School Administration Says Nurse Turnover Not Unusual; Haverhill Not Shorthanded

Executive Assistant Beverly Cassano, School Committee member Gail M. Sullivan, Superintendent Margaret Marotta and Assistant Superintendent Michael Pfifferling at a Haverhill School Committee meeting. (WHAV News file photograph.)

Haverhill schools lost some nurses over the summer, but the administration assures residents the turnover is not unusual and relates to better paying jobs and family reasons.

A resident asked the School Committee to address the issue last week. David Roche said parents are already anxious and this kind of news without a response from school officials only increases that anxiety.

“I heard this week that the school system had four nurses that resigned. Now, you may have four to six nurses resign every single year, but think of it this way: anxiety from a pandemic, no information, nurses resigning. What are they thinking? They’re resigning because of the pandemic,” he said.

Mayor James J. Fiorentini acknowledged anxiety is a significant part of the pandemic, but School Superintendent Margaret Marotta assured the Committee Haverhill is not shorthanded when it comes to nurses.

“We did have some turnover in the last couple of weeks in terms of nurses. That’s not particularly unusual at the beginning of a school year. It is particularly difficult in this school year. Actually, Haverhill is really actually blessed in terms of nurses. We actually have five full-time nurse positions at the high school and we have multiple full-time nurses at many of our buildings. Even in our smaller buildings, we have full time nurses.”

Marotta reported the administration is actively recruiting nurses to fill those positions.

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