Our Lady of Mercy Catholic School which serves 180+ students (JK-Grade 8) is located in Bancroft. We serve a large geographical area stretching from Harcourt, Highland Grove and Cardiff to the west (Haliburton County) to Maynooth and Lake St. Peter to the north, to Boulter, McArthur's Mills to the east and Gilmour to the south. The majority of our students are bused with many having a bus ride of over an hour.
We are located within the Diocese of Pembroke but the church in Ormbsy are part of the Kingston Diocese and the churches in Cardiff and Highland Grove are served by the Diocese of Peterborough. School Masses are usually celebrated on First Friday and each classroom teacher (Grade 2 to 8) organizes at least one Mass per school year with students taking on the roles of lectors, altar servers and gift bearers.
Many of our staff members were educated in this school or in other former ALCDSB schools (e.g., St. Ignatius) so we are familiar with the structures of combined grades as well as the realities of largely rural living and the benefits / challenges that come with living in this area of ALCDSB. We were part of the District Support process in 2014-2015 and that report continues to guide our work.
We are fortunate to have a dedicated group of volunteers who assist with supporting students' reading, coaching some of our extracurricular sports and as chefs for our Breakfast Program. Our School Council is active and works diligently to provide for our students through hot meals (e.g., Spaghetti lunches and Shrove Tuesday breakfast), special performances (e.g., Dufflebag Theatre), sporting clinics (e.g., Rocks and Rings), and to provide funding for our Nutrition Programs as well as busing for year end school trips.