Mercy is a Sisterhood

Fall 2020 Return to School

We are looking forward to the 2020-2021 school year! After a summer of meetings, research, and planning, Mercy’s Leadership Team and Safety Task Force for Reopening School have developed a comprehensive plan which prioritizes the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff, families, and community. We continue to evaluate county and state guidelines, our own capabilities and resources, and feedback from our community surveys to develop options for our return to school in the fall. 

State and County Guidelines

Governor Newsom provided guidance for California schools to reopen based on five principles:

  • Safe in-person school based on local health data 
  • Mask requirements
  • Physical distancing and other adaptations
  • Regular testing and dedicated contact tracing
  • Rigorous distance learning 

In addition, the County of San Mateo has created a Pandemic Recovery Framework for Reopening Schools that is based on four pillars: 

  • Health and Hygiene
  • Face Coverings
  • Physical Distancing
  • Limiting Gatherings

We are confident in both our ability to meet these requirements in place and to continue to provide a robust Distance Learning program with no gap in curriculum. All plans will be contingent on our county and community’s health and safety and will be updated as needs arise. While we will begin the 2020-2021 school year in Distance Learning, we have detailed our two program models below, ensuring we are able to pivot quickly once we can move forward with in-person instruction. Please click here to read Head of School Natalie Cirigliano Brosnan's email message to the community. 


Fall 2020: Two Learning Options

Group of Mercy students smiling as they arrive on the first day of school

Mercy will return to school using a Hybrid Cohort ABCAB Model in which students will alternate M/T and Th/F. When students are not on campus they will be home in Distance Learning in which they will be expected to attend all classes during the assigned class period times. On Wednesdays all students will participate in Synchronous Optional Distance Learning from home. While there will be modifications in order to meet safety standards, this Hybrid Cohort Model will provide the opportunity for students to connect with teachers and each other in person and on campus. *In this model all families will have the option of having their daughter(s) remain home in Distance Learning five days a week.

Image of faculty waving and smiling over video conference

Mercy Distance Learning is an exceptional program used when health and safety concerns prevent us from gathering on campus. In Distance Learning we provide a rigorous and engaging academic learning experience through a digital platform with no gap in curriculum. This is a strong option for families with concerns about the cohort model, and if county or community safety mandates distance.

As always, our goal at Mercy High School is to support the whole student. Mercy is more than an academic learning environment - it's a community, a culture, and a mindset. We plan to do everything we can to maintain the Mercy connection that our students know and love and to support our students the best we can. 


Safety Protocols for Students, Families, Faculty and Staff

Mercy High School is committed to providing a safe environment to return to school that aligns with San Mateo County’s Pandemic Recovery Framework built around the Four Pillars of Health and Hygiene, Face Coverings, Physical Distancing, and Limiting Gatherings. 

These are the comprehensive safety steps being taken to allow for safe connections and sisterhood throughout each day. All faculty, staff, and students will be educated on this safety plan in August in a thoughtful and detailed manner. This safety plan will continue to change as new information is brought to us. Regardless of what this year brings, we are prepared, and we will continue to adapt to ensure that our students receive a quality education grounded in our Mercy mission. Please click the icons below for more detailed information on specific protocols. The full Safety Plan can be viewed here.