Archive for month: March, 2020
Dear Harmony Families & Team Members,
For the past 20 years, Harmony Public Schools has established an educational model built strongly on the foundations of science-based learning and responsible citizenship in our communities.
Currently, all available science from community health experts continues to tell us that the best way to be responsible members of our communities is to have our students and staff remain at home.
This is why we have determined that it is in the best interest of our students, team members, and communities to discontinue in-person schooling at our campuses and administrative offices statewide until further notice.
While these facilities remain closed, instruction and learning at Harmony schools will continue. Our classes are operating online through our established digital learning tools, taking advantage of many of the technology tools and blended learning methods already practiced in Harmony’s physical classrooms. Because our teachers and school leaders will remain available to guide our students each school day, we anticipate instructional continuity during these unusual and difficult times. To request access to a Chromebook and/or for questions regarding internet access, please contact your child’s campus.
(For more information on our at-home learning program, visit HarmonyTX.org/AtHome . To request access to a Chromebook or internet access, contact your child’s campus.)
We will also continue to offer free meal services to children in our communities, as local and state safety guidelines allow.
We thank you for your support and understanding in making this critical decision. We also are profoundly grateful for the extreme determination and Harmony pride shown by both our students and team members these past several weeks. Time and again you have proven why Harmony Public Schools is an institution where excellence is the standard.
We will continue to provide timely updates as new, relevant information comes available, and inform you immediately if our campuses reopen prior to the end of the school year.
Thank you and be well,
CEO | Harmony Public Schools
Harmony Parents and Guardians,
As the City of Austin, Travis, and Williamson counties have issued a Stay-At-Home Order, we understand that this may be a confusing and stressful time for our families, and we want to provide as much guidance and support for our communities during this time.
We want to inform our families that Harmony Public Schools – Austin is an essential educational institution when it comes to traveling to our campuses for food and Chromebook distribution. You and your family may still travel to your school campus to pick up meals for students and/or to pick up Chromebooks for facilitating distance learning. These activities are deemed as essential, and essential travel is needed.
If an official were to question you about your travel activities, please use the placard provided for you for “Authorized Travel.”
For more information about the Stay-At-Home Order, please visit the City of Austin at http://www.austintexas.gov/news/stay-home-orders-announced-further-contain-spread-covid-19.
Thank you for your patience during this time when change happens daily and hourly at times. We strive to provide our families with the most recent updates as soon as possible.
Stay healthy and safe,
The safety of our students and staff is our top priority at Harmony Public Schools. As new developments continue to unfold regarding the COVID-19 situation, we wanted to provide you an important update regarding the potential impact of the virus on our schools.
While there have been no cases of COVID-19 reported on our campuses or within our school family at this time, out of an abundance of caution we are announcing a temporary closure of all Harmony Public Schools campuses through Monday, April 6. All school activities, field trips, athletics events, and competitions have also been cancelled during this time.
At this time, we are anticipating classes will be able to resume for students on Tuesday, April 7. Staff will return for a work-day on Monday, April 6.
This decision was made after discussions with, and upon the recommendations of, local health officials. We strongly believe it is the best decision for helping to keep our students, staff, and communities safe at this time.
During this closure, our Harmony team members will continue to work remotely to finalize the details of distance-learning plan to make sure students continue to receive educational services with minimal interruption.You will receive regular updates how this plan will be implemented.
Additionally, all full-time, non-exempt and exempt employees will continue to be paid according to their normal rate and schedule.
We continue to urge families and team members to stay informed of current Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines related to the prevention of the spreading of viruses, including limiting out of town travel, “social distancing,” and self-quarantine for those who have recently traveled to impacted areas.
We recognize this is a rapidly evolving situation and will continue to aggressively monitor new developments and respond with appropriate actions based on the best interests of our Harmony families and the guidance of local health officials. Throughout this process, we will continue to communicate with you new information as soon as possible. We anticipate further updates no later than the week of March 23-27.
Thank you for your support during these unusual circumstances. With your continued collaboration, together we can provide a healthy learning environment for our students and staff.
Our schools may be closed, but our meal services for students are still open for business.
Harmony Public Schools is committed to meeting the food and nutritional requirements of every child in our communities while our campus is in closure for the COVID-19 outbreak.
Starting Monday, March 23rd each weekday from 11 AM to 1 PM, we will offer free lunch and breakfast pickup options for any child — regardless of enrollment status — in need of a nutritious meal.
Meals will be served drive-up style and will be available for all car passengers under age 18, regardless of enrollment status.
The meal pickup locations for our campus will be located at:
- Harmony Science Academy-Austin, 930 E Rundberg Lane Austin TX 78753
- Harmony Science Academy-Pflugerville, 1421 W Wells Branch Pkwy STE 200, Pflugerville, TX, 78660
- Harmony School of Innovation-Austin, 2124 E St Elmo Rd Suite A, Austin, TX 78744
These locations open each weekday from 11 a.m. to roughly 1 p.m. During this time, children can pick up a sack lunch for the day, as well as a sack breakfast for the following morning.
We look forward to serving you soon!
Harmony Public Schools
Nuestras escuelas pueden estar cerradas, pero nuestros servicios de comidas para estudiantes aún están abiertos para los negocios.
Las Escuelas Públicas de Harmony se comprometen a cumplir con los requisitos alimenticios y nutricionales de cada niño en nuestras comunidades mientras nuestro campus está cerrado por el brote de COVID-19. De lunes a viernes, ofreceremos opciones de recolección de almuerzo y desayuno gratis para cualquier niño, independientemente del estado de inscripción, que necesite una comida nutritiva.
Las comidas se servirán al estilo de conducción y estarán disponibles para todos los pasajeros de automóviles menores de 18 años, independientemente del estado de inscripción. La ubicación de recogida de comidas para nuestro campus estará ubicada en
- Harmony Science Academy-Austin, 930 E Rundberg Lane Austin TX 78753
- Harmony Science Academy-Pflugerville, 1421 W Wells Branch Pkwy STE 200, Pflugerville, TX, 78660
- Harmony School of Innovation-Austin 2421 E St Elmo Street Suite A, Austin, TX 78744
y estará abierta todos los días de la semana de 11 a.m. a aproximadamente 1 p.m. Durante este tiempo, los niños pueden recoger un almuerzo para el día, así como un desayuno para la mañana siguiente.
Esperamos servirte pronto!
Harmony Public Schools
As students return from spring break, we would like to ask the Harmony community for your renewed diligence in helping our schools maintain the best-practices for clean campuses established before break.
That of course includes the normal requests regarding washing hands, covering your mouth when coughing, and staying home when sick. However, we also need your help keeping viruses and germs contained by asking your student to immediately report to their campus health office if their experience any of the following symptoms while at school:
- Suspected fever: Student is flushed, student unusually pale, complaints of body aches/pains student is lethargic or unusually tired, student statements of having had a fever or taken medication at home to make them feel better.
- Respiratory symptoms: Dry cough with or without nasal drainage, difficulty breathing (visibly difficult breathing includes using abdominal muscles to breathe, inability to speak more than a couple of words at a time, flaring nostrils when breathing) or statements of feeling short of breath, chest or lung pain, wheezing or grunting with breathing.
Additionally, families should be aware that any student returning from a travel area on the CDC list of at-risk countries for COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) MUST see their medical provider before returning to campus. Students will have 48 hours to submit a clearance letter from their doctor before returning to campus. After this, student absences will not be excused. A student cannot return until they have clearance from their doctor or have finished quarantine if medically recommended.
With your continued support and collaboration, together we can provide a healthy learning environment for our students and staff.
P.S. … For more information about COVID-19 and our school system’s response, including additional resources for families, visit https://www.HarmonyTX.org/coronavirus.
On Friday, March 13th we will have a Student Holiday and Staff Development Day. Enjoy your long break!
Spring Break is almost here for our students and staff members across the state. We sincerely hope everyone in our Harmony community has a fun and relaxing break before together we begin the final stretch toward the end of the school year.
We understand that many of you will be traveling this spring break. With concerns about the Coronavirus in the minds of many, we want to share a few tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) about staying healthy when traveling, as well as provide more info about a few Harmony policies related to returning to school after visiting certain risk-prone destinations.
Tips for Healthy Travel
In general, the same advice for fighting germs and bacteria applies when traveling as it does when staying home:
- Wash hands frequently and/or use hand sanitizer;
- Do not touch eyes, nose or mouth;
- Cover mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing, use a paper tissue, throw it away and then wash hands;
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick;
- When greeting others, consider an alternative to hugs or handshakes, such as an elbow bump.
Additionally, here are a few additional tips related specifically to those traveling:
- Be aware of your surroundings (including people who are sick) and try to distance yourself as appropriate;
- Avoid areas that you feel might make your more likely to be exposed;
- Know how to get reliable local information about any possible changes to the situation;
- Avoid public transportation, if possible. Confined spaces such as buses, trains, subways, and airplanes may put you at a higher risk of infection;
- When eating animal-based products, make sure they are thoroughly cooked before eating.
Returning to School After Visiting Risk-Prone Areas
Due to CDC travel guidelines, students and families that have traveled to locations that are marked as a Coronavirus risk by the CDC must have a letter of clearance from their medical provider before returning to campus. Failure to provide a clearance letter will result in the student being dismissed home. Students will have 48 hours to provide proof of doctor’s clearance. Any additional absence will require further documentation from the parents or doctor. For a list of countries with COVID-19 travel advisories, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html.
Currently these countries include:
- Hong Kong
- South Korea
Additionally, please be aware that families travelling to China’s Hubei province or mainland China may face a mandatory quarantine and be monitored by public health officials. Any health department guidelines should be followed by any affected families and absences will be waived upon return to school with provision of proof of quarantine.
At Harmony Public Schools, we take the health and safety of our students and staff members seriously. Harmony is closely tracking all new developments regarding the Coronavirus and will continue to share timely, relevant updates, as needed.
If you have any questions or concerns, please refer to your campus health staff.
We appreciate your help in supporting healthy and happy learning environments for our Harmony community.
- Media & Public Relations
Harmony Public Schools (“Harmony”) is committed to making the information on its website accessible to individuals with disabilities in compliance with the requirements of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.
If you use assistive technology (such as a screen reader, eye tracking device, voice recognition software, etc.) and have difficulty accessing information on the Harmony website, please contact HPS Webmaster by email at firstname.lastname@example.org . Please include the following when communicating with Harmony regarding accessibility issues:
A description of your accessibility concern.
The format in which you prefer to receive the materials.
The web page address of the requested material(s).
The best way to contact you (email address or phone number, or both).
Harmony will make appropriate accommodations to facilitate access to any website content.
Complaints regarding website accessibility may be submitted through the Public Complaint process outlined in Board Policy PG-1.12 (Public Complaints).
Please note that some pages on the Harmony website contain links to third-party sites, which are not within Harmony’s control. If you notify Harmony of problems with accessing a third-party site that is necessary to participate in one of Harmony’s programs or activities, we will make the material or information available in an accessible format.
If you are experiencing a problem with bullying at Harmony, or have other discipline-related concerns regarding one of our schools, please fill out the form at the link below for the Dean of Students.
HPS Child Find Policy
It is the policy of the Harmony Public Schools to ensure that
- All children with disabilities enrolled in the charter school regardless of the severity of their disability, and who are in need of special education and related services, are identified, located, and evaluated; and
- A practical method is developed and implemented to determine which children are currently receiving needed special education and related services.
These requirements apply to:
- Homeless children;
- Children who are wards of the state;
- Highly mobile children (including migrant children); and
- Children who are suspected of being in need of special education but who are advancing from grade to grade.
20 U.S.C. 1412(a)(3)(A); 34 CFR 300.111(a)(1)(i), (c).
As required by Title IX, Harmony Public Schools does not (and is required not to) discriminate on the basis of sex in its educational programs or activities. This non-discrimination requirement applies to admission to and employment with Harmony Public Schools. Inquiries into issues related to Title IX may be referred to Harmony’s Title IX Coordinator(s) (identified below), to the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights of the Department of Education, or both.
Title IX training presentation link
Harmony’s Title IX Coordinators:
Director of Internal Investigations
HPS Central Office
713-343-3333 x1104 Employee and applicant matters
Kelly Ann Hebeler
Director of Employee Relations
HPS Central Office
Non-discrimination Statement as Part of the School's Admission Policy
It is the policy of HPS not to discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, age, or disability in its programs, services, or activities as required by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended; Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972; and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended. For inquiries regarding non-discrimination policies, please contact Section 504/ADA Coordinator at (713) 343-3333 located at 9321 W. Sam Houston Pkwy S. Houston, TX 77099.
Non-discrimination Statement in Career and Technical Education Programs
HARMONY PUBLIC SCHOOLS offers support to school district for career and technical education programs in Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources; Architecture and Construction; Arts, Audio/Video Technology, and Communications; Business Management and Administration; Education and Training; Finance; Government and Public Administration; Health Science; Hospitality and Tourism; Human Services; Information Technology; Law, Public Safety, Corrections, and Security; Manufacturing; Marketing; Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics; Transportation, Distribution, and Logistics. Admission to these programs is based on enrollment in HARMONY PUBLIC SCHOOLS secondary schools.
It is the policy of HARMONY PUBLIC SCHOOLS not to discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex or handicap in its CTE programs, services or activities as required by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended; Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972; and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended.
It is the policy of HARMONY PUBLIC SCHOOLS not to discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, handicap, or age in its employment practices as required by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended; Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972; the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, as amended; and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended.
HARMONY PUBLIC SCHOOLS will take steps to assure that lack of English language skills will not be a barrier to admission and participation in all educational and CTE programs.
For information about your rights or grievance procedures, contact the Title IX Coordinator, CHARLES LAMBERT, and/or the Section 504 Coordinator, IHSAN KARA, at 9321 W. Sam Houston Pkwy S. Houston, TX 77099, Phone: (713) 343-3333.
Aviso de No discriminación en los Programas de Educación Profesional y
Las Escuelas Públicas Harmony ofrecen programas vocacionales en Agricultura, Alimentación y Recursos Naturales; Arquitectura y Construcción; Artes, Tecnología de Audio / Video y Comunicaciones; Administración de Negocios y Administración; Educación y Entrenamiento; Finanzas; Gobierno y Administración Pública; Ciencias de la salud; Hospitalidad y Turismo; Recursos Humanos; Tecnología de la Información; Derecho; Seguridad Pública, Correccionales y Seguridad; Manufactura; Mercadeo; Ciencias, Tecnología, Ingeniería y Matemáticas; Transporte, Distribución y Logística. La admisión a estos programas se basa en el número de estudiantes de secundaria registrados en las Escuelas Públicas Harmony.
Es norma de las Escuelas Públicas Harmony no discriminar por motivos de raza, color, origen nacional, sexo o impedimento, en sus programas, servicios o actividades de CTE, tal como lo requieren el Título VI de la Ley de Derechos Civiles de 1964, según enmienda; el Título IX de las Enmiendas en la Educación, de 1972, y la Sección 504 de la Ley de Rehabilitación de 1973, según enmienda.
Es norma de las Escuelas Públicas Harmony no discriminar por motivos de raza, color, origen nacional, sexo, impedimento o edad, en sus procedimientos de empleo, tal como lo requieren el Título VI de la Ley de Derechos Civiles de 1964, según enmienda; el Título IX de las Enmiendas en la Educación, de 1972, la ley de Discriminación por Edad, de 1975, según enmienda, y la Sección 504 de la Ley de Rehabilitación de 1973, según enmienda.
Las Escuelas Públicas Harmony tomarán las medidas necesarias para asegurar que la falta de habilidad en el uso del inglés no sea un obstáculo para la admisión y participación en todos los programas educativos y CTE.
Para información sobre sus derechos o procedimientos para quejas, comuníquese con el Coordinador del Título IX, CHARLES LAMBERT, y/o el Coordinador de la Sección 504, IHSAN KARA, a la siguiente dirección: 9321 W. Sam Houston Pkwy S. Houston, TX 77099, Teléfono: (713) 343-3333.
TX Transition and Employment Guide
The Texas Transition and Employment Guide provides youth, young adults, parents and professionals with secondary transition resources to facilitate a young person’s progress towards post-secondary goals to education, employment, and community living.