State Says No More Remote Days for Haverhill’s K-1 Students Once They Return April 5

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

The state says Haverhill’s kindergarten and first grade students will have no remote days at all once they return to in-person learning Monday, April 5.

Education Commissioner Jeffrey C. Riley largely approved Haverhill’s phased-in classroom return plan, but nixed a waiver for a planned Wednesday, April 7, remote day. Haverhill school Superintendent Margaret Marotta told WHAV Wednesday Haverhill’s request was a “minimal waiver to begin with,” requesting the phase-in take place over two weeks.

“We were hoping to have a full remote day for all students on April 7, which means our K and 1 students would have returned in full for the fifth and sixth and had a full remote day on the seventh, but he asked that we not do that,” Marotta explained.

The superintendent said the order does not present any difficulty and may offer benefits.

“It’ll be a nice opportunity for us to have the little ones in the building and so some intensive work with them around mask wearing and some bonding as a class and in the community,” she said.

In an email to parents, Marotta said the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education ruled that since all kindergarten and first grade students are back full-time in person learning as of Monday, they cannot have a remote learning day on April 7. See the revised school calendar.

Riley said in a letter to the School Department Tuesday, “The Department expects Haverhill to operate a full-time, in-person model for all K-1 students starting no later than April 5, 2021, all grade 2-4 students no later than April 8, 2021, and all grade 5-6 students no later than April 12, 2021.

The superintendent said plans to return Haverhill High School students to full-time in person learning will be discussed at Thursday’s School Committee meeting. As a public service, 97.9 WHAV expects to carry the meeting live.

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