2019-20 Haverhill Public Schools Welcome Letter
Welcome to the 2019-2020 school year! It is a great pleasure to welcome both our returning families and those who are new to our school community. We are excited to greet over 8000 students to our schools next week!
A lot of work has been done this summer to improve our school facilities. Work has been completed in every building from basic painting and routine repair work to system-wide roof repairs, safety upgrades, paving, bathroom upgrades, lighting improvements in our building and outdoors, and much more. Our intent is to provide a safe and welcoming school environment for every student and staff member, as we embark on a long-term facilities revitalization plan.
Beyond the basics, in hopes of improving access and equity for all students, we have instituted a one-to-one chrome-book initiative at the middle and high schools, introduced free breakfast and lunch in all schools, eliminated athletic fees and rolled out free all-day kindergarten. We are setting the stage for all of our students to enjoy a safe, healthy and engaging school year.
This summer Haverhill administrators and teachers spent a great deal of time preparing for the upcoming year. Summer is not only a time for our faculty members to refresh and rejuvenate, for many it is also a time to focus on their own learning – something they do not have as much time for during the school year. During July and August, several hundred faculty and staff engaged in workshops, curriculum development, courses and other sources of professional development. Other staff spent their summer educating over 800 students who attended our summer extended learning time programs. How lucky our students are to have such a committed staff!
This school year we have the privilege of welcoming over 84 new faculty joining our district-wide team of over 600 educators. Hiring is one of the most important aspects of our work and we do everything possible to ensure a thorough and thoughtful process. Earlier this month, in combination with Research for Better Teaching (RBT), we began our revised Induction and Mentoring Program. Our goal is to provide the highest quality supports for our new teachers, while simultaneously working on different ways to retain and support the growth of our veteran educators.
September is a wonderful time for those of us involved in education because it allows us to develop new goals, build new relationships and embark upon new challenges. This year our system-wide goals highlight both academic and social and emotional learning. While improving student achievement is an important part of our mission, we know it is essential to focus on the health and well-being of the child as a whole.
One of the most important aspects of my job is to be in the schools on a regular basis connecting with teachers and students. I also look forward to engaging with families in the coming year. I welcome the chance to share our opportunities and challenges and to address your questions or concerns.
As we begin again, please accept my best wishes for a wonderful school year.
Margaret Marotta Ed. D.