AboutOur PeopleHarris Sokoloff
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Harris Sokoloff

Graduate School of Education
Teaching, Learning, and Leadership Division

As the director of the Center for School Study Councils (CSSC), Dr. Sokoloff is responsible for working with school superintendents, school boards, and district staff to help them keep pace with state-of-the-art educational and management theory, research, and practice. In that role, he leads five professional learning communities of public school superintendents from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware. Each Study Council meets one-half day each month, September through June and focuses on district leadership issues and challenges.

As director of the Study Councils, he also designs and leads technical assistance projects with affiliated districts. Those projects cover a broad range of topics from district budgeting to community engagement to strategic visioning.

Most of those technical assistance projects engage all affected stakeholders—students, staff, community members, etc.—in building stronger, more productive relationships between schools and their communities. For example, he has worked with the Upper Darby and Rose Tree Media school districts (PA) to engage the community (students and adults) to provide structured and useful input into budgeting priorities. In the Pitman (NJ) and Wallingford Swarthmore (PA) districts he worked with a broad range of students, teachers, non-teaching staff, and community members to develop a strategic vision focusing on a profile of a graduate and the learning experiences most likely to help students get there.

In the Camp Hill School District (PA), he worked with the district and community to provide common-ground values-based principles that provided the foundation for the construction of a community performing arts center. In the Hopewell Valley School District (NJ), Dr. Sokoloff guided the district in creating a “community agenda” of values and goals that could serve as a touchstone for the district’s educational strategic planning efforts.

Dr. Sokoloff is currently on the Executive Committee of the Education Policy Leadership Center and has served on the boards of the National Liberty Museum and Education Center, Perelman Jewish Day School, American Theater Arts for Youth, and was an associate of the Kettering Foundation.

As co-founder and director of Catalyst Community Conversations (formerly the Penn Project for Civic Engagement–PPCE), he has designed and implemented local, national, and international community engagement projects. Recently, these included the listening tour for the incoming board of the School District of Philadelphia as well as community engagement to inform the job description and leadership profile when the School District of Philadelphia conducted its most recent superintendent search. Citizen Voices, a project of the Philadelphia Inquirer Editorial Board, won the National Batten Award for Civic Journalism.