MMA Takes Pro-Active Measures in Response to Business First Rankingby cnewman
Mount Mercy Academy has taken many steps to enhance academic instruction and student achievement this year. Goals have been set, and action plans have been implemented in this important endeavor to overall improvement for our school. At the beginning of the school year, MMA contracted with a highly qualified academic consultant who reviewed the curriculum, policies, practices and a great deal of data to reach her recommendations for moving ahead with academic achievement. Focusing on five specific concerns, Mount Mercy Academy has taken giant leaps in accomplishing these specific objectives.
1) We intend that all MMA graduates earn a New York State Regents Diploma with Advanced Designation. This means that every student must be on the curriculum track for the successful completion of nine NYS Regents exams. Three Regents Math exams, two Regents Social Studies exams, two Regents Science Exams, one comprehensive English Regents exam and one comprehensive Language other than English Regents exam. To reach this major objective, the following initiatives have been implemented:
- The MMA Counseling Department schedules every student in the courses which lead to obtaining the New York State Regents Diploma with Advanced Designation.
- MMA Teachers provide all supports needed for students to successfully complete these requirements.
- Communication with parents regarding the expectations for students has increased.
- A Title 1 Math teacher has been added to our faculty for the purpose of providing additional support to our Math students.
- Mandatory faculty attendance at in-services providing new teaching methods and strategies.
- Students understand the standard expectation of "strive for 85% or better" on all tests.
- New scanning equipment provides valuable reports on student achievement or lack thereof made available to MMA teachers. In turn, teachers are required to submit report analysis along with an action plan for improvement to the administration quarterly.
2) We have supported and enhanced our Math and Science programs.
- The addition of a Title 1 teacher has been invaluable to the Math program.
- Students in danger of under performing in both Math and Science have been identified and placed in tutoring classes.
- Math and Science teachers have attended NYS workshops and conferences receiving new teaching strategies and have been updated on developments related to the new Common Core standards.
- A new software program, Castle Learning, has been made available for teachers to use to provide Regents-styled questions to students for practice and reinforcement.
3) We have made improvements in the Advanced Placement Program. MMA students historically do well in AP courses and on AP exams. However, there is always room for enhancement to any program.
- All MMA teachers will have attended AP teacher workshops by the end of this school year.
- Support through additional on-line resources has been provided to all AP students.
4) We will establish a school-wide program for SAT/ACT preparation. Currently, Atlas Prep runs an SAT Prep course at MMA, and soon will develop a prep course specifically designed for MMA juniors who will take the PSAT, enhancing the possibilities for our students to qualify for the National Merit Scholarship Program.
This year, 2 MMA students scored extremely high on the 2011 PSAT's. These students will continue on in the competition for a National Merit Scholarship. In addition, a current MMA senior, because of her high score on the 2009 PSAT and other academic achievements, will receive a special scholarship from American City Business Journals, Inc. (parent company of Business First) and the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. For the Class of 2011, 44% will graduate with an overall average of 90 or better for their four years at Mount Mercy Academy.
5) We will expand and deepen collaborative efforts and partnerships with the local service, academic and business communities of Western New York that exemplify the Mission and Values of the Academy. Our students have benefitted from the many experiential opportunities afforded them over the years. This year, MMA has partnered not only with Catholic Health, but with the Family Justice Center, which has provided training for our students to become workshop facilitators making junior high school students aware of appropriate and inappropriate dating behaviors. Empowering our young women with the knowledge about dating violence is powerful and necessary in today's world. The school seeks additional partnerships with organizations whose mission is harmonious with that of MMA.
We hope you agree that as a premier high school for young women sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, Mount Mercy Academy meets the needs of parents and students interested in acquiring an education of the highest quality. The Administration and Faculty constantly seek to maintain a nurturing atmosphere where Mercy students are called to be women of faith, knowledge, integrity and compassion. The Mount Mercy Academy experience fosters the academic, spiritual and social growth and development of each student. At Mount Mercy Academy, every student is encouraged, supported, and guided towards fulfillment of her maximum potential and a future leader, prepared to make outstanding contributions to her family, church, community and career.