As Parents and Students Choose, Arrangement of Haverhill School Programs Takes Shape

Electrostatic “germ blaster” displayed during a Haverhill School Committee meeting. (WHAV News file photograph.)

A recent survey of Haverhill parents is helped give the school department get a better idea of how classrooms will be filled and resources used as reopening plans take shape.

Superintendent Margaret Marotta told the Haverhill School Committee last week that parents’ opinions as evidenced by a survey of 7,000 parents.

“At the elementary school level, we had about 3,400 responses total. About 37 percent responded that they would be interested in joining the remote learning academy, and almost 63 percent wanted to enter hybrid and do some in-person learning,” she said.

She said the results for parents of middle schoolers was about the same while 70 percent of high school parents were in favor of the hybrid plan—a mix of remote and in-person learning.

She added, in order to avoid students switching back and forth between the two models, students and parents are asked to remain with the model they chose through, at least, the first trimester.

School Committee members also unanimously agreed that even those students engaged in remote learning should be able to take part in sports and have access to other after-school activities.

Committee member Paul A. Magliocchetti also asked about the status of protective equipment—particularly whether there is enough on-hand to begin the school year safely. He received reassurances by Assistant School Superintendent Michael Pfifferling.

“The smaller hand sanitizers—the 16 ounces—those were just ordered last week, so those will be coming. The electrostatic sprayers—we have 16 in district. We put in an order for another 10. Those are back-ordered. And then bottle filling stations, we do have 20 that are in, or are trickling in, eight more on order that are backordered,” he said.

In addition, Pfifferling said the department currently has a good supply of gloves and more than 30,000 masks on hand with another 20,000 on order.

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