Weekly Mail - Campus Reopening

September 18, 2020

Big picture

Campus Reopens Oct. 12 for In-person Learning

Harmony School of Excellence-Sugar Land will reopen for all students who chose in-person instruction on Oct. 12.


Virtual classes will continue as they have since the start of the school year. On campus, we will be completely paperless to help prevent the spread of germs. All lessons will take place on Chromebooks while teachers instruct in-person and distance learning students simultaneously.


Our primary goal is to provide the safest and healthiest possible learning environment for your students.

Method of Instruction Selection or Re-Selection due Sept. 28

Harmony Public Schools is giving all families the option to choose in-person or distance learning during these unusual times.


If you have not done so already, please go to Skyward and complete the Selection survey for your student's method of instruction no later than Sept. 28. Any student whose method of instruction has not been selected by that date will be enrolled automatically in distance learning.


Parents also have access to the Re-selection survey, which allows you to switch your student from in-person to distance learning, or vice versa. You have until Sept. 28 to complete the Re-selection form for the first days of school (Oct. 5 or Oct. 12). Any Re-selections submitted after Sept. 28 will not go into effect until Oct. 19.


Parents have the option to fill out the Re-selection survey and switch their student's method of instruction at any point during the school year, as we know these are challenging times and personal situations can change rapidly. However, please be advised that any Re-selections will not go into effect until 10 school days after the form has been submitted.


If you have any questions, please contact Discipline & Safety Coordinator Tobe Johnson at tobe.johnson@harmonytx.org.

Uniform Requirements for In-person Learning

Students who are returning to campus for instruction may follow the free dress guidelines on p. 19 of the HPS Student & Parent Handbook. Uniforms will not be required until the first day of Quarter 2, which is Oct. 19.


Additional dress code requirements can be found on p. 17-18 of the handbook. We will provide additional information about purchasing uniforms next week.

At-Home COVID-19 Screenings

The Texas Education Agency is requiring all public schools to put health and wellness procedures in place due to COVID-19. Before bringing your student to school, we ask that parents screen their children for the following symptoms:


  • Fever or symptoms of a fever (pale, sweaty, shivering, chills)
  • Cough or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste
  • New loss of smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion (stuffy/runny nose)
  • Green/yellowish discharge from the eyes
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • New confusion


Students exhibiting any of these symptoms should be kept home until the symptoms subside. Students should not be fevered for at least 24 hours before returning to campus. Since these students opted for in-person learning, they will be counted absent, and parents need to provide an excuse note for the missed day(s) when they return to school.


In-person learning students do not have the option of completing exit tickets in Schoology to have an absence deleted like they did during distance learning.


Excuse notes are required for any class a student misses, even if it's not the whole day. Please send absence excuse notes to our Attendance Clerk Ms. Hamzic at ahamzic@harmonytx.org.

Campus Drop-Off Procedures

HSE-Sugar Land opens at 7:45 a.m. Students should not be dropped off before the campus opens, as we cannot guarantee they will abide by social distancing or mask protocols until drop-off monitors begin their duties.



To enforce social distancing, we will have one entry/exit for all students this school year. All students must be dropped off at the back of the school. No exceptions.


Parents must pull into the drop-off zone and roll down the vehicle window closest to the student. A staff member will use a touch-less thermometer to take your student's temperature before he/she exits the vehicle. If the student is not fevered, he/she will be given permission to enter the building. If the student has a fever, the parent will be instructed to take the student home. Students must be fever-free for 24 hours to return to school.


Please do not allow your student to exit the vehicle until his/her temperature has been verified by a staff member. Students who exit the vehicle without a temperature check will be sent back to their vehicles to wait to be screened.


If you arrive to drop-off your student before temperature checks begin at 7:45 a.m., you must wait in your car with your student until his/her temperature has been checked. There are no exceptions to this health and wellness requirement.


We thank you for your support with this process. We will have a team of staff members ready to take temperatures promptly at 7:45 a.m. to expediate this process. Our goal is to provide the safest and healthiest learning environment possible for your student.


Once students enter the building, they may eat breakfast at socially distanced tables in the cafeteria or report directly to their assigned classrooms. We will not use lockers this school year.


If you have any questions about drop-off procedures, please email Dean of Student Culture Ms. LaGesse at jlagesse@harmonytx.org.

Mask Requirements and Social Distancing

Disinfecting

The entire school will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected each evening.


Masks

All HSE-Sugar Land students and staff are required to wear masks covering their mouths and noses the entire time they are on campus. The only exception is during lunchtime, when students may remove their masks to eat. Students and staff may wear face shields in addition to masks; however, the face shield cannot replace the mask. The mask is mandatory.


Social Distancing in Hallways/Common Areas

We have placed signage and floor markers throughout the common areas of the campus to create social distancing awareness. We have also installed touch-less sanitation stations throughout the building. Students who eat breakfast in the cafeteria will be seated six feet away from classmates. The hallways are divided in half, so everyone must walk on the right side of the hallways.


Social Distancing in Classrooms

Class sizes are limited to about 9-11 students, and desks are spaced six feet apart in rows, per CDC guidelines. We have also ordered sneeze guards, which are transparent plastic dividers that can be placed on students' desks. We will not use any shared books or school supplies; the school will be entirely paperless and all learning will take place on Chromebooks. When students first enter the room, they will be required to sanitize their desks and chairs with the provided cleaning products. Students will keep their backpacks, lunches, and water bottles underneath their desks. Each desk will be labeled with the student's name, and the student must sit there every day. Students must remain seated at all times unless they are getting up to leave the room, throw away their lunch trash, or retrieve their Chromebooks. Teachers may allow students to stand up and stretch as long as they stand right behind their desks. Students who want a drink of water or need to use a tissue must get permission to get up and then step into the hallway before removing their masks to drink or use the tissue. (If a student uses a tissue, he or she must dispose of it immediately in the trash can and then use hand sanitizer when re-entering the room.) Please label all of your students personal items, including lunch kits, backpacks, and sweaters, with his/her name. There is absolutely no physical contact, either student to student or staff to student. This includes hugging, high fives, fist bumps, etc. Students engaging in any sort of physical contact will be subject to disciplinary consequences.


Lunch

Lunch will take place in the classrooms, and school lunches will be delivered to the classrooms. Students may also bring their lunch from home. Students may remove their masks long enough to eat their meals; then, they must immediately put the masks back on before cleaning up their lunch areas. When students finish eating, they are responsible for throwing away all of their own trash and sanitizing their desks and hands before getting their Chromebooks from the charging cart. There is to be absolutely no sharing of food or drinks. No exceptions. Students who share food/drinks will be subject to disciplinary consequences.


Chromebooks

Students will be required to bring their Chromebooks to school fully charged. Before lunchtime, each student will be asked to sanitize their Chromebooks and place them in the cart to charge while eating. As they finish their lunch, students will get their Chromebooks and place them on their desks.


Restrooms

Students may only enter restrooms one at a time to ensure social distancing and prevent congregating in the space. We will have bathroom monitors in place to ensure this procedure is enforced. Bathrooms now have touch-less water faucets, as well as touch-less soap and hand dryers.


Water Fountains

We are in the process of installing touch-less water fountains, so students may fill their water bottles at school. However, these items are in limited supply right now. Therefore, we are asking parents to send their students to campus each day with a full, clear water bottle. Please make sure your student's name (first and last) is on the water bottle.

Protocols, Quarantine, and Immunizations

We are taking extra precautions with our health office this year in consideration of COVID-19. As a result, access to the clinic is restricted as follows:


  • Students may not access the clinic without an appointment (medications, treatments, and screenings).
  • Students may access the clinic if they have suspected illnesses with the following symptoms: Fever of 100.0, Chills, Cough, Fatigue, Muscle or body aches, Headache, New loss of taste or smell, Sore throat, Congestion or runny nose, Nausea or vomiting, Diarrhea.
  • Life threatening emergencies will be tended to immediately regardless of appointments: Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion, inability to wake or stay awake, bluish lips or face.


Please note that the following rules apply to illness visits to the clinic:


  • The student must not only have the appropriate referral form but the teacher MUST call the clinic and obtain permission to send the student to the clinic in advance.
  • If students are ill, they must remain at their desk, forward facing, until the health office has given approval for them to be sent down.


Any ill students who come to the clinic without both a referral and a teacher call will be returned to class. No students will be allowed to rest in the clinic and for minor issues, such as paper cuts, students should be given a Band-Aid from the classroom stock.


Quarantine

Teachers and staff will be given checklists and trained on how to screen for possible cases of COVID-19. Our Medical Assistant has also been given extensive training beyond her certifications to help identify possible COVID-19 infections. After an examination, if our Medical Assistant suspects a student may have COVID-19, the student will be immediately placed in our designated quarantine area, and the parents will be contacted. Parents are expected to pick up their student as soon as possible but not longer than one hour after the initial call. If a student is showing signs of respiratory distress that could be life-threatening, we will call 911 in addition to contacting parents.


If more than one student could have COVID-19, they will be placed in the same quarantine room but socially distanced and seated facing away from each other. The students will be actively monitored by a trained staff member until they are picked up.


If a staff member is suspected to have COVID-19, he or she will be immediately sent home.


If a student or staff member possibly has COVID-19, he or she must submit a negative test result to return to campus.


Immunizations

The state of Texas requires students to have certain immunizations, or a waiver from a medical professional, to attend public school. These immunizations are especially important during this pandemic, when we are focused on keeping our campus as healthy as possible and protecting herd immunity for those who cannot be vaccinated. If your child has an incomplete immunization record on file, our Health Office has notified you of the missing immunizations. Any student who has an incomplete record after Sept. 23 will not be able to attend classes, either in-person or virtually, until the record is complete.


If you have any questions, please contact our Medical Assistant Ms. Derring at aderring@harmonytx.org.

Dismissal Procedures

Dismissal begins at 3:20 p.m. for all grade levels. Students will remain in the classroom for dismissal. On the first day of school, staff will provide parents with a car plate containing the student's dismissal number. Parents must clearly display the car plate on their dash every day to pick up their student. This is for security purposes and to help dismissal run more smoothly. We will enter the number into our Harmony Student Pickup computerized system as parents pull into the pickup zone. The number will display on a screen in every classroom, so students will know when they need to go outside. Parents must remain in their cars at all times. Under no circumstances may a parent park and walk into the pickup zone area.


Please make sure you have your car plate with the student number clearly displayed each day. Telling the staff member your student's number is not an option for security purposes. It's also impractical because it will be difficult for the staff member to hear you speak while maintaining a distance of six feet. Displaying the numbers makes dismissal much more efficient for everybody.


Please be advised that no student can be signed out of school after 2 p.m. Also, our front office will be closed from 3 to 4 p.m. to assist with dismissal.

Standard Edition of Weekly Mail

MAP Testing Begins Monday, Sept. 21

All HSE-Sugar Land students will take NWEA MAP Tests next week. Testing will take place from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. We will have makeup days Thursday and Friday.


After lunch on testing days, we will resume our regular school schedule at 1 p.m. with the L4 class.


Our campus had a practice MAP Test session today (Friday, Sept. 18) to ensure all of our technology functions smoothly on the actual test days. All students are assigned a test proctor, and those proctors emailed Zoom links to students this week. Students will use those same Zoom links for the actual test days next week.


If you have any questions, please contact our campus Testing Coordinator Mr. Dursun at mdursun@harmonytx.org.

HSE-SL Title I Parent Meeting Set for Sept. 30

Dear Parents/Guardians:


You are cordially invited to the Harmony School of Excellence-Sugar Land Title I Virtual Parent and Family Engagement Meeting at 5 p.m. Sept. 30. To request the Zoom link for the virtual meeting, please click here and fill out the form.


At the meeting, participants will review, evaluate, and update/develop the Written Parent and Family Engagement (PFE) Policy and the School-Parent Contract.


Here is the agenda for the meeting:


  • Title I program presentation
  • Review and evaluate last year's PFE Policy and School-Parent Contract for current year.
  • School's curriculum, and academic performance
  • Comments, Q&A


If you have any questions please email Mr. Dursun at mdursun@harmonytx.org.

Gifted & Talented Education Referrals

Click here to find out about new student referrals for the Gifted & Talented program. Referrals are due Sept. 30.

Chromebooks: We Can Help!

HSE-Sugar Land has a one-to-one Chromebook/student ratio, meaning every child that needs one can check out a Chromebook equipped with a web cam. Students will also receive headphones to help minimize distractions during distance learning.


If your student needs a Chromebook, please complete this form.


If your student's Chromebook does not seem to be functioning properly, fill out this form.


We will follow up to ensure we have helped with all your student's technology needs to put him or her on the path to successful distance learning!


Questions? Email Operations Manager Mr. Davrishov at kdavrishov@harmonytx.org.

Must Sign: Distance Learning Behavior Expectations and Student Handbook Acknowledgment

Just like on campus, we expect our HSE-Sugar Land students to exhibit Mustang PRIDE and follow behavior expectations to make the most out of their virtual learning experience. If you have not already done so, please review the Harmony Public Schools Distance Learning Behavior Expectations agreement with your student, and then both of you sign at the end of the document. This agreement will help all of us be on the same page in terms of expectations.


Also, please go to Skyward and have your child acknowledge the Student/Parent Handbook. This is a requirement each school year.


Thank you!

Counseling Services Available Through 'Talk Time"

Harmony Public Schools is committed to teaching the whole child, and that includes supporting students' emotional well-being. This is especially important during these unpredictable times. Life has changed quite dramatically for all of us during this pandemic; some of us have been even more affected.


And now students have returned to school in a digital environment where peer interactions are limited to screen time, and we're all in different buildings all over the greater Sugar Land area.


This time is stressful for adults, and children certainly feel the pressure, as well. If you notice your student is exhibiting signs of stress or even anxiety, our district behavioral counselors are available for virtual Talk Time to provide support.


Please visit the HPS Healthy Minds resources for more information and a link to request Talk Time for your student.


We are always here to help.

Harmony School of Excellence-Sugar Land

HSE-Sugar Land is a middle school in Sugar Land, TX, serving approximately 650 6th through 8th grade students. We are home of the Mustangs!