Attendance Suggests Haverhill Student Enrollment Back to Pre-Pandemic Levels

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Student enrollment in Haverhill public schools is back to pre-pandemic levels.

That according to School Superintendent Margaret Marotta, addressing the School Committee during Thursday’s meeting. She explained the figures are still preliminary.

“We’re still in the stage where enrollment is fluctuating from day to day. Oct. 1 is really our date where we capture things for the Department of Education. We’re still, in some cases, sort of chasing down students to determine have they moved, are they still in the city, in the state, in the country,” she said.

Marotta said as of now there are 7,906 students enrolled across the district with 1993 students in the high school, an increase of nearly 100 students from last year and nearly 200 over the year before. She said there are currently 269 students enrolled in Pre-K programs across the district, which is also a significant increase.

Marotta told the Committee the administration is doing pretty well in keeping class sizes in the elementary schools to 20-23 students and middle school classes capped at 25 students. She said because enrollment numbers fluctuate, however, it can be tricky to figure out where the needs are greatest.

“We have families coming and going. We have eight to 10 families registering and enrolling every day and another portion of the students moving out of the city every day. So, it’s always a balancing act to try to determine where we need the classrooms,” she explained.

Marotta said she expects to have a clearer picture regarding enrollment in the next week or two.

In a somewhat related matter, members received an update on the Dr. Albert B. Consentino School Building Project. The superintendent told the Committee the schematic design for a new school building was submitted to the Massachusetts School Building Authority at the beginning of this month.

“The new school will be approximately 183,000 gross square feet and will serve approximately 1,080 students in grades five through eight,” she said.

Marotta said the project is expected to cost $160 million with the state financing a maximum of $70.5 million.

She said, if everything goes as planned, construction for the new school would begin in January of 2024 and be completed by the end of the summer 2026.

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