Haverhill School Supt: Need to Define Excellence and Be Consistent

City Councilor William J. Macek with Haverhill school Superintendent Margaret Marotta. (WHAV News photograph.)

WHAV Open Mic Show Bill Macek and Haverhill school Superintendent Margaret Marotta. (Chris Porter photograph for WHAV News.)

Haverhill school Superintendent Margaret Marotta says she has “three big buckets of work” ahead of her as she settles into her relatively new job.

Speaking on WHAV’s Open Mic Show Monday night, she said those buckets involve equity—or fairness—and access to a high-quality education. However, she said, a third component is just as important.

“You don’t want access and equity to mediocre things. So, we really need to define what excellence is across our school system and have it be consistent from school to school,” she said.

Hired in July, Marotta told host Bill Macek she has spent her first few months on the job getting to know the city and how school departments work together—or not. She explained school buildings need work and faculty are looking for more direction and better materials.

She added another area requiring attention is special education. Marotta said she wants SPED teachers and staff to be evaluated by administrators trained specifically in that area. She is also looking to bring more services in-house instead of sending students outside the district.

“If we can do some of those services well—inside the school district instead of sending the student outside the school district—it’s still expensive, but we’re not paying for things like transportation,” Marotta said.

On other topics, the superintendent said she is giving thoughts to long-term goals such as possibly staggering student start times to save on bus costs and expanding the school day. On the latter point, she said, adding hours has to be planned “very thoughtfully” since eight hours is a long time to be in school.

Video of the interview is below.