Scully said he and Whittier Superintendent William DeRosa have been working together over the past two years to help local students become more knowledgeable about what Haverhill High School and Whittier have to offer. In addition, he said Haverhill’s middle school guidance counselors have been very transparent as to what the entrance requirements are at both schools, and what students need to do to be accepted.
”When students decide to do something right or wrong, they’re making choices,” Scully said. “What we’re saying is, ‘Make the right choices.’”
Scully said the rate of Haverhill students accepted at Whittier is better than in the past because Haverhill’s middle school guidance counselors are more knowledgeable of the admissions requirements and what the school has to offer.
”It’s a better working relationship between the superintendents now, and parents are more aware of what the benefits are of our comprehensive high school and Whittier,” Scully said.
”Like the mayor always says, any kid from Haverhill who wants to go to Whittier should have the opportunity to go there,” Sierpina said. “Our acceptance rate is up, kids who apply to Whittier are getting in, but at the same time we have the attraction of Haverhill High School, moreso than in the past, and for many different reasons. Kids are being attracted back to Haverhill High with programs such as the Classical Academy, high level courses, and school-to-career programs such as cosmetology. And not to mention the renovated building, which appeals to parents.”
Scully said that at a open house this Wednesday at Haverhill High, he planned to tell parents although Haverhill High might be a good fit for some students, Whittier might be a good fit for others.
”The purpose is to educate people so they can make better choices for their children,” he said. “I think it’s been wrong in the past to see Whittier as competition. I see it as an asset to what we’re trying to do.”
Whittier enrolls more than 1,200 students in grades nine to 12 from 11 local communities. The school serves Haverhill, Groveland, Merrimac, Georgetown, Amesbury, Newburyport, Newbury, West Newbury, Rowley, Salisbury and Ipswich, and offers 20 vocational-technical majors. Students graduate with high school diplomas and industry certifications.