The following is a list of questions commonly asked by parents and students about the start of the 2021-22 school year at Harmony Public Schools.

For more information, visit https://www.HarmonyTX.org/playbook.

Harmony Public Schools
Frequently Asked Questions
Q:  Will Harmony Public Schools offer virtual learning this year?

A:  No. Harmony will return to  face to face instruction  at all campuses for the 21-22 school year as mandated by the Texas Education Agency. We are excited to have our students back in the classroom and will continue to support their social, emotional, and academic growth.

Q:  What will on-campus instruction look like for this year?

A:  Just as before the pandemic, students will attend in-person learning  according to the academic calendar. This calendar can be found on your campus website.  Teachers will provide in-person learning, which includes hands-on activities, small group projects and intervention, station rotations, teacher one-on-one support, etc.

Q:  What COVID-19 safety protocols will be in place for students and teachers?

A:  Face masks are optional for both students and Harmony team members, but are strongly recommended.  Physical distancing may be maintained to the extent possible.  Hand sanitizer will be provided, and students will be encouraged to practice frequent hand washing, use of hand sanitizer, and physical distancing.  Teachers will sanitize high-touch areas in the classroom when necessary.  Because the COVID-19 pandemic is evolving, we may update protocols as the situation dictates.

Q:  My child struggled with virtual learning, and I am concerned they are academically behind.  How will Harmony help my child regain academic progress?

A:  We understand that some students struggled last year.  Our educational teams are here to diagnose learning loss and provide an intervention plan to address it.  This will include regular Response to Intervention (RTI) system implementation, after school tutoring, small group instruction, Saturday school, and summer school options.

Q:  My child excelled with virtual learning last year.  Will they be academically challenged this year?

A:  Yes!  We will continue to provide rigorous instruction with differentiated options for students including emphasis on college and career readiness.

Q:  Will extracurricular activities resume this year?

A:  Yes!  We anticipate all extracurricular activities to resume for students, including academic clubs, athletics, fine arts, UIL, competitions, etc. Check the Clubs page of your campus website throughout the year for new clubs and extracurriculars.

Q:  After a year out of the classroom, how will students and staff be supported in transitioning back to a social setting?

A:  Harmony will provide mental health support to our students and staff during and after the back to school transition period.  Each campus will utilize a Behavioral Counselor and implement support systems to ensure all students and staff receive the help they need.

Q:  Where can I apply for free or reduced price meals?

A:  All students eat FREE this year at all schools! Your child will automatically receive their free meal(s) each day in your campus cafeteria. You may, however, still be asked to complete a Free & Reduced Meal eligibility form once the school year starts, as this plays a crucial role in determining the amount of federal and state funding your child’s school may receive.

Q:  What safety protocols will be in place during breakfast and lunch?

A:  Cafeteria teams will continue to clean and sanitize dining areas.  Physical distancing will be maintained to the extent possible.  Students will sanitize their hands before and after eating, and will not be allowed to share food or utensils.  Harmony will maintain adult supervision in the cafeteria to reinforce mealtime safety measures.

Q:  Will water fountains be available for students?

A:  Students will have access to touchless water fountains and are encouraged to bring their own reusable clear water bottles to use throughout the day.  Water bottles should be taken home daily to be cleaned.

Q:  What if my child displays symptoms of COVID-19 while at school?

A:  The teacher will immediately call the Health Aide, who will pick up the student from the classroom and place the student in isolation to minimize interaction.  The school Health Aide will communicate with the parent/guardian, and the student will be sent home.  The student may not return to school until clearance is given by the school Health Aide.  Additional guidance on the criteria that must be met prior to the student’s return to school is located in the Harmony Public Schools Back to School Playbook, 2021-2022.

Q:  Should I notify the school if my child tested positive for COVID-19 or was in close contact with someone who tested positive?

A:  Yes, families will self-report within 48 hours to the Health Aide if their child(ren) tested positive for COVID-19 or if they believe the child(ren) has been in close contact with an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19.

Q:  How will I be notified if my child is exposed to COVID-19 at school?

A:  If classroom exposure occurs, families will be notified via letter home, call, or school messaging services and the classroom will be sanitized.

Q:  May I visit my child’s school?

A:  Harmony always welcomes visitors to campuses and district offices, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic we will implement some limitations to minimize risk.  Visitors will check in through the front office security system, and we will continue utilization of temperature checks.  All visitors should complete a self-check before entering a school building, and visitors with COVID symptoms should NOT enter school buildings or offices.

 

 

The following is a message from Harmony Public Schools CEO Fatih Ay for HPS students, families and team members.

Hello … and happy summer vacation!

 

We hope you are having a fun and relaxing break. Here at Harmony, we’re already hard at work preparing for another exciting and engaging school year for our students and team members.  With the first day of classes just a few weeks away, we wanted to take this opportunity to provide our students, team members, and their families a little more information on what to expect in the coming school year.

 

Here are a few highlights, but expect more details along with our annual Back to School Playbook in the days ahead:

 

 

CAMPUS-BASED LEARNING FOR ALL: Last year, many of our families elected to learn remotely rather than sending their student to campus. Accordingly, Harmony came into the summer preparing to expand and further improve its virtual learning options for families in 2021-22. Unfortunately, state leaders in the Texas Legislature have declined to continue funding for full-time virtual learning in 2021-22 for all Texas public schools, eliminating the option for virtual learning for millions of public school students at thousands of campuses like ours across the state. We are closely monitoring all potential developments and will provide family updates as new developments may occur. In the meantime, we are eagerly looking forward to greeting all of our scholars back in person when the 2021-22 school year begins.

 

 

BACK-TO-SCHOOL TRANSITION HELP: Many of our students will be returning to campus for the first time in a long time this fall. For some of our youngest students, it will be their first time coming to campus ever. So we’ve developed a comprehensive transition plan that focuses on helping students regain possible academic losses from the past two years, Social Emotional Learning (SEL) support, increasing access to campus behavioral counselors, and a behavior intervention system that rewards good choices.

 

 

RETURN OF EXTRACURRICULARS & SPORTS: With proper safety precautions, Harmony students will be able to participate in a full range of in-person extracurricular activities this fall, including sports and other interschool competitions. We’ll also continue to offer many of the clubs and activities that students enjoyed last school year. Keep an eye on the Clubs page of your campus website for more information on activities offered at your Harmony campus.

 

 

MODIFIED CAMPUS SANITATION PROTOCOLS: Health experts have learned a lot about how COVID-19 spreads since the start of the pandemic. So with all of our learners returning to campus this fall, we have modified some of our safety procedures and eliminated others to comply with the most up-to-date guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Texas Education Agency. Chief among those changes is a reduced social distance requirement in some indoor settings, a change in mask recommendations for outdoor activities, and the opportunity for visitors and volunteers to come to campus again under certain circumstances (at principal’s discretion). Look for more complete details on these and other COVID-related guidelines in the coming days in our “Back to School Playbook.”

 

 

MASKS OPTIONAL: According to an order from Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, public schools are no longer allowed to require their students or team members to wear masks. Instead, masks are optional for both students and team members. Currently, the CDC strongly recommends masks for unvaccinated individuals ages 2 and older. (Ages 12 & Up: Find a free and convenient vaccine clinic near you.) Harmony will continue to offer masks for those who request them.

 

As you can see, helping our students move forward from the past two years both academically and social-emotionally will be key goals of the 2021-22 school year. We appreciate your ongoing support in this critical effort and will provide you more details soon.

 

 

Thank you for being a member of our Harmony Public Schools family.

 

 

We can’t wait to see you this fall!

The Harmony Public Schools Executive Board unanimously approved a systemwide compensation increase for its 4,000+ teachers and team members across Texas.

Harmony teachers and other education professionals will receive between $4,000-$7,500 per year in additional compensation beginning the 2021-22 school year for a total annual system investment of roughly $15 million.
“The obstacles our schools have overcome the past two years have shown the profound impact that highly-qualified, highly-dedicated teachers can have on positive student outcomes,” Harmony CEO Fatih Ay said. “Opportunities like this are just one way we are showing our appreciation for all that our team members have contributed the past two years and for all the hard work still to come.”

The compensation increase comes in two parts:

A $2,000-$5,500 base pay increase for teachers and education professionals. The exact amount varies by community based on local market pay scales (see chart below).

A $2,000 across-the-board “Acceleration Stipend” for all teachers and professional employees.

All non-exempt (i.e. hourly) employees also will receive a raise of at least $1/hour, with some employees receiving $2/hour or more increases depending on position and location. With these increases, no full-time hourly worker in the Harmony system will earn less than $15/hour.

The increase was the third occasion in the past two school years in which Harmony announced a major improvement to employee compensation and benefits.

In January 2021, Harmony announced a sweeping upgrade of its employer-paid benefits that provided free vision and dental plans to all full-time employees, introduced matching retirement plan contributions for 403(b) and (457(b) participants, and increased life insurance payouts from $20,000 to $100,000.

In Summer 2019, Harmony also announced statewide base pay increases for employees ranging from $3,500-$5,000, as well as additional stipends for teachers working in hard-to-staff subjects.

Harmony also was selected by the Texas Education Agency in 2020 among its first round of Teacher Incentive Allotment recipients, which provided annual bonuses for a select group of high-performing educators.

“Our teachers are always looking for new ways to invest in their students, so it’s important to Harmony as a school system to always find new opportunities to invest in our teachers,” Ay said. “Whether its compensation or benefits increases like these, or professional development opportunities that help team members grow their personal skillset or advance their careers, we believe that an investment in our people is among the best investments we can make.”

Harmony Public Schools is a Texas-born, Texas-wide public charter school system with campuses serving PreK-Grade 12 students in 23 cities across the state, including Greater Houston, DFW, San Antonio, Austin, El Paso, Waco, Lubbock, Odessa, Bryan, Beaumont, and the Rio Grande Valley. Harmony’s curriculum places a heavy focus on STEM skills, Character Education, project-based learning, and college readiness.

Harmony Public Schools is currently accepting applications for the 2021-2022 school year for both students and team members.

About Harmony Public Schools
Harmony Public Schools are 58 high performing PreK-12 college preparatory charter schools throughout Texas. Harmony blends the highest standards and expectations, with a rigorous math- and science-centered curriculum and dedicated and engaged teachers and families to cultivate excellence and prepare students to succeed in college, careers and life. At Harmony Public Schools, we believe every child can succeed, and we are committed to helping them realize their full potential. To learn more about Harmony Public Schools and our 58 campuses across Texas, please visit: www.harmonytx.org, and follow us on Twitter at @HarmonyEdu and ‘Like’ us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/HarmonyTexas.

This letter is for families with:

• Children who are certified for free or reduced-price meals through the National School Lunch Program (NSLP).
• Children who attend a Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) or Provision 2 (P2) school that offers free meals to all students.*
• Children born after Aug. 1, 2014, in families who received SNAP benefits for at least one month between October 2020 and June 2021.
*Contact your child’s school if you have questions about the school’s participation in these programs.

If you do not meet at least one of the requirements listed above, your child is not eligible for the P-EBT benefits described below.

Enrolled students (up to 21 years of age) in families that temporarily lost access to free or reduced-price school meals for the 2020–2021 school year due to the COVID-19 pandemic may be eligible to receive Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT). P-EBT benefits can be used to buy food from any retailer that accepts the Lone Star Card.

The application for P-EBT will open June 2, 2021. Go to yourtexasbenefits.com/Learn/PEBT to apply.

The application link is case-sensitive. The deadline to apply is Aug. 13, 2021.

Who Needs to Apply?
A parent/guardian must apply if eligible child is:

o Enrolled in K-12 and NOT part of a family who received SNAP benefits for at least one
month between August 2020 and June 2021.

o Born on or before Aug. 1, 2014, and is part of a family who received SNAP benefits for the first time during the 2020–2021 school year in May or June 2021.
• A parent/guardian does not have to apply if eligible child is:
o Born on or before Aug. 1, 2014, and is part of a family who received SNAP benefits for at least one month between August 2020 and April 2021.
o Born after Aug. 1, 2014, and is part of a family who received SNAP benefits for at least one month between October 2020 and June 2021.
For more information about eligibility, applying and getting your P-EBT benefits, visit hhs.texas.gov/pebt, or call the P-EBT Call Center at 833-442-1255, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.–6
p.m. Central time.

Esta carta es para las familias con:
• Niños que están aprobados para recibir comidas gratuitas o a precio reducido a través del Programa Nacional de Almuerzos Escolares (NSLP).
• Niños que asisten a una escuela beneficiaria de la Cláusula de Elegibilidad Comunitaria (CEP) o a una escuela de la Cláusula 2 (P2) que ofrece comidas gratuitas a todos los estudiantes.*
• Niños nacidos después del 1 de agosto de 2014 en familias que recibieron beneficios de SNAP durante al menos un mes entre octubre de 2020 y junio de 2021.
*Comuníquese con la escuela de su hijo si tiene preguntas sobre la participación de la escuela en estos programas.
Si usted no cumple con al menos uno de los requisitos mencionados anteriormente, su hijo no puede recibir los beneficios de P-EBT descritos a continuación.

Estimado padre o tutor,

Los estudiantes matriculados (hasta los 21 años de edad) de familias que perdieron temporalmente el acceso a las comidas escolares gratuitas o de precio reducido para el año escolar 2020-2021 debido a la pandemia de COVID-19 podrían reunir los requisitos para recibir la Transferencia Electrónica de Beneficios durante la Pandemia (P-EBT). Los beneficios de P-EBT pueden usarse para comprar alimentos en cualquier tienda que acepte la tarjeta Lone Star.

La presentación de solicitudes para P-EBT se abrirá el 2 de junio de 2021. Visite yourtexasbenefits.com/Learn/PEBT (en inglés) para presentar la solicitud. El enlace para la solicitud distingue entre mayúsculas y minúsculas. La fecha límite para presentar la solicitud es el 13 de agosto de 2021.

¿Quién debe presentar la solicitud?
Un padre o tutor deberá presentar la solicitud si el niño que reúne los requisitos:
o Está matriculado en K-12 y NO pertenece a una familia que recibió beneficios de SNAP durante al menos un mes entre agosto de 2020 y junio de 2021.
o Nació el 1 de agosto de 2014 o antes y pertenece a una familia que recibió beneficios de SNAP por primera vez durante el año escolar 2020-2021 en mayo o junio de 2021.
• Un padre o tutor no tiene que presentar la solicitud si el niño que reúne los requisitos:
o Nació el 1 de agosto de 2014 o antes y pertenece a una familia que recibió beneficios de SNAP durante al menos un mes entre agosto de 2020 y abril de 2021.
o Nació después del 1 de agosto de 2014 y pertenece a una familia que recibió beneficios de SNAP durante al menos un mes entre octubre de 2020 y junio de 2021.
Para más información sobre los requisitos, la presentación de la solicitud y cómo recibir sus beneficios de P-EBT, visite hhs.texas.gov/es/pebt, o llame al Centro de llamadas de P-EBT al 833-442-1255, de lunes a viernes, de 8 a.m. a 6 p.m. hora del centro.

 

Harmony Science Academy-Cedar Park has been named a National School of Character by Character.org, a nationwide education advocacy organization.

The rare honor, bestowed to less than 50 schools in North America and only six campuses in Texas, recognizes HSA-Cedar Park for its multi-year effort to build a sustainable culture of character for its students, staff members, and community members.

“I am so happy and excited that our school is being named a National School of Character,” principal Ilker Yilmaz said. “As  a team here at Harmony Science Academy-Cedar Park, we believe that the future success of our nation depends on our children’s ability to understand the difference between right and wrong and to have the strength of character to make the right choices. To help them reach their full potential and live with integrity and pride, we must teach our children to be kind, responsible, honest, and self-disciplined. These important values are very important to teach our students and make them live with those values. Character Education helps to create an environment for caring and learning in schools.I am so proud to be part of this team.”

The schools and districts selected as a National School of Character  must meet the rigorous standards articulated in Character.org’s character framework. Each school is evaluated by a team of trained educators and includes a site visit to assess how a school’s “shared values” are motivating students to do the right thing.

“While Harmony has always been known as a great academic school, a whole-child approach to education that emphasizes both strong minds and strong hearts is critical to our primary goal of helping students lead happy and successful lives long after their time at Harmony,” said Harmony CEO Fatih Ay. “That’s why we put so much focus on character traits like integrity, responsibility, honestly, self discipline, self-respect, community mindedness, and empathy toward others. We are extraordinarily proud of our students, teachers, and school leaders for all their work in achieving National School of Character designation.”

HSA-Cedar Park was one of two Harmony campuses to earn the honor in 2021, along with Harmony School of Science-Houston. Two other Harmony campuses – Harmony School of Innovation-Fort Worth and Harmony School of Innovation-Houston – earned National School of Character honors in 2020. The designation remains active for five years.

The campus was also named an official State School of Character by Character.org in January, along with five others. 

“The educators at these schools model and reinforce the core values of respect and dignity,” said Dr. Arthur Schwartz, President of Character.org. “They are teaching their students to be honest and trustworthy, to contribute their time and talents to the common good, and when necessary, to show the courage to stand up for what is right.” 

Harmony Public Schools is a Texas-born, Texas-wide public charter school system with campuses serving PreK-Grade 12 students in 23 cities across the state, including Greater Houston, DFW, San Antonio, Austin, El Paso, Waco, Lubbock, Odessa, Bryan, Beaumont, and the Rio Grande Valley. Harmony’s curriculum places a heavy focus on STEM skills, Character Education, project-based learning,  and college readiness. 

Harmony Public Schools is currently accepting applications for the 2021-2022 school year for both students and team members.

About Character.org

Founded in 1993, Character.org is a non-profit organization based in Washington, D.C. Our mission is to provide the voice, visibility, and resources for educators to build nurturing and supportive school cultures that focus on core values and character strengths vital to student and school success. Character.org is widely known for its 11 Principles, a comprehensive framework developed by school leaders and character development researchers. During the past 20 years, more than 900 schools and school districts – after an independent and rigorous evaluation process – have been certified a National School of Character. The vision for Character.org is to expand our work to families, sports, and the workplace. Visit www.character.org to learn more. 

About Harmony Public Schools

Harmony Public Schools are 58 high performing PreK-12 college preparatory charter schools throughout Texas. Harmony blends the highest standards and expectations, with a rigorous math- and science-centered curriculum and dedicated and engaged teachers and families to cultivate excellence and prepare students to succeed in college, careers and life. At Harmony Public Schools, we believe every child can succeed, and we are committed to helping them realize their full potential. To learn more about Harmony Public Schools and our 58 campuses across Texas, please visit: www.harmonytx.org, and follow us on Twitter at @HarmonyEdu and ‘Like’ us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/HarmonyTexas.

 

Harmony Public Schools is excited to announce a new partnership with Texas’ favorite designer jewelry brand Kendra Scott.
As part of the brand’s “Shop for Good” community initiative, Kendra Scott will be donating 20 percent of all sales during a two-day event in May to Harmony’s COVID-19 Gap Fund, which supports teachers and student families struggling with financial uncertainty due to COVID-19.

To participate, simply purchase any item from select Kendra Scott stores from 5-7 p.m. Tuesday, May 4 or online at KendraScott.com anytime May 4 & 5, and have 20% of your purchase automatically donated to the HPS COVID-19 Gap Fund when you use promo code “GIVEBACK-1D9P” at checkout.

To learn more or RSVP in order to receive reminders, visit https://www.HarmonyTX.org/KendraScott.
Participating Texas store locations include (5-7 p.m. May 4 only):

AUSTIN
• The Domain: 11506 Century Oaks Terrace, Austin, TX
• Lamar: 3800 N Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX
• South Congress: 1701 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX

DFW
• ClearFork: 5217 Marathon Ave, Fort Worth, TX
• Preston Center: 8383 Preston Center, Dallas, TX
• Highland Village: 1500 Cottonwood Creek, Highland Village, TX
• Plano: 5800 Legacy Dr, Plano, TX

EL PASO
• La Villita: 6801 North Mesa Street, El Paso, TX

HOUSTON
• Bay Brook: 700 Baybrook Mall, Friendswood, TX
• City Centre: 806 Town & Country, Houston, TX
• Cypress: 9945 Barker Cypress, Cypress, TX
• Highland Village: 2701 A Drexel Dr Houston, TX
• Katy: 23501 Cinco Ranch, Katy, TX
• Sugar Land: 16535 Southwest Fwy, Sugar Land, TX

ODESSA
• Commons at North Park: 2900 Loop 250 Frontage Road, Midland, TX

SAN ANTONIO
• The Quarry: 310 E Basse Rd, San Antonio, TX
• La Cantera: 15900 La Cantera Pkwy, San Antonio, TX

SHOP ONLINE USING PROMO CODE GIVEBACK-1D9P (May 4 & 5):
https://www.KendraScott.com

About Kendra Scott
Kendra Scott is a leading jewelry brand named for its founder Kendra Scott, a single mom from Texas who created a fashion empire by making and selling jewelry from her home. The brand now has store locations in almost every state and three countries (though their headquarters are still right here in Texas). Their founder is also well known for her frequent appearances as an investor on TV’s “Shark Tank.”

About Harmony Public Schools
Harmony Public Schools are 58 high performing PreK-12 college preparatory charter schools throughout Texas. Harmony blends the highest standards and expectations, with a rigorous math- and science-centered curriculum and dedicated and engaged teachers and families to cultivate excellence and prepare students to succeed in college, careers and life. At Harmony Public Schools, we believe every child can succeed, and we are committed to helping them realize their full potential. To learn more about Harmony Public Schools and our 58 campuses across Texas, please visit: www.harmonytx.org, and follow us on Twitter at @HarmonyEdu and ‘Like’ us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/HarmonyTexas.

 

Teachers and other staff members of Harmony Public Schools will receive a major upgrade to their employer-paid benefits package after the Harmony Public Schools Executive Board unanimously approved a sweeping new benefits expansion.

 

The package will go into effect later this spring with the start of Harmony’s annual benefits enrollment period, and includes new employer-paid benefits related to health care, retirement, and life insurance.

 

“The past year, the world has seen the true value of our teachers and team members in a way they never have before,” Harmony Public Schools CEO Fatih Ay said. “These professionals who take such good care of our students deserve to know that they are being taken care of, as well – both their immediate needs and their long-term needs. So we are excited to be able to offer them an additional set of benefits that saves them money on their health care costs each month, while also helping them prepare for their retirement down the road.”

 

The new benefits include:

 

MATCHING RETIREMENT CONTRIBUTIONS: Exempt employees can receive 100% matching contribution to employee 403(b) and/or 457(b) plan, up to $1,500 annually depending on tenure of service. This is in addition to employee’s TRS Retirement System Benefits.

 

  • Previously: No employer matching contribution. 

 

FREE VISION: Free vision care for employees.

 

  • Previously: Employee-paid supplemental benefit.

 

FREE DENTAL: Free dental care for employees. 

  • Previously: Employee-paid supplemental benefit.

INCREASED FREE LIFE INSURANCE POLICY: Free $100,000 life insurance policy for all Exempt employees.

 

  • Previously: Free $20,000 life insurance policy.

 

The package amounts to a roughly $2.4 million estimated increase in annual expenditure on employer-paid benefits for the Texas-based school system. However, Harmony Public Schools CEO Fatih Ay said the investment was worth it because of the positive impact on employee quality of life, work-life balance, and workplace satisfaction.

 

“The investments with the best returns are always the investment made in people,” Ay said. “We’ll continue to make these kinds of investments on behalf of our employees as often as we can.” 

 

The expansion was the fourth major announcement related to employee benefits made by Harmony in the past year. The school system also announced two employee bonuses last year, as well as a promise to continue independently offering the now-expired federal COVID-19 leave benefits for impacted employees.

 

For a full list of Harmony Public Schools employer-paid and supplemental benefits, please visit https://www.harmonytx.org/benefits.

 

Harmony Public Schools is a Texas-born, Texas-wide public charter school system with campuses serving PreK-Grade 12 students in 23 cities across the state, including Greater Houston, DFW, San Antonio, Austin, El Paso, Waco, Lubbock, Odessa, Bryan, Beaumont, and the Rio Grande Valley. Harmony’s curriculum places a heavy focus on STEM skills, Character Education, project-based learning, and college readiness. 

 

Harmony Public Schools is currently accepting applications for the 2020-2021 school year for both students and team members.

 

 

About Harmony Public Schools

 

Harmony Public Schools are 58 high performing PreK-12 college preparatory charter schools throughout Texas. Harmony blends the highest standards and expectations, with a rigorous math- and science-centered curriculum and dedicated and engaged teachers and families to cultivate excellence and prepare students to succeed in college, careers and life. At Harmony Public Schools, we believe every child can succeed, and we are committed to helping them realize their full potential. To learn more about Harmony Public Schools and our 58 campuses across Texas, please visit: www.harmonytx.org, and follow us on Twitter at @HarmonyEdu and ‘Like’ us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/HarmonyTexas.

 

Harmony Science Academy-Cedar Park was one of six Harmony campuses named an official State School of Character.

Six campuses from Harmony Public Schools were named official Texas “State Schools of Character” Monday for their outstanding efforts in promoting cultures of character in their schools and communities.

 

The awards were announced Monday by Character.org, a national advocate and leader for character development in schools. 

 

Each year, Character.org certifies schools and districts at the state level that demonstrate a dedicated focus on character development, which the organization says has a positive effect on academic achievement, student behavior and school climate. 

 

Only 15 campuses total in Texas earned the honor. No other school system earned more than three. The six Harmony campuses selected are:

 

  • Harmony Science Academy-Cedar Park
  • Harmony Science Academy-Pflugerville
  • Harmony Science Academy-Garland
  • Harmony School of Endeavor-Houston
  • Harmony School of Science-Houston
  • Harmony School of Innovation-Katy

 

The designations bring Harmony’s total number of active State School of Character designations to eight. Harmony School of Innovation-Fort Worth and Harmony School of Innovation-Houston both received State and National Schools of Character honors in 2020. 

 

“We are tremendously proud of the effort these schools and their leaders put into creating cultures of character each day for their students and team members,” Harmony CEO Fatih Ay said. “Character always has been a critical part of our program at Harmony, because we strongly believe that traits like integrity, empathy, respect, and responsibility play important roles in our students’ ultimate success here at school, at home, and later in college and life beyond.”

 

Nineteen other Harmony campuses received “Honorable Mention” recognition, while another 20 were recognized as “Emerging” campuses. Both distinctions are generally considered precursors to future State School of Character designation. (Full list below.)

 

Each of these schools has put into place a comprehensive, multi-year approach to character education that inspires their students to understand, care about and consistently practice a set of core values that will enable them to flourish in school, in relationships, in the workplace, and as citizens. The schools then underwent a rigorous evaluation process to achieve their certification, documenting how they have implemented character education best practices and structures at each school.

 

“We congratulate these schools on achieving State School of Character designation in a year filled with so many challenges,” said Dr. Arthur Schwartz, Character.org’s President. “The educators and parents at these schools work together to ensure that every child understands, cares about, and consistently practice the core values that form the heart of each family and school.” 

 

Harmony Public Schools is a Texas-born, Texas-wide public charter school system with campuses serving PreK-12 students in 23 cities across the state, including Greater Houston, DFW, San Antonio, Austin, El Paso, Waco, Lubbock, Odessa, Bryan, Beaumont, and the Rio Grande Valley. Harmony’s curriculum places a heavy focus on STEM skills, Character Education, project-based learning, and college readiness. 

 

Harmony is now accepting applications for both students and team members for the 2021-22 school year.

FULL LIST

 

2021 STATE SCHOOL OF CHARACTERS

  • Harmony Science Academy-Cedar Park
  • Harmony Science Academy-Pflugerville
  • Harmony Science Academy-Garland
  • Harmony School of Endeavor-Houston
  • Harmony School of Science-Houston
  • Harmony School of Innovation-Katy
  • *Harmony School of Innovation-Houston (2020 recipient; status active 5 years)
  • *Harmony School of Innovation- Fort Worth (2020 recipient; status active 5 years)

*National School of Character winner 2020

2021 HONORABLE MENTION

  • Harmony School of Science-Austin
  • Harmony School of Excellence-Dallas
  • Harmony School Of Innovation-Garland
  • Harmony Science Academy-Carrollton
  • Harmony Science Academy-Dallas Elementary
  • Harmony Science Academy-Dallas High School
  • Harmony Science Academy-Dallas Middle School
  • Harmony School of Achievement-Houston
  • Harmony School of Advancement-Houston
  • Harmony School of Discovery-Houston
  • Harmony School of Excellence-Houston
  • Harmony Science Academy-Bryan
  • Harmony School of Exploration-Houston
  • Harmony School of Fine Arts and Technology-Houston
  • Harmony School of Ingenuity-Houston
  • Harmony School of Excellence-Sugar Land
  • Harmony School of Innovation-Sugar Land
  • Harmony Science Academy-Beaumont
  • Harmony School of Excellence-Laredo

2021 EMERGING

  • Harmony School of Innovation-Carrollton
  • Harmony School of Innovation-Dallas
  • Harmony School of Innovation-Euless
  • Harmony School of Innovation-Grand Prairie
  • Harmony School of Innovation-Waco
  • Harmony Science Academy-Euless
  • Harmony Science Academy-Fort Worth
  • Harmony Science Academy-Grand Prairie
  • Harmony Science Academy-Plano
  • Harmony Science Academy-Waco
  • Harmony Science Academy-El Paso
  • Harmony School Of Enrichment-Houston
  • Harmony School of Technology Houston
  • Harmony Science Academy-Cypress
  • Harmony Science Academy-Houston
  • Harmony Science Academy-Katy
  • Harmony Science Academy-Sugar Land
  • Harmony School of Innovation-Brownsville
  • Harmony School of Innovation-Laredo
  • Harmony Science Academy-San Antonio

 

About Harmony Public Schools

 

Harmony Public Schools are 58 high performing PreK-12 college preparatory charter schools throughout Texas. Harmony blends the highest standards and expectations, with a rigorous math- and science-centered curriculum and dedicated and engaged teachers and families to cultivate excellence and prepare students to succeed in college, careers and life. At Harmony Public Schools, we believe every child can succeed, and we are committed to helping them realize their full potential. To learn more about Harmony Public Schools and our 58 campuses across Texas, please visit: www.harmonytx.org, and follow us on Twitter at @HarmonyEdu and ‘Like’ us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/HarmonyTexas.

 

 On the first school day after important federal workplace safeguards expired for millions of Americans,  Harmony Public Schools’ Executive Board voted to independently provide the much-needed benefits to its 4,000+ employees.

 

The benefits previously were part of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), a federal program which provided American workers a number of workplace safeguards related to COVID-19. Primarily, the benefits included up to 10 Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL) days if an employee was unable to work due to COVID-19 diagnosis, symptoms, possible exposure, or required quarantine for themselves, a family member, or child care provider. 

Those federal benefits expired December 31, 2020. However, The Harmony Public Schools’ Executive Board voted at an emergency meeting Monday night, January 4, to independently extend the same benefits to employees throughout the remainder of the 2020-21 school year.

 

“The Harmony board felt this action was not only an important thing to do, but the right thing to do for our staff and their families,” Harmony CEO Fatih Ay said in a letter to employees  Tuesday. “By offering these benefits, our team members can know that their jobs and livelihoods will not be impacted if they need to seek treatment for COVID-19 or stay home with possible symptoms. Additionally, our student families also can know that Harmony is doing all it can to take care of the team members who take care of their students, and reduce potential COVID-19 exposure on campus.”

On the first school day after important federal workplace safeguards expired for millions of Americans, Harmony Public Schools’ Executive Board voted to independently provide the much-needed benefits to its 4,000+ employees.

Harmony Public Schools is a Texas-born, Texas-wide public charter school system with campuses serving PreK-12 students in 23 cities across the state, including Greater Houston, DFW, San Antonio, Austin, El Paso, Waco, Lubbock, Odessa, Bryan, Beaumont, and the Rio Grande Valley. Harmony’s curriculum places a heavy focus on STEM skills, Character Education, project-based learning, and college readiness. 

 

The school system has committed to offering both in-person and remote learning options for students throughout the 2020-2021 school year, and is now accepting applications for new students for the 2021-22 school year.

 

About Harmony Public Schools

 

Harmony Public Schools are 58 high performing PreK-12 college preparatory charter schools throughout Texas. Harmony blends the highest standards and expectations, with a rigorous math- and science-centered curriculum and dedicated and engaged teachers and families to cultivate excellence and prepare students to succeed in college, careers and life. At Harmony Public Schools, we believe every child can succeed, and we are committed to helping them realize their full potential. To learn more about Harmony Public Schools and our 58 campuses across Texas, please visit: www.harmonytx.org, and follow us on Twitter at @HarmonyEdu and ‘Like’ us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/HarmonyTexas.

(TEXAS) – On the eve of National Principals Month, the U.S. Department of Education has awarded a $27.8 million Teacher and School Leader Incentive grant to Harmony Public Schools to train, equip, and retain top-level school leaders at its campuses across the state.

This project will strengthen and evolve Harmony’s existing Human Capital Management System, developed through a previous Department of Education grant project (Teacher Incentive Fund, 2016), to more explicitly focus on strengthening instructional leadership by better positioning and supporting current and rising principals and instructional leadership teams to excel and remain in their roles—especially in high-need schools. Harmony has 50 schools designated as high-needs throughout the state.

The project design draws on proven research showing that strong instructional leadership improves educator effectiveness, which, in turn, accelerates growth in student outcomes.

“Great schools require great leadership,” said Harmony CEO Fatih Ay. “That’s why one of our highest priorities at Harmony Public Schools is to equip our principals and other school leaders with the tools they need to build cultures of achievement, character, and community at their campuses.”

Harmony was one of only 13 school systems in the country to receive the DOE grant and the largest of three Texas recipients.

“Great teachers deserve to be treated as the professionals they are and to be compensated accordingly,” U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos said in a statement Wednesday, September 1. “All too often, though, they lack access to relevant professional development courses and are compensated on a step-scale ladder that treats them like cogs in a machine instead of as individuals with unique talents and interests. We’ve challenged today’s awardees to rethink all of that, and they have risen to the challenge.”

The new funding brings the total amount awarded to Harmony by the Department of Education within the past few years to $92.5 million. 

  • In 2012, the DOE awarded Harmony a $30 million Race to the Top grant to support locally developed plans to personalize and deepen student learning, directly improve student achievement and educator effectiveness, close achievement gaps, and prepare every student to succeed in college and their careers.
  • In 2016, the DOE awarded Harmony a $26.7 million Teacher Incentive Fund grant to develop a merit-based system for rewarding its highest-performing teachers. (The system, known as H-STEP, was foundational in Harmony being named to the Texas Education Agency’s inaugural class of Teacher Incentive Allotment districts in Fall 2020.)
  • In 2018, the DOE awarded Harmony an $8 million Education Innovation Research grant to  build upon Harmony’s project-based learning STEM model for Grade 6-12 students by introducing similar curricula to students in Grade K-5, and by creating a system of support and professional development for elementary school teachers.

“Great principals and school leaders, given their unique talents and devotion to their teachers and students, should receive the support they need to continue to be successful,” said U.S. Assistant Secretary of Education for Elementary and Secondary Education Frank Brogan. “Under the Teacher and School Leader Incentive Program, the U.S. Department of Education provides assistance to school districts that are rethinking how to strengthen instructional leadership to make sure principals and leadership teams are well equipped to support their teachers and students. I look forward to seeing how the grant funds are utilized by Harmony Public Schools.”

Harmony Public Schools is a Texas-born, Texas-wide public charter school system with campuses serving PreK-Grade 12 students in 23 cities across the state, including Greater Houston, DFW, San Antonio, Austin, El Paso, Waco, Lubbock, Odessa, Bryan, Beaumont, and the Rio Grande Valley. Harmony’s curriculum places a heavy focus on STEM skills, Character Education, project-based learning, and college readiness. In 2020, Harmony hadall 23 high school campuses named among the Best High Schools in America by U.S. News and World Report, 13 named to the Best STEM High Schools in America by Newsweek, and earned two National School of Character recognitions from Character.org.

Harmony Public Schools is currently accepting applications for the 2020-2021 school year for both students and team members.

 

About Harmony Public Schools

Harmony Public Schools are 58 high performing PreK-12 college preparatory charter schools throughout Texas. Harmony blends the highest standards and expectations, with a rigorous math- and science-centered curriculum and dedicated and engaged teachers and families to cultivate excellence and prepare students to succeed in college, careers and life. At Harmony Public Schools, we believe every child can succeed, and we are committed to helping them realize their full potential. To learn more about Harmony Public Schools and our 58 campuses across Texas, please visit: www.harmonytx.org, and follow us on Twitter at @HarmonyEdu and ‘Like’ us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/HarmonyTexas.

Reading skills are foundational to educational success for all students.

Encouraging students to read more improves their skills and promotes a love of reading they can continue throughout their educational years and into adulthood.

That’s why Harmony Public Schools is hosting a fall Reading Challenge for all students in all campuses.

Join your classmates from across your campus and across the state from Monday, October 5, 2020 though Sunday, January 3, 2021 as together we show our love for reading and discover new and exciting ideas, authors, and stories through our favorite books.

Along the way, we’ll recognize our top readers and campuses each month, share favorite book picks, and ask for your reviews on some of your favorite reads.

The reading challenges by grade are:

Kindergarten – Grade 2
20 Books

Grade 3-5
10 Novels
3 Fiction
3 Nonfiction
1 Poetry
3 Student Choice

Grade 6-8
11 Novels
4 Fiction
4 Nonfiction
1 Poetry
2 Student Choice

Grade 9-12
12 Novels
4 Fiction
4 Nonfiction
1 Poetry
3 Student Choice

Share your favorite reads on social media by tagging Harmony and using the hashtag #HarmonyReads.

Note: This document is intended as a simplified version of our “Harmony Public Schools Back to School Playbook.” For further information or clarification on any topic, please refer to the Playbook.

 

When is the first day of school?

The first day of school for all Harmony campuses is Monday, August 17. It will be held online-only.

 

When will campuses re-open?

As of August 1, 2020, campuses are scheduled to open Tuesday, September 8 for in-person learning to those students who wish to attend in person. Families may also elect to continue learning in a virtual setting from home. 

 

Could the campus reopening date change?

Possibly. Harmony Public Schools is closely following guidance from the Texas Education Agency, public health officials, and others in determining when to reopen our campuses. Our top priority is ensuring the safety of our students, team members, and communities while preserving academic continuity for our learners.

 

Is anything different about online learning this year?

Yes, quite a bit. Harmony has upgraded its online learning by switching to a new system called Schoology. Through Schoology, students will be able to interact and engage with their teachers and peers in real-time throughout the school day to provide and more advanced and enriching school experience. Families will also have full access to grades, progress reports, assignments, classroom learning materials, calendars, and more from within the Schoology platform, providing a simple one-stop-shop for all things related to their student’s learning experience. Students and families will receive more instruction on accessing and logging into Schoology as classes begin.

 

What safety measures will be in place when campuses open?

Harmony is instituting a wide variety of health protocols, which are described in detail in the Harmony “Back to School Playbook 2020-2021.” Among the new measures are:

  • Temperature screenings for students and staff.
  • Requiring all students and employees to wear a mask when on campus or in other group settings. (Students may bring their own mask, or the school will provide them.)
  • Limiting average class sizes to allow for social distancing. (Exact class size will be dependent on number of students attending in-person versus online-only.)
  • Spacing desks at least six feet apart to maintain proper social distancing and/or installing partitions where students cannot be kept six feet apart.
  • Severely limiting classroom rotations/switches to prevent the spread of germs across campus and to limit person-to-person exchanges.
  • Staggered drop off and pickup times to limit person-to-person exchanges.
  • Modified drop off and pickup procedures (ex. Students going directly to class after drop off and/or waiting in classroom at the end of the day until parent arrives for pickup).
  • Requesting all students wash hands frequently.
  • Detailed nightly cleaning by contracted company.
  • Required Coronavirus Awareness & Prevention trainings for all employees.
  • Remaining flexible regarding student and team member absences due to COVID-19, as allowed by TEA guidelines and applicable employment laws.

 

How do I inform my campus that I would like to continue learning from home or return to campus to learn once campuses re-open?

Parents will be sent a survey in Skyward the first week of school asking them to inform the campus of their choice.

 

Once campuses reopen, how do I switch between online and on-campus learning later in the school, if needed?

Parents should notify their campuses in advance through Skyward of their decisions to change learning environments. Failure to notify campuses could result in a student to be marked as absent.

 

What hours of the day will online classes be taught?

Your campus will announce the specific schedule for your student, but generally speaking, classes will be taught online in real-time by their teachers during normal school hours (instructional minutes may vary by grade, according to Texas Education Agency requirements). This is called “synchronous learning.” Students needing to learn outside this timeframe can choose to learn independently. This is called “asynchronous learning.”

 

How will absences and attendance be counted for online learning?

Students who are logged in and learning alongside their teacher and classmates during normal school hours (synchronous learning) will be counted in attendance when they lo in to learn. 

 

Student who learn independently through self-guided instruction (asynchronous learning) will be counted in attendance when they meet daily learning benchmarks and/or turn in daily assignments by no later than 11:59 p.m. on the given schoolday.

 

What will my child need to complete their schoolwork from home? 

At-home learners will need consistent access to a computer and the internet (see next question for more information). Headphones, especially noise-canceling headphones, may be helpful for online learning, but are not required. 

 

Do I still need to buy school supplies from the campus school supply list?

Yes. All students regardless of learning location (i.e. home or campus) will be completing assignments alongside their peers using the supplies listed by their campus.

 

What happens if my child doesn’t have a computer to do their schoolwork on while learning from home?

Harmony will supply a computer device and/or internet access for the purpose of completing schoolwork to any student that does not have consistent access at home. These will be provided beginning the first week of August and distributed by drive-through pickups at your nearby Harmony campus.

 

Will my child have to wear a Harmony uniform for online learning?

Students may choose to wear a uniform if they would like to when learning online, however they are not required to. Instead, they are required to follow the dress code guidelines set forth for “Free Dress Days” set forth in the Student & Parent Handbook. This states:

 

“Garments must be free of holes, tears, inappropriate wording, logos, messages or advertising. No short, skin tight, or legging dresses, or skirts may be worn. All dresses must have sleeves. Students may not wear low cut, midriff-baring, or backless blouses. Students may wear jeans, but they cannot be tight pants including jeggings, tights or skinny style pants. Clothing items must not depict images of violence.”

 

Note: This document is intended as a simplified version of our Harmony Public Schools “Back to School Playbook 2020-2021.” For further information or clarification on any topic, please refer to the Playbook.

 

When will campuses re-open?

As of August 1, 2020, campuses are scheduled to open Tuesday, September 8 for in-person learning to those students who wish to attend in person. Families may also elect to continue learning in a virtual setting from home. 

 

Could the campus reopening date change?

Possibly. Harmony Public Schools is closely following guidance from the Texas Education Agency, public health officials, and others in determining when to reopen our campuses. Our top priority is ensuring the safety of our students, team members, and communities while preserving academic continuity for our learners.

 

What safety measures will be in place when campuses open?

Harmony is instituting a wide variety of health protocols, which are described in detail in “Back to School Playbook 2020-2021.” Among the new measures are:

  • Temperature screenings for students and staff.
  • Requiring all students and employees to wear a mask when on campus or in other group settings. (Students may bring their own mask, or the school will provide them.)
  • Limiting average class sizes to allow for social distancing. (Exact class size will be dependent on number of students attending in-person versus online-only.)
  • Spacing desks at least six feet apart to maintain proper social distancing and/or installing partitions where students cannot be kept six feet apart.
  • Severely limiting classroom rotations/switches to prevent the spread of germs across campus and to limit person-to-person exchanges.
  • Staggered drop off and pickup times to limit person-to-person exchanges.
  • Modified drop off and pickup procedures (ex. Students going directly to class after drop off and/or waiting in classroom at the end of the day until parent arrives for pickup).
  • Requesting all students wash hands frequently.
  • Detailed nightly cleaning by contracted company.
  • Required Coronavirus Awareness & Prevention trainings for all employees.
  • Remaining flexible regarding student and team member absences due to COVID-19, as allowed by TEA guidelines and applicable employment laws.

 

How often will the campus and/or my student’s work station be cleaned and disinfected.

At the end of the day, custodial services will clean and sanitize all desk surfaces including seat, chair back, desk, any dividers if available with soap and water or all-purpose cleaning agents and sanitizers that meet state and local food safety regulations. Staff, including teachers, may also perform more frequent cleanings throughout the day, as needed.

 

What happens if a child or staff member attending school on-campus tests positive for COVID-19, is exposed to someone who is positive, or displays symptoms of COVID-19?

Anyone displaying the signs or symptoms of COVID-19 should follow below self-quarantine policy:

Exposure (confirmed or unconfirmed) or Illness with Positive Testing

The following criteria must be met in FULL:

  • at least three days (72 hours) have passed since recovery (resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications);

  • the individual has improvement in symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath); and

  • at least 14 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.

Exposure (confirmed or unconfirmed) or Illness with Negative Testing or MD Note

If an individual has symptoms of COVID-19 and wants to return to campus before completing the above stay at home period, the following criteria must be met in FULL:

  • Either obtain a medical professional’s note clearing the individual for return based on an alternative diagnosis OR obtain a negative COVID-19 test AND

  • at least three days (72 hours) have passed since recovery (resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications).

  1. Exposure (confirmed or unconfirmed) or Illness with No Testing and No U.S. Based Medical Provider’s Note

The following criteria must be met in FULL:

  • at least three days (72 hours) have passed since recovery (resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications);

  • the individual has improvement in symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath); and

  • at least 14 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.

Readmittance will be granted when the following has been completed:
  1. Proof of negative COVID tests or U.S. based medical provider’s alternative diagnosis delivered to campus health staff or registrar if no health staff is available OR

  2. when all three of the following criteria are met:

  • At least three days (72 hours) have passed since recovery (resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications);

  • The individual has improvement in symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath); and

  • At least 14 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.

For more information on quarantine measures, including requirements for specific scenarios, see the “Back to School Playbook 2020-2021.”

Can parents visit their child at school during the school day?

Harmony is asking parents to limit visits to campus only to necessary appointments which cannot be done through virtual meetings. Harmony requests that all in-person visits be scheduled in advance. All visitors who enter the building will be required to wear a face covering and those who proceed beyond the reception area (pre-arranged and approved appointments) will follow campus guidelines for visitors. 

 

How do I purchase uniforms for the new school year?

Uniforms can be ordered online using the Revtrak online ordering site listed on your campus website. Uniforms will be available to pick up once campuses reopen. Campuses will remain flexible with the enforcement of uniform policies until families are given an appropriate amount of time to order and pick up uniforms. Students will not be required to wear uniforms for online learning.

 

Will drop-off and pick-up change?

Yes. Both drop-off and pick-up times will be staggered to limit potential cross-exposure among persons. 

 

What will lunchtime and breakfast look like?

Lunch will be served in the classrooms, however breakfast may be served either in the classrooms or in the cafeteria based on the number of students attending in-person. If eating in the cafeteria, students will be socially distanced.

Before and after meals or snacks all students and staff will also be able to wash their hands or use hand sanitizer.

Can I eat lunch with my child on campus?

At this time, due to COVID-19, parents and visitors will not be permitted to visit students during mealtimes.

Can I bring lunch to my child on campus?

Parents bringing food during the school day is prohibited.  Students who forget their lunch will be provided a school meal. 

Note: This document is intended as a simplified version of our Harmony Public Schools “Back to School Playbook 2020-2021.” For further information or clarification on any topic, please refer to the Playbook.

 

What do I need to learn from home?

Students will need access to a computer device and the internet to complete schoolwork from home. Students without consistent access to either may receive them from their Harmony campus. Campuses will begin distributing them via drive-through pick-ups starting the first week of August. Additionally, students may find that headphones, especially noise-canceling headphones, are helpful for online learning, however they are not required.

 

Will I need to shop for school supplies?

Yes. All students regardless of learning location (i.e. home or campus) will be completing assignments alongside their peers using the supplies listed by their campus.

 

Is anything different about online learning this year?

Yes, quite a bit. Harmony has upgraded its online learning by switching to a new system called Schoology. Through Schoology, students will be able to interact and engage with their teachers and peers in real-time throughout the school day to provide and more advanced and enriching school experience. Families will also have full access to grades, progress reports, assignments, classroom learning materials, calendars, and more from within the Schoology platform, providing a simple one-stop-shop for all things related to their student’s learning experience. Students and families will receive more instruction on accessing and logging into Schoology as classes begin.

 

Will online learners be taught differently than on-campus learners?

No. All students will be taught using the same material and at the same pace by the same Harmony teacher. In most cases, online learners will be taught simultaneously alongside their on-campus peers, unless the student is taking part in asynchronous learning (i.e independent learning outside normal school hours).

 

How will grades be calculated?

Grades will be counted on the traditional 0-100 scale. The “pass/fail” grading system that was implemented out of necessity during the Spring 2020 semester will not be used.

 

What hours of the day will online classes be taught?

Your campus will announce the specific schedule for your student, but generally speaking, classes will be taught online in real-time by their teachers during normal school hours (instructional minutes may vary by grade, according to Texas Education Agency requirements). This is called “synchronous learning.” A sample schedule can be found in the Harmony “Back to School Playbook 2020-2021.” Students needing to learn outside this timeframe can choose to learn independently. This is called “asynchronous learning.”

 

What rules or expectations are there for online learners?

Synchronous online learners will be asked to comply with the following rules:

  • Student’s camera must be on during class time.
  • Student should maintain school-appropriate behavior.
  • Student should be dressed appropriately. (shirt, school shirt, jeans or khakis are OK).
  • Only the student may be visible (no friends or siblings).
  • Student’s microphone should be off unless instructed by a teacher (this prevents background noise).
  • Students are expected to interact through the Zoom chat function.
  • Students must show up on time.
  • Students must use appropriate and respectful language at all times.
  • Students are asked to use tools such as “raising your hand” (available in Zoom) and the chat feature if you have a question or want to answer a question.
  • Student should remove distractions, such as going where there’s less background noise and turning off your phone.
  • Student should use headphones, if possible, for increased privacy and better speaker and microphone quality.
  • Students should have all required materials for class (books, paper, markers, etc..) nearby before the session begins.
  • Students should be prepared to be called on to answer a question or participate in a discussion or activity at any time.

 

How will absences and attendance be counted for online learning?

Students who are logged in and learning alongside their teacher and classmates during normal school hours (synchronous learning) will be counted in attendance when they lo in to learn. 

 

Student who learn independently through self-guided instruction (asynchronous learning) will be counted in attendance when they meet daily learning benchmarks and/or turn in daily assignments by no later than 11:59 p.m. on the given schoolday.

 

What happens if my child doesn’t have a computer to do their schoolwork on while learning from home?

Harmony will supply a computer device and/or internet access for the purpose of completing schoolwork to any student that does not have consistent access at home. These will be provided beginning the first week of August and distributed by drive-through pickups at your nearby Harmony campus.

 

Will my child have to wear a Harmony uniform for online learning?

Students may choose to wear a uniform if they would like to when learning online, however they are not required to. Instead, they are required to follow the dress code guidelines set forth for “Free Dress Days” set forth in the Student & Parent Handbook. This states:

 

“Garments must be free of holes, tears, inappropriate wording, logos, messages or advertising. No short, skin tight, or legging dresses, or skirts may be worn. All dresses must have sleeves. Students may not wear low cut, midriff-baring, or backless blouses. Students may wear jeans, but they cannot be tight pants including jeggings, tights or skinny style pants. Clothing items must not depict images of violence.”

 

Families have enough to concentrate on these days without having to worry if their child has the tools they need to complete their schoolwork.

If your child doesn’t have consistent access to a computer device or the internet to complete schoolwork during virtual learning, Harmony Public Schools is here to help.

Beginning the first week of August, Harmony campuses across the state will be offering drive-by technology pickup days where families can pick up free computer devices and internet access solutions (ex. WiFi hot spot) for students to use to complete virtual learning during the 2020-2021 school year.

Last spring, about 4,000 Harmony students took advantage of our device-lending program, or about 1-in-every-8 students.

Through these devices, students and families will be able to access Harmony’s new learning management program Schoology. Through Schoology, students will be able to interact with both teachers and peers in a more in-depth, interactive learning experience that includes both live and on-demand classes, academic tutoring, interventions services, parent-teacher conferencing, and even extracurricular activities.

Families will also have full access to grading, assignments, schedules, progress reports, and messaging with Schoology, placing all a family’s educational tools in one easy-to-use program.

Best of all, when the time to return to campus comes, the student’s Schoology account will follow them back to campus, easing the transition for students, families, and teachers.

To find out when your campus will host its technology pickup day, follow them on Facebook.

To learn more about Harmony’s 2020-2021 reopening plan, visit https://www.HarmonyTX.org/ReOpening.