Our Lady of Mercy School, once known as Our Lady of Mercy Country Day School, was founded in 1954 as a training school for the Diocesan Teachers College. The early 1960s ushered in a new facility but the training school dissolved in 1969. However, the school continued under the direction of the Sisters of Mercy and was the only Catholic elementary school on the East Shoreline. In 1987, Our Lady of Mercy Country Day School became incorporated and renamed Our Lady of Mercy School (OLM) and a Board of Trustees replaced the Advisory Board. A notable event took place in 1992 when OLM became the first private Catholic elementary school to be accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. The Sisters of Mercy owned and operated the school until 1997 when they relinquished daily operation of the school and hired a lay principal. By 2004, the Sisters of Mercy were facing financial challenges but rather than close the school, the Archbishop of Hartford intervened and it was agreed that OLM would become an Archdiocesan School. Presently, St. Margaret Parish in Madison and St. George Parish in Guilford are fiscally responsible for OLM. The focus of the school’s mission to nurture, inspire and guide the child to be Christ in the world, and the focus on academic excellence has remained steadfast and a proud legacy is entrusted to the present generation.
Today there is a main campus as well as an Early Childhood Campus located in the St. Margaret Parish Center. In 2011, leadership was entrusted to the Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, an international congregation with their United States Provincialate located in Hamden, CT. OLM continues to embrace the past and dream and envision a rich future. Alumni parents serve as good and faithful stewards as they and retired teachers return to volunteer with Mock Trial and as aides and library assistants. Parents and alumni willingly serve on the School Board and entrust their children to OLM. Parents volunteer as coaches, teacher assistants, carpenters, and technology experts and assist in community outreach and enrichment programs. The present faculty partner with the classroom parents for planning and field trips as co-curriculars. This practice keeps the primary focus on academics.
The faculty selects and provides a well-balanced program, nurturing and guiding the students to maintain standards of excellence as evidenced in the Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS) grade equivalent scores.
The curriculum focuses on critical thinking, creative instruction, and balances work, play, physical education, and prayer while promoting music, art, instrumental music, Italian, Spanish, and French, all the while integrating the use of technology. Another welcome addition was the robotics program introduced in 2015. The recent addition of LED TVs and Apple connectors in all the classrooms is a welcome addition to the learning environment. In addition, the Innovation Center has an iPad2 cart and a Chromebooks cart each housing 30 devices and 12 iMacs and one Mac notebook.
Bright, motivated students, a competent faculty, interested and involved parents, and dedicated leadership makeup the present day OLM. In 2015, we reintroduced the hot lunch program offered on our premises. To honor a former pastor for the role he played in keeping a watchful eye on maintaining the future and the stability and of OLM, the Rev. James Shanley Auditorium was named in June of 2015. Our entire program and structure exists under the pastors who serve as CEOs of the school.
Traditions such as the Christmas Pageant, performed by pre-kindergarten 3 through grade 8 students, is directed and staged by the faculty. There are ample opportunities for public speaking and the integration of history, literature, the arts and community outreach on Veterans Day, First Friday liturgies, weekly prayer services, and Instrumental Music (Band) presenations.
OLM School remains in an envious position of being a “straight A school” it is attractive, accessible and affordable. The majority of students live in Madison and Guilford, but we presently enroll students from approximately 6 surrounding towns.
Our students are accepted at many competitive private high schools and are often placed in accelerated or level one-honor classes. Several students have received four-year scholarships at private high schools in and out of Connecticut based on overall academic excellence.
OLM students continue to win local and state awards in science, spelling, inventions, and drama. The 8th grade teacher trains students for the annual State Mock Trial Competition. The state championship has been bestowed on OLM students in 2004 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2nd place was awarded in 2009, 2010 and 2014. As a third grader, a member of the Class of 2012 was asked to speak and to appear before the U.S. Congress in Washington DC to address “peanut allergies and peanuts on airplanes.” Clearly, OLM students are prepared in and out of the classroom to stand and deliver.
In 2015, Our Lady of Mercy School received an unprecedented bequest in excess of 4 million dollars for the school. The school community is grateful for the support and kindness of the benefactor. We look forward to enhancing our learning environment for the benefit of all future students. We are proud to annouce the building of the future "Rosa & Fred Rettich" Playground.