Academic Support

Learning Services

The Learning Services Program is an academic resource for students, parents, and teachers. The program aims to improve the academic performance of all students at Mercersburg, to help students with academic difficulties, and to provide resources and information pertaining to the learning process. The office of the director, Ms. Margaret Maciulla, is in Irvine Hall, Room 317, where it is easily accessible to all students.

Specific services:

    Consult with students on an individual basis about improving academic performance, including help with study techniques, test preparation, organizing time and materials, and working effectively in specific subject areas.

    • Meet with students to help them identify their academic challenges and potential causes for their struggles, develop various strategies to assist their studies, and follow up to assess the efficacy of the recommended strategies.
    • Confer with teachers, the student’s adviser, the student, and the parents about improving academic work.
    • Analyze and summarize educational testing reports, including diagnoses and recommendations, which are then communicated to teachers so that they have a better understanding about the students in their classes.  Please see more detailed note on educational testing below.
    • Arrange tutoring on an individual basis by a staff of adult instructors on an as-needed basis. Before tutoring can begin, students must first meet with Ms. Maciulla to discuss their need for this extra help and to ensure that they meet certain criteria. Parents must also give written permission before tutoring can begin. The school charges a fee of $45/hour billed to the student’s account.
    • Refer students for educational testing with an off-campus educational psychologist, consult with parents and the student prior to this testing, and meet again with the student after the testing to discuss the testing report.
    • Provide help to students during final exams in the fall and spring Terms to assist them with planning a study schedule, guide them in how to review and study for final exams, and, in some cases, review specific subject areas.
    • Assist students in using the iPad to locate helpful applications, manage their schedules, and organize their notes, papers, and other classroom materials.

      Educational Testing

      If your child has had educational testing about learning differences or difficulties, please send a copy of the testing to:
      Learning Services Program
      Attn: Margaret Maciulla, Director
      Mercersburg Academy
      300 East Seminary Street
      Mercersburg, PA 17236
      The educational testing reports are kept in confidential files in this office.  Students with educational testing meet with Ms. Maciulla, as early as possible, to discuss how best to acclimate to our school’s demands and curriculum and to get a strong start to the year.  Parents should contact Margaret Maciulla at or 717-328-6327 with any questions or specific concerns.  

      This testing must be on file at the school in order for us to:
        • address and implement any recommended accommodations which we are able to provide;
        • send a summary of the testing suggestions to your child’s teacher to help your child learn and complete work most effectively; and
        • complete the application to the College Board and ACT for extended time and other accommodations on the PSATs, SATs, ACTs, AP exams and other standardized tests.

          Other Services

          List of 4 items.

          Director of Learning Services
          Margaret Maciulla earned bachelor’s degrees in government and psychology from Georgetown University, where she was recruited to play lacrosse. She then earned a master’s in special education summa cum laude from Hood College. She taught special education in the Washington, D.C., metro area for nearly a decade in both public and independent schools.
          Margaret then earned a J.D. cum laude from George Mason University, where she was also a research assistant and a teaching fellow. She then practiced corporate law for the firm of Squire, Sanders and Dempsey LLP.
          Margaret and her husband, English department faculty Frank Betkowski, have four children—Michael ’19, Maggie, and twins Francis and Charlie.
          Founded in 1893 in the heart of Pennsylvania and the Mid-Atlantic, Mercersburg is a private, coed, college preparatory boarding school with approximately 435 students (15 percent are day), grades 9-12 and postgraduate.
          We offer 170 courses, including AP and Honors, more than $7 million in financial aid, 26 varsity sports, and a state-of-the-art performing and visual arts center.
          Located 90 minutes from Washington, D.C., and Baltimore, and within easy driving distance of New York City, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh.
          100 Academy Drive, Mercersburg, PA 17236
          GPS Address: 10951 Buchanan Trail West, Mercersburg, PA 17236