hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA

School News

October 12, 2011

Whittier High's MCAS scores rise, as does Haverhill enrollment

For the sixth year in a row, Whittier Regional High's MCAS scores are rising.

So is the number of Haverhill students at the regional vocational school.

More than 95 percent of Whittier's students passed all three of the MCAS tests taken by sophomores — including mathematics, English language arts and science. More than 75 percent of the student population passed the test with either proficient or advanced scores.

Superintendent William DeRosa said the success was driven by teachers examining data from past years and giving practice tests.

"We look at classroom trends," DeRosa said. "It requires a great deal of time and work from the staff."

In 2005, the school was placed on the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education's "on watch" list because of poor scores.

As Whittier's Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System test scores increase, so too has the enrollment of Haverhill students at the school.

Total Haverhill enrollment at Whittier has increased from 731 students last year to 755 this year. Whittier also accepted 235 Haverhill students in the freshman class this year, up from 195 last year. DeRosa estimated 62 percent of Haverhill students who apply are accepted. Whittier has a total student population of 1,100.

DeRosa said the primary reason for the increased enrollment comes from better communication between Whittier's admissions office and the Haverhill middle schools guidance department.

"There's a real open line of communication," he said. "I think the middle schools are doing a better job preparing kids for an education. Everybody helps out in this effort."

Enrollment at Whittier from out-of-district communities, such as Lawrence and Methuen, has decreased from 50 last year to 25 now. Haverhill School Committee member Paul Magliocchetti said he appreciated Whittier's efforts to cut that number to make room for more Haverhill students, but said it is a "disservice" for the school to accept any school choice students if in-district students are still seeking seats.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
School News
  • 140415_HG_MSC_ROBOT_4

    MARY SCHWALM/Staff photo Jazzy Brown, 4, of Haverhill, works with a a Robot named Connor as Behavior Specialist Julie Bernier looks on, during an interactive session at the Moody School in Haverhill.

    Their best friend's a robot Posted 2 days ago 5 Photos
  • City's kids are staying in school Posted 37 days ago
  • 140310_ET_RHU_SCOUTS_003

    Bill Cantwell, Haverhill editor of The Eagle-Tribune and editor of The Haverhill Gazette, shows the Cub Scouts of Den 6 Pack 24, Sacred Hearts Parish, Bradford, around the newsroom of The Eagle-Tribune offices and explains how the newspaper is put together. RYAN HUTTON/ Staff photo

    'Cub' reporters learn how the newsroom works Posted 37 days ago 3 Photos
  • Work on new school escalates Posted 44 days ago
  • 140303_ET_RHU_SEUSS_006

    First-graders Ainsley Rousseau, left, and Isabelle Leger, both 7, eat their plates of green eggs and ham and cake.

    A taste of green eggs and ham Posted 44 days ago 6 Photos
  • Thursday, February 27, 2014
  • 140212_ET_RHU_ROBOT_002

    RYAN HUTTON/Staff photo Nicholas Berube, left, 14, fits a plexiglass cover over the electronics of the Whittier team's robot as teammate Grant Montecalro, 15, looks on.

    A boost from NASA Posted 51 days ago 4 Photos
  • Thursday, February 20, 2014
  • 140213_HG_HAND_SEYMOUR_1

    Courtesy photo Whittier Regional High junior Kylie Seymour carries the American flag during the Parade of Nations at the annual World Tap Championships in Germany.

    She's got the beat! Posted 58 days ago 3 Photos
  • NECC employees honored for service Posted 58 days ago
  • 140213_hg_hand_augusto

    HANDOUT PHOTO Northern Essex Community College student Angel Augusto shows his Class of 2014 T-shirt design that won a contest at the school.

    Meet a graduating 'super hero' Posted 58 days ago 1 Photo
  • Thursday, February 13, 2014
  • 140206_HG_MSC_NETTLE_2

    Nettle School teacher Michelle Joubert shows off her classroom, which is a freshly painted.

    12 years old, but just like new Posted 65 days ago 2 Photos

Photos of the Week