Podcast: Pandemic Challenges Again Stress Haverhill Graduation Plans, Impact Enrollments

Haverhill School Superintendent Margaret Marotta. (WHAV News file photograph.)

With the global pandemic entering a second year, it’s not just students having to cope with new school realities. Administrators are likewise finding themselves facing challenges such as the prospect of another unusual graduation day.

Haverhill School Superintendent Margaret Marotta, a guest recently on WHAV’s morning program, says with Haverhill High School’s graduation coming up in less than four months, thought is already going into the graduation ceremony for the class of 2021.

“We’ve been creating a series of different plans of what it’s going to look like. I think we know it’s not going to be our typical graduation. We’re hoping that it can be some kind of a in-person, socially distanced graduation maybe with some limitations on the number of people that can attend, or something. That’s sort of the best-case scenario,” she says.

The situation is also challenging with younger age groups. School officials held a virtual Preschool Resource Fair with an eye towards the 2021-22 school year starting in the fall.

“It allows us to plan a little bit better, make sure we have enough teachers, enough resources, especially this year where we have such a big swing in enrollment. We’re down about 300 kids across the school district this year. I’m guessing they’re going to be coming back next year and it would be nice to know which grades they are going to be in, and which schools we need to prepare for them,” she explains.

Marotta explains this year, across the state, thousands of students left the public school system, opting for private schools, parochial schools, charter schools and home schooling. She asks that parents considering sending their children to Haverhill schools register them with the Haverhill School Department Parent Resource Center.

Besides WHAV.net, WHAV’s “Merrimack Valley Newsmakers” podcasts are available via Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, Spotify, Stitcher, iHeart Radio, Google Podcasts, TuneIn and Alexa.

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