HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – The School District of Harrisburg says students at Rowland Academy will have a shortened school day to start the 2022-23 school year due to a teacher shortage.

In a letter sent to parents, district superintendent Eric Turman says the district is facing a “significant teacher shortage” that will require students to be dismissed at 1:53 p.m. The schedule is similar to how students were dismissed at the end of last school year and will affect all grades and students at the school.

The district says the move will allow staff to provide “thorough coverage of our academic classes, and to provide stronger academic support and supervision for our students while they are in our schools.”

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Students will be asked to participate in humanities such as art, music, physical education, and multimedia online and in their own time after school dismisses. The school will also not be able to provide afterschool clubs, but will provide a shortened lunch.

“We are deeply sorry that despite strong recruiting efforts, we do not have enough teachers to adequately staff a full day of in-person instruction at the start of school. We know that our students simply deserve better,” said the district letter. “We are working very hard to recruit additional teachers and staff to allow us to provide full, in-person days of school.”

The district says they have significantly increased salaries for retired teachers and substitutes and is widely advertising for active positions.

Townhalls for families will be held on Wednesday, August 17th at 2:00 pm at Rowland Academy and virtually at 6:00 pm on August 17.

The district’s full letter can be read below.

The first day of school is August 29.