October 2020
SUPERINTENDENT'S MESSAGE

Dear Harmony Families,
I want to thank our entire Harmony community for your hard work, patience and understanding as we work together to do what we do best – educate and take care of your children. These first seven weeks of school have been both challenging and incredibly rewarding. I have seen innovation and creativity at its best during this time. I could not be more proud of our students, staff and our families for everything our community is doing to make this school year successful.

As we move into October, I would like to recognize our Harmony principals. Through visionary leadership and tireless pursuit of success for each of our students, our principals guide and support their schools in ways large and small every day. And as we faced new challenges presented by COVID-19, our principals came through when it mattered most. So this month, National Principals Month, please join me in thanking our Harmony DFW principals for their dedication and leadership to our students and staff. Their commitment to the well-being of their campus community is invaluable, and truly makes a difference.

Our ultimate goal remains to reopen all of our campuses for all students who opted into in-person learning on Oct. 13. Even after such time that all of our campuses are open to in-person learners, we must remain diligent in preventing the spread of COVID-19 within our Harmony community. With that, I encourage our families to continue practicing safety measures—frequent hand washing, social distancing, wearing masks—so that you and your children can continue to succeed.

Thank you again for your continued partnership and understanding during these unprecedented times.
Mr. Harun Karan
 Superintendent
Harmony Public Schools DFW District
OCTOBER CALENDAR

National Bullying Prevention Month
National Principals’ Month
National Book Month

Oct. 8: End of Quarter
Oct. 5: World Teachers’ Day
Oct. 5: National Child Health Day
Oct. 7: International Walk to School Day
Oct. 9: Teacher Workday/Student Holiday (Parent/Teacher Conferences)
Oct. 12: Student & Staff Holiday
Oct. 12-16: National School Lunch Week
Oct. 13: Start of Quarter
Oct. 23: Student Holiday (District PD)
Oct. 31: Halloween

Be on the lookout for news from your child's campus regarding celebrating and recognizing special monthly calendar observances.

DFW DISTRICT 2020-2021 ACADEMIC CALENDARS

Please note there are two calendars for our District--one for Dallas/Fort Worth, and one for Waco.
RETURN TO LEARNING: INFORMATION & RESOURCES
Message from Elite Learning
Parents: If you have children enrolled with Elite Learning for full-day care support for virtual learners, please make note of the following information from their Dallas area program director:

"As we navigate this unprecedented time, Elite Learning aims to provide you with consistent, high-quality after-school care. We are currently training our staff to ensure safe and effective care for your children. 

For safety purposes upon reopening, we will be providing a much lower student-to-teacher ratio (which will vary from district to district). In order to re-open our program, we must meet a minimum enrollment of 15 students at each site. The deadline to re-open after school on the
Oct. 13 reopening date is Wednesday, Oct. 7.

After our re-opening, registration will remain open throughout the year. Visit us at elitelearning.org to learn more about tuition rates and to enroll. 

-Hilmi Yildirim, Elite Learning Dallas Area Program Director"
Return to Campus Protocols
As students return to their campuses, they are finding a number of improvements and new wellness protocols designed to increase student and staff safety while retaining a fun, collaborative, and academically-focused campus culture. 

Among these safety enhancements 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.

Additional details on these and other safety protocols can be found in Harmony Public Schools Back to School Playbook.
Virtual Learning Parent & Student Resource Document
The DFW Parent/Student Support document provides technology guidance and support for the various virtual learning resources used by Harmony. There are how-to videos, FAQ documents, and more to help guide parents and students through our online learning resources.
October's Tip for Social-Emotional-Learning (SEL) At Home
Part of social- emotional learning is taking care of ourselves and learning when to take a break. Now that the weather is cooling, it is the perfect time to head outside.
Social emotional learning is not complicated, just intentional. Take the time to nurture yourself and one another!
ACADEMICS
Fall Reading Challenge
Our Fall Reading Challenge starts Monday, Oct. 5! We are encouraging students to read a variety of texts of their choice and submit the titles of the books they have read.

Campus administration will share a link to a campus form. Teachers will post it to Schoology for students to fill out once they have read a book.

The challenge is:
  • Kindergarten-2nd grade: Read 20 books in RAZ Plus between Oct. 5 and Jan. 3.
  • 3rd-5th: Read 3 fiction, 3 non-fiction, 1 poetry, and 3 books of the student's choice between Oct. 5 and Jan. 3.
  • 6th-8th: Read 4 fiction, 4 non-fiction, 1 poetry, and 2 books of the student's choice between Oct. 5 and Jan. 3.
  • 9th-12th: Read 4 fiction, 4 non-fiction, 1 poetry, and 3 books of the student's choice between Oct. 5 and Jan. 3.

If your child meets these goals, they can earn money toward additional classroom books! Please reach out to your Dean of Academics with questions. 
COLLEGE & CAREER
Harmony College Fund
The Harmony College Fund (HCF) provides financial, academic and emotional support to our college-bound graduates through scholarships, mentoring, internship programs and other services. This year, the HCF with generous donation of Harmony Education Foundation (HEF), provided Harmony College Leaders scholarships to 95 Harmony graduates attending universities across Texas. To learn more about or contribute to Harmony College Fund, email collegefund@harmonytx.org.

Financial Aid Applications: FAFSA/TASFAS
Financial Aid Applications (TASFA/FAFSA) are now open. The majority of scholarships/grants students will receive will be federal, state, or college level and requires this application. The Texas Priority Deadline for FAFSA/TASFA is January 15, 2021. Students will need to apply for their prospective college and include the college name in the FAFSA before the priority deadline to be considered. Funding is issued on a first come, first serve basis for most financial aid (priority given to students who meet the priority deadline). Merit-based scholarships are usually not considered for most colleges/universities unless the students completes the FAFSA/TASFA. Please see your campus counselor for more details.
Local Scholarship Opportunity
Scholarshot is a college completion program providing financial support, advisement and mentoring for students graduating in Dallas County (or adjacent counties). Through Scholarshot, students are provided guidance during the college planning process, along with advisement and monitoring throughout their post-secondary journey. Additional mentors are assigned to students. Any high school graduating senior from Dallas County (or adjacent counties) who completes the FAFSA or TASFA can apply. For more information, visit Scholarshot.org.
Harmony Alumni Website
Once off to college, Harmony alumni have the opportunity to continue being part of their alma mater. To learn what programs and scholarships are available to our alumni, visit Harmony's alumni website at https://alumni.harmonytx.org/.
Student Activities & Clubs
It is a goal of Harmony DFW to support our students' growth beyond their classrooms. Even if students can not come together physically, they are provided an online opportunity to socialize and learn new leadership skills with peers and advisors. Student activities and clubs are designed to promote the development of the social, intellectual, recreational, and professional interests of students.
Harmony DFW offers:
  • E-Sports
  • Leadership Club
  • Math Counts
  • Science Olympiad
  • Fitness
  • Band
  • Art Club
  • Drama/Theater/Fashion
  • Chess Club
  • Guitar Club
text
  • Phyton and Data Science Club
  • College Readiness and Leadership Program (CRLP)
  • Health Occupations
  • Students of America (HOSA)
  • Minecraft Club
  • National Honor Society
  • Science Olympiad
  • Robotics, and many more!
Clubs are available at each campus website. Currently, we offer 260 clubs at 17 campuses.
Virtual Family Visits
Education works best when all stakeholders involved share a common vision and passion to see students thrive in and out of the classroom. Families, teachers and school staff all play vital roles to ensuring excellence in education within the Harmony Public Schools system.

With that, we're proud to announce that Harmony's Home Visit program has gone virtual! Our Virtual Home Visits are a 30-minute scheduled video call between a teacher and a student’s family, from the teacher’s home or classroom to the family’s home help parents establish strong relationships with the school and teachers, even when they cannot meet face-to-face. During these unprecedented times, HPS teachers and staff will continue to visit our families virtually until it is safe to return to campus.

Home visits has positive effects on student’s learning, and social and emotional improvement.

Benefits for students include:
  • Students whose parents agree to home visits, have better behavior and conduct,
  • Improved academic performance, student attendance
  • A better ease at learning, and trust of their teacher,
  • Forms a higher level of respect for teachers, themselves and others.

Benefits for parents include:
  • Parents are secure knowing that teachers genuinely care for the welfare of their children.
  • Creates a trusting bond between the teacher and parent.
  • Parents feel confident that their child’s future is in the hands of teachers who go beyond the call of duty to guarantee each student’s prosperity.
  • Allows parents to become a part of the school environment.

Harmony teachers visit more than 7,000 homes each year. We encourage you to contact your child's campus to request your virtual home visit today!
NEWS & INFORMATION
Teacher Incentive Allotment Recipients
We are proud to announce that more than 80 Harmony teachers across DFW will receive up to additional $32,000 in salary through Texas Education Agency’s Teacher Incentive Allotment. Only 26 school systems in Texas were approved for TIA funds; five were from Harmony Public Schools. The TIA helps Harmony DFW attract and retain teachers who are passionate about their jobs and are willing to go above and beyond to ensure they’re able to provide the best possible environment and education for their students.
HPS Awarded $27.8 Million Grant for Campus Leadership Program
Harmony Public Schools has been awarded a $27.8 Teacher and School Leader Incentive grant by the U.S. Department of Education for a campus leadership program.

The grant will allow Harmony to train, equip, and retain top-level school leaders at our campuses across DFW and the state.

This project will strengthen and evolve Harmony’s existing Human Capital Management System, developed through a previous Department of Education grant project (Teacher Incentive Fund, 2016), to more explicitly focus on strengthening instructional leadership by better positioning and supporting current and rising principals and instructional leadership teams to excel and remain in their roles—especially in high-need schools. Harmony has 50 schools designated as high-needs throughout the state.

The project design draws on proven research showing that strong instructional leadership improves educator effectiveness, which, in turn, accelerates growth in student outcomes.

Harmony was one of only 13 school systems in the country to receive the DOE grant and the largest of three Texas recipients. Read more here.
Harmony Partners in Education:
Replenish School Supplies
Replenish Schools Supplies is a local non-profit that generously donates school supplies to area schools. Harmony DFW has partnered with Replenish to offer a donation for each elementary school this year. Items include: tissues, headphones, notebooks, pencils and more! Thank you to Mrs. Lisa Beamon-Rhone, founder of Replenish, for her efforts to keep our students equipped to succeed. This month's donation will go to Harmony Science Academy Fort Worth! To learn more about Replenish, email replenishschoolsupplies@gmail.com.
HARMONY IN THE NEWS
Harmony Science Academy Carrollton student Haroon Mohamedali was recently featured in a NBC-5 news story about how he, along with friends, used their free time from school to help start a non-profit, CareCOVID, benefitting the homeless. Haroon, you are a shining example of how character matters!
Thanks to KWTX News 10 in Waco for featuring Harmony School of Innovation Waco teacher Deborah McKeen-McGuire as one of Harmony DFW's TIA recipients!
Don't Forget! Connect With Us on Social Media
If you aren't already, now would be a good time to get connected to us on social media! In addition to your child's campus Facebook/Twitter page, we also have a District-wide Facebook and Twitter page. Our social pages are updated frequently in order to provide information to our community, as well as celebrate the achievements of the District and our students/staff. Click here to follow us on Facebook, and here to follow us on Twitter. See you there!
LOOKING AHEAD - NOVEMBER 2020

Nov. 8: National STEM/STEAM Day
Nov. 11: Veterans Day
Nov. 23-27: Student & Staff Holiday (Thanksgiving Break)
Harmony DFW | PR Department |214-570-1606 | dfw.harmonytx.org