Frequently Asked Questions
What is a charter school?
Charter schools are nonsectarian, secular public schools of choice that operate with freedom from many of the regulations that apply to traditional public schools. Charter schools, like other public schools, do not teach religion. The "charter" establishing each such school is a performance contract detailing the school's mission, program, goals, students served, methods of assessment, and ways to measure success.
A charter school is independently operated in the sense that it can design its own educational program, hire its own teachers and staff, and manage its own budget. The basic concept of charter schools is that the school exercise increased autonomy in return for an accountability to its founders, parents, public, and grantors.
Who operates Harmony Public Schools?
Harmony Public Schools are operated by the Cosmos Foundation Inc., a non-profit organization, established in Houston, Texas. The Cosmos Foundation has been currently operating thirty-three (33) charter schools in all major cities (Houston, Dallas, Austin, San Antonio and El Paso) of the state of Texas. For more information visit Harmony Public Schools web site.
What is Cosmos Foundation?
The Cosmos Foundation is a non-profit corporation that was established in Houston, Texas. The foundation is organized and shall be operated exclusively for educational, scientific, and literary purposes. The Cosmos Foundation is dedicated to quality education and it promotes science, mathematics and educational technology in school environments. The Cosmos Foundation is the parent organization for Harmony Public Schools.
What is "Harmony Public Schools"?
Harmony Public Schools are college preparatory charter schools and serve students in grades Pre-K through 12.
Who can apply?
Harmony Public Schools are open enrollment and free to all students living in their respective ISDs and surrounding school districts. Students must also be age eligible to attend any Harmony Public School.
What is the teacher-to-student ratio?
Teacher-to-student ratio is around 1:12 at Harmony Public Schools. The officials of the Harmony Public Schools will maintain 1 to 12 (teacher-to-student) ratios by adding new employee as enrollment increases.
Is there a school uniform policy?
Yes, there is a school uniform policy at Harmony Public Schools. Parents need to purchase uniforms before the school starts from the school.
Do Harmony Public Schools offer after school and Saturday tutorials?
Yes, Harmony Public Schools offer after school and Saturday tutorials.
Do Harmony Public Schools offer gifted and talented program?
Yes, Harmony Public Schools offer gifted and talented program and advance courses.
What courses are offered at Harmony Public Schools?
Many courses offered in regular public schools will be offered at Harmony Public Schools. However, Harmony Public Schools will offer a more broad and rigorous curriculum including English, Math, Social Studies, Science, Art, Music, Physical Education and Spanish. Special emphasis is put on science, math, and computer technologies at Harmony Public Schools.
Why should the parents send their children to Harmony Public Schools?
Harmony Public Schools offer a comprehensive college preparatory program emphasizing science, mathematics, and technology education. Harmony Public Schools strive to play a role in satisfying this need. Harmony Public Schools also offer programs to develop skills and education for its students to enroll in Science and Engineering departments of prestigious colleges in the country and compete in an increasingly demanding workplace of science and technology, and contribute to the long-term economic development for the region.
- As Harmony Public Schools, we believe every child can learn and grow into a successful and productive citizen. When this belief is combined with the expertise necessary to set up and run a school, the result, we think, is an excellent environment for your children to learn. We believe that this environment will lay the foundation for a bright and productive future.
- Harmony Public Schools emphasize character education. We believe that parents want schools where their children are taught to be honest, courageous, persistent, etc. individuals, not just where they become educated. Our students wear uniforms daily and adhere to a clearly-articulated discipline policy.
- Our teachers and leadership team are experienced and committed. Within the central office of Harmony Public Schools, administrators are also strong, dedicated and diverse, and they monitor the quality and viability of our organization.
- Your children will be in the classroom with a high-performing teacher at Harmony Public Schools.
- At Harmony Public Schools, our goal is to enable our graduating seniors to enroll in top 4-year public and private universities.
What distinguishes Harmony Public Schools from other charter and public schools?
Harmony Public Schools have very high expectations for students in both academics and behavior. Our faculty and staff are dedicated and hard-working, and receive regular professional development and supervision. They function as a team and are committed to ensuring that students succeed. Harmony Public Schools have a small school and small class size.
The following educational innovations will distinguish Harmony Public Schools from other schools;
- Integration of technology into curriculum: By using a multi-sensory approach to learning, students will be provided with opportunities to learn through auditory, visual, tactile, and kinesthetic activities. The students are guided through the process of determining which learning style is best suited to their needs at Harmony Public Schools.
- Online Access: Parents will be able access online student grades, attendance, conduct, discipline reports, and teacher comments at Harmony Public Schools.
- Strong Reading and Writing Emphasis: English and ESL teachers focus on pronunciation and spelling of vocabulary used in the school, classroom, and home.
- Grade Advancement Policy: Harmony Public Schools develop a grade advancement policy for exceptional learners who demonstrate outstanding skills in Reading and Mathematics.
- Performance Assessments: Performance assessments - also known as "alternative" or "authentic" assessments - augment norm-referenced multiple-choice tests in all grade levels at Harmony Public Schools.
- Parental and Community Involvement: Involving parents in the activities of the classrooms, cafeteria, playground and many other extra-curricular affairs helps both students and parents to become better acquainted with the process of education.
- Peer Tutoring, Mentoring and Counseling: Peer partnership is used as a positive tool at Harmony Public Schools. High school students will tutor elementary and middle school students in core areas.
- Guidance for teaching and support personnel: In-services are the frequent and major part of our staff development Harmony Public Schools.
- Teacher Specialization in/after 4th Grade: The elementary school has two parts. The students receive specialized subject teachers as early as in the 4th and 5th grades in Mathematics, Reading, Computer Science, Foreign Language, and Science.
- Teachers as Homeroom Advisors: Middle school students are assigned a homeroom teacher who acts as an advisor, helper, and immediate guide for the student at Harmony Public Schools.
- Character Education and Leadership development: The aim of education is to support the growth of pupils' overall personalities.
- Family Visits: At Harmony Public Schools, parent-teacher relationship is improved by family visits. Teachers will be urged to visit students at home to inform the parents about the school and student's progress, while the parents will have an opportunity to provide the teachers with feedback and input.
- Career Education: All students attend an annual Career Day at Harmony Public Schools and meet professionals from different occupations.
- Cross-disciplinary learning: Students work on projects that require cooperative teaching efforts in Language Arts, Fine Arts, Mathematics, Social Studies, and Science Harmony Public Schools.
- Digital Art Program: The Fine Arts program is integrated with technology at Harmony Public Schools. With the growing availability of technologies of interactivity and Internet access, we see new interactive and online platforms.
- Participation in Contests: Students in the gifted and talented and the standard program are encouraged to participate in local, statewide, national and international competitions.
- Out of State and Europe Trips: Harmony Public Schools organize out of state and Europe Trips every year to different countries in Europe.
Do you offer character education and what do you mean by character education at Harmony Public Schools?
Yes, as Harmony Public Schools, we also offer character education classes to our students. By character we mean "common sense values" such as honesty and integrity. Harmony Public Schools strive to create a culture that honors "Doing the RIGHT Thing!" where RIGHT stands for Respectful, Intelligent, Genuine, Hard-Working and Team-Oriented.
As Harmony Public Schools we hope that parents who want their children to grow up to be adults who embrace common sense values will not only choose to send their children to Harmony Public Schools, but also work with us to model and teach their children what these words mean and what they look like when put into action.
Harmony Public Schools hire faculty, administrators, and staff who embody principles of character and leadership and who wish to be an active part of a community that values these in word and deed.