About HCE



Harrisburg Catholic Elementary is located on two campuses. Our Holy Family Campus houses Kindergarten through 4th Grade.  Our Cathedral Campus houses Pre-K and Grades 5 through 8. 

Holy Family Campus

555 S. 25th St., Harrisburg, PA 17104


Cathedral Campus

212 State St., Harrisburg, PA 17101


Shaping Tomorrow's Leaders Today

Harrisburg Catholic Elementary Students in 5th through 8th Grades can participate in Student Council by running for office and winning election by their peers.  Student Council provides leadership opportunities for Student Council members, as well as fun activities for students in both campuses throughout the school year. 

Many of our students proudly participate within their parishes as altar servers, both during Mass at school, and in their home parishes at weekend Masses.

Girls on the Run, a national campaign to encourage girls, was brought to Harrisburg Catholic Elementary three years ago.  Girls on the Run offers an opportunity to girls in grades 3 through 8 to participate in a wellness program. Through lessons and running or walking together, girls learn about health, fitness, self-esteem, and teamwork. 

Community Outreach

Our students and faculty help the community by conducting food, clothing and monetary donation drives at various times during the school year.  These drives benefit the less fortunate in our area.  Harrisburg Catholic Elementary has collected canned goods used to feed the homeless; clothing for the homeless; loose change in baby bottles for Morning Star services. 

School Profile

Student Body -- Catholic and non-Catholic students drawn from Harrisburg and surrounding areas.   

Accreditation -- Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Elementary Schools.  Sister Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  National Catholic Education Association.  Harrisburg Diocese / Board of Education.   

Core Curriculum -- Religion, Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Reading, Physical Education, Music, Art, Technology.   

Art -- Introduction to fine art, art history, and technique.   

Music Program -- Students will spend the year singing songs, playing instruments, and working on projects such as creating instruments and music games to enforce music notation, rhythm and tonal literacy.  Students will also be exposed to various styles and broad genres throughout music history.    

Band Program -- Instruction in band instruments and music theory for students in Grades 4 through 8.

Field Trips -- Students at the Cathedral Campus enjoy field trips to local museums, theaters, and riverfront attractions.  Field trips are privileges, not a guaranteed right.  Students who fail to meet academic or behavioral requirements may be denied participation in field trips.  Those students are expected to report to school at the regular time.  Written consent of parents / guardians is required for each student participating in every field trip. 

Remediation Services -- Provided by Capital Area Intermediate Unit through the federal Title 1 Program and Pennsylvania Act 89 Services.    

School Uniforms -- All students must wear the HCE school uniform.  The uniform requirements are explicitly stated in the student handbook.  Flynn O'Hara is located at 869 Eisenhower Boulevard, Harrisburg.  They can be reached at 717-939-5600 or Flynn O'Hara.  No uniform is required for Pre-K students, but jeans are not permitted.   

Nursing Services -- The School District of Harrisburg provides occasional nursing services to HCE through a variety of evaluations and other services.  

Our Mission

HCE's Mission Statement

 Mission Statement of Harrisburg Catholic Elementary School:

Harrisburg Catholic Elementary School, a faith-filled community, is enriched by diverse ethnic cultures. Building upon the teachings of the Catholic Church, we strive to develop the whole child as we encourage students to appreciate each other and share their God-given talents. We challenge students to achieve individual academic success, shared responsibility, and appropriate socialization.

We believe…

…that parents/guardians are the primary educators of their children and that school works in partnership with them.

…that all children can learn and experience success.

…that education be well-rounded, help students discover their talents and equip them to achieve their highest potential.

…that facts alone cannot educate, but equally important are values and example.

…that school should promote not only the acquisition of knowledge, but also the formation of personal values such as self-motivation and discipline, respect for self and others, and responsibility for one’s actions.

…that through our appreciation of cultural diversity, our students will come to a greater respect of their cultural heritage and that of others.

A Graduate of Harrisburg Catholic Elementary will:

* Master basic skills in the core curriculum.

* Realize the need for God in his/her daily life through study of Catholic teachings and participation in prayer, service, and faith witnessing.

* Be able to contribute to society through his/her development of written and oral communication skills, critical thinking skills, and his/her active participation as an independent contributing member of the school community.


Our Goals

Middle States Plan for Growth and Improvement


The following goals were set following the Middle States Commission on Elementary and Secondary Schools visit to Harrisburg Catholic Elementary School in March 2015.

Goal #1

By 2022 Harrisburg Catholic Elementary School will implement the adaption of the English Language Arts Common Core Standards. The implementation will result in an 80% proficiency rating at grade level for all students on the final Student Report Card of the 2021-2022 school year.

Goal #2

By 2022 Harrisburg Catholic Elementary School will implement the adaptation of the Mathematics Common Core Standards. The implementation will result in an 80% proficiency rating at grade level for all students on the final Student Report Card of the 2021-2022 school year.

Goal #3

By 2022 students at Harrisburg Catholic Elementary School will experience a greater acceptance and a more positive school community demonstrated through a 10% decrease of behavior incidents as measured by an initial survey.


Pre-K Program


 Arrival -- The Pre-K program begins at 8:30 a.m. daily.  No child may arrive before 8:15 a.m.  Children should be dropped off on Liberty Street, at the front door of the school.  The teacher will be there to meet the children. 

Birthdays -- Children may bring a special snack to share on their birthday.  Please avoid sending cakes which would require cutting.  Party invitations for birthday celebrations outside of school should not be sent through the school unless the entire class is invited.   

Clothing -- Children should wear comfortable, washable play clothes.  No jeans please.  Sturdy closed-toe shoes or sneakers are best.  Sandals may only be worn with socks.  Jellies and cowboy boots are not allowed.  Nail polish and tattoos are not in accordance with the school dress code.  Please label all clothing, lunch boxes, etc.   A small pillow or blanket may be brought to school for "nap time."  No sleeping bags please.  Also, please send in a full change of clothing to cover emergencies.   

Daily Schedule -- The daily schedule provides a balance of the following:  * Adult-directed and child-initiated activities * Active and quiet times * Independent and guided activities * Large group, small group and individual activities * Indoor and outdoor activities * Gross and fine motor activities  

Dismissal -- The K-4 Program ends at 11:30 a.m. (half day) or 2:30 p.m. (full day).  Children are dismissed from the front door of the building.  Please be prompt.  Please notify the teacher in writing if your child is to be dismissed to anyone other than the parent or those authorized for pick up.  If custody issues restrict parental privileges, the school must have the legal restraint paper on file.  Verbal notification is insufficient.   

Field Trips -- Local or near-by field trips will be arranged.  Parents are expected to assist with these projects.  Permission slips will be required for each event.   Illness -- Report all illness to the school office (234-3797) before 9:00 a.m. on the day of the illness.  Absentee notes should be sent with the child upon return to school.  Absences of 3 or more days require a doctor's note.  If the child becomes ill at school, the school office will call the parent to come for the child.

Show & Tell -- A special Show & Tell day will be assigned.  Although Show & Tell is not mandatory, it is designed to help your child learn self-expression.  Violent toys such as weapons should NOT be used for Show & Tell.  Toys from home are not permitted except as a Show & Tell item.  

Additional information about the Pre-School Program  Our K-4 program at HCE is permeated with a strong Catholic emphasis.  Prayer and Bible stories are an integral part of the daily program.  Practice in living out Christian principles is begun at an early age.  Through group activities, the children learn to play together, to share with each other, and to be considerate of others.  Teaching self-discipline and manners are a part of the program.    The child's natural curiosity is given many opportunities for development.  Self-expression is displayed through various media in arts and crafts, dramatics and musical activities.  The social dimension of the child's personality is stimulated and guided through multiple kinestic activities.  Indoor games, as well as outdoor games, help to establish individual and communal determination toward a specific goal.  Cooperation, initiative, responsibility, independence and oral expression are fostered in the classroom through personal relationship with teachers and peers.    

Some specific ways through which the goals of the program are achieved:   Through Observation -- * Field trips supplement classroom activities and broaden the children's educational experiences.  All children are expected to participate unless parental requests are submitted to the teacher.  * An acquaintance with the local vicinity is also an important part of the child's observation.    Through Motion -- * The children develop their muscular coordination through various apparatus and gym equipment.  * The children are instructed in safety regulations and practices.  * All children are expected to participate in play / physical education activities unless special parental notification is given.    Through Environment -- * The children learn to be perceptive of God's creation all around them.  * The children are made aware of the cycles of nature.  * They observe the growth pattern of living things.  * Field observation, nature painting, and visual charts all enhance their realization of the world around them.  * The children are taught a basic sense of direction -- left/right, up/down.    Through Expression -- * Musical CDs, tapes and videos provide the opportunity for exercise in listening.  They also foster music appreciation.  * Song and dance enhance the children's sense of rhythm and movements.    Through Social Relations -- * The children are given an opportunity to build a realistic self concept, apart from their membership in the family.  *  They learn their relationship to the other members of their family. * Through various group projects and cooperative activities, the children learn to play with others and to share with them.  * Awareness of community activities is stimulated through observation and conversation with community members such as the policeman, fireman.  Through Creative Arts -- * Self expression is encouraged and developed through story telling, show and tell, and nursery rhymes.  * Dramatic activities also bring out the creativity of each child.  * The use of various art media, such as crayon drawing, painting, and simple crafts encourage individual expression.  * Local and traditional customs are taught and encouraged through group planning and celebration. 

Learn More

To learn more about Harrisburg Catholic Elementary's Pre-School program, or for any enrollment questions, please contact our school by clicking the link below.  Thank you! 

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