parent has an objection to their child being screened for scoliosis, the objection needs to be submitted in writ- ing to the middle school nurse at the beginning of the school  year.


Student accident insurance covering accidents to children while in school and during supervised summer recreation activities is made available to all parents. The purchase of this insurance is optional. Premiums are collected during the month of September. Information can be found on the school district website under the Parents tab.



The Mechanicsburg Area School District, in cooperation with the local Recreation Boards of Mechanicsburg Borough, Shiremanstown Borough and Upper Allen Township, sponsors a year-round recreation program for students and adults.


Program brochures are available at all school buildings, municipal buildings and the Mechanicsburg Library, in August for fall activities, in December for winter/spring activities, and in April for summer activities.  Programs include educational, enrichment, cultural, fitness and aquatic  activities.


The program is administered by Tonya Brown, Director of Recreation, who may be contacted for additional information at her office located at the Trails and   Trees Environmental Center at 1731 South York Street in Upper Allen Township - telephone 691-4572. Information is also available at Also,  follow us on twitter at MREC4U, or Facebook at Mechanicsburg Parks and Recreation, or download our smart phone app: Mechanicsburg Parks and  Recreation.


The general purpose of the Parent-Teacher Organizations is to bring parents and teachers into a close working relationship, so that both will understand more clearly the expectations of the home and school.  The Kindergarten Academy and the Senior High have Parent Advisory Councils rather than a  PTO.


All parents are urged to:

v     become active PTO/PAC members;

v     support PTO/PAC projects; and

v     attend meetings regularly.


Parent-Teacher Organizations' activity dates are listed in the calendar.



Senior citizens who are district residents and are sixty-five (65) years of age or older and possess a District Senior Citizen Pass are eligible for free admission to district sponsored home athletic events, plays, musical performances and school sponsored programs where admission is charged, except the high school  spring musical, commencement and events specifically identified and advertised in advance by the administration. The District Senior Citizen Pass will serve as  a general admission pass, is valid for the cardholder only and is not valid for reserved  seating.


Eligible residents may receive their lifetime pass by presenting their driver's license or a valid picture identification card to the administrative assistant at the Business Office, located at 100 East Elmwood Avenue, 2nd Floor, Mechanicsburg, PA  17055.


All MASD volunteers are subject to background check requirements and mandated reporting requirements. All volunteers must submit the  following:

  • Completed Volunteer Information Sheet (page 7 of the new Volunteer Handbook)
  • Evidence of a tuberculosis examination in accordance with the regulations of the Advisory Health  Board.
  • Pennsylvania State Police Request for Criminal Check
  • FBI background check (Act 34 of 1985, 24 P.S.  §1-111(e))
NOTE: The FBI background check is not required if they have been a resident of PA for the entirety of the previous 10 years and complete a volunteer verification form (page 9 of the Volunteer Handbook).
  • Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Clearance (Act 151 of 1994, 23 Pa. C.S. §6355).


Volunteers differ from visitors in the manner of their business in our buildings. Whereas volunteers have routine, direct contact with students and/or individual responsibility for the welfare of children, visitors do not. Visitors are those individuals in the school for special occasions, but are not permitted to be alone with students. If a parent has questions as to whether he/she fits into either category, he/she should speak with the building  principal.


Examples of volunteers: participation in field trips, tutoring, regular assisting with centers


Examples of visitors: non-routine reading to the class, giving a presentation, assisting with a luncheon, job shadow  experiences


Prospective volunteers may pick up a post-card in any of our district’s school offices that provides them with the information they will need, or they can check out the new volunteer webpage at


Automatic External Defibrillators are used to treat victims of sudden cardiac arrest who are unresponsive, and appear to have no signs of life (no pulse, not breathing).


Every MASD school building has at least one AED unit in a safe and readily accessible location. In addition each of our athletic trainers is equipped with an AED. At least two persons in each building where an AED unit is housed are trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and in the use of an  AED.


The following drills take place throughout the school year to practice emergency procedures and to provide a safe and secure learning environment: Bus Evacuation, Fire Drills, Medical/Code Blue, Security/Lock Down, Weather Emergency and other drills as determined by school  administration.


Mechanicsburg Area School District uses an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approach for managing insects, rodents and weeds.  Our goal is to protect   every student from pesticide exposure by using an IPM approach to pest management.  Parents or guardians of students enrolled in the school may request   prior notification of specific pesticide applications made at school.  To receive notification, you must be placed on the school’s notification registry.  If you would  like to be placed on this registry, please notify the district in writing. Please include your email address if you would like to be notified electronically. Notifications should be sent to Mr. Erick Hoffman, Director of Facilities, Mechanicsburg Area School District, 100 East Elmwood Avenue, Mechanicsburg, PA  17055.



The principal of each elementary building is responsible for the school’s Safety Patrol.  A teacher advisor may be designated to aid with the Safety  Patrol.



Mechanicsburg Area School District is committed to the safety of our students. The staff works with public safety providers to maintain a safe environment for our students, staff and visitors. As a parent, you should feel confident to know we annually provide, All Hazards Training to school administrators and selected staff. Each school has key staff members with assigned roles and responsibilities to perform during an emergency.  The school All Hazards Plan is modeled  from the National Incident Management System (NIMS) that has been developed by the Department of Homeland Security. In addition, our schools conduct emergency drills throughout the school year so that students and staff are aware of the most effective and safe emergency responses. The School Emergency Guide for Parents was created to help you better understand your important role in our Safe School Plans. Open communication between home and school is critical to the safety and well-being of our students and your child(ren). Let us know if you have concerns or questions about school policies or your child(ren)‘s safety.  You can contact the Jeremy Freeland, Director of School Safety at (717) 691-4500 or email



In an emergency, school officials will do everything possible to communicate expeditiously with parents and the media. Parents will be notified of emergencies affecting a small number of students by the principal's office. If students are dismissed or relocated, the superintendent's office will utilize the Sapphire Notification System and notify the media to broadcast specific instructions for parents. Parents are asked to ensure that students' emergency information is maintained and accurate.  Parents are required to maintain and update their contact information on their the Sapphire Notification System Account.


Parents are asked to ensure that students' emergency information is maintained and accurate. Parents are required to maintain and update their contact information on their the Sapphire Notification System Account.


Expectations for Parents/Guardians.  The school district asks that parents/guardians:

  • Become familiar with school emergency plans and procedures as communicated by the school and students.
  • Comply with emergency instructions regarding protective actions for individual school buildings.
  • Do not try to pick up children at school in times of emergency unless advised to do so by school officials.
  • Show identification and sign a release when removing children from school in an emergency.  Students will be released only to a parent with custody.
  • Maintain open lines of communication with school officials regarding student behavior and related safety issues.


Expectations for Students.  The school district expects students to:

  • Become familiar with school emergency plans and procedures as instructed by teachers and outlined in handbooks.
  • Identify hazards and safety issues and bring them to the attention of teachers and staff.
  • Participate in emergency drills.
  • Carry out emergency actions as directed by school officials.




There are several actions that the school may take during an emergency.  The following is a brief description of those  responses.


Lockdowns occur if there is a crisis inside the school and movement of the students will put them in jeopardy. All exterior doors are locked and students and staff stay in their classrooms.  No entry or exit of the school is  allowed.


Shelter-in-place is used when there is not time to evacuate or when it may be harmful to leave the building. Students will stay in the school building until it is safe for them to leave.

Evacuation means that students and staff must leave the school building for safety reasons. They will move to an area outside of the school or to an off-site location. The evacuation of students from the school campus will be considered only when authorities have determined that occupation of the school campus is unreasonable due to unsafe conditions.


Student Dismissal/School Reunification Procedures. During an emergency, it is critical that parents receive important information and directions from school offi- cials before going to the school or scene of an emergency. School officials will make every effort to notify parents where the class has been relocated and will provide instructions for picking up their child(ren). Students will only be sent home with adults listed in their Emergency Contacts. The adult must have a picture  ID when picking up the student(s).



In an emergency, every effort will be made to keep parents informed so they understand the situation and what is being done in response. Families will receive information and instruction from these listed communication sources:


School – Wait for notification from the school. The school will call the emergency phone numbers and contact information you provided in the Sapphire Notification System.  You will receive instructions on what to do during an  emergency.


Website - Visit our website: and click on Emergency Information.


Local TV and Radio Stations – Tune in to local TV and radio stations for news alerts.


Important Things to remember during a school emergency:


  • Wait for the school to notify you with instructions.  Please do not try to contact the school as main phone lines will be needed to help with the emergency.
  • A designated area will be assigned so you are able to pick up your child(ren) easily. Police officers, firefighters and paramedics will be working to help ensure the safety of your child(ren).


We strongly encourage parents NOT to come to the school during an emergency unless directed to do so. While parents’ natural instinct in an emergency is to go to the school to safeguard their child, please understand that doing so may significantly reduce the school’s ability to respond to the situation. In addition, going to the school may interfere with police or other emergency workers whose sole purpose is to assure the safety and well-being of students and staff.


Vehicles driven to the school, for example, may restrict access for emergency vehicles and school buses that are loading children for evacuation or to take them home.


Parents may request to visit their child’s classroom, but the request must be made to the building principal prior to the visit in accordance with school regulations. All visitors must sign in at the school office where they will receive a visitor's badge.  Parents may not bring other children or guests with them on classroom vis-  its or when serving as a volunteer.



When extreme weather conditions are such that it is inadvisable to begin the school day at the regular time, one of the following three plans will be initiated and announced over radio and TV stations as early as possible.  A message will also be sent using the Sapphire notification  system.


PLAN A: Delayed opening of school

The opening of school may be delayed by a specified number of hours.  All bus schedules will be adjusted in accordance with the announced   delay.


PLAN B: Early Dismissal

School may be dismissed early. Bus transportation home will be adjusted in accordance with the announced early dismissal.  All early dismissals will be announced by local radio stations, on the website and the Sapphire Notification System. PLEASE BE SURE THAT YOUR CHILD KNOWS WHAT TO DO IF YOU ARE NOT AT HOME.

PLAN C: School will be closed for the day.


Days have been designated on the calendar as "make-up" days to be used in the event that schools must be closed on any regularly scheduled day(s) due to emergency weather conditions.




The Mechanicsburg Area School District strives to provide a safe, positive learning climate for students. It shall be the policy of the District to maintain an envi- ronment in which bullying is not tolerated.


Bullying is a pattern of abuse or aggressive behavior by one student or a group of students, carried out repeatedly and over time, typically targeted towards someone less physically or socially powerful. Bullying behavior includes physical intimidation or assault; oral or written threats; teasing, putdowns, or name call- ing that is sufficiently severe or pervasive to create an intimidating, hostile, or abusive environment; threatening looks, gestures, or actions; psychological cruelty, such as spreading rumors or false accusations; and shunning the individual. Consequences for students who bully others will be subject to disciplinary options that may include counseling, a parent conference, detention, suspension, referral to police or other consequences as provided in the Code of Student  Conduct.



The Code of Student Conduct is contained within the elementary, middle and high school student handbook. Handbooks are posted on the district web site at:  Printed copies are available, upon request, in each building.  Parents are asked to review the code with their  child.

DRESS CODE (Policy #221)

The Board of Directors of any school district may impose limitations on dress and may require pupils to wear standard dress or uniforms. Dress policies may be applicable throughout the school entity or may be applicable to one or more school buildings within the school entity (Section 1317.3 of the School   Code).


Aspects of personal appearance require one's attire to be neat and not create a health or safety hazard or disrupt the educational process. Students have the responsibility to keep themselves, their hair and their clothing clean. For the safety and welfare of students, teachers in specific areas, labs and physical educa- tion classes, for example may require particular modes of dress. Also, teachers or administrators may require or exclude a more specific type of dress for spe-  cial events such as field trips, concerts, etc.


It is the sincere hope of the school community that a student's dress will always be within reasonable limits of decency, morality and propriety, and will reflect pride in the individual student, his/her family and the Mechanicsburg Area School District. Part of the district's educational process is to prepare students for eventual employment and to teach that expectations in attire differ between school/work and recreation. Students who require exemptions to the dress code due  to religious or medical reasons should see a building administrator.


Appropriate disciplinary measures will be taken with students not complying with the dress code. Students will not be permitted to attend class until acceptable adjustments are made to their appearance. Although students with dress code violations first will be asked to make adjustments and may be assigned detention, flagrant or repeated violations of the dress code will result in the assignment of more serious discipline such as  suspension.


The following rules are provided to help students comply with appropriate dress during school hours. The limitations have been described in order to result in uniform enforcement and to minimize subjective determinations.


Secondary Schools’ Dress Code

  • Sleeves will be required on all shirts, dresses and blouses. Low-cut tops, front and/or back, are not permitted.
  • Girls may wear skirts and dresses. Dresses that do not meet the above "shirt criteria" may be worn with a shirt underneath or a sweater or coordinating dress jacket to cover the shoulders. Tights and spandex may be worn in conjunction with skirts, shorts and dresses.
  • Transparent, revealing or immodest clothing that attracts undue attention (for example, very short skirts and shorts, sheer blouses, etc.) may not be worn. Midriffs and underwear must be covered.  Sagging pants are unacceptable; belt loops on pants must be waist high.
  • Small headbands and barrettes may be worn for the purpose of restraining hair. Hats, sunglasses, bandanas or head coverings of any type are not permitted.  (Hats will be permitted on administratively sanctioned "Hat Days".)
  • Shoes must be worn at all times.
  • Clothing that presents a safety hazard, interferes with the educational process or has the potential to cause a disruption will not be allowed.
  • Coats, gloves and outerwear jackets must be kept in student lockers throughout the day.  Exceptions to this rule may be made by the  administration.
  • Clothing displaying slogans/pictures which suggest the use of tobacco, weapons, alcohol, drugs, obscene language, sexual innuendos, lewd or illegal behavior or which are derogatory to any person/group for reasons of race, religion, disability, age, gender, or ethnicity or sexual orientation is in violation of civil rights laws prohibiting harassment or discrimination.
  • Clothing with ornamentation that will scratch or mark furniture or presents possible danger of injury to the wearer or others (chains, spiked wrist bands, studded bracelets or belts, etc.) may not be worn.


Elementary Schools’ Dress Code

  • Transparent or immodest clothing that attracts undue attention may not be worn.
  • No midriff or underwear may be visible.
  • Small headbands and barrettes may be worn for the purpose of restraining hair. Hats, sunglasses, bandanas or head coverings of any type are not permitted.  (Hats will be permitted on administratively sanctioned "Hat Days.")
  • Shoes must be worn at all times (clogs, flip flops and platform shoes are discouraged due the potential for injury during recess).
  • Any clothing that presents a safety hazard or interferes with the educational process will not be allowed.
  • Coats, gloves and jackets must be kept in coat rack areas during instructional time.  Exceptions to this rule may be made by the administration.
  • Clothing displaying slogans/pictures which suggest the use of tobacco, weapons, alcohol, drugs, obscene language, sexual innuendos, lewd or illegal behavior or which are derogatory to any person/group for reasons of race, religion, disability, age, gender, ethnicity or sexual orientation is not  permitted.
  • Clothing with ornamentation that will scratch or mark furniture or presents possible danger of injury to the wearer or others (chains, spiked wrist bands, studded bracelets or belts) may not be worn.



Students and/or parents must assume financial responsibility for equipment, textbooks, library books or other school materials lost or damaged. The cost of the lost item(s) will be the replacement cost.  Theft of any personal or school property (textbook, etc.) should be reported to the building principal  immediately.



The Mechanicsburg Area School District buildings and campuses are smoke and tobacco free environments.



Possession of weapons in the school setting is a threat to the safety of students and staff and is prohibited by law (Act 26). A weapon is considered as, but not limited to, any knife, cutting instrument, cutting tool, nunchaku, firearm, shotgun, rifle, replica of a weapon, and/or any other tool, instrument or implement capa-  ble of inflicting serious bodily injury. Possession of a weapon is determined to be when the weapon is found on the person of the student; in the student's locker; under the student's control while on school property, on property being used by the school, at any school function or activity, at any school event held away from the school, or while the student is coming to or from school.  Students are prohibited from possessing and bringing weapons and replicas of weapons into   any

school district buildings, onto school property, to any school sponsored activity, and onto any public vehicle providing transportation to school or a school spon- sored activity.


The penalty for a weapons violation is expulsion for a period of not less than one (1) year for any student who violates this weapons policy. Such expulsion shall be given in conformance with formal due process proceedings required by law. The discovery of any weapon will be reported to the student's parents/guardians and to local law enforcement officials.



The Mechanicsburg Area School District is a member of the Capital Area Intermediate Unit (CAIU), serving school districts in Cumberland, Dauphin and Perry Counties.


As a CAIU member, the district is eligible for, and utilizes, a number of CAIU  services.


Curriculum and Instructional Services ...

Providing in-service education, supervisory training, curriculum and instructional improvement, advisory and consultation services, resource publications, educational planning services and program evaluation.


Management Services ...

Providing state and federal liaison, statistical data, business management consultation and assistance, human resource consultation, coordination of special projects, and resource publications.


Special Education ...

Providing programs for students identified as needing learning support, life skills support, blind and visually impaired services, deaf and hard of hearing services, multi-disabilities support, emotional support, speech and language support, vocational work experience, sheltered workshop experiences, and adventure-based education.


Support services, which may also be contracted with the Intermediate Unit, include occupational therapy, physical therapy, psychiatric and psychological services and transportation.


Technology Services ...

Wide area network, technical consultation and support.



The School Counseling Department provides a comprehensive program of services through which students are supported in the areas of academic achievement, social/emotional growth and career development. Among the services our school counselors provide are individual and group counseling, classroom curriculum lessons, consultation with district and community services, collaboration with all those involved in students’ welfare, and coordination of a variety of activities that allow students to explore the wide range of possibilities and opportunities available to them. School counselors are advocates for their students as they seek opportunities to develop a relationship with their students that will allow the school counselor to best meet students’ needs. School counseling services are provided to all students grades K - 12.  Students and parents are encouraged to seek assistance for the resolution of any school-related problem.  Parents or students may initiate an appointment with the appropriate grade level counselor at any  time.


Under state law (Act 212), Early Intervention programs and services are available for preschool children beginning at three years through the age established by the school district for beginning first grade. Early intervention programs serve preschool children who are thought to have problems in learning, communication, behavior, sensory functions (vision and hearing) and other areas of development, such as play and  socialization.


To determine if a child is eligible for Early Intervention programs and services, a referral may be made to the school district or to the Capital Area Intermediate Unit (CAIU). The child will be evaluated by a team of professionals with the parents' participation to determine if special needs exist. Early Intervention pro- grams and services are available at no cost to parents.


To find out more about early intervention or to make a referral, call the CAIU Preschool Program at 717-732-8400 or call Special Education department at 717-791-7975.



Parents, guardians and adult students have the right to inspect and review their education records, correct their educational records, amend their education records, consent to disclosure of personally identifiable information in their education records, and to file a complaint with the federal Department of Education concerning alleged failure by the school district to comply with the requirements of  FERPA.


The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act, a federal law, affords parents and students over 18 years of age (“eligible students”) the right  to:


Inspect and review the student’s education records with 45 days of the day the school receives a request for


Parents or eligible student should submit to the school principal a written request that identifies the record(s) they wish to inspect. The principal will make arrangements for access and notify the parent or eligible student of the time and place where the records may be  inspected.


Request the amendment of the student’s education records that the parent or eligible student believes are inaccurate or


Parents or eligible students may ask the school to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate or misleading. They should write the school principal, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading.  If the school decides not to amend the record   as requested by the parent or eligible student, the school will notify the parent or eligible student of the decision and advise them of their right to a hear- ing regarding the request for amendment.  Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the parent or eligible student  when notified of the right to a hearing.


Consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without


One exception, which permits disclosure without consent, is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a per- son employed by the school as an administrator, supervisor, instructor, or support staff member (including health or medical staff); a person serving on  the School Board; a person or company with whom the school has contracted to perform a special task (such as an attorney, auditor, medical consultant, or therapist); the designated law enforcement or a parent or student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks.


A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsi- bility.


Upon request, the school discloses education records without consent to officials of another public or private school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll.

As permitted by FERPA, MASD may disclose without consent “directory information” - such as a student’s name, address, telephone number, date and place of birth, honors and awards and dates of attendance. Any parent, guardian or adult student who does not want the school district to release his/her directory information must inform the building principal in writing.  The restriction will take place ten school days after the receipt of the   request.


File a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the school to comply with the requirements of The name and address of the office that administers FERPA are:


Family Policy Compliance Office US Department of Education 400 Maryland Avenue, SW Washington, DC  20202-4605



Parents have a responsibility to share with the school any court order that affects the custody or education of their child. Unless expressly prohibited by a court order, both divorced parents have the right to:

Inspect and review the educational records of their
Attend meetings regarding the education of their child and participate in the decision-making



v     County Assistance Office: (717) 240-2700

v     Teenline: (717) 763-2345

v     CONTACT Helpline: (717) 652-4400

v     Children & Youth Services: (717) 697-0371, ext. 248

v     Diakon: 795-0300

v     United Methodist Home for Children and Family Services: (717) 766-7652

v     Homeless Assistance Office: (717) 243-4691

v     Self Help Groups:

w   AL-ANON (for Families/Friends of Alcoholics): 1-800-525-2668

w   Alcoholics Anonymous:  (717) 422-4888

v     Mothers Against Drunk Driving: (717) 657-3911


A child of school age, who cannot attend the regular classroom sessions for medical reasons, may qualify for homebound instruction. Parents of children whose physician has recommended homebound instruction should contact a school counselor to make the necessary arrangements with documentation from child’s physician.

MCKINNEY VENTO ACT - Education Rights of Homeless Children and Youth

The Mechanicsburg Area School District encourages children and youth who are homeless to enroll in school. The district will make reasonable efforts to identify homeless children within the district, encourage their enrollment, and eliminate existing barriers to their attendance and education, in compliance with federal and state law and regulations.


If you are homeless or know of a child or youth who is homeless and not attending school, please contact Mr. Paul Bigham, Director of Student Services at (717) 691-3684).

Who is Considered Homeless?

Any child or youth not attending school who lacking a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence is considered homeless and includes those who are shar- ing housing with others due to loss of housing or economic hardship. It also includes children and youth who are living in hotels, camping grounds, emergency shelters, cars, bus or train stations, abandoned in hospitals, awaiting foster care placement, living as migratory children in conditions described in previous examples, living as run-away children, abandoned or forced out of homes by parents or caretakers, or similar settings.  If you are not sure, please   call.


What are the Education Rights of Homeless Children?

Our schools provide equal access to all students regardless of their home living situation.  Homeless children and youth have specific rights that   include:

v     Immediate enrollment in school and, when desired or feasible, at the school of origin.

v     Prompt provision of necessary services such as transportation.

v     Appropriate support services and programs for which they are eligible such as programs for gifted, children with disabilities,  vocational educa- tion, preschool, meal programs and the federally funded Title I program.

v     Parent or guardian involvement in school activities.



MASD receives funds from the federal government to help improve student learning. These funds are provided under the rules and regulations of a federal law known as the Every Child Succeeds Act of 2015 (ESSA).


ESSA is the Federal update to No Child Left Behind of 2001 (NCLB) and includes provisions that will help to ensure success for students and schools. Below are just a few. The law:

  • Advances equity by upholding critical protections for America's disadvantaged and high-need students.
  • Requires—for the first time—that all students in America be taught to high academic standards that will prepare them to succeed in college and careers.
  • Ensures that vital information is provided to educators, families, students, and communities through annual statewide assessments that measure students' progress toward those high standards.
  • Helps to support and grow local innovations—including evidence-based and place-based interventions developed by local leaders and educators.
  • Sustains and expands access to high-quality preschool.
  • Maintains an expectation that there will be accountability and action to effect positive change in our lowest-performing schools, where groups of students are not making progress, and where graduation rates are low over extended periods of time.


ESSA continues to support the following provisions of NCLB, our district and school's responsibilities and what they mean to you and your child.


Student Achievement Performance: ESSA requires every state to establish academic standards for what students should know and be able to do. Each district and school is measured by how well students are progressing toward and meeting these standards. All students are required to make progress as measured by a state-developed test that is administered annually at specific grade levels.


Annually, the state will publish on its website a detailed "school performance profile" identifying the progress of each school and district. Included in the report card is student achievement data separated into groups by: Race, Ethnicity, Gender, English Language Proficiency, Migrant Status, Disability Status, Low-Income Status, All Students.


Parents will also receive information about the professional qualifications of teachers. The annual district school performance profile provides parents with important, timely information about the schools their children attend and how they are performing for all children, regardless of their background.


The address of the state website is


Accountability: MASD receives funds under Title I of ESSA, also known as "Improving the Academic Achievement of the Disadvantaged." More information about Title I is available at Although progress toward AYP is reported for all schools, there are consequences for schools and school districts that receive Title I funds but do not achieve AYP. Depending upon the number of consecutive years that AYP is not achieved, a district or school that receives Title I funds will be identified for needing improvement, corrective action or restructuring.


School Choice & Supplemental Educational Services: Any child attending a Title 1 school that has not made AYP for two or more consecutive years must be offered the option of transferring to a public school or public charter school, if available, in the district. MASD will notify parents if their child is eligible for school choice no later than the first day of the school year following the year for which their school has been identified for improvement. ESSA requires that priority for public school choice be given to the lowest achieving children from low-income families, if no opportunity for transfer to another school exists, the district will notify parents of alternatives and options.


Students from low-income families who attend Title I schools that do not make AYP for at least three years are eligible to receive additional academic help called “supplemental educational services.” These services include tutoring and after-school services from agencies and organizations that have been approved by the state. The district will provide annual notices to parents about the availability of supplemental services for eligible students and information on state-approved providers.


Teacher Qualifications: ESSA requires that all teachers hired to teach core academic subjects in a Title I school or program meet certain requirements. Core subjects include English, reading or language arts, mathematics, science, foreign languages, civics and government, economics, arts, history and geography. In general, teachers must have full certification, a bachelor's degree and demonstrated competence in subject knowledge and teaching. Parents of students in Title I schools are guaranteed annual notification of their "right to know" about teacher qualifications by the school district. This means that parents may request and receive from the school district information regarding the professional qualifications of their child's classroom teacher(s). Inquiries should be directed to the Assistant Superintendent of Academics, Mechanicsburg Area School District, 100 East Elmwood Avenue, Mechanicsburg, PA  17055.



In compliance with state and federal law, Mechanicsburg Area School District will provide to each protected handicapped student, without discrimination or cost   to the student or family, those related aides, services, or accommodations which are needed to provide equal opportunity to participate in, and obtain the benefits of, the school program and extracurricular activities to the maximum extent appropriate to the student's abilities. In order to qualify as a protected handicapped student, the child must be of school age with a physical or mental disability which substantially limits or prohibits participation in, or access to, an aspect of the school program. These services and protections for "Protected Handicapped Students" are distinct from those applicable to all students in Special Education programs.


For further information on the evaluation procedures and provisions of services to protected handicapped students, contact the building principal, school counselor or Director of Student Services.



In accordance with state and federal regulations and standards, Mechanicsburg Area School District actively seeks to identify students who are eligible for special education and gifted programs. The district engages in identification procedures to ensure that eligible students receive an appropriate educational program consisting of educational and related services, individualized to meet student needs. These services calculated to yield meaningful educational benefit and student progress are provided at no cost to the student or parents in compliance with state and federal  law.

Screenings are conducted on an ongoing basis to identify students who may be eligible and in need of special education and gifted programs. These screenings include the following: review of group-based data (cumulative records, report cards, ability and achievement test scores); hearing, vision, physical and speech  and language screenings; and review of building Elementary Support Teams.  When screening results suggest that the student may meet criteria, the district  seeks parental permission to conduct a multidisciplinary evaluation. Parents who suspect their child is eligible for special education or gifted education services may request a multidisciplinary evaluation at any time through a written request to the building principal, or Director of  Student Services.                                

Services designed to meet the needs of the student with a disability include the annual development of an Individualized Education Program (IEP), triennial multidisciplinary re-evaluation or biennial for students with mental retardation to qualify as an exceptional student, the child must be of school age, in need of  Specially Designed Instruction, and meet eligibility criteria for mentally gifted and/or one or more of the following physical or mental disabilities, as set forth in Pennsylvania State regulations: Autism, Deaf-blindness, Deafness, Emotional disturbance, Hearing impairment, Mental retardation, Multiple disabilities,  Orthopedic impairment, Other health impairment, Specific learning disability, Speech or language impairment, Traumatic brain injury, Visual impairment including blindness.  Services may be provided in an itinerant, resource, part-time or full-time special education class in a regular school, or through placement in a full-   time special education class at a location other than the regular school. The extent of and location of the services for a student are determined by an IEP team  and based upon the student's identified needs and abilities, chronological age, and the level of intensity of the intervention specified. Related services necessary for the child to benefit from the program are provided as identified in the  IEP.

Parents of nonpublic school students who suspect that their child is a student with a disability and in need of special education services may request a multidisciplinary evaluation by written request to the Director of Student Services.


State and federal laws outline parental rights and the safeguards to be followed in providing a free and appropriate education for every child. Copies of the Procedural Safeguards and Notice of Parent's rights are available in each school or from the District Office. Information is also available from the following web- sites:,



The Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA) gives parents and students who are 18 or older or emancipated minors (“eligible students”) certain rights regarding the school district’s conduct of surveys, collection and use of information for marketing purposes, and conduct of certain physical exams. These include the right to:

  • Consent to federally funded surveys concerning “protected information.” If the U.S. Department of Education funds a survey in whole or in part, a student’s parents or an eligible student must consent in writing before the student may provide information relating to the following categories:

v     Political affiliations;

v     Mental or psychological problems of the student or student’s family;

v     Sexual behavior or attitudes;

v     Illegal, anti-social, self-incriminating, or demeaning behavior;

v     Critical appraisals of student’s family members;

v     Privileged or similar relationships recognized by law, such as with attorneys, doctors, and ministers;

v     Religious practices, affiliations, or beliefs of the student or student’s parents; or

v     Income other than that required by law to determine program eligibility.


  • Opt out of certain surveys and exams. Parents and eligible students will receive notice of any of the following activities and will have the right to opt out of them:

v     Activities involving collection, disclosure, or use of personal information obtained from students for purposes of marketing or selling or otherwise distributing the information to others;

v     Any protected information survey, regardless of funding; and

v     Any non-emergency, invasive physical exam or screening required as a condition of attendance, administered by the school or its agent  and scheduled by the school, and not necessary to protect the immediate health and safety of a student or of another student, except for hearing, vision, or scoliosis screenings, or any physical exam or screening permitted or required under state  law.


  • Inspect certain materials. Parents and eligible students have the right to inspect the following, upon request, before the district administers or uses them:

v     Protected information surveys of students (including any instructional materials used in connection with the survey);

v     Documents used to collect personal information from students for any of the above marketing, sales, or other distribution              purposes; and

v     Instructional material used as part of the educational curriculum.

  • Receive notification of district privacy. The School District has developed a policy, in consultation with parents, regarding these rights, and has made arrangements to protect student privacy in the administration of protected information surveys and the collection, disclosure, or use of personal information for marketing, sales, or other distribution


  • Report violations. Parents and eligible students who believe their rights have been violated may file a complaint  with:
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Ave. SW
Washington, DC  20202-4605


Special Education Services

Special Education services are provided to children with disabilities and in need of specially designed instruction or who are identified as mentally gifted. Referral is made by the teacher, counselor or parent to the Special Education supervisor for evaluation. Identification of any student requires multi-disciplinary team evaluation, which includes parental participation and permission.


Speech/Language Services

All children are screened for speech problems and those with speech defects or deficiencies are further evaluated and may be scheduled for supportive   services.


A qualified speech clinician provides intervention for children determined to be in need of language services. Parents and teachers are urged to discuss their children's speech problems with the speech clinician.


English Language Development (ELD) - formerly ESL

Mechanicsburg Area School District provides a program for each student whose dominant language is not English. The purpose of the program is to facilitate the student's English proficiency and achievement in the PA academic standards in reading, writing, mathematics, and  science.


Psychological Services

The services of a certified school psychologist are available to students within the district. Formal diagnostic evaluations of students may be requested by a teacher or school counselor. Parent approval is necessary for psychological testing and follow-up. A conference is scheduled to discuss test results and recom- mendations with the parents, teacher, psychologist and other staff members.


The cost of any psychological services that are specified in a student’s IEP will be paid by the school  district.


Special Reading Services

Individual or small-group instruction in reading is provided for those students who need special help in grades K-12. These classes meet on a regularly scheduled basis. The class size varies from one to five students, depending on the nature of the help needed. Parent conferences are held throughout the year - to discuss the child's progress.


Student Assistance Program  (STAR)

The STAR program is a confidential, systematic process by which school personnel identify high-risk students, those who are having school-related problems as   a result of drug/alcohol use or depression/suicidal feelings. It is a method of intervening and referring these students to appropriate community services for help. The heart of the program is the STAR Team - a core group of school personnel who are specially trained to work with these   students.

Mechanicsburg Area School District has teams at the elementary, middle and high schools. A referral can be made by contacting the student's school counselor. An advisory council meets three times annually to review and evaluate the  program.

Suicide Prevention & Intervention

The Mechanicsburg Area School District is committed to protecting the health, safety and welfare of its students and school community. In this effort we have provided several resources regarding youth suicide awareness and prevention. These resources may be found at Mechanicsburg_ASD/Student_Services/4510642838200116098/Suicide_Prevention.


If you or your child is struggling with thoughts of suicide or depression, please contact your school counselor; however, if you believe you have a severe concern about your child (or another child), please do not hesitate to contact National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK  (8255).



The Mechanicsburg Area School District is committed to providing a school environment that promotes student wellness, proper nutrition, nutrition education, and regular physical activity as part of the total learning experience.


Board Policy #246 mandates the existence of a district Wellness Committee to oversee the Wellness Program and indicates that the district will provide to students:

  1. A comprehensive nutrition program consistent with federal and state requirements
  2. Access at reasonable cost to foods and beverages that meet established nutritional guidelines
  3. Physical education courses and opportunities for developmentally appropriate physical activity during the school day
  4. Curriculum and programs for grades K-12 that are designed to educate students about proper nutrition and lifelong physical activity, in accordance with State Board of Education curriculum regulations and academic standards




Central Office

Middle School

Kindergarten Academy at Filbert Street

Superintendent/District Office

1750 South Market Street

505 South Filbert Street

100 East Elmwood Avenue

Telephone:                    691-4560

Telephone:                           506-0852

Telephone:                                691-4500

Information:                  691-4563

Fax:                                        506-0853

Fax:                                          691-3438

(delays, school closings, etc.)


Business Office:


Office Fax:


Northside Elementary





411 North Walnut Street

Parks and Recreation:


Counseling Services:


Telephone:                    691-4581

Transportation Office:


Counsel Fax:


Fax:                              697-8674

Senior High School

Elementary Schools

Shepherdstown Elementary

500 South Broad Street                                                     Broad Street Elementary                                  1849 South York Street



200 South Broad Street
















 Counseling Services:                 691-4543                                                                                                     Upper Allen Elementary 

 Counseling Fax:                         691-4532                        Elmwood Elementary                                        1790 South Market Street  

Athletic Dept.:                                691-4538                         100 East Elmwood Avenue                                      Telephone:      691-4594                                                                                                                                   Telephone:                    691-4578                          Fax:              697-9107

                    Fax:                             697-3655




Central Office

Mark K. Leidy, Ed.D., Superintendent

Julia J. Huff, Assistant Superintendent for Academics

Alan T. Vandrew, D.Ed, Assistant Superintendent, CFO

Greg Longwell, Business Administrator, Board Secretary

Jason L. Baker, Director of Curriculum and Instructional Technology

Paul D. Bigham, Director of Student Services

Jaime Bott, Supervisor of Special Education

Jeremy W. Freeland, Student Services Supervisor, Director of Safety

Amanda Fontana, School Psychologist

Tracy L. Watkins Harper, School Psychologist

Karen L. Westphal, School Psychologist

Brenda E. Miller, Business Services Director

Greg Farabaugh, Technology Coordinator

Karin Z. Marlin, Food Services Director 

Debra L. Stouffer, Human Resources Director

Erick Hoffman, Facilities Director

Seth Pehanich, Athletic Director

Tonya M. Brown, Recreation Director


Elementary Principals

Stacy L. Alexander, Upper Allen

Krista L. Archibald, Shepherdstown

Andrew B. Bitz, Broad Street

Kathleen M. Healey, Kindergarten Academy at Filbert Street

John P. McIntosh, Elmwood

Ashlyn A. Ecker, Northside


Secondary Principals

David R. Harris, Jr., Principal, Senior High School

Timothy J. Bianchi, Assistant Principal, Senior High School

Jason Geissler, Assistant Principal, Senior High School

Jocelyn M. Valentine, Assistant Principal, Senior High School

Joel A. Yohn, Principal, Middle School

Nick N. Butt, Assistant Principal, Middle School

Jason A. Shover, Assistant Principal, Middle School





Dawn M. Merris, President

Layne Lebo

Nathan McWilliams

John C. Rupp, Vice-President

Richard J. Bradley

Brian Sanker

Tracy L. Morgan, Treasurer

*Greg Longwell, Secretary

Dennis P. Burkhard

*Gareth D. Pahowka, Solicitor

 Lynda Hambright



A nine-member Board of Directors is responsible for the operation of Mechanicsburg Area Schools. The School Board delegates administrative responsibilities to the Superintendent who, in turn, delegates to his staff such responsibilities as the proper performance of their duties may require. Members of the Board serve without pay and are elected for four-year terms on a staggered basis, with members' terms expiring every two years. They are elected by regions on the first Tuesday in November, in each odd-numbered year, and they take office on the first Monday in December, following their election. In the event a member resigns between elections, his/her successor is appointed by the remaining members of the Board to serve only until the next school board  election.


*Non-elected and non-voting member


Election Districts

Region #1 - Upper Allen Precincts 1, 2, 3, 9, 10:  Richard Bradley (2019), Lynda Hambright (2017), Brian Sanker  (2017)

Region #2 - Upper Allen Precincts 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and Shiremanstown:  Nathan McWilliams (2017), Dawn Merris (2019), Tracy Morgan  (2019)

Region #3 - Mechanicsburg Wards 1 - 5:  Dennis Burkhard (2019), John Rupp (2017), Layne Lebo  (2019)