Haverhill High School

  • Principal’s Weekly Update- February 16, 2018

    Tragedy in Florida

    As I watched the news reports last night and again this morning of details of the heartbreaking and horrific tragedy in Florida, two items stood out. It was reported that yesterday’s event was the 18th school shooting in the nation this school year and that the warning signs were present prior to the shooting. I am again reminded that it can happen anywhere and that we all play a role in the safety and security of our students, staff and school.

    While this shooting occurred 1400 miles away, the television media and social media is flooded with information and images of the tragedy.  Please take a moment to review the district crisis brochure which I have attached below. I believe it will be helpful in guiding you through this tragedy and serves as a helpful reminder of our district procedures.

    Haverhill Public Schools Crisis Brochure Haverhill Public Schools Crisis Brochure Spanish

    It is my hope that in the days ahead you will have the opportunity to speak to your child about following the very basic school safety guidelines. For example, all students, staff and guests must enter through the main entrance during the school day. It is important that students do not open doors to anyone while on campus during the school day. Remind your child of the power of open and honest communication and when they see something, hear something, have a feeling that something is off with a peer that they report it immediately. Threats of personal or group harm through text messages, social media posts, verbal communication, and images of weapons are to be taken seriously and reported immediately.  This is not gossiping or tattling. This is all of us working together to prevent tragedies of all types at home and on campus.

    We have a strong support system for students here at Haverhill High. Our administrators, teachers, guidance counselors, adjustment counselors, psychologist, support staff, school resource officer, VIP team, MVP team and more are here to help in anyway. Please do not hesitate to call on us at any time.

    Our thoughts and prayers are with the students, staff, their families and the entire Parkland, Florida community affected by this terrible tragedy.

     A message from Dr. Maddox, School Physician

    Like all of you, I was deeply saddened to learn of the death of a student in our district. The state department of public health has notified the public that this student died from influenza.

    Mass Dept. of Public Health’s announcement: https://www.mass.gov/node/270126

    The peak of flu season is often scary.  So far there have been 64 pediatric deaths nationwide.  This compares 110 last year.  Flu vaccines make a difference.  80% of the children who have died so far this year did not receive a flu vaccine.  Children almost always give you some warning that they are becoming sick, usually starting with a fever of at least 100 degrees.  Most children with the flu will have a mild illness, do not require a visit to the doctor and will recover within a few days.  However, even healthy children can get very sick.

    The following Flu Guide for Parents from the CDC gives important information and should be disseminated throughout HPS:



    Here’s what we, as a school district, can do to minimize the flu’s impact:

    1. Make sure sick children and staff stay home until they are no longer contagious
    2. Take everyday precautions to prevent the spread of germs

    * wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.  If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.

    * clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs

    * avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth because germs spread this way.  Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze

    1. Encourage people to get a flu vaccine — it’s not too late!

    If you have questions about your child, please call your child’s primary care provider or the state department of public health: 617- 624-6000 or 617-983-6800.  Our Haverhill public health nurse, Mary Connolly, would also like us to relay that it is not too late to get the flu vaccine.  She has free flu vaccine for children.  Parents may contact her by email mconnolly@cityofhaverhil.com or by calling 978-374-2390​ ext. 15.

    A message from our School Nurse: (from our 2.2.18 Parent Update – I thought it important to share again.)

    From the Center for Disease control:

    Flu Symptoms

    Influenza (also known as the flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by flu viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. The flu is different from a cold. The flu usually comes on suddenly. People who have the flu often feel some or all of these symptoms:

    • Fever* or feeling feverish/chills
    • Cough
    • Sore throat
    • Runny or stuffy nose
    • Muscle or body aches
    • Headaches
    • Fatigue (tiredness)
    • Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.

    * It’s important to note that not everyone with flu will have a fever.

    If your child is feeling unwell, and/or exhibiting symptoms listed above, please keep him or her home from school and notify the school of the absence.  Vigilance in keeping unwell children home will limit exposure to other students and staff.

    Children should be fever free, and feeling well, without the aid of medication (Tylenol or Ibuprofen) for 24 hours before returning to school.

    CDC continues to be a valuable resource for information regarding prevention and management of the flu.  It is not too late to get your flu shot! For additional information utilize the link follows: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/index.htm​​ 

    Building Update:

    You may recall from my February 2nd update that our custodial staff is on alert and has been taking extra precautions in the building. It all began on Tuesday, January 30th when our custodial staff cleaned and disinfected all door knobs and banisters. They continue to stay vigilant and sanitize surfaces that are touched daily. We look forward to the vacation week to have the additional time to do a thorough cleaning throughout the building.

    Resume Workshop
    We would like to thank Ashley Moore, Director of Academic, Career and Civic Engagement at Northern Essex Community College for sharing her tips and tricks for resume writing.  The students were unanimous in their appreciation and stated that this workshop will help them prepare for our Third Annual Interview Challenge in March.
    Juniper Networks Field Trip
    For the third straight year, Juniper Networks hosted a visit for our NAF Academy of Information Technology students.  The freshman had the opportunity to tour the various departments throughout Juniper and spent time with the professionals doing a hands-on STEM activity.  Building on their tour experience last year, the sophomore class spent time shadowing a professional in a department they took interest in during the tour last year.  This is the third year that the Juniors have been to Juniper Networks.  In preparation for their summer Internships, the Juniors attended four workshops: resume review, interviewing tips, job search techniques, and job etiquette.  We would like to extend a huge Thank You to Juniper Network for all their support over the past three years.

    Haverhill Education Foundation Contest:

    To all of our creative Hillies: A design contest for HHS students is happening now. Design a NEW logo for the Haverhill Education Foundation and if selected you could win a $200 Amazon Gift Card. For more details on the contest and to pick up a submission form we ask that students visit Mrs. Mullane, Dean of Fine Arts, in room A10.

    HEF Logo Contest Flyer.

    School Counseling Update

    When we return from break, all sophomores will be meeting with their school counselors to review their options and choose their classes for the 2018-2019 school year.  To prepare for these meetings,sophomores should log in to the Student Portal and choose their potential electives.  Directions on how students and parents access course recommendations can be found on the HHS website.  All freshman will meet with their counselors during the week of March 5th and are encouraged to log into the portal to choose their potential electives as well.
    • The HHS Scholarship Portal re-opened on Friday January 12, 2018!  If you logged on to the portal prior to January 6th, you are encouraged to log back in if you haven’t already as there have been updates to the demographic information required as part of the portal as well as additions to the list of scholarships.  Directions on how to access the portal can be found on the School Counseling Department page on the HHS website http://hhs.haverhill-ps.org/scholarship-database-directions/.  The portal will remain open until March 30th but don’t wait until the last minute to apply!
    • New scholarships have been added to the HHS Scholarship Portal!  If you are a senior and you have already applied for scholarships in the portal, be sure to log back in and check out the new additions!  The two new scholarships are the Christopher Drelich Memorial Scholarship and the Tom Vartabedian Memorial Scholarship.  Be sure to check them out and apply if you meet the stated criteria!
    • Matthew J. McCarthy Memorial Scholarship
      • Deadline: April 7, 2018
      • Criteria: Students who demonstrate extraordinary school spirit, are an integral part of multiple student activities, and are well-respected among both their teachers and peers.  Students must be hard workers who show a high level of dedication in both classroom and extracurricular activities.
      • Application requirements: Completed application (found in the School Counseling Office or in Naviance), one page essay describing what school spirit means to you and why you should be considered for this award, letter of recommendation by a teacher and a peer
      • Completed applications can be submitted to the Counseling Office
      • Important Dates:

    February 19th – Presidents’ Day – No School

    February 20-23 – Mid-Winter Recess – No School

    February 26th – Students and Staff Report

    March 1st – Progress Reports Issued – Paper Copy

    March 2nd – Dr. Seuss Day – HHS students read to elementary students

    March 7th – HHS Coffee House 7:00 p.m. – Library

    Have a wonderful vacation. School re-opens Monday, February 26th.

    Beth Kitsos, Principal

(978) 374-3400
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