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Whittier offers a dynamic and comprehensive academic program. Our students take academic classes in English, mathematics, history, science and health/physical education. Students may choose from a variety of course offerings and academic levels, including college preparatory and honors courses. We also offer a large number of elective courses for juniors and seniors and foreign language courses in French and Spanish.

We also offer concurrent enrollment in conjunction with Northern Essex Community College. Students who take these courses earn college credits that are accepted at every Massachusetts State college and university, and many private ones as well.

Our students have excelled on state-mandated MCAS testing - consistently earning scores that are highest among all other vocational-technical high schools and that are comparable to the scores of students enrolled in comprehensive high schools.

Whittier Tech is proud to be a 1:1 school - each and every student is provided a school owned iPad. Technically savvy and innovative instructors create lessons that include individual and cooperative learning, self-paced assignments, peer editing, virtual biology dissections and more. 

Please refer to the complete Program of Studies for descriptions of all our course offerings.


Special Topics

Whittier believes all students can succeed, with the right support and assistance. The proof is in our performance - we are proud of our consecutive 10 years of 100% of our students passing the MCAS for all students. This means every every student that graduates Whittier Tech earns a full high school diploma.

Whittier does this despite having the highest percentage of special education students in the district, and over 40% of our students on free and reduced lunch.

We believe every student can succeed, no matter their past academic experience, socio-economic status, or learning style - continue reading to learn more.


Whittier's MCAS Enrichment Program has been developed to improve student performance on the MCAS. Whittier has assumed a proactive role in this endeavor. Our goal is to work with students to develop the skills necessary for successful MCAS results.

We offer after-school and summer programs as well as tutoring in English, science and math during the school year to ensure that students have the skills they need to succeed on the statewide test necessary to earn a high school diploma.

Whittier's decision to be a 1:1 iPad school is partly driven by the fact that the next generation MCAS (MCAS 2.0) is a test that is given online. We are preparing our students for this transition by utilizing their iPad's every day, increasing their comfort and familiarity with the tools that will be used when this test becomes mandated for graduation.

For the 2018-2019 school year, the MCAS exam for English Language Arts is March 26 and 27, the Mathematics MCAS is May 21 and 22, and the Biology MCAS is June 4 and 5, 2019.

For the first time, the grade 10 MCAS exam will be administered electronically for the English Arts and Mathematics exams. The Biology exam will be administered on paper for this year.

Grade 10 students need to make every effort to be at school on time for those dates, as passing the MCAS is a requirement to obtaining a high school diploma.

For the March and May tests, Whittier Tech students in grades 9, 11, and 12 will report to school on a 3 hour delay, to minimize disruptions during this important test for 10th graders. Bus routes will pick up grade 9, 11, and 12 students 3 hours later than their usual pickup time.

More details will be provided prior to each testing event.


Special Education

Whittier offers two levels of academic assistance for students with disabilities.

  • Inclusion Classroom (all subject areas)

  • Learning Center Classroom (Math, English, and Science)

Under the new state regulations, the goal is to foster independence by gradually removing direct services as the individual’s skill level increases.

The inclusion model allows students with disabilities to have the opportunity to participate fully in the school environment. Co-teaching is the foundation of the inclusion model. In a co-teaching environment, the regular education teacher and the special education teacher are assigned to the same class and work together to accommodate the needs of all students. This model fosters teacher collegiality and benefits the learning experiences of all students. A multi-modal approach is used for both instruction and evaluation to draw on the various strengths of each student. This model is in compliance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act 2004 (IDEA 2004) as it affords special education students access to the general curriculum.

The inclusion model gives the regular education teacher primary responsibility for educating the special education students, with the technical support of the special education department. Special education services are made available as needed to accommodate the stated disabilities of the individuals participating in the inclusion model and to enable each student to achieve specific established goals. Students are placed in the inclusion model as determined by their skill level in each academic area.

Some students may need to continue to receive instruction in a small group setting to develop and increase specific skills in preparation for participation in an inclusion setting. Students in the Learning Center level work on developing basic skills within the curriculum frameworks. The classes are small and are comprised solely of students with special needs. For additional information regarding Special Education services, please contact the Special Education Department at extension 236.

Additional external links: 

Special Education Parent Advisory Council

The Special Education Parent Advisory Council at Whittier is comprised of parents and educators working to enhance the educational experiences of students with special needs in our community. The Council strives to provide access to current legislation, resources and activities to support this community.

We maintain a email list for parents that want to receive periodic updates and information. Please feel free to contact us below to sign up.


The Special Education Parent Advisory Council, in collaboration with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education will be hosting a parent orientation to learn about the upcoming Special Education and Civil Rights review in our district. The parent orientation will be held in room 2107 at 5:30 on November 14, 2019. Please join us!

You may contact Patricia Lowell at 978-373-4101 with questions about the parent orientation or the review.  You may also find this information on our district website.  Thank you.

English Language Learner

Purpose of Program

English language skills are taught to enable limited English proficient (LEP) students to become competent in the comprehension, speaking, reading, and writing of the English language. The program emphasizes mastery of English language skills and content area concepts and skills in order to participate effectively in regular academic and vocational programs. Furthermore, the purpose of the ELL program at Whittier is to annually assess limited English proficient (LEP) students’ reading, writing, speaking and listening skills, which is mandated by state and federal law. 

Instructional Program

The following guidelines are used to plan instructional programs for LEP students. The guidelines are organized by WIDA English Language Proficiency Performance Levels and address both English language development (ELD) instruction and sheltered content instruction.

English Language Development (ELD) instruction

  • ELD instruction, also referred to as English as a second language (ESL) instruction, addresses listening, speaking, reading and writing standards as contained in the WIDA Standards of English Language Proficiency ( ELD instruction is designed specifically for LEP students, and is essential if LEP students are to “catch up” to their classmates in academic content areas. The ELD curriculum is based on WIDA Standards. Whittier promotes and supports the rapid acquisition of English language proficiency by LEP students. Thus, all LEP students receive ELD/ESL instruction, and those at the Newcomer, Entering, and Emerging levels of English language proficiency will receive as much as possible.

Sheltered Content Instruction

  • Sheltered content instruction is designed to make content instruction, delivered in English, more comprehensible to LEP students with a Developing or higher level of English proficiency. It will be challenging for Entering and Emerging students.


Title I

Title I provides federal funds to ensure that all students meet challenging educational standards.  As a school-wide program, the Title 1 Program at Whittier Regional Technical High School provides supplemental educational support services in math and/or reading to students currently performing below grade level or demonstrating significant gaps in academic achievement.  Students are identified as needing services based on multiple criteria, including formal assessments, a district Skills Assessment, previous MCAS scores, grades and teacher recommendations.

What Are The Benefits Of My Student Being In the Title I Program At Whittier? 

Most importantly, you student may receive individual and/or small group instruction in addition to regular classroom instruction.  This will provide students with the extra help they need to bring their academic skills to the high, challenging academic standards needed to be successful in school today. 

How Are Students Selected For Title I?

We have equal access eligibility in selecting students who require supplemental educational services through Title I programming.  All ninth grade students are screened with a district Skills Assessment in reading and math. Formal assessments (as applicable), MCAS data, and grades are evaluated along with the skills assessment to identify students who may need additional supports in their school program. Students identified as being farthest from meeting state standards are recommended for additional supports of inclusion support, small group/individual instruction and/or tutoring.

Parental Involvement

  • At Whittier we hold strong emphasis on parent involvement in the Title I program. We are aware as educators, that parents and families are a child’s most important teacher.

  • Communication between home and school is critical for a child to have the best learning experiences. We feel that we share the responsibility with you for your child’s Education.

  • There are many ways in which a parent can become involved in their child’s education. The school district values both at home contributions and those that take place at school and in the community.

Parents Have The Right To Refuse Title I Services

As a parent/guardian you have the right to refuse Title I services. Please feel free to contact us if you wish to do so. 

Enrichment Opportunities

To further support our Title I program, Whittier provides many after school and summer enrichment programs, free of charge, which are open to all students.  The programs support student achievement on the MCAS exams in English Language Arts, Math and Biology. Passing these exams is required to receive a high school diploma.  Students are identified as needing additional assistance in certain academic areas. Each program focuses on reinforcing and supporting the students’ academic progress. Students receive support targeted at both identifiable needs and current areas of academic difficulty in all subject areas.  

Please encourage your student to take advantage of the extra help available to increase their chance to pass MCAS in grade 10.

What Is Title 1? 

Title 1 is short for the “Title I, Part A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, Re-authorized by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.” It is the largest federal assistance program for our nation’s schools . 

What The Law Says About Title I

Title I is the largest federally funded supplemental education program. It cannot replace what the school already does; instead it gives students additional instruction. 

What Does Title I Do For Students?

Title I provides assistance for students who must accelerate their progress to perform at or near grade level. The Title I program is designed to provide students with extra help in an effort to bring their academic skills to the high, challenging academic standard needed to be successful in school. 

Programs Offered At Whittier

  • Math Essentials

  • Readers/Writers Workshop

  • After school MCAS tutorial program

  • Summer programs in math, reading and biology

  • Student Assistance Program


The Whittier Regional district and the parents of the students participating in activities, services, and programs funded by Title I agree that this compact outlines how they will share the responsibility for improved student academic achievement and the means by which the school and parents will build and develop a partnership that will help children achieve the State’s high standards.


I realize that my child’s school years are very important. My participation in my child’s education will help his/her success in school. I agree to carry out the following responsibilities to the best of my ability:

• Support the school’s discipline policy by reinforcing positive behaviors at home.

• Sign-up for iParent at to view my child’s grades.

• Provide adequate rest, food, and medical attention so my child is ready to learn.

• Send my child to school daily and help my child start the school day on time.

• Communicate regularly with my child and the Whittier Regional Vocational Technical High School staff, so that I will stay aware of what my child is learning and accomplishing in school.

• Assist my child with homework and encourage my child to read.


I know education is important. It will help me to become better prepared for my future and my career. I know my parent/ guardian wants to help me, but I need to be responsible for my learning. I agree to:

• Be responsible for my own behavior.

• Work hard to do my best in class and to complete my homework assignments.

• Attend school regularly and on time, unless I am sick.

• Show respect for myself, my school, and other students and adults at Whittier Regional Vocational Technical High School.

• Ask for help when necessary

• Utilize my iStudent account to monitor my progress in class and shop

We understand the importance of the school experience to every student and our role as a teacher, model, and mentor. We agree to carry out the following responsibilities:

• Provide high quality curriculum, instruction, and assessment in accordance with the Massachusetts Common Core Curriculum Frameworks and Whittier Regional Vocational Technical High School’s Improvement Plan.

• Maintain positive and open communication between school and home.

• Provide learning experiences and resources that will help students reach their fullest potential.

• Provide successful strategies to help students reach Proficient and Advance on their MCAS tests.