Pentucket Announces High School Choice Plans for 8th Graders


Pentucket Regional School District
Jeffrey Mulqueen
Superintendent of Schools
22 Main St.
West Newbury, MA 01985

For Immediate Release

Friday, Jan. 16, 2015

Contact: Jeff Mulqueen, Superintendent
[email protected]

John Guilfoil
[email protected]

Pentucket Announces High School Choice Plans for 8th Graders

“Voice and Choice” Gives Middle Schoolers Chance to Find their Perfect High School Match

All Options Will be Highlighted Equally, Allowing Students and Families to Make the Best Decision for Themselves

WEST NEWBURY, Mass. — As the Pentucket Regional School District continues to create a world-class educational opportunity of choice for families in the Merrimack Valley, Superintendent Jeff Mulqueen is pleased to unveil plans to help its eigth Graders to find their optimum choice for high school and beyond.

In a letter home to parents on Jan. 15, Superintendent Mulqueen reflects upon parent and community feedback for Pentucket to be as responsive as possible to the voice and choice of its students.

“Voice and choice means giving students educational opportunities that best match their goals and career choices,” Superintendent Mulqueen said. “While the vast majority of students are likely to find a good fit with offerings at Pentucket Regional High School, some may prefer to attend a technical school. For that reason, Pentucket supports students and their families as they investigate opportunities at Whittier Regional Technical High School and Essex Technical High School.”

This year, all students in grades seven and eight at Pentucket Regional Middle School attended assemblies in the fall on separate days from staff at the Whittier Regional Vocational Technical High School in Haverhiland Danvers-based Essex Agricultural and Technical High School, which are both options for Pentucket students.

After the assemblies, students were given the option to attend tours of Whittier, Essex, or both schools.

Approximately 85 eighth grade students elected to attend the traditional tour of Whittier on December 11, 2014.  Students who did not elect to attend the tour were able to continue with their usual school day.  Essex Technical provided family tours on November 15, 2014 from 9-12. 

Students must participate in an application process to be considered for a seat in either technical high school.  This is a different process from Pentucket Regional High School, which automatically accepts all Groveland, Merrimac, and West Newbury matriculating eighth graders.

The technical high schools have application deadlines as well. Students who would like to apply for admission to Essex Tech should return the application to the middle school by January 23, 2015.  Essex Tech will be conducting interviews on March 5, 2015.

Students who would like to apply for admission to Whittier Tech should return the application to the middle school by January 30, 2015.  Whittier Tech will be conducting interviews on February 9 and 10, 2015.

Approximately 12 percent of Pentucket students attend one of the two technical school options each year.

“We greatly value our relationship with Whittier and Essex, and I encourage all Pentucket parents to consider all options for high school,” Superintendent Mulqueen said. “Our number one goal in Pentucket is making sure each of our kids has the best opportunity to reach a future of his or her choice.”