Academics

Harmony’s instructional approach strives for equity by providing a rigorous, challenging STEM curriculum serving all students, a focus on formative assessment, and a culture of high expectations and support. Harmony’s STEM curriculum is student-centered and inquiry-based and emphasizes mastery of 21st century skills that all students will need to be successful in college and career.

Our STEM program is a part of Harmony Public Schools Academic Department, which involves a team of curriculum specialists, instructional coaches, and lead teachers in Harmony Public Schools System.

It has three components:

HPS Project-Based Learning Program (PBL)

Project-Based Learning is an instructional approach that emphasizes collaboration and personalized learning. In project-based learning, student groups engage in meaningful inquiry that are of personal interest to them. These problems are real-life oriented, curriculum-based, and often interdisciplinary. Learners decide how to approach a problem and what activities or processes they will perform. They collect information from a variety of sources, and then analyze, synthesize, and derive understanding from it.

Harmony developed standards-aligned, cross-disciplinary, multi-sensory model called STEM Students on the Stage (STEM SOS) that integrates three core subject areas: a STEM subject of choice, social studies, and English language arts. The cross-curricular connections and hands-on learning deepen students’ conceptual understanding of topics they choose while allowing teachers to more actively engage their students in new ways of learning.

Learn more about STEM SOS.

Professional Development

Harmony believes that content-focused professional development is a critical need to ensure the quality of teaching science and mathematics. Our STEM training model has two major components; the mastery of content knowledge and delivery of the content with effective instructional practices.

STEM Culture

The department also provides strategies and resources for schools to build STEM school atmosphere connecting the students to higher education. We design a variety of opportunities for students to take STEM education “beyond the classroom” and see how today’s instruction connects to career and lifelong learning.

Academics Information

Harmony Educational Model​

Curriculum

Harmony has a school model that is:

  • rigorous (it prepares students for higher education)
  • relevant (it reinforces lifelong learning skills), and is underpinned by a tight web of
  • relationships (a strong culture reinforced by teachers and parents).

Harmony Curriculum is built using the “Backward Design” model and is aligned with Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) standards.

To learn more about what your child is learning at Harmony Public Schools, to access online resources, and to help enhance your child's learning at home, explore the Academic Programs website:

Academics Programs

 

Accountability

2017 Accountability Ratings

Harmony Public Schools is excited to announce that all campuses statewide met or exceeded state standards on the annual State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) exam.

  • 100% of Harmony Public Schools (HPS) districts were rated Met Standard compared to 95.4% that of all Texas schools.
  • 100% of Harmony campuses achieved the rating of Met Standard compared to 89.6% that of all Texas schools.
  • 77% of HPS campuses have earned at least one distinction designation compared to 52% of all Texas campuses. Of the 8,757 campuses in Texas, 7,591 (86.7%) were evaluated for at least one distinction designation.
  • 15% of HPS campuses earned distinctions in all seven categories that were evaluated for that campus compared to 2% in Texas.
  • Harmony Science Academy – Houston, 
Harmony Science Academy – El Paso, and 
Harmony School of Science – Houston districts became three of the 58 districts (out of the 1,203 districts evaluated) in Texas to receive a distinction designation for postsecondary readiness. Postsecondary readiness is the only distinction at the district level.

To access accountability reports and search for your district/campus, please visit the TEA website, and follow the instructions.

TEA website: Accountability Rating System

2017 Federal Report Cards

Federal Report Cards for the state, district, and campuses are available on the Texas Education Agency’s (TEA) website.

Each LEA that receives Title I, Part A funding is responsible for disseminating the State, LEA and campus-level report cards to all LEA campuses and parents of all enrolled students and making the information widely available through public means such as posting on the Internet, distribution to the media, or distribution through public agencies.

At a minimum, the LEA must —

  • post direct links to the State, LEA, and campus report cards on its web site,
  • make hard copies available to parents on request,
  • make hard copies available for viewing in public locations, and
  • notify parents of ALL students about the availability of the report cards and the options for obtaining them.

LEAs must make the federal report card information readily accessible to the public and parents must be notified of the availability of the federal report card information no later than March 5, 2018.

To search for campus/district Federal Report Card visit the TEA website, and follow the instructions.

TEA website: Federal Report Cards

Harmony Public Schools Annual Reports

The Texas Education Code (TEC), §39.306, requires each district’s board of trustees to publish an annual report that includes the TAPR, district accreditation status, campus performance objectives, information on violent or criminal incidents, and information on the performance of the previous year’s graduates in their first year of college, as reported by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.

Harmony Public Schools annual reports can be found at the links below. Paper copies are available at the district’s administration office and at HPS Central Office.

Texas Academic Performance Reports

Texas Academic Performance Reports were compiled by TEA for every district and campus using PEIMS and student assessment data. The TAPR combines details of district and campus academic performance with financial reports and information about staff, programs, and demographics. Prior to the 2012–13 school year, TAPR was known as the Academic Excellence Indicator System (AEIS) reports.

Public Hearings

The Texas Education Code (TEC), §39.306, requires each district’s board of trustees to hold a public hearing to discuss the district’s annual report within 90 days (winter break not included). Within two weeks following the public meeting, each district must widely publish its annual report, including posting it on the district website and other public places. The hearing may be combined with a regularly scheduled meeting of the local board of trustees.

A public hearing was held in conjunction with the regularly scheduled Board Meeting on Wednesday, January 31st, 2018 at 6:30 p.m. in the Harmony Public Schools Central Office Building, 9321 W Sam Houston Pkwy S, Houston, Texas 77099.

2016 - 2017 Annual Reports for Harmony Public Schools were presented and discussed. Paper copies are available at the district’s administration office and HPS central office.

2016 - 2017 School Report Cards:

Report cards are in pdf format. To download Adobe Reader, please visit the Adobe Link will open in new window site

Community and Student Engagement Reports

House Bill 5 of the 83rd Texas Legislative Session included a local evaluation requirement that is referred to as Community and Student Engagement. The statute requires each district to evaluate and designate a performance rating for the district and each of its campuses in the district based on criteria set by a local committee (TEC 39.0545). The law requires that each district and each campus be assigned a rating of exemplary, recognized, acceptable, or unacceptable. The district and campus performance ratings must be reported annually to TEA through PEIMS, and made publicly available by August 8 of each year beginning with the 2013–14 school year.

The statute provides nine factors for which the district and each campus must be evaluated:

Fine arts, wellness and physical education, community and parental involvement, 21st century workforce development program, 2nd language acquisition program, digital learning environment, dropout prevention strategies, educational programs for GT students, and compliance with statutory reporting and policy requirements.

 

 

College Bound


Don't be scared if you have a child in, or entering High School!

We have plenty of information on:

  • Graduation Plans
  • Financial Aid & Scholarships
  • College & Career Resources

Please explore the “College Bound” website to help you learn more about the path you and your student are about to take!

College Bound

 

Assessment Department

Harmony Public Schools is committed to providing an educational system that will enable all students to reach their full potential. The Assessment Department shares this commitment by supporting a comprehensive assessment program which includes local, state and national assessments.

Announcements

The March 2017 TAKS retest is now complete. Results for the exams should be available by April 4, 2017. The TAKS exit retest will next be administered on the dates below:

TAKS Retest Date
June 19, 2017 English Language Arts
June 20, 2017 Mathematics
June 21, 2017 Science
June 22, 2017 Social Studies

For those who are no longer attending school but still need to pass one or more subject-area assessment may register for the exam at www.texasassessment.com.

State Assessment

Texas’ student assessment program is designed to measure the extent to which a student has learned and is able to apply the defined knowledge and skills at each tested grade or course level.

Texas has offered a statewide student assessment since 1980. In the spring of 2012, Texas students began taking the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) exams. The state also offered the STAAR L assessment for English language learning (ELL) students, the STAAR A assessment, an online accommodated version of the exam for eligible students, and the STAAR Alternate 2 assessment for students who have significant cognitive disabilities and are receiving special education services. In addition, the state offers the Texas English Language Proficiency System (TELPAS) assessment.

Resources

State Assessment Calendar

STAAR Tests

As mandated by the Texas Education Agency (TEA), students in grades 3 through 12 are required to take part in the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness program. TEA implemented STAAR to fulfill requirements enacted by the Texas Legislature. STAAR is an assessment designed to measure the extent to which students have learned and are able to apply the knowledge and skills defined in the state-mandated curriculum, the TEKS. One important function of STAAR is to gauge how well schools and teachers are preparing their students academically. The test is specifically designed to measure individual student progress in relation to content that is directly tied to the TEKS. Every STAAR question is directly aligned to the TEKS currently in effect for the grade/subject or course being assessed.

STAAR for grades 3 through 8 assess the same subjects that were assessed by Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills. Students first enrolled in grade 9 or below in the 2011–12 school year are required to take the STAAR End-of-Course (EOC) Assessments for courses in which they are enrolled as part of their graduation requirements. Those students no longer take TAKS.

The STAAR EOC assessments test high school students for college readiness and produce performance labels that indicate a student’s mastery of the course’s standards. The EOC tests assess the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for a given course. In addition to passing courses, a score of satisfactory or above is required to graduate.


The STAAR program includes annual assessments for
Reading and mathematics grades 3 to 8
Writing grades 4 and 7
Science grades 5 and 8
Social studies grade 8

End-of-course assessments for English I, English II, Algebra I, biology and U.S history.

STAAR Spanish is also available for English language learners (ELLs) in grades 3–5 for whom an assessment in Spanish provides the most appropriate measure of academic progress. STAAR Spanish is available in each subject area assessed by the English version.

Beginning in 2016, TEA will voluntarily administer STAAR EOC assessments for English III and Algebra II.

STAAR will be offered on paper and online in all grades and subjects. Districts may administer all grades and subjects of the general STAAR (English version only) tests online to any or all of their students. Beginning Spring 2017 there will be an enhanced online version of the STAAR which will eliminate the need for separate STAAR A and STAAR L test forms going forward. Therefore, STAAR A and STAAR L will both be administered for the last time in December 2016. The online version of the STAAR with all 3 embedded accommodations and available accessibility features will be comparable to the features that were included in STAAR A. The online version of the STAAR with language and vocabulary supports and TTS will be comparable to the linguistic accommodations that were included in STAAR L. The enhanced online version of the STAAR will eliminate the need for separate STAAR A and STAAR L test forms going forward. Therefore, STAAR A and STAAR L will both be administered for the last time in December 2016.

Accommodations will be divided into 3 categories with broader eligibility criteria. Accessibility Features Available to all students who need them Designated Supports The appropriate team of people at the campus level has determined and documented that the student meets the revised eligibility criteria. Designated Supports Requiring TEA Approval The appropriate team of people at the campus level has determined student eligibility and submitted an accommodation request form to TEA Although online accessibility features previously found only on STAAR A (e.g., color, zoom, guideline) will be available to every student taking the STAAR online, the enhanced online version of the STAAR is capable of being better tailored to a student’s individualized needs. A student’s test will be customizable, so that 3 embedded accommodations (i.e., text-to-speech (TTS), language and vocabulary supports, and content supports) may be chosen for eligible students.

Parent Resources & Student State Testing Scores

You may access your child's state testing scores from the Texas Student Portal:

The Student Portal is a window in the Texas Assessment website that allows parents and students to view individual student results from the Texas state assessments. Enter the Unique Access Code and your student’s date of birth as provided on the student’s most recent Confidential Student Report and you will gain access to the assessment data in the Student Portal. If you have lost the last Confidential Student Report you may contact your child's campus for this information.

For more information about how to log in to the Student Portal, please take a look at the Guide to the Student Portal of the Texas Assessment Management System.

The Texas Education Agency maintains a broad database of assessment-related documents for students and parents, including explanations of test results: Assessment-related Documents: Explanation of Test Results.

...

 

English as a Second Language

Harmony Public Schools (HPS) follow state law TAC §89.1201 and identifies English Language Learners (ELLs) and provides them a full opportunity to participate in an ESL program, as required in the TEC, Chapter 29, Subchapter B.

To ensure equal educational opportunity, as required in the TEC, §1.002(a), HPS:

  1. Identify ELLs based on criteria established by the state;
  2. Provide bilingual education/English as a Second Language programs, as integral parts of the regular program as described in the TEC, §4.002;
  3. Seek certified teaching personnel to ensure that ELLs are afforded full opportunity to master the essential knowledge and skills required by the state; and
  4. Assess achievement for essential knowledge and skills in accordance with the TEC, Chapter 39, to ensure accountability for ELLs and the schools that serve them.

Mission Statement

It is the mission of the ESL program in HPS to provide ELLs with second language instruction that will promote English language development and enable them to participate equitably in both social and academic settings.

Vision Statement

It is the vision of the ESL program in HPS to equip the ELLs with the language skills and strategies that will help them become productive, successful and responsible members of society.

Program Information

The goal of ESL Program is to enable ELLs to become competent in listening, reading, speaking and writing. Through the use of communicative and integrative methods of second language teaching the program focuses on mastery of English language skills. In addition, the program emphasizes mastery in the content areas of ELA, mathematics, science and social studies. All content area teachers adhere to the English Language Proficiency Standards (ELPS) in order to provide the necessary support to ELLs to acquire the specific content. There are two types of instructional design options in the program; content based and pull out.

  • In the content based option, an ESL certified full-time teacher provides supplementary instruction for all content area classes in a structured, non-threatening environment.
  • In the pull out option, ELLs spend part of the day in their mainstream classroom, and are pulled out for a portion of each day to receive specialized instruction by a certified ESL teacher in a small group setting.
Helpful Resources
Texas English Language Learners Portal
An online site with brochures, curriculum, resources, and information on Bilingual/ESL education.
Colorin colorado
A bilingual site for families and educators of English language learners
Scholastic Parents Raising Readers & Learners
A free online parent resource center with news, articles, and videos to support literacy in the home.
International Children’s Digital Library
A digital library of books in multiple languages.
Tumble Book Library
A free online collection of educational magazine talking picture books.
Starfall
Play phonics games and read stories.
ABC YA
Practice reading skills while playing fun games.

 

Gifted and Talented Education

Mission

Harmony Public Schools is committed to implementing a program that meets the unique social, emotional,and intellectual needs of gifted and talented students through the collaboration of students, educators,parents and community members that ensures opportunities for maximum growth and development for lifelong success.

Learn More

 

ISWEEEP

The International Sustainable World (Engineering Energy Environment) Project olympiad draws hundreds of the brightest STEM-focused students in the world together each year to compete in a fun and collaborative environment.

Harmony Public Schools launched ISWEEEP 10 years ago in an effort to spark interest among young innovators for exploring solutions to our sustainability challenges.

The competition expanded as students across the globe accepted the challenge of solving the world’s most pressing needs. Now, we and our corporate sponsors present more than $100,000 in awards and scholarships to student scientists from approximately 60 countries, including the United States, who compete with projects exploring topics such as renewable energy, sustainable development and medical breakthroughs.

To learn more about ISWEEEP, please visit the website:

ISWEEEP

 

Instructional Technology

Mission Statement

The Instructional Technology Department supports Harmony's vision by providing technology to enhance the learning environment and stimulate the educational experience. We will support student readiness for tomorrow’s world by providing innovative resources and exceptional support while focused on student and staff engagement.

IT at Harmony

Blended Learning

Harmony has created a 1-1 technology environment where every student has access to a digital device (Chromebook, tablet, laptop, etc.) for anytime anywhere learning. Students use these tech devices for at least 2-3 hours a day for blended learning and project based learning activities. In blended learning environments, students use adaptive learning technologies to enhance their math and reading skills. These programs built on artificial intelligence and adaptive algorithms cater the level and the difficulty of the lessons and learning objectives to the unique profile of each student, which allows them to progress at their own accelerated pace. Teachers leverage the power of technology to create flexible student groups and provide either remediation or enrichment in small groups when needed.

Harmony students and teachers are avid users of the World Wide Web and the social media. Students use their tech devices to curate digital learning artifacts when they work on projects in other core subject areas and STEM courses. The Share-and-Shine approach allows students and teachers to collaboratively create multimedia products using technology and publish their work online.

Harmony students and teachers are avid users of the World Wide Web and the social media. Students use their tech devices to curate digital learning artifacts when they work on projects in other core subject areas and STEM courses. The Share-and-Shine approach allows students and teachers to collaboratively create multimedia products using technology and publish their work online.

In addition to the learning technologies described above, all Harmony classrooms are equipped with projectors and document cameras, so that teachers can take advantage of visual learning and teaching approaches in the classroom. Furthermore, many classrooms are also equipped with Smart Board technologies to create more interactive classrooms.

Harmony provides both onboarding and ongoing professional development and training opportunities for teachers to make sure all teachers are adequately capable of using available tech tools and helping our students leverage the power of technology to elevate learning across all classrooms. The professional development at Harmony is also customized to the varying needs and proficiency levels of our teachers.

Chromebooks

A Chromebook is a laptop of a different breed. Instead of Windows 10 or Mac OS X, Chromebooks run Google's Chrome Operative System. These machines are designed to be used primarily while connected to the Internet, with most applications and documents living in the cloud. Harmony Public Schools provided every student in grades 6 thru 12 with a Chromebook device. ​With 1:1 in-school model, we believe that students will experience a more focused and guided technology use in the classrooms and teachers will be able to facilitate technology integrated student learning in a more powerful and meaningful way. Chromebooks are used primarily for Custom Day classes (plus 5 Math & ELA lab hours) where students work on their personalized learning plans via adaptive instructional software and in other core classes during project based learning (PBL) activities.

Google Apps for Education

In Harmony Public Schools, we use Google apps which is the same set of apps that you know such as Gmail, Docs, Drive, Calendar, Hangouts, and more— but designed with new intelligent features that make work easier and bring teachers and students together. Because we believe that when students and teachers break down silos and have collaborative tools for their classroom, amazing learning can happen. Also the G-Suite includes great tools such as Google Classroom. With this app teachers have control for class, create classes, distribute assignments, send feedback, and see everything in one place. Instant. Paperless.

For more information about Google for education click here.

Students

A “Future Ready Education” would not be complete without adequate digital resources. A long list of student links is available at the Student Start Page:

Start Here!

Digital Resources

An overview of all the Educational Software and digital resources that Harmony provides our students. Learn how to access at home, or away from school using the HPS Clever Portal

Digital Resources

The IT Spot

The IT Spot is a website that provides help for teachers and administrators managing technology in the classroom. It provides Educational Software support by providing step-by-step instructions and answers to frequently asked questions from teachers and administrators. With customized videos and instructions, this site is a great tool for helping users to understand applications and guide them how to use educational software in the classroom. Also, the IT Spot provides support information on Single Sign ON (SSO) through Clever and how to manage and troubleshoot Chromebooks at school level .

This great resource is available to all Harmony staff.

Teacher Incentive Fund


TIF Grant

Harmony Public Schools plans to use the grant funding to enhance the quality and delivery of professional development for teachers and administrators, improve consistency in career pathways across the system and reward successful teachers with financial incentives.

The project will roll out in well-thought out phases over the next five years.

The TIF Grant is under the Office of Innovation and Improvement - U.S. Department of Education.

The U.S. Department of Education awarded 13 new grants under the FY 2016 Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF) competition. These awards total $70,269,506 for the first project year. These projects will be implemented over a five year period. TIF funding will provide grantees with the opportunity to promote effective teaching through the development of human capital management systems and the use of performance-based compensation.

For more information about these awards, visit the Department of Education's Awards page.

Program Description

This program provides funding for projects that develop and implement performance-based teacher and principal compensation systems in high-need schools. Performance-based compensation systems must consider gains in student academic achievement as well as classroom evaluations conducted multiple times during each school year among other factors and provide educators with incentives to take on additional responsibilities and leadership roles. The purpose of the TIF program is to support the use of performance-based compensation, and other human capital strategies that enhance and sustain performance-based compensation, in order to increase students’ access to effective educators in high-need schools, and to expand the array of promising approaches that can help these educators and other personnel succeed.

Read More!

To find out more about the TIF Grant, read the   TIF Grant Information Brochure

Special Programs

Special Programs support students with disabilities in gaining college and career readiness, and independent living skills through active engagement in grade level curriculum.


Special Education

Mission Statement

To provide students with disabilities the opportunity to excel academically, socially, and vocationally in order to meet their full potential as adults. Harmony Public Schools’ Special Education department focuses on a rigorous curriculum emphasizing science, technology, engineering and math in order to provide a challenging education individualized to meet the needs of each student with a disability.

We Value

  • Every individual as a unique human being deserving of respect
  • Diversity
  • High expectations

We Believe

  • All children can learn
  • All children have the right to be challenged in order to meet their full potential
  • Positive reinforcement and a positive learning environment lead to greater accomplishments than punishment and a negative environment
  • Educating children in the least restrictive environment leads to greater success in life

Harmony provides a continuum of special education services in order to optimize the educational experience of all students with disabilities. These services include, but are not limited to:

  1. General Education Classroom Placement in which the needs of the students with learning disabilities are met in a general education classroom. The special education teacher monitors the performance of the students periodically and supports the general education teacher outside the classroom.
  2. Resource Room Placement in which students spend a part of their day in general education classrooms and participate in resource room programs for the other part of the day. Resource room will include a small number of students working with a special education teacher (or teacher aid per ARDC decision) on reading, language, math and etc.
  3. Self-Contained Classroom in which students receive more than 60 percent of their instructional services in Resource room from special education staff.
  4. Special Education Inclusion in which students are taught in general education classroom with the collaboration of a special education teacher (or teacher aid per ARDC decision) and general education teacher for some part of the day.
Related Services

In addition to the services described above, Harmony Public Schools also ensures the provision of the following related support services according to the students’ IEPs:

  1. Speech and language therapy: Speech Language Pathologists work with the students who experience speech and language delays like articulation, language, fluency and pragmatics that affect their social interaction, literacy and learning. Students generally receive services based on their IEPs either in small groups or within the classroom setting.
  2. Occupational therapy: Occupational therapists work with the students to improve their cognitive, physical, and motor skills. Students generally receive services individually or in groups depending on their IEPs.
  3. Physical therapy: Physical therapists work with the students to improve their muscle control, balance and to promote sensory motor development and independence in functional mobility skills.
  4. Counseling services: Related services personnel work with students to develop appropriate behavior and social skills that allow them to benefit from their educational experience.
  5. Assistive technology: It is used by the students with disabilities in order to perform functions that are difficult or impossible for them. Assistive technology can include mobility devices such as walkers and wheelchairs, as well as hardware, software or other electronic devices.
Helpful Resources
Partners Resource Network
The Partners Resource Network (PRN) provides the parents with training, education, information, referral, emotional support, and individual assistance in obtaining appropriate services.
Texas Project First
Created by parents, for parents. This web site is a project of the Texas Education Agency and is committed to providing accurate and consistent information to parents & families of students with disabilities
Texas Transition/Employment Guide
Has helpful information on steps students and families can take to make sure they are able to find the right work or educational choices after high school.
Parent’s Guide to the Admission, Review, and Dismissal Process
Provides information on the ARD process
Procedural Safeguards | English | En Español
Provides Information on the rights of parents of children with disabilities

Dyslexia

Dyslexia is a lifelong brain-based type of learning disability (language processing disorder) that can hinder reading, writing, spelling, and sometimes even speaking despite effective instruction, adequate intelligence and sociocultural opportunity. Students identified as having dyslexia typically experience primary difficulties in phonological awareness, including phonemic awareness and manipulation, single-word reading, reading fluency, and spelling. Consequences may include difficulties in reading comprehension and/or written expression.

The following are the primary reading/spelling characteristics of dyslexia:

  • Difficulty reading words in isolation
  • Difficulty accurately decoding unfamiliar words
  • Difficulty with oral reading (slow, inaccurate, or labored)
  • Difficulty spelling

Formal Evaluation:

When signs and characteristics of dyslexia are clearly observed, a formal evaluation needs to be conducted by licensed dyslexia assessment personnel with the parent’s consent.

Eligibility

Based on the data collected and formal assessment results, the 504 committee makes the dyslexia and 504 eligibility decisions.

Programs and Services:

  • Classroom Accomodations
  • A multisensory, structured language instruction in decoding, comprehension, and fluency provided by a trained dyslexia instructor in a small group setting delivered weekly at scheduled times. The dyslexia programs used at Harmony Public Schools based on district are:

    • DIP: Houston, San Antonio, Lubbock, Odessa
      The Dyslexia Intervention Program is a multisensory curriculum based on the Orton-Gillingham approach which teaches phonics, and the structure of the English language. The program teaches reading, writing, spelling, and verbal and written expression by engaging the visual, auditory, and kinesthetic modalities simultaneously whenever possible.
    • MTA: Dallas, Fort Worth
      Multisensory Teaching Approach is a program for the remediation of Dyslexia and other reading disabilities. It follows research begun at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital in 1965 by Aylett R. Cox and Dr. Lucius Waites as they developed the Alphabetic Phonics program. This program is an Orton-Gillingham multisensory approach to teaching reading that combines Visual, Auditory and Kinesthetic (or muscle) instruction. Titled Alphabetic Phonics because it is based on the alphabet symbol system, it teaches the science of the written language and addresses reading, handwriting, and spelling.
    • Wilson Reading System: Austin
      WRS is an intensive Tier 3 program for students in grades 2-12 and adults with word-level deficits who are not making sufficient progress through their current intervention; have been unable to learn with other teaching strategies and require multisensory language instruction; or who require more intensive structured literacy instruction due to a language-based learning disability, such as dyslexia. As a structured literacy program based on phonological-coding research and Orton-Gillingham principles, WRS directly and systematically teaches the structure of the English language. Through the program, students learn fluent decoding and encoding skills to the level of mastery.
    • Take Flight (Scottish Rite Hospital): El Paso
      A Comprehensive Intervention for Students with Dyslexia is a two-year curriculum written by the staff of the Luke Waites Center for Dyslexia and Learning Disorders at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children. Take Flight builds on the success of the three previous dyslexia intervention programs developed by the staff of TSRHC: Alphabetic Phonics, the Dyslexia Training Program and TSRH Literacy Program.
Helpful Resources
The Yale Center for Dyslexia & Creativity
The Yale Center for Dyslexia & Creativity serves as a nexus for research on dyslexia, and is as well a leading source of advocacy and information to better the lives of people with dyslexia.
International Dyslexia Association
The International Dyslexia Association (IDA) is an international organization that supports education and research on behalf of people who learn differently.
Understood Organization
Understood's goal is to help the millions of parents whose children, ages 3–20, are struggling with learning and attention issues. They want to empower them to understand their children’s issues and relate to their experiences. With this knowledge, parents can make effective choices that propel their children from simply coping to truly thriving.

Section 504

Harmony Public Schools provides students with disabilities appropriate educational services designed to meet the individual needs of the students to the same extent as the needs of students without disabilities. An appropriate education for a student with a disability under Section 504 regulations can consist of education in regular classrooms, education in regular classes with supplementary services, and/or related services.

Definition

Section 504 is a civil rights law that protects eligible individuals from discrimination on the basis of their disabilities.

Evaluation

Once a referral has been made by school staff or the parent(s)/guardian(s), a 504 evaluation – which includes the review of data drawn from a variety of sources (health records, academic records, parent/teacher input etc.) – is conducted by the 504 committee.

Eligibility

To be protected under Section 504, a student must be determined to

  1. Have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities (breathing, walking, concentrating, reading etc.)
  2. Potential Qualifying Disabilities may include, but are not limited to:
    • ADD/ADHD
    • Asthma
    • Bipolar Disorder
    • Cancer
    • Diabetes
    • Epilepsy
    • Dyslexia
    • HIV
    • OCD, ODD

Services

  • Accommodations: Extended time, reading aloud etc.
  • Service plans: Individual accommodation plan (IAP), emergency action/health plan, behavior intervention plan etc.
  • Related services: Counseling, assistive technology etc.
Helpful Resources
Special Education and Section 504 Comparison Chart
Center for Parent Information and Resources
The Center for Parent Information and Resources (CPIR) serves as a central resource of information and products to the community of Parent Training Information (PTI) Centers and the Community Parent Resource Centers (CPRCs), so that they can focus their efforts on serving families of children with disabilities
Understanding the 504 Plans by Understood
If your child has learning and attention issues and is struggling in school, you may be curious about 504 plans. If your child doesn’t qualify for an Individualized Education Program (IEP), a 504 plan may be a good alternative.

Find out more at the Understood website.

 

Center for STEM Education

Mission

The mission of the Center for STEM Education is to coordinate and/or contribute to the development, implementation, and management of STEM programs aligned with the mission of the Harmony Public Schools.

The major goals of the Center are

  • Serve as a central point of contact and communication by offering a physical presence at HPS main office, a comprehensive website, and STEM outreach programs.
  • Be the driving force for engaging HPS students, faculty, and parents in STEM initiatives.
  • Encourage and facilitate expanded HPS interaction with educators, community organizations, policy makers, businesses, and families.
  • Develop and provide support for STEM programs for HPS teachers.
  • Create strategic partnerships among business, higher education entities, and local educational agencies including school districts and charter schools to support STEM education by enabling and supporting regional collaboration.
  • Develop and provide support for extracurricular STEM programs within HPS.
  • Seek external funds for STEM fields and administer and support programs developed with such funds.
  • Inspire and support HPS students to pursue careers in STEM fields.

To learn more about STEM, please visit the website:

Center for STEM Education

StemSOS

Mission

STEM SOS is a rigorous, interdisciplinary, standards-focused, and engaging STEM teaching approach that is teacher-facilitated, student-centered and directed through sets of project- and inquiry-based (P&IBL) projects. This new PBL approach maintains the focus on standards-based teaching while enriching and extending the learning of students through PBL projects. The goal is to promote not only collaborative skills and student ownership of learning but also to promote student success in state and national standards.

To learn more about STEM, please visit the website:

StemSOS (PBL)

Teacher Evaluation

H-TESS

Established in 2014, the purpose of Harmony Public Schools appraisal system, H-TESS, is to establish an environment of professional growth through ongoing support. It is comprised of three domains:

  • Domain I - Instructional Quality
  • Domain II - Student Growth and Achievement
  • Domain III - Professional Roles and Responsibilities

Teachers and administrators work closely together to set goals, monitor progress towards those goals, and seek professional development in order to improve their instructional practice so that student learning is increased. Administrators visit teachers' classrooms throughout the year in order to provide feedback and support, and both teacher and student growth is measured on an ongoing basis.

Mentoring Program

Studies indicate the following: Teachers who receive "an induction program that includes mentoring, common planning times and continual support from school leaders on a steady basis are more satisfied with their jobs, get better ratings with their classroom teaching practices and are 'associated' with higher levels of student outcomes." The Problem Isn’t Teacher Recruiting; It’s Retention, by Dian Schaffhauser The Journal Transforming Education Through Technology, 7/7/14

The Harmony Public Schools Mentoring Program is designed to assign a mentor to all teachers who are new to the teaching profession, second year/returning teachers who still need support and those who transfer from another school district. Our goals for such teachers are as follows:

  1. To reduce the intensity of the transition into teaching.
  2. To support teachers with achieving high teaching standards of the HTESS (Harmony Teacher Evaluation and Support System) Framework.
  3. To increase the retention rate of new hires within our system.

Mentors and mentees are provided with a guidebook and professional development resources focused on teaching and learning, to assist them with collaborative efforts throughout the year. Mentee professional development focuses on instructional strategies to enhance their skills with classroom management, teaching, and learning. Mentor professional development emphasizes strategies for being an effective mentor and ways to support Mentees with their ongoing professional development. Face to face administrative training, webinars, and on-demand, personalized web-based professional development opportunities are just a few ways we support our teachers. We’re working hard to develop strong relationships and build the capacity of our teachers to become excellent teachers who positively impact student achievement.

To learn more about our mentoring program, please click on HPS Mentoring Guidebook.

 

Now Accepting Applications for 2018 - 2019 Enrollment

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