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    Back to School Information 2017
    Posted on 08/14/2017

    Dear Mercer Mustangs,

    Hello Mustang students and families. We hope you are enjoying your summer break. We are looking forward to a great school year and are excited to serve you.

    Our amazing teachers and staff have enjoyed some time with families and friends while getting re-energized for the school year.  Our custodial staff and maintenance crew our diligently preparing Mercer for our students’ arrival. Our first day of school is September 6, 2017.

    Mercer takes great pride in preparing our students for success in high school and beyond, both academically and socially. Thus, an important part of our responsibility is to make sure we partner with you in preparing students for long-term success. In the service of long-term success, we often hear from families that communication about what students are learninghow students are doing, and how families can support and engage with your student’s learning at home are priorities.

    For 2017-18, we want to continue to build on our communication and partnership with you in the service of our student learning. We will be communicating learning with you through electronic communication tools including Schoology, through our website and the Source. We also communicate using emails, and send information home with students. We will talk more about our partnership at our Open House on Thursday, September 28 from 6:00-8:00pm.

    Parent/Guardian Action Items:

    In support of communication, it is very important that you have an email address on file with us here at Mercer. The Source is available beginning August 8, 2017.

    1. For parents and guardians without accounts please go to account set up:
    2. New to the Source for parents and guardians for the 2017-18 school year, include:
    • SchoolPay - enables parents and guardians to pay student fees or fines electronically (Fall 2017)
    • SPS Student Verification Form – parents may update information online (Fall 2017)
    • High School & Beyond Planner – view your student’s four-year course plan (Fall 2017)
    • Health Portal – view student health information (Spring 2018)
      • ImportantIf you have a specific health concern that you would like to communicate to us before the school year begins please contact our nurse, Jill Eckerdt at (206) 252-8007 between August 29 – September 5.

    On September 6, your student will bring home information about updating your verification form, which allows you to update your contact information. Again, an email address is required to enable you access to information about your student’s learning. Our primary venue for communication is electronic. It is important that contact information, including email and phone number, are updated in our system.

    As we look forward to our first day, the rest of this welcome letter is meant to provide you with information you will need for success as we begin the school year.


    7 Things to Preview and Know Before the Start of the School Year!

    1. New Start and End Times to our School Day
    2. First Day Schedules
    3. Pick Up and Drop Off of Students
    4. Mercer Morning Procedures
    5. Transportation Information
    6. Basic Supply List
    7. Important Dates

    1. New Start and End Times to our School Day

    The 2017-18 school year has a new start and end time for middle school. Mercer classes will begin at 8:55 AM and end at 3:45 PM. Our campus will be open and breakfast service will begin at 8:25 AM. As your family plans your daily routine, please be aware that students are not allowed on campus until 8:25 AM. This is when supervision for Mercer staff begins. Students are expected to be off campus by 4:00 PM unless in an after school activity.

    2017 Bell Schedule

    Regular Days 
    8:55 a.m. - 3:45 p.m.

    1st period: 8:55-9:45
    2nd period: 9:50-10:40
    3rd period: 10:45-11:35
    4th period:
                6th: 11:40-12:30
                7th: 11:40-12:30
                8th: 12:10-1:00
                6th: 12:30-1:00
                7th: 1:25-1:55
                8th: 11:35-12:05
    5th period:
                6th: 1:05-1:55
                7th: 12:35-1:25
                8th: 1:05-1:55
    6th period: 2:00-2:50
    7th period: 2:55-3:45


    Early Release Wednesdays
    8:55 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

    1st period: 8:55-9:35
    2nd period: 9:40-10:20
    3rd period: 10:25-11:05
    4th period:
                6th: 11:10-11:50
                7th: 11:10-11:50
                8th: 11:40-12:20
                6th: 11:50-12:20
                7th: 12:35-1:05
                8th: 11:05-11:35
    5th period:
                6th: 12:25-1:05
                7th: 11:55-12:35
                8th: 12:25-1:05
    6th period: 1:10-1:50
    7th period: 1:55-2:30

    2. First Day Schedules:

    Wednesday, September 6th, 2017:

    On the first day of school, schedules will be organized by last name and grade level. Students will pick up their schedules in designated locations beginning at 8:15 AM. Staff will be on hand to assist students and help them locate their 1st period class. Please note the schedule pick-up locations:

    • 6th grade schedules will be available in the auditorium.
    • 7th grade schedules will be available in the cafeteria.
    • 8th grade schedules will be available in the gymnasium.
    • Schedules will also be available to view on the Source beginning Tuesday, September 5th.


    Families of sixth grade students and students new to Mercer often want to stay and help middle school newcomers. You are more than welcome to do so. Please remember the warning bell will ring at 8:50 AM with classes beginning promptly at 8:55 AM. Please be mindful that parking can be a challenge at Mercer, see #3!


    3. Pick Up and Drop Off of Students

    The Mercer parking lot is small and congested. Cooperation and patience is needed to keep our students safe. Please be aware that it is unsafe & unlawful to drop off or to pick-up along S. Columbian Way. Columbian Way is an enforced Safe School Zone. There are traffic cameras placed along Columbian to reinforce safe driving habits. Please be aware of these cameras. Unsafe drivers will be ticketed. It is also unlawful to park in our school bus zone along 16th Ave.


    However, in addition to our main parking lot along S. Columbian Way there are other options. Families can:

    • Pick up and drop off students along 16th Ave. S, between S. Nevada and S. Dakota St.
    • Use the Jefferson Park parking area. There are direct and safe walking pathways to and from Mercer.
    • Use S. Snoqualmie St., across from Mercer. This is generally less congested and has easy access to crosswalks.
    • Use 14th Ave S west of 15th/Columbian Way. Streets are wider and near safe crossing walk zones.


    Reminders when dropping off and/or picking up students from Mercer:

    • Please be patient and courteous during high traffic times, 8:35-8:50 am & 3:30-3:45 pm.
    • For students that walk, please remember to be cautious when crossing streets. Looking both ways and always using the crosswalks. S. Columbian Way is a very busy street.
    • For students that ride bikes, there are bike racks located on the northwest and northeast side of our building.  Make sure you to use a secure bike lock.


    Please practice your morning and afternoon routines with your student before the start of school!


    4. Mercer Morning Procedures

    In order to ensure the safety of our students we ask students and families to follow our school procedures. We will spend time teaching, communicating, and practicing these procedures and expectations with our students once school begins. Keep in mind the first day of school is different from a typical day.

    As your family plans your morning routines please review these important Mercer morning procedures:

    1. For supervision and safety reasons students should not arrive to school until 8:25 AM.
    2. The building opens, supervision, and breakfast begin at 8:25 AM.
    3. Students who arrive before 8:35 AM are required to report to the cafeteria. All other areas of the building are off limits until 8:35 AM.
    4. Students are dismissed from the cafeteria at 8:35 AM. From 8:35 – 8:50 AM students can visit with their friends, eat breakfast, and use student lockers once they are assigned.
    5. Our warning bell rings at 8:50 AM. Students are expected to be in class before the tardy bell at 8:55 AM. Class begins sharply at 8:55 AM.

    5. Transportation Information (Mercer staff does not coordinate transportation)

    Transportation assignments will be mailed to you by the district the week of August 21-25. If you have not received notification or information by August 29th please contact district transportation at (206) 252-0900. The walking zone is expanded at middle school. This means students within 2.0 miles are expected to walk, or ride, to school. Transportation is not provided.  If your student is outside 2.0 miles then he/she receives either a Metro ORCA card or a school bus assignment. ORCA cards will be issued to students at school within the first week. Students will not need an ORCA card the first day of school. You can also visit the transportation websitefor more information: Again, Mercer does not coordinate transportation. If you have questions about transportation please use the contact information above.


    6. Basic Supply List

    Students will need the following supplies throughout the year. Please keep extra pencils, erasers, pens, and paper at home to replenish your supply.

    • Pencils with erasers (may use mechanical but have wooden pencils as well, preferably #2 pencils)
    • Erasers, Pens (blue or black ink), composition books (3 or more), lined paper (150 sheets or more)
    • 3 ring binder (1½ inches or larger), subject dividers (to put in the binder), pocket folder to hold homework assignments
    • Backpack to carry materials
    • Useful, but not required: USB thumb drive/memory stick (8GB), colored pencils, scissors, box of tissue for classroom supply


    Basic supplies will be needed all year, so it is a good idea to keep an extra supply of pencils and paper at home to restock.

    Physical Education

    Students are expected to have:

    • T-shirt
    • Shorts
    • Socks and Tennis shoes
    • 1 Pack of 3x5 cards
    • Pencil 

    Supply List for Grade 6 Specifically:

    • Backpack to carry materials.
    • 3-ring zipper cloth binder-larger than 1 ½ “
    • at least 3 boxes of sharpened pencils with erasers

      (in addition to mechanical pencils)

    • 4 composition books (black and white), not spiral notebooks
    • subject dividers
    • folder with pockets (for homework)
    • 1 USB flash drive
    • Box of Kleenex to donate to 2nd period classroom

    Optional Supply List for Grade 6 Specifically – Recommended:

    • colored pencils
    • pens (blue/black ink)
    • ruler
    • glue stick
    • hand pencil sharpener (with container for shavings)
    • calculator


    7. Important Dates



    Sept. 1

    New student orientation (9:00 -10:15 AM). This orientation will be held in our cafeteria and is for students newly assigned to Mercer since last spring’s orientation.


    (This is only for students and families who DID NOT attend our June orientation and tour. If you attended our June orientation there is no need to attend.)


    Sept. 6

    First day of school, 8:55 AM – 3:45 PM. Student Welcome Back letter, verification information, and PTSA letter sent home with students on first day.


    Sept.  8

    First week packet of information goes home with students at the end of our first week on Friday.


    Sept. 13

    Early dismissal Wednesdays begins. Every Wednesday students are dismissed at 2:30 PM. Students are expected to be off campus by 2:45 unless in an after school program. This supports professional development time for teaching staff.


    Sept. 18

    OST (Out of School Time – After school programming) registration packets will be distributed to students and available on our website.


    Week of Sept. 18

    Teachers teach locker expectations and routines, and distribute lockers to students.



    Sept. 26 & 27


    Picture days. More information will be sent home in advance of picture day.


    Sept. 28


    Open House, 6:00 – 8:00 PM

    Oct. 2

    Our FREE levy funded, after school programming, known as Out of School Time (OST) begins!


    Oct. 13

    No school for students – In-service Professional Development day for staff.


    We are eager to greet and welcome every student and family member, and are looking forward to working with you. Please call our main office if you have any questions: (206) 252-8000. Enjoy the rest of your summer.


    Go Mustangs!


    Mercer Administrative Team

    Mr. Carter, Principal

    Ms. Encarnacion, 6th Grade Administrator

    Ms. Simmons, 7th Grade Administrator

    Ms. Gerlitz 8th Grade Administrator

    Ms. Bowman-White, Literacy Administrator