Please be advised that according to Massachusetts General Law Chapter 76, Section 5, the Haverhill Public Schools is not required to enroll a student who does not reside in Haverhill. The only exception is those students legally enrolled through the state’s school choice program.
If you are not a legal resident, it will be necessary for you to withdraw your child from the Haverhill Public Schools and register him/her in the school district where you reside. It is important that you do this as soon as possible so that transition to their new school will be a smooth one. Residency is not clearly established by a student simply living with a grandparent, friend, or other relative. Legal guardianship papers from a court must be in place. Residency validation may take place at any time per our procedures below.
Under Massachusetts Law Chapter 76 Section 5, only students who actually reside in Haverhill may enroll in the Haverhill Public Schools. In order to verify residence within the town, a student enrolling in the Haverhill Public Schools must provide documentation of actual residence. In addition to providing such documentation at the time of initial enrollment, the school administration may request verification at any time later if there is doubt of actual residence.
All applicants for enrollment must submit at least one document each from Section A, B, and C and any other other documents that may be requested, including, but not limited to those from Section A, B or C (noted below).
Section A: Evidence of Residency
- Record of recent mortgage payment and/or property tax bill
- Copy of Lease and record of recent rental payment and Landlord Affidavit
- Section 8 Agreement
- Copy of a signed purchase and sale agreement. This requires follow-up to verify residency if registration occurs before the closing date.
Section B: Evidence of Occupancy
- Recent bill dated within the past 60 days showing a Haverhill address
- Gas Bill
- Oil Bill
- Electric Bill
- Home Telephone Bill (not cell phone)
- Cable Bill
- Excise Bill
- Lease agreement indicating that a landlord is paying utilities
- Current car registration from the Registry of Motor Vehicles
Section C: Evidence of Identification (Photo ID)
- Valid Driver’s License
- Valid MA Photo ID Card
Students who are residing in Haverhill and who qualify as homeless students under the federal McKinney-Vento Act will be immediately enrolled in Haverhill Public Schools in accordance with federal law. Further information and assistance may be obtained from the Homeless Liaison for the Haverhill Public School District.
Temporary residence in the City of Haverhill, solely for the purpose of attending a Haverhill public school is not considered “residency.”
Haverhill Public Schools must be notified if a student moves during the school year.
Enforcement of the Residency Requirement:
When the school department suspects that a family of a current Haverhill Public School student lives outside of Haverhill an investigation will take place. The Haverhill Public Schools may suspect a student is not a resident if, for example, mail is returned due to an invalid address, the proofs of address submitted by the parent are inconsistent or suspicious, or for other reasons upon the discretion of the Superintendent or designee.
What will happen to students who violate the residency enforcement policy?
Students found to be in violation of the residency policy may be dismissed immediately from the Haverhill Public Schools and parent(s) or guardian(s) may be liable to the Haverhill Public Schools for the student’s tuition for the full academic year(s). The Haverhill Public Schools may also impose other penalties on the family such as legal fees incurred by legal action and the withholding of certain scholarships and prizes. All applicants must reside in our City (Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 16 sec 5 provides… Every person shall have a right to attend the public schools of the City where he/she actually resides, subject to the following section. No school committee is required to enroll a person who does not actually reside in the City unless said enrollment is authorized by law or by the school committee. Any person who violates or assists in the violation of this provision may be required to remit full restitution to the City of the improperly attended public schools. No person shall be excluded from or discriminated against in admission to a public school of any town, or in obtaining the advantages, privileges and courses of study of such public school on account of race, color, sex, religion, national origin or sexual orientation. Amended by st. 1971, c.622, c.l; st.1973, c.925, s.9A, st.1993, c.282; st.2004, c.352, s.33.)
The Superintendent shall establish a hotline for the purpose of allowing for confidential calls regarding out-of-district students not currently authorized to attend our public schools. This hotline shall be advertised on the school district channel and website, and shall be included in the Superintendent’s notice sent home to parents and guardians. The Superintendent shall provide a monthly report to the School Committee based on the following tracking information:
- Number of calls made to the hotline providing verifiable information (vehicle identification, specific bus stop, etc.?
- Number of calls investigated by the Superintendent or designee with verifiable information
- Number of students found to be in violation of the residency policy based on the results of the investigation
If an investigated case is found not to be in violation of the residency rules, the Superintendent or designated representative shall provide a written summary of how the investigation was conducted without identifying the complainant or compromising the privacy of any party being investigated.
Upon final approval of the residency enforcement policy, the Superintendent shall take every reasonable step to promote the policy language and goals via the school district channel and website, through notices and flyers sent home to parents and guardians, through outreach to PTOs and other school based organizations and through official press releases to area media outlets.
The main goal of the residency enforcement policy is to ensure that every parent, guardian and student is abiding by the School Committee’s vote when they choose not to participate in school choice within the district. The Haverhill School Committee votes every year at a public meeting on school choice. A direct and positive result of this residency enforcement policy may be an overall cost-savings to the district and a subsequent reduction in class sizes, which should be encouraged and welcomed by all staff, faculty, parents, guardians and Haverhill taxpayers.
LEGAL REFS.: M.G.L. 16:5, McKinney-Vento Act Approved: February 11, 2016