News & Articles

HSA Odessa Featured as Part of School Choice Week

Shannon Murray
CBS 7 Reporter
smurray@cbs7.com
January 24, 2012

Odessa, TX – Texas is celebrating “National School Choice Week” this week.

Events are planned across the state to highlight the need for enhanced education options for students.

The movement hopes to inspire parents to look at all options outside of their neighborhood schools.

School choice supporters say “Texas leaders should do more to improve student achievement and attainment by expanding access to improved public schools, public charter schools, private schools, virtual education and home schooling.”

There are options here in West Texas. Over the years several charter schools have popped up in our area.

Harmony Science Academy has locations across the state and 2 years ago a campus opened up here in Odessa. Parents immediately jumped on board and they say, for them, it was by far the right move.

Nathaniel Everett hopes to be an aerospace engineer one day so he made the move to Harmony Science Academy, a school that centers around advanced science and math.

“It’s focusing more on advanced math not just math to pass the test. In other schools I’ve been at they haven’t been teaching you for the future they’ve been teaching you to pass the TAKS Test,” Everett claims.

“My children…while I love them, they would not thrive in a sports minded community. My children are very mathematically and scientifically minded,” explains parent Sunny Busby.

Busby has 5 children attending Harmony. For her, it was an easy choice.

“They need something that is academically focused because that’s where their strengths are.”

Statewide the Harmony School System claims to have a 100% graduation rate, a 0% dropout rate and they say 100% of the students go to college.

“We make sure that every one of them goes to college,” enforces Principal Emin Cavusoglu.

Administrators believe small class sizes and high expectations are the reasons behind their success.

“Our focus is on 1 student at a time. Making sure they are graduating and going to college,” Cavusoglu says.

“It’s more like a family I guess you could say,” claims Everett.

You can read the rest of the article and watch the news clip HERE.

Harmony Applications Exceeded 10K!

The applications to Harmony Public Schools for the 2012-2013 School Year have been started and it has already exceeded 10 thousand threshold!

On the day we started accepting the applications (January 10), we recieved almost four thousand applications in 24 hours.

The applications deadline is March 15, 2012.

Two College Acceptances to Top Schools

Harmony School of Advancement seniors Ding Z. and Leon L. have been accepted to California Institute of Technology (ranked 5th) and The University of Texas at Ausitn (ranked 47th) respectively.

We congratulate the students for their success and wish them a productive and successful college career.

Community Support Letters for Harmony

There has recently been a growing number of support letters for Harmony Public Schools. We are really proud of getting the support of elected officials, community stakeholders and other distinguished Texans. Please see some of those support letters.

You can open them by clicking the links.

Art ACEVEDO, Austin Police Chief

Amadeo ORTIZ, Bexar County Sheriff

Jolanda JONES, Houston City Council Member

Sister Martha Ann KIRK, Professor at the University of the Incarnate World

Mike VILLAREAL, Texas State Representative

William MCMANUS, San Antonio Police Chief

Greg HAMILTON, Travis County Sheriff

Adrian GARCIA, Harris County Sheriff

Richard PEREZ, President & CEO of The Greater Chamber of Commerce San Antonio

Harmony Nominated for the Broad Prize

The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation announced today (November 1) a new annual award to honor the public charter management organization that has demonstrated the most outstanding overall student performance and improvement among the country’s largest urban charter management organizations in recent years while reducing achievement gaps for poor and minority students.

The Broad Prize for Public Charter Schools will mirror The Broad Prize for Urban Education that is awarded to traditional school districts. The winner of the 2012 Broad Prize for Public Charter Schools — to be announced at the June 2012 National Charter Schools Conference in Minneapolis — will receive $250,000 for low-income student college-readiness efforts.

“Public charter schools that are working to provide an equal opportunity for all students to learn have reached a critical mass in this country,” said Eli Broad, founder of The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation. “It is our hope that by highlighting the success of new public school models outside traditional districts, this award will help our nation recognize and learn from effective, innovative models now at scale.”

The Broad Prize for Public Charter Schools seeks to:
– Recognize those charter models that show the best academic outcomes, particularly for traditionally disadvantaged students
– Create an accessible repository of high-quality data on student achievement, policies and practices in the largest urban charter management organizations across the country
– Showcase the best practices of successful public charter management organizations so that other public charter schools and traditional public schools can learn from their success.

Charter management organizations that meet the following criteria will be automatically eligible for this award each year: charter management organizations that have been operating a minimum of five schools for at least four years (yielding multiple years of data) and that serve sizeable percentages of urban, poor and minority students are automatically eligible.

Organizations cannot apply for the award nor be nominated. For full eligibility criteria, visit:

www.broadprize.org/publiccharterschools.html.

The following charter management organizations will be eligible for the award in 2012:

– Achievement First (Southeastern U.S.)
– Alliance for College-Ready Public Schools (Los Angeles)
– America CAN (Texas)
– American Quality Schools (Midwest U.S.)
– Aspire Public Schools (California)
– Baltimore Curriculum Project (Baltimore)
– Concept Schools (Midwest U.S.)
– Cosmos Foundation Inc. (Texas)
– Edvantages (Ohio)
– Friendship Public Charter Schools (Washington, D.C.)
– Green Dot Public Schools (Los Angeles)
– ICEF Public Schools (Los Angeles)
– KIPP Foundation (U.S.)
– Lighthouse Academies (Washington, D.C., Illinois, Indiana)
– Partnership to Uplift Communities (California)
– School of Excellence in Education (Texas)
– UNO Charter School Network (Illinois, Louisiana)
– Uplift Education (Texas)
– Winfree Academy Charter Schools, Inc. (Texas)
– YES Prep Public Schools (Texas)

More can be learned from the webpage of the Broad Foundation.

HPS Receives Nearly $5M in U.S. Dept. of Education Grants

HPS is one of only nine charter organizations nationwide to receive funding from the U.S. Department of Education.

The U.S. Department of Education has announced that Harmony Public Schools (HPS) is the recipient of nearly $5 million in U.S. Department of Education grants over the next three years. HPS joins just eight charter school organizations nationwide in receiving this round of charter school grants. Harmony Public Schools are high performing K-12 college preparatory charter schools, and represent the state’s largest network of charter schools, serving roughly 20,000 Texas students.

The U.S. Department of Education awarded these grants, totaling $25 million in fiscal year 2011, to replicate and expand high-quality charter schools that have demonstrated success. This series of grants will serve nearly 45,000 students in 124 new and 3 expanded charter schools. HPS was awarded $1.4 million for fiscal year 2011, with an addition $1.4 million in 2012 and more than $2 million in 2013.

“We are privileged to be recipients of this funding that will allow us to continue to serve the students of Texas, and provide them with an education rooted in excellence,” said Superintendent Dr. Soner Tarim. “The $5 million grant paves the way for seven new HPS campuses to open over the next three years.”

The demand for stronger public education in Texas is evidenced by the ongoing growth of the HPS waiting lists statewide, which now exceed 30,000 students, despite HPS’s continual expansion of both new and existing campuses. With confidence in public education continuing to be a topic of debate among Texans, HPS continues to rank among the best performing schools in the nation, according to Newsweek.

Please CLICK HERE for the full text of the Press Release.

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