Tel:   712-755-5137
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City of Harlan

Education in Harlan

Quite simply, Harlan has one of the more successful K-12 school systems in the State of Iowa, academically, athletically and otherwise! Harlan Community Schools are among the state's leaders in combining a top-quality academic education with a wide variety of successful extracurricular activities.  We are also proud to be the home of Shelby County Catholic Schools and the FISH Home School Coop.

Harlan Community SchoolsPublic Schools

Harlan Community Schools are among the state's leaders in combining a top-quality academic education with a wide variety of successful extracurricular activities.

Over 110 teachers, 101 support staff and seven administrators work with a present enrollment of 1,689 students.  The school district covers 279 square miles and includes the communities of Corley, Defiance, Earling, Harlan, Jacksonville, Panama, Portsmouth and Westphalia.

Voters overwhelmingly approved the construction of a new $5.89 million, 64,500 square foot middle school located next to the high school.  And more recently, Harlan votes approved the building of a New Elementary/school.

The school system ranks as one of the state's finest for some of the following reasons:

  • Over 70% of HCHS's graduates pursue advanced education
  • Flexible Education Center for non-traditional students
  • Talented and Gifted Programs
  • Over $100,000 in scholarships available annually from local businesses and foundations
  • Work study programs available to seniors through a cooperative agreement with Iowa Western Community College (up to 27 hours of college credit available)
  • PC Computer labs in all buildings, Internet Access and Iowa Communications Network Fiber optic classroom

Harlan Community Schools have educational opportunities for handicapped children and adults.  

Shelby County Catholic Schools

Shelby County Catholic SchoolsShelby County Catholic Schools provide faith based schooling for grades PK-6th.  Shelby County Catholic Schools provides a high academic curriculum that is one of the highest in the State of Iowa.  

  • Rich history - 134 years of Catholic Faith based education in Shelby County including St Michael's In Harlan, St Joseph's in Earling, St. Mary's of Portsmouth, St. Boniface of Westphalia, St. Mary's in Panama, and St. Peter's in Defiance
  • 100% of SCCS students continue on to college or university after graduating from High School
  • 20% of the Students at SCCS rank in the top 1% nationally in Math and Science
  • Little Angels Pre School is rated a 5-Star PK in the State of Iowa
  • 1:1 Technology in every classroom for student laptop/tablet access
  • STEM infused curriculum through partnerships with Iowa State University Extension and Iowa Governors Council for STEM
  • Scholarships available through Catholic Tuition Organization and other local Scholarship programs 

F.I.S.H Home School Coop

F.I.S.H. Home Schooling Coop has a number of groups meeting regularly in the Harlan area.

College Degrees

IWCC.eduAt the Harlan campus of Iowa Western Community College, a wide variety of academic programs are available including a two-year associate degree.  IWCC Harlan Campus can be reached at 712-755-3568.