Whittier Tech Pulls Out All the Stops to Welcome Freshman Class

Students in the Timberlane Regional School District, who live in Atkinson, Danville, Plaistow and Sandown, return to their classrooms today. Whittier Technical High School’s sophomore through senior classes joined freshmen and new students in school Wednesday. On Tuesday, Whittier’s Class of 2021 was welcomed with dance music, balloons, Wildcat mascots and a standing ovation from teachers as they entered the school for the first time (pictured).

Pentucket Regional Schools in West Newbury, Groveland and Merrimac begin classes on Sept. 5 and Central Catholic High School in Lawrence begins on Sept. 7.


Methuen Public Schools will continue its Academic Bowl program for a second year.

Last year, almost 400 students participated in the first year of the competition that involves teams of seventh- and eighth-graders, who face off against teams of the same grade level from each of the four grammar schools.

Questions include topics such as pop culture, Methuen history and academic subject areas.

“The goal of our Academic Bowl is to provide more students with the opportunity to work with peers from other schools, be challenged, and learn more about the world beyond their respective schools as they prepare for high school life,” said Methuen Superintendent Judith A. Scannell.

This year, in an effort to grow the program, the competition schedule has been extended.

Beginning in October, individual schools will host in-house competitions with the top teams from Grades 7 and 8 crowned school champions. These teams will compete against the other schools in the district over the next few months.

The final competition will be held at Methuen High School in March.


There’s something special going on at West Newbury’s Page Elementary School this year.

Principal Dustin Gray said students from kindergarten through sixth-grade will receive additional class time in “specials,” non-academic classes such as art, music, media, physical education and foreign languages.

For kindergartners through third-graders, students will attend specials every day, on a four-day rotation. By the end of the year, all K-3 students will have received 45 days in each special.

In grades 4 through 6, specials will be customized with the introduction of instruments, chorus and some new concepts varied by grade level.

Sixth-graders will receive two sessions of German a week as an introduction to a new foreign language program.


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

Central Catholic High School: Sept. 7

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.