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HPS Austin Monthly November Edition

message from the superintendent

Gina Gregory, Austin Area Superintendent

We have so much to be thankful for in Harmony Austin. We have dedicated teachers and staff that make every campus an enjoyable place for our students. This past month we had a student get a perfect score on her PSAT, celebrated our veterans, enjoyed literacy nights with our families and focused on the future with our college and career day. Our students took time this month to serve their communities to help make Austin a better place. With so much to be thankful for this season, we ask that you join us in giving back to our families in need. Please see the HARMONY GIVES link at the bottom of this newsletter as we assist our families with the upcoming holiday season.

dedicated staff

HPS Austin is staffed with committed and talented educators from around Texas and the globe. Our dedicated staff use a whole child approach to education and do whatever it takes to help our students' reach their goals. Each month, we are honored to introduce and highlight one of the amazing team members from the Harmony family.

College Counselors

from left to right: Rahime Tunc, Mustafa Sungur, Christel Sullivan, Aydin Yildirim, Ayse Tunc, Izzetin Aslan, Ofelia Arroyo

Harmony Public Schools Austin’s college counseling team has been recognized by the Austin Chamber of Commerce for outstanding educational work in the community. At the Chamber's annual State of Education event, HPS Austin received the “Apply Texas” award due to 100% submission to the Texas Common Application. The goal of ApplyTexas is to offer a centralized means for students to apply to the many outstanding Texas universities, community colleges, and private schools with one simple step. Harmony’s college counselors are unique and align with our mission to serve communities that might not have access or information on post-secondary education. Harmony’s counselors provide personalized services to the students and their families as early as 8th grade that continue past high school graduation. Besides simply tracking and advising students, they serve as advocates and become mentors who they know can help them with ANYTHING they need. The counselors create strong bonds with families as they become part of very important decisions in the critical moments of the students’ lives. “I like to think we open doors and give tools to students to pursue their education and hopefully improve their and their future family's future. Their success is our ultimate goal and I think we are all super passionate about our jobs,” says HSE lead counselor, Christel Sullivan. Harmony’s college counselors also explore options to add and expand our high school programs especially in regards to career pathways, early college programs, and community service and internship opportunities. Harmony student success to and through college is directly impacted by the dedicated team within the college counseling department.

Harmony Celebrates Student Success

Roshan Khan

Roshan Khan, known to her friends at school as Rosie, will be the youngest 2018 graduate at Harmony Science Academy Pflugerville. With Rosie’s perfect PSAT score, she is the only student at Harmony Public Schools Austin to be a National Merit Scholarship Semifinalist. “I felt ecstatic whenever I logged into the page and saw ‘1520’ on the screen, because I knew I'd get a high score but didn't get my hopes up about getting a full score,” said Rosie. Rosie attended elementary school at Harmony School of Science where she skipped two grade levels. At age 16, she will be walking the stage at graduation as the HSAPf salutatorian. As for what comes after high school, she has been accepted to attend her first choice college, The University of Texas at Austin. “People were a little disappointed when I would say I'm not applying to the Ivy Leagues, but I plan on going to maybe Harvard or Yale for my master's degree," said Rosie about making the choice to stay close to home UT Austin. Rosie plans to quadruple major in the UT Plan II Honors program, Government, Economics, and International Relations and Global Studies. Her Advanced Placement credits and Dual Credit Courses completed at Harmony allow her to complete a quadruple major in only 4 years at UT Austin.

Cities in Space Student™ Competition Winners!

Senior Nakita, Junior Jacob and Freshman Camille took 1st place in the High School Division Video Category for their video showcasing their created structure for a human civilization to live in space. Senior Alejandro and Caleb won 2nd place in the high school division video category.

Students from Harmony Science Academy Pflugerville competed in the Cities in Space Student™ Competition and Conference with the New Worlds Institute. Each year, scientists, experts, and engineers join future leaders in Austin to explain, discuss, and debate the challenges and solutions we face in space. The Cities in Space™ Competition coincides with the New Worlds Conference where student presentations are held. Students come together to present, compete and learn from one another about building a new world beyond Earth and how to create a surviving and thriving community.

Austin Family Magazine Young Writer Contest

Harmony School of Science 4th grade student Spandana won 1st Runner-Up for the 2017 Austin Family Magazine's Young Writer's Contest! Check out her winning essay in the December 2017 issue of Austin Family Magazine. Read her story at the link below:

Math League success

Harmony School of Political Science and Communication was a host campus for this year’s Math League competition for Central Texas students. HSPS students Pratham & Ethan placed in the top 3 in the middle school division.

STEm4All

National STEM Day falls in November and is meant to inspire students to explore interest in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. But every day is STEM day at Harmony!

Traveling Science Lab at Harmony School of Science

The traveling hands-on science lab from Austin Community College's Physics program came to visit Harmony School of Science Austin for a full day of science fun! The entire cafeteria was transformed into an interactive science lab where the Kindergarten through 5th grade students were able to explore the exhibits of light, magnetism, air pressure, sound, and electricity. ACC volunteers and parents assisted with experiments and questions. “It was great to see the students light up at the view of the cafeteria looking like a full science lab,” said Jearnal Williams, campus engagement coordinator.

join us for our steam fests!

December 9th from 9:30am-12:30pm at Harmony School of Excellence: 2100 E. St. Elmo Rd.

December 14th from 5:30-7:30pm at Harmony Science Academy Austin: 930 E. Rundberg Ln.

Honoring our veterans

Harmony honors the brave men and women who have served our country so selflessly and each year find creative ways to share a heartfelt appreciation. Through Veteran acknowledgment walls to parades and guest assemblies, students always look forward to the opportunity to share this very special thank you. The Harmony Science Academy Austin team created Poppy Pinwheels to plant outside in the parking lot to give thanks to the special Veterans in their lives.

Harmony Science Academy - Cedar Park continued the long-standing Veterans Day tradition since spinning off of the Harmony School of Political Science and Communications campus. With this being the first school year of the new elementary campus in Cedar Park, the team went above and beyond in establishing precedence for future celebrations. Students from Pre-K through 4th grade performed songs of patriotism during the assembly. Ms. DeFranco and Coach Beardslee spoke as former military members that chose to serve their country and that have now chosen to serve as educators at HSACP. Students were also excited to hear from parent Marine Major Andrew Mawdsley and grandparent, Harold Street who spoke on what integrity means, and the importance of confidence and perseverance. Harmony father, Xavier Bell shared some fascinating relics of military history from their family dating back three generations to one of the first African American Civil War regiments.

hps austin promotes a love of learning

Literacy week at Harmony school of innovation

Harmony School of Innovation Austin celebrated their annual fall literacy night to promote positive reading habits at school and at home. In conjunction with the event, several community members from the greater Austin area made classroom visits to read to our students throughout the week. Community members from The Austin Public Library, Dove Springs Proud, The Austin Chamber Of Commerce, Girl Scouts of Central Texas, Texas State University, Book Beau, and members from HPS Austin District showed our future innovators the importance of reading every day. Principal Molina says, “I’d like to give a special thank you to the many members of the Austin community for visiting our campus! We appreciate your time and I know our kids enjoyed your presence. Today a reader, tomorrow a leader!”

Ricardo Zavala, Dove Springs Proud

Benita Botello, Book Beau

Chelly Bell, Austin Chamber of Commerce

Nikolas Ellis, Texas State University

James Loomis, Austin Public Library

Harmony School of Political Science College and Career fair

Harmony School of Political Science hosted their first annual College and Career Fair where High school students had the chance to engage with college recruiters and industry professionals. It was an informative event where students learned about future opportunities while practicing soft skills. Good communication skills and confidence are attributes that corporate participant Rudy Tschang of Legal Zoom says is highly sought after in today’s workforce. Representatives from the University of Texas at Austin, Texas A&M University and Texas Tech University shared information on college applications and acceptance. Students also learned opportunities on federal student aid from Austin area non-profit, Foundation Communities. Professionals from Baker & Bots law firm, IBM, Legal Zoom, the US Army and Austin Police Department were in attendance to field questions from students on career exploration and workforce readiness. An event like this not only gives students the opportunity to begin to relate what they’ve learned in the classroom to what their next step will be, but also invites representatives from area industries to see what makes Harmony Public Schools a good partner in fostering the future workforce.

Dental Hygiene with Austin Community College

Students from the Austin Community College Dental Hygiene Department visited Kindergarten and first grade classes at Harmony Science Academy Austin. They shared important tips on keeping their teeth healthy and clean. They taught the elementary students how to correctly brush their teeth, how much toothpaste to use, and how long they should brush. Students were able to go home with toothbrushes, toothpaste, flossers, and information for parents in English and Spanish. This initiative is for the ACC students to give back to the community through various different outreach projects.

Athletics

Tackle football at Harmony School of Excellence

Harmony School of Excellence Austin football players are relaxing after another successful season playing as HPS Austin’s exclusive tackle football team. In its second year, the team consists of 20 players ranging from 8th-12th grade. Coach Manzak leads the team and says, “Many of the students were coming to me wanting tackle football, they were going to leave the school otherwise. I knew what doors could be opened for our youth through sports and so it was my gift to the students to get this program rolling.” Teachers have seen students come together in spirit and in pride for their school in a unique way since having their own football team. Staff, parents and even our elementary school neighbors at Harmony School of Innovation have worked together as one family to cheer on the efforts of team. Coach Manzak adds, “As a whole, I've seen many of our athletes work harder in class, their attitudes have become more positive, their confidence has blossomed.”

in the community

Dove Springs Community Thanksgiving

Harmony School of Innovation Principal Molina and Outreach Coordinator Cindy Ojeda joined fellow community leaders in volunteering at the Annual Dove Springs Rec Advisory Board Community Thanksgiving Dinner.

Harmony Gives

Please consider helping an Austin Harmony family in need during this season of giving. You may give directly through the Amazon link below or you can speak to your individual campus engagement coordinator to sponsor a family in need.

Texas Book Festival

Harmony School of Excellence Ballet Folklorico joined fellow student Salma S. in a stage performance of traditional Mexican song and dance at the Texas Book Festival

Multi-Cultural Fair

Harmony Science Academy Pflugerville hosted their 10th Annual Multicultural Fair to students and the Pflugerville community. The Multicultural Fair is a school wide celebration of the diverse cultures represented on campus. “I went to Texas, the Philippines and Latin America all in one night!” said Rakiah, 7th grade. Students and their families shared a wide variety of traditional foods, costumes and dances with the school and the community. “As my first time attending the event, I was so excited to see the huge community turnout we had and the many diverse cultures of our students,” said Lisa Munoz, Engagement Coordinator.

Civic Engagement

we are G.R.E.A.T.

The Harmony Science Academy - Austin and Harmony School of Innovation 4th grade students have successfully completed a 6-week G.R.E.A.T. program in partnership with the Austin Police Department's Police Activities League of Austin - PAL. The G.R.E.A.T. program is taught by APD volunteer officers. The program and the G.R.E.A.T. curriculum focus on positive partnerships in the community and teaching our students about making the right choices in and out of school.

volunteer with harmony

Calling all Science Fair judges

We are inviting community members who are interested in volunteering their time to join us in January as a judge for our annual district level Science Fair. Please fill out the application at the link below if you would like to be involved in judging Harmony's amazing projects.

We need you! Can you help? Community members and parents are encouraged to volunteer at HPS. Every day, volunteers fulfill essential needs especially in the administrative, support and fundraising areas so that HPS's teaching staff can focus all its energy on its young students. Volunteers may be utilized in the classrooms, assisting in the office, library, and cafeteria, or at community fundraising events. If you are interested in volunteering, please sign up at the link below!

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Meet the district office leadership staff

Left to Right: Victoria Stockstill, M.Ed.- Director of Communications and Development; Toroman Yayla- Director of Finance; Taji Jordan, MS, PHR- Director of Talent; Gina Gregory, M.Ed.- Area Superintendent; Dana Moses, M.Ed.- Director of Operations; Allanur Agaberdiyev, M. Ed.- Director of Academics; Ozan Doganay, M.Ed.- Director of Engagement

930 E Rundberg Lane Austin, TX 78753

1421 Wells Branch Pkwy Suite 200 Grades: 6th-12th

13415 FM 620 N Grades: 5-12th

12200 Anderson Mill Rd Austin, Texas 78726 Grades: PK-4th

11800 Stonehollow Dr. Suite 100 Grades: K-5th

2100 E St. Elmo Rd Grades: 6th-12th

2124 E St. Elmo Rd. Grades: K-5th

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