October 2019

Dear Harmony Family,

Welcome to this year's first installment of our district-wide newsletter!

Harmony Insight is a monthly newsletter you'll receive throughout the academic year that will be filled with district news, updates and important reminders. And what better time to launch a new newsletter than with a new season? October has arrived and the next three months will be filled with events that celebrate a diverse and connected community. From fall festivals and carnivals, to art exhibits and food fanfare—and of course the great State Fair of Texas—there is no shortage of fun to be had. So I encourage you and your families to get out and enjoy the offerings of the season.

It goes without saying that we have some amazing things to celebrate in our district too – high achievement, specialized programs and dedicated teachers and staff. And as the year gets fully underway, we’ll continue to have great conversations that will help move Harmony forward and elevate our students to their greatest potential, now and in the future.

Speaking of elevating our students: Last month we celebrated Character Day in our district. "Character Matters" is one of Harmony's five core values, and I can’t think of a better way to recognize character (strengths like empathy, grit, gratitude and leadership) than at the beginning of National Bullying Prevention Month.
Every October, schools and organizations across the country join STOMP Out Bullying™ in observing National Bullying Prevention Month. The goal is to encourage schools, communities and organizations to work together to stop bullying and cyber-bullying, and put an end to hatred and racism by increasing awareness of the prevalence and impact of all forms of bullying on all children of all ages. We here at Harmony have a zero-tolerance bullying policy, so I encourage you to visit StompOutBullying.o rg for a month of anti-bullying activities and plan of action.
We have an amazing team of people--administrators, teachers, staff, families and community supporters--all lined up to make sure every child at Harmony is successful. Thank you for all you do, and let’s have a great month!

Mr. Harun Karan | Superintendent
Harmony Public Schools DFW District

Oct. 4 - Parent/Teacher Conferences
Oct. 14 - Start of New 9-Week Period
Oct. 25 - Student Holiday/District PD Day

Dyslexia Awareness Month
October is Dyslexia Awareness Month--an annual event aimed to further understanding of dyslexia. Several resources are available for schools and districts for professional development and effective approaches to screen, identify and teach students with literacy-related difficulties. For information, visit the National Center on Improving Literac y .

Educator Open House at the Dallas Arboretum, Oct. 2
The Dallas Arboretum invites all teachers and academic support staff to join them from 4-7 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 2, for an evening to learn about Arboretum programming and meet their education staff. The evening also includes free food, a vendor fair featuring Arboretum community partners, admission to the 2019 Pumpkin Village featuring “It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown™” and a chance to win prizes like restaurant gift cards, Arboretum memberships and more. Visit the Dallas Arboretum for more information. (This is an educator-event only. The Arboretum asks you do not bring spouses or children.)

Hispanic Heritage Month, ends Oct. 15
National Hispanic Heritage Month—an annual celebration of the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America—continues until Oct. 15. If you need some ideas on how to incorporate Hispanic Heritage into your campus, visit the following for suggested lessons, activities, videos and more!
·      Scholastic
Red Ribbon Week, Oct. 23-31
The Red Ribbon Campaign® is the oldest and largest drug prevention program in the nation, reaching millions of young people during Red Ribbon Week® each year. This year’s theme is “Send A Message. Stay Drug Free.™” To download ideas on how to recognize Red Ribbon Week® at your campus—from morning announcements and messages to parents, to educational activities for all grade levels—visit RedRibbon.org to get started.

Texas State Fair Tickets
The State Fair of Texas is now open! While there is no designated Fair Day this year, student tickets may still be used Monday-Friday during any of the three weeks the fair is open. Teacher tickets may be used on any day of the week until the fair closes Oct. 20. There are lots of discounts being offered this year. You can get in for half-price admission after 5 p.m. on any day of the week with an empty Dr Pepper can (one can per person). For more discounts and fair information, visit BigTex.com


Parent/Teacher Conferences, Oct. 4
Planning should be well under way for parent/teacher conferences on Friday, Oct. 4. The best way to avoid misunderstandings with parents is to have ongoing, clear lines of communication from the beginning. The more you keep them informed about classroom news and include them in school happenings, the more they'll feel like a part of the team. The end result? Parents who are supportive, understanding, and a little less likely to jump to negative conclusions.

Fall Leadership Camps
Fall leadership camping trips are a highly anticipated activity every year that offer students a chance to have fun outside the classroom while learning valuable leadership skills. Typically, Harmony staff at the elementary level take their fourth and fifth grade classes, while staff at the secondary level take STUCO or CRLP students. October or November are the best months to plan a fall leadership camp. But March and April are also a great time to go. If you have questions on how to plan for a trip, see your campus engagement coordinator.


October Testing Reminders 
·    Oct. 1-15: DA1 Window for grades 3-11
·    Oct. 8: SLO Modules (6-9)/Lead Teacher Training
·    Oct. 16: Secondary campuses, PSAT Day October & Ongoing TSI tests
·    Oct. 18: Interventionists Training, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. ( Registration link closes at midnight on Oct. 6.)

Child Nutrition
We encourage parents to complete student eligibility applications online through School Café . The benefits of completing an online application include possibly qualifying for free or reduced price meals, increased funding for the school, and reduced fees on testing and school events for qualifying households. Households may be offered incentives for completing an application, such as a free dress pass. Meal accounts may be created for school staff by contacting the Child Nutrition Assistant at your school.


Useful Links:

Professional Learning
SafeSchools training is currently open with a due date for the 2019-2020 school year. Let’s make sure we have 100% completion for all employees. Reminder emails will be sent out to employees to complete the five (5) mandatory training courses by Friday, Oct. 4.

New District Office Employees
There are several new faces in the DFW District Office.

·    Dan Bell, Director of Operations (student safety and discipline)
·    Denis Hopovac, District Accountant
·    Susan Campbell, Director of Communications and Marketing
·    Ali Arikan, District Information and Technology Coordinator
·    Hifzullah Celik, District Computer Systems Administrator
·    Patricia Webb, District Office Secretary

Mr. Celik joins the District Office from HSI Dallas, while Mr. Hopovac joins comes from HSI Garland. Please join us in welcoming our newest team members the next time you are at the District Office!


Media Outreach Efforts
If you have great news, successes or a human interest story on your campus, please email Susan Campbell, HPS DFW’s new director of communications and marketing, at scampbell@harmonytx.org . All ideas are welcome, even if you think it may not be of any interest to the community. She will work with you to shape the story, draft a news release or media advisory and will then contact the appropriate media outlet on your behalf. She welcomes your suggestions!

NBC-5 News covered the story of a memorial and dedication for a Harmony student who passed away unexpectedly earlier this year. Nora Islam was a second grader at Harmony Science Academy-Fort Worth. She died unexpectedly in April after being diagnosed only a week earlier with leukemia. In her honor, the school dedicated a tree to Nora, and the outdoor garden/learning center was expanded to include a new buddy bench and lending library that was filled with some of Nora’s books. A scholarship in her name has also been started.

American-Indian Heritage Month
National Family Literacy Month

Nov. 3 - Daylight Savings Time Ends
Nov. 5 - Election Day
Nov. 11 - Veterans Day
Nov. 18-22 - American Education Week
Nov. 20 - Education Support Professionals Day
Nov. 21 - National Parental Involvement Day
Nov. 22 - Substitute Educators Day
Nov. 25-29 - Thanksgiving Break (Student & Staff Holiday)
HPS DFW is grateful to our community supporters who came to spend time with students on Character Day! Thank you to Carrollton Mayor Kevin Falconer and firefighters from Carrollton Fire Department's Engine 116!
Harmony DFW | PR Department |214-570-1606 | dfw.harmonytx.org