As we move through the 2020-2021 school year, we are continuing to evolve our planning in response to the constantly changing landscape of COVID-19 and making the best decisions for our school community. Fulfilling our mission while keeping our community safe remains our highest priorities, and although our campus may look and feel different at times, we know that our students, faculty, staff, and families will respond to the challenge in inspiring ways. We will seek to engage our core value of ceaseless devotion to a mighty task, which calls on us to nurture the desire to dream, the courage to persevere, and the will to achieve, as we continue to make decisions with the following goals as our guiding principles:
We will continue to make decisions with the following goals:
This year will be a different experience, changing how we learn and engage with each other. By committing to the mighty tasks in front of us, we can ensure a safe, successful, and sustained return to campus. At Mercersburg, we’re all in this together, and we will make the sacrifices necessary to live and learn as one community. Our promises:
All students will have access to an incredible educational experience, regardless of whether or not they are able to physically be on campus with us.
Our faculty are trained and prepared to offer online courses that build off the success of the spring’s Virtual ’Burg, ensuring that we are offering the best online academic experiences for our students, when and if we need it.
Should we be forced to go virtual for a period of time equivalent to one term, we will be prepared to offer tuition credits/refunds in alignment to the tuition announced for our online learning option.
Fully Remote Learning Option
We have remained committed to providing remote learning for any student who is limited from being on campus due to travel restrictions or medical reasons. We acknowledge that for a limited number of families, virtual may be a preferred option for one term or even for the entire academic year. Mercersburg Academy is offering all families the option for their student(s) to engage with our program fully online. This option is offered on a per-term basis and will allow families to pay a reduced tuition by term. Details of that option can be found in the Academic Plan section.
Academic Plan 2020-2021
We have adjusted our class schedule in order to make the best use of time during the 2020-2021 school year, allowing students deep and meaningful learning, the opportunity to earn more credits, and the convenience of being able to select in-person or virtual learning by term.
As noted, Mercersburg is offering a full online learning option, Virtual ’Burg, for the 2020-2021 academic year for students that are unable to attend in-person (due to visas, travel restrictions, etc.) or for whom in-person learning is deemed by the family to be unsafe or undesirable. Families have the choice of having their child attend Mercersburg in person or virtually for each of the three academic terms (fall, winter, and spring).
Health and Safety Expectations
Because the landscape for COVID-19 is variable by region, the school has developed on-campus health and safety levels.
Mercersburg Academy launched Storm Watch, a safe campus initiative, at the beginning of the pandemic. Throughout the spring and early summer, this group was fully immersed in the planning of a safe return to campus for students in the fall. The primary role of this group is to examine, research, and analyze proactive and reactive opportunities for protecting the Mercersburg Academy community in the face of invasive contagions on our campus (like COVID-19), and how to most effectively prepare for and manage these threats if and when they occur. Storm Watch completed their recommendations in early July and implementation teams across campus have been working to ensure that the campus is ready for our students.
Relaxed Mitigation Practices
Risk of transmission is no longer a threat and the pandemic is over. Campus is open for in-person learning and activities, and health and safety protocols are lifted.
*Levels are determined in part by mandates from national, regional, and local officials.
SCHOOL REOPENING AND HEALTH AND SAFETY PLAN
Academics: Jen Smith ’97, Dean of Academics
Alumni campus visits/regional events: Office of Advancement and Alumni Relations
Health/wellness/counseling: Rutherford Health and Wellness Center
Student and residential life: Chris Howes, Assistant Head of School for Student Life and Culture
Tuition, enrollment, and the application process: Anna Crouch, Director of Admission
Visa and international travel: Michelle Shuman, Admission Operations Coordinator
Other: Julie Maurer ’90, Associate Head of School for School Life