Harrisburg School District sees new day as officials revamp curriculum, fill long-term vacancies


HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Ghosts of Harrisburg’s past are no longer haunting the present.

Last year, the district struggled with vacancies. On Monday, 19 new hires were announced, including nine teachers.

“The goal is to have a full complement of people so we can serve our students and staff with a standard of excellence,” district receiver Dr. Janet Samuels said.

Ensuring that excellence is a brand new human resource team, a $700,000 literacy program and a complete overhaul of the curriculum.

“It’s a very aggressive move, but it’s the right thing to do as we work to continue to support our students,” Samuels said.

The district is also extending that support to parents.

“Knowledge and information is powerful, and so, at every step, we have to take advantage of various opportunities to share information,” Samuels said. “Budgeting, nutrition, lead — you name it. We should be sharing that type of information with our families.”

The school district is also sharing more than $15 million with its charter schools and according to a study of test scores, that’s money not well spent. 

“In many of the charter schools, there are students who are regressing and children not growing. We think parents should be aware of that,” Samuels said.

Samuels has said in the past that part of their strategy is to retain students, and they’re going to be very aggressive while competing with charter schools.

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