Camelot Brings K-12 Alternative Education Programming to Harrisburg

 In Press Releases
james snyder 4

Camelot Harrisburg Executive Director James Snyder holds a training session with staff.

(Harrisburg, PA January 19, 2016) – Camelot Education, which has had tremendous success with alternative education programming in Philadelphia and Lancaster, as well as other districts across the nation, is partnering with the Harrisburg School District to operate a new multi-faceted program for students having behavioral and/or academic difficulties in main stream schools.

“There are three separate programs, one for kids K-5 called Cougar Paws, a second for students in grades 6-12 called Cougar Achieve Academy and an accelerated program called Cougar Excel Academy for high school students who have fallen way behind and are at risk of dropping out,” said James Snyder, who oversees the programs as executive director.

The programs are housed at the former Hamilton Elementary at 1701 N. 6th Street in Midtown Harrisburg, to provide the easiest access for students in all sections of the city.

Students in the Paws and Achieve Academy programs are referred by the District for violating the code of conduct. Camelot’s role is to improve students’ behavior and to stabilize their academics so that eventually the students can be returned to their regular school. Cougar Excel Academy is a school of choice, designed to catch students up to grade level and graduation.

“We are fulfilling a need in Harrisburg for a full-day alternative education program for all grade levels,” said Snyder. “Many of these students had been in a home study program. Our model brings them in school where they benefit from the kind of attention, services and academic rigor that our model provides.”

What makes Camelot unique is its combination of a normative culture that centers on mutual respect, academic rigor and linkages to resources that serve students. As a result, Camelot’s programs have a graduation rate of 85-90 percent. High school students must develop a post high school plan, whether for more education or a career.

“Our team is determined to make a difference,” said Camelot CEO Todd Bock. All of us have a responsibility to reverse the school-to-prison pipeline. We have seen so many kids lift themselves up and break that cycle. We are very proud of what we do, and we know that Superintendent Knight holds us to that expectation.”

The maximum combined enrollment in the three Camelot programs is 200 students, 24 in the K-5 program, 146 in the 6-12 program and 30 in the accelerated program.

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