Haverhill School Committee Candidate Rich Rosa Comments on Dropout Rate

Rosa calls for a discussion about establishing an innovation school or academy at Haverhill High School for students at risk of dropping out of school. 


FOR RELEASE: October 26, 2017

CONTACT: Rich Rosa,, 978-835-5906

Haverhill School Committee candidate Richard Rosa released the following statement relative to the dropout rate. 


"Superintendent Scully's announcement tonight that the number of dropouts appears to be less than state statistics currently indicate is good news for Haverhill. The City of Haverhill now has an opportunity to reduce its dropout rate well below the state average and to be a leader among urban districts in lowering the dropout rate. Haverhill does not have to settle for average.


"It's time that we consider an innovation school within the high school or an academy geared toward students at risk for dropping out. We have had success at the high school with the Classical Academy, STEM Academy, Fine Arts Academy, Business Academy, and other academies. We can do the same to support students at risk of dropping out. 


"Whether a specific program is an academy, innovation school, or something else, it is time we start a conversation about how we reduce the dropout rate further. We can use what we have learned from the success of the Haverhill Alternative High School and the Youth Engaging in Success (YES) Program, which ended in 2015 after the federal grant money dried up, to build an academy or innovation school at the high school.  


"Approximately 80 percent of individuals incarcerated in the United States and 50 percent of individuals receiving public assistance are dropouts. If all of the dropouts from the class of 2011 had earned diplomas, the nation would benefit from an estimated $154 billion in income over their working lifetimes. A Northeastern University study indicated that high school dropouts cost taxpayers on average $292,000 over the course of their lives.


"The number of dropouts impacts all of us. It does not just hurt the students who don't make it to graduation. It is a public safety issue, an economic issue, and a tax issue."