Educational Transition Planning

Supporting Families Through the Transition Process

The Mercy Ships Academy knows that for many families, moving from their home country to one of our ships can come with its fair share of challenges. We want to make sure that families are supported throughout this process.

 The Mercy Ships Academy staff provides the following services and steps for families as they transfer from school in their home country, and as they return at the end of their service:

Arriving Well

Student Applications & School References

All families are asked to complete a full Mercy Ships Academy student application, and provide school references and copies of three years of school reports. These resources help the Academy staff review the student’s academic achievements and assess the progress of each student. 

Introductory Call with Academy Director

The Family Volunteer Coordinator sets up a video call with each family and the Academy Director. This is an opportunity for families to better understand the full Academy Application process and the school’s academic program, as well as an opportunity for the Academy Director to get to know each family and student. 

Complete Student Review

The Academy staff completes a full review of the student’s academic achievements and progress so that we can ensure we are able to meet their educational needs.

Onboarding Student Assessment

During the Kids Onboarding Program, which takes place prior to arriving on one of our ships, students spend time with Academy staff at the International Support Center. Here, they complete an academic assessment, which is designed to help develop an accurate understanding of each student’s academic level so that we can create an effective Educational Transitional Plan.

Educational Transition Plan

This plan is designed to map out clear expectations for students, families, and teachers during the first few months of the school year as students settle into a new educational system at the Academy. This greatly benefits students who are English Language Learners and who are transferring between school systems. With good planning, we can remove much of the stress and uncertainty that comes during seasons of transition.

Junior High & High School Course Plans

As part of the application process for junior high and high school students, we draw up a full course plan. This includes a three-year plan for junior high students and a four-year plan for high school students. The plans map out the Mercy Ships Academy course each student is automatically enrolled in, and allows families to request course substitutions that prepare students for college and university applications in their home countries. Families and Academy Principals review these course plans each year and make adjustments as each student’s post-high school plans are developed and confirmed.

Transferring to Your New School

Educational Re-Entry Plan

As soon as families know that they are returning home, they are encouraged to meet with the Academy Principal to start planning their family’s educational re-entry plan. This will include planning language learning as well as ensuring they are equipped with any specific educational needs to return well to their home country’s educational system. The Academy leadership will help research what this looks like and how to do this well.

Introductory Letter from Class or Mentor Teachers

Each student returning home will receive a letter of introduction from their class or mentor teacher that shares their grades as well as providing insight into their experience in the Academy. Each letter also includes an open invitation to contact our teachers at any time to make sure there is continuous communication so that nothing is missed as the family returns.

Student Records

The Academy provides official copies of high school transcripts upon graduation and when students transfer from our school. Any student — whether alumni or currently enrolled in high school — can request a copy of their transcript at any time by clicking on this link. Transcripts can be sent to students or directly to the university or college, upon request. Transcripts include a summary of all courses completed in high school, and record the student’s grade, credits earned, and grade point average. Transcripts are different from school reports and have a higher degree of authority that is recognized by other educational institutes.

Student Records

The Academy provides official copies of high school transcripts upon graduation and when students transfer from our school. Any student — whether alumni or currently enrolled in high school — can request a copy of their transcript at any time by clicking on this link (needs to link to the Transcript Request Page on our website, when it is ready). Transcripts can be sent to students or directly to the university or college, upon request. Transcripts include a summary of all courses completed in high school, and record the student’s grade, credits earned, and grade point average. Transcripts are different from school reports and have a higher degree of authority that is recognized by other educational institutes.

In addition to educational transition and re-entry planning, the Academy provides emotional and spiritual support for students and their families as part of our pastoral care. This service ensures that our families can access resources that will empower them with both knowledge and skills during these seasons of change. Supporting families well is a priority of the Mercy Ships Academy leadership!