To Our Mercy Community:
I hope that you are all enjoying a very happy and healthy summer.
This season at Mercy High School has been one of flexibility, resilience and change. After more than two months of school-wide distance learning, the phenomenal Class of 2020 was celebrated with an outdoor and socially distanced graduation; and the faculty, staff and alumnae paid tribute to Sr. Mary and her 45 years of service with a car parade and reception. These are wonderful examples of how our community comes together to support and encourage one another even in tough times, and show me how fortunate I am to be serving with you now at Mercy. I look forward to getting to know you over the coming academic year and beyond as we build upon Mercy’s strong foundation.
Our season of flexibility, resilience and change continues as we implement numerous procedures throughout our building to cultivate a sound space for our students to learn. We are preparing our building for in-person learning while making virtual accommodations for those who desire them. One-way hallways and stairways, live streaming classes, hands-free water bottle filling stations, ventilation and exhaust in every classroom and bathroom, plexiglass in the main office and other high traffic areas, face masks worn at all times, and hand sanitizer throughout the school are a few examples of what we are implementing. In addition, we are building flexible school day options to change our learning from an in-person with virtual accommodations option to a hybrid option or to a fully online option if the public health situation deems it necessary to do so. Click on ‘COVID-19 Updates and Information’ from our web site (www.mercyhigh.com/) for our full list of procedural details.
We are also implementing several changes throughout our culture and curriculum to cultivate a sound space for our students to share their voices. Our nation is grappling with the consequences of systemic racial, ethnic and cultural inequalities; and as an educational institution, we have the ability to reflect, to listen, and to be thought leaders for our students who are processing their reactions. We all can strive to do better and be an example to others in terms of what it means to spread hope, inspire change, and listen to all voices. We at Mercy are being intentional and mobilizing now to make changes– with our student retreats, with our curriculum maps, with our adult development, and with our signs and symbols throughout the building – to include the myriad of cultures, races and experiences that make this country unique. We have a foundation to build upon, since racism is a critical concern of the Sisters of Mercy, who have taken numerous actions “to become an anti-racist multicultural community.” We strive to pass along skills to our students including listening deeply, increasing awareness, showing empathy, and responding intentionally. This culture change will evolve and grow as we engage more deeply and courageously over time, demonstrating faith in action.
I hope that our entire Mercy community will continue to stay engaged, speak honestly, listen carefully, and accomplish great things. As we advance our strong foundation, we want to communicate with you about our outcomes and welcome your feedback. To that end, please go to our contact update web site (https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/MercyContact) to ensure that we have your latest information and how you would like to connect. Thank you for continuing to be a part of our Mercy community.
A new academic year is upon us, which signals a new beginning amidst this season of change. During this time, we can find great moments for listening, learning and taking action.
We want to make the world a better place. We will start by making Mercy an even better place.
Alissa K. DeJonge ‘95