In accordance with United States Code (U.S.C.) Annotated, Title 20, Chapter 70, Subchapter VIII, Part C, Section 7846, and Public Law (P.L.) 114-95, Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), Section 8306, an entity planning to submit a federal grant application must afford a reasonable opportunity for public comment on the application before it is submitted.

Harmony Public Schools hereby gives notice to the public that it intends to file the following applications and request awarded amounts for federal grant funds with the Texas Education Agency for the school year 2022-23. HPS welcomes comments or questions concerning any of these grants, and requests that any comments or questions be submitted by June 30, 2022 using the form below.

En concordancia con United States Code (U.S.C.) Annotated, Title 20, Chapter 70, Subchapter VIII, Part C, Section 7846, and Public Law (P.L.) 114-95, Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), Section 8306, una entidad que planea presentar una solicitud de subvención federal (subsidio) debe brindar una oportunidad razonable para comentarios públicos. Las siguientes son las subvenciones federales que

Harmony Public Schools por la presente notifica al público que tiene la intención de presentar las siguientes solicitudes y solicitar los montos otorgados para fondos de subvenciones federales con la Agencia de Educación de Texas para el año escolar 2022-23. HPS agradece los comentarios o preguntas sobre cualquiera de estas subvenciones y solicita que los comentarios o preguntas se envíen antes del 30 de junio de 2022 mediante este Google form.

Each school year, thousands of families submit their application to become a part of Harmony Public Schools.

Here’s how we select applicants for enrollment each year to make sure each applicant has an equal opportunity to become our next high-achieving Harmony scholar.

STEP 1

Each January, we ask current families to let us know if they’ll be coming back to Harmony next year. This is called “Re-Enrollment.”

STEP 2

Based on the number of students returning next year and the number of classes in each grade level, we determine how many open spots we will have for new students.

STEP 3

Meanwhile, new families are submitting their applications during our annual Open Enrollment season, which runs from November 1 through February 10 each year.

STEP 4

After February 10, if the number of new applicants is greater than the number of available spots we have, Harmony holds a “blind lottery” to make sure all applicants have a fair opportunity to be seated.

STEP 5

Families of students selected for enrollment are notified. Those not selected are put on a “waitlist” and contacted as soon as a spot opens up.

… and that’s it!

Here are some answers to our applicants’ most frequently asked questions.

#1 – IS THERE ALWAYS A LOTTERY?

Not always, but often.

Whether a lottery is needed is determined by the number of spots available at each grade level and the number of eligible applicants interested in them.

#2 – I WAS SELECTED FOR ENROLLMENT –
WHAT DO I NEED TO DO NEXT?

Most importantly, we need you to officially accept the spot (a link will be provided on the acceptance letter). Then, between now and next fall, you’ll need to officially register your child and provide a few documents verifying their identity and home address.

After that, we’ll see you on the first day of school!

(Note: If you were accepted by more than one campus, please register at your preferred campus and decline the invitation of any others. This will allow us to offer those spots to another prospective Harmony family.)

#3 – I WAS PLACED ON A WAITLIST –
IS THERE ANY CHANCE I WILL GET TO ATTEND?

Absolutely – so don’t give up hope! Students initially placed on a waitlist are given the opportunity to enroll all the time at Harmony, often for one of the following reasons:

  • A student who was initially selected in the lottery didn’t completion registration by the deadline.
  • A student who was initially selected in the lottery moved away.
  • A student was selected by two schools in the lottery, but of course could only register at one.
  • We added an an extra class at the grade level for which you applied.
  • One of our nearby campuses had an opening,
    and reached out to see if you were interested in attending there.

More Questions?

Reach out to us on Let’s Talk to let us know how we can help!

Harmony Science & Engineering Fair (H-SEF) is an annual science fair that brings together middle and high school students across the Harmony network who have engaged in advanced research projects all year long. Majority of H-SEF finalists are award winners in their regional science fairs within their local communities. H-SEF aims to promote STEM through advanced research among secondary students and increase their interest and motivation to pursue STEM careers. 

H-SEF 2022 will be in person at the Harmony Public Schools Central Office in Houston and it is open to all Harmony middle and high school students.  

Below you will find H-SEF rules and guidelines along with the event timeline.

H-SEF 2022 Information

H-SEF RULES & GUIDELINES

H-SEF 2022 Registration Link

H-SEF 2022 (In Person)

January 2022 – H-SEF announcement and flyers shared with HPS schools

January 17, 2022 – Application process begins

March 4, 2022 – Student registration deadline.

March  7-31 2022 – Review process begins and Pre-qualification decisions made

March  28 2022 – April 1 2022 – Qualification Emails sent to students

April 23, 2022 –H-SEF 2022 Judging and Award Ceremony (In Person)

For questions reach out to your campus science fair coordinator or principal.

Here is the link for curriculum night- https://bit.ly/hsacurriculumnight

HSA has earned the College Board’s AP® Computer Science Female Diversity Award. This award recognizes schools that are closing the gender gap and expanding young women’s access to computer science coursework in AP Computer Science Principles (AP CSP) and AP Computer Science A (AP CSA). Specifically, College Board is honoring schools that have either reached 50% or higher female examinee representation in one of or both AP computer science courses, or whose percentage of the female examinees met or exceeded that of the school’s female population.

Harmony Science Academy will be hosting a VEX VRC Event on Saturday, February 19 from 7am to 5pm. Registration opens Saturday, January 15 at 10am EST. The price to register is $75.

 

In accordance with the Texas State Plan for the Education of Gifted/Talented students, Harmony Public Schools will begin taking referrals for all interested students in grades K-12 for Gifted and Talented (G/T) screening.
Anyone interested in the educational welfare of these students may nominate them for assessment. Students in grades 1 & up who were tested in Fall 2021 are not eligible to test in Spring 2022. Referral forms are available at the front office and on the school’s website (see below).
The referral forms must be returned or emailed to the front office by January 31, 2022. The Spring GT testing window is set by the campus in February or March. Campuses may elect to use NWEA MAP scores as a prescreening criterion for GT Testing.
For more information about the screening and identification process, parents may contact the school’s GT Coach/teacher.
De acuerdo con el Plan Estatal de Texas para la Educación de Estudiantes Dotados / Talentosos, Harmony Public Schools comenzará a tomar referencias para todos los estudiantes interesados en los grados K-12 para la evaluación de estudiantes dotados y talentosos.
Cualquier persona interesada en el bienestar educativo de estos estudiantes puede nominarlos para dicha evaluación. Los estudiantes en los grados 2 y superiores que fueron evaluados en el otoño de 2020 no son elegibles para la prueba en la primavera de 2021. Los formularios de referencia están disponibles en la oficina y en el sitio web de la escuela.
Los formularios de referencia deben devolverse a la oficina de la escuela antes del lunes 31 de enero del 2022.
Para obtener más información sobre el proceso de selección e identificación, los padres pueden comunicarse con el entrenador / maestro de GT de la escuela.

Harmony Science Academy will be hosting a free Covid-19 vaccination clinic this Friday, January 7, from 4 to 6 pm. This event is open to the public, however, anyone under 18 must be accompanied by a parent. All vaccine brands, second doses and boosters will be available with proper documentation of previous doses.

 

If your student is struggling in a subject, or just has a question about tonight’s homework assignment, Harmony Public Schools has a solution.

Harmony is proud to now offer free tutoring 24/7 with TutorMe.

Through TutorMe, students in Grades 3-12 have free, 24/7 online access to verified experts in more than 300 fields.

Check out the video below to learn more, or look for the TutorMe option inside Clever in your family’s MyHarmony Portal account.

One of the questions we hear most from prospective parents interested in applying to Harmony Public Schools is “I’ve been looking at schools near me, but I don’t understand – what is the difference between a charter school and an ISD public school?” 

Public charter schools have grown exponentially in the past 25 years – both in Texas, and around the country – but we understand why many parents who grew up in a traditional independent school district setting themselves may still have questions.

That’s OK. We’ve got the answers to all of your biggest questions about charter schools.

So, what exactly is a charter school?

A charter school is a public school, and in many ways very similar to a traditional ISD school as you might think of one.

  • Charter schools do not charge tuition or application fees.
  • Charter schools accept every student who applies, as long as the school or grade level has not reached its enrollment capacity.
  • Charter school students take the same core classes and state tests (ex. STAAR) as ISD students. 
  • Charter schools are held to strict standards of financial and overall accountability by the Texas Education Agency.
  • Charter schools offer a full range of special services, including special education, English as a Second Language (ESL), Dyslexia, and 504. 

However, what makes charter schools different is what we believe makes them special. In a word, that difference is “choice.”

Way back in 1995, the Texas State Legislature decided that even though there were a lot of great schools in Texas, a one-size-fits-all approach to education might not work for all families. Each child is unique: some with special gifts, others with special challenges, and all with special dreams for their futures.

To help better serve every Texas student, the Texas public charter school system was created to allow independent, education-based nonprofit organizations called Charter Management Organizations (CMOs) to open and operate free public schools for Texas students with the promise that they would provide a new school choice in education for local Texas families.

For some charter schools, that new choice might be a curriculum that focuses on dual-language learning. For others, it might be helping students who have dropped out of the traditional school setting reclaim their path to graduation.

At Harmony Public Schools, we specialize in hands-on, project-based learning with a heavy emphasis on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), as well as advanced college preparedness and character education.


DID YOU KNOW?

Of the roughly 100 schools in Texas certified as official Texas STEM Academies be the Texas Education Agency, 23 are Harmony Public Schools high schools – more than any other school system in Texas!

Thirteen Harmony high schools have also been named among the Best STEM High Schools in the U.S. by Newsweek.


 

Who can attend a charter school?

As long as a student lives within its geographic boundaries of the school, any child can attend a Texas public charter school. However, unlike traditional ISD schools where students usually must attend whichever nearby campus they are “zoned” to, public charter school geographic boundaries are generally very large – often covering multiple communities or counties. These large geographic boundaries are another way Texas public charter schools offer Texas families a choice in their student’s education, and are unique from traditional ISDs. For example, rather than sending their child to an ISD campus near their home address, a parent may prefer for their child to attend a school near a grandparent’s home, or the parent’s place of work. Or they may prefer to send their child to a campus that specializes in a specific curriculum, like STEM, or with a higher TEA accountability rating than their neighborhood ISD school. All of these are options with Texas public charter schools.

Do public charter schools charge tuition?

Texas public charter schools are free to attend. Applying to a Texas public charter school is also free.

How do charter schools choose who gets to attend?

They don’t. Charter school students are never “cherry picked” from an applicant pool. Any student who applies to attend a charter school will be accepted, so long as they meet three basic criteria:

  1. They live within the schools geographic boundaries;
  2. They are applying to a grade taught by that specific school;
  3. Available seats are open in the grade-level to which the family is applying. At Harmony, if more students apply than there are available openings, the campus will hold a “blind” lottery to ensure fair an equal opportunity for enrollment to all new applicants.

RELATED: Learn more about Harmony Public School’s application, enrollment and lottery processes

When and how can a student apply to a charter school?

A student can apply to a charter school at any time during the school year and be accepted if space is available. However, most Texas public charter schools also offer an open enrollment period each year specifically for prospective new students. During this time, families can learn more about their charter school options and enter their name for the enrollment lottery, which is held in the event there are more applicants than available seats. For Harmony Public Schools, open enrollment runs each November 1 through February 10. 

MORE INFO: Learn more about how to apply to Harmony Public Schools.

How is a charter school funded?

As opposed to a traditional ISD school, which receives its funding primarily from the taxes local homeowners pay each year combined with additional funding from the state, charter schools receive their primary funding from the state and federal governments. Additionally, charters often receive both public and private grants to fund many of their innovative academic programs. For example, in recent years Harmony Public Schools has received grants of varying amounts from the U.S. Department of Education, the Texas Education Agency, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, and the Elon Musk Foundation, among others.

Are Texas public charter schools for-profit?

No. By law, Texas public charter schools must be nonprofit entities. All funds received are used in the service of our students and school teams.

Do charter schools require uniforms?

That’s a decision that’s up to each charter school. At Harmony Public Schools, we do have a uniform policy. (Our students do get regular “free dress” days, though.)

Do charter schools offer the same types of programs and extracurricular activities as ISD schools?

Charter schools offer almost all of the same programs and extracurricular activities as ISD schools, though just like at an ISD school, the exact selection of extracurricular opportunities varies from campus-to-campus. Traditionally, charter schools specialize in offering a wide variety of academic-focused extracurriculars. For example, at Harmony Public Schools, some of our most popular extracurricular activities are our groundbreaking eSports clubs, LEGO robotics, rocketry, computer coding, and biomedicine. Our schools also compete in a wide variety of sports, including basketball, volleyball, soccer, and football. 

What level accountability do charter schools have to maintain?

Just like traditional ISDs, Texas charter schools must remain in good academic and financial accountability with the Texas Education Agency. That includes annual inclusion in the TEA’s Financial Integrity System of Texas (FIRST) and Overall Accountability ratings. Charter schools that do not meet these standards face closure by the TEA. Finally, to help families easily understand how their charter school is performing, the TEA has created a Charter School Performance Framework (CSPF), which grades charter districts on overall academic performance and closing achievement gaps.

What other differences are there between charter schools and traditional ISD schools?

There are a few other differences between Texas public charter schools and ISDs, but most don’t impact the day-to-day campus life of our students. For example, charter school boards consist of appointed volunteers with a unique interest in education, rather than private individuals who have chosen to run for election. However, charter school board meetings are still open to the public to attend and participate.

What about …?

We couldn’t possibly share all the things that make charter schools a unique and important part of the Texas educational environment in just one article. So if you have more questions, we’d love the opportunity to tell you more. Just tell us what you want to know in our Let’s Talk family communication platform, and we’ll reach out with an answer soon!