Categories
Coronavirus Harmony Times News

An important COVID-19 update from Harmony Public Schools CEO Fatih Ay

The following is a message from Harmony Public Schools CEO Fatih Ay.

 

Dear Harmony Families,

Like many of you, we at Harmony Public Schools are greatly concerned by the rise in COVID-19 cases attributed to the Delta variant.

At Harmony, we are working diligently to keep our schools safe and provide families the tools they need to keep their child protected from COVID-19.

Today, we would like to share with you several important updates regarding Harmony’s COVID-19 policy and procedures.

First, we would like to announce that we will be offering a TEA-approved “remote conferencing” option that will allow students a limited ability to attend classes from home if they are sick, have been exposed to COVID-19, or in a COVID-19 high-risk group.

Per TEA requirement, the total amount of time for remote instruction may not exceed more than 20 instructional days for the entire 2021-22 school year. In order to be eligible, students must meet one of the criteria below:

  • The student is unable to attend school because of a temporary medical condition that is documented by a physician licensed to practice in the United States. 
    • The student’s healthcare provider is required to complete and sign an HPS COVID-19 High Risk Exemption Medical Certification form. Parents need to submit the form to the school health aide to confirm eligibility.  Failure to provide the completed form will disqualify a student from participating. Here is the link to download exemption application form: https://www.HarmonyTX.org/medicalrequest
  • The student has a positive test result for a communicable condition  listed in state regulations at 25 Tex. Admin. Code §97.7. Parents need to provide test results to the school health aide listing the communicable condition. This includes a positive test result for COVID-19.
  • The student has been identified as having been in close contact with a COVID-19 positive individual as confirmed by the school, the student’s health care provider, or local health agency.  Parents need to provide written notification or send email to the school health aide.

Next, we would like to share an update regarding contact tracing and reporting of potential COVID-19 cases on campus. 

Although it is not required for schools to conduct contract tracing and inform parents if someone in their child’s class had tested positive for COVID-19, we believe families have the right to know what is happening at their child’s school. That’s why we will continue to implement the following measures.

We will:

  • Inform parents if a child or team member tests positive for COVID-19 in their classroom.
  • Conduct contact tracing to determine the potential spread of COVID-19 in our schools.
  • Provide transparency to the public about our schools by continuing to update our COVID-19 “case count” dashboard, which can be found at www.HarmonyTX.org/coviddashboard.
  • Continue to work with local pharmacies and community health organizations to host on-campus vaccination clinics for team members and eligible students age 12 and older. (Please follow your campus Facebook page and parents newsletter for more info about upcoming campus clinics near you.)

Finally, we understand that a full remote learning option is something some of our families are highly interested in.  Currently, state leaders in the Texas Legislature are convening in Austin to vote on whether they will allow districts to offer full virtual learning.

We don’t yet know what the decision of the Texas Legislature will be, or how long it may take to reach that decision.

 What we do know is that an option for virtual learning is an important issue to our Harmony families across the state. That’s why, despite the challenges schools across Texas have faced in offering virtual learning this fall, we are fully prepared to quickly move to a virtual option for those families interested, should state leaders approve this option.

We will continue to keep you updated as new developments occur.

Thank you for your support and collaboration throughout this process, and for being a part of our Harmony family.

Sincerely,

Fatih Ay | CEO, Harmony Public Schools
Categories
Coronavirus Harmony Times News Reopening Page

FAQ: Back to School 2021-22 at Harmony Public Schools

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.

 

 

Categories
Coronavirus Harmony Times News

Harmony extends expired federal COVID-19 benefits for all employees

 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.

Categories
Coronavirus Harmony Times News Reopening Page

Harmony Public Schools Reopening FAQ: Restart & Reopening Basics

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.”

 

Categories
Coronavirus Harmony Times News Reopening Page

Harmony Public Schools Reopening FAQ: Operations & Health

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. 

Categories
Coronavirus Harmony Times News Reopening Page

Harmony Public Schools Reopening FAQ: Academics

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.”

 

Categories
Coronavirus Harmony Times News Reopening Page

Need a computer for virtual learning? Harmony can help

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.

Categories
Coronavirus Harmony Times News Reopening Page

Announcement of school re-opening plan for Harmony Public Schools

At Harmony Public Schools, our top priorities are the health and safety of our students and staff, as well as the academic and developmental growth of our scholars.

In response to the continued spread of COVID-19 in the communities which we proudly serve, Harmony Public Schools is announcing the following revised plan for the start of the 2020-21 school year.

 

THE BASICS

Students at all HPS campuses statewide will start the academic year on Monday, August 17 in an online-only setting. Classes will continue online-only until at least Tuesday, September 8. During these three weeks, you will receive a survey asking your family to choose the option of either continuing classes online only, or returning to campus for in-person learning after Labor Day, if possible. Harmony will announce no later than the first week of September whether there is a need to extend online-only learning further, or if families who have opted for on-campus learning may return for in-person instruction. Students who opted for at-home learning will continue to learn remotely throughout the remainder of the school year, unless they notify their campus of a change request through Skyward.

All HPS staff will continue to work remotely while campuses are closed, unless a specific and essential job function requires their presence on campus or at an administrative office.

HARMONY SCHOOL START PLAN for 2020-'21

REASON FOR CHANGE

The primary purpose of these changes is to provide a safe educational environment for both our students and staff members, as well as to comply with local ordinances in many of our Harmony communities which specifically prohibit in-person schooling until after Labor Day.

SUPERIOR NEW ONLINE LEARNING SYSTEM, FEATURING ENHANCED STUDENT ENGAGEMENT OPPORTUNITIES & EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES

Accelerating your child’s education – even when learning from home – is one of our core missions. That’s why we’ve spent the summer completely revamping our online learning system to create a more interactive learning environment that’s easier to use for families, better connects students to their teachers and classmates, and – most importantly – promotes academic growth even while our campuses are closed.

 

With our new Schoology learning management system, students attending classes online will experience a robust academic experience with more one-to-one engagement with teachers through live classroom sessions, regular online office hours, as well as academic tutorial sessions, and intervention services for students who need them.

 

Students also will enjoy options for at-home, online extracurricular activities — including club activities, and both e-sports and academic competitions — that will allow them to stay connected with their classmates online, even if they can’t be together in person.

 

Parents will have full access to instructional materials, assignments, grading, calendars, student progress updates, and parent messaging in one simple platform.

 

Best of all, when it’s time for your student to return to campus, the Schoology system will follow them seamlessly back to campus, making the transition easier for both your student and your family.

 

Harmony teachers have spent their summers learning the intricacies of Schoology and will be prepared to incorporate it into their learning beginning on the first day of class.

 

 

 

 

STUDENTS NEEDING COMPUTER DEVICE OR INTERNET ACCESS

For the purpose of completing schoolwork, Harmony Public Schools will provide computer devices and/or internet access by request to those students without access at home. Each campus will have a drive-by pickup option for computer and WiFi access in early August. For more information, please contact your Harmony campus.

 

MEAL SERVICES
Free meal services will continue to be provided beginning the first day of school. Please contact your campus or follow them on Facebook to learn more about meal pickup dates, times, and locations.

 

 

ATTENDANCE FOR AT-HOME LEARNERS

A daily digital attendance record will be taken for all students learning from home, according to Texas Education Agency guidelines and requirements. Those at-home learners not in attendance will be marked “Absent,” as they would if learning on campus.

 

ENHANCED ON-CAMPUS SAFETY PROTOCOLS

To make sure our on-campus learning experience is as safe as possible for HPS students and staff members, Harmony will institute a broad spectrum of campus safety protocols once on-campus instruction resumes.  Some of the new safety protocols include:

  • 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.

 

 

HANDLING OF COVID-19 SYMPTOMS

Whether screened at school or self-screened at home, the following conditions are considered symptomatic of COVID-19 by the Centers for Disease Control and could lead to a required leave from campus:

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Loss of taste or smell
  • Diarrhea
  • Feeling feverish or a measured temperature greater than or equal to 100.0 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Known close contact with a person who is lab confirmed to have COVID-19

 

RETURNING TO CAMPUS AFTER COVID DIAGNOSIS OR SYMPTOMS

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.

  1. 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).

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.

FAMILIES NEEDING ADDITIONAL ASSISTANCE

We look forward to partnering with your family this school year to help your child continue to grow academically. We understand that any adjustments to the normal school environment or calendar may create unexpected challenges for some families. If you would like to discuss specific needs for your student or family that are not addressed above, please contact your local Harmony campus or contact us via our Let’s Talk online platform.

 

 

 

AVISO DE CAMBIO EN EL PLAN DE REAPERTURA DE LAS ESCUELAS PÚBLICAS DE HARMONY

 

En las Escuelas Públicas de Harmony, nuestras prioridades son la salud y la seguridad de nuestros estudiantes y nuestro personal, así como el crecimiento académico y de desarrollo de nuestros estudiantes.

En respuesta a la continua propagación del COVID-19 en las comunidades a las que orgullosamente servimos, las Escuelas Públicas de Harmony anuncian el siguiente plan revisado para el inicio del año escolar 2020-21.

 

ASPECTOS BÁSICOS

Los estudiantes de todos los campus de HPS en todo el estado comenzarán el año académico el lunes 17 de agosto en un entorno solo en línea. Las clases continuarán solo en línea hasta al menos el martes, 8 de septiembre. Durante estas tres semanas, usted recibirá una encuesta en la que se le pedirá a su familia que elija la opción de continuar las clases solo en línea o regresar al campus para el aprendizaje presencial después del Día del Trabajo, si fuese posible. Harmony anunciará, a más tardar en la primera semana de septiembre, si es necesario extender más el aprendizaje solo en línea, o si las familias que han optado por el aprendizaje en el campus pueden regresar para la instrucción presencial. Los estudiantes que optaron por el aprendizaje en casa continuarán aprendiendo a distancia durante el resto del año escolar, a menos que notifiquen a su campus una solicitud de cambio a través de Skyward.

Todo el personal de HPS continuará trabajando a distancia mientras los campus estén cerrados, a menos que una función de trabajo específica y esencial requiera su presencia en el campus o en una oficina administrativa.

MOTIVO DEL CAMBIO

El propósito principal de estos cambios es proporcionar un entorno educativo seguro tanto para nuestros estudiantes como para los miembros del personal, así como para cumplir con las ordenanzas locales en muchas de nuestras comunidades de Harmony que prohíben específicamente la escolarización presencial hasta después del Día del Trabajo.

NUEVO SISTEMA SUPERIOR DE APRENDIZAJE EN LÍNEA, CON MEJORES OPORTUNIDADES DE PARTICIPACIÓN DE LOS ESTUDIANTES Y ACTIVIDADES EXTRACURRICULARES

Acelerar la educación de su hijo, incluso cuando aprende en casa, es una de nuestras misiones principales. Por eso hemos pasado el verano renovando completamente nuestro sistema de aprendizaje en línea para crear un entorno de aprendizaje más interactivo que sea más fácil de usar para las familias, que conecte mejor a los estudiantes con sus maestros y compañeros de clase y, lo que es más importante, que promueva el crecimiento académico incluso cuando nuestros campus estén cerrados.

 

Con nuestro nuevo sistema de gestión del aprendizaje Schoology, los estudiantes que asistan a clases en línea experimentarán una sólida experiencia académica con un mayor compromiso individual con los maestros a través de sesiones de clase en vivo, horarios de oficina regulares en línea, así como sesiones de tutoría académica y servicios de intervención para los estudiantes que los necesiten.

 

Los estudiantes también disfrutarán de opciones de actividades extracurriculares en línea en casa -incluyendo actividades de club y competiciones académicas y de deportes electrónicos- que les permitirán estar conectados con sus compañeros de clase en línea, incluso si no pueden estar juntos en persona.

 

Los padres tendrán acceso completo a los materiales de instrucción, tareas, calificaciones, calendarios, actualizaciones del progreso de los estudiantes y mensajes para los padres en una plataforma sencilla.

 

Lo mejor de todo es que cuando sea el momento de que su estudiante regrese al campus, el sistema Schoology lo seguirá de forma constante de regreso al campus, haciendo la transición más fácil tanto para su estudiante como para su familia.

 

Los maestros de Harmony han pasado sus veranos aprendiendo las complejidades de Schoology y estarán preparados para incorporarlo a su aprendizaje a partir del primer día de clase.

 

 

ESTUDIANTES QUE NECESITAN COMPUTADORA O ACCESO A INTERNET

Con el fin de completar las tareas escolares, las Escuelas Públicas de Harmony proporcionarán computadoras y/o acceso a Internet, previa solicitud, a aquellos estudiantes que no tengan acceso en su casa. Para solicitar un dispositivo o acceso a Internet, comuníquese con su campus de Harmony.

 

SERVICIOS DE COMIDA
Se seguirán ofreciendo servicios de comida gratuitos desde el primer día de clases. Comuníquese con su campus o sígalos en Facebook para obtener más información sobre las fechas, horarios y lugares de retiro de las comidas.

 

ASISTENCIA PARA LOS ESTUDIANTES EN CASA

Se llevará un registro digital de asistencia diaria para todos los estudiantes que aprendan desde casa, de acuerdo con las directrices y los requisitos de la Agencia de Educación de Texas. Aquellos estudiantes en casa que no asistan serán marcados como “Ausentes”, como si estuvieran aprendiendo en el campus.

 

PROTOCOLOS DE SEGURIDAD MEJORADOS EN EL CAMPUS

Para asegurarnos de que nuestra experiencia de aprendizaje en el campus sea lo más segura posible para los estudiantes y miembros del personal de HPS, Harmony instituirá un amplio espectro de protocolos de seguridad en el campus una vez que se retome la instrucción en el campus. Algunos de los nuevos protocolos de seguridad incluyen:

  • Controles de temperatura para los estudiantes y el personal.
  • Exigir que todos los estudiantes y empleados usen mascarilla cuando estén en el campus o en otros ambientes de grupo. (Los estudiantes pueden traer su propia mascarilla, o la escuela se la proporcionará).
  • Limitar el tamaño promedio de las clases para permitir el distanciamiento social. (El tamaño exacto de la clase dependerá del número de estudiantes que asistan de forma presencial o solo en línea).
  • Espaciar los pupitres al menos seis pies de distancia para mantener un distanciamiento social adecuado y/o instalar separaciones donde los estudiantes no puedan mantenerse a seis pies de distancia.
  • Limitar severamente las rotaciones/los intercambios de clase para prevenir la propagación de gérmenes en el campus y limitar los intercambios de persona a persona.
  • Escalonar los horarios de entrada y salida para limitar los intercambios de persona a persona.
  • Modificar los procedimientos de entrada y salida (por ej., los estudiantes van directamente a clase después de la entrada y/o esperan en el aula al final del día hasta que los padres llegan a buscarlos).
  • Pedir a todos los estudiantes que se laven las manos con frecuencia.
  • Limpieza nocturna minuciosa por la empresa contratada.
  • Requerir capacitaciones de Concientización y Prevención del Coronavirus para todos los empleados.
  • Permanecer flexible en cuanto a las ausencias de los estudiantes y miembros del equipo debido a COVID-19, como lo permiten las directrices de TEA y las leyes laborales correspondientes.

 

 

MANEJO DE LOS SÍNTOMAS DE COVID-19

Ya sea que se examinen en la escuela o que se autoexaminen en casa, los Centros para el Control de Enfermedades consideran que las siguientes condiciones son sintomáticas de COVID-19 y podrían implicar un abandono obligatorio del campus:

  • Tos
  • Falta de aire o dificultad para respirar
  • Escalofríos
  • Temblores repetidos con escalofríos
  • Dolor muscular
  • Dolor de cabeza
  • Dolor de garganta
  • Pérdida del gusto u olfato
  • Diarrea
  • Sentirse afiebrado o una temperatura medida mayor o igual a 100 grados Fahrenheit
  • Contacto cercano conocido con una persona con COVID-19 confirmado por un laboratorio

 

REGRESO AL CAMPUS DESPUÉS DE UN DIAGNÓSTICO O SÍNTOMAS DE COVID

Después de un diagnóstico de COVID-19 o de la aparición de síntomas, los estudiantes y el personal deben estar sin síntomas durante al menos 72 horas antes de regresar al campus, incluyendo una temperatura de menos de 100 grados sin el uso de medicamentos antifebriles. Aquellos diagnosticados con COVID-19 también deben tener una nota del médico que permita el regreso.

 

 

FAMILIAS QUE NECESITAN APOYO EXTRA

Esperamos asociarnos con su familia este año escolar para ayudar a su hijo a seguir creciendo académicamente. Entendemos que cualquier ajuste en el entorno o calendario escolar normal puede crear desafíos inesperados para algunas familias. Si desea hablar sobre las necesidades específicas de su estudiante o familia que no se han tratado anteriormente, comuníquese con su campus local de Harmony o comuníquese con nosotros a través de nuestra plataforma en línea Let’s Talk.

 

Categories
Coronavirus Harmony Times News Reopening Page

Harmony Public Schools to allow each family to choose to return to school or continue at-home learning for 2020-21 school year

 Harmony Public Schools will allow each family to choose whether to continue learning from home or return to campus for in-person learning for the 2020-2021 school year, based on each family’s unique needs. Families can also switch between the two as local COVID-19 conditions or family situation changes.

The flexible learning plan was announced by Harmony CEO Fatih Ay in a letter to families.

“The best choice for Harmony in 2020-2021 is the choice that’s best for your family,” Fatih said. “While this flexible plan may be an uncommon approach, we firmly believe it is the right approach for families during these uncommon times.”

Families that choose at-home learning will have access to the same rigorous, academic environment that they have come to expect from their neighborhood Harmony campus, taught by teachers trained for educating and engaging students in a virtual environment.

Families who choose to send their students for in-person learning will find a safe and organized learning environment that they can feel comfortable sending their child to each day. This includes enhanced health  and sanitary protocols, as well as possible adjustments to daily routines to help keep all of our students and team members as safe as possible.

All students will continue to receive the same full academic and support services from their teachers, counselors, and school leaders that they would receive on-campus, including our English-language learners and students receiving Special Education services.

Helping to keep families connected regardless of their learning location is Harmony’s new, all-in-one learning management system Schoology. Through Schoology, students and families will have full access to instructional materials, assignments, grading, calendars, and parent messaging in one platform that follows them seamlessly from at-home to in-person learning and back, if needed.

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.

Categories
Coronavirus

Learning continues online with our new at-home learning website

Our campuses may be closed, but the learning continues online.

Harmony Public Schools has launched HarmonyTX.org/AtHome as a resource for continued online learning for all grades and campuses while our schools remain closed.

(Important Note: Families who do not have access to a computer or the internet at home may contact their child’s campus to be issued a chromebook and supplied with free internet access.)