Superintendent Scully: ‘No Guarantees’ on Silver Hill Status Quo

Throughout the month of August, WHAV provides a daily report counting down to the first day of school in Greater Haverhill.

The approach of the first day of school normally brings with it a certain amount of uncertainty. Students wonder about homeroom assignments and whether they’ll like their teachers. Parents want to know what time the bus will arrive and what items are on the list of necessary supplies.

But for parents of students at Silver Hill School, the uncertainty is amplified because the school’s Horace Mann charter will not be renewed.

Parent Devan Ferreira tells WHAV some parents are under the mistaken belief that the school will close or that their children will be transferred to another school.

Silver Hill Principal Margaret Shepherd wrote to parents last month to assure them that the school will reopen this fall with the expectation that things will remain very much the same.

“Superintendent (James F.) Scully stated that he has no intentions of changing anything at Silver Hill,” Shepherd wrote.

She attached a message from the superintendent that said, in part, “Children currently there will remain there through the fifth grade. The kindergarten program is in our budget and therefore no changes will be made and free kindergarten remains.”

“We’re not changing the grade-level configurations or the academic program,” Scully confirmed at a recent School Committee meeting .

But he qualified his statement, saying there’s no way to promise what will happen a few years into the future.

“There’s no guarantee. Say, for example, fiscal conditions in the city change and we need to up our class size or enrollment.”

The Silver Hill community learned in mid-June that its charter renewal application would not go forward after Haverhill’s teachers union voted against it. Approval by the city’s teaching staff was one of the state’s requirements for renewal of Silver Hill’s Horace Mann charter.

As a result of the vote, Silver Hill will become a traditional elementary school beginning in the 2018-2019 school year, under the direction of the superintendent and funded through the district budget.

As a Horace Mann school, Silver Hill was free to seek additional funding through grants and other sources, which paid for curriculum enhancements and professional development not available to staff of the city’s other schools.

Tilton School plans an open house on Monday, Aug. 28, from 4 to 5:30 p.m. to introduce parents to the school. Parents can find out their children’s homeroom assignment after 3 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 25, by visiting the Tilton School web site.

Some student-athletes at Haverhill High School will be required to undergo baseline concussion testing before being allowed to participate in their chosen sports.

Juniors, freshmen and new athletes who plan to play the following sports must be tested: football, cheering, field hockey, soccer, swimming, diving, ice hockey, wrestling, basketball, gymnastics and lacrosse.

Testing dates are Aug. 21 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Aug. 22 from 10 a.m. to noon and Aug. 23 from 1 to 3 p.m. All testing will be done at Haverhill High School in Room M-22 in half-hour sessions.

Freshmen and other students new to Methuen High School are invited to an open house on Thursday, Aug. 17, from 5 to 7 p.m. Methuen High is located at 1 Ranger Road. Methuen students begin school on Tuesday, Aug. 29.

Haverhill Public Schools open their doors to students in grades 1 through 12 on Tuesday, Aug. 29. Kindergarten begins Sept. 5. All Haverhill students will attend for a half-day on Friday, Sept. 1, and enjoy a day off for Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 4.

Regional first days are:

Pentucket: Aug. 31

Timberlane: Aug. 31

Do you have a submission for the Back-to-School Countdown? Email information to [email protected]. Tune in tomorrow for more back-to-school information.


One thought on “Superintendent Scully: ‘No Guarantees’ on Silver Hill Status Quo

  1. “We’re not changing the grade-level configurations or the academic program,” Scully confirmed

    The changing of the academic curriculum was never the goal of lying Lisa Begley and the fake teachers who voted to end the SH charter. Their goal was to eliminate the threat of competition that a superior teaching methodology posed to their mediocre teacher union standards.