Haverhill High Students Falling Behind Now Have Second Chance to Catch-Up

A likeness of Michelangelo’s “Il Pensieroso,” more commonly known as “The Thinker,” at Haverhill High School. (WHAV News file photograph.)

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Haverhill High School students who, for various reasons, have not earned the credits needed to keep up with their grade level may have a second chance.

Haverhill High School Principal Michael J. Downs last night told the School Committee he began looking for way, other than summer school, to help students who were falling behind. To that end, he, along with a few friends, applied for a Mass Grad Grant.

“Haverhill was eligible for a grant called the Mass Grad Grant and so I applied. We were awarded a $75,000 grant. The purpose of my grant is to actually run three sessions of credit recovery during the school year,” he explained.

Downs said the sessions allow students to graduate on time with the rest of their classmates. He added it also allows them to make up classes they had previously without having to repeat the entire year to do so.

He said the program has been in effect for about two weeks and already has 75 students enrolled—some of them attending class all day and then remaining for extra classes until 5 in the afternoon.

Downs added he is hopeful the program will do more than just help students catch up. “I look at the program as two-fold. One is to gain credit recovery and the other one is to connect to the school in a different way,” he said.

In a separate matter, two Haverhill High Students were honored as recipients of the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents’ Award at last night’ meeting.

The award is presented for academic excellence to high school students who have distinguished themselves during their school years. Superintendent Margaret Marotta explained, “The Mass. Association of School Superintendents allows us, each year, to honor two of our seniors that represent our school well.”

Downs presented the first award to Jackson Morin, whom he called a hard worker in and out of school. The second award went to Janiya Ellis, who was unable to attend the meeting. Downs told the committee Janiya is also an exemplary representative of Haverhill High.

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