Dear Parents and Guardians,

Please join us for MEET THE TEACHER, on August 13th. Every grade level will have an assigned time. Virtual zoom links will be send to your email by Friday, August 7th.

We hope to see you all there!!

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

 

When will campuses re-open?

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

 

Could the campus reopening date change?

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

 

What safety measures will be in place when campuses open?

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

Exposure (confirmed or unconfirmed) or Illness with Positive Testing

The following criteria must be met in FULL:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The following criteria must be met in FULL:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

How do I purchase uniforms for the new school year?

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

 

Will drop-off and pick-up change?

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

 

What will lunchtime and breakfast look like?

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

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

Can I eat lunch with my child on campus?

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

Can I bring lunch to my child on campus?

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

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

 

What do I need to learn from home?

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

 

Will I need to shop for school supplies?

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

 

Is anything different about online learning this year?

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

 

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

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

 

How will grades be calculated?

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

 

What hours of the day will online classes be taught?

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

 

What rules or expectations are there for online learners?

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

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

 

How will absences and attendance be counted for online learning?

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

 

Meet your New Principal

Good Afternoon Parent(s)/Guardian(s),

     Please see letter attached:

Welcome Letter (2)

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1WsegQr_SNoXz1S8JW77ywYFMMUUBNZRZ_vbEdiEzrVY/edit?ts=5f1a0ad0

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.

 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.

Dear Parent or Guardian,
This letter is intended for families with:
  • Children who received SNAP food benefits for March 2020
  • Children who are certified for free or reduced-price school meals during the 2019-20 Texas school year
  • Children who attend a school that offers free meals to all students (Community Eligibility Provision or Provision 2)
If you do not meet at least one of these criteria, you are not eligible for the benefits described below.
Your household may be eligible to receive Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) benefits to buy food. P-EBT is for children 5-18 years old who received SNAP food benefits for the month of March 2020 and children up to 21 years old who are certified for free or reduced-price meals at school in Texas during the 2019-20 school year. Children that attend a school that offers free meals to all students (Community Eligibility Provision or Provision 2) are also eligible.
Please review the criteria to see if you need to apply to receive these benefits. The application link is provided below.
Do I need to apply for P-EBT?
Families that DID NOT get SNAP benefits for the month of March 2020
  • Yes, you will need to apply.
  • Fill out an application here: yourtexasbenefits.com/Learn/PEBT
  • The application is open until June 30, 2020.
  • If you do not currently get SNAP benefits and your child is approved for P-EBT, you will be mailed a P-EBT card loaded with benefits.
Families that DID get SNAP benefits for the month of March 2020
  • You do not need to apply for children ages 5-18. Benefits were loaded onto your existing SNAP card by May 22.
  • If you have children under 5 and/or between the ages of 19 and 21, you will need to fill out an application for those children. Fill out an application here: yourtexasbenefits.com/Learn/PEBT
  • If you get SNAP benefits and your child is approved for P-EBT, we will put funds on your current Lone Star Card.
P-EBT is a one-time benefit for families issued through an EBT card (like a debit card). Families receive up to $285 per eligible child. You will have one year from the date the benefits were issued to use your P-EBT benefits. P-EBT benefits are non-transferrable.
If you need help filling out the P-EBT application, please contact is 833-613-6220. For more information, please visit hhs.texas.gov/PEBT or call is 833-613-6220.
Estimado/a padre, madre o tutor:
Esta carta está dirigida a familias con:
  • Niños que recibieron beneficios de alimentos del Programa Asistencial de Nutrición Suplementaria (SNAP, por sus siglas en inglés) para marzo de 2020
  • Niños que estén certificados para recibir comidas gratuitas o a precio reducido en Texas durante el año escolar 2019-20
  • Niños que asisten a una escuela que ofrece comidas gratuitas a todos los estudiantes (Disposición de Elegibilidad de la Comunidad o Disposición 2)
Si no cumple con al menos uno de estos criterios, no es elegible para los beneficios que se describen
a continuación.
Su hogar puede ser elegible para recibir los beneficios de la Transferencia Electrónica de Beneficios por Pandemia (P-EBT, por sus siglas en inglés) para comprar alimentos. La P-EBT es para niños de 5 a 18 años que recibieron beneficios de alimentos del SNAP para el mes de marzo de 2020 y para niños de hasta 21 años que estén certificados para recibir comidas gratuitas o a precio reducido en la escuela en Texas durante el año escolar 2019-20. También son elegibles los niños que asisten a una escuela que ofrece comidas gratuitas a todos los estudiantes (Disposición de Elegibilidad de la Comunidad o Disposición 2).
Revise los criterios para saber si necesita presentar una solicitud para recibir estos beneficios. A continuación se encuentra el enlace a la solicitud.
¿Necesito presentar una solicitud para la P-EBT?
Las familias que NO recibieron beneficios del SNAP para el mes de marzo de 2020
  • Sí, necesitará presentar una solicitud.
  • Complete una solicitud aquí: yourtexasbenefits.com/Learn/PEBT
  • La solicitud está disponible hasta el 30 de junio de 2020.
  • Si actualmente no recibe beneficios del SNAP y su hijo recibe la aprobación para la P-EBT, se le enviará por correo una tarjeta de P-EBT cargada de beneficios.
Las familias que SÍ recibieron beneficios del SNAP para el mes de marzo de 2020
  • No necesita presentar una solicitud para los niños de 5 a 18 años. Los beneficios se cargaron en su tarjeta del SNAP existente antes del 22 de mayo.
  • Si tiene hijos menores de 5 años o entre 19 y 21 años, necesitará completar una solicitud para esos niños. Complete una solicitud aquí: yourtexasbenefits.com/Learn/PEBT
  • Si recibe beneficios del SNAP y su hijo recibe la aprobación para la P-EBT, pondremos los fondos en su tarjeta Lone Star actual.
La P-EBT es un beneficio único para familias emitido a través de una tarjeta de EBT (como una tarjeta de débito). Las familias reciben hasta $285 por cada niño elegible. A partir de la fecha en que se emitieron los beneficios, tendrá un año para usar sus beneficios de la P-EBT. Los beneficios de la P-EBT no son transferibles.
Si necesita ayuda para completar la solicitud de la P-EBT, llame al 833-613-6220. Para obtener más información, visite hhs.texas.gov/PEBT o llame al 833-613-6220.

Harmony Public Schools will continue to provide breakfast and lunch for pick up by parents at our designated locations through the month of June.

We look forward to continuing to serve you, and stay well!

Since our first order ran out real quick. Here is another chance to get your hands on our yearbook! Get yours! #HSEYearbook2020

Harmony Public Schools has been honored with the National “Above and Beyond” Award for service to students and the community during this pandemic.

As part of efforts to celebrate National Charter Schools Week (NCSW), today, Harmony Public Schools joins a select group of 10 schools you may not have heard about from across America being recognized by the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools (National Alliance) as Above and Beyond Award honorees. At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Harmony Public Schools assessed the needs of students, their families, and the community, and quickly mobilized. The Above and Beyond Award was earned by schools that took the extra step to serve not only their own students, but also the broader community—during the coronavirus pandemic, despite all the challenges that came with transitioning to online learning.

Specifically, staff at Harmony Public Schools in Texas are producing face shields and medical supplies for local health-care workers and first responders on the front lines in the fight against COVID-19.

The school gave the team carte blanche to manufacture protective medical gear and equipment. Within a couple days, 100 Harmony staff members volunteered and got trained about how to make face shields using 3-D printers and they’ve since donated more than 3000 face shields in coordination with county and health officials across the state of Texas. Each face shield takes roughly five hours to manufacture and costs around $1 to make.

Additionally, Harmony Public Schools staff members have served more than 350,000 meals to children in their communities.

“When schools nationwide transitioned to distance learning, it became clear to us that charter schools were setting a model for the rest of the nation on what it looked like to step up and care for their communities in the face of a global pandemic,” said Nina Rees, president and CEO of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. “There are many public schools that served their students well in the face of COVID-19, but the exceptional work of our Above and Beyond Award winners embodies compassion and caring for people outside their school community who also needed help. Their work is a model of servant leadership for the rest of the nation,” she added.

National Charter School week celebrates charter school achievements May 10- May 16.  For information on the national charter school movement, please visit the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools website at www.publiccharters.org.

Good evening Harmony School of Excellence Community

As the school year is close to an end & due to our present social distance guidelines our Specials Teachers are conducting Virtual Home Visits to our current students. Our Specials Teachers are Technology, Art, STEAM, PLTW, GT, PE, and Spanish Teachers. If you would like to schedule a time for them to virtually visit you please schedule a visit with the link below.

Only parents/tutors are allowed to schedule the visit.

Invitation will be sent 5 minutes before visit time to the student’s email account that can be accessed through their MyHarmonyPortal.

Expect the e-mail to come from any of the Specials Teachers.

If you have already filled out a spreadsheet shared in their classroom for this week your appointment is still scheduled for the time you signed up for.

SCHEDULE HERE:

https://calendly.com/virtualhomevisits/virtual-home-visits

Dear Harmony Families and Team Members,
Earlier today, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced that all Texas school campuses will remain closed through the remainder of the current school year.
Accordingly, Harmony Public Schools will remain online-only. During this time, we will continue to provide free meal services, as well as chromebook access to those students who need them.
Information about ongoing coursework, grading procedures, end-of-year advancement, student counseling services, and documentation and resources for families with special education needs can continue to be found at HarmonyTX.org/AtHome. We will share more information about graduation for seniors as more information becomes available, and as the Texas Education Agency continues to offer its guidance.
Thank you.
Harmony Public Schools