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Celebrations in Excellence Harmony Houston North District Newsletter

September 2018 Edition

In this issue

  • A word from our superintendent
  • District Kick-off
  • News from our campuses
  • District Highlights
  • Upcoming events
  • Help wanted
  • Connect with Us

From the Desk of the Superintendent

I want to seize this opportunity to reach out and introduce myself to Harmony Houston North community. Let me first say how incredibly honored and excited I am for joining Harmony Houston North District. I have fifteen years of experience with Harmony Public Schools in multiple capacities, most recently leading Harmony Public Schools in Washington, D.C. I have two daughters attending Harmony, and one 3-year old son.

Throughout my career in the system, I have been keeping track of what has been going on at Harmony Houston North. It is no secret that in many ways, Harmony Houston North has led charter school networks in Texas in creating meaningful educational experiences for students. Since being named area superintendent, I have seen this in action through the instructional rounds, student presentations, classroom visits and so much more.

To date I have had the privilege of meeting many students and parents and look forward to meeting many more. I have been doing a lot of listening and learning in an effort to better understand the current needs of our district. I have been asked frequently what I see as the vision for Harmony Houston North. While I believe that the superintendent has a large role to play in the district, I do not see the vision as something that I can or should create in isolation. I will be working with staff, students, and parents to identify the vision for the future of Harmony Houston North. With that input, the staff will work to create the plans to ensure that the vision becomes a reality.

I wish everyone a great school year!

Best,

Mr. Emin Cavusoglu

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District Kick-Off

Houston North started off the year with a energizing staff pep rally! All campuses came together at the Enrichment campus to celebrate our accomplishments from last year and welcome our newest family members including our superintendent Mr. Emin.

Every campus and the district office showed off their school spirit with a personalized cheer. It was a great day of bonding together, sharing enthusiasm and getting fired up to "Go Shine your Light" in 2018-2019!

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Harmony School of Technology

Harmony School of Technology is 1 of 5 schools selected from the Houston/Galveston area for Artist Boat’s “We Back the Bay” program. This program allows students and teachers in the counties surrounding Galveston Bay to create learning legacies on their school campus that will improve the water quality of Galveston Bay. Amanda Gigante and Joseph Schiller from HST will be leading the program grant. The program will build awareness of the causes and consequences of poor water quality in Galveston Bay, develop critical thinking skills necessary to mitigate pollution of the Bay, and participants will be able to take action on their campus by building their Water Smart landscape to conserve water and reduce storm water run-off from their campus.

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Harmony School of Enrichment

Orbit, the Astros' mascot, and former player, Oscar Liendo, visited Harmony Elementary School of Enrichment to motivate students to S.T.O.P bullying (Stand up for one another, Tell an adult, Offer friendship, and Practice respect). Students and teachers participated in fun and exciting games for some amazing prizes. Garrett, a 3rd grader who won the most spirited and loudest student, stated, "I felt a little nervous. I heard there would be a prize and thought my mom would be so happy. That took out the energy in me." He won an Astros shirt and Orbit playing card. Four teachers (Catherine Morris, Heather Kominczak, Laura Harrison, and Whitney Otts) danced with Orbit to a cheering crowd of students and staff! The teachers all received Orbit's newest book. Most importantly students were given STOP cards to continue the conversation in their school's morning meetings and the school was given posters to continue the very important effort to end and prevent school-wide bullying.

Stand up for one another

Tell an adult

Offer friendship

Practice respect

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Harmony Science Academy Bryan/College Station

Harmony Science Academy - Bryan students spent the 2017 – 2018 Spring semester growing and maintaining their own class gardens as part of a collaboration between our school and the Brazos Valley Master Gardeners.

Students grew multitudes of produce, including swiss chard, collard greens, tomatoes, and squash. All of the plants grown during the school year were shared with the students and their families, but during the summer, the vegetables continued to flourish!

Because of the hard work of the students during the springtime, they were able to donate the produce grown over the summer to the Brazos Valley Food Bank, which totaled over 150 pounds! They were happy to pass on this blessing to a worthy cause in their community.

This year the class gardens will continue, with students starting out by planting broccoli, greens, cauliflower, and green beans, among other fall and winter vegetables.

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Harmony School of Achievement

The Director of Instructional Materials, Jennifer Malloy, picked up over $40,000 in donated materials on September 19 from Harmony School of Achievement-Houston to assist a sister Harmony with their needs. The load of student and teacher editions of Journeys were delivered to Harmony School of Endeavor- Austin (formerly Harmony School of Political Science) this month.

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Harmony School of Endeavor

To celebrate First Responders in Observance of Patriot’s Day, members of the Harmony School of Endeavor staff and PTO visited Station 4 of the Houston Fire Department. Ms. King-Seifert delivered thank you notes, cards and stories written by the 1st-3rd grade students and PTO Members Mrs. Galan and Mrs. Houston delivered handmade cookies to thank our firefighters for their service to our community.

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Harmony School of Excellence

After a successful rookie year with two athletes qualifying for state and three qualifying for USATF nationals, the Harmony School of Excellence Houston Highlighters runners started their 2nd cross country season with a bang. Team Highlighter took 8th place in the middle school category, with many of their 4th-8th runners posting personal best times at the Bellaire Invitational. The team began practices at the beginning of August and trains before school three days per week in order to build endurance for the 2-mile races. Throughout September, the Highlighters will be competing in runs around the Houston area that will lead up to the TCSAAL East Regional qualifying race and TCSAAL State Championships in October.

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Harmony School of Discovery

Harmony School of Discovery teachers are making home visits in order to better meet the needs of the child and family. In promoting a partnership between parents and teachers, home visits provide the means for effective team problem solving, observing children in their home environment, and encouraging parent involvement. It also creates a personal bond between the students, parents, and teachers to ensure optimum success. In addition, it provides a sense of security for the parents to know that their children are in good and caring hands, and allows the parent to give feedback on their student’s academic experience.

They form a relationship through which they can share dreams, expectations, and tools regarding the child’s academic success. Teachers learn more about their students, involve parents more in their child’s education. For more information about Harmony Public School's home visit program visit https://www.hpspath.org

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Harmony School of Advancement

It is that time of the year! Homecoming games, suits, dresses, dances, and memories are soon to come since Harmony’s Annual Homecoming Carnival and Dance have been officially announced! The Homecoming Carnival will take place at Harmony School of Advancement starting from 4 PM till 8 PM on Friday, November 2nd. Also, the Homecoming Dance will take place the day after the carnival, which is Saturday, November 3rd from 7 PM to 10 PM. The Homecoming Dance will be located at Harmony School of Advancement’s 4th floor cafeteria. Let us make this year’s Homecoming—both Carnival and Dance—a memorable one for years to come. Hope all students will attend this extravagant annual event!

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District Highlights

GT Institute

On August 8th, the first GT Institute - first of its kind in the Harmony system - was held at the Excellence campus. Over 250 returning teachers received their annual 6 GT update hours by choosing sessions that were most meaningful to their subject matter or interest.

Amanda Gigante, a Gifted and Talented Coach from Harmony School of Technology has been selected to be a presenter at the annual Conference for the Advancement of Science Teaching. More information about the conference can be found here.

Harmony School of Excellence-Houston has been named as;

#1 in the best charter elementary schools in the greater Houston area

#1 in the best charter middle schools in the greater Houston area

#5 in the best charter elementary schools in Texas

#7 in the best charter middle schools in Texas

#58 in the best public middle schools in Texas

#57 in the best charter middle schools in America

#63 in the best charter elementary schools in America

by niche.com. Niche is a very prestigious company that runs a well-respected website with information on K-12 schools, colleges, cities, and neighborhoods across the United States and Puerto Rico.

The school received A+ in overall Niche Grade and A in academics, A in diversity, and A+ in teachers quality ranking.

The PR Department is partnering with Safe 2 Save to help save lives of teens, staff and parents by preventing distracted driving with a No Teching while Driving campaign!

Texas A&M University has selected Harmony Science Academy – Bryan to work with student volunteers as part of their Recreation, Park and Tourism Science (RPTS) class.

Dr. Darlene Locke, RPTS professor, chose Harmony as a place for her students to volunteer due to our affiliation with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension and local 4-H.

The Recreation, Parks and Tourism Science course is designed to give hands-on experience to students striving to work with youth in their future careers. Students are serving at Harmony by working with students in classroom settings, assisting in after school clubs, and taking on the role of event planning for some of the family activities.

Harmony School of Endeavor Using Smart Technology to Help Stop the Spread of Illness in School

As schools everywhere go back in session, Harmony School of Endeavor in Houston hopes to stay one step ahead of illness this year, keeping more kids healthy and in school with the help of Kinsa Smart Thermometers. As one of the schools accepted into the Lysol + Kinsa FLUency health program, all Harmony School of Endeavor families will receive free Kinsa Smart Thermometers, priced at $19.99 retail, and will be able to see aggregated, anonymous information on any symptoms and illnesses going around the school.

"Sick days are disruptive to learning, challenging for parents who must find childcare, and costly to schools that are already struggling with strapped resources," explains Kinsa founder and CEO Inder Singh. "Because the thermometer is the first device you grab when your child falls ill, we turned it into a support system to keep your entire family healthy. We are pleased to partner with Lysol, a leader in germ kill for more than 100 years, to offer schools nationwide a tool to help keep more children healthy and in school."

“We are thrilled to once again support Kinsa’s FLUency program, which will help keep students healthy in more than 10% of U.S. schools this cold & flu season,” said Chris Tedesco, GM US Marketing, Hygiene Home, RB. “Lysol’s ongoing commitment to the wellbeing of children and healthy schools across the country is furthered by this partnership. With tools like Kinsa Smart Thermometers and Lysol Disinfecting Wipes, we’ll work towards the common goal of helping to prevent the spread of germs in the classroom.”

“Our top priority is keeping our students in class learning,” explained DeShanna King-Seifert, Assistant Principal-Dean of Students. “With this innovative program, we hope to see the trends affecting our classrooms so that we can help contain the spread of illness, increase attendance, and continue giving our students the education they deserve.”

The FLUency program, now in its 4th year, has already helped over 60,000 families, and 90 percent of participating school nurses believe FLUency kept them more informed of illnesses going around their school. Click here to see a video of FLUency in action.

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Upcoming District Events

Check campus websites for school specific events:

Help Wanted

Give us your input! Fill out this short survey (less than 2 minutes) https://tinyurl.com/HPSPFESurvey

Inviting parents, teachers and community members to join our District Support Team (DST) to help guide and plan district improvements to impact student achievement. The DST will meet 4 times per year for up to 3 hours per meeting. Interested members please contact Claudette Van Ravenstein at cvanravenstein@harmonytx.org for more information.

Looking for parents and community members to help volunteer at and sponsor the Family Code Events on December 1st. Technology background knowledge is not required, but a plus. Please fill-out this form if you are interested in volunteering at this event and/or wanting more information on sponsoring opportunities.

Connect With Us

@HPSHoustonNorth HPSHoustonNorth Let's Talk can be found on campus websites

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