Haverhill Eighth Graders Set to Enjoy Middle School Promotion/Graduation Ceremonies

The Dr. Paul Nettle School eighth grade graduation takes place Thursday, June 17, at 6 p.m. with drive-thru diploma pickup with an outdoor celebration to follow. (Jay Saulnier file photograph for WHAV News.)

Haverhill eighth graders are set to enjoy graduation ceremonies in June, but they still will not be the traditional type.

While Gov. Charlie Baker recently loosened restrictions on public gatherings, School Superintendent Margaret Marotta told the School Committee recently that plans for this year’s middle school graduations have been in the works for several months and it would be difficult to revamp them at this late date.

“Each of the schools is having drive-up diploma and student celebrations. Drive-up diplomas include kids come up with their families in their car. There are teachers and staff in front of the school. Diplomas are there. There are celebrations and pictures taken trinkets and mementos given to the students,” she explained.

Marotta said, although she realized it was not ideal, the administration did come up with a number of events for students leading up to the graduation ceremony, including movie nights, and carnivals.

“So, we really tried to focus on the students and making sure it was fun for the kids and making sure there were celebrations for them and their moving on,” she said.

Mayor James J. Fiorentini, School Committee chairman, said he hoped there would be an opportunity for parents to be involved in a more traditional type of ceremony. The superintendent responded she just didn’t see how it would be possible.

In an unrelated matter, the School Committee voted to amend the policy regarding students wearing masks out of doors. The state recently lifted that requirement and the Committee voted to follow the state’s guidelines regarding all outdoor activities while still physically distancing as much as possible.

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