Haverhill School Opening Beset With Heavy Traffic ‘All Over the City’

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

The freshman and sophomore classes at Haverhill High School began the year with assistant principals in place, after half of Principal Beth Kitsos’ supporting leadership team resigned over the summer.

Acting 10th Grade Assistant Principal Ryan Brown, a biology teacher at HHS since 2011, served as a member of the district’s Science, Engineering and Technology Team and adviser to the Ski and Science clubs at the high school.

“We are thrilled to have been able to promote from within our community and are confident Ryan Brown will contribute to the success of Haverhill High School in his new role,” said Superintendent James F. Scully, who appointed Brown on Kitsos’ advice.

Brown holds a Master’s Degree in Science from the University of New Hampshire, took graduate courses at Fitchburg State University and is pursuing a Doctorate of Education at Rivier University, Scully said.

Ninth Grade Assistant Principal Tamara Lobo was a biology and chemistry teacher at Lawrence High School, Science Department chairwoman for three years and served briefly as an acting assistant principal in the Health and Human Services High School.

She received a Master’s Degree in Secondary Education from Boston College and Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study in school leadership from American International College.

Superintendent James F. Scully told WHAV that today’s opening of Haverhill’s schools was mostly uneventful, with the exception of a high volume of traffic at the new Hunking School as well as the city’s elementary schools.

Hunking is “absolutely loaded with students,” Scully said. We’re supposed to have 1,006 students. We have 1,013. So, we’re above what we’re supposed to have.”

Scully said he noticed an increase in traffic at all schools throughout the city. He attributed the increased number of cars to parents driving students to school and greater use of school facilities. There are almost no parking spaces available at Haverhill High School, he said. He estimated an increase of three to four times as many cars dropping children off.

“Again, it was the lower grades. Everybody wants to get out of the car and bring their kids to the door of the school.”

Scully said the number of parents who attended open houses Monday at the Nettle and Golden Hill schools were a precursor for opening day. The shared drive to the two schools was jammed with cars Monday evening (pictured).

“We had fewer kids on buses than we were supposed to. We had some buses that were overcrowded, but the biggest problem we had today was vehicular traffic all over the city.”

Drama students at Haverhill High School are jumping right into action, with auditions for two traditional productions — the Senior Class play and the holiday classic, A Christmas Carol. Drama teacher Joseph Gori will oversee auditions on Wednesday and Thursday afternoon, Aug. 30 and 31, from 2:15 to 3:30 p.m.

Haverhill students will be dismissed after a half-day on Friday, Sept. 1, kindergartners begin school on 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. Kindergartners begin school on Sept. 5. Methuen students have a four-day break for Labor Day, with no school on Sept. 1 and 4.

Remaining regional first days are:

Pentucket: Sept. 5

Timberlane: Aug. 31

Whittier: Aug. 30 for all students

Sacred Hearts, Bradford: Aug. 30

Central Catholic High School: Sept. 7

Georgetown Public Schools: Kindergarten, Aug. 30

Bus routes for the Haverhill, Pentucket, Georgetown and Methuen school districts and Whittier Regional Vocational Technical High School in Haverhill are available on their respective websites. Haverhill bus routes were updated on Friday, Aug. 25.


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.