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.

 

 

Cedar Park Flyer

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 HPS Central Texas District will be hosting a District Safety Meeting for the 2021-2022 school year.

If interested, please join the zoom link at 9:00 A.M. on Thursday, July 22, 2021.

 

 

flyer-texasassessment

 

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.

 

DEAR PARENTS:

Here at Harmony Science Academy Cedar Park, we are continually looking for ways to keep parents up to date and involved. Please complete this survey so that we can continue to meet your needs.

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/KXCYQJ9

Join us for an Esports Showcase featuring a live stream match against Harmony Science Academy – Pflugerville Varsity Rocket League team and Concordia University Esports team.

This exhibition event will be broadcasted on twitch.tv channel.

Follow the link to watch live – https://www.twitch.tv/ctxesports

The purpose of this announcement is to inform our HPS communities about changes to the Student Success Initiative (SSI) promotion/retention and retesting requirements for the 2020–2021 school year. In light of past and anticipated impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Commissioner of Education has waived grade promotion requirements for students in fifth and eighth grade for the 2020–2021 school year. Notwithstanding anything the contrary in prior policy or procedure, Harmony Public Schools will comply with the Commissioner’s waiver of SSI requirements for this school year.

For additional information, please click on this link to review TEA’s correspondence in regards to the matter: Waiver of the Student Success Initiative (SSI) Promotion Requirements)