September 2020
SUPERINTENDENT'S MESSAGE

Dear Harmony Families,
As you may already know, Harmony Public Schools DFW has extended remote learning through at least Monday, Sept. 14, and perhaps longer, as Harmony continues to weigh guidelines from the Texas Education Agency and guidance from local and state health officials.

During this extension, campus and district leaders will continue to further evaluate the current and potential future impact of COVID-19 in our communities, as well as make final campus preparations based upon needs determined during our Learning Location selection period, which took place the past two weeks.

We understand that this extension may be a hardship for some families who opted to return to campus when possible. While it may feel like we’re not taking these hardships into account, please know that we do not take these decisions lightly. You entrust us with the education and safety of your children. And our top priority—in every decision we make—will always be to create a safe and academically-focused learning environment for our students and staff members.

With that, we assure you our campus and district staff are working tirelessly to make sure our campuses are ready for students as soon as in-person learning can safely and responsibly begin. In the meantime, our learning will not only continue—it will thrive.

Thank you, again, for your understanding, patience and support as we continue to provide the best education possible for your children while maintaining a healthy and safe learning environment for everyone.
Mr. Harun Karan
 Superintendent
Harmony Public Schools DFW District
SEPTEMBER CALENDAR

Sept. 4: Student Holiday, Campus PD
Sept. 7: Labor Day (Students & Staff Holiday)
Sept. 13: National Grandparents’ Day
Sept. 14: Tentative Return to Classroom for Students Who Have Opted for In-Person Learning
Sept. 15: National Online Learning Day
Sept. 22: National Voter Registration Day
Sept. 25: Student Holiday, District PD

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

UPDATED 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
Meal Service Changes
Please make note of a few changes to Harmony DFW's meal service over the next two weeks.

Meal service will not be held this Thursday, Sept. 3, due to two forthcoming student holidays—Friday, Sept. 4, and Monday, Sept. 7.

Meal distribution will resume Tuesday, Sept. 8, with the following changes:
  • The pick-up time has been extended by one hour, and will be from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • All virtual learners will receive five school days worth of meals on Sept. 8.
  • There will be no meal pick-up on Thursday, Sept. 10.

Meal distribution beyond Sept. 8 will be dependent upon students returning to campuses. Additional information will be sent regarding this tentative change. Please check in with your child's campus Child Nutrition Assistant if you have questions.

Families can also learn more about meal distribution in the HPS Back to School Playbook 
Return to Campus Protocols
As a reminder, once students and staff return to campus, they will find 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.
Tips for Social-Emotional-Learning (SEL) At Home
The well-being of our students is a top priority at Harmony DFW. We recognize that the added stress of at-home learning further illuminates the need to care of yourselves and your families. With that, here are some tips you can use for SEL right at home.
ACADEMIC CORNER
MAP Testing Information
Harmony Public Schools administers the NWEA MAP Growth and Reading Fluency tests at the beginning of the year each year to establish baseline data for our scholars as well as to measure growth for our returning scholars that tested the previous year. This data is used to drive our instructional focus
for each scholar as well as to identify trends within our campuses and district. DFW area Harmony schools will be administering the tests between Sept. 8 and Sept. 28. Please see additional details in the following links:
Scholarship Opportunity
ScholarShot is a college completion program that assists first generation students complete vocational, Associate or Bachelor degrees. With their individualized academic advisement and financial support of up to $6,000/yr, ScholarShot has helped over 90% of students stay on track to graduate in one, three, or five years, respectively. For more information about this program, please visit www.scholarshot.org. Your student can also participate in an upcoming virtual information session. Links to the session will be sent out the day before.
COLLEGE & CAREER SUCCESS

College & Career Overview
The mission of HPS' College and Career Department is to build a strong and sustainable college and career bound atmosphere throughout our schools by connecting our students with our alumni and increasing their career, leadership, social and emotional readiness.

We are here to support the College and Career counseling program and look forward to helping guide your students toward academic success, and to help equip them with the necessary skills and knowledge to help them pursue their dream career!

Who are we?!
  • Selcuk Bakir--Asst. Superintendent, College & Career: Mr. Bakir began work for Harmony Public Schools in August 2010 as Assistant Principal of Academics in Houston. Mr. Bakir has worked for Harmony as a College Counselor, Assistant Principal of Operation, and Principal. He was a Principal of Harmony Science Academy El Paso for 4 years and Harmony Science Academy Lubbock for 2 years. Mr. Bakir is a graduate of Middle East Technical University (Ankara, Turkey), where he received a BS in Physics Education, a MS in Secondary Science and Math Education. Also, Mr. Bakir is a graduate of North American University, where he got his 2nd Mater in Educational Leadership. He is currently in the Superintendent Certification Program (the University of Texas at Arlington). He is the father of two and likes Educational Technology and Data-Driven Instruction. 
  • Amy Rivers--College Access Coordinator: Mrs. Rivers has her M.Ed. in School Counseling and will be finishing a second M.Ed. in Educational Leadership and Administration this Fall. She has been with Harmony since 2013 and served in many roles during this time including English/Debate teacher, College Counselor, Head Counselor and Resident Leader, and now serving as the College Access Coordinator for the DFW District.
  • Medine Tosun--College and Career Success Coordinator: Mrs. Medine has her M.Ed. in School Counseling. She is an alumnus of Harmony and has been working for Harmony since 2009. She has served in many roles during her time including Character Ed./College Readiness teacher, College Counselor, Head Counselor, and now serving as the College Success Coordinator for the DFW District.
 
We look forward to working with you and your students!

AP Classrooms
Students enrolled in AP Courses need to join their courses AP Classroom on College Board. Joining the AP classroom is required for test ordering and also provides many resources for students. The AP Classroom also allows the teacher to track growth and find areas of weakness to create customized practice for the teacher to assign to the students.
HARMONY HIGHLIGHTS
HSI-Carrollton Art Teacher Named Prang Tru-Ray Art Teacher of the Month
Congratulations goes out to Harmony School of Innovation-Carrollton art teacher, Lexi Hayes, on being recognized by Prang Tru-Ray as an Art Teacher of the Month! Check out how Ms. Hayes is decribed by her peers:

  • “Lexi is a delightful elementary art teacher. She is creative with her lesson plans and instills a love of learning about art in all of her students."
  • "She supports her students & their families by giving them choices, putting on art shows at that school to display students work. She goes to great lengths to provide supplies that the school doesn’t supply."
  • "Lexi works with more than 500 students and she knows them all by name! She continues to be active outside the classroom by running two art clubs and planning fundraisers - all while being a part of the yearbook committee!⁠"

Congratulations again, Ms. Hayes!
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 - OCTOBER 2020

Oct. 8: End of Quarter
Oct. 9: Teacher Workday/Student Holiday
Oct. 12: Student & Staff Holiday
Oct. 13: Start of Quarter
Oct. 23: Student Holiday, District PD
Harmony DFW | PR Department |214-570-1606 | dfw.harmonytx.org