SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — San Francisco’s historic Mercy High School, one of the last remaining all-girls Catholic schools in the city, will cease operations at the end of the school year on June 1, school officials have announced.
The announcement was made by current head of the school, Sister Carolyn Krohn, who said dwindling enrollment and escalating costs had made it impossible to keep Mercy High’s doors open.
“The trustees and administration have worked tirelessly to preserve the important mission to which we have been devoted for the past 68 years and are incredibly disappointed that we are unable to keep Mercy’s doors open,” she said. “We had so hoped that we would find a solution to Mercy’s challenges, but unfortunately, even with the multiple strategies we have explored, it is just not possible.”
Officials said the school was working to transition current students as well as those potential new students who were considering Mercy for the 2020-21 year.
hey will be working with parents as well as with Catholic, public, and independent school administrators to help facilitate the move of members of the Classes of 2021, 2022, and 2023 to other schools. School administrators are also working closely with Mercy High School, Burlingame, to explore what opportunities may exist for current San Francisco students to continue their Mercy education.
“During the coming weeks and months, Mercy’s focus will be on our students, our faculty, and our staff,” Sister Carolyn said. “Classes and activities will continue as normal as the integrity of our educational program and the welfare of our students are of the greatest importance.”
The school was founded in 1952 when the late auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of San Francisco James T. O’Dowd requested that the Sisters of Mercy provide a secondary school for Catholic girls in the Sunset, Lakeside, and ParkMerced districts. As a result, Mercy High School was opened on Sept. 3 of that same year with a class of 199 frosh in a partially completed building.
In 1954, nearly two years later, the school building was completed and on June 11, 1956, a class of 173 seniors received diplomas, becoming the first graduating class of Mercy High School.
Since then, the school boasts over 11,000 graduates, many of whom have become influential, successful women who have gone on to do great things both locally and around the world.