Submitted on Thu, 03/07/2019 - 11:19am
Message from Mrs. Sattler
Dear Mercy Families,
Our President, Dr. Cheryl Kreger and myself just returned from Atlanta, Georgia where we attended the MESA (Mercy Educational Systems of America) Leadership Forum. This annual event allowed us to connect and share ideas with other administrators from within the 56 schools throughout the network, including those from Argentina, Belize, Honduras, Jamaica and the Philippines. During the 2017-2018 school year, over 27,300 students were enrolled in Mercy schools, supported by more than 10,000 faculty and staff. We are fortunate to have the resources and support from this larger community.
While at the MESA conference, the Sisters of Mercy greeted visitors with the hallmark hospitality of the Mercy charism. While we attended these sessions, our wonderful Mercy Mothers Club extended this same welcoming gesture to our parents and teachers for Parent/Teacher Conferences. We offer a huge thank you to our Mothers Club who, in addition to coordinating refreshments for conference visitors, also provided a wonderfully perfect dinner spread for teachers during the break between the afternoon and evening sessions. This generosity and effort is truly appreciated and warmed the hearts of our faculty.
This year's Principal's Pick is targeted to renovate our Marlin shop into a true retail store offering high quality Mercy merchandise. This enhancement provides opportunity to increase branding and marketing visibility throughout the community. Additionally, through a nearly funded generous donation, we will be including a tea room for our students, as a nod to our founder the Venerable Catherine McAuley. This comfortable space featuring a door and window from the original Detroit campus, will offer students an area to relax, connect with friends and enjoy a brief respite from the rigor of a busy schedule.
We are overwhelmingly grateful to the generous donors who committed to these projects, as well as to all who gave their financial support throughout the evening. A special thank you is extended to our organizers who worked so creatively and diligently in coordinating this annual tradition to ensure we continually have the resources to provide our students with the best academic and co-curricular experiences.
Professional Development: Our Algebra I teachers are currently participating in the year long Wayne RESA TIPM3 cohort. Through this series, teachers focus on implementing high leverage instructional practices to engage all students. A TIPM3 coach visits the teacher's classroom as a follow-up after each in-person session to provide observational feedback in support of lesson goals. Many of our science teachers are attending the Van Andel Education Institute Sustained Training Program (VAEI) series. Through these workshops, teachers explore how to further engage students in hands-on, inquiry-based science. Content introduced supports teachers in developing richer questioning techniques and ideas for providing students experiences in data analysis and expansion of claim, evidence, and reasoning.
Additionally, team members supporting our ever evolving technology initiative will be attending an upcoming conference hosted by Apple in Education: Supporting High Schools in Innovation.
At Mercy, it is not just our students who are continually challenged to accept new experiences and become lifelong learners!
Continual Improvement: Although school strategic plans are continually evolving, the accreditation process for educational institutions requires an on-site review by representatives of the certifying agency every six years. Similar to many schools across the nation, Mercy is accredited through AdvancED. The AdvancED Engagement Review Team will visit Mercy March 26-28 to assess our academic rigor, support programs for all students, and commitment to systemic improvement practices. Aside from our overarching Operational Plan, each of our departments have individual strategic plans with measurable objects that have been defined through the analysis of student achievement data.
We are proud to share with the visiting AdvancED team our many successes, accomplishments and plans for future growth and improvement.
Vaping Conversations: A 2017 National Institute of Health study found that more than one in four high school seniors reported vaping in the last year, and 17% had vaped in the last month. From 2013 to 2014 alone, e-cigarette use among high school and middle school students tripled, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which reports that 50% more teens vape than smoke traditional tobacco cigarettes. Additionally, a recent CNN report indicated a 80% increase in high school vaping within the last year. There is no doubt this issue is of real concern for parents and school communities alike.
At Mercy, last school year we offered workshops for all students and parents that presented the dangers of vaping. Currently, all sophomore students engage in an in-depth Health class unit on vaping, and plans are in place to include additional resources in the fall. Our teachers and coaches frequently speak to their students about the dangers of e-cigarettes, and I encourage you to share facts with your daughter as well.
Athletic Leadership Training: Mercy is proudly piloting a student athlete leadership workshop in partnership with the counseling and athletic departments. This unique effort reflects our mission to develop the whole young woman, which includes the experience for our competitive athletes to form healthy relationships and positive interactions within athletic teams. This partnership also involves developing a model for effective relational coaching strategies to support building positive team dynamics.
Blessing of the Bot: Last Monday, Fr. Paul Graney from Our Lady of Sorrows officiated the Blessing of the Bot for the Riveters, our Mercy robotics team, as the competitive season begins. Our Riveters practice "real-world" engineering as they design a team brand, hone teamwork skills, and are given 6 weeks to build and program a robot from scratch to perform prescribed tasks against a field of competitors.
The challenge theme this year is Destination: Deep Space. Teams have the option during autonomous mode to drive blind (with use of programming) or use visual feedback to control the robot. Mercy's team has elected to mount a camera to drive the robot during the "sandstorm phase" and use suction cups (utilizing a pneumatics system to create suction) to pick up and transport objects on the field. Mercy competes in District Competitions on March 1-2 and March 22-23 to earn points for states. Go Riveters!
Mercy Kairos Leaders: Our campus minister, Mrs. Judi Griggs-Dennis was approached from within the Archdiocese to work in partnership with campus minister Thane Hall from Brother Rice to create an Archdiocesan Kairos experience. This opportunity is for interested girls enrolled in public and other local Catholic schools not offering a Kairos retreat. Given our strongly established female centric Kairos program, Mercy girls were invited to assume the role of student spiritual leaders! They will share witness talks and facilitate small group discussions and prayer activities. What a wonderful opportunity for our students to interact in their faith with other Catholic teens within the larger community!
Mission Trips: Two service trip experiences are offered this year through our Campus Ministry program. During Easter break, eleven students will be traveling to Kentucky for Habitat for Humanity. New this year is an additional opportunity to travel to Nazareth Farms in West Virginia. This is a unique service immersion trip that focuses on community, simplicity, prayer and service. We are blessed to have such a robust service program that supports the various interests of our students.
Catholic Scholarship Participation: The Live It. Show It. Share It. scholarship contest was designed as part of the Alliance Catholic Credit Union sponsorship of the Catholic High School League. The contest was open to any 8th - 11th grade student planning to attend a Catholic High School League affiliated school for the 2019-2020 school year.
To be eligible students were required to submit a 6-word story and one accompanying photo to the assignment: "Tell us about a time in your life when your Faith had a meaningful impact." 274 students rose to the challenge, with entries from over 50 schools across the Archdiocese of Detroit. Take a look
at these inspiring entries and see how many Mercy girls you can identify!
Remember to mark your calendars for our exciting production of Newsies with performances this weekend March 8-10!!
We are grateful that you are in partnership with us us to support your daughter as she becomes a woman who makes a difference!
May you enjoy a Lenten season of personal reflection and spiritual fulfillment,