April 7, 2020

Dear Mercy Family,

As we approach Easter, the time of the resurrection, there are so many reasons to rejoice! These past weeks, we have accomplished much together as a Mercy community. Our students, parents, faculty, staff and administrators have all taken on new responsibilities and roles in living our Mercy mission, vision and values. Our priority has been the education of "the whole young woman" to the best of our ability.  Thank you for your help, trust and support as we work together while physically apart. 

We are dedicated to continue these opportunities and to improve them for the remainder of the year. Please take a moment to read updates to the academic calendar and policies which follow, and an opportunity to give direct feedback to us. We are still working through the complexities of the Mercy School Life events, such as academic honors, senior celebratory activities and summer athletic programs. That information will be communicated as soon as available.

We recognize that students may have personal items they would like to retrieve from the school. Once it is safe for all to do so, a protocol for retrieving these items will be shared.

We are proud of our E-LEARNING program and the uninterrupted advantage it provides for students to fulfill their academic requirements, college readiness and emotional wellbeing needs. A complete digital learning platform is new to all of us. Each day we gain added perspective and suggestions to enhance curriculum content, student engagement, supporting policies and instructional delivery styles. To continually improve this digital learning experience, we value your feedback. Please complete this Parent E-LEARNING Survey by Friday, April 17.

Last week we strengthened security protocols required for all students participating in Mercy virtual classroom video conferencing. Unfortunately, this became necessary after learning that a few Mercy students had shared virtual login information with those outside our school who had malintent. Please review this communication sent to students describing immediate expected video conferencing protocol to ensure the safety and appropriateness for all.

Easter Break
Easter Break: April 8-14 with return to E-LEARNING (Maroon Day) on April 15
Senior Skip Days: April 15 and April 16 with return to E-LEARNING (Maroon Day) on April 17

The entire Mercy community has contributed incredible efforts for the success of our E-LEARNING program. We know that students, parents, faculty and staff are greatly anticipating Easter break to be a time for individual and family rejuvenation. For this reason, we have requested that teachers not assign due dates for expected work prior to Thursday, April 16. We appreciate parent and student acknowledgment that this is a time for teachers and staff to also disconnect from their work at Mercy.

Calendar Adjustments
Last Day of School for Seniors: May 8
Last Day of School for Grades 9-11: May 22

Final Exams and Grading Policy
Uninterrupted learning continues at Mercy High School through this unprecedented time. Both the lessons delivered and the student work submitted are of high caliber. Efforts of all involved have been incredible. For this reason, as well as to ensure college preparedness, we will continue to evaluate and record student work using our traditional grading scal e. Our teachers and counselors are carefully monitoring student academic performance, and will proactively intervene should a student's effort significantly decline. All student grades were archived prior to our mandated school closure for the ability to accurately assess changes in student classroom success.

In balancing the complexities of maintaining a high standard of academic excellence with the unplanned transition to online learning, final exams will not be administered to any Mercy student this semester. For some classes, teachers may continue to require projects or experiences that allow students to demonstrate their learning. The traditional 20% weighting of a final paper or project will be waived for this semester. 

Final grades will be posted for seniors by May 22 and for all 9-11th graders by May 29 at 9am. 

Advanced Placement Testing
The CollegeBoard has rescheduled AP Exams for May 11-22. The AP Exam schedule may be found here . Students are highly encouraged to take their AP exams. The exams will only include topics and skills most AP teachers and students have already covered in class by early March. All Mercy AP teachers feel their classes are in good shape and class time is now being used to review and prepare students for the exam. All exams will be open notes/book, online and 45 minutes long. Students with accommodations will have additional time built into their online link. AP reported that many colleges and universities are committed to still accepting scores from this year for credit. AP has agreed to issue a refund, should a student decide not take their exam. Students will be expected to continue attending class for their final grade even if they are not taking the AP exam. For all the work students have put into their AP experience and the valuable learning they will receive from taking the test and the feedback of receiving their scores, we strongly recommend students take the exam. For further information, please visit CollegeBoard' s website. 

For your convenience, the following contact information is provided to best direct your questions and concerns:

Student Life : Mrs. Eleasha Tarplin edtarplin@mhsmi.org
Academic Affairs : Ms. Colleen McMaster cmcmaster@mhsmi.org
Technology: helpdesk@mhsmi.org
Athletics : Mrs. Nancy Malinowski nmmalinowski@mhsmi.org
Policy/Safety/Communications : Mrs. Patricia Sattler psattler@mhsmi.org
Office of the President: Dr. Cheryl Kreger cdkreger@mhsmi.org

On behalf of the entire Mercy faculty, staff and administrative team, we wish you a blessed Easter filled with peace and good health. May you find laughter in your home, joy in personal connections, and time for that which most comforts you. You and your family continue to be in our prayers.

In Mercy,

Dr. Chery Kreger, President
Mrs. Patricia Sattler, Principal
Ms. Colleen McMaster, Associate Principal
Mrs. Eleasha Tarplin, Dean of Student Affairs
Mrs. Nancy Malinowski, Athletic Director