New changes for Harrisburg School District

Only one week left of summer for Harrisburg School District students, and in addition to offering some exciting updates for the start of the new year, district officials also took an opportunity Monday afternoon to address some lingering questions.

“We want to make sure our community, our students, our parents, understand that our district is very, very focused on making sure that everyone feels comfortable and feels that we are doing the right things when it comes to our grading policy. Our investigation has yielded there have been some inconsistencies in the execution of those procedures,” said Dr. Sybil Knight-Burney, superintendent of Harrisburg School District.

The new grading policy, implemented in the 2017-2018 school year, has been a topic of discussion over the last several months.

In a meeting a few weeks ago, district officials explained the new policy which does not allow students to drop below a 50 percent in class, therefore giving them a chance to pass for the year.

There were many questions about the policy, and while district officials won’t say what inconsistencies the investigation revealed, they say they are committed to making sure it doesn’t happen again.

“Going forward, the district will provide assistance and clarification as needed to ensure that the procedures we have outlying are not only understood, but they are monitored,” said Dr. Knight-Burney.

High school principal Lisa Love was placed on administrative leave pending the investigation.

But in a shift that they say is unrelated to the findings of the investigation, Love has instead accepted a position as academy director at the John Harris campus.

Dr. Sieta Achampong, principal of Harrisburg’s sci-tech campus, will take on the responsibilities of principal at the John Harris campus until they can find a permanent replacement.

“When you recognize you have a distinguished educator amongst your ranks, some school districts may say let me keep them there, recognizing we need that support in both of our campuses,” said Jaimie Foster, chief academic officer.

School will resume on August 20th.

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