By Stephen E. Lipken
For the coming school year, Harrison Central School District (HCSD) Superintendent Dr. Louis N. Wool, Ed.D., pointed to a plethora of rebuilding and improvements of Harrison Avenue School (HAS); Harrison High School (HHS); Louis M. Klein Middle School and Parsons Elementary School
“We have completed the renovations of HHS,” Dr. Wool began. “An enclosed entrance for the High School is planned for the fall. We have completed the addition of HAS with an enlarged, air-conditioned cafeteria and 4 brand-new classrooms. The new addition matches original architecture of the school, the same peaks and brickwork, quite beautiful.
“The other project underway, ready for occupancy in September is Parsons, on the Historic Register, built in the 1800’s. The renovation of that school was even more challenging because the new addition, which is two stories, adds a brand-new air-conditioned cafeteria and exterior bathrooms, accessible from the field. The second story has a new band room and two classrooms A 5-stop elevator will bring the building much closer to fully-handicapped accessibility.
“The largest construction project is the renovation of Middle School, including a completely refurbished air-conditioned auditorium, enlarged cafeteria; new windows and entry ways, improved handicapped accessibility, brand-new exterior; redesigned drop-off and pickup area as well as a new turf field.
“Shifting, we have hired about 40 new teachers,” Wool continued. “Our typical summer student programs included ‘Bridges to Literacy’ for K-3 struggling readers. There is a specialized version, English New Learners (ENL); a program for International Baccalaureate Advanced Placement students; those who want to work on their college essays plus traditional Summer School for High School students to recover credit.
“The most important thing that goes on in the summer is that we train teachers, with over 40 professional development courses with 500 participants, meaning that most took multiple courses. We do a New Teacher Institute, four-day intensive professional development for all first and second-year teachers. Second-year teachers prepare units of instruction which are reviewed by first-year teachers,” Wool concluded.