DISTRICT WELLNESS PLAN MEETING INFORMATION:

HPS DFW/WACO DISTRICT WELLNESS PLAN COMMITTEE MEETING & TRIENNIAL ASSESSMENT
We invite all parents, students, staff, and other community stakeholders to attend Harmony Public
Schools-DFW/Waco District Wellness Plan Committee meeting and triennial assessment. The meeting
will be held virtually on May 12th from 4:00 pm-5:30 pm. We will review our current District Wellness Plan
(located on the website of each campus) in regards to nutrition education, Smart Snack Guidelines,
fundraisers, exemption days, classroom parties, etc. as well as complete our triennial assessment as to
how well the policies indicated in the wellness plan were implemented. If you are interested in joining,
please register at the link below. We look forward to your attendance. For questions or additional
information, please contact Linda Moore at LMoore@harmonytx.org.

Register in advance for this meeting:
https://harmonytx.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZEkf-mgqj4sE9Jn2jfOfiUvKIxu_eRGE4uu
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the
meeting.

 

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.

 

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Meal Distribution Letter

Dear HSI-Waco Family,

Due to the anticipated inclement weather, all HSI-Waco teachers, and students will attend classes virtually tomorrow, Thursday, February 11th.

Please stay safe and warm!

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.

 

January Meal Distribution Letter

 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.

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1g3Bz-EpY-qI-XaE3wgkdirZVuj0muE9Q

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSc2NvX8WTC1fkUR_sR9g0mc-nmKWc3YlvgjRN6UAkgSqfJvoA/viewform?gxids=7628

(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.

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.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/13mwQBXPBZfSgpymKsyUHiC-0ZKF6Pg2X/view?usp=sharing

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1wOnTlGJkEAv6MECNNlPhl-LyTfmTE17P/view?usp=sharing

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, September 21, 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
12 Novels
4 Fiction
4 Nonfiction
1 Poetry
3 Student Choice

Grade 9-12
14 Novels
5 Fiction
4 Nonfiction
1 Poetry
4 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.”