Moody School Installs First Ever ADA-Accessible Playground Equipment: ‘An Immediate Win’

At Margin Street’s Moody School, that laughter and playground chatter passersby may hear at recess is sweet music to director Kristi-Lynn Craig’s ears. For the first time in the preschool’s history, a piece of ADA-compliant, inclusive playground equipment was installed at the school for all students to enjoy, using federal funding set aside by Community Development Director Andrew Herlihy. Dubbed the “Pirate Ship” by students because it rocks back and forth, the new piece of equipment designed by Missouri-based Miracle Recreation was put in place late last month. Children can ride onto it with their wheelchairs and their more mobile peers can join in on the fun sitting next to them on benches, Craig tells WHAV. “It was an immediate win the very first day,” Craig said.

Haverhill Teachers Vote 310-146 In Favor of 3-Year Pact; About 6 3/4% Total Increases

Haverhill teachers voted yesterday to ratify a new three-year agreement with city schools. Members approved the pact 310-146, with Haverhill Education Association members casting ballots at individual schools. Union President Anthony J. Parolisi told WHAV ballot counting ending about 5:30 in the afternoon. He then sent emails to his members. “…there’d be no contract to vote on if not for the support from dozens of members who participated in the most open rank-and-file bargaining process in our history and the hundreds of you who stood out and came out to support the negotiation team,” he told members.

Haverhill Teachers, City Iron Out Wrinkle in Proposed Pact; Union Votes Thursday

There’s a new agreement between teachers and Haverhill Public Schools to resolve a problem discovered late last week that threatened to scuttle the proposed three-year pact. Both sides ironed out the wrinkle after three hours of talks Monday morning. Haverhill Education Association President Anthony Parolisi told WHAV about the sticking point. “The district agreed that, in some scenarios, there were members who would stand to make less money than what they should have, than what was intended. We came up with language to rectify that situation and preserve the spirit of the agreement.”

Parolisi says a key change is teachers eligible to receive extra payments for years of service used to receive a lump sum payment at the end of the year.

UPDATE: Whittier Tech ‘100 Percent Confident’ Police Have Person Responsible for Alleged Threats in Custody

UPDATE: At 11:58 a.m. Monday, Principal Laganas let parents know via email and phone that the “person responsible” for the alleged threats was in custody and that there is no further threat to the school community. “The Haverhill Police Department in cooperation with Whittier Tech has identified the person who is responsible for the threatening text messages. The police department is 100 percent confident that they have the person responsible for ALL of these messages in custody,” he said. “As always, the safety of our students and staff is always our number one priority.”

Superintendent Maureen Lynch Monday afternoon said the alleged sender is a female student. ORIGINAL STORY:

Whittier Regional Vocational Technical High School has an increased police presence on campus Monday after Haverhill Police received word of two threats in 48 hours, including one in which a person threatened to “shoot up” the school.

PHOTO: Fiorentini, Marotta Celebrate Pentucket Lake’s No. 1 MCAS Achievement

Praise for Pentucket Lake! Mayor James J. Fiorentini and Superintendent Margaret Marotta headed to Haverhill’s Pentucket Lake Elementary School Friday to congratulate students and staff for receiving the city’s top performance score on the statewide MCAS test for the 2018 school year. Pentucket Lake, overseen by Principal Maureen Gray, also received high marks for growth, which measures year-over-year improvement. For their achievement, Fiorentini issued the school a Mayor’s Excellence in Education Award Friday. For the first time since 2012, there are no Haverhill public schools that are considered under-performing or in need of state assistance or oversight.

Police Investigate Alleged Threats Made by Nettle Student After Report of Knife at School

Haverhill Police were called to Boardman Street’s Nettle Middle School Friday after school officials became aware of alleged threats made by a student who may have been in possession of a knife, Principal Shereen Escovitz said in an email to parents sent at 3:09 p.m.

According to Escovitz, school personnel and Haverhill Police “immediately located the student” and determined there was no threat to the school. “At no time were any students or staff unsafe during this process,” Escovitz said. Haverhill Police have not yet responded to a request for comment as to if a knife was found at the school. Escovitz is in her first year as Nettle’s principal, having taken over for veteran school chief Timothy Corkery. After six years in Haverhill, retired Navy commander Corkery left the district to become principal of Andover’s West Middle School at the end of the last school year.

Haverhill Leaders Credit Higher Spending, Better Attendance for High MCAS Growth

For the first time since 2012, there are no Haverhill public schools that are considered under-performing or in need of state assistance or oversight, Mayor James J. Fiorentini and school officials proclaimed at a ceremony Tuesday morning. Leaders welcomed Tuesday’s release of state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education district accountability designations and MCAS test results for the 2018 school year. Results showed Pentucket Lake elementary is the highest performing school in the district, followed by Tilton.  Fiorentini, chairman of the School Committee, and Tilton Principal Bonnie Antkowiak credited higher school spending, while school Superintendent Margaret Marotta highlighted improved student attendance and increased emphasis on students with learning challenges. “We have made a big investment in our schools by increasing the city’s contribution to the school budget by almost $19 million over the past four years,” Fiorentini said, adding, “I’m pleased to see it paying off.”

The celebration took place at Tilton School where, for the second year in a row, the K-3 school with 409 students, was recognized for having some of the highest “growth” scores among all Massachusetts public schools.

Haverhill High Launches ‘Start With Hello’ Inclusion Campaign

At Haverhill High, it all starts with a simple hello. This week, the health department at the Monument Street campus kicked off “Start With Hello Week” to promote inclusion and social connectedness in schools. Backed by Sandy Hook Promise, the program takes shape at HHS by students wearing green, staff wrote in a social media message. “Hi helpers” will be circulating the campus throughout the week to promote the message of inclusion. “(If you see) someone alone, just say ‘Hi,’ hello, smile.