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Interim District Health & Wellness Coach

Athletic Director: Thomas O’Brien

Dean HHS Health, Wellness Health Teacher: Cara LaBelle

Lead Health, Wellness & PE Teacher: Robin Vinci, Golden Hill PE 

Supervising: Bonnie Antkowiak, Chief of Teaching, Learning and Leading

Haverhill Public Schools has a responsibility to foster a school environment that helps students learn and maintain lifelong healthy eating and lifestyle habits. Many factors play a role in achieving a healthy school environment, including food and beverages available to students while at school, nutrition education, opportunities for physical activity and other school-based programs and activities designed to promote student wellness. ~HPS Wellness Policy (2012)

High School PE classes notification: (Please note that athletic fields at HHS are not open to the public during school hours 7:30am-2:30pm

According to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in 2020, drowning was the leading cause of unintentional injury death among children; the 2nd leading cause of unintentional death nationally with about 10% of all fatal drownings in MA involving adolescents ages 15-24.  The Commonwealth elaborates that “for adolescents and adults, most drownings occur in natural bodies of water such as ocean, rivers, lakes and ponds;” all of which our students have easy access (Mass.gov April 2023).  We recognize that some students would rather not take the swimming portion of the PE program due to a variety of reasons.  Although learning to swim can be life saving, our course changes are considerate of other reasons for wanting to opt out and the Wellness Department has made other adjustments for this to work accordingly. 

There will be changes made to the PE1 curriculum in the 2024-2025 school year with regards to the swim expectation. The opt our procedure will be in place until the fall. At that time, the swim unit will be removed and a week will be spent on water safety. Students who would like to swim are encouraged to enroll in the Aquatic Activities course. For the 2023-2024 school year, all students will be enrolled in PE1 and encouraged to swim.  There is an opt out option for the swim unit. The form will be sent home after the student begins the PE1 semester with a firm deadline to be returned within one week later. A parent/guardian signature is required and a reason, ONLY if the student is opting out of swimming. A phone call to the parent/guardian will be provided by the teacher to confirm the opt out choice. If we can not get in contact and a confirmation from the parent/guardian, the student will be required to participate in the swimming portion. If lack of swimwear is the issue, please contact your student’s PE teacher prior to opting out.

Those students who do not return the form or choose to participate in swimming will participate for approximately 4 weeks as part of the PE1 course which was reduced from 6 weeks. Teachers will share responsibility for the overflow of students if there are opt-outs and those students will be expected to join in another PE activity.  The opt out students will participate in a PE1 class not utilizing the pool and there will be a teacher instructing in the pool for those that choose the swimming component.

Physical Education Resources


Chief Pistone, Chief O’Brien, the Mayor and the City Council created an ice safety video made to distribute to the schools. This video will be shown to elementary students during physical education classes and in health classes for all middle school students. 

May is Prevention Awareness Month

The Wellness Department dedicated the month of May to educate, raise awareness and reduce stigma of mental, behavioral and substance abuse issues. We have provided you two calendars with links, resources, tips and activities! Wellness Wednesdays in May will include promoting wearing purple and/or green for prevention and awareness. We encourage you to participate!


May Cal 2023 Elementary K-4 Mental Health Month

May Cal 2023 5-12 Mental Health Month

District Health and Wellness Staff

Tom O’Brien

Athletic Director


Cara LaBelle

Dean of Wellness, Haverhill High School


Robin Vinci

Golden Hill Elementary School


Juan Jimenez

Bradford Elementary


David Gibson

Consentino Middle School


Peter Begley

Consentino Middle School


Lauren Kimball

Consentino Middle School


Michael Scatamacchia

Gateway Academy


John DeAngelo

Golden Hill Elementary School/Moody School


Dawnmarie Paradis

Haverhill High School


Jordan Britton

Haverhill High School


Suzanne “Paige” Crimmin

Haverhill High School


Amy-Jo Gallagher

Haverhill High School


Cale Wood

Hunking School


Ralph Wolfendale

Hunking School


Lori Curry

Hunking School


Eric MacDonald

Nettle Middle School


Maeve Torres

Nettle Middle School


Christine Hickey

Pentucket Lake School


Haverhill logo

Kevin Murphy

Silver Hill School


Craig Barnard

Tilton Upper/Walnut Square


Kevin Demarais

Whittier Middle School


Nicole Reynolds

Whittier Middle School