Rigorous Academics

Student & Parent Handbook

Rules & Expectations for 2019-20 


Mercy High School places the highest priority on fostering students’ spiritual, moral, intellectual, and physical development by providing various opportunities for personal growth, self-reflection, service learning, academic rigor, and athletic and co-curricular programs. Students, parents and guardians, and the faculty and staff of Mercy High School are called to create a community and climate that are defined by respect, personal integrity, pride in one’s work, and achievement. By registering at Mercy High School, students and their parents/guardians indicate their willingness to accept and observe the school’s policies.

Please read the Handbook thoroughly, and submit the acknowledgement form at the bottom of the page.

Responsibilities of Parents/Guardians

Educating a young woman can only be accomplished through the purposeful partnership between the parents/ guardians and the school. The administration, faculty, and staff of Mercy High School strive to work closely, honestly, and cooperatively with our students’ parents/ guardians in support of their educational goals. In order to accomplish this, the relationship requires regular communication between school and home that is characterized by mutual trust, respect, and honesty. To honor this partnership Mercy High School will notify parents/ guardians about any academic, disciplinary, and personal concerns that have to do with their daughters. Parents and guardians, in turn, are expected to reciprocate the relationship by replying in a timely manner to all communication that the school initiates. Should a parent or guardian do something to harm this partnership, the child could be asked to leave Mercy High School as it is our expectation that parents/ guardians uphold the same Code of Conduct that is expected of our students.

Parents and guardians of Mercy High School students are encouraged to share their concerns with appropriate Mercy High School personnel. They are asked to first address any issues they may have with the person with whom there is a misunderstanding or conflict. Should the parent or guardian not be satisfied after going directly to the source, they are then asked to speak to that employee’s immediate supervisor. Though the administration welcomes conversations and concerns, it is the expectation that parents and guardians first go to the people noted above before the concern is brought to them. Grade issues should be discussed with teachers, department chairs, and counselors before escalating to administration if a resolution is not achieved.

Parents are asked to treat all Mercy faculty and staff as well as other Mercy parents and students with respect. If conversations and interactions take place in a discourteous, disruptive, threatening, hostile, or divisive manner, Mercy High School will not host the conversation and will ask the parent or guardian to leave the campus or venue in which the conversation is taking place.

Mercy High School reserves the right to determine which actions fail to meet the Mercy High School Code of Conduct and the Christian philosophy that is encouraged within our mission statement. Failure to act in a way that is suitable of a Mercy High School parent may result in a warning, revocation of a parent/ guardian’s privilege to attend or participate in school activities or student and family dismissal from the school depending on the severity of the offense.

Code of Conduct

Students of Mercy High School are expected to be women of character who exhibit and uphold the Christian values set forth in our mission statement at all times. Students of Mercy act as ambassadors of Mercy High School 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, and they are expected to conduct themselves in accordance with school policy at all times, regardless of whether they are on or off campus. Students are expected to refrain from activities that can be defined as illegal, immoral, unhealthy, or highly inappropriate. Students will be held responsible for all of their actions that contradict either the values set forth in our mission statement or the policies and procedures set forth in our student/parent handbook. Students will be held accountable for their actions and words, both written and verbal, through consequences  deemed appropriate by the school’s administration. These consequences can include, but are not limited to, detention, suspension, removal from school extracurricular activities, and expulsion.

The intent of Mercy High School’s Code of Conduct is to encourage students to develop themselves as women of character and integrity who live their lives displaying the same Christian values that Catherine McAuley originally built her mission upon.

Mercy High School administration will render the final decision on the interpretation of the Code of Conduct.

Academic Integrity Policy

Mercy High School expects all students to abide by ethical academic standards. Academic dishonesty—including plagiarism, cheating or copying the work of another, using technology for illicit purposes, or any unauthorized communication between students for the purpose of gaining advantage on an assignment or during an examination—is strictly prohibited. The Academic Integrity Policy covers all school-related tests, quizzes, reports, class assignments, and projects, both in and out of class. The Academic Integrity Policy is both a description of the Mercy’s ethical expectations of students as well as a guarantee of students’ rights and responsibilities as members of a learning community.

Plagiarism and Cheating

  • Plagiarism is not the same as cooperation or collaboration. Collaboration is to work together, with permission, in a joint intellectual effort.

  • Plagiarism is to commit literary theft; to steal and pass off as one’s own ideas or words, and to create the production of another.

  • Cheating includes, but is not limited to, copying or giving an assignment to a student to be copied, unless explicitly permitted by the teacher. Cheating also includes using, supplying, or communicating in any way unauthorized materials, including textbooks, notes, calculators, computers or other unauthorized technology, during an exam or project.

  • Forgery or stealing includes, but is not limited to, gaining unauthorized access to exams or answers to an exam, altering computer or grade-book records, or forging signatures for the purpose of academic advantage.

The determination that a student has engaged in academic dishonesty shall be based on specific evidence provided by the classroom teacher or other supervising professional employee, taking into consideration written materials, observation, or information from others.

Students found to have engaged in academic dishonesty shall be subject to academic penalties  and/or disciplinary reparations and will be required to meet with the Assistant Head of School for Academics

All students will be given one formal warning in their time at Mercy High School with regards to academic integrity from the Assistant Head of School for Academics. On a second offense, students will appear before the Disciplinary Review Board.

Academic Probation

Student academic progress will be reviewed every three weeks. Any student with two Ds, one or more Fs, or a GPA that falls under a 2.0 will be placed on either Academic Review, Academic Warning, or Academic Probation.

Academic Support Process

  • Academic Review is a designation for students whose grades show two Ds, one F, or a GPA that falls under a 2.0 at the end of a three-week cycle.
  • Academic Warning is a designation for students whose grades show two Ds, one F, or a GPA that falls under a 2.0 at the quarter grading periods.

  • Academic Probation is a designation for students whose grades show two Ds, one F, or a GPA that falls under a 2.0 at the end of two consecutive quarter grading periods.

Academic Review

Academic Review is a designation for students whose grades show two Ds, one F, or a GPA that falls under a 2.0 at the end of a three-week cycle.

Students on academic review will be required to meet briefly with their counselor and attend daily study sessions during lunch until the next review process. Any student who is late for or does not attend a Lunch Study session will have one lunch study added to the end of their review period.

Students may bring or buy their lunch. Attendance will be taken promptly at 11:05 or 12:35. Students are encouraged to bring their lunch to avoid being tardy. If a student is late, she will be required to attend a Wednesday Night Detention.  

Rules for Lunch Study:

  • Students must bring their work.
  • Lunch study is silent. Group work is not allowed.
  • No breaks are given.
  • Students will be released at 11:40 a.m. or 1 p.m, depending on the schedule.
  • iPads must be used solely for academic purposes.

Academic Warning

Academic Warning is a designation for students whose grades show two Ds, one F, or a GPA that falls below a 2.0 at the quarter grading periods.

A student who earns two Ds or one F at the quarter will be placed on Academic Warning for the next quarter.  A student does not need to be on Academic Review to be placed on Academic Warning.

Academic Warning requires a student to:

  • Attend a meeting with her parent, academic counselor, and the Director of Student Services at the beginning of probationary term
  • Attend two hours of tutoring per week either at or outside of Mercy High School and submit a record of tutoring when requested by the Director of Student Services.
  • Meet with her Mercy academic counselor regularly to review her grades, discuss her current academic standing, and develop an academic improvement plan.
  • Schedule appointments with teachers, the Resource Center Coordinator, and other Mercy academic mentors as appropriate.

Academic Probation

Academic Probation is a designation for students whose grades show two Ds, one F, or a GPA that falls below 2.0 at the end of two consecutive quarter grading periods. A student does not need to be on Academic Warning to be placed on Academic Probation; any student with two or more Fs is automatically placed on Academic Probation.

A student on Academic Probation must complete the same requirements as Academic Warning and may be asked to add additional tutoring hours.

Students on Academic Probation may not participate in athletics or co-curricular activities.

After being placed on Academic Probation for two consecutive quarters, a final decision as to whether a student will be allowed to continue at Mercy High School will be made on a case-by-case basis.

Parents will be notified of a student’s placement on Academic Review, Academic Warning, or Academic Probation by letter from the Assistant Head of School for Academics.

The Academic Counselors will meet with students who earn “Ds” or an “F” in any course to devise a plan for making up the class. Students are required to remediate any F in order to graduate from Mercy High School. Remediation of Ds and Fs should take place the semester or summer following the grade report. Students must remediate all Fs before the start of senior year, or they will not be allowed to enroll.

Disciplinary Probation

Many factors are taken into consideration by the Assistant Head of School for Student Life to ensure that a just situation prevails for each student, resulting in the correction of the behavior, while encouraging personal growth and learning opportunities. Students placed on disciplinary probation will be required to meet with the Assistant Head of School for Student Life and their parents/legal guardian.

Students placed on probation will not be eligible to participate in extracurricular activities with the exception of retreats. If a student on probation commits another serious infraction, she will be brought to the Disciplinary Review Board where her future at Mercy High School and any consequences will be decided.

A student on probation for more than one semester may be in jeopardy of losing Financial Aid.

In-School Suspension and Suspension Policy

In-school suspension- A student will be required to attend school and complete all assignments in a supervised classroom for a period of time determined by the Disciplinary Review Board. If a student is involved with Mercy extracurriculars on the day of the in-school suspension (i.e. athletic teams or tri-school theater), the student may be required to attend and uphold their commitments, but not participate.  Any papers and assignments due during an in-school suspension must be turned in on time. Students will receive credit for work completed on time during in-school suspensions.

Suspension- A student will be dismissed from all on-campus activities for the period of time determined by the Disciplinary Review Board. A suspension will be recorded and reported to colleges. Students who are suspended are expected to keep up with the work that they miss, but will not receive any credit. Students may communicate with their teachers during their suspension.

Expulsion Policy

The decision to expel a student shall be final and binding upon the student and her parents or guardians.


Student Responsibilities and Expectations

A student is a Mercy High School student at all times and is expected to behave, both on and off campus, in a respectful manner consistent with the school’s Mission Statement and Code of Conduct. Any conduct, both on and off campus, which reflects negatively upon the reputation of the school may be subject to disciplinary action, including, but not limited to, suspension from competitive and co-curricular activities, school suspension, and expulsion. Mercy High School reserves the right to search lockers, cars, and any and all personal possessions brought to school, including, but not limited to backpacks and electronic devices.

Conduct Away From School

A student can expect disciplinary action to be taken if she is reported for misconduct at any other school’s function, e.g. dances, games, or plays. Misconduct includes any of the following: disrespect, harm, or threat of harm to another person; use or possession of drugs or alcohol; stealing; any kind of defacing or destruction of another’s property. If misconduct occurs while a student is off campus, or if the student can be identified as a Mercy High School student, the rules that apply at a Mercy-sponsored function may apply at the event as well.

Security and Search of Personal Property

It is each student’s responsibility to ensure that all personal possessions are kept secure from possible theft and/or vandalism. Valuables should be left at home, and personal items must be stored in a secured locker at all times. Mercy does not assume responsibility for stolen/vandalized possessions on or off campus.

Mercy High School is now equipped with surveillance cameras, and if there is reasonable administrative suspicion, whether recorded or not, lockers, backpacks, and/or purses can be searched. The school will ask the student for permission to search her backpack, purse, etc. If the student refuses, the parent(s) and/or guardian(s) will be notified and asked to come to school to conduct the search the article. If warranted, the Burlingame Police Department will be contacted to conduct the search.

Student Lockers

Lockers are expected to be locked at all times regardless of whether or not a student uses them. Students assigned to lockers will be held responsible for anything found inside of them regardless of whether or not it is locked. Lockers are the property of the school and can be opened at any time by school officials.  


Students may receive detentions for a number of reasons, including, but not limited to:

  • Three tardies in a semester
  • Three uniform infractions in a semester
  • Locker infractions
  • Parking incorrectly
  • Return from absences without parent notes or phone calls
  • Behavioral issues
  • Inappropriate use of cell phone or iPad
  • Cutting class


Detention will be held on Monday through Thursday afternoon from 2:40-3:25. Students must serve the detention within two school days. For detention service examples, see below.

Detention issued on corresponding days must be served by:

  • Monday- Wednesday
  • Tuesday- Thursday
  • Wednesday- Monday 
  • Thursday- Tuesday
  • Friday-Tuesday 

Any student who is asked to leave detention or who fails to serve a detention will receive further disciplinary consequences. After earning three detentions in one semester, a student will be placed on disciplinary probation which will remove her from all extracurricular activities including Tri-School events and Mercy athletic teams. A cut will remain on a student’s record, even if detention was served. If a student fails to serve three detentions in a semester, she will be given an in-school suspension.

Prohibited Behaviors

Mercy High School strives to teach students to conduct themselves with integrity at all times  both on and off campus. The following examples of behavior provide for major violations of integrity. A student who engages in any of the following behaviors may receive disciplinary consequences that include, but are not limited to, a parent meeting, removal from extracurricular activities, suspension, placement on probation, and/ or expulsion. Depending on the nature of the offense, the police may be notified.

  • Serious disobedience or disrespect for authority
  • Theft
  • Vandalism
  • Lying to a faculty or staff member / Dishonesty
  • Forgery
  • Pulling a fire alarm
  • Inappropriate Language and Behavior
  • Leaving Campus without Approval
  • Smoking and vaping
  • Use, sale, distribution, or possession of illegal substances
  • Possession of drug paraphernalia
  • Harassment
  • Assault with, or possession of weapons, or any item capable of causing harm
  • Threats with or without imitation weapons
  • Bomb Threat
  • Injury or harm to persons or property
  • Sale of any materials on school grounds without proper approval
  • Student-to-student Harassment and Bullying
  • Threatening violence
  • Threatening email
  • Improper use of social media and cyberbullying
  • Academic dishonesty
  • Violations of the technology use policy and the social media policy
  • Conduct which reflects negatively on Mercy High School
  • Truancy issues

Cyberbullying and Harassment Policy

Mercy High School affirms the Christian dignity of every student. Harassment is unacceptable conduct that is severe, pervasive, deliberate, and emotionally and/or physically endangering to another student. The school reserves the right to discipline a student for actions committed on campus if they are intended to have an effect on a student or they adversely affect the safety and well-being of a student while in school. Any student who engages in the harassment of another student is subject to disciplinary consequences.

A charge of harassment shall not create the presumption of wrongdoing. Depending on the nature of the charge, if reasonable suspicion of misconduct is determined, the alleged harasser may be sent home, pending conclusion of the investigation by the school. Confirmed acts of harassment will result in disciplinary consequences, and when appropriate, the police may be notified.

Use of Cell Phone

Students may use their cell phones during their lunch periods and while in the cafeteria or on the Green. Students may never use cell phones while in the classrooms, hallways, bathrooms, or Library. Cell phones are expected to be turned off during class time and stored in bags. Some teachers may require cell phones to be turned in prior to the start of class, and students are expected to follow each teacher’s individual cell phone policy. On testing days, cell phones must be stored in backpacks.

Any violation of this policy will result in temporary confiscation of the device in question, and a detention. Confiscated phones will be held in the Main Office. Repetitive inappropriate cell phone usage will result in further disciplinary action which may include, but is not limited to, parent meeting, confiscating the cell phone for a period of time, suspension, and/or placement Disciplinary Probation.

Respect for Campus Grounds

Students are expected to keep the Mercy campus clean and graffiti-free.  Trash, recycling, and compost materials are to be placed in the appropriate containers.  Any student who is found littering or destroying campus grounds will be brought in for disciplinary consequences. The consequences may include, but are not limited to, parent meeting, detention, removal from extracurricular activities, suspension, placement on probation, and/or expulsion.

No food or drinks are allowed in Sequoia or the Chapel.

School Attendance, Arrival, and Departure on Days of Extra-Curricular Activities

Students are expected to be in school for the entire day if they wish to attend the activity. The exception to this rule is for students who earn the Student Fundraiser day off for formal or prom. Doctor appointments will not be accepted as an excuse for missing school time.

Drug, Alcohol, Tobacco, Substance Use Policy

Administration, faculty, and staff are committed to maintaining a healthy, safe, respectful, and positive environment. We assist students and families as each student grows in the ability to make informed choices and moral decisions in pursuing a healthy lifestyle.  Mercy High School is a drug- and alcohol-free school, and as such, it is our expectation that students refrain from the use of alcohol and others drugs both on and off campus. Students found in possession, use, sale, and/or distribution of drugs will receive disciplinary consequences. Those students who are in the presence of/ accompany those who engage in unlawful behavior may be subject to disciplinary consequences.

If it is brought to the attention of the school that a student may be in possession, use, sale, and/or the distribution of drugs, an investigation will begin. The investigation may require the student to submit to searches and testing for controlled substances and may include the filing of a police report or a request for police investigation. Refusal to submit to searches, testing, or assessment in a timely manner may result in a decision to expel the student. The student will be suspended pending completion of the investigation by the administration.

If a student is found to have possessed, used, distributed, or sold drugs, disciplinary consequences will occur which may include, but are not limited to expulsion, placement on probation, periodic testing and assessment, education, counseling, inpatient or outpatient treatment and exclusion from school activities, and expulsion. Failure of parents/guardians to cooperate and support the conditions for the student’s continuing at the school may result in the school’s request that the parents/guardians withdraw their student or a decision not to accept continued enrollment of the student. Persistent refusal by either or both the student and parents/guardians to comply with any provision of this policy will result in expulsion.

Mercy High School reserves the right to conduct random and specific drug and alcohol testing at any and all school events.

We expect students’ activities in private homes to reflect the same values and philosophy as those of Mercy High School. We encourage parents to communicate with other parents to achieve these ends. We expect that parents will not provide students access to alcohol or drugs and that they will supervise students’ social activities held in their homes.


Attendance is mandatory for all students. The school recognizes and honors the importance of class time to student academic success. Mercy families and students should be aware that leaving school before regular dismissal time, and/or accumulating excessive absences or tardies, not only jeopardizes student academic progress, but it also disrupts the learning environment of fellow classmates. As such, we expect that all families and students respect the learning process of their fellow schoolmates.   

Students are expected to be in class and ready to begin work at the beginning of each instructional period. A tardy student will be defined as any student who is not physically inside her classroom at the start of each period.


Classes will start promptly on time. Teachers will give tardies in the classroom in the first five minutes of class. If a student is more than five minutes late to a class, they must go to the Main Office or the Russell Office to record their tardy. She must also have a parent or guardian call the Main Office or write a tardy note explaining the tardy in order to qualify for an excused tardy; it is the student’s responsibility to bring the tardy note to the main office immediately following the first period of the day. A student will not be let into the classroom without a tardy slip. If a student accumulates three unexcused tardies in a semester, she will be required to serve a detention.

Students may only have a combined total of three excused tardies and early dismissals within a semester. Any student who exceeds this limit will be required to meet with the Assistant Head of School for Student Life and her parents/legal guardian. If a student is more than 15 minutes late for a class, it considered a cut and she will receive a detention.

Absences are excused for:

  • Personal illness- After three or more consecutive days of absence, a student should produce a note from a medical professional stating the reason for the student’s absence; this policy includes leaving school early.
  • Medical Appointments*
  • Death in the family (relative or close family friend)**
  • Court appearances**
  • DMV and passport appointments
  • Limited number of college visits- See policy below
  • Religious holidays- Submit note to the Assistant Head of School for Student Life two weeks prior.

*Requires a note from a parent/legal guardian and medical professional.

** Requires a note from  a parent/legal guardian

If a student arrives late to class due to one of the situations listed above, it will be marked as an excused absence, not a tardy.

Other rare exceptions (ie. competitions, academic experiences) must be approved no less than two weeks in advance by the Assistant Heads of School.

Under no circumstance is a vacation considered an excused absence.  An excused absence allows you to make up work, quizzes, and tests. An unexcused absence disallows you from making up work, quizzes, and tests. 

Absences are counted per class period. If a student misses a portion of a day for an unexcused reason, her absence will only be counted for the classes she missed. Absences appear on PowerSchool cumulatively. After 3 full days or 3 specific class periods are missed, a notification email will go to parents/guardians. After five partial or entire days excused, the student and parents/guardian will be required to meet with the Assistant Head of School for Student Life, Assistant Head of School for Academics, and the Academic Counselor.

The absence policy states that students who have unexcused absences in 15% (6) of the classes per semester, shall earn no grade higher than a B in the course; 20% (8) unexcused absences, no grade higher than a C; 25% (10) unexcused absences, students will receive a failing grade, and will be required to attend summer school.

All tardies and absences will become part of the student’s permanent record. All absences must be called into the Main Office by 9:30 a.m. Mercy High School will call families of students who are not on campus and who have not been called in as absent.

After two unexcused absences, a notification email from the Assistant Head of School for Student Life will be sent to the student and parents/guardians. The student will meet with the Assistant Head of School for Student Life. 

After three unexcused absences the student and parents/guardians will be notified and the student will be placed on disciplinary probation. The student will be ineligible for all Mercy High School-sponsored extracurricular activities.

After four unexcused absences the student will be placed on an attendance contract with the Assistant Head of School for Student Life and Counseling Department.

Students and families will be required to meet with the Head of School, Assistant Head of School for Student Life, and/or the Assistant Head of School for Academics regarding truancy issues. The disciplinary consequences may include, teacher meetings, removal from extracurricular events, loss of parking privileges, suspension, and/or expulsion. 

Admit After Absence

If a student’s absence was not phoned into the Main Office, the student must report to the Main Office with a note signed by a parent or guardian stating the reason for the absence prior to the start of school. If a student returns without a phone call or note she will receive a detention.

School-Sponsored Trips, Field Trips, and Kairos

Students are expected to complete all work missed during school trips, field trips, or Kairos. All work due on the day of departure should be turned in before the absence. Tests and quizzes should be made up within 3 days, or as arranged with the teacher before the absence.

College Visitation

Mercy encourages students to visit prospective colleges in order to make an informed decision about possible attendance. Families are encouraged to book these trips in line with the scheduled Mercy school holidays and during College Visitation Week, October 10th-14th. Addition college visit days for seniors will be limited to two days. Student must submit a form signed by a parent and approved by the Assistant Head of School for Student Life and College Counselor prior to the time of the tour.

Family Vacations

Family vacations should not be scheduled when school is in session.

Early Dismissal

With the exception of school sponsored co-curricular activities, leaving the school grounds requires written permission in the form of an early dismissal slip. Parents should send a note to the Main Office by 10:00 am indicating time of early dismissal, reason, and parent signature.

Since the school is legally responsible for students only the Head of School, Assistant Heads of School, and Dean of Students can approve a student leaving the school during regular school hours. The student’s parents/guardians must have prior knowledge of the early dismissal. No teacher or other school employee may give a student permission to leave the school premises. Leaving school grounds without an early dismissal slip will be treated as truancy and dealt with accordingly.

Contacting a Student During the Day

Parents are expected to abide by the same cell phone policy as students and are asked not to text or call their daughters during class time.

If a parent needs to contact their daughter during the school day due to an emergency, they should call the Main Office to request that a message is forwarded to the student.

Parking Lot and Vehicles

Since Mercy High School has limited parking, students must have a permit in order to park in the student lot. Seniors may apply for parking; once all seniors are accommodated, juniors may apply for the remaining unassigned spots.

Students are expected to abide by the parking policies that are stated on the Parking Permit Application. Any violation to this application will result in loss of driving privileges. In order to accommodate those students who wish to drive, but who do not receive a permit, Mercy High School and the City of Burlingame offer shuttles to and from the Millbrae BART station. For more information on this please contact the Assistant Head of School for Student Life.

Mercy High School has a Conditional Use Permit with the City of Burlingame which outlines that our students may not park outside of the Mercy gates. All parents and students are expected to abide by these rules. Any student in violation of these terms will receive disciplinary consequences.

Mercy High School is not responsible for damage to vehicles or items taken from vehicles at any time on or off campus


Graduation Requirements

Credit Requirements

The academic program at Mercy High School is designed to prepare young women for a successful  college experience. A student must complete 70 units per year and 280 units in order to graduate, in addition to completing 22 community service hours per year. Students are required to take Religion every year. Upon completion of these requirements, students will graduate in the June of their senior year.

Subject Requirements

Mercy requires the following minimum coursework:

  • English: 4 years, 40 credits
  • Math: 3 years, 30 credits
  • Religion: 4 years, 40 credits
  • Science: 3 years, 30 credits
  • Social Studies: 3 years, 30 credits
  • Visual/Performing Arts: 1 year, 10 credits
  • World Language: 2 years, 20 credits
  • Health and Wellness: .5 years, 5 credits
  • Electives: 75 credits

Grading Scale

Mercy High School uses the following scale to determine grades. Honors and AP classes earn an extra point.

100-98 = A+        76-74 = C

 97-94 = A           73-70 = C-

 93-90 = A-          69-67 = D+

 89-87 = B+         66-64 = D

 86-84 = B           63-60 = D-

 83-80 = B-          60- >60 = F

 79-77 = C+


Mercy High School’s grading scale is based on a four-point system. A student’s grade point average (GPA) is determined by dividing the total points earned by the number of classes taken.

A+ = 4.00     B+ = 3.33     C+ = 2.33     D+ = 1.33     F = 0.00

A   = 4.00     B   = 3.00     C   = 2.00     D   = 1.00

A- = 3.67      B-  = 2.67     C- = 1.67      D-  = 0.67

Report Cards

Mercy High School issues report cards electronically four times a year, after each grading period. Official transcripts reflect only semester grades.


Official grades appear on PowerSchool. Parents and students can access PowerSchool for official updated grades. Online grade books are updated regularly with homework and other assignments. Most essays and tests are updated within two weeks of the due date/ testing date. Individual grading policies will be shared with students by teachers at the beginning of the year through the course syllabus.

If a student or parent feels grades are not being properly updated they should contact the teacher prior to going to the department chair, counselor, or an administrator. Schoology is not used for official grades.

Parents have constant access to PowerSchool and will receive weekly progress reports. If a parent is unable to access PowerSchool or does not receive progress reports, it is the parent’s responsibility to contact the main office to reinstate access.

Make-Up Work/Test Policy

It is the student’s responsibility to communicate with her teacher when she misses class as well as to turn in make-up work and missed assignments by the deadline set by the teacher.

Students with excused absences are required to make up tests that were administered during her absence within three days of returning to school or on the scheduled makeup date. Teachers are not obligated to proctor make-up tests during the school days. When there are repeated absences on days students are aware they have tests, presentations, and major projects due, teachers will exercise their judgment regarding the feasibility of make-up work.

In the case of a prolonged absence due to illness, the teacher, counselor, and Assistant Head of School for Academics will decide on an appropriate course of action regarding missing work.

Dropping A Course

Students who wish to drop or add a course must meet with their academic counselor to receive a REQUEST TO DROP OR ADD FORM within the first week of class. This form must be signed by the teacher of the class that they are requesting to drop, their counselor, and their parent. Forms must be turned in within the published deadline. Filling out a Request to Drop Form does not guarantee that the student may be able to drop a course. Requests filed after June 1 will incur a fee of $30.

Accommodations for Students in Crisis

Mercy High School will make a reasonable effort to offer special accommodations to those students who have short-term issues that affect their attendance and academic performance. Special accommodation requests should be brought to the Dean of Students and the student’s counselor.

A student returning to school after a crisis will meet with her counselor, parents, and Assistant Head of School for Student Life to establish an academic plan before attending class again.

A student receiving special accommodations will be reviewed regularly to determine if the accommodations should continue and if the student should continue her high school career at Mercy High School.

Final Exams

All students are expected to be present for the scheduled final exams. Should a family need to petition a change in the final examination time or date, we ask that they make that request at least one month prior to the scheduled exam. Requesting an earlier final does not guarantee that an earlier accommodation can be made for the student and family.

If a student is seriously ill during her scheduled final, a parent or guardian should call the Main Office and speak to the Director of Student Services.

Incomplete Grades

A student who receives an incomplete on her report card must complete any outstanding work within one month of the end of the semester. Failure to do so will result in a grade change to an F. If there are extraordinary circumstances that cause a student to be unable to meet this deadline the Director of Student Services will meet with the family to determine a new plan to ensure the work is completed in a timely manner.

Advanced Placement Exams

Students who take an AP class are expected to take the AP exam in May. The May exam is the culmination of a year’s worth of study and is the natural extension of taking an AP course.

Students may request an exemption from the exam policy by putting a request in writing. Parent signatures are required. Requests, although rarely granted, will be considered by the Assistant Head of School for Academics. Requests should be made between April 1-15. A $15 fee is incurred by the student for unused exams.

If an exam exemption is granted, the student must take the final exam in the classroom and will not receive the honors GPA point in the spring term.

All AP fees must be paid by October 15th.

Students who have not taken the AP course at Mercy High School may not take the AP exam.


While it is the hope of Mercy High School that all seniors take part in the graduation ceremony, families should be aware that there are certain conditions that may result in a student’s inability to participate in graduation exercises. These conditions include, but are not limited to:

  • Failure to meet academic requirements for graduation
  • Serious behavioral issues that require administrative action
  • Failure to attend graduation practices

Diplomas may be held if:

  • Course credits are incomplete or student is failing the course
  • Academic requirements for graduation are not met
  • Financial obligations are not met
  • Service learning requirement is not met
  • Behavior is disruptive during the graduation practice or ceremony

Academic Grievance

If a student has a concern over a grade she has received, she should follow the following grievance process:

  1. Email the teacher and request a private meeting to discuss the grade.
  2. Email the department chair and request a meeting to discuss the continued concern.
  3. Email the counselor to request a meeting to discuss the continued concern.
  4. Email the Director of Student Services to discuss the continued concern.
  5. Request a conference with the Assistant Head of School for Academics if all steps prove unsatisfactory. The conference will include the student, parent, teacher, counselor, department chair, and Assistant Head of School for Academics.  


Each student is responsible for acquiring all of her necessary textbooks and course materials. Textbooks may be purchased in either a hard copy or e-book. A list of required textbooks will be posted on Mercy High School’s website by June 15th.


Homework assignments can be found on Schoology. All homework assignments are expected to be turned in at the beginning of class on the date that they are due. Any late or incomplete homework may receive a grade of zero. Students who choose to enroll in honors and AP courses should expect to have additional homework in each higher level course.


All Mercy High School freshmen, sophomore, and junior students are expected to take part in the National Testing Day held in October. Freshmen take the PSAT 8/9 test, and sophomores and juniors take the PSAT. Seniors are expected to independently register for the SAT, SAT subject, and/or ACT exams. Students should speak to their counselors for more guidance in this process.  


In order to protect the dignity, character, and future of Mercy High School, all school information about students and/or their school, civic, or home life is held in confidence. The information will not be released to any individual or institution unless the request is in writing from the parent/legal guardian and the school authorities are fully satisfied that the requesting party has a right to the information requested.

Field Trips

Field trips are privileges offered to students in order to enhance their learning experience. Should a student fail to meet academic and/or behavioral requirements, she may be denied the right to participate in a field trip.

Students who plan to attend a field trip must complete the proper paperwork by the stated deadlines. Any student who fails to meet the deadlines may be denied the right to attend the field trip.

It is the student’s responsibility to notify teachers of any known absences due to field trips, as well as to make up all assignments.

Withdrawal from School

The parent or guardian of any student who wishes to withdraw or transfer to another school is required to submit a formal written request to the Registrar. All outstanding charges must be settled with Mercy High School before the withdraw/ transfer may occur.


Students who earn an F in a any class must remediate the course. Students in need of remediation can receive more information from their counselor or the Director of Student Services regarding the options available.

The Director of Student Services must approve all remedial courses taken outside of Mercy High School prior to the student’s registration in order to ensure that the course is UC approved and in line with the Mercy High School curriculum.

Tri-School Courses

In partnership with Notre Dame High School and Junipero Serra High School, Mercy High School offers Tri-School courses to students in order to encourage collaboration and co-educational experiences.

Parents and guardians are responsible for transportation to the Tri-School campus in which they are enrolled. When possible, Mercy will provide transportation from Serra High School and the Mercy campus.

Students are eligible to take Tri-School classes with a 3.0 or higher GPA.



Students have access to a variety of computer technologies on campus in the Multimedia Lab and Library. Technology and Internet use at Mercy High School, whether on a student-operated iPad or a school computer, is to be used for educational purposes that serve the school’s mission.

It is expected that all Mercy students will use the iPads respectfully and for the sole purpose of deepening and enriching their educational experiences at Mercy. The use of iPads in the classroom is a privilege, not a right. Students are expected to uphold the values and expectations set forth in the Mission Statement and the Code of Conduct as these two documents extend to the electronic world.

The following Acceptable Use Policy (AUP), signed by the student, must be on file with the Assistant Head of School for Student Life before a student is allowed access to the school network. AUP is provided to make all users, including parents, aware of the additional responsibilities associated with efficient, ethical, and lawful use of technology. If a student violates any of the following terms and conditions, she may lose technology privileges and suffer disciplinary consequences. Disciplinary consequences include, but are not limited to: warnings, detentions, suspension, loss of iPad privileges, removal of iPad apps, placement of disciplinary probation, parent phone calls and/or meetings, and/or expulsion. When applicable, law enforcement agencies may be involved.

iPad Program

The focus of the iPad program at Mercy High School is allow students to maximize their learning by fully integrating relevant technology into the academic arena. At all times students will be expected to use their iPads respectfully, maturely, and professionally.

The policies, procedures, and information laid out below apply to all iPads used at Mercy High School, and they also extend to include any other technological devices. Teachers may set additional requirements for use in the classroom, and it is each student’s responsibility to familiarize herself with each of her teachers specific policies.

Using the iPad at School: Students are responsible for bringing their iPad to class every day. Leaving an iPad at home is not an acceptable excuse for not having work turned in on time.

iPad Undergoing Repair: Students with iPads undergoing repair are responsible for preparing for class and completing all assignments.

Charging of iPad: iPads must be brought to school each day fully charged. The teacher reserves full discretion to deny a student’s request to charge her iPad during class.

Screensavers and Background Photos: 

Inappropriate media and/or photos may not be used as screensavers or backgrounds.  Presence or suggestion of inappropriate, illegal, and/or immoral language and/or behaviors which include, but are not limited to alcohol, drugs, weapons, pornographic materials, and/or gang related symbols or pictures will result in disciplinary actions.

Though a student may keep her iPad secure through the use of a password, the school reserves the right attain the password in order to search her iPad.

Sounds, Music, Media and Programs:
Sound must be muted at all times unless permission is obtained from the teacher for instructional purposes.

Headphones and earbuds are not permitted outside the discretion of a teacher. This includes use in the Cafeteria, halls, Grassilli, and The Green during the hours of 7:55 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.

Games may not be used during class periods or study hall periods. If a student is found to be using a non-educational app or using the internet for a non-educational purpose, she will be given a detention and may have her iPad taken away for the day.

Students may not stream videos or music.

Pictures and Videos: Students may not take pictures or record any other students or teachers. Students may not take pictures during class time unless otherwise instructed by their teacher. Students may not post any pictures or videos without the approval of all people captured in the picture or video.

Backing up Work: Backing up files is highly recommended as it is the student’s responsibility to ensure that work is not lost due to mechanical failure or accidental deletion.

Network Connectivity: Mercy High School makes no guarantee of network connection.

Software Updates and Restoration: If technical difficulties occur, iPads may need to be restored. Students are responsible for updating all applications needed for the classroom.

Email and Schoology: Students are expected to check their Gmail and Schoology accounts throughout the day, and at least once every 24 hours.

Printing: Students should have all work printed prior to the start time of class. Students may not disrupt classes in session in order to use the printers. Should a student need to use a school printer, she should go to the school library before school.

Social Media Policy

Mercy High School recognizes and encourages the need for the social development of its students; however, we expect students to conduct themselves on Internet and social media sites such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and SnapChat with the same moral standards that we expect out of them in the classroom. Should any inappropriate pictures, videos, and/or comments come to the attention of the school that shows the student engaging in any illegal, immoral, unhealthy, or inappropriate behaviors, students will immediately be held accountable and appropriate action may be taken.

Students are solely responsible for their social media accounts and apps, along with what is posted on them. Students may not take or post photos or videos without approval from all parties involved. Prior to taking any video or recording in a classroom, students must ask for teacher permission. School action may include, but is not limited to, a parent meeting, removal from extracurricular activities, suspension, placement on probation, and/ or expulsion. All posts, responses to posts, pictures, and videos are expected to be appropriate in nature. When necessary, the police may be notified. If a student has concerns about what has been posted by others on their account or what has been posted about them on another site, she is advised to speak with the Assistant Head of School for Student Life immediately.

Smart Watches

Students are not permitted to wear smart watches on campus. Watches can have a time function only.


Resource Center

The Resource Center provides academic support for all students. Testing, tutoring, and study services are available.

Academic Mentoring and Educational Support (AMES)

Mercy High School’s Academic Mentoring and Educational Support Program (AMES) is designed to assist students with identified and documented learning differences who are in need of additional support to be successful in our college preparatory environment. The goal of the AMES Program is to develop and strengthen learning skills that are essential to academic success. The AMES Program utilizes different techniques which equip the students to use their strengths in the classroom, while learning to accommodate those areas that they find challenging. Students in AMES are instructed in various assistive technologies along with study skills and strategies of self-advocacy. Students who have documented learning differences are introduced to compensatory methods as well as accommodations which will assist them in meeting their academic goals.

Students and parents with questions or concerns about the AMES Program should contact the Director of Student Services.


The Counseling Department, which is located in Russell Hall, provides academic, wellness, and college counseling. Counselors are available to students throughout the school day. Confidentiality is an essential part of the trust built with students. Counselors will keep student interactions confidential, unless harm to self or others is indicated. Counselors refer students to outside professionals when appropriate.


The Mercy High School Registrar is responsible for generating transcripts upon request. Transcripts requested by families are $10. Transcript requests should be sent Stephanie Montoya at smontoya@mercyhsb.com.

Closed Campus

Visitors to the high school are required by campus security to identify themselves, state the purpose of their visit, and report to the Main Office prior to proceeding to their intended destination on campus.

Parents/guardians of students who wish to meet with a teacher or other school officials are expected to abide by these same guidelines. Parents/guardians who wish to meet with school personnel must make arrangements in advance.

Students may not access the following areas during the school day:

  • Student parking lot, Lake Lot, Forest Lot, Eucalyptus Lot and road areas
  • Field and road areas past the Grassilli Center
  • Grass along path between Kohl Mansion and Russell Hall
  • All areas around Russell Hall or Mercy Center and the office wing on the second floor of Russell Hall
  • The lower green outside the classroom wing windows
  • The Machines Room, Faculty Lunchroom, Faculty Workroom, cafeteria kitchen, basement, front lobby, and 4th floor, except for official business or appointments
  • Mercy Center

After school, students must wait for their rides in front of the mansion or in the mansion foyer.  Students may not wait for their rides or be picked up outside of the campus gates, per the Conditional Use Permit with the City of Burlingame.

Legal Custody Issues

Mercy High School will provide parents with access to academic records and other school information regarding their child. If there is a court order specifying that there should be no contact with a parent and that no information should be shared with a parent, it is the custodial parent’s responsibility to provide the school with a court- certificated copy.

At least one emergency contact on your daughter’s medical form must be available between the hours of 8AM and 4PM in order to assist with any illnesses and emergencies.

Illness or Injury During School Day

Any student who becomes ill during the day must report to the Main Office.  If the student needs to go home, the school will call the parent/guardian to pick up the student or give the student permission to leave school. A student will not be permitted to leave campus unless the parents/guardians are contacted.

All school injuries are to be reported to the teacher or coach in charge as soon as they occur. Injuries will be reported through the Magnus online system.


Mercy High School personnel are unable to distribute medication and to apply/ change dressings on pre-existing injuries. Any need for the use of prescribed medication should be noted on a student’s emergency health card.  

Immunizations/Medical Forms

California State law requires that a completed immunization record be on file at the start of the school year. Magnus forms must be completed and received PRIOR to the start of the school year.  Students will be sent home after three (3) days at the start of the school year unless the immunization record is on file with Magnus and in the Registrar’s Office.

Mercy High School requires that tuberculin testing for incoming students be current within one year and that all students have their DTAP Booster.

Reference:  Health and Safety Code, Sections 120325-120375; California Administrative Code, Title 17, Sections 6000-6075 (July 1999).

Emergency Procedures

Mercy High School has established procedures to be followed in the event of fire, earthquake, and other disasters. These are posted in all classrooms and are reviewed with students by teachers. In addition, the school holds intruder, fire, and earthquake drills throughout the year. All students and school personnel, are required to familiarize themselves with these procedures and to be prepared to immediately follow them. The school’s emergency preparedness plan includes provision for emergency food and shelter for all students and staff for three days.

As a condition of enrollment, all students must have current and accurate emergency contact information on file.  Please notify the Main Office immediately if you or your daughter has a change in name, email, address, emergency contact, work phone, cell phone or home telephone number.

If an emergency takes place during non-school hours and school will be cancelled for the day, parents will be contacted using our emergency communication system.


Tuition payments may be made annually, semi-annually, or monthly. Enrollment in the FACTS Tuition Management program is mandatory for all families.

Before any senior can receive graduation accessories, or participate in any of the graduation activities (practices, Mass, Graduation ceremony), tuition accounts must be current.

For a more detailed explanation, please refer to the Board of Directors’ Tuition Policy distributed at the time of re-registration.

Financial Aid Program

Mercy High School is conscious that a Mercy education involves a significant financial commitment on the part of parents and responsible management of those finances on the part of Mercy High School.

Each year resources are set aside for financial assistance to help parents in their quest for a Mercy education for their daughters. Financial Aid requests are completed through TADS and must be renewed each year. The application process begins in December.

Each November the Mercy parent e-news will include weekly reminders of the Financial Aid process and deadlines. Financial Aid awards are made in March for the following academic year.

Students receiving Financial Aid must maintain a semester average 2.5 GPA and must not have any serious disciplinary infraction to remain eligible to continue receiving aid. Students whose GPA falls below 2.5 during the school year will have until the end of the quarter to improve their grades or aid will be rescinded. Returning students receiving aid who have less than a 2.5 GPA will be eligible for aid for a new school year; however, their GPA must be raised to 2.5 by the end of the first semester to remain eligible. Students new to the school whose families qualify for and who receive Financial Aid must have a 2.5 GPA at the semester to continue receiving the aid. Students with repeated disciplinary infractions may be ineligible to continue receiving aid. Families of students whose aid is in jeopardy because of grades or discipline issues will receive letters outlining the issue, the possible solution and a deadline.

Photo and Name Release

During the course of the school year, your daughter may be included in various photo opportunities. These photos may be used for the Yearbook, for promotional items including advertisements for Open House, the Website (no names used/photos only), Annual Report and general school use.  These photos may also be used in conjunction with Press Releases sent out to the local newspapers and the San Francisco Catholic.

Should you desire not to have your daughter be included in these photos, please send a written note to the Advancement Office notifying them of your decision and we will make every effort to honor your wishes.


Acknowledgement Form