What’s in a name? Divine Mercy Catholic School on Merritt Island has announced a name change to Divine Mercy Catholic Academy to better reflect the quality of education received. Along with the name change comes many exciting benefits for the students at the Blue Ribbon School of Excellence. The reason for the change, according to Principal Ron Gagnon, is “to rebrand and remarket ourselves to communicate the rigorous academic curriculum we offer. We decided that Divine Mercy has been the best kept secret on Merritt Island and that it was time to spread the good news throughout central Brevard County. “

Divine Mercy was established in 1964. During the 2004/2005 school year, the school was officially recognized by the US Department of Education as a Blue Ribbon School by having test scores in the top 10% of the Nation. In 2010, Divine Mercy adopted a curriculum of 21st Century Skills to prepare the students for the workforce of tomorrow.

Accepting students from Pre-Kindergarten through 8th grade, the academy’s state certified teachers, many of whom have Master’s Degrees, integrate technology at all grade levels and subject area. Teachers in all the classes incorporate Eno Boards, an enhanced version of “smart boards”, and iPads to provide innovative and interactive lessons with the students bringing technology into every facet of learning. “I use my iPad to record student’s basketball shots so we can later assess their form and improve their skills” stated Kara Springer, Athletic Director. In addition to computers in the classroom, library and computer lab, Divine Mercy provides individual laptops for all 7th and 8th grade students.

With regards to global awareness and extending our educational walls, the school offered an elective Mandarin Chinese class to all interested middle school students through a virtual program taught by an instructor in China. The program sparked an interest with all the students in the school who are required to study Spanish from PreK through 8th grade.

The academy offers a variety of extracurricular activities including band, violin, Lego Robotics, Young Astronaut Club, hand bells, Math Olympiad, and drama. Team sports include basketball, flag football, soccer, tennis, track, cross country, volleyball and bowling. In addition to the core curriculum the students also have courses in art, physical education, library, technology, music, Spanish and religion. Students attend school mass on Fridays with each class taking part in the readings and preparation throughout the year.

To celebrate the rededication, the Academy will have a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony on January 27, 2012 and an Open House on the following Sunday, January 29th from 9 – 11:30 AM. “We are proud to say that our enrollment has increased by approximately 10% this year”, says Principal Ron Gagnon. “We look forward to building a bigger and brighter future in the years to come. Divine Mercy Catholic Academy – Ever New, Ever Changing, Ever Growing.”