Harris Elementary School is named for Robert C. Harris, the first principal of South Side High School when it opened in 1922. Mr. Harris joined Fort Wayne Community Schools in 1917 as a physics teacher at Central High School. Prior to joining FWCS, he worked as a teacher or principal in Crawfordsville, Loogootee, Indianapolis and Puerto Rico. After spending four years at South Side, Mr. Harris became principal of James H. Smart School until his retirement in 1946. He established his own math curriculum for elementary and high school students, and the state adopted his high school math curriculum for several years. Mr. Harris was also an inventor and received his first patent in 1918. His inventions includes a visual coin counter, an alphabetizer, model railroad devices and his most important invention, an electric impulse generator, which Magnavox engineers developed into the trigger device used to fire bazookas and other rocket-launching guns.
Harris Elementary was built in 1968 and is an academy community that emphasizes core academic and character education. Harris seeks to prepare students to become positive contributing members of society through a broad and balanced approach to education. Written agreements with parents support and reinforce high standards of academic effort and conduct. Harris has a very involved Parent and Teacher Association. Harris students feed into Lane Middle School and Snider High School. The school is located in the Board of School Trustees District 2.