Haverhill Schools Won’t Accept Out-of-District Students; Marotta Explains How Enrollment Shifts

Haverhill school Superintendent Margaret Marotta addresses the crowd at ceremonial ground breaking for new Dr. Albert B. Consentino School. (WHAV News photograph.)

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Citing a lack of space, Haverhill Public Schools will not allow out-of-district students to attend this coming year.

According to Superintendent Margaret Marotta, the school board also voted no to inter-district school choice in the past several years for similar reasons. Asked by member Yonnie Collins if there might be capacity this time, Marotta explained how enrollment starts misleadingly low, then quickly grows.

“Generally, in the summer, we have some space in our classrooms, but we receive kids all school year long, and we particularly have a big bump of kids, oftentimes in early October, and in January as well,” she said.

Due to families arriving from the Dominican Republic in early October—Marotta speculated flights become a little cheaper then—and a “big influx” of people moving in January, Marotta said class sizes swell. During each year, the district gains 200 to 300 students, she said, losing roughly the same number by the end. “And then we gain them again, and then we lose them again,” she said. “Each and every year, it fluctuates like that.”

If the district accepted students from surrounding communities like Lawrence and Groveland, Marotta said those students would be guaranteed a spot in the system until they graduated high school. She said, “We need to put our kids first and make sure that they have as much attention of the adults as they possibly can.”

On top of that, Marotta said the district, which pays roughly $14,000 per student, would receive only around $5,000 for each out-of-district pupil.

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