Public schools in two Connecticut districts are looking for new leadership. Hartford’s school superintendent stepped down earlier this month to accept a new position. On Tuesday, New Haven’s Superintendent of Schools, Garth Harries, announced he’s leaving.
According to a joint statement by Superintendent Harries and the New Haven Board of Education, Harries’ employment will end this fall. He spoke at a brief news conference.
"I’ve offered to end my contract early to provide the board the opportunity to seek new leadership for the district, who I hope will understand and build on our foundation of collaboration growth and equity," he said.
Under a severance agreement reached late Monday night, Harries will be paid his full salary and benefits through the end of this school year on June 30, 2017 -- a full year ahead of his original contract.
Harries said he’s proud of the accomplishments achieved since he’s been superintendent, which include 17 percentage point gains in graduation, improvements in learning for the most disengaged students and historically challenged schools, and enhancing the role of teachers.
"There are, of course, many challenges that remain in New Haven, which I have been eager to address," Harries said. "However, the city of New Haven and particularly those students and families who rely on strong public schools deserve a district where the adults are collaborating -- pulling in the same direction -- with a common vision and approach to education."
It's been locally reported that some board members felt Harries didn't communicate effectively and there were disagreements over certain policies.
In the statement, the Board of Education thanked Harries for his service and listed several achievements under his tenure.
Harries started working in the New Haven school system in 2009 as assistant superintendent. He became Superintendent in 2013. The target date for his departure is November 1.