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Mercy High School Student & Family Handbook_2023-24
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TABLE OF CONTENTS

  1. Mercy Mission and Values
  1. Foundation Statement
  2. Mission Statement
  3. Vision Statement
  4. Mercy Values
  1. Core Values
  2. Profile of a Mercy Graduate
  1. Traditions
  1. Historical Sketch
  2. Meaning of the School Seal
  3. Traditions
  4. Prayer
  5. Song
  1. Social Procedures & Agreements
  1. Preliminary Statement
  2. Anti-Bullying and Harassment Policy
  3. Anti-Racism Statement
  4. Code of Conduct
  1. Introduction
  2. Dignity and Respect
  3. Student Rights
  4. Offensive Conduct
  1. Tier 1 Offenses
  2. Tier 2 Offenses
  3. Tier 3 Offenses
  1. Consequences for Offensive Conduct
  2. Consequences Guidelines
  1. Uniform Policy
  2. Dance Policy
  3. Due Process & Appeals Procedures
  1. Academic Expectations and Requirements
  1. Classes
  1. Class Load
  2. Schedules and Schedule Adjustments
  3. Final Exams
  4. Repeating Classes
  5. Non-Mercy Classes
  6. Withdrawal from Classes
  7. Withdrawal from School
  1. Grading
  1. Grading System
  2. Grade Point Average and Eligibility
  3. Grade Reporting to Parents
  4. Honor Roll
  5. Transcripts
  6. Final Grade Change Deadlines
  7. Academic Probation
  8. Procedure for Addressing Academic Issues
  1. Graduation
  1. Graduation Requirements and Honors
  2. Valedictorian and Salutatorian Selection
  1. Plagiarism and Cheating
  2. Student Eligibility
  1. Extracurricular and Co-curricular Activities
  1. Unscheduled Time
  2. End-of-Year Obligations
  1. Attendance
  1. Arrival/Sign-in
  2. Sign-Out
  3. Reporting of Absence/Late Arrival/Early Dismissal
  4. Absences
  5. Long-Term Absences
  6. Truancy
  7. Illness During The Day
  8. Tardiness
  9. Attendance Appeals
  10. Bereavement and Funerals
  11. Teacher Absence
  1. Other Important Information
  1. Family Information
  1. Change of Address/Telephone
  2. Emergency School Closing
  3. Funerals and Grieving
  4. Parent/Caregiver Organizations
  5. Tuition Assistance
  6. Tuition Payment
  1. Student Life
  1. Adviser Program
  2. Counseling
  3. College Resources
  4. Identification Cards
  5. Lost and Found
  6. Student Awards
  7. Student Shadows
  1. Senior Privileges
  1. Late Arrival & Early Dismissal
  2. Senior Released Time
  1. Wellness
  1. Illness During the School Day
  2. Health Forms/Physicals
  3. Medical Needs and Medication
  4. Dispensing Medication During School Hours
  5. Accidents
  6. Emotional and Social Support
  7. Abuse (Physical, Sexual, Emotional, and Other Forms of Abuse)
  8. Communicable Diseases
  9. Pregnancy
  1. Departments and Offices
  1. Advancement Office
  2. Business Office
  3. Office of Mission and Ministry
  4. Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Department
  5. Counseling Department
  6. Media Center
  7. Wellness Center
  8. IT Department
  1. Campus Use and Campus Safety
  2. School Website and Telephone Directory


  1. MERCY MISSION & VALUES

The Mercy High School Family Handbook provides students, staff, and the Mercy community with our guiding principles, traditions, and school policies.

  1. FOUNDATION STATEMENT

Mercy High School was founded by the Sisters of Mercy in 1945, to provide a Catholic education grounded in academic excellence and holistic spiritual life. Mercy is proud of its 16,000+ alumnae throughout the world who are now making a difference. Mercy High School is a sponsored ministry of the Institute of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas and is a member of Mercy Education.

The Mercy Education has a long and fruitful history with its roots in Ireland, in the ministry of Catherine McAuley, and schools throughout the world. Her mission was to serve the poor, the sick and those in need of education. When Catherine McAuley founded the Congregation of the Sisters of Mercy in 1831, her mission was “to connect the rich with the poor, the healthy to the sick, the educated and skilled to those who lack, the influential to those forgotten, the powerful to the weak, and through this, do the work of God on Earth.”

A hallmark of a Mercy education is the development of a strong voice used to support the Critical Concerns of the Sisters of Mercy: Earth; Immigration; Nonviolence; Racism; Women. At Mercy High School in Farmington Hills, we proudly continue in this commitment with a dedicated faculty, staff and student body, as we live our Mercy Values: Human Dignity, Service, Justice, Mercy and Option for the Poor. We proclaim the Gospel through our actions.

A Mercy education prepares young women from across metropolitan Detroit to serve and lead in contemporary society. Grounded in the heritage of the Sisters of Mercy, Mercy High School nurtures a loving, supportive, Catholic community that celebrates human diversity and centers the experience of those who are suffering, persecuted, and in need.


  1. MISSION  STATEMENT

Compelled by our Catholic faith and the spirit of the Sisters of Mercy, Mercy High School is a premier college preparatory school that educates and nurtures young women of diverse backgrounds to excel academically, serve compassionately, and lead courageously.

  1. VISION STATEMENT

As a shining lamp of Catholic education, Mercy High School inspires young women of diverse backgrounds to lead faith-filled lives, use their voices, and achieve their goals. Our graduates exemplify unity, empathy, knowledge, and leadership to make a difference in the world.

  1. MERCY VALUES

We believe that the Gospel and the Mercy Values of Human Dignity, Justice, Service, Option for the Poor, and Mercy are at the heart of everything we do.

i. Core Values: Our Core Values are the hallmarks of a Mercy Education. These are the ideals we stand up for and strive to live up to. We hold ourselves to these standards as an institution, as a community and as individuals. Each value is interconnected and necessary as we take Mercy into the world.


ii. Profile of a Mercy Graduate: This profile is the culmination of everything a Mercy Education hopes to achieve providing a blueprint to define the attributes that support our Core Values and the steps students take to gain them.

  1. TRADITIONS

i. Historical Sketch: Located at Southfield and Outer Drive in Detroit, Mercy High School first opened its doors in 1945. The Sisters of Mercy established the school to offer young women the opportunity to receive a value-centered education in an environment of academic excellence. As enrollment grew, Mercy relocated to a new and larger building in Farmington Hills in 1965. Mercy is proud of its 16,000 alumnae throughout the world who are now making a difference.

ii. Meaning of the School Crest: The book symbolizes the school where moral courage (virtus) and knowledge (scientia) are fostered under the guidance and protection of Mary, Our Lady of Mercy. The lilies are Mary's coat-of-arms. The Maltese cross is the symbol of the Religious Sisters of Mercy.

iii. Traditions:

Patroness:

Our Lady of Mercy

Sisters of Mercy Founderess:

Venerable Catherine McAuley

Celebratory Dates:

  • September 24 – Mercy Day/Feast of Our Lady of Mercy
  • December 12 – Foundation Day

Colors:

Maroon and Gold

Mascot:

Marlin

Motto:

Women Who Make A Difference

iv. Prayer: 

Suscipe of Catherine McAuley

My God, I am yours for time and eternity. Teach me to cast myself entirely into the arms of your loving providence, with the most lively, unlimited confidence in your compassionate, tender pity. Grant me, O most merciful Redeemer, that whatever you ordain or permit may be acceptable to me. Take from my heart all painful anxiety; suffer nothing to sadden me but sin, nothing to delight me but the hope of coming to the possession of you, my God and my all, in your everlasting kingdom. Amen.

Dally Afternoon Prayer:

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit Amen.

Protect us LORD as we leave this place. Watch over us as we go our separate ways. Give us strength to continue our day.

God, we know that in every person we meet, you are there. Help us to remember to treat others with respect and love.

Grant us humility. Grant us resilience when we face challenges. Grant us courage to use our voice for others. Grant us loving kindness for our neighbor. Grant us patience with our loved ones.

Bless this community that is growing together in Mercy. We ask for special blessings upon the Sisters of Mercy for they are the reason we are here. Thank you for the gift of our teachers, staff, coaches, and parents/guardians.

Bless our coming and our going. God of mercy, be near.

Amen.

We thank you God for the gift of this day.

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit Amen.

v. Song: 

We Are Mercy High

We are Mercy High School

We’re building tomorrow with our lives today.

Learning and growing we are seekers of truth.

We’re proud to be called Mercy.

We are Mercy Marlins

Holding our colors for the world to see.

Reaching for the best we can be.

We’re proud to be called Marlins.

        

Guided by the spirit of wisdom and guided by the spirit of light

We pledge to keep the goal of excellence

Ever in our sight.

        

We are Mercy High School

We’re building tomorrow with our lives today.

Learning and growing, we are seekers of truth.

We’re proud to be called,

We are Mercy

Reaching for the best we can be.

We are Mercy High.


  1. SOCIAL PROCEDURES & AGREEMENTS

  1. PRELIMINARY STATEMENT

Mercy High School educates and inspires young women of diverse backgrounds to lead and serve with compassion, for the safety, well-being and liberation of all people.

We respect each person as a unique individual and affirm each person as loved and valued. We respect the lives, dignity and safety of all members of our school. We accept that we are responsible for upholding the values of the community of Mercy High School. We respect the laws of the city, county, state and country.

Together, we work for peace through personal and communal practices of nonviolence and anti-racism. As members of Mercy High School, we acknowledge that our words, actions and decisions can be powerful tools in recognizing and dismantling racism in order to become an anti-racist multicultural community.

  1. ANTI-BULLYING AND HARASSMENT POLICY

Anti-Bullying and Harassment Policy

Incident Reporting Form

  1. ANTI-RACISM STATEMENT

Mercy High School’s stance on racism is rooted in Catholic faith, Christian tradition, and the Critical Concerns of the Sisters of Mercy. From the Catechism of the Catholic Church, we learn that “equality rests essentially on dignity as persons and the rights that flow from it: ”Every form of social or cultural discrimination in fundamental personal rights on the grounds of sex, race, color, social conditions, language, or religion must be curbed and eradicated as incompatible with God’s design.”

The United States Council on Catholic Bishops clearly states: Racism is a sin: a sin that divides the human family, blots out the image of God among specific members of that family, and violates the fundamental human dignity of those called to be children of the same Father. Furthermore, Archbishop Vigneron states in his Pastoral Note on Racism that: as with all sin there is a self-inflicted harm. The perpetrator of racial prejudice disfigures his own understanding of right and wrong and obscures his ability to see truth through the light of the Gospel.

 

At Mercy High School, a faith and Gospel-based institution, we work to recognize and dismantle racism to become an anti-racist, multicultural community. Mercy High School is committed to establishing and sustaining an equitable, fair, and just community that ensures student wellness, safety, and educational success regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, or zip code. Mercy High School rejects all forms of racism as destructive to its mission, vision, values, and goals. Racism will not be tolerated on the school campus, physical and online communities. Alleged violations of this policy will be investigated with due care and, if confirmed, may be met with serious consequences. Together and compelled by Mercy, the school staff, administrators, school policies, curriculum, extracurricular activities, student support services, and parent/guardian organizations will ensure an environment where all students feel included and valued.

 

We recognize that every person is a child of God and that trust, understanding, dialogue, and mutual respect lie at the heart of our community. As a faith-based educational community, Mercy will cultivate a greater understanding of the concepts of diversity, inclusion, intersectionality, equity, implicit bias, xenophobia, white privilege, white supremacy, systemic racism, and anti-racism so that our graduates can face real-life challenges with dignity and respect for all while modeling gospel values. Along with Pope Francis, we believe that Mercy will change the world as we strive to see one another as Christ sees us.

  1. CODE OF CONDUCT

i. Introduction:

This Code of Conduct exists to ensure that all students are provided equal opportunities for educational and personal development. To that end, the Code of Conduct prohibits behavior that impairs a student’s ability to receive the education to which they are entitled by virtue of being enrolled in the school. This includes conduct that negatively impacts a student’s own academic experience as well as that which impacts the academic experience of other students.

Our world is increasingly more digital. The Mercy High School community is not bound by physical walls, and students can interact with each other in a number of ways, even when they are physically remote. As representatives of MHS, students are called on to live out Mercy's values beyond the physical campus, including, but not limited to, during remote learning, sporting and social events and other interactions with members of the MHS community. Accordingly, this Code of Conduct applies to all Mercy Students at all times including after school, weekends and holidays and regardless of physical location.

ii. Dignity and Respect:
All members of the Mercy community, including students, staff and parents/guardians, are expected to treat each other with dignity and respect. These are the foundations for not only a successful learning environment, but for a community that upholds the values of the Sisters of Mercy and creates future leaders who will uphold these values long after they have graduated from high school.

iii. Student Rights:

Mercy High School is a private educational institution. Students and parents/guardians must be aware when enrolling that they are waiving certain rights that may apply at public educational institutions. These include, but are not limited to, the right to free speech and the right to freedom of assembly.

By enrolling in Mercy High School, students and their parents/guardians consent to reasonable searches of their personal property (including their bags and lockers) and surveillance while on school property. It is the prerogative of Administration to initiate searches based on information or suspicion that a student is in possession of illegal or stolen articles. The search may be without warning and may include cell phones, book bags, clothing, lockers, purses, vehicles, etc. They also consent to the administrative procedures set forth in this Handbook and understand that they have no administrative recourse to appeal an administrative decision beyond the processes set forth in this Handbook.

However, students and their parents/guardians have the right to expect that they will be treated according to the principles of due process, equity and fairness. Specifically, students have the rights:

iv. Offensive Conduct:

The Code of Conduct employs a tiered model of offenses:

  1. Tier 1 offenses are administrative and/or harm only the offender.
  2. Tier 2 offenses are those which harm or threaten to harm other students.
  3. Tier 3 offenses include repeat offenses of a lower Tier and offenses which threaten the health and safety of other students.

In keeping with the values of the Sisters of Mercy, consequences for violations of the Code of Conduct are designed to be fair, just and applied equitably. Administration reserves the right to deviate from these guidelines when issuing consequences (both in issuing a lesser consequence and a more severe consequence), but this deviation must be explained in writing and provided to both the student and their parent/guardian, as well as placed in the student’s file.

Students have the right to appeal consequences for Tier 2 and Tier 3 offenses by following the Appeals Process outlined in the Code of Conduct.

  1. Tier 1 Offenses - Administrative and/or Harmful to Self:

Car modification: Seniors are not allowed to paint on or affix signs to cars brought on campus during graduation time.

Eating, sleeping or napping in unauthorized places: This includes in the Media Center (including the MakerSpace room and the adjacent courtyard), the Auditorium, the Gym Lobby, and during assemblies.

Failure to provide identification: Failure or refusal to present a Mercy issued ID card or provide an accurate name.

Failure to report an absence, late arrival, or early dismissal: Parents are required to notify the Attendance Office by 9:00am on the day of the student’s absence or late arrival. If an emergency arises during the school day, a phone call from a parent to the Attendance Office is required for early dismissal by 2:00pm. A student must provide proper verification to the Attendance Office following a late arrival, early dismissal or leaving & returning during the school day. An absence will be counted as a skip/unexcused absence without proper verification submitted upon arrival. Students will receive consequences for unexcused absences in all adviser group meetings, liturgies, assemblies, class/club meetings, pep rallies and any other school activity where attendance is mandatory. Examples of proper verification include, but are not limited to, a doctor’s note, conference itinerary, flight confirmation, or tournament agenda.

Failure to sign-out with adviser: All students must sign-out with their Advisers or the Attendance Office each day. On regular school days all students will sign-out with their Advisers between 2:40 and 2:45pm. Students will be advised in advance when there are changes to the sign-out time. A student may only sign-out for herself.

Leaving school during the school day without parent/guardian permission or a Senior Released Time pass: Once a student arrives at school, they may not leave school during the school day without parent/guardian permission or a Senior Released Time pass. Non-seniors who violate this policy may lose future Senior Release Time in addition to other consequences.

Parking lot violations: Parking violations include violations of local ordinances as well as:

Tardiness: Each student will report to 1st hour at 8:00am. If they arrive after 8:00am they will sign-in at the Reception Area. Any late sign-ins or tardies to class will be recorded and entered on their attendance record, regardless of the reason.

Repeated signing-in late to school in subsequent months will trigger a communication to parents by the Dean of Student Affairs to discern the reason.

Truancy:  Truancy, or a verified skip, is failure to report to school or a scheduled class without parental consent. This is also known as an unexcused absence. When a truancy is verified, the Attendance Office notifies the student’s parents. Any work or assessment missed on the day of truancy will receive an NCR and will be counted in the student’s final GPA. In the event of a third instance of verified truancy in the same class, the student may be dropped from the class.

A student who becomes ill during the school day must report to the Wellness Center immediately. If a student is missing class as a result of the illness, the student must obtain that teacher’s signature prior to going to the Wellness Center. A student may rest in the Wellness Center for one class period only. If the illness persists, the nurse will call a parent/guardian to pick-up the student. The student will remain in the Wellness Center while waiting to be picked up. A student who misses class because of illness and does not report to the Wellness Center is considered skipping.

Funerals do not count as an unexcused absence, provided that a parent/guardian notifies the Attendance Office of the absence according to the reporting of attendance policy.

Unauthorized cell phone use:  The use of cell phones in class, assemblies/liturgies or other in-school events is prohibited. Cell phones must be on SILENT during the school day. Cell phones may only be used in common areas. Short, quiet phone calls may be made only in the Auditorium/Gym Lobby, Cafeteria (including the Cafeteria courtyard) or at the Reception Area. The Mercy High School Student Acceptable Use Policy applies to cell phone use.

In addition to applicable consequences, violation of this policy will result in confiscation of the phone. The student may pick-up their phone from the Reception Area at the end of their school day.

Using unauthorized spaces: This includes being present without supervision in the M-Zone, the parking lot (unless authorized) and the Athletic Locker Room (unless involved in a Physical Education class). Students may use the following areas for quiet study: classrooms not in use, Quiet Study room in the Media Center, Our Lady of Mercy Courtyard (courtyard across from math classrooms) and the study carrels (students must be seated at a carrel and should not sit on the floor).

Violations of the Uniform Policy: In addition to applicable consequences, students in violation of the Uniform Policy may also be required to change clothes. Students wearing coats/jackets, non-uniform sweaters/sweatshirts or pajama/sweatpants during the school day, will be asked to remove the non-uniform clothing item, the item will be held at the Reception Area and the student may retrieve the item at the end of the week.

Wearing earbuds or headphones during the school day: Use of earbuds, headphones or other wireless Bluetooth devices while walking in the halls, during Mass/assemblies or class (unless authorized by a staff member) is prohibited during the school day. Earbuds or headphones may be used in the common areas: the alcoves, courtyards, Auditorium/Gym Lobby, Cafeteria and Media Center.

  1. Tier 2 Offenses - Harmful to Other Students:

Encouragement of unauthorized visitors to campus: This includes opening exterior doors for visitors at any time. All visitors must enter at and report to the Reception Area upon arrival between the hours of 7:30am and 3:30pm. At the Reception Area, visitors will sign-in and receive a pass to be worn prominently on the front of their upper garments. Visitors will also be required to sign-out when leaving Mercy. Students may not open an exterior door for any visitor. Consequences will be imposed on any student who encourages unauthorized visitors on the school campus. This includes before or after the regular school day. Individuals who are picking up students after school must wait in the parking lot in their cars. Unauthorized visitors will be asked to leave the building or campus. The school does have the right under state law and local ordinance to prosecute unauthorized visitors as trespassers.

Plagiarism and cheating: The personal integrity of each student is directly reflected in the schoolwork completed and submitted to teachers as representing their own effort. The Mercy Value of Justice calls each student to take credit only for work that is hers and to provide appropriate documentation or citation when another person’s work is used as part of an assignment. Failure to do so is regarded as plagiarism. The use of translation applications, such as Google Translate, is also considered cheating in language learning, particularly on projects, writing assignments as well as any type of assessment in the target language. Plagiarism and/or cheating of any type are violations of basic values and are unacceptable. In addition to other consequences, credit for the assignment or assessment will be reduced or denied and credit for the course may be jeopardized.

Taking another student off campus: No senior shall take an underclassman (freshman, sophomore, junior) off Mercy’s campus without permission from Administration or the Attendance Office. Doing so may result in loss of Senior Privileges in addition to consequences under the guidelines.

Traffic safety violations:

Violations of traffic safety include:

Unauthorized distribution of publications: Distributions of any publication must be authorized by Administration. This includes posters and items placed on bulletin boards.

  1. Tier 3 Offenses - Repeat Offenses and Offenses Threatening to Health and Safety: This listing of violations is not meant to be inclusive of all behavior considered inappropriate.

Bomb threats: Making a bomb threat is a criminal offense. The school will act swiftly with law enforcement officers to prosecute to the full extent of the law.

Drugs and alcohol: Use, possession, distribution or sale of narcotics, marijuana or other related substances, hallucinogenic drugs, intoxicants such as alcohol or toxic vapors, non-prescription drugs or medication or paraphernalia for any of the aforementioned on school campus or at functions sponsored by Mercy or any other school are prohibited. Administration will intervene if there is reasonable cause to believe that a student may use, possess or is under the influence. Being present when such substances are being used assumes some level of participation and may result in consequences. Possession or use of any performance-enhancing drug is not permitted and will be subject to the same penalties as use or possession of alcohol or drugs. The Michigan Department of Community Health maintains a list of banned substances based on the policies of the NCAA.

Fighting and unwelcome physical contact: Fighting, pushing, shoving or any other unwanted physical contact will not be tolerated and will be subject to appropriate consequences.

Forged notes or impersonated phone calls: Any student involved in either forging parent/guardian notes or impersonating parents/guardians on the phone or through social media will receive consequences.

Image or Video Capturing: The use of cell phones or any device capable of capturing images or videos is strictly prohibited in locker rooms or restroom areas while at school or at school-related or school-sponsored events.

Initiation activities: Initiation activities to sports teams or school organizations are prohibited.

Repeat offenses: Repeated Tier 1 or Tier 2 violations.

Smoking or vaping: Smoking, inhaling, or placing in one’s mouth any products containing tobacco or nicotine (including e-cigarettes and vaping devices) on school campus or at functions sponsored by Mercy or any other school is prohibited.

Tampering with fire prevention equipment or fire alarms: Unauthorized use of a fire alarm system or fire extinguisher is a crime. Triggering, setting off or other use of this equipment, except in the case of an actual emergency, is prohibited.

Theft: Students who steal or who are found in possession of stolen material will receive consequences.

Weapons: A weapon is any object which can be used to injure or threaten another. It includes but is not limited to "dangerous weapons" as defined by State law: Firearms, dagger, dirk, stiletto, knife with a blade over 3 inches, pocket knife opened by a mechanical device, iron bar or brass knuckles. Students are prohibited from bringing a weapon or having a weapon at school or at school-sponsored functions, on school campus, on a school bus or in the immediate vicinity of sponsored functions (including all of the school campus and the banking and shopping structures and parking areas in close proximity to the school).

Vandalism:  Vandalism means defacing or destroying school property. Acts of vandalism will not be tolerated.

Violations of the Acceptable Technology Use Policy: In addition to guideline consequences, administration may invoke:

Violations of the Anti-Bullying and Harassment Policy: For more information see Anti-Bullying and Harassment Policy.

Violations of the Anti-Racism Statement: Any conduct, speech, action or inaction that deprives or intends to deprive a student or a group of students of an educational opportunity, a safe and peaceful environment or human dignity based on their race violates Mercy’s Anti-Racism Statement. This includes conduct that:

This includes “virtual” conduct (online, on social media, by phone, by video or by text) as well as in-person conduct. It includes written communications, verbal communications and images.

Mercy offers many opportunities for students to grow awareness of racial issues and to recognize their own racial biases. Therefore, ignorance of the harm caused by one’s racist conduct does not excuse the conduct and will not be considered a mitigating factor in issuing consequences.

v. Consequences for Offensive Conduct:

Detention: A student receiving a detention will serve a 45-minute period of time in a supervised environment on campus. During this time the student may be asked to write applicable passages from the Code of Conduct or assist a staff member with tasks. Detentions must be served the day after the detention is assigned, during unscheduled time. If the detention is not served within two school days of the assigned date, the student must serve the detention after school on day two.

Restorative Practices: As directed by the Dean of Student Affairs and Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging, the student will participate in restorative practices following the 5 R’s model (Relationship, Respect, Responsibility, Repair, Reintegration). This approach is rooted in the sacrament of Reconciliation and is used to strengthen the Mercy community. Restorative practices may be used in conjunction with Detention or Suspension.

Loss of club or team membership: For Tier 2 or Tier 3 offenses, Student Government and Club Officers run the risk of losing their offices and Athletes and Club Members run the risk of losing membership on a team or in a club. This may be in conjunction with other sanctions.

Loss of Senior Released Time (SRT): Released time is a senior privilege, not a right. Seniors with excessive absences and tardies or late arrivals and early dismissals (10 or more) as underclassman may not be granted Senior Released Time or SRT passes may be held for a period of time. Once granted, Senior Released Time may be revoked if guidelines are abused or violated. Seniors will be given the opportunity to request a Senior Released Time pass at the beginning of each semester.

Loss of unscheduled time: After 4 tardies to school in a month, a student may lose their unscheduled time to 1st hour. This may be in conjunction with other consequences.

Grade reductions: In cases of absences for more than 10 days in a semester, grades may be reduced by a proportional percentage.

Year-end sanctions: Depending on the nature and time of the offense, the student may be required to return to school following exam days where they will work performing general cleaning duties. Grades and diplomas will not be released, nor will transcripts be forwarded until such work is completed. Furthermore, seniors run the risk of forfeiting participation in the graduation activities (i.e. Mercy Day of Celebration, Commencement, Senior All Night Party).

Suspension: Suspension is the denial of the privilege of attending classes or school for a specified period of time. Suspension can be in-school or out-of-school. Assessments or long-term assignments that are due or occur while a student is suspended will count for one-half (1/2) of the value of the assignment or 50% of the grade earned. This work will be included in the student’s final average. Daily work missed while on suspension, including homework, will earn a zero. Students who are suspended may not be involved in any school-related or sponsored activities for the duration of the suspension, including any extra-curricular activities.

It is the student's responsibility to compensate for work missed or material presented while suspended. Teachers are neither required nor expected to provide tutoring for suspended students.

Expulsion:  Expulsion is the permanent denial of the privilege of attending Mercy High School.


                        vi. Consequences Guidelines:

The below table sets forth the possible consequences for each Offense Tier. Issuance of a lesser consequence or a more severe consequence than what is recommended in the Guidelines must be documented in writing and provided to the student and their parent/guardian. Any such divergence from the Guidelines must also be made available to any student facing consequences for any offense and their parent/guardian upon request.

D

RP

LCTM

LSRT

LUT

GR

YS

S

E

Tier 1

X

X

X

Tier 2

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Tier 3

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

D: Detention

RP: Restorative Practices

LCTM: Loss of club or team membership

LSRT: Loss of Senior Released Time

LUT: Loss of unscheduled time

GR: Grade reductions

YS: Year-end sanctions

S: Suspension

E: Expulsion

  1. UNIFORM POLICY

The Mercy uniform consists of:

 

Where to buy: Uniform items must be purchased from either Educational Outfitters, Mercy’s Marlin Shop or Schoolbelles (pants only). Only black cardigan, V-neck or vest sweaters purchased from Educational Outfitters, black quarter-zip sweatshirts purchased from the Marlin Shop or Mercy Varsity letter sweaters may be worn in addition to the uniform blouse or polo with the uniform skirt/pants (not in place of the blouse or polo).

Items available at Educational Outfitters

Uniform skirts (wrap around kilt)

Uniform pants

White blouses (short or long sleeve)

White or maroon polos (short or long sleeve)

Black sweaters (cardigan, V-neck and vest)

Items available at Marlin Shop

Black quarter-zip sweatshirts

White, maroon or black polos (short sleeve)

Items available at Schoolbelles

Uniform pants

Accessories: Accessories to the uniform, including but not limited to hats, are not allowed. Any garment worn under the uniform blouse may not be visible; this includes sports bras. A long-sleeve, white or black only top may be worn under the uniform blouse or polo.

Alterations: Skirts should be worn no more than two inches above the knee. Any student who permanently shortens their uniform skirt to an unacceptable length will be required to purchase a new skirt.

                

Birthdays: Students may be out-of-uniform on their actual birthdate. (If the birthdate falls on a weekend, the student may not be out-of-uniform on another day) Attire must be appropriate for school and jeans are allowed. A birthday sticker must be picked up from the Reception Area at the beginning of the day and visibly worn all day. It is inappropriate to expose cleavage, mid-section, or hips. Ripped clothing, jeans with large holes, pajama pants, sweatpants, casual shorts, camis and strapless tops are not allowed. Dress shorts, dresses and skirts must be fingertip length or longer. Leggings or yoga pants may not be worn as stand-alone pants, only as an accessory to a dress or skirt. If this policy is violated the student will be given a uniform to wear for the day and will receive one detention.

Cap and Gown: All seniors are required to have a Mercy cap and gown as part of their formal academic attire. The cap is worn so that the mortar board (flat part) is parallel to the floor with the tassel on the right. Clothing must be worn underneath the gown; jeans and shorts are not appropriate and collars or turtlenecks should not show from the top of the gown. The gown should be zipped. For all cap and gown assemblies, liturgies or prayer services, any senior not properly attired will be asked to leave the procession line.

                

Classroom Presentations: If the class is 1st, 2nd or 3rd hour, students may come to school dressed up (according to presentation requirements), and must change into full uniform during Adviser Group. If the class is 4th, 5th, 6th or 7th hour, students must come to school in full uniform, change during Adviser Group, and may remain out of uniform for the remainder of the day.

Coats: Coats and jackets may not be worn in school at all during the school day. If coats or jackets are left unattended anywhere in the building, they may be taken by school personnel and claimed at the Reception Area by the student.

Dress Hanging in the Cafeteria: When a dress is hanging on the wall or window in the Cafeteria this means that it has been brought in for someone in particular. Please do not touch the dress or remove it unless the dress has been brought in for you. If a dress is hanging in the Cafeteria at the end of the day it will be taken to the Reception Area/Lost & Found. This process is to take place only in the Cafeteria. Dresses should not be hung on any other walls, windows, or doors in the building.

Field Trips:  If the field trip occurs during the school day, the school uniform is worn, unless special permission has been given by the Dean of Student Affairs to be out of uniform. If the field trip occurs after school, the uniform is worn during the school day. Students may choose to bring other clothing and change prior to the event.

Maroon & Gold Raffle Days:  Students out of uniform as a result of the M & G Raffle incentives may wear jeans, pajama pants or sweatpants in addition to Special Dress Day attire. Students may also wear non-uniform shoes, including Birkenstock clogs, Crocs and UGG slippers. It is inappropriate to expose cleavage, mid-section or hips (this means no crop tops). Ripped clothing, shorts (of any kind without a pass), camis and strapless tops are not allowed. For students with shorts passes, shorts must be fingertip length, meaning standing straight up with arm and fingers straight, the shorts must be at least as long as the longest finger. Anything shorter is a uniform violation and the student will be given a uniform skirt to wear for the day in addition to appropriate consequences under the guidelines.

Promotional Days: Student groups and athletic teams are permitted to vary from the uniform as follows:

These additional allowances each require advance notification to and approval by the Dean of Student Affairs.

School Dances: Both Mercy students and their guests must adhere to the following guidelines:

Females

Males

Shoes: Shoes must be closed-toe and closed-heel when in uniform and on Special Dress Days. Mule, slide and slipper type shoes may not be worn. Boots may be worn only during the months of November – March (subject to be adjusted with inclement weather). No Birkenstock clogs, Crocs, UGG slippers may be worn, except for the M&G Raffle out-of-uniform incentive). Examples of appropriate shoes for the 2023-24 school year are: sneakers, loafers, mary janes, oxfords, boat shoes/Sperry.

Special Dress Days:  Special dress days for holidays, liturgies (when announced) or other special events should be viewed as dress-up days rather than dress-down days. Attire must be appropriate for school. It is inappropriate to expose cleavage, mid-section, or hips (this means no crop tops). Ripped clothing, jeans (with or without large holes), pajama pants, sweatpants, casual shorts, camis and strapless tops are not allowed. Dress shorts, dresses and skirts must be fingertip length or longer. Leggings or yoga pants may not be worn as stand-alone pants, only as an accessory to a dress or skirt. If this policy is violated the student will be given a uniform to wear for the day and will receive one detention.

Spirit Attire Days: One day each month (usually the first Friday) will be designated Mercy Spirit Attire Day. On these days students will be permitted to wear a Mercy shirt. Mercy accessories (hats, scarves, etc.) are also allowed. Students must be in uniform on the bottom (uniform skirt/pants, leg wear and shoes).

  1. DANCE POLICY

  1. DUE PROCESS AND APPEALS PROCEDURES

In accordance with our values, Mercy High School works to ensure and implement fair, equitable and just processes and procedures.

As it relates to the school community, students have the right to know what appropriate and safe behavior is. It is the school’s responsibility to clearly define and communicate what student actions may be subject to discipline or other consequences from the school.

In cases of disciplinary action, students have the right to due process measures that include, but are not limited to:

  1. The right to receive notice of the reason(s) for any disciplinary action taken against them.
  2. The right to be notified of possible disciplinary action and outcomes for specific conduct. For example, a student facing a suspension must be made aware of what the suspension entails in accordance with the handbook, the suspension length and the suspension start and end dates.
  3. The right to appeal disciplinary outcomes.
  4. The right to a reasonably prompt hearing OR meeting with one or more administrators, should a student submit a disciplinary appeal.
  1. Appeals should be made, in writing, within 24 hours of the disciplinary notification. An appeal may only be filed once per disciplinary action.
  2. The student must be given ample opportunity to respond to any allegations against them and present their version of the event(s) to the hearing body or administrator(s).
  1. Students have the right to have an attorney present during the appeals hearing or meeting. The student and their counsel have the right to access evidence relating to their case in full accordance with local, state, and federal laws.

  1. ACADEMIC EXPECTATIONS AND REQUIREMENTS

Academic Requirements: Mercy High School is a 4-year high school. Academic rules, policies and procedures apply to all enrolled students regardless of age. All students are required to complete four years of high school and are required to take a minimum of six courses each semester. Administration will make an exception to this policy only under extraordinary circumstances. Depending upon these circumstances a student may forfeit her right to participate in graduation exercises.

  1. CLASSES:

i. Class Load: All students are required to carry at least six classes per semester. Students will not be permitted to withdraw from a class when it would reduce their class load below this minimum.

ii. Schedules: All classes are scheduled by the Associate Principal of Academic Affairs based on requests made by students at the spring registration. Classes are scheduled to meet five of the six days each cycle. The unscheduled day for each class is for the use of the classroom teacher to meet with students for extra help or to hold a class for special reasons. 

Schedule Adjustments: All schedule adjustments must be made by the student's counselor. Schedule adjustments will not be made to accommodate student employment during school hours (8:00am – 2:40pm) or to provide released time. 

iii. Final Exams:  Final exam days are scheduled each semester. World Language orals will be given prior to final exam days. In those departments where final exams or projects are scheduled on exam days, other testing may not occur within the 5 school days prior to those exam days. Final exams are scheduled to last one (1) hour and 20 minutes and are given on the assigned test day and time. Only under serious circumstances will a student be permitted to take an exam other than at the scheduled time. Students must initiate the request to take exams early or late due to circumstances out of the student’s control by completing and submitting a Rescheduling of Exam Request (available at the Reception Area) to be signed by the parent, verifying the need for a change in exam time, accompanied by appropriate documentation (i.e. airline tickets, medical documentation, etc.). The request must be approved by the Associate Principal of Academic Affairs, Dean of Student Affairs and the teacher involved. If a student is changing the day/hour of an exam to ease her exam schedule on a given day, but not to finish exams earlier, an email notification from the teacher to the Associate Principal of Academic Affairs is all that is necessary.

iv. Repeating Classes: If a student fails a class or wishes to improve her grade, the class may be repeated at Mercy or in an approved credit recovery course with permission. If the course is retaken at Mercy, the better of the two grades will be recorded on the student's record. In the case of summer school or an online course, credit (CR) will be recorded. It is the responsibility of the student retaking a class to notify the Associate Principal of Academic Affairs to initiate the replacement of that grade.

v. Non-Mercy Classes: Students wishing to transfer course credits to their Mercy transcripts must have prior approval from the Registrar or Academic Affairs Office. Core courses needed for graduation must be taken at Mercy High School. If a course is repeated for recovery or original credit to replace a failing or low grade outside of Mercy, the student must complete 100% of the course and earn a grade of 70% or higher in order to transfer as a CR. The CR is indicated on the permanent record along with the platform used to earn the credit or where the course was taken. Courses taken outside of Mercy through Michigan Virtual, Educere (original credit courses only), community college or summer school that are above and beyond credits for graduation will be reflected on the transcript by a letter grade but will not factor into the student’s Mercy GPA. It is the responsibility of the student to request that the school send a final copy of the grade to the Associate Principal of Academic Affairs. Approved online programs can be found at https://www.mhsmi.org/counseling/online-courses. See a counselor for information and permission to enroll.

vi. Withdrawal From Classes: With the approval of Counseling and Administration, students may choose to withdraw from a class up to the end of the 4th cycle. A student will not be able to withdraw from a course if the withdrawal will drop the student below the six course requirement for each semester. This includes Michigan Virtual and dual enrollment courses. If the student earns an NCR for an online or dual enrollment course that is their sixth course, the NCR will be reflected on the student’s transcript.

vii. Withdrawal From School: A student who transfers or withdraws from Mercy must have parents initiate the process in writing with the Associate Principal of Academic Affairs. The academic and health records are forwarded to the receiving school. If fees and/or tuition are outstanding, grades or transcripts may be withheld until such amounts are paid in full. 

  1. GRADING

i. Grading System:

Scholastic Grades:

Percent

Grade

Points

100 – 92.5

A

4.0

92.4 – 89.5

A-

3.7

89.4 – 86.5

B+

3.3

86.4 – 82.5

B

3.0

82.4 – 79.5

B-

2.7

79.4 – 76.5

C+

2.3

76.4 – 72.5

C

2.0

72.4 – 69.5

C-

1.7

69.4 – 66.5

D+

1.3

66.4 – 62.5

D

2.0

62.4 – 59.5

D-

0.7

59.4 – 0

NCR

0.0

CR – Satisfactory fulfillment of course requirements

IP – Work is still in progress

Grades will be determined when course objectives are fulfilled. A student who has an IP in any class has 4 weeks to complete the missing work. Failure to complete missing work after this time will result in a loss of credit in the class, NCR.

ii. Grade Point Average and Eligibility:

Grade Point Average: Grade point average (GPA) is recorded yearly on the transcript. The GPA is computed each semester and is based upon grades earned and the numerical equivalency in all subject areas. For more information see Scholastic Grades.

iii. Grade Reporting to Parents: Regular grade reports are available on-line. Semester grades are posted on-line approximately one week following the last exam day.

iv. Honor Roll:  A listing of the Honor Roll is posted on Mercy’s website after each semester's grades are reported. To qualify, students must earn a 3.2 GPA for the current semester.

v. Transcripts: Transcript requests will be processed only if tuition accounts are current. Transcript requests for NCAA, NAIA, college applications and final transcripts for college are handled through the Counseling Office. Transcript and record requests for students transferring to a different school are processed by the Associate Principal of Academic Affairs. Alumnae transcript requests are processed through the alumnae page of Mercy's website: https://mhsmi.org/alumnae/alumnae-transcript-request.

vi. Final Grade Change Deadline: As determined by Mercy Administration, once final grades are posted, any student initiated grade change must be requested within one month of the final grade posting. Requests should be emailed to the teacher, copying the Counselor and Associate Principal of Academic Affairs.

vii. Academic Probation: Students who fall below a 2.0 GPA or who demonstrate poor academic performance may be placed on formal academic probation. In this case, the student has one semester to demonstrate significant improvement in her academic performance. Failure to do so will result in her being asked to withdraw from Mercy at the end of the semester.

viii. Protocol For Addressing Academic Issues: Every attempt needs to be made to resolve academic concerns; therefore, parent/student concerns must be brought to the instructor first. If further assistance is needed, the following protocol must be followed: department chairperson, counselor, department administrator, principal. 

  1. GRADUATION

i. Graduation Requirements: Mercy High School is a college preparatory school and thus strongly suggests that students plan their course of studies carefully. A total of 24 credits and 8 semesters of full enrollment (6 classes per semester) are required for graduation. One semester course earns 0.5 credit. These 24 credits include: 

English

4 credits

Mathematics

4 credits

  • Two semesters of Algebra I
  • Two semesters of Geometry
  • Two semesters of Algebra II
  • Two semesters of additional Math or Math related elective (one semester must be during senior year)

Religious Studies

3.5 credits

Laboratory Science

3 credits

  • Two semesters of Biology
  • Two semesters of Chemistry or Physics
  • Two semesters of additional Science

Social Studies

3 credits

  • Two semesters of World History
  • one semester of American Government
  • Two semesters of American History
  • One semester of Economics

World Language

2 credits

  • Four semesters of the same World Language

Applied, Performing, or Visual Arts

1 credit

Health

0.5 credit

iExplore

0.5 credit

Physical Education/Swim

0.5 credit

Speech

0.5 credit

Electives

1.5 credits

Additionally, all students must complete a minimum of 40 community service hours. For more information see Mercy Service Program.

Graduation Honors: 

Summa Cum Laude 4.00

Magna Cum Laude 3.85 – 3.99

Cum Laude 3.75 – 3.84

ii.  Valedictorian and Salutatorian Selection: The Valedictorian and Salutatorian will be chosen by the administrative team with input from staff and seniors using the following criteria for candidates: 1) Strength of overall academic program: GPA (3.95 minimum qualification for application) 2) Verification of leadership in the school 3) Verification of service (inside and outside school) 4) Writing ability and speaking ability 5) Involvement in extracurricular activities (i.e. clubs, sports, etc.) 6) Support of school policies (attendance, school rules, etc.) All qualified candidates who complete the application process and fulfill the criteria will be considered finalists for the selection process.

  1. PLAGIARISM AND CHEATING

The personal integrity of each student is directly reflected in the schoolwork completed and submitted to teachers as representing their own effort. The Mercy Value of Justice calls each student to take credit only for work that is hers and to provide appropriate documentation or citation when another person’s work is used as part of an assignment. Failure to do so is regarded as plagiarism. The use of translation applications, such as Google Translate, is also considered cheating in language learning, particularly on projects, writing assignments as well as any type of assessment in the target language. Plagiarism and/or cheating of any type are violations of basic values and are unacceptable. Consequences appropriate to the nature of the offense will be imposed on those responsible. Credit for the assignment/assessment will be reduced or denied. Credit for the course may be jeopardized and further disciplinary action may be taken, which may include verbal counseling, conference, recommendation for suspension or expulsion.

  1. STUDENT ELIGIBILITY

Students must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 in order to try out for any school sponsored extracurricular activity requiring significant time for practice and performances such as athletic or academic teams, drama productions or Mercyaires. Students must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 to participate in Student Government. If at any time a student’s current semester GPA falls below the minimum, Administration will determine continued eligibility. Mitigating circumstances shall be considered in determining continued eligibility, including but not limited to loss of loved ones, family illness and physical or mental health issues.

i.  Extracurricular and Co-curricular Activities: A student participating in any extracurricular or co-curricular activity which requires considerable time after school (including, but not limited to academic teams, athletic teams, performing arts groups, etc...) will follow these specifications for eligibility:

1) Any student wishing to participate on a team must have a minimum 2.0 cumulative G.P.A. before she will be able to tryout, and must maintain or exceed this minimum throughout the season. Current grades will be checked prior to and during the season on posted dates to determine continued eligibility.

2) If a student is earning a No Credit (NCR) in two or more of her courses during the season, her parents will be notified by the Associate Principal, Athletic Director, or group's moderator and she will be ineligible to participate for at least one week (Monday-Sunday); grade checks will then be performed weekly. If it is impossible for the student to achieve a passing grade due to the nature of the class, the probation may be extended to two weeks. If the student is still failing at the end of the probationary period, she will be ineligible for practice or participation until she is passing.

3) In order for a student to participate in an activity, including but not limited to dances, tryouts, rehearsals, and games, students must be in school for the full day or session. A student may arrive late to school or leave school to attend a doctor or dentist appointment, a funeral, court, or to take a driver’s license test, but must return to school. A note with the doctor or dentist's name and telephone number or other information that verifies the appointment should be submitted upon return from the appointment. Failure to submit a note will deem the student ineligible to participate.

All final decisions are at the discretion of Mercy Administration.

  1. UNSCHEDULED TIME

The daily schedule provides time when students are unscheduled for class during the school day. The time is not “free” but unscheduled. The time belongs to the class scheduled for the given hour. The teacher has a right to ask students to come in during the unscheduled day. A rescheduled class takes precedence over other activities. It is each student's responsibility to use unscheduled time wisely. Students are encouraged to seek out individual assistance from their teachers when needed. This time may also be used for eating lunch, tutoring, quiet or group study, research work in the Media Center, or class project meetings.

  1. END-OF-YEAR OBLIGATIONS

Before class schedules or transcripts can be mailed, all academic obligations must be fulfilled.


  1. ATTENDANCE

The school views any absence from class as a serious impediment to a student's education. Class attendance will be closely monitored and will be overseen by the Dean of Student Affairs.

  1. ARRIVAL TIME/SIGN-IN: Each student will report to 1st hour at 8:00am. If they arrive after 8:00am they will sign-in at the Reception Area. For more information see Tardiness to School. Once a student arrives at school, they may not leave school during the school day without parent/guardian permission or a Senior Released Time pass. Each student will sign-in with their Adviser at the beginning of the adviser group period. This will be the official daily attendance.

  1. SIGN-OUT: All students must sign-out with their Advisers or the Attendance Office each day. On regular school days, all students will sign-out with their Advisers between 2:40 and 2:45pm. Students will be advised in advance when there are changes to the sign-out times. A student may only sign-out for themself.

  1. REPORTING OF ABSENCE/LATE ARRIVAL/EARLY DISMISSAL: Parents are required to notify the Attendance Office by 9:00am on the day of the student’s absence or late arrival. If an emergency arises during the school day, a phone call from a parent to the Attendance Office is required for early dismissal by 2:00pm. A student must provide proper verification to the Attendance Office following a late arrival, early dismissal or leaving & returning during the school day. An absence will be counted as a skip/unexcused absence without proper verification submitted upon arrival. For more information see Truancy. Students will receive consequences for unexcused absences in all adviser group meetings, liturgies, assemblies, class/club meetings, pep rallies and any other school activity where attendance is mandatory. Examples of proper verification include, but are not limited to, a doctor’s note, conference itinerary, flight confirmation, or tournament agenda. There are three ways to reach the Attendance Office: call 248-476-8020, ext. 1616; call the 24-hour attendance line at 248-476-2222; or email attendance@mhsmi.org.  

Only seniors are afforded the automatic privilege of arriving to school for their first class rather than by 8:00am or leaving school for the day after their last class has met. Any student other than a senior who takes these liberties without permission can expect disciplinary actions and loss of future Senior Released Time.

  1. ABSENCES: Class attendance will be closely monitored. The Dean of Student Affairs will oversee this process.

The following process applies to non-school related absences requested by a parent/guardian:

 

Number of Days Absent

(per semester)

Action Taken

1 – 4 class or daily absences

No action taken

At 5 class or daily absences

Email sent to student and parents/guardians

At 7 class or daily absences

Required student meeting with Dean of Student Affairs

At 9 class or daily absences

Required parent/guardian meeting with Dean of Student Affairs

At 10 class or daily absences

Email & letter sent to parents/guardians notifying that student has reached the allotted absences for the semester

11–15 class or daily absences

Automatic deduction of 5% from final grade

16–20 class or daily absences

Automatic deduction of 10% from final grade

21 or more class or daily absences

Student will receive NCR in each class and must earn credit by repeating the class or taking another similar class

 

Mercy's Administration reserves the right to make exceptions to this policy on a case by case basis, including for absences relating to bereavement, serious illness or extenuating personal circumstances. For more information see Attendance Appeals.

 

Additional actions taken due to excessive absences may include:

  1. LONG-TERM ABSENCES (2 or more days): Since sufficient vacation is provided in the school calendar, additional vacation time is not condoned. If special circumstances require a student’s absence, not coinciding with school vacations, the following long-term absence process must be followed:

 

 

Teachers are not expected to provide special tutoring or make-up work and are not obligated to re-teach material missed due to these absences.

  1. TRUANCY: The following process applies to truancies (absences from school or a scheduled class without consent from a parent/guardian):

Type of Truancy

Consequences

School Truancy

When a school truancy is verified, the Attendance Office notifies the student’s parents/guardians. Any work or assessment missed on the day of truancy will receive an NCR and will be counted in the student’s final GPA. Disciplinary actions will be given for skipping school and could include suspension.

Class Truancy

When a class truancy is verified, the teacher notifies the student’s parents/guardians. Any work or assessment missed on the day of truancy will receive an NCR and will be counted in the student’s final GPA. In the event of a third instance of verified truancy in that same class, the student may be dropped from the class. Skipping class will result in 2 detentions.

  1. ILLNESS DURING THE SCHOOL DAY: A student who misses class because of illness and does not report to the Wellness Center is considered skipping.

  1. TARDINESS: Students with excessive tardies to school (1st hour) will make up the missed instructional time during unscheduled time as required by the teacher. Repeated signing-in late to school in subsequent months will trigger a communication to parents/guardians by the Dean of Student Affairs to discern the reason.

Three tardies to class (2nd - 7th hours) are equivalent to skipping class and will result in 2 detentions. Excessive late sign-ins or tardies to class accumulated during a student’s earlier years may affect Senior Privileges.

Mercy’s Administration reserves the right to make exceptions to all Attendance policies on a case by case basis in the event of extenuating circumstances. 

  1. ATTENDANCE APPEALS: Parents/guardians may request to appeal any disciplinary decision regarding attendance. The appeal must be made in writing to the Dean of Student Affairs. An appeal meeting will take place including the student, their parents/guardians and a Review Board made up of the Associate Principal of Academic Affairs, Dean of Student Affairs, student's counselor and two of the student's teachers. At this appeal meeting the student's attendance record and reason for absences are reviewed. Students should be aware that the choices they make to attend events that involve absences from classes may have an impact on their appeal status. After input from all of the student’s teachers and all involved in the appeal meeting, Administration will make the final decision regarding a student's continued enrollment in the class in question.

  1. BEREAVEMENT AND FUNERALS:  In the event of a student’s loss of a close family member or friend, students will be allowed excused absences associated with the funeral arrangements and time to grieve. The number of excused absences will be determined on a case by case basis but should generally align with the below scale. Additionally, students are welcome to attend a funeral in support of a classmate or staff member. A parent/guardian must notify the Attendance Office of the absence according to the reporting of attendance policy. Bereavement and funeral absences are exempt from the absence process.

Relationship

Number of Excused Absence

Immediate family (inclusive of grandparents), household members, godparents, or similar relative

5 days

Relatives not identified above

3 days

Friend of family

2 days inclusive of funeral or memorial services

  1. TEACHER ABSENCE: In the event of the absence of a staff member, all students are expected to report to class unless previous arrangements have been made by the teacher, or a general PA announcement is made that a specific class or classes are canceled for the day.

  1. OTHER IMPORTANT INFORMATION

  1. FAMILY INFORMATION

i. Change of Address/Telephone: The Reception Area should be informed of changes in primary address, telephone number, or email in order to direct mailings or to use in case of emergency. 

ii. Emergency School Closing: If a storm or emergency warrants closing the school on a particular day, students and parents and guardians, will be notified through the “Remind” text and email system and information can also be found on posts to Mercy’s Facebook and Twitter pages. Early closing after students have once assembled for classes will also be announced by these means. Every attempt is made to send closure announcements no later than 6:30am on the day of closure.

iii. Funerals and Grieving - Mercy High School recognizes that mourning, grieving, and remembrance are essential components of community, and MHS strives to honor each student’s individual needs. Students are welcome to attend a funeral or memorial service for a loved one and/or in support of a classmate. A parent/guardian must notify the Attendance Office of the absence according to the reporting of attendance policy. This absence is exempt from the absence process. For more information, see Attendance.

iv. Parent/Caregiver Organizations. Mercy recognizes student parents and care providers as pivotal supports in student success, wellbeing and life. All parents/guardians of enrolled Mercy High School students are automatically members. All parents/guardians are asked to contribute service hours to Mercy High School, taking into consideration each household’s needs and situation.

v. Tuition Assistance: Tuition Assistance applications defining financial need are available through Mercy’s website after January 1st. The Tuition Assistance Committee of Mercy High School, a standing committee which includes the MHS President and Admission Director(s), reviews the information for each applicant and awards the grants according to financial need and total amount of funds available. Tuition grants are not automatically renewed each year. Parents/guardians are required to submit a Mercy application and the FACTS Management application annually by the specified deadline. A student must be registered for the next school year in order to receive tuition assistance. Anyone can refer students who don't necessarily apply for financial aid in the case of an emergency.

vi. Tuition Payment - For more information related to payment plans see Enrollment Agreement. The school reserves the right to request payment in the form of money order, cashier's check, or charge card at any given time. If a student enrolls well after the beginning of the school year or leaves prior to the end of the school year, tuition and fees are charged by the quarter. If a student is enrolled at MHS for any part of a quarter, a full one-fourth of tuition and fees is charged. Further information may be obtained from the Finance Director.

  1. STUDENT LIFE

i. Adviser Program: Each student at Mercy High School is assigned an Adviser in 9th grade and remains with that Adviser all 4 years. The Adviser is a member of the staff who serves as a helpful resource in a one-to-one relationship with student advisees. Each Adviser has a multi-grade group of students. The group meets every day after 3rd hour to provide students with an opportunity for relational growth and connections with other students and a staff member. Adviser group time is also used as dedicated time to disseminate important information to students. A student signs out with their Adviser at the close of each school day. A student’s parent/guardian may contact their Adviser at any time.

ii. Counseling: For more information see Counseling. The Mercy High School Counseling Department provides evolving services, based on student needs, in an effort to both proactively and responsively support individual and school-wide growth. Our Counseling program strives to work in partnership with Mercy Staff and parents/guardians, with an intentional focus on fostering healthy emotional, academic and social development of our students. Counselor meetings may take place in a group setting or with individual students. Generally, these meeting times are considered mandatory and usually occur during a student’s unscheduled time.

iii. College Resources: The school maintains a host of resources for college preparation, applications, financial aid and scholarships here: https://www.mhsmi.org/counseling/college-planning-resources 

iv. Identification Cards: Each student is issued a Mercy High School identification card at the beginning of the school year. The ID card must be visibly worn on a lanyard around the neck at all times during the school day. Replacement ID cards are obtained at the Reception Area for a nominal fee. Failure to present a Mercy issued ID card or provide an accurate name is a Tier 1 Offense in the student Code of Conduct.

v. Lost and Found: Lost and found articles are kept at the Reception Area. Owners may claim lost articles by identifying them. Unclaimed items will be donated the last day before winter break and summer break.

vi. Student Awards:

All qualified candidates who complete the application process and fulfill the criteria will be considered finalists for the selection process.

vii. Student Shadows: Shadow passes are for students in 7th and 8th grade who are interested in attending Mercy High School. Students in 9th – 11th grades, who are interested in transferring to Mercy High School, are required to contact the Admissions Office before scheduling a visit. All visitors must complete the online shadow form at least two (2) days before the visit. Younger children are not permitted as guests. Visits should be arranged on guests' non-school days. One guest should be invited at a given time. A guest pass is obtained at the Reception Area upon the guest's arrival at school. Guests are expected to dress appropriately. Guests should wear their passes, visibly, at all times. For more information see Special Dress Day Guidelines.

  1. SENIOR PRIVILEGES

i. Late Arrival & Early Dismissal: Of all grade levels, only seniors have the automatic privileges of arriving at school for the start of their first class, rather than by 8:00am and leaving school for the day after their last class has met, rather than dismissal at 2:40pm. Seniors with an unscheduled 1st hour must report to the Reception Area upon arrival in the building to sign-in. Seniors must sign-out with their Advisers at the designated areas before leaving school after their last class. If a senior signs out before school is dismissed, they may not return to the building until school is officially dismissed.

ii. Senior Released Time (SRT): Released time is a senior privilege, not a right. Seniors with 10 or more combined absences and tardies (including unexcused late arrivals and early dismissals) as underclassmen may not be granted Senior Released Time, or, may have their SRT passes held for a period of time. Once granted, Senior Released Time may be revoked if guidelines are abused or violated. Seniors can request a Senior Released Time pass at the beginning of each semester at the Reception Desk. A packet of information will be filled out and signed by a parent or guardian each semester of senior year in order to receive a SRT pass. Passes expire at the end of each semester as classes and unscheduled hours may change.

Rules for SRT Pass:

  1. WELLNESS

i. Illness During the School Day:  A student who becomes ill during the school day must report to the Wellness Center immediately. If a student is missing class as a result of the illness, the student must obtain that teacher’s signature prior to going to the Wellness Center. A student may rest in the Wellness Center for one class period only. If the illness persists, the nurse will call a parent/guardian to pick-up the student. The student will remain in the Nursing Center while waiting to be picked up. Missing class because of illness without reporting to the Wellness Center is a Tier 1 Offense in the Code of Conduct.

ii. Health Forms/Physicals: Mercy High School, in compliance with the State of Michigan, County of Oakland, and School Office of the Archdiocese of Detroit, must observe policies, best practices and protocols regarding immunization of students, in accordance with federal, state and local law: “Since the physical health of students plays a major role in learning and outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases in schools are damaging to children, disruptive and unnecessary, the strict enforcement of the state immunization law can be effective in reducing and/or eliminating disease outbreaks. Therefore, the school will exclude non-exempt students in any grade for failure to complete the minimum State of Michigan and Oakland County Immunization Schedules, prior to admission to school.”

iii. Medical Needs and Medication: It is the responsibility of the parents/ guardians to inform the Wellness Center nurse and appropriate teachers if a student is subject to any medical needs that may merit regular or periodic attention while at school.

iv. Dispensing Medication During School Hours: In accordance with the Michigan Public Health Code, any prescription or non-prescription medication needed by a student must be kept in the Wellness Center, along with written orders from a physician and parent/guardian. Any medication taken during school hours must be dispensed by authorized school personnel only after receiving physician dispensing orders and written parent/guardian consent using the Release for Dispensing of Medication form. Students may not carry any prescription or non-prescription medication on their person without approval from Administration. Only medication necessary for emergency situations including asthma inhalers, diabetic supplies and Epi-Pens will be approved. Any student needing to carry approved medication in school must also have a physician order and written parent/guardian consent. The consent and request to administer medication is required for each medication ordered and for each new order, even if the medication was previously given in school. For student safety, this health code policy also extends to the administration of Over-the-Counter (OTC) medications, including acetaminophen, ibuprofen, cold medicine, allergy medicine, etc. If a student needs to take any of these types of medications during the day, the medication and written parent/guardian consent must be on file with the Wellness Center. The Wellness Center has acetaminophen and ibuprofen in stock, which can be administered if authorized by the parent/guardian by completing the Release for Dispensing of Over-the-Counter (OTC) Medication form. Per these guidelines, all medication provided to the school must be in the originally dispensed container. Any OTC medication received by the school must be in the original unopened container. Any physician orders and parent/guardian consents must be on file with the Wellness Center prior to dispensation of medication. To monitor for adverse reactions, parents should administer the first dose of any prescribed medication.

v. Accidents: Any accidents occurring in the school should be reported immediately to personnel at the Reception Area.

vi. Emotional and Social Support  - For more information see Counseling. Mercy High School is committed to the safety and wellness of its students. In addition to academic counseling, the Counseling Office provides personal, social and emotional support. Counselors are available to students by appointment and will service walk-ins when available. We strive to provide a safe and supportive space for Mercy students; free of judgment, bias or assumption. Parents/guardians are strongly encouraged to make an appointment if requesting to meet a Counselor in person. Information shared with Mercy Counselors, by students, remains confidential unless a student shares that they intend to harm themself, intend to harm someone else, or that someone is harming them.

vii. Abuse (Physical, Sexual, Emotional, and Other Forms of Abuse): Students who experience or observe any form of abuse may seek support through the Counseling Office or the Dean of Student Affairs. For more information see Counseling. Information shared with Mercy Counselors, by students, remains confidential unless a student shares that they intend to harm themself, intend to harm someone else or that someone is harming them.

viii. Communicable Diseases: The Mercy High School Administration will notify and, when necessary, will work with county health officials, parents/guardians and physicians in developing a logical course of action, in accordance with federal, state and local laws and guidance in the event that a student of Mercy High School is diagnosed with a communicable disease. The school will comply with federal and state law regarding any potential disclosure of confidential and private health and education information.

ix. Pregnancy: The Church’s teaching affirms and supports human life. Mercy High School will therefore safeguard human life and support the pregnant student in a sensitive and loving manner. Administration will work with the Counseling Department, parents/guardians and the young woman on an individual basis in the event of a pregnancy. Mindful of the sensitivity of the situation, respect for life, a student’s individual rights, the needs of the student and her family and the good of the school, Administration will make decisions regarding issues such as limitation of activity (in and outside of the classroom), health care, attendance and continued enrollment.

  1. DEPARTMENTS AND OFFICES

i. Advancement Office: The Advancement Office oversees fundraising that bridges the gap between tuition revenue and the actual cost of educating a Mercy student. This department additionally seeks donations for tuition assistance, capital improvements, planned gifts and endowments that assure the long-term sustainability of the school. The Admissions, Alumnae and Special Events offices are all part of the Advancement Department. All athletic, club and organization fundraising must be approved through the Advancement Office. Private and personal fundraising is not allowed.

ii. Business Office: Business Office Hours are 7:30am - 3:30pm daily.

iii. Office of Mission and Ministry:

iv. Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging Department:

A hallmark of a Mercy education is the development of a strong voice used to support the Critical Concerns of the Sisters of Mercy: Earth; Immigration; Nonviolence; Racism; Women. Mercy High School is committed to ensuring all students experience an education that reflects the Mercy values of Human Dignity, Mercy, Justice, Service and Option for the Poor in an environment free of racism and social injustices. Every Mercy girl should feel that Mercy is her home and feel welcome at Mercy. We recognize that every person is a child of God and that trust, understanding and mutual respect lie at the heart of our community.

Mercy DEI Statement

Current DEI Initiatives and Resources:

v. Counseling Department:

The Mercy High School Counseling Department aims to provide academic and curricular guidance; personal, social, and emotional support, and post-secondary exploration and planning services. Counselors provide classroom and whole-class presentations, individual student support, and offer group counseling through our CHAT (Caring Helping Acting Talking) Program. In addition to pre-scheduled meetings and presentations, Counselors are available to students by appointment and will service walk-ins when available. We strive to provide a safe and supportive space for all Mercy students; free of judgment, bias, or assumption.

Mercy Counselors value collaboration with parents and guardians and welcome such student centered communication. Parents and guardians are strongly encouraged to make an appointment if requesting to meet a Counselor remotely or in person. Information shared with Mercy Counselors, by students, remains confidential unless a student shares that they intend to harm themself, intended to harm someone else, or that someone is harming them.

When any of the above concerns are shared with a Mercy Counselor, we are ethically and legally obligated to consult with the appropriate resource (parent, other family member, police, Child Protective Services, etc.). Note: consulting the appropriate resource (e.g. parent) will not happen if that appropriate resource (e.g. parent) is named as the person harming the student.

  1. All incoming 9th graders and parent(s)/guardian(s) will meet with a Counselor for guidance in course selection, ensuring a schedule of appropriately challenging classes.
  2. Freshwoman Welcome Day (student orientation)
  3. Classroom presentations regarding Mercy Counseling Department roles and procedures.
  4. Individual meeting with counselor to discuss interests and goals
  5. Small group Personal Aptitude Discovery Workshops.
  6. Introduction to SCOIR, Mercy’s college search and application tool.
  7. Counselor will meet with each student individually to assist in course selection for 10th grade.
  1. Individual meeting with counselor to continue discussions on personal goals and interests
  2. Pre-Standardized Admissions Test (PSAT).
  3. Future Exploration Workshops.
  4. Pre-American College Test (PreACT).
  5. Small group SCOIR College Search Training.
  6. Counselor will meet with each student individually to assist in course selection for 11th grade.
  1. Small group, on-site meetings with College Representatives.
  2. Second PSAT.
  3. Individualized Junior College Meeting with student and parents/guardians.
  4. Class presentation on the first steps in the college application process.
  5. Counselor will meet with each student individually to assist in course selection for 12th grade.
  1. Class presentation detailing college application process and resources.
  2. Individual College Application Check-In meeting in the fall.

vi. Media Center

vii. Wellness Center

viii. Information Technology (I.T.) Office

  1. CAMPUS USE AND CAMPUS SAFETY:

Safety Drills: To comply with the Oakland County School drill requirements and for the safety of students and staff, routine emergency protocol drills are held throughout the school year. Students are expected to adhere to the established and communicated procedures throughout the duration of each drill.

Entrances and Exits for Students: The Flagpole and Auditorium/Gym Lobby doors may be used until 8:00am and after all school dismissal on school days.

Reception Area: The Reception Area is considered an office area. Due to it being an office area, quiet must be maintained there at all times. Students should not congregate in this area.

Field Trips: Parental/guardian approval is required for students to attend off-campus field trips. Attendance on field trips is the option of the student. Absences from classes during field trips are counted in class absence totals. The student has the responsibility of making arrangements for work missed. Behavior on field trips is a reflection of the school and therefore appropriate behavior is expected.

Lockers: Lockers in the Athletic Locker Room are provided for students to use during their gym or swim class periods to store clothing and gear. Locks are provided to students for use the entire semester. Lockers should be emptied before the last day of class. Lockers in the M-Zone are provided for athletes to store clothing and gear. Athletes must provide their own lock and remove all items at the end of the season. For the protection of their valuables, students must keep lockers locked at all times. Locker combinations should not be shared with others. Lockers must not be defaced in any way. Writing on lockers is considered vandalism and will not be tolerated. The school is not responsible for stolen items. Lockers are the property of the school and as such may be opened at any time by school personnel.

Use of Campus Spaces:

Off Campus: No student may leave the building or campus during the school day without the school’s knowledge. Any student found in the parking lot or off campus without a Senior Released Time pass, staff supervision, or explicit approval and signing out in the Attendance Office will receive appropriate consequences. This approval will be granted only upon receipt of written permission or phone confirmation from a parent/legal guardian by the Attendance Officer.

Parking Lot:  When driving in the parking lot, please drive slowly and with reasonable care. Be especially careful when crossing lanes. Pedestrians are reminded to look both ways before crossing lanes of traffic. Parking or standing on the crosswalks is NOT ALLOWED.

Visitors: All visitors must enter at and report to the Reception Area upon arrival between the hours of 7:30am and 3:30pm. At the Reception Area, visitors will sign-in and receive a pass to be worn prominently on the front of their upper garments. Visitors will also be required to sign-out when leaving Mercy. Students may not open an exterior door for any visitor. Consequences will be imposed on any student who encourages unauthorized visitors on the school campus. This includes before or after the regular school day. Individuals who are picking up students after school must wait in the parking lot in their cars. Unauthorized visitors will be asked to leave the building and/or campus. The school has the right under state law and local ordinance to prosecute unauthorized visitors as trespassers.

School Hours: The school assumes the responsibility for scheduling all students into adviser groups, classes, and assemblies/masses/prayer services during the school day. It is the individual student's responsibility to schedule the rest of their school day according to campus policies. Common areas may be used before and after school and during a student’s unscheduled time and should be kept clean and orderly. The school does not provide direct supervision nor assume responsibility for students who arrive early or stay later than the regular school day. Students may not enter the building before 7:00am Students are not allowed in the academic area of the building (all areas east of the Cafeteria) after 4:00pm unless supervised by a staff member.

Security: All members of the school community share in the responsibility for a safe and secure school. Students are requested to not open any exterior doors for visitors at any time. Visitors must enter the building at the Reception Area, or the Auditorium/Gym Lobby for special events. A security officer is present in the building during the school day and after school (6:30am – 10:00pm).

Security Cameras: Cameras are located throughout the school property and individuals should anticipate having their images captured.

Valuables: Personal belongings should be in the student's immediate possession at all times or locked in a locker. Valuables should never be left unattended. The school is not responsible for missing items. If an item is missing, the Dean of Student Affairs should be notified immediately.

  1. SCHOOL DIRECTORY:

Mercy High School’s Website (www.mhsmi.org) has current contact information for all staff. Every attempt will be made for Mercy staff to respond to emails within 24 hours, excluding weekends and holidays.

Telephone Directory:

Mercy High School Main Line                (248) 476-8020

Fax                                                 (248) 476-3691

Admissions Office                                (248) 476-2484

                                                admissions@mhsmi.org 

Advancement Office                                (248) 476-8922

                                                advancement@mhsmi.org 

Alumnae Office                                (248) 476-3270

                                                alumnaeoffice@mhsmi.org 

Associate Principal Academic Affairs        (248) 893-3563

Colleen McMaster                                cmcmaster@mhsmi.org

Athletic Office/Transportation                (248) 476-2836

Attendance 24-hour Line                        (248) 476-2222

Business Office                                (248) 477-6363

Dean of Student Affairs                        (248) 893-3568

Eleasha Tarplin                                edtarplin@mhsmi.org 

Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion        (248) 893-3549

Traci Smith                                        tsmith@mshmi.org 

Confidential Reporting                        Link to Reporting

Counseling Office                                (248) 893-2431

IT Office                                        (248) 893-3590

Office of Mission and Ministry                (248) 893-3588

Security Office                                (248) 410-0299

Wellness Center                                (248) 893-3587