Yes. All Mercy Home residents must attend school. We believe that a good education is an essential component to a healthy and productive future. Upon admission to Mercy Home, co-workers locate a school suitable for a child’s ability to compete and succeed. If the youth is 16 years of age or older, he or she is required to work a part-time job. As we do with school placement, we help youth find and sustain employment at area businesses while living at Mercy Home. Many actually earn their very first work experience by working a paid part-time job within the Home.
Mercy Home is not a school. But we send them to the school that will best help them succeed. We send our young people to more than 50 different elementary, high schools, trade schools and colleges throughout the Chicago area in order to match them with the academic setting that best meets their individual strengths and needs.
Seventy percent of our young people in residential programs attend parochial schools, while 27% attend public schools, and 3% attend private, non-sectarian schools. Additionally, our Community Care team offers continued academic support for those who have left the full-time care of the Home, even in some cases providing scholarships.
In many cases, youth care workers drive the children to school and pick them up in the afternoon. Older kids will often take public transportation where appropriate, like thousands of other high-school-aged children do each day.
Our young people come 4.1 years behind their peers in math, and 3.4 years behind in reading. But with Mercy Home’s help, they gain ground: in one year at Mercy Home, they gain on average: 0.9 years in math and 1.3 years in reading. In addition:
– 94% attended school regularly
– 86% advanced a grade level
– 100% of our 8th graders and high school seniors graduated
– 75% worked at least a part-time job
– 94% of those held that job for at least 6 months
To help them achieve academically, Mercy Home:
– Conducts base-line testing on each child upon admission to understand their true grade level in the critical subject areas of math and reading.
– Places each child in the best possible school that meets his or her specific educational needs.
– Forms an individually-tailored educational plan for each child with goals and timetables. Proctors computerized learning in math and reading.
– Maintains fully-equipped learning centers on each campus.
– Provides tutors and study time 5 nights a week.
– Provides an extensive catalogue of after school learning programs and interest-based electives taught at Mercy Home by qualified educators.
– Helps young people secure jobs and internships with their partners in the business community.
– Provides more scholarships for Community Care members to support continued success after the Home.