Haverhill School Committee to Develop Policy on Work-At-Home Employees

Haverhill High School gymnasium. (WHAV News file photograph.)

With a background of more than 30 years in teaching in the Haverhill Public School System, School Committee member Toni Sapienza-Donais has heartfelt opinions on what issues are most important to educators and students—some of which she raised at last week’s School Committee meeting.

One of those issues is the need for a written policy regarding public school employees working from home. School Superintendent Margaret Marotta says, actually only one school system employee works from home, a systems analyst who has been doing so since 2012. Donais claims that that isn’t the case.

“That is not the information that I have been told throughout a number of schools. It is more than one employee. I know of at least two employees that use days from time to time to work from home,” Donais says.

The Committee agreed to look into the matter and come up with a recommendation by the next meeting.

Another issue, says Donais, is the cleanliness of school locker rooms. She notes she has received pictures from parents that show mold and filth on the walls, and she wants to know who is responsible for taking care of these issues.

Marotta answered that while the maintenance department would do the actual work, it ultimately falls into the lap of each school’s principal to address that problem.

“It should be brought to the principal’s attention. The principal is ultimately responsible for their building,” she explained. As a side note, Marotta also pointed out that there should never be any pictures taken inside of any school locker rooms.

As WHAV first reported Jan. 22, Donais also expressed concern about schools not following a policy of declaring furniture and equipment as surplus before disposing of them. She told WHAV, “a lot of things are being thrown away that is worth money.” The Committee expects an explanation in time for its next meeting.

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