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Harmony Times News

Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) announcement

In accordance with the Texas State Plan for the Education of Gifted/Talented students, Harmony Public Schools will begin taking referrals for all interested students in grades K-12 for Gifted and Talented (G/T) screening.
Anyone interested in the educational welfare of these students may nominate them for assessment. Students in grades 1 & up who were tested in Fall 2021 are not eligible to test in Spring 2022. Referral forms are available at the front office and on the school’s website (see below).
The referral forms must be returned or emailed to the front office by January 31, 2022. The Spring GT testing window is set by the campus in February or March. Campuses may elect to use NWEA MAP scores as a prescreening criterion for GT Testing.
For more information about the screening and identification process, parents may contact the school’s GT Coach/teacher.
De acuerdo con el Plan Estatal de Texas para la Educación de Estudiantes Dotados / Talentosos, Harmony Public Schools comenzará a tomar referencias para todos los estudiantes interesados en los grados K-12 para la evaluación de estudiantes dotados y talentosos.
Cualquier persona interesada en el bienestar educativo de estos estudiantes puede nominarlos para dicha evaluación. Los estudiantes en los grados 2 y superiores que fueron evaluados en el otoño de 2020 no son elegibles para la prueba en la primavera de 2021. Los formularios de referencia están disponibles en la oficina y en el sitio web de la escuela.
Los formularios de referencia deben devolverse a la oficina de la escuela antes del lunes 31 de enero del 2022.
Para obtener más información sobre el proceso de selección e identificación, los padres pueden comunicarse con el entrenador / maestro de GT de la escuela..
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Coronavirus Harmony Times News

Harmony Public Schools expands COVID-19 leave benefits for all regular employees

TEXAS – The Harmony Public Schools Executive Board unanimously approved a resolution December 11 to expand COVID-19 leave benefits for all 4,000+ regular employees.

The expansion provides employees a total of 10 workdays (80 work hours) of paid sick leave for the 2021-22 school year  if they need to stay home after testing positive for COVID-19, or have been asked to quarantine due to  close contact with another COVID-19 positive individual.

The benefit was initially approved by the Harmony board for the Fall 2021 semester in August, before being extended to the full year this past weekend.

Throughout the pandemic, Harmony has worked to provide team members a variety of additional benefits and support resources, including:

  • $4,000-$7,500 compensation increases for all full-time employees (June 2021)
  • $1-2 hourly wage increase for all hourly employees (June 2021)
  • Sweeping upgrade of employer-paid health benefits, including free vision, free dental, matching retirement contributions for 403(b) and 457(b) participants, and increased life insurance payouts from $20,000 to $100,000. (January 2021)
  • Harmony-funded expansion of expired federal COVID leave benefits (January 2021, August 2021, December 2021)
  • Three separate employee bonuses (May 2020, December 2020, May 2021)

Harmony has also provided hundreds of COVID-19 vaccinations to employees and students at its ongoing campus vaccine clinics. 

Harmony Public Schools is a Texas-born, Texas-wide public charter school system with 60 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.

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Harmony Times News

All seven Harmony Public Schools districts receive A+ ‘Superior’ ratings from TEA on FIRST financial accountability rating

 All seven Harmony Public Schools districts received “Superior” A+ scores from the Texas Educational Agency on the agency’s annual FIRST financial accountability ratings, the TEA announced.

Created by the 77th Texas Legislature in 2001, the School Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas (FIRST) is designed to encourage public schools to better manage their financial resources to provide the maximum allocation possible for direct instructional purposes.

The FIRST ratings are calculated using 15 financial indicators, such as administrative cost expenditures; the accuracy of a district or charter’s financial information submitted to TEA; and any financial vulnerabilities or material weaknesses in internal controls as determined by an external auditor.

Harmony’s district-by-district scores are:

  • Harmony Public Schools-Central Texas (Austin, Pflugerville, Cedar Park): 100
  • Harmony Public Schools-Houston North (Houston, Bryan): 100
  • Harmony Public Schools-Houston South (Houston): 96
  • Harmony Public Schools-West Houston (Houston, Katy, Sugar Land, Beaumont): 100
  • Harmony Public Schools-North Texas Greater DFW, Waco): 96
  • Harmony Public Schools-South Texas (San Antonio, Laredo, Brownsville): 100
  • Harmony Public Schools-West Texas (El Paso, Lubbock, Odessa): 98

To ensure effective, efficient and ethical use of all public funds entrusted to it, Harmony practices a number of financial safeguards as part of its regular operations. Among these are regular independent financial audits from third-party accounting firms and regular participation in its purchasing process from the Texas Association of School Business Officials (TASBO), who previously awarded Harmony its Award of Merit for Purchasing Operations.

Harmony Public Schools is a Texas-born, Texas-wide public charter school system with 60 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 2022-2023 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.

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Harmony Times News

STEM comes to life at Harmony Public Schools thanks to BMX pro bike rider turned teacher

Omari Hashim Cato, 5th grade E.L.A teacher for Harmony School of Endeavor, ramps up education BMX (Bicycle Motocross) style.
Omari Hashim Cato, 5th grade E.L.A teacher for Harmony School of Endeavor, ramps up education BMX (Bicycle Motocross) style.

Omari Hashim Cato, 5th grade E.L.A teacher for Harmony School of Endeavor, ramps up education BMX (Bicycle Motocross) style. Cato has been riding bicycles his entire life, and began riding competitively 10 years ago under the discipline Flatland BMX; a form of BMX that requires no ramps nor obstacles, “just you and the bike.” 

As his passion for bicycles grew, so did his skillset and interest in sharing his experiences with his students. He took an interest in becoming a talented bicycle mechanic, and began racing in Track and Road cycling categories. Over time his accolades grew, becoming a Shimano certified technician, competing in the Pro class in Flatland BMX while reaching Category 3 level of competition within the racing world. 

APPLY TO HARMONY: Be a part of our 2022-23 class

After participating in numerous competitions across the globe, Cato is now arguably one of the most skilled Flatland BMX riders in the nation as one of the top BMX Flatland riders in the world. 

While on this journey something constantly nagged Cato until he realized the lack of education and access to bicycles in the nation and my community. Many children enjoy riding bicycles yet few know how to maintain nor know the endless possibilities that they have to offer. In 2016, he set out to solve this problem through a program he created called, Zin cycles. 

RELATED: What is a charter school? The difference between ISD schools and Texas public charter schools

The service serves as a mini bike shop at a local community center where he’s taught various students how to ride, fix and maintain bicycles. “While I love the teaching profession, my biggest passion is for bicycles and their ability to transform lives.”

Since the inception of his program, Cato has expanded his talents to beginning a BMX Bike Club at Harmony School of Enrichment and Endeavor. He even shows students how to race their beloved bicycles while serving his community. With this program and his love of helping kids and the community, it directly led him into the classroom and his community both inside and out of Harmony.

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Harmony Times News

Re-enrollment is January 4-28 for 2022-23 at Harmony Public Schools

Re-Enrollment for current Harmony families who plan to return next school year is January 4-28, 2022.

Re-Enrollment for the 2022-2023 school year for Harmony families begins soon.

During this time of year each January, we ask families to complete a simple, online Re-Enrollment process, letting us know they’ll be joining us for another great year of learning and fun next school year, which starts in August 2022.

This simple step allows us to make sure each current student’s spot at Harmony is reserved for the following school year, and assess how many new student seats we have available for other applicants.

Re-Enrollment at Harmony Public Schools runs January 4-28, 2022. Look for more details in your email inbox, via Skyward, or on our Facebook page soon.

In the meantime, check out these 6 things families need to know about Re-Enrollment at Harmony Public Schools.

#1 – When is Re-Enrollment season?

For the 2022-2023 school year, re-enrollment will be January 4-28, 2022.

#2 – How do I apply for Re-Enrollment?

The preferred method for re-enrollment is through the student’s online Skyward account. (A link to Skyward can be found at the top of your campus homepage or you can simply click here.). Parents without internet and/or Skyward access may also request a paper re-enrollment option from their child’s campus.

#3 – What is the difference between Re-Enrollment and Open Enrollment?

Re-enrollment is intended for current Harmony students planning to stay at their current campus the following school year, or who will naturally feed upward to a new campus (e. from elementary to nearby middle school). Open Enrollment is for new students, or current students who wish to change Harmony campuses for personal reasons (ex. transferring to a campus closer to home).

#4 – If a student plans to stay at the same school next year, are they automatically guaranteed re-enrollment if they complete the re-enrollment process before the deadline?

Yes, so long as their family completes the re-enrollment process.

#5 – What happens if a parent does not submit their re-enrollment information before the deadline?

If a parent misses the deadline to complete the re-enrollment process, then the student will lose his/her reserved space for next school year and must apply during Open Enrollment, held November 1-February 10 each school year. To apply, visit www.HarmonyTX.org/Apply.

#6 – What does a Harmony parent need to do if they would like to stay with Harmony, but transfer to a different campus for the next school year?

If a parent would like to change Harmony campuses for the following school year, they must submit an application for the desired school at www.HarmonyTX.org/Apply.

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Harmony Times

Harmony supports students of all needs with a variety of special programs

Harmony Pubic Schools continues to identify, locate, and evaluate students with special needs and learning abilities, regardless of the severity, demand and additional related services. HPS currently provides 3,200 students with special programming

Special Programs support students from all need categories in gaining college and career readiness, and independent living skills through active engagement in grade level curriculum.

Areas of Special Needs Serviced in HPS:

  • Autism (AU)
  • Deaf/Hard of Hearing (DHH) formerly Auditory Impairment
  • Deaf-Blind (DB)
  • Emotional Disturbance (ED)
  • Intellectual Disability (ID)
  • Multiple Disabilities (MD)
  • Noncategorical Early Childhood (NCEC)
  • Orthopedic Impairment (OI)
  • Other Health Impairment (OHI)
  • Specific Learning Disability (SLD)
  • Speech Impairment (SI)
  • Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
  • Visual Impairment (VI)
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Harmony Times

4 ways to support Harmony Public Schools

Harmony students and staff benefit each day from the generous support of volunteers and benefactors. Whether your interest is in helping out with a fun campus event, public speaking, serving as a mentor for young scholars, or providing financial assistance through scholarships or other gifts of giving, there are a number of ways to get involved and make a difference in a Harmony campus near you.

Become a Partner in Education

Harmony’s Partners in Education Program (PairEd) is one of the best ways to make a direct impact on a classroom in your community. Partners can choose from a wide variety of one-time or ongoing service opportunities that fit their unique background or interests. Partnership opportunities include speaking opportunities, financial or food assistance for students in need, volunteering at school events (ex. fall festival) and a whole lot more.

For more information or to view partner opportunities in your community, visit https://www.harmonytx.org/community-partners/.

For other community partnership opportunities, please contact HPS Chief Public Relations Officer Kaan Camuz at kcamuz@harmonytx.org.

Support the Harmony College Fund

Roughly two-thirds of Harmony’s graduating seniors become the first in their family’s history to attend college. To continue supporting these extraordinary alumni, HPS has created the Harmony College Fund, which provides scholarships, mentorships, networking, and career-readiness opportunities for former Harmony students attending college at dozens of universities around the state. 

To learn more of donate, visit www.HarmonyTX.org/HCF.

Give to a Capital Campaign

Harmony Public Schools is expanding across Texas, bringing more exciting and engaging educational opportunities to new communities throughout the state. To support our campus expansion initiative or learn more about our strategic vision for bringing Harmony’s nationally-recognized education model to students near you, please contact HPS Chief Development Officer Dr. Gina Gregory at ggregory@harmonytx.org.

Donate to Harmony Gives

Harmony Gives is a compassion project from Harmony Public Schools which provides extra assistance and resources to students and families struggling with a variety of personal or family crises that fall outside the traditional school support model. Harmony Gives puts the power to help in the hands of donors, with donation amounts starting as little as $10. And by choosing to donate to either the Harmony Gives general fund or a specific Harmony campus, donors can either share their gift with students from across Texas, or with those right in their own neighborhood.

For more information or to donate, visit www.HarmonyTX.org/HarmonyGives

For large donations or corporate gifts, please contact HPS Chief Development Officer Dr. Gina Gregory at ggregory@harmonytx.org.

 

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Harmony Times News

Harmony offers free online tutoring for all students through TutorMe

 

If your student is struggling in a subject, or just has a question about tonight’s homework assignment, Harmony Public Schools has a solution.

Harmony is proud to now offer free tutoring 24/7 with TutorMe.

Through TutorMe, students in Grades 3-12 have free, 24/7 online access to verified experts in more than 300 fields.

Check out the video below to learn more, or look for the TutorMe option inside Clever in your family’s MyHarmony Portal account.

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Harmony Times News

What is a charter school? The difference between ISD schools and Texas public charter schools

Charter Schools and ISD Schools - Understanding how they're similar and how they're different.

One of the questions we hear most from prospective parents interested in applying to Harmony Public Schools is “I’ve been looking at schools near me, but I don’t understand – what is the difference between a charter school and an ISD public school?” 

Texas public charter schools have grown exponentially in the past 25 years – both in Texas, and around the country – but we understand why many parents who grew up in a traditional independent school district setting themselves may still have questions.

That’s OK. We’ve got the answers to all of your biggest questions about charter schools.

So, what exactly is a charter school?

A charter school is a public school, and in many ways very similar to a traditional ISD school as you might think of one.

  • Charter schools do not charge tuition or application fees.
  • Charter schools accept every student who applies, as long as the school or grade level has not reached its enrollment capacity.
  • Charter school students take the same core classes and state tests (ex. STAAR) as ISD students. 
  • Charter schools are held to strict standards of financial and overall accountability by the Texas Education Agency.
  • Charter schools offer a full range of special services, including special education, English as a Second Language (ESL), Dyslexia, and 504. 

However, what makes charter schools different is what makes us special. In a word, that difference is “choice.”

Way back in 1995, the Texas State Legislature decided that even though there are a lot of great schools in Texas, a one-size-fits-all approach to education wasn’t working for all families. Each child is unique: some with special gifts, others with special challenges, and all with special dreams for their futures.

To help better serve every Texas student, the Texas public charter school system was created to allow independent, education-based nonprofit organizations called Charter Management Organizations (CMOs) to open and operate free public schools for Texas students with the promise that they would provide a new school choice in education for local Texas families.

For some charter schools, that new choice might be a curriculum that focuses on dual-language learning. For others, it might be helping students who have dropped out of the traditional school setting reclaim their path to graduation.

At Harmony Public Schools, we specialize in hands-on, project-based learning with a heavy emphasis on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), as well as advanced college preparedness and character education.


DID YOU KNOW?

Of the roughly 100 schools in Texas certified as official Texas STEM Academies be the Texas Education Agency, 23 are Harmony Public Schools high schools – more than any other school system in Texas!

Thirteen Harmony high schools have also been named among the Best STEM High Schools in the U.S. by Newsweek.


 

Who can attend a charter school?

As long as a student lives within its geographic boundaries of the school, any child can attend a Texas public charter school. However, unlike traditional ISD schools where students usually must attend whichever nearby campus they are “zoned” to, public charter school geographic boundaries are generally very large – often covering multiple communities or counties. These large geographic boundaries are another way Texas public charter schools offer Texas families a choice in their student’s education, and are unique from traditional ISDs. For example, rather than sending their child to an ISD campus near their home address, a parent may prefer for their child to attend one near a grandparent’s home, or the parent’s place of work. Or they may prefer to send their child to a campus that specializes in a specific curriculum, like STEM, or with a higher TEA accountability rating than their neighborhood ISD school. All of these are options with Texas public charter schools.

Do public charter schools charge tuition?

Texas public charter schools are free to attend. Applying to a Texas public charter school is also free.

When and how can a student apply to a charter school?

A student can apply to a charter school at any time during the school year and be accepted if space is available. However, most Texas public charter schools also offer an open enrollment period each year specifically for prospective new students. During this time, families can learn more about their charter school options and enter their name for the enrollment lottery, which is held in the event there are more applicants than available seats. For Harmony Public Schools, open enrollment runs each November 1 through February 10. 

MORE INFO: Learn more about how to apply to Harmony Public Schools.

How is a charter school funded?

As opposed to a traditional ISD school, which receives its funding primarily from the taxes local homeowners pay each year combined with additional funding from the state, charter schools receive their primary funding from the state and federal governments. Additionally, charters often receive both public and private grants to fund many of their innovative academic programs. For example, in recent years Harmony Public Schools has received grants of varying amounts from the U.S. Department of Education, the Texas Education Agency, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, and the Elon Musk Foundation, among others.

Are Texas public charter schools for-profit?

No. By law, Texas public charter schools must be nonprofit entities. All funds received are used in the service of our students and school teams.

Do charter schools require uniforms?

That’s a decision that’s up to each charter school. At Harmony Public Schools, we do have a uniform policy. (Our students do get regular “free dress” days, though.)

Do charter schools offer the same types of programs and extracurricular activities as ISD schools?

Charter schools offer almost all of the same programs and extracurricular activities as ISD schools, though just like at an ISD school, the exact selection of extracurricular opportunities varies from campus-to-campus. Traditionally, charter schools specialize in offering a wide variety of academic-focused extracurriculars. For example, at Harmony Public Schools, some of our most popular extracurricular activities are our groundbreaking eSports clubs, LEGO robotics, rocketry, computer coding, and biomedicine. Our schools also compete in a wide variety of sports, including basketball, volleyball, soccer, and football. 

What other differences are there between charter schools and traditional ISD schools?

There are a few other differences between Texas public charter schools and ISDs, but most don’t impact the day-to-day campus life of our students. For example, charter school boards consist of appointed volunteers with a unique interest in education, rather than private individuals who have chosen to run for election.


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News

Now Hiring: Computer Teacher

Computer Teacher 

Job Duties:

Prepare appropriate curriculum and annual plan to submit to the administration for approval. Teach secondary school students in the subject of Computer; apply the curriculum as prepared and approved; keep attendance records; assign lessons; administer tests to evaluate students’ progress; and maintain discipline in the classroom. Create lesson plans, correct homework, and evaluate teacher-made tests. Prepare tests to evaluate students’ progress, record the results, and issue reports to inform parents of progress. Contact parents to offer positive reinforcement regarding social and academic achievements the students make.

Requirements:

Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, Computer Engineering, or related field and 1 year of experience as Computer Teacher at middle or high school level. Teaching experience must be full-time as a teacher of record (not substitute) at general education setting (not special population).

How to Apply:

Mail resumes to: 

Refer to Ad#MI

Attn: HR Dept

Harmony Public Schools

9321 W Sam Houston Pkwy S

Houston, TX 77099