Safety, Health and Wellbeing
Our commitment to student safety, health and wellbeing permeates every aspect of the Merion Mercy experience, from what we serve in the Dining Commons and the accessibility of personal support to the details of our comprehensive School Crisis, Emergency Management, and Medical Emergency Response Plan.
Not surprisingly, safety is among parents’ top concerns when choosing a school for their child. In fact, it’s second only to academic reputation.
A Connected Community is a Safer Community
At Merion Mercy Academy, the safety of your children is our first priority. Simply put, learning cannot take place in an environment where students feel unsafe—physically, mentally or emotionally. Research from kidsdata.org found, “Students who feel safe at school tend to have better emotional health and are less likely to engage in risky behaviors. That sense of safety contributes to an overall feeling of connection.”
In addition to the safety of Merion Mercy’s campus in Montgomery county, MMA’s size is also beneficial when it comes to mitigating potential problems. Our small, tight-knit community means that teachers and staff are more likely to recognize when a student is in crisis.
In an Emergency Situation
Merion Mercy Academy has adopted the National Incident Management System for planning and responding to emergency situations and uses an Incident Command System to address critical incidents and/or crises when multi agency response is required.
Steps that Merion Mercy has taken to prepare for and reduce potential risks include:
Forming a Crisis Management Team
Outlining a 30-plus page School Crisis, Emergency Management, and Medical Emergency Response Plan
Establishing emergency response protocols including an electronic notification system that automatically notifies parents in case of a school-wide emergency
Inviting local law enforcement and fire personnel to conduct safety audits on campus
Controlling access to the school building
Requiring visitors to sign in, present ID, and wear badges
Vigorously screening all employees
Holding drills to practice safety procedures
Beyond addressing physical safety, Merion Mercy Academy has a vision for the psychological wellbeing of our students as well. We recognize that the mental, emotional, and technological expectations put on students are arguably more intense now than they have been for any previous generation, and we have been intentional in giving students the tools they need to handle the tensions and tests in their lives. These include:
The support of licensed, professional counselors who are available each school day on a drop in basis or by appointment
A Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging director with whom to share concerns or challenges
Campus ministry, whose door is always for those seeking spiritual guidance or simply a quiet place in which to reflect
Integrating skills and coping mechanisms into the curriculum through programs such as WinAtSocial through the Social Institute.
Addressing topics such as bullying, depression, anxiety, and the challenges of living in a time of constant communication.
Familiarizing students with the Safe2Say Something youth violence prevention program
Our kitchen staff provides students with an array of healthy and tasty food options. Every day, there are breakfast sandwiches, breakfast bowls, muffins, and bagels in the morning hours; cold sandwiches and wraps, a salad bar, fresh fruits, vegetables, and various cookies, chips, and other snacks in the afternoon.
We also encourage students to become active through our dozens of Clubs & Activities, be it enjoying athletics and team spirit through a sporting team, or finding movement and expression through the performing arts.
Our Student Health Center
Our Student Health Center consists of a team of health professionals, including a physician consultant, two health room nurses, and a Lower Merion School District certified school nurse.
It’s staffed full time to provide first aid and support to students who become ill or injured during the school day, or who need health maintenance of a chronic or acute medical condition. If further treatment is required or a student needs to go home, parents will be contacted. In the event of an emergency, 911 will be called and the student will be transported via ambulance to the hospital.