• Dennis Toohey

Mercy High School San Francisco Closing

The following announcement has gone out today from Sr Lisa Griffith, RSM (Mercy Education System of the Americas), Cheri Thibiteaux (Chair, Mercy High School Board of Trustees and Sr Carolyn Krohn, RSM (Head of School, Mercy High School):

It is with great sadness that we announce the planned closure of Mercy High School at the conclusion of this school year on June 1, 2020.

Why is Mercy High School compelled to shut her doors after 68 years? The answer to this question is complex. The Board and administration have worked tirelessly on a number of strategies to stabilize the school, but regretfully these efforts have been unsuccessful. The combination of decreasing enrollment along with the increased need for financial aid, the lack of a significant endowment, and rising operating expenses has made it impossible to maintain financial stability. 

We know this decision effects, not only our students, alumnae, faculty and staff but our vendor community as well. We hope that this early announcement will help in your strategic planning.

We have tried everything to preserve the important mission to which we have been devoted for the past 68 years: to educate women to pursue lives of spiritual and intellectual depth, determination and daring action to improve our world as an inclusive, Catholic, college preparatory community enlivened by the gospel of Jesus and the charism of the Sisters of Mercy. 

Most recently, we announced that “Mercy is at a crossroads” and many responded generously, with approximately $200,000 raised. Though this sum is not enough to keep open our doors, it does facilitate, along with yet another major gift from the Sisters of Mercy, our ability to close the 2019-2020 school year with grace and dignity.  We are deeply grateful to those of you who contributed through your gifts and support.

During the coming weeks and months, Mercy’s focus will be on our students, our faculty, and our staff.  Classes and activities will continue as normal as the integrity of our educational program and the welfare of our girls is of the greatest importance.  There will, of course, be changes, including, unfortunately, some staff reductions. Great care will be taken to ensure that these changes will not compromise the student experience.

Our Mercy girls are our top priority. We are working to transition current students, as well as those potential new students who were considering Mercy for the 2020-21 year, to new schools.  We will be working with Catholic, public and independent school administrators as well as with parents to help facilitate the move of members of the Classes of 2021, 2022, and 2023 to other schools. 

We want to wholeheartedly thank our dedicated teachers, staff and Sisters, past and present, who have exhibited great care, dedication, and compassion while assisting young women in their dreams of a Mercy education. We also want to thank everyone who has lent their time and shared resources with Mercy throughout our 68-year history. Your time, your participation, and your gifts have produced generations of young women of Mercy of whom we are so proud.

We also want you to know how disappointed we are to be unable to keep Mercy’s doors open. We had so hoped that we would find a solution to Mercy’s challenges, but unfortunately it is just not possible even with the multiple attempts and strategies explored over these past eighteen months. We deeply regret the impact this decision has upon you and pray that the God of wisdom and mercy may guide all of us through these difficult times.

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