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Partnerships in Character Education Program

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Harrisburg School District
Harrisburg Partnerships in Character Education Project

Contact Information
Judith Nuss, Project Director
Harrisburg School District
2101 N. Front Street-Building 2
Harrisburg, PA 17110
Web site:
Grant period: 2006-2010
Amount Requested:$1,557,910 for a four-year project

Program Description
The Harrisburg School District will infuse character education into social studies
and language arts curricula. The project will use Facing History and Ourselves curriculum for its seventh and eighth grade students to reduce intolerance among adolescents and to assist students in finding alternatives to violent behavior. Project personnel will provide professional development, based on Responsive Designs for Middle School, to increase the capacity of 60 project teachers to promote safe, caring, and responsive centers of learning, and to encourage positive relationships with adults in their lives. Over the four-year project, Harrisburg will serve 1,200 students in 26 classrooms in 10 schools, more than one-third of whom have received out-of-school suspensions.

Goals and Objectives

  • To build a professional development base that fosters character in students and integrates character education into classroom instruction at the seventh and eighth grade levels
  • To reduce out-of-school suspensions by reducing intolerance and violent behavior
  • To use a strategy of collaboration to achieve the goals and objectives
  • To evaluate whether student character is more strongly impacted by: a combined strategy of teacher professional development training and a character education curriculum than the professional development alone; and exposure to the curriculum for two academic years compared to a single academic year

Harrisburg School District will conduct an experimental evaluation design. A multi-method measurement approach will include teacher reports, classroom observations and school records.

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Last Modified: 11/08/2011