At Harrisburg Academy, diversity is valued. In fact, one of our Core Values reads as follows:
We promote positive character development that values diversity, respect, mutual support, integrity, a strong sense of self-worth, and hard work.
Independent schools, like the Academy, maintain diverse and vibrant student communities and welcome and respect each family. In target with ongoing diversity goals at Harrisburg Academy, 2014-15 enrollment includes ethnic diversity or international citizenship in over 35 percent of our student body. Ethnic groups represented at the Academy include African American, Asian American, and Middle Eastern.
The school community further includes an international component; since 1989, 143 Upper School students from 26 countries have studied at the Academy. This year, nearly six percent of our students (all grades) have non-U.S. citizenship. In fact, in the past three years, 29 students have enrolled in our Upper School, representing such diverse cultures and nationalities as Brazil, China, Germany, Israel, Korea, Poland, Switzerland, Hungary, and Spain.
Last year, one of the international students at the Academy was Johanna, who hails from Germany. From her experience at the Academy, Johanna said that everyone was very interested in learning about her culture. “In history, we started talking about WWI and WWII and it was really interesting to see how our cultures approached it differently – I could share a lot of insights into the German perspective on it. At lunch, I shared how school is different in Germany, and my friends share with me what their life is like and what they would like to do. I shared where they should go visit in Germany because they’re really interested in travel.”
Couple our diverse population with such programs and activities as Learning Links, Community Service Day, and the International Fair, and you can see we not only value diversity but actively encourage our students to seek out opportunities to expose the community as a whole to a variety of cultures and peoples.
The International Baccalaureate Diploma program is a wonderful complement – academically and culturally – for our students, as it works to create a better world through education. The Academy also strives for a socioeconomically diverse school community, and each year we provide need-based financial aid to nearly 30 percent of students enrolled, committing an annual budget of over $1 million towards this important effort.
But don’t take my word for it – listen to what Academy parents have to say.
“From a personal standpoint, I want to let you know about the level of diversity awareness my son has shown. His understanding and acceptance of all people is something that will serve him well in his personal and professional life. I truly feel that the students at the Academy see themselves as a community of learners – as friends. I commend the Academy for its efforts in supporting and facilitating this among its students.”
“At Harrisburg Academy, students recognize that being unique is celebrated. Diversity is valued in Academy classrooms, teams, and clubs. More importantly, we recognize that diversity and acceptance are regular themes in academic and social discourse.”
Regardless of your own family’s background, we hope that you can agree – at the Academy we must all value what each of us brings to the community and to our learning environment.