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Week of March 30, 2020
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Principal Notes

What's Important this Week at Mercy High School
30 March 2020
 
Lent takes on new meaning these days, when we have given up seeing one another in person. It is so much easier to give up chocolate than one another’s company! I hope you and your family are doing well at home, and that your Mercy Girls are taking good care of you.
 
Yesterday's Gospel takes us to the home of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus in Bethany. I remember the days when, early in my tenure at Mercy, I taught Theology, mostly to freshmen, but also to sophomores and juniors. I was especially taken with teaching scripture, and today’s readings that include Ezekiel and John are very helpful in this time of being home. From Ezekiel 37:

O my people! I will put my spirit in you that you may live, and I will settle you upon your land; thus you shall know that I am the Lord. I have promised, and I will do it, says the Lord. 
 
In John’s Gospel, we have Jesus lingering rather than rushing to the house of Martha, Mary, and Lazarus, where Lazarus is ill. In another Gospel, that of Luke, the personalities of Martha and Mary are demonstrated. Martha is busy getting things ready for Jesus and His companions, while Mary is hanging out with Jesus, learning. I’m still rather like Martha, busying myself by getting everything ready. But Jesus warns Martha, who wants some help in the kitchen. In Luke’s Gospel, Jesus tells Martha that Mary is doing the right thing by stopping, listening, and learning. In today’s Gospel of John, Jesus visits their home again, and makes a point of lingering so that people can really know how important it is to listen, to stop, to attend to the most important thing, our relationship with Him.
Mercy Online 2.0 is in full swing, and for every 45-minute class that your daughters take synchronously, there is another 45 minutes of asynchronous work. Our teachers are working very hard to maintain the momentum of teaching and learning. We have completed three quarters of the school year, so I hope that you have accessed your daughter’s report card on PlusPortals. The report card has information on it that may not be on the assignment or grade pages, so be certain to actually press the Report Card tab to see how she is doing.
If you are looking for something to do while in your house, Mercy’s online newspaper, The Shield, is the perfect cure for any self-distancing induced boredom! No matter where your interests lie, The Shield has something for everyone. We have articles covering everything from club happenings, to current events, to movie reviews. Check out the website, The Shield, for more!
 
For those who aren’t keen on reading, check out The Shield’s YouTube channel! Editor Heather Shanty (‘20) just published a video series where she interviews teachers, asking them what they wanted to be when they grew up. Check it out to get some never-before-known details about your favorite teachers before their lives at Mercy.
On Tuesday during Magic Time, there is a slight change in the schedule. Juniors and Seniors will attend Seminar, as they will have a special speaker from Career Day, Mary Carol Ceselsky, ‘87.  As a varsity cheerleader she remembers fondly having to cook team dinners in Mercy’s kitchen every year the night of the Big Game. After Mercy, Ms. Ceselsky went on to earn her bachelor’s degree in finance and financial services from Towson University. She has worked over twenty years in financial services—in both banking and corporate finance and now as a retirement planning consultant.  Outside of her financial work, Ms. Ceselsky is involved in volunteer work. In fact, some of our students met her at the Franciscan Center on our Day of Service. She is currently a financial adviser for WPG Financial Group. Ms. Ceselsky will talk with our juniors and seniors about Money Sense.
Both the International Baccalaureate and the College Board, which runs Advanced Placement testing, have made necessary changes in the spring assessment schedule.
  • For all sophomores, whose Personal Projects are assessed not only by our internal (Mercy) graders, but also by the IB, submissions have a relaxed timetable (although not a relaxed expectation of excellence). We are well within the framework and expect to submit our assessment data on time.
  • AP exams will be offered twice this spring, and the assessments will be online, 45 minutes in length, with no multiple choice sections. There are also free tutorials for AP students, beginning Wednesday, March 25. More information will be available to us after April 3, but Mercy teachers are sharing information related to their discipline in their classes this week.
Looking forward to summer and a return to normal activity? So is Magic Nation Athletics! There's more room to PLAY at Mercy, and we have expanded our 2020 summer camp offerings, which now include:
  • Basketball
  • Volleyball I
  • Volleyball II
  • Lacrosse
  • Soccer I
  • Soccer II
Registration is now OPEN!

Finally . . .

It’s hard to believe that the month of April begins this week. As we approach Easter, during which we celebrate the Risen Lord, let us pray especially for all those on the front lines of this global pandemic. The health care providers who are working tirelessly, those who stock shelves in grocery stores, those delivering packages, and other work that we might not see but that occurs behind the scenes. Like Martha, they are busy doing the work that must get done. For those of us who have the time to linger a bit, to be present to and learning from the Lord, we must keep in mind all the Marthas that are keeping the world going.
 
We at Mercy are praying for all of our Mercy Girls and all of our Mercy families. And we look so forward to being together again!


Sincerely yours,

Jeanne A. Blakeslee
Principal
Club and Organization Meetings:
 
Any student meetings rescheduled as virtual meetings will be posted on PlusPortals.

More Links and Information
for This Week

Congratulations to those who made the Principal’s List and who earned Academic Recognition!
Today (Monday) at 1:00, which is Magic Time, all Mercy Girls will attend advisee meetings. There is a very cool activity at the end of the meeting, with a household scavenger hunt, which promises to be a lot of fun.
On Wednesday, April 1, Freshmen and Sophomores will attend Seminar during Magic Time.
On Thursday, Freshmen will have a Class Meeting through Teams, for a special activity that was planned by the Freshman Steering Committee. On Thursday, at 2:30 pm, there will be a meeting of Field Day Captains via Teams.
In addition to our new Mercy Online web page, we will continue to update our COVID-19 Response and Resources page with helpful resources and each communication from our Leadership Team.
Our Student Services Team, including our Counselors, Learning Specialist, and College Counselor, are all available to support your daughters. Please don’t hesitate to be in touch with them, as you would if we were on campus.
Courtney Goldbeck, Director of Library Services, has shared Mercy's online resources and some links to local public library systems. She is also posting these on the Library page on PlusPortals so that students and families have easy access to it. 
The Mercy bus will be coming to Harford County and Perry Hall to meet our growing demand from those areas. Morning bus service will be offered for the 2020-2021 school year, and the route will be determined by the response. Interested? Fill out this quick form.
The date of the Garnet Gala has changed! We have postponed this wonderful evening everyone was so looking forward to until Thursday, June 18.  Thank you to all of our sponsors and patrons for your flexibility! This fabulous night is sponsored by the Mercy High School Alumnae Association. Tickets, Sponsorships, and Ads are still on sale!

Dreaming of summer? This is the last week to grab your deeply discounted Hersheypark tickets for this summer offered by the Mercy High School Alumnae Association! For more details and to purchase your tickets, click here.

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