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HORNETS Need-to-Know

March 20

from Amy Iliffe; amyilife@lcps.org, LCPS Student Assistance specialist Parents,

 

Don’t miss the parent coffee at Woodgrove High School on Thursday April 11th from 8:00 am-9:00 am. All western Loudoun parents are invited to hear guest speaker, Sam Anthony Lucania. Sam is a motivational speaker and author who passionately shares his story of addiction and mental health struggles that began in early adolescence.

When speaking with parents, Sam provides education on current trends, signs of gateway behavior, protective measures to take at home, the importance of awareness and education as a parent.

For more information on Sam go to https://samanthonyspeaks.com/

 

March 20

Parents, Please see attached for information on our writing contest.

Western Loudoun Middle School Writing Contest

 

March 20

Please see attached for WHS and LVHS sports clinic opportunities.

Loudoun Valley High School and Woodgrove High School Volleyball Clinics for 2019

BEST OF THE WEST VOLLEYBALL CLINIC

SPRING FLING VOLLEYBALL CLINIC

 

March 17

Parents,

Monday (3/18) and and Tuesday (3/19) we are taking the MAP test to gauge English and Math progress this year. Please help us by making sure your child's Chrome Book is charged and ready to go each day. 

Thank you so much.

 

March 15

Congratulations to both bands for their great performances and results at the District 16 Middle School Band Assessment!

At Assessment, bands perform at a difficulty grade between 1 and 6 (the director selects the music level), and sight-read music two levels below their performance level. Most middle school bands perform at grade 2 or 3 at this event, with high school groups performing between grades 3 and 6. All bands are adjudicated by a panel of judges and receive a rating of Superior (I), Excellent (II), Good (III), Fair (IV), or Poor (V).

The Harmony Concert Band performed at grade 2 (their graded pieces were 2 and 3, the lowest level piece determines the overall grade) and received ratings of Excellent (II) from all three stage judges, and a rating of Superior (I) in sight-reading. Overall rating for Concert Assessment: Excellent (II).

The Harmony Symphonic Band performed at grade 4 and received ratings of Superior, Superior, and Excellent from the three stage judges, for a stage performance rating of Superior (I). Symphonic Band received a rating of Excellent (II) in sight-reading. Overall rating for Concert Assessment: Superior (I).

We also had two students selected for All District Jazz Ensemble (Hugh Brown and Will Ranck), and had one student selected for the Honors Performance Series, a national honor band that will rehearse in New York and perform at Carnegie Hall this summer (Nathan Malone).

 

March 15

New Dates:

March 15 - PTA Skate Night (6 PM to 8 PM)

March 18 - Ping Pong Team practice (7:30 to 8:15 AM)

March 19 - Ping Pong Team practice (7:30 to 8:15 AM)

March 19 - Tornado Drill (~2:45 PM)

March 19 - Ping Pong Tournament versus Blue Ridge MS (3:45 to 4:45)

March 19 - Bus Evacuations (drill on AM buses)

March 20 - Bus Evacuations (drill on AM buses)

March 21 - 8th Grade to WHS for orientation and tour (AM)

March 22 - Staff Pancake Breakfast!

March 29 - Planning Day for all staff / No school for students

April 1 - PD Day for all Harmony staff / No school for students / Parents, you may still sign up to hear the speaker. Contact the principal if interested.

April 5 - Career Day for 7th Grade

April 9 - 6th Annual Staff Olympics

Congratulations to our Chorus 8 classes - received ALL "Superior" scores on their county-wide assessment!

 

March 13

Parents,

We have a ping pong tournament with Blue Ridge MS (and possibly Simpson MS) on March 19th from 3:45 to 4:45 (at Harmony in the Main Gym).

Prior to that, we are having two practices for the 12 student spots for when we challenge the other two schools.

To help us get to 12, we are having two practices on the mornings of March 18 and March 19 from 7:30 AM to 8:15 AM. Students should come to both if interested in playing after school on the 19th.

If your child will be attending, please email me back so I know how many to expect.

Thanks! Eric Stewart (eric.stewart@lcps.org)

(PS – there is also an Open Gym on the morning of 19th. That is still occurring. We are able to do the Open Gym AND the ping pong practice)

 

March 12

Parents – We are sharing information with you about teaching concepts we feel are important to discuss with our community. It is information our staff uses to help your kids learn more and it helps us be better teachers.

Professional football players practice it on the Monday after a game. Successful business leaders engage in it and try to increase their profits. Parents discuss this daily and educators want students doing more of it.

 

What is this “it” we are talking about? It is simply REFLECTION, the act of thinking about or seriously considering what we have learned, how we learn best, and what challenges we faced. It is about the quality of our work and how far we have come. Reflection is a skill that adults and kids use to improve and is a teaching strategy our teachers use. Consider the benefits of reflecting on our actions:

• After a job interview, reflection can help us understand how to improve the next time.

• After a conflict between best friends, reflection can help calm our nerves and communicate more effectively.

• After learning a new concept or even receiving an assessment back, reflection can help us identify what we did to learn the new concept or review strategies that were used to produce that good result (so it can be done again).

Using reflection strategies in our teaching practice allows us to critique the effectiveness of our lessons. Are we connecting the students with the learning? What can we do differently to insure we are reaching all of our students? What input can our students have that might help our instruction? As adults, we have learned reflection should and can promote growth in ourselves and in our students.

 

Parents - for additional articles and research on reflection, please check below:

1. Here are some ideas from @teachheath to get you started: “Choose one or two to ask your child at the end of the day. This will help get them talking about school and build the home-school connection.

• What new thing did you learn during (Reading/Math/etc. today)? How did you learn it?

• Tell me about a success you had today (academic or behavior).

• Tell me a mistake you made today and how you plan to fix it.

• What skill did you learn today that you think will help you with your career and how will you use it? “

2. Another good resource is: https://globaldigitalcitizen.org/8-learning-reflections-critical-thinking

 

Harmony PBL Article Reflection

 

March 10

Family Arts Night will be held March 14, 6-8 PM at Harmony Middle School.

Please join us for an exciting evening with family and friends. The evening will include Art Activities: Spin Art Paintings, Stamp Art, Clay Pendants, Yarn Animals, Recycled Art Bags, Model Magic Sculptures, Master Artist Photo Booth, Glitter Tattoos, Guest Artist Demos, Spectrum Claymation Videos, and Used Book Sale, Food: PTA Pizza Dinner and Relay for Life Bake Sale.

See You There!

 

March 7

To current 5th grade parents:

It was great meeting you all at the Parent Orientations the last several weeks. You should now be in the midst of completing your child’s schedule for next year. If you need any help, please contact your school counselor or me (eric.stewart@lcps.org). We are happy to assist.

Additionally, we are so pleased to share this student made video with you. If you have three minutes, please take some time to view it. It is remarkable and was filmed, narrated, drawn, and edited ALL by one of our students, Miss Alexandra Toporowicz. What a beautiful product that speaks to what kids this age are capable of doing.

Thank you Alexandra!

View Video Here

 

March 7

Parents,

We are so pleased to share this student made video with you. If you have three minutes, please take some time to view it. It is remarkable and was filmed, narrated, drawn, and edited ALL by one of our students, Miss Alexandra Toporowicz. What a beautiful product that speaks to what kids this age are capable of doing.

Thank you Alexandra!

View Video Here

 

March 7

News and Dates

Parents – This is a reminder to help us keep student computers charged each day (and night), especially during 8th grade SOL and MAP testing (March 11 to March 22)

Fishing Club Meeting - March 8 (8:15 AM to 8:45 AM in LIB)

• We have six Learning Stations; kids rotate around to each station every five minutes

• “Short Casting” contest into a bucket (w staff Eric Stewart)

• Fly tying Demonstration (w student Duncan Mackey)

• Lure Swap and Knot Tying (w staff Deron Casto)

• Making Spinner Baits (w staff Eric McGrady)

• Species Identification Game (w student Kyra Browning)

• Types of lures (w parent Toland Petraitus)

March 8 – Good luck to our Band at Potomac Falls HS and the Assessment performance

March 14 – Family Arts Night (6 PM to 8 PM)

March 15 – PTA Skate Night (6 PM to 8 PM)

FYI – a new Rubrics Cube club started. For more information contact Jennifer.rayburn@lcps.org

 

March 6

The HMS PTA FREE SKATE NIGHT EVENT IS MARCH 15th from 6-8pm!

The PTA sponsored Free Skate night for Harmony MS Students is now scheduled for Friday, March 15th from 6-8pm at the Bush Tabernacle in Purcellville. Pick up is promptly at 8pm, as chaperones will be leaving and the rink will be closing.

Papa Johns Pizza and concessions will be sold at the event. CASH only, small bills greatly appreciated!

No need to RSVP, it will be first come first serve for skates. Students are welcome to bring their own skates.

We are still in need of chaperones for this event. Click the link below to sign up!

Volunteer Here

 

March 3

Harmony Parents,

Congratulations to our school. We are now confirmed as a Loudoun County Public School PBL Design School, beginning next school year (we also are using the name Wall-to-Wall PBL School)! This is great news for us.

Thank you ALL parent volunteers for your input and help with the application and decision making that led to this designation.

RE: from the Department of Instruction / James Dallas / Director of Teaching and Learning for LCPS – “Good Afternoon, Thank you for submitting an application to be a (PBL Design School). We have reviewed your application and we are pleased to let you know that your school has been selected to be a (PBL Design School) Wall-to-Wall PBL School! The learning journey upon which you are about to embark will broaden and deepen your goal of empowering all students to make meaningful contributions to the world. The Department of Instruction is excited to join you on this journey.”

(for additional information on this topic, please see recent Connect Ed emails, posted on our website, More Information)

 

March 3

Family Arts Night will be held March 14, 6-8 PM at Harmony Middle School.

Please join us for an exciting evening with family and friends. The evening will include Art Activities: Spin Art Paintings, Stamp Art, Clay Pendants, Yarn Animals, Recycled Art Bags, Model Magic Sculptures, Master Artist Photo Booth, Glitter Tattoos, Guest Artist Demos, Spectrum Claymation Videos, and Used Book Sale

Food: PTA Pizza Dinner and Relay for Life Bake Sale.

See You There!

 

March 2

Not too late yet... Interested in purchasing a yearbook for Harmony MS? The deadline to order is May 15th. Please visit www.jostens.com and contact Eva Yerkes (eva.yerkes@lcps.org) or Rachel Martin (rachel.martin@lcps.org) with questions!

 

February 28

Good morning parents,

This is just an FYI about two school safety drills today:

• We are having a lockdown drill at the beginning of 2nd block

• We will have a fire drill at the beginning of 4th block

 

February 26

Parents - A correction to the earlier email.  The 6th grade field trip is NOT this Wed. Our apologies for the error.

Feb 27 – 6th Grade Field Trip (This date is NOT correct - we will send more details in another email)

Feb 27 – Interim Midpoint Date for Quarter 3

Feb 27 – Rising 6th Grade Parent Orientation (7 PM)

Feb 27 – Rising 6th Grade Instrument Tryouts (6 PM to 8 PM)

Mar 1 – Fishing Club Meets (8:15 AM to 8:45 AM)

Mar 2 – Odyssey of the Mind competes at WHS

Mar 4 – “Crazy Sock” Day

Mar 5 – “Hat” Day

Mar 6 – Hive Time Bell Schedule

Mar 6 – School Safety Inspection

Mat 6 – “Wacky” Day

Mar 7 – “College” Day

Mar 8 – “Book Character” Day

Mar 8-9 – Harmony District Band Assessment

Mar 8-9 – Harmony District Orchestra Assessment

Mar 8 – PTA Skate Night (6 PM to 8 PM)

Mar 11 – SOL Writing assessment for 8th Grade

Mar 12 – SOL Writing assessment for 8th Grade

Mar 13-14 - Harmony District Chorus Assessment

Mar 14 – Family Arts Night (6 PM to 8 PM)

 

February 25

Please skim this newsletter for three important reminders:

 

1) On April 1, LCPS is having a teacher professional development day. There is no school for students. Harmony is bringing in a speaker to help us learn more about taking students to the next level of deeper learning. His name is AJ Juliani and he will be here from 8:30 to 3:30 working with our staff. He will be giving a keynote address in the morning (8:30 AM to 10AM) about moving kids from being engaged in learning (interested and excited) to feeling empowered (thinking for themselves, invested in what they are learning, and working more independently). Because educating your children is a team effort, we are saving 100 seats for parents to attend with us. If you are interested, please contact Eric Stewart (eric.stewart@lcps.org) to confirm attendance (Attendance is free but will be reserved on a first come first serve basis).

 

2) Harmony Students (parents – please share this with your middle schoolers), Your generation has adapted to technology quicker and easier than some of the 'older folks' like your principal, who is over 50 years old (oh my). Students, we need your help. With this email, we are opening up a competition for any interested Harmony MS student. The winner will get $100. Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to…‘Create the best short video that teaches people like me (or your parents or grandparents) how to use Google.’

Here’s what we NEED you all to teach us in the video:

• How do I log in and what are the parts of Google that are important to know about and use (Google Forms, Google Classroom, etc.)?

• How is it being used in the school by your teachers?

• How are you using it?

• How could your parents use it to keep up with the teachers?

• Show some examples

Here’s the rules:

• Your video is NO longer than 2 minutes

• It is you or your teams’ own, original work

• You turn it in by the due date of Feb 28

• Judges are a team of Harmony staff

• Only ONE winner will be chosen from all videos submitted.

All videos should be uploaded to your Google Drive account and then shared with me (the principal) by February 28th. Thanks and good luck! Principal Stewart

 

3) In one of our recent communications (January 22) we asked for parent input on helping us with the application process to become a PBL Design School for school year 2019-2020. We thank the following parents for helping us with this decision and the application. THANK YOU parents: Brianne Allis, Lori DeMark, Christopher Haag, David Johnson, Roya Johnson, Susan Lyons, Lisa Maxvill, and Patricia Smith. We have now turned in the application. Good luck to us! If our application process is successful, we will continue our implementation of the Design School concept (also called Wall to Wall Project Based Learning). We have slowly been doing this for the past two years.

 

February 25

Some Dates:

Feb 27 – Interim Midpoint Date for Quarter 3

Feb 27 – Rising 6th Grade Parent Orientation (7 PM)

Feb 27 – Rising 6th Grade Instrument Tryouts (6 PM to 8 PM)

Mar 1 – Fishing Club Meets (8:15 AM to 8:45 AM)

Mar 2 – Odyssey of the Mind competes at WHS

Mar 4 – “Crazy Sock” Day

Mar 5 – “Hat” Day

Mar 6 – Hive Time Bell Schedule

Mar 6 – School Safety Inspection

Mar 6 – “Wacky” Day

Mar 7 – “College” Day

Mar 8 – “Book Character” Day

Mar 8-9 – Harmony District Band Assessment

Mar 8-9 – Harmony District Orchestra Assessment

Mar 8 – PTA Skate Night (6 PM to 8 PM)

Mar 11 – SOL Writing assessment for 8th Grade

Mar 12 – SOL Writing assessment for 8th Grade

Mar 13-14 - Harmony District Chorus Assessment

Mar 14 – Family Arts Night (6 PM to 8 PM)

Mar 27 – 6th Grade Field Trip

 

February 25

Harmony MS is excited to have four teams competing at the Region 14 Odyssey of the Mind tournament on Saturday, March 2, at Woodgrove High School. Approximately 100 teams will be in attendance. Members of the community who are interested in learning more about the Odyssey program are strongly encouraged to attend.

 

Competition will begin at 9 a.m. and will take place in multiple spots around the school, including the auditorium, main gym, aux gym and the band and chorus rooms. Long-term problem performances are open to spectators.

 

Harmony's Odyssey of the Mind teams will be among the final teams of the day to compete:

In Problem 3: Leonardo's Workshop, Harmony Team B, coached by Eleanor Goode, will compete at 2:25 p.m. and Harmony Team A, coached by Lori DeMark, takes the stage at 2:45. They will be followed by teams from Loudoun Valley HS and then Woodgrove. These performances will be in the auditorium.

In Problem 5: Opposites Distract, Harmony Team A, coached by Doug Wilkins, will perform at 2:25 p.m. and Harmony Team B, coached by Kunal Shah, will begin at 2:55. These performances will be held in the Chorus Room.

 

Please come cheer them on and see what Odyssey is all about. The full competition schedule is available online at www.nwvoices.org at the bottom of the page under Upcoming Events.

 

Odyssey of the Mind is an international, extra-curricular creative problem solving program in which teams of up to seven students work together for months to solve an open-ended question with a complex set of constraints. The team's long-term solution is presented in competition in the form of an eight-minute skit. Teams in grades 3 and up may choose one of five types of problem to solve: vehicle, technical, classics, balsa or performance. Students in kindergarten through 2nd grade are given a simplified "primary" problem to work. Teams are judged as Primary, Division 1 (3rd-5th grade), Division 2 (6th-8th grade) and Division 3 (9th-12th grade).

Teams also solve spontaneous problems -- ones that they have never seen before -- and are given just a few minutes to decide their approach.

 

February 22

Hello again Rising 6th grade parents,

We have rescheduled the parent orientation and instrument try-outs from this past Wednesday.

The new dates are:

February 27 – Parent Orientation at 7 PM in the Harmony MS auditorium

February 27 – Student makeup date for Instrument Try-outs (6 PM to 8 PM)

We look forward to seeing you there next week and in the future!

 

In the meantime, I have attached three of our school newsletters from this year. They aren’t too long and if you skim or read through them, I think you will be able to identify many of the activities we have been working on with our students.

Harmony Principal Focus Parents September

Harmony Principal Focus Parents November and December 2

Harmony Principal Focus Parents February

 

I’d also like to point out the following invitation, which I extend to each of you for April 1 of this year.

On April 1, LCPS is having a teacher professional development day. There is no school for students. Harmony is bringing in a speaker to help us learn more about taking students to the next level of deeper learning. His name is AJ Juliani and he will be here from 8:30 to 3:30 working with our staff.

He will be giving a keynote address in the morning (8:30 AM to 10AM) about moving kids from being engaged in learning (interested and excited) to feeling empowered (thinking for themselves, invested in what they are learning, and working more independently). Because educating your children is a team effort, we are saving 100 seats for parents to attend with us. If you are interested, please contact Eric Stewart (eric.stewart@lcps.org) to confirm attendance (Attendance is free but will be reserved on a first come first serve basis).

 

Thanks you again and see you next week.

Principal Eric Stewart and Harmony Middle School Staff

 

February 19

Parents,

Tennis Club is accepting registrations for the next session. Please check out the Harmony web page under clubs for more information or click on this link to register https://loudoun.playtga.com/

 

Woodgrove High School is also selling discounted Hershey Park tickets. If you would like to purchase tickets, please print and fill out form: Hershey Park Tickets. You can submit it with payment either to WHS PTSO or HMS PTA.

Thank you.

Debbie Kirk

Treasurer Harmony MS PTA

 

February 19

Parents,

If interested, please look over this information about volunteer credit for your child.

PVSA Award - Application Instructions 2018_2019

PVSA - Volunteer Record Form 2018_2019

 

February 19

Dear Parent or Guardian,

This spring our school, in cooperation with the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services, is conducting a school climate and school safety survey of students and staff. The purpose of this survey is to measure school discipline, student support, student engagement, and safety conditions in each school. This information will be used to guide educational practices that produce a safe and orderly school environment.

I am writing to provide you with information on the student survey. The survey will be completed online using computers at school. The survey does not ask for your student’s name and all answers are anonymous (no one will know how your student answered the survey). Parents will not have access to their student’s survey answers. There is a copy of the survey available at school for your review.

Parent Survey Information Letter

 

February 14

Parents,

Starting this spring, Harmony is starting up a new club called “Girls Who Code” for young ladies at Harmony who enjoy coding. No experience is necessary. The first meeting will be Tuesday, February 19 at 8:00 a.m. If your daughter is interested and would like more information regarding “Girls Who Code,” please have them go see our sponsor Mrs. Bredice in room B4.

Jeff Jacobson

7th Grade Dean

 

February 13

Harmony Students (parents – please share this with your middle schoolers),

 

Your generation has adapted to technology quicker and easier than some of the 'older folks' like your principal, who is over 50 years old (oh my). Students, we need your help. With this email, we are opening up a competition for any interested Harmony MS student. The winner will get $100. Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to…

‘Create the best short video that teaches people like me (or your parents or grandparents) how to use Google.’

 

Here’s what we NEED you all to teach us in the video:

• How do I log in and what are the parts of Google that are important to know about and use (Google Forms, Google Classroom, etc.)?

• How is it being used in the school by your teachers?

• How are you using it?

• How could your parents use it to keep up with the teachers?

• Show some examples

 

Here’s the rules:

• Your video is NO longer than 2 minutes

• It is you or your teams’ own, original work

• You turn it in by the due date of Feb 28

• Judges are a team of Harmony staff

• Only ONE winner will be chosen from all videos submitted.

 

All videos should be uploaded to your Google Drive account and then shared with me (the principal) by February 28th.

Thanks and good luck! Principal Stewart

 

February 11

Parents,

If your child lives on Sagle Road, Transportation is telling us the road is closed and that students need their own ride home. Please contact your child to make new arrangements.

 

February 11

Band Parents -

An earlier in the day power outage at Woodgrove High School has us changing plans for the location of tonight's band Pre-Assessment Concert.

It will NOW BE HELD at Harmony. Students should still plan to stay after school if they already were staying after. Students that are not staying after school should report to Harmony shortly before their warm up time. The schedule tonight is otherwise, the same:

5:00-5:30 Concert Band warm up

5:30-6:15 Concert Band Performance and Clinic

6:30-7:00 Symphonic Band warm up

7:00-7:55 Symphonic Band Performance and Clinic

Students can be picked up following their band clinic, or at the end of the evening if they wish to watch other groups. All students should be picked up from Harmony no later than 8:15.

Thanks - Mr. Chris Fairchild

 

February 11

6th / 7th Grade Parents,

 

In one of our recent communications (January 22) we asked for parent input on helping us with the application process to become a PBL Design School for school year 2019-2020. We thank the following parents for helping us with this decision and the application. THANK YOU parents: Brianne Allis, Lori DeMark, Christopher Haag, David Johnson, Roya Johnson, Susan Lyons, Lisa Maxvill, and Patricia Smith. We have now turned in the application. Good luck to us!

 

If our application process is successful, we will continue our implementation of the Design School concept (also called Wall to Wall Project Based Learning). We have slowly been doing this for the past two years. Project Based Learning (or PBL) is an inquiry-based process for teaching and learning. Some people think it is doing projects all the time. It is NOT. In PBL, teachers start new content by having students focus on a complex question or problem then research and discuss the answer and then seek to solve the problem through authentic experiences.

 

Students are encouraged to collaborate and communicate with other students in order to make them better at articulating what they are learning. These sometimes culminate in a project but they are better described as experiences that teachers design to help students learn at a deeper level. PBL is extremely effective as a method for engaging students in their learning and has “Eight Essential Elements” or instructional strategies: 1) a challenging problem or question; 2) sustained inquiry; 3) authenticity; 4) student voice and choice; 5) reflection; 6) critique and revision; 7) key knowledge, understanding, and success skills; 8) and a sharing opportunity.

 

Students and adults can learn things at a surface level or at a deeper level. Surface level learning requires memorizing facts for a test that are often forgotten a few days later. The goal at Harmony is for kids to have deeper learning experiences.

 

Deeper learning can be explained when using some of the 8 elements to ask about what is happening in our teachers’ classrooms. How is instruction being driven by a Challenging problem or question? What is the teacher doing to stoke curiosity, sustain inquiry, or engage and empower the students? What actions are going on in the room that demonstrates lesson and activity authenticity? What are the students doing that demonstrate voice and choice? What are the kids doing to reflect, revise, and critique their learning?

 

In designing their lessons to get students to deeper learning experiences, teachers provide students with a chance to apply their knowledge and skills to real-world problems by using highly empowering and authentic lessons on a daily basis. PBL encourages a shift from a teacher-centric model to a student-centric, learner-driven approach. Along the way, they are continually critiquing, reflecting, redirecting, and revising their question(s) and answer(s). Along the way, they are making deeper connections with the content.

 

If you have additional questions, please contact Eric Stewart (eric.stewart@lcps.org) or Kristen Hepner (Kristen.hepner@lcps.org) or Patrick White (Patrick.white@lcps.org).

 

February 11

Please read our updated school focus areas (attached and below). Read about FREE tickets to a great event!

 

Parents,

In addition to our regular news updates, we send out periodic communication about our three 2018-2019 school focus areas (Safety, Climate, and Instruction).

 

Climate

This week is Kindness Week at Harmony. Thank you for all the efforts by the SCA in creating a Compassion Card as well as creating posters and putting together a video. Students will have access to a QR code and google docs to allow them to notice kindness in others and share with them.

Numerous clubs and activities are ongoing during the winter. Students and staff enjoyed a staff versus student ping pong tournament. A second karaoke kick off was held, open gym, a basketball free-throw contest, Pokémon Club, Creative Club, Language clubs, FCA, SCA, and many wonderful music programs. For additional club information, please contact the school. There was also a talent show (won by Lillian Hackett – video on our website). The talent show was the brainchild of two 7th grade girls, Emmy Loussedes and Allison Vance. Between participant registration and audience ticket sales, they raised over $1,250 for childhood cancer!

Great job to our cast and crew of, Thoroughly Modern Millie. We had four sold-out events!

Our parent liaison made personal contact with 150 families (50 in each grade) and asked them a few questions to see how we, as a school, are doing. Overall results are positive and we appreciate all commendations / recommendations.

 

Instruction

Our goal in this area all year has been to get the students to learn at a deeper level. We don’t just want them memorizing facts and then forgetting them a week later. We want them to make long term connections.

On April 1, LCPS is having a teacher professional development day. There is no school for students. Harmony is bringing in a speaker to help us learn more about taking students to the next level of deeper learning. His name is AJ Juliani and he will be here from 8:30 to 3:30 working with our staff.

He will be giving a keynote address in the morning (8:30 AM to 10AM) about moving kids from being engaged in learning (interested and excited) to feeling empowered (thinking for themselves, invested in what they are learning, and working more independently). Because educating your children is a team effort, we are saving 100 seats for parents to attend with us. If you are interested, please contact Eric Stewart (eric.stewart@lcps.org) to confirm attendance (Attendance is free but will be reserved on a first come first serve basis).

Please continue to work with us to help get the kids to think deeper and be more empowered. Keep in touch with your child’s teacher.

 

Safety

This month we are planning to conduct fire drill #9 along with our 3rd lockdown #drill & scenario #6 (focusing on “See Something, Say Something”). The current plan is 2/14 (8th block) for the lockdown & scenario drills and 2/22 (1st block) for the fire drill. A school safety inspection, which is conducted by a fire marshall, will take place on March 6th.

Reminders: Staff must wear an ID badge that is always visible. They use magnets between their door frames and doors so students can enter and exit easily while allowing the door to remain locked at all times. Parents and visitors are asked to show an ID badge to enter the building. Please continue to report any safety concerns you see in or out of the school.

Thank you for sending your children to Harmony and communicating with us.

 

*** Check out the attached article from George Couros, on (stepping aside and having our kids do more).

Principal Eric Stewart and Staff

 

The Importance of Not Stepping In

By George Couros on Feb 10, 2019 08:30 am

“I had a fantastic opportunity to do a student podcast recently, and although the students were there to ask me questions, I took a lot of time to ask them about their own experiences in school. Honestly, I would rather hear from them and their perspectives than I would talk so I tried to get in as many questions as possible. It was such a pleasure to connect with these students.

We got onto the topic of “empowering” students and why I thought it was so important. Something they said triggered a thought I had about one of my favorite basketball coaches of all time, Phil Jackson. For those who don’t know Phil Jackson, he is famous for coaching the Michael Jordan Bulls and the Lakers to 11 total NBA championships, the most of any coach in the NBA. His resume is incredible as a coach.

There was something that he would do that was unlike any other coach that was meant for the long-term success of his teams. Usually, when a basketball team is facing a situation where the momentum is shifting, and sometimes the crowd is getting rowdier or losing interest in their own team, the majority of coaches will call a timeout to regroup their players. I have watched basketball enough that I can tell when a timeout is about to be taken because you can feel it in the stadium. Phil Jackson would often just let his players stay on the court and let them try to figure out, even when the pressure was high, to get themselves out of a bad situation. The mentality was that there might be a situation in a playoff game that the team is either limited in timeouts or doesn’t have one at all, and the coach won’t be able to save them. It is better for the team to learn how to figure it out on their own while actively playing in the game.

Do you see a connection to a classroom (and student learning)? Often, as a teacher or principal (or a parent) we want to jump in when our students struggle with new learning in a situation, but what does that lead to when they are on their own? I have talked often about working with students that were sent to the office for behavioral issues, and I would merely ask, “Why are you here?” and then follow the answer to that with, “What would you do if you were me?” The point of those questions was for the students to develop the skills and mentality to be able to figure out tough situations on their own since we know we will not always be around.

When you look at the situation with school or coaching (or parenting), when we empower others, we have to realize that what is most comfortable for us at the moment can lead to detrimental consequences in the long term. Giving up ownership now can help our students figure out their direction in the future. Engagement is more about today where empowerment is about leading to better choices and application both today and tomorrow. It is not always easy, but ultimately it will be worth it.”

 

File attachments: Harmony Principal Focus Parents February

 

February 11

All,

- for Tuesday, Feb 12 - is an "Open Gym" from 7:30 AM to 8:15 AM. Anyone interested, please come. (If we have a two-hour delay, please come at 9:30 AM to 10:15 AM instead).

- for Thursday, Feb 14 - We will be having our next Free Throw Shooting contest this Thursday, February 14 starting at 7:45 AM in the small gym. Staff will be there to take on the kids and join the fun. See if you can beat December's champion, 6th grader, DJ Bundick!

 

February 11

Parents -

This Friday (2/15/19) we will be hosting the band SOULED OUT as they perform a rockin tribute that highlights African-American heritage, music, cultural progression, and socio-economic milestones. When you get an opportunity, please click the link below (souled out) and take a minute to review their website for more information about their presentation.

SHOWTIMES:

1st Show: 7th Grade- 9:05-10:05 AM

2nd Show: 8th Grade- 10:40-11:40 AM

3rd Show: 6th Grade- 12:45-1:45 PM

 

Souled Out (Link)

Jeff Jacobson, 7th Grade Dean

 

February 10

Parents,

At the recent Academic Awards, there was mention of the importance of giving good feedback to our kids. It was said that for feedback to be effective, it must be given as soon as possible and it should be specific.

Two examples discussed after the awards program were;

1. Instead of saying to a child who got a 97 on an assessment, “You are so smart. Good job.” It would be better to say, “Good job studying by practicing your notes for several days and making flash cards of the words. It paid off.”

2. Instead of saying, “Thanks for being nice to our neighbor.” It would be more helpful to a student this age to hear, “I like how when you saw our neighbor, you said hello to her and asked about their (dog).

The same parent then asked for more information about feedback and thought other parents would benefit as well. Here you go. Enjoy this weekend.

ED Leadership - http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/sept12/vol70/num01/Good-Feedback-Is-Targeted,-Specific,-Timely.aspx

NEA - http://parents.nea.org/parent-educator-partnerships/tips-for-delivering-feedback-to-your-child/

 

February 8

Feb 9 – District Chorus Performance at 1:45 @ WHS

Feb 11 – 9th Grade Parent Orientation at WHS @ 6 PM

Feb 12 – Harmony Open Gym – 7:30 AM to 8:15 AM

Feb 12 – PTA Meeting @ 9:30 (café)

Feb 12 – Concert Band @ WHS (5:30 PM) / Symphonic Band @ WHS (7 PM)

Feb 13 – Parent Orientation for rising 6th grade parents (7 PM)

Feb 15 – "Souled Out" Assembly for all grades (TBD)

Feb 18 – NO SCHOOL Feb 20 – School Portraits (all day out of HPE Classes)

Feb 20 – WHS Counselors Here to meet with 8th graders

Feb 20 – Parent Orientation for rising 6th grade parents (7 PM)

Feb 21 – School Portraits (all day out of HPE Classes)

Feb 21 – WHS Counselors here to meet with 8th graders

Feb 21 – Orchestra Clinic @ 6:45 PM @ Harmony

Feb 27 - Interims

 

February 8

Congratulations to our Talent Show participants for helping earn over $1,250 for Childhood Cancer. The winner was Lillian Hackett and the runner-up was Leland Ennis. A version of Lillian's final performance will be posted on our website at the beginning of next week.

The school would like to thank the efforts of two 7th graders for organizing, emceeing, and putting together all details of the show. They are directly responsible for the amazing collection of talent and the donation to the American Cancer Society. Thank you so much Emmy Loussedes and Allison Vance on producing and directing your first show.

 

February 8

Parents,

We just completed our sixth annual Name Game and correctly named all 1,100 students in the building.

We are happy to know all of our students by name.

Congratulations and have a wonderful weekend.

 

February 5

Good evening,

Our school system is considering adopting new history textbooks and two publishing companies are being reviewed. With this email, we are asking for your input.

Parents and community members who wish to view the physical textbooks may do so as they will be available for viewing in our school library until Feb 13. Paper copies of the surveys are also available in the library in folders taped on the window just above the books on display. An online survey is available as well at https://bit.ly/2DuFkLt, but you must have a Google account to access it.

Thank you for your help and consideration.

Samantha Barrientos, Social Science Department Chair

 

February 4

Great News!

Below are the results of the All-Virginia Honor Choir selection. Harmony Middle had the highest percentage of students selected.

This extremely competitive process had over 1,000 students from across the Commonwealth auditioning and only 364 were selected. Congratulations Harmony students!

Alessandra Amos Treble Choir Alto 1 (Ranked 3rd in the state)

Breanna Burress Mixed Choir Soprano 2 (Ranked 5th in the state)

Aubrey Coates Treble Choir Soprano 2

Liily Eddy Treble Choir Alto 1 (Ranked 4th in the state)

Travis Gahafer Mixed Choir Tenor 1

Samantha Huffer Mixed Choir Alto 2 (Ranked 5th in the state)

Sophie Mason Treble Choir Alto 2 (Ranked 1st in the state)

Luke Murtaugh Mixed Choir Bass 2

Eliza Prymak Treble Choir Soprano 1 (Ranked 3rd in the state)

Brielle Schermerhorm Mixed Choir Alto 2 (Ranked 1st in the state)

Nicole Burroughs First Alternate Mixed Choir Alto 2

 

February 3

Club photos are THIS Monday, February 4th.  Announcements will not be made, so please have your child write down their club picture times in their agenda and keep an eye on the clock.  They should leave a few minutes before the scheduled time and report to the auditorium.  

Club Photo Schedule

Contact Eva Yerkes (eva.yerkes@lcps.org) or Rachel Martin (rachel.martin@lcps.org) with questions! 

 

February 1

Club photos are THIS Monday, February 4th.  Announcements will not be made, so please have your child write down their club picture times in their agenda and keep an eye on the clock.  They should leave a few minutes before the scheduled time and report to the auditorium.  

Club Photo Schedule

Contact Eva Yerkes (eva.yerkes@lcps.org) or Rachel Martin (rachel.martin@lcps.org) with questions! 

 

January 31

Hello - Hope you are staying warm.

All Cornerstone Awards Nights have been rescheduled to the new dates below:

6th Grade - Feb 4 @ 7 PM

7th Grade - Feb 5 @ 7 PM

8th Grade - Feb 6 @ 7 PM

 

ALSO - We went by the NEW 7-11 (Shell Station) by our school. The owner spoke with us and is now a business partner with Harmony. They are currently OPEN and are giving out FREE coffee for parents for the next two weeks. They have an expresso machine! And, if you want, please tell them your kids go to Harmony MS.

 

January 29

Parents,

Just confirming that since we are on an early release schedule today, all students should have a ride home at 1:38 PM (two hours earlier than normal). Please make sure your family has a plan for how they are getting home at that time.

 

January 27

Parents,

A challenge our teachers always try to prepare for is keeping and maintaining student attention and focus. Our staff is very good at it. Their goal is get and keep the kids engaged in the lesson and then keep them invested and paying attention. As you can imagine, sometimes kids can get distracted by the many things that occur at a school during the day. Middle schoolers can be especially susceptible to outside distractions. We need to ask for your help in this area.

Recently, we have seen an increase in the amount of deliveries throughout the day, from Chrome books, to lunches, to homework, to messages, to school materials. With 1,100 students in the building and twice that many parents, deliveries and early dismissals and messages are difficult to manage and distracting to interrupt classes.. You are probably aware that we have a “cart” in the main office that holds these deliveries and is then taken to the cafeteria during all lunches for the kids to pick up. Although not perfect, this practice is the best way we prevent interruptions into classes every hour and every day and whenever someone drops off materials. Prior to the cart, we were getting 25-35 deliveries a day and the same amount of messages coming in for kids. It is very distracting for the classes.

Protecting uninterrupted instructional time is a priority. If your child forgets his or her work, feel free to bring it in but please remember it will be put on the cart until the bell change. We will not be able to take it to class. Plan ahead whenever possible and please know that no Chrome book is so important that it has to be delivered right then. We will give them a loaner. Thanks for your help.

 

January 27

Congratulations to the following Harmony students who were selected for the All-District Band. Over 500 students auditioned for this event, which will take place at John Champe High School this next weekend (January 31, February 1&2).

Sam Sheehan, Clarinet

Gabe Schultz, Baritone

Lucy Covert, Tuba

Ben Carra, Percussion

Maggie Boyles - Flute (first alternate)

Hannah Edwards - Oboe (first alternate)

Leo Haddad - Bassoon (first alternate)

Will Ranck - Percussion (first alternate)

Harmony Band Upcoming Dates:

February 11 - In class clinics with composer/conductor Quincy Hilliard.

February 12 - Pre-Assessment Concert/Clinic at Woodgrove High School. Concert Band warmup at 5:00, performance at 5:30. Symphonic Band warmup at 6:30, performance at 7:00. Transportation provided.

February 16 - Jazz Festival at Shepherd University. Second block Band 7 and Band 8 students report to Harmony at 11:30, performance at Shepherd at 2:00, return time to Harmony 6:15. Transportation provided.

March 8 - Concert Assessment at Potomac Falls High School. Depart Harmony at 1:00, Concert Band performance at 2:45, Symphonic Band performance at 4:40, return time to Harmony 6:30. Transportation provided.

Thanks - Chris Fairchild, Band Director - Harmony Middle School

 

January 23

Coffee Cart is on February 5th!

Help us show our teachers and staff our appreciation for all the amazing things they do! The PTA is seeking donations for coffee cart. We are also looking for volunteers to help serve our teachers and staff. We look forward to offering our teachers and staff a little pick me up in the morning!

Sign up at the link below.

Sign-up Here

Weekend Backpack Project

The Weekend Backpack Project, sponsored by the Harmony Middle School PTA, aids students at risk of weekend hunger. Each Friday we send home food for some of our students who may not have enough to eat on the weekends. We do up to 30 bags each week. We are in need of food items, and parent volunteers to fill the bags each week and ask that you only sign up for two shifts so that others have the opportunity as well.

FOOD ITEMS CAN BE BROUGHT IN ANY DAY/TIME TO THE FRONT OFFICE.

Sign up at the link below!

Sign-up or Donate Here

 

January 23

Upcoming Dates

Jan 25 – Musical (Thoroughly Modern Millie Jr.) – 7 PM

Jan 26 – Musical (Thoroughly Modern Millie Jr.) - 2 PM

Jan 26 – Musical (Thoroughly Modern Millie Jr.) – 7 PM

Jan 27 – Musical (Thoroughly Modern Millie Jr.) – 2 PM

(All tickets online: see our school website)

Jan 29 - 6th Grade Cornerstone Awards for Honor Roll - 7 PM

Jan 30 - 7th Grade Cornerstone Awards for Honor Roll - 7 PM

Jan 31 - Free Throw Contest with Students and Staff (7:45 AM to 8:15 AM) - sign up on our website

Jan 31 - 8th Grade Cornerstone Awards for Honor Roll - 7 PM

Feb 1 - New Date for our 6th annual NAME GAME (out of 1st block)

Feb 4 - Club Picture Day

 

January 23

Please congratulate our school spelling bee winner - Emma Ymeri. She will represent our school in the Loudoun County Spelling Bee in March. Runner up was Riley Murphy. The winning word, after 23 rounds, was electrolysis.

 

January 22

Parents,

In a couple of weeks, the LCPS Department of Instruction (DOI) will offer five schools the chance to become a Design School for Project Based Learning (PBL) or Personalized Learning (PL) or Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). A PBL “design school” designation (also referred to as Wall to Wall PBL) would allow those schools some flexibility with staffing, resources, and other benefits. Additionally, it would allow that school to focus more in that area and to continue to do it better each year. It would allow that school to have more opportunities to get to deeper learning and more enriching discussions.

As we hope you are aware from our Connect Ed communication about instruction, Harmony has been increasing our efforts, knowledge, and teaching strategies in Project Based Learning and are now in year three of full school implementation of many of the elements of PBL. We believe we would be a perfect candidate to become a PBL Design School and it is our goal to fill out an application to see if we will be selected.

With that, we are seeking parent participation on our Design Team application committee. It will require some time, but those selected will be able to guide us in the right direction. If you are interested, please contact principal Stewart (eric.stewart@lcps.org) or dean Hepner (kristen.hepner@lcps.org). An approximate committee time frame would be between January 28 to February 8.

In the meantime, we have eight staff members headed to Goshen Post ES on January 25th to see what the only current LCPS “PBL Design School” is doing and to meet with staff and observe classrooms. If you have questions about their visit, those attending are: Catherine Hylton, Meghann Donohue, Lori DeMark, Michelle Van Tassell, Melissa Espinosa, Susan McGilvray, Elizabeth Sauer, Cori Rovang, JJ Jones, and Patrick White, (Kristen Hepner and Eric Stewart attended an earlier visit in December).

We also have pilot groups in each grade that will be implementing some (TBD) PBL strategies during fourth quarter. Should we be selected as a Design School, our designation would start in the fall, 2019-2020 SY. If you would like to be part of any committee to talk about the design school ideas and potential implementation, or just have questions, please contact Kristen Hepner or Eric Stewart.

THANKS

 

January 16

Parents,

Per the LCPS website announcement, ALL after school and evening activities are canceled today. That means NO clubs or activities will be after school. All students should get a ride home or be picked up by the end of the day (school ends at 3:38 PM).

Thank you and safe travels!

See you Tuesday.

 

January 15

Parents and Staff,

The schedule for club photos Wednesday, January 16th is attached. Announcements will not be made, so please have your child write down their club picture times in their agenda and keep an eye on the clock. They should leave a few minutes before the scheduled time and report to the auditorium.

Contact Eva Yerkes (eva.yerkes@lcps.org) or Rachel Martin (rachel.martin@lcps.org) with questions!

In case of inclement weather (any delay or cancellation), club photos will be postponed to a later date.

Note: This message will be sent out twice January 12 and Jan 15 (day before)

File attachments: Club Photo Day Schedule 2019

 

January 12

Parents and Staff,

The schedule for club photos Wednesday, January 16th is attached. Announcements will not be made, so please have your child write down their club picture times in their agenda and keep an eye on the clock. They should leave a few minutes before the scheduled time and report to the auditorium.

Contact Eva Yerkes (eva.yerkes@lcps.org) or Rachel Martin (rachel.martin@lcps.org) with questions!

In case of inclement weather (any delay or cancellation), club photos will be postponed to a later date.

Note: This message will be sent out twice January 12 and Jan 15 (day before)

File attachments: Club Photo Day Schedule 2019

 

January 11

Enjoy the weekend

Jan 15 – Instrument Try-Outs for Rising 6th Graders

Jan 16 – Club Picture Day

Jan 17 – Instrument Try-Outs for Rising 6th Graders

Jan 17 – End of Grading Period

Jan 17 – Ping Pong Tournament (7:30 AM to 8:15 AM)

Jan 18 – Teacher Workday / No School for Students

Jan 21 – MLK Holiday

Jan 23 – Hive Time Bell Schedule

Jan 24 – Name Game (AM)

All tickets online: see our school website

Jan 25 – Musical (Thoroughly Modern Millie Jr.) – 7 PM

Jan 26 – Musical (Thoroughly Modern Millie Jr.) - 2 PM

Jan 26 – Musical (Thoroughly Modern Millie Jr.) – 7 PM

Jan 27 – Musical (Thoroughly Modern Millie Jr.) – 2 PM

Parents – don’t forget to put names in your child’s jacket(s). We have many unclaimed items in the Lost and Found areas.

 

January 11

Parents,

We are having our next Ping Pong tournament on January 17 from 7:30 AM to 8:15 AM.

Fifteen staff members have already signed up to play against your children and we only have 20 student spots available for them to sign up.

If your child is interested in trying to beat our staff, please sign them up on the link on our website.

Thanks and good luck to all.

(Current participating staff: Ms. Hepner, Mr. Casto, Mr. O'Neil, Mr. Caccavo, Mr. Jacobson, Mr. Binford, Ms. Bowen, Mr. White, Mr. Stetz, Mr. Widzinski, Mr. Daley, Ms. Espinoza, Mr. Whetsel, Mr. Stewart, and some others!)

 

January 11

Parents and Staff,

Congratulations to the Geography Bee winners:

Patrick Lyons - 3rd Place (6th grade)

Todd White - 2nd Place (8th grade)

James Torrible - 1st Place (6th grade)

Congratulations to all the participants and especially our school champion James Torrible! Well Done.

 

January 11

Parents,

Each month we like to highlight things our staff or students are doing in the areas of climate, safety and instruction. This month, we’d like to share a post about instruction and learning from an educator several of the staff at Harmony follow named, George Couros. Mr. Couros is the author of many articles and the book, “The Innovator’s Mindset.” If you get a chance to read or preview it, we think you will really like it. Recently, he wrote an online post from January 3, 2019, that we would like to share with you. He wrote, “In Scot McLeod and Dean Shareski’s book, “Different Schools for a Different World,” they discuss four shifts that “deeper learning” schools place their focus.

Higher level thinking: The shift from an overwhelming emphasis on lower-level-thinking tasks, such as factual recall and procedural regurgitation, to tasks of greater cognitive complexity, such as creativity, critical thinking, problem solving, and effective communication and collaboration. In other words, this shift asks students to live more often on the upper levels of Benjamin S. Bloom’s (1956) taxonomy (or Norman L. Webb’s (2002) Depth of Knowledge model) than the lower ones. The shift away from lower-level thinking helps foster graduates’ citizenship skills, economic and college success, and life readiness.

Student agency: The shift from classrooms that teachers overwhelmingly control to learning environments that enable greater student agency over what, how, when, where, who with, and why they learn. Student agency allows for greater personalization, individualization, and differentiation of the learning process. As a result, student disengagement diminishes because students have greater autonomy and ownership over more of their learning.

Authentic work: The shift from isolated academic work to environments that provide students opportunities to engage with and contribute to local, national, and international interdisciplinary learning communities. This shift supports students’ motivation by helping them see direct connections between their learning and the world around them, and identify the content’s relevance to their future lives. It more directly connects students’ learning activities to the societal innovations that surround them, enabling schools’ instruction and curricula to be more contemporary.

Technology infusion: The shift from local classrooms that are largely based on pens and pencils, notebook paper, ring binders, and printed textbooks to globally connected learning spaces that are deeply and richly technology driven. The new affordances of mobile computing devices and online environments allow the first three shifts mentioned here to move into high gear. Robust technology integration efforts also combat equity concerns, allow students to master current information landscapes, and increase relevance to rapid, technology-driven societal innovations.”

Parents - We share this post because all year long we have been discussing information with you about getting to Deeper Learning, one of our school goals. We were happy to read that we have been concentrating on the very same areas he wrote about above. Chrome Books, Project Based Learning, and purposeful high level questioning are all strategies we have been infusing in our lessons. We thought you would find it interesting as well and that the strategies could apply to any children you have at others levels (elementary, high, or college). We were encouraged by what he posted as it affirmed what we are trying to do with the students at Harmony to be better learners. We hope you agree.

Eric Stewart and Staff

 

January 9

Good luck to our school finalists for the Geography Bee. They compete this Thursday in the auditorium during 4th block. Contact Mrs. Samantha Barrientos with questions.

Conor McKinley 7th
Patrick Lyons 6th
Thomas Cooke 8th
Maxwell Twyford 8th
Jackson Allgood 8th
Iman Etienne 6th
Jake Visconti 8th
Jeremy Wilkins 8th
Zach Mazeska 8th
Todd White 8th
Evan Dombrowsky 7th
Patrick Holland 8th
James Torrible 6th
Sarah Putorti 6th
Ky Steve 8th
Ian Watson 8th
Vincent Zhang 8th
Celia Hart 8th
Benjamin Soyka 8th
Carlton Carter 7th
Keegan Polson 7th
Benjamin Bean 7th
Cooper Barton 7th
Ariya Shah 6th
Thatcher Graham 6th
Andreas Alexandrou 7th
Anthony Bodan 8th
Tyler Heisey 8th

 

January 3

Parents,

Welcome to 2019! We have had a very smooth week of school since we returned. Thanks for sending your kids to Harmony. Thanks for being part of our community.

Please mark any dates pertaining to you in your calendars.

Jan 6 – Harmony MS Art Exhibit in Round Hill (12:30 to 2 PM)

Jan 7 – possible fire drill (about 10:25 AM)

Jan 8 – $3,000 Check presentation to the Western Loudoun Food Pantry (10 AM)

Jan 8 – Staff Book Study on the Innovators’ Mindset (3:45 PM)

Jan 9 – Hive Time Bell Schedule

Jan 11 – Staff Pancake Breakfast and “Holding Area” incentive for all students

Jan 15 – School Spelling Bee (9:15 AM)

Jan 16 – Club Picture Day (all day)

Jan 17 – End of Grading Period

Jan 18 – No School for Students / Teacher Workday

Jan 21 - No School

Jan 24 - 6th Annual "Name Game"

Jan 25-26-27 - School Musical (more information on our website)

Have a wonderful day:)

Also -

  • Jan 8, 10, 15, and 17 – Instrument Try Outs for rising 5th graders (6 PM to 8 PM)
  • We appreciate your help and support in the following practices below. After safety, our priority is protecting instructional time.
  • Absent/Tardy: Please call our Attendance Hot Line #540-751-2502 for any absence and leave your name, student’s name, date, and reason for absence or tardy.
  • Deliveries and Reminders: To protect instructional time from potential disruptions, we do not call into classrooms for deliveries or reminders. Any deliveries or reminders are placed on the cart located in the main office, and students can pick items up between any classes or during lunch period.
  • Homework Requests: All teacher assignments are posted on individual teacher’s websites or can be obtained by communicating with that teacher.
  • Early Dismissals: Please send a note for any early dismissal and have your child turn it in as soon as they arrive.
  • Parent Surveys: Throughout the year our Parent Liaison, Betty Webber, Elizabeth.bleswebber@lcps.org, will be calling fifty parents per grade, to obtain feedback as to how we are doing. She is also available all year to anyone with questions or in need of assistance.

Thank you!

 

December 16

Focus Area Update / November and December

Parents,

In addition to our regular news updates, we send out periodic communication about our three 2018-2019 school focus areas (Safety, Climate, and Instruction). 

Climate

As a way of promoting healthy coping skills and acts of kindness, we had a successful third annual “Relax and Be Kind Day.” The school was decorated in a Hawaiian theme and tropical music was played between classes. Teachers and students wore their island-themed clothing and had the opportunity to participate in a school-wide art project.

Over 700 of our students took time to recognize one of their peers for an act of kindness they have done. Staff members also recognized each other for acts of kindness. During this time our students were taught several healthy coping skills to use when they feel stressed. A Hive Time activity and a survey about recognizing social isolation were done with all grade levels.

Numerous clubs and activities occurred in November and December. Students and staff enjoyed a Paper Football Tournament, a Karaoke Kick Off, Open Gym, a basketball Free-Throw contest, a Pokémon Club, a Creative Club, Language clubs, FCA, SCA, and many wonderful music programs. We thank all sponsors and participants. 

In November, our staff raised over $2,018 for the American Cancer Society.   They did it through fun activities like an all-school “Pink Out” (on Nov 2), a staff “No Shave” November incentive, a special staff “Thursday” Jean Days, and more.

We also had a variety of school events; International Night, Empty Bowl, Citizenship Night, 7th Grade Field Trip, Awards Nights, and a PTA Skate Night!

Our Parent Liaison has made personal contact with 100 families so far (50 in 8th grade and 50 in 7th grade) and asked them a few questions to see how we, as a school, are doing.  Overall results are positive and we appreciate all commendations and recommendations.  Thank you!

Instruction

A challenging task in education is instruction and deeper learning. Most kids in school can be happy when they like and respect their teachers (positive climate and teacher rapport) but as parents, we also want them to learn and be excited about their class content.  Students can be engaged in a teacher’s personality but how can we get them engaged in the content?

One way is to move students from engagement to empowerment.

George Cuoros says students who are engaged in their learning are learning because they are interested in what is going on.  They have an interest in what is being shared and that it has relevance. 

However, students who are empowered, want to learn because they see value in creating a difference for themselves or others. For them it is creating, making, and connecting learning that is meaningful to them.

When we talk to kids or educators, here are some appropriate questions to ask:

  • What do we do to develop our kids to be creative problem solvers?
  • What do we do to get our kids to learn content in real ways?
  • How can we get our kids to solve problems in their own world?
  • How can we focus our kids to ask about the needs of others?
  • How can we challenge kids to feel like they have the capacity to change the world?
  • How can we create a learning culture where people and kids can talk and hash new content out?
  • How can we foster a degree of originality and sophisticated thinking?

Another way to phrase the above questions is to ask, “What is the school or teacher doing to help my child in the above areas? How are they doing it? What can I, as a parent, do to help my child learn at a deeper level and with more enthusiasm?

Please continue to work with us as we guide our students to think deeper.  We ask you to keep in touch with your child’s teacher about his/her work.  Work with your child to discuss and articulate what and how they are improving.

Safety

Since the beginning of the year and the end of December, we completed our 6th Fire Drill and have practiced five safety scenarios, two Lock Down Drills, an Emergency Drill, and an Earthquake Drill.  Staff and students should be fully prepared to respond to any situation.  Please help us review our Scenario Drills with your child by discussing them when appropriate.

#1 What do you do in an emergency when you have a substitute?

#2 What do you do if you are in the café during an emergency?

#3 Would do you do if you are in the hallway during an emergency?

#4 What do you do if an adult knocks on an exit door and wants you to let you him/her in?

#5 What can you do to help when a teacher has a medical emergency?

Reminders: Staff must wear an ID badge that is always visible.  They use magnets between their door frame and door so that the door can remain locked at all times.  Parents and visitors are asked to show an ID badge to enter the building.  Continue to report any safety concerns you see in or out of the school.

Thank you for sending your children to Harmony and communicating with us.  We appreciate and need your suggestions and recommendations.

We hope the end of your 2018 produces your best memories and positive family time!

Principal Eric Stewart and Staff

 

December 16

Parents – a few news items for this week…

Monday, Dec 17 - Hat Day

Tuesday, Dec 18 – Crazy Sock Day

Wednesday, Dec 19 – Dress in all white (Snow Out Day)

Thursday, Dec 20 – Ugly Sweater Day

Dec 19 is a busy morning for us. Current sixth graders will have a short performance from certain groups in the Music Department (~8:55 to 9:20). From ~9:30 to 10:30, current 5th graders who will attend Harmony next school year, will be at Harmony for a tour and performance from certain groups in the Music Department.

Enjoy!

 

December 12

The Loudoun County School Board adopted the calendar for the 2019-20 school year at its Tuesday, December 11th, meeting.

Following is the adopted student calendar:

August 22: First Day of School

September 2: Holiday (Labor Day)

October 14: Holiday (Columbus Day)

October 28: Student Holiday (County-Wide Staff Development)

November 1: End of the Grading Period

November 4-5: Student Holidays (Planning/Records/Conference Days)

November 27-29: Holiday (Thanksgiving)

December 23-January 3: Winter Break (Classes Resume January 6)

January 17: End of Grading Period

January 20: Holiday (Martin Luther King Jr. Day)

January 21: Moveable Student Holiday (Planning/Records/Conference Day)*

February 17: Holiday (Presidents’ Day)

March 3: Student Holiday (County-Wide Staff Development)

March 26: End of Grading Period

March 27: Student Holiday (Planning/Records/Conference Day)

April 6-10: Holiday (Spring Break)

May 25: Holiday (Memorial Day)

June 9: Last Day of School/End of Grading Period

*Note to parents with childcare or other weekday scheduling concerns: The date of the Moveable Planning/Records/Conference Day between first and second semesters may change if the school calendar must be changed due to school closings for inclement weather or other emergencies.

 

December 12

Parents,

We have a few spots left for our online sign up for tomorrow's Free Throw Shooting Contest (staff will be there to participate as well). If you haven't signed up yet on our website, please check out the link on our website.

See you at 8 AM Thursday in the AUX gym.

 

December 9

Parents and Staff,

Harmony is collecting toys for the USMC Reserve Toys for Tots drive. Please bring your new, unwrapped toy and place it in the boxes located in each House area before December 10th.

We appreciate your help!

 

December 7

Parents and Staff,

Harmony is collecting toys for the USMC Reserve Toys for Tots drive. Please bring your new, unwrapped toy and place it in the boxes located in each House area before December 10th.

We appreciate your help!

 

December 5

This fall, all students in grades 6-8 took the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) Growth test from NWEA. Students take the online MAP Growth assessment in Reading and Math three times each year to determine their instructional readiness and to provide a measure of their academic growth throughout the school year. Schools and teachers use MAP Growth data, aligned to Virginia Standards of Learning, to support differentiated instruction, meet your child’s individual learning needs, and inform course placement decisions along with other related data. In ParentVUE, you can now see your child’s national percentile rank. For more information about the MAP Growth test, visit: NWEA.org/Parent-Toolkit or contact your child’s school.

A student's percentile rank is the percentage of students that had a MAP score less than or equal to this student's score according to the most recent NWEA RIT Scale Norms study. It compares a student's score to other students around the country and provides an overview of how a student has performed relative to others in their same grade level. For example, a third grade student with a national percentile rank of 49 has a MAP Growth score that is equal to or higher than 49% of all third graders nationally who took MAP within the same time period.

Harmony Middle School will take our 2nd diagnostic MAP test on Friday, December 7th for English and Monday, December 10th for math. All students will be participating in testing at the same time in the first two hours of our day. The rest of the day will run on a 2 hour delayed bell schedule. Please help us by ensuring that students bring a fully charged chromebook, as well as a book to read, for each day of testing.

Thank you!

 

December 4

(Sorry parents - We sent out TWO times for Empty Bowl. The CORRECT times are 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM)

Join us Wednesday, December 5th, for our Empty Bowl Dinner and Citizenship Night to help raise awareness about local hunger.

The Dinner will be served in the cafeteria from 5:30 to 7:30 PM for $20.00 a person and includes a handmade ceramic bowl and dinner (or just the dinner for $5.00). No advance ticket sales.

Doors will open at 5:30 PM. Dinner includes choice of soup, bread, and a drink. Bowl quantities are limited and will be available on a first come basis.

All proceeds will be donated to the Western Loudoun Food Pantry.

We are in need of Volunteers and Donations to make this event a success. Please sign up at the link below!

Sign up Here

 

December 3

The Harmony PTA is in need of delicious donations for our annual COOKIES FOR TEACHERS on Thursday, December 12th! We love our teachers and staff at Harmony Middle School, so let’s show them how sweet they are on Dec 12th! It is similar to a cookie exchange, except we do the baking and our staff gets to take home the yummy treats.

Sign up to send in cookies at the link below.

Sign Up Here

Thank you!

 

December 3

Have a great week!

Dec 3 - Classroom Spelling Bees occur this week

Dec 4 - Concert - Band 6, 7th / 8th Grade Jazz Band, 7th / 8th Grade Percussion (7 PM)

Dec 4 - Karaoke Kick Off (8 AM - limited space - sign up on our website)

Dec 5 - Empty Bowl Night (6 to 8 PM)

Dec 6 - 7th Grade Orchestra and 8th Grade Guitar Concerts (7 PM)

Dec 11 - Chorus 6 Concert (7 PM)

Dec 12 - PTA Cookie Exchange for teachers!

Dec 12 - Interim Day for Quarter 2

Dec 13 - Chorus 7 and Chorus 8 Concert (7 PM)

 

November 28

Join us Wednesday, December 5th, for our Empty Bowl Dinner and Citizenship Night to help raise awareness about local hunger.

The Dinner will be served in the cafeteria from 5:30 to 7:30 PM for $20.00 a person and includes a handmade ceramic bowl and dinner (or just the dinner for $5.00). No advance ticket sales.

Doors will open at 5:30 PM. Dinner includes choice of soup, bread, and a drink. Bowl quantities are limited and will be available on a first come basis.

All proceeds will be donated to the Western Loudoun Food Pantry.

We are in need of Volunteers and Donations to make this event a success. Please sign up at the link below!

Sign up Here

 

November 28

Nov 29 - Relax and Be Kind Day - wear your Hawaiian shirt

Dec 3 - Classroom Spelling Bees occur this week

Dec 4 - Karaoke Kick Off (8 AM - limited space - sign up on our website)

Dec 5 - Empty Bowl Night (6 to 8 PM)

Dec 6 - 7th Grade Orchestra and 8th Grade Guitar Concerts (7 PM)

Dec 11 - Chorus 6 Concert (7 PM)

Dec 12 - PTA Cookie Exchange for teachers!

Dec 12 - Interim Day for Quarter 2

Dec 13 - Chorus 7 and Chorus 8 Concert (7 PM)

 

November 27

Good afternoon Harmony parents,

1. This message is about Scoliosis Awareness. This information is provided by Loudoun County Public Schools Office of Student Health Services and you may access further information at the following webpage: https://www.lcps.org/site/Default.aspx?PageID=2014. Please feel free to contact Mrs. Jeannie Kloman at 571-252-1229 if you have any questions or want additional information regarding Scoliosis.

2. As it is getting close to the holiday season, the LCPS HR department would like to remind all parents that any gifts given to school personnel should abide by County School Board policies keeping with our goal to provide a safe environment for our students.

 

November 26

As a community outreach, we do many things to support our families. One of the services we provide is that we send home shelf-stable food with thirty of our students who may need extra food for the weekend.

To support this effort, we have periodic needs for donations and for volunteer opportunities.

If you are able to contribute to either, please see the sign-up link below.

If you have questions, please contact our school Parent Liaison, Betty Webber (elizabeth.bleswebber@lcps.org).

We appreciate your help.

Click Here to Help

 

November 25

All,

We just wanted you to know that we had 2 students make the National Honor Choir!

Lilly Eddy was selected to the National Children's Choir and Lily Kelley was selected to the Jr. High Honor Choir.

The event will take place Feb. 27 to March 2 in Kansas City, Missouri.

WOW! Congratulations to our singers!!!

 

November 25

Parents,

This week we celebrate the students' hard work from Quarter 1 with our traditional Quarterly Awards Programs. All three grades will be honored this week at three evening events for students who earned the All A Honor Roll and the All A / B Honor Roll.

Additionally we will be recognizing students who earned our Cornerstone Awards (nominated by teachers and staff). Please double check your child's report card for All A's or All A's and B's and join us to celebrate their success.

Tuesday - 6th Grade Awards (7:00 PM to 7:30 PM in AUD)

Wednesday - 7th Grade Awards (7:00 PM to 7:30 PM in AUD)

Thursday - 8th Grade Awards (7:00 PM to 7:30 PM in AUD)

We hope to see you there!

 

November 13

The administration at Harmony was made aware of a sighting of a bear with a cub in the Round Hill area. We were also informed that transporation has informed all evening drivers and they are to report to dispatch if another sighting occurs.

The sighting has been reported to the Animal Control and the Virginia Dept. of Game and Fisheries.

 

November 13

Parents and Staff,

Tomorrow, Wednesday, November 14, is our annual Turkey Lunch special in our cafeteria. If interested, please come to school ready to eat some yummy seasonal food. Parents are welcome to visit and enjoy lunch with their child

 

November 13

Congratulations to these 7th and 8th Grade Chorus Students on being selected to the 2019 All-District Chorus!

  • Hudson Geiger
  • Breanna Burruss
  • Natalie Starke
  • Catalina Lopez
  • Ellie Ramsey
  • Lily Kelley
  • Lilly Eddy
  • Brielle Schermerhorn
  • Aurelia Lucio
  • Kiera McMahon
  • Nicole Burroughs
  • Alessandra Amos
  • Caroline Clegg
  • Alanna Fumagali
  • Cecelia Condie
  • Samantha Shuffleton
  • Samantha Huffer 
  • Emma Smith
  • Piper Rummage
  • Skye Kimbrough
  • Travis Gahafer
  • Kevin Beach
  • Kevin James
  • Max Caldas
  • Tommy Ayers
  • Tyler Heisey
  • Connor White
  • Luke Murtaugh
  • Taylore  Williamson (1st alternate)

 

November 9

Please see important dates for our school:

Nov 9 - Skate Night (6 PM to 8 PM - must sign up online)

Nov 12 - Parents - PLEASE send in completed PINK CARDS

Nov 12 - Paper Football tournament vs staff – 7:45 AM in C-09 – sign up on our website

Nov 13 - Symphonic and Concert Band – 7 PM

Nov 14 - Harmony will hold it's first annual Wonders of the World evening this upcoming Wednesday, November 14th from 6:30-8:30 PM. There will be music, games, food tastings and more! Participants are invited to dress in cultural attire and bring a dish highlighting a culture to share with others! Contact any world language teacher with questions!

Nov 15 - Harmony’s 2nd Annual Relax and Be Kind Day Thursday, November 15th. Please wear Hawaiian shirts.

Nov 16 - Club Pictures Day

Request from WHS - Please join the Woodgrove Theatre Department as they present the musical Just So, based on Rudyard Kipling's Just So Stories. Just So was written in 1984 and played twice in London, produced by the famous Cameron MacIntosh. Grab your tickets at: http://www.woodgroveperformingarts.com/

 

November 7

BELIEVE FUNDRAISER PICK UP!

Our 2nd fundraiser order pick up is this Thursday, November 8th from 3:30pm to 7pm.

The items are in the boiler room. It is located on the parking lot side of the school where the dumpsters are located. There is a large “D8” over the door. If your order is small, your child can take it home Thursday. Students will be able to pick small orders up at the end of the day inside the school hallway near the cafeteria.

*Any parents/customers that have any broken/missing items, should contact customer service at 1-888-816-1116.

If you have any questions, please contact Cindy Crandall at president@harmonymspta.org.

 

November 6

Parents and Staff,

This week you received our Safety, Climate, and Instruction update for October. We'd like to follow that up with a meeting for any interested parents to discuss our current safety plans. We will review our fire drill, lock down, earthquake, and other safety information including the "safety scenarios" that we practice with the kids.

Our purpose is to review these items with you and get any feedback or suggestions you have.

Please join us in the Harmony library this coming Wednesday, November 7, from 7 PM to 8 PM.

Thanks!

 

November 5

Harmony MS PTA Free Skate Night

Join us for a FREE skate night on Friday, November 9th from 6-8pm!  All students who wish to skate must be pre-registered at the following link as there are limited skates available: Register Here

This event is for Harmony Middle School students only, no siblings will be permitted.  Pizza, chips, candy, and drinks will be sold at the event.

We will also need several parent volunteers to help sell concessions and monitor the students. If you are able to volunteer click the following link: Volunteer Here

 

November 2

Parents,

A few additional details since our last communication

1. Transportation asked me to remind you all that if you are picking up your child after school to please not park in the bus lanes.

2. Several have asked about our Veterans Day Assembly. 8th graders will attend the assembly in person and 6th and 7th will watch from their rooms. If a 6th or 7th grader’s parent is attending, that student may attend as well. We’d love to see veterans from all grades!

3. If interested in a substance use presentation, there is one in Ashburn the evening of November 15. “A Conversation about Substance Use for Parents and Teens,” Thursday, November 15th 6:30—8:30 pm LCPS Administration Building 21000 Education Court, Ashburn, VA 20148.

4. The concert on November 13 is Symphonic Band AND Concert Band.

Thanks!

 

November 1

BELIEVE FUNDRAISER PICK UP!

Fundraiser order pick up is tomorrow, Friday November 2nd from 3:30 to 5 p.m.

The items are in the boiler room. It is located on the parking lot side of the school where the dumpsters are located. There is a large “D8” over the door.

If your order is small, your child can take it home tomorrow. Students will be able to pick small orders up at the end of the day inside the school hallway near the cafeteria.

If you have any questions, please contact Cindy Crandall at president@harmonymspta.org.

We will have a second pick up day next week.

 

October 31

Parents and Staff,

This week you received our Safety, Climate, and Instruction update for October. We'd like to follow that up with a meeting for any interested parents to discuss our current safety plans. We will review our fire drill, lock down, earthquake, and other safety information including the "safety scenarios" that we practice with the kids. Our purpose is to review these items with you and get any feedback or suggestions you have.

Please join us in the Harmony library this coming Wednesday, November 7, from 7 PM to 8 PM.

Thanks!

 

October 29

Parents and Staff,

We are pleased to share that after a surprise visit from the Virginia Department of Health inspectors, our school cafeteria met all requirements for food safety and cleanliness . The Health Department looks for cleanliness, sanitation, cooking temperatures, proper date marking, procedures and records, food condition, prevention procedures, employee knowledge, and many more.

We were found to be in compliance in all areas.  Congratulations, Mrs. Nancy James and staff, for another outstanding Inspection Report. 

 

October 29

Focus Area Update / October 29

Parents,

In addition to our regular news updates, this communication is part of a monthly highlight about our three 2018-2019 school focus areas (Safety, Climate, and Instruction). 

Climate

October saw a focus on discussing Bullying with our students.  Counselors went into each grade level with different lessons.  If you have any questions about these presentations or have information to share with us about bullying, please contact your child’s grade level counselor or dean.

6th Grade Presentation Topic – “Bullying”

7th Grade Presentation Topic – “Sexual Harassment and Bullying”

8th Grade Presentation – “Cyberbullying and Internet Safety”

In November, our staff will be raising money for the American Cancer Society.   Our goal is $2,018.  We start with an all school “Pink Out” on Nov 2, followed by a staff “No Shave” November incentive, special staff “Thursday” Jeans Days, and more.

We encourage all staff and families to participate in healthy habits (exercise and good nutrition) to ensure a longer and healthier life.  

We are looking forward to our 4th Veterans Day assembly on November 8 (details in other Connect Ed communications).

Instruction

Our long-term goal is to get the kids to think deeper.  Teachers continue to purposefully design and ask higher level questions that don’t require memory or a yes/no answer.  We want kids to learn to articulate what they are doing at a deeper level instead of just saying yes or no.

Here are some questions your children should be able to answer (and by their very nature help demonstrate their level of “deeper learning:”

  • What is the teacher doing to stoke curiosity and engage the students?
  • What evidence did you see of purposeful higher-level questioning during the lesson?
  • What does the teacher do to allow for student voice and choice
  • What does the teacher do to make the lessons authentic?
  • What is the teacher doing to help students analyze, interpret, or solve problems?

Safety

This month we completed our 5th Fire Drill since school started and have now practiced four safety scenarios, two Lock Down Drills, an Emergency Drill, and an Earthquake Drill.  Staff and students should be fully prepared to respond to any situation.  Please help us review our Scenario Drills with your child by discussing them in November.

#1 (What do you do in an emergency when you have a substitute?)

#2 (What do you do if you are in the café during an emergency?)

#3 (What do you do if you are in the hallway during an emergency?)

#4 (What do you do if an adult knocks on an exit door and wants you to let you him/her in?)

and pending, #5 (What can you do to help when a teacher has a medical emergency?)

Reminders: Staff must wear an ID badge that is always visible.  They use magnets between their door frame and door so that the door can remain locked at all times.  Parents and visitors are asked to show an ID badge to enter the building.  Continue to report any safety concerns you see in or out of the school.

Thank you for sending your children to Harmony and communicating with us.  We appreciate and need your suggestions and recommendations.

Have a great month of November!

​Principal Eric Stewart and Staff

 

October 29

Please see upcoming dates:

Oct 29 - Fall Portraits (out of HPE)

Oct 30 - Fall Portraits (out of HPE)

Oct 30 - 6th and 8th Grade Orchestra Concert (7 PM)

Oct 30 - 8th Grade Spectrum Field Trip

Nov 1 - 6th Grade Spectrum Field Trip

Nov 1 - Free Throw Contest (8:00 AM - Sign up on our website)

​Nov 2 - Walking Club Starts (see details and sign up on our website)

Nov 2 - PINK OUT - wear pink to support cancer research

Nov 2 - End of Quarter

Nov 5 - Musical Try-outs start this week

​Nov 5 and 6 - NO SCHOOL for students / teacher workday

​Nov 7 - 7th Grade Spectrum Field Trip

Nov 8 - Veterans Day Assembly

Nov 9 - PTA Skate Night (6 PM to 8 PM)

​Nov 12 - Paper Football Tournament Students vs Teachers (sign up on our website)

​Nov 13 - Symphonic Band Concert (7 PM)

 

October 26

Parents,

About 2:50 today the health and physical education teachers reported a faint odor in the gym area.  After investigating with the School Resource Officer, and having local authorities assist us in finding the odor’s source, we determined it was residue odors from a neighboring outside burn.  All students are fine and we did not need to evacuate. We wanted to let you know about it in case your child mentioned it. 

If you have any questions, please call our school at 540-751-2500 and ask for the principal, Eric Stewart.

 

October 25

Harmony MS PTA Free Skate Night

Join us for a FREE skate night on Friday, November 9th from 6-8pm!  All students who wish to skate must be pre-registered at the following link as there are limited skates available: Register Here

This event is for Harmony Middle School students only, no siblings will be permitted.

Pizza, chips, candy, and drinks will be sold at the event.

We will also need several parent volunteers to help sell concessions and monitor the students. If you are able to volunteer click the following link: Volunteer Here

 

October 23

Parents,

We have some new clubs and/or one-time activities forming.  Sign ups are or will be on our website by Wednesday afternoon. 

Please check out the ones you are interested in.  Space is limited in most.

Ping Pong (Tourney is Oct 25, 7:30 AM) - sign up online

Walking Club - sign up online

Free Throw Contest - sign up online

Open Gym - sign up online

Creative Club (arts and crafts) - sign up online

Talent Show - sign up online

 

October 15

Parents – Would you be willing to “host” or “sponsor” a school activity?  Keep reading.

A variety of activities help make school exciting and fun and help our students meet new friends. 

Extra-curricular activities can occur one time (like our recent paper football tournament) or could meet multiple times (like our now completed Fall Drama Club or a seasonal volleyball club), or they could run all year (SCA, FCA, Anime, Latin Club, and others).

YOU can limit the size, length, event, and time.  You can do almost anything! (The only restriction is that we do NOT do traditional middle school dances. Also, none of these should support any businesses or be costly.  These should all be for fun.)

If any of you one are interested in anything below (or other ideas), please send principal Eric Stewart a quick email to discuss your idea (eric.stewart@lcps.org).

 

SOME IDEAS:

AM Walking Club / Group

Create a School Stock market game (that lasts only 4 weeks – Who can make the most fictional money?)

Create and run a Scavenger Hunt

Host a Ball and String tournament (that beach game)

Host a Corn Hole tournament

Host a Free Throw Contest in the gym in AM

Host a Game Show

Host a Karaoke event

Organize a “Freeze Frame” Event

Organize a student Dress Up Day

Run / Teach a Cupcake Class

Run a Crossword Challenge or some game

Run a Morning Stretch Class

Set up a Musicians Showcase (halls in AM)

Set up a Photo Gallery with student or staff pictures or artwork

Set up a table with kids in the café as a Fancy Dinning Area to eat (table cloth, etc.)

Set up an Art Display in main office or main hall

Share / Teach Magic Tricks

Show and Share Card Games or Card Tricks

Sponsor an “Open Gym” event before school

Teach a “Setting the Table” Class

 

October 15

Please see upcoming dates:

Oct 16 - PTA Coffee Cart for Staff (AM) 

Oct 16 - Chipotle Spirit Night (4 PM to 8 PM)

Oct 17 - Hive Time Bell Schedule and activity

Oct 18 - Earthquake Drill (AM)

Oct 19 - Jersey Day (wear your favorite team)

Oct 22 - Teacher Planning Day / No school for students

Oct 23 - PTA Meeting (AM)

Oct 24 - Bus Driver Appreciation Day

Oct 25 - Ping Pong Tournament (7:30 AM to 8:15 AM - sign up on our website)

Oct 29 - Fall Portraits (out of HPE)

Oct 30 - Fall Portraits (out of HPE)

Nov 2 - PINK OUT - wear pink to support cancer research

Nov 2 - End of Quarter

 

October 15

Parents,

As you know, we are having a Veterans Day assembly on November 8th. Our speakers are lined up and our Band will be playing a few songs. We'd also like to display some pictures of our students' parents/relatives who are veterans, either on the screen in the auditorium or in the hallway (depends on how many respond).

If your family would like to send in a "veteran" picture for us to display, please send it to principal, eric.stewart@lcps.org or our Parent Liaison, elizabeth.bleswebber@lcps.org.

Thanks!

 

October 11

Book Fair News...(Book Fair runs the week of Oct 15-19)

FYI - Our Book Fair Family Night is on Thursday, from 5 PM to 8 PM

Also, we need a few more parent volunteers during the day on Thursday (10/18) and Friday (10/19). You can sign up through the PTA newsletter or contact Teacher Librarian, Susan McGilvray (540-751-2500).

Thanks!

 

October 10

Parents,

On November 8, our school will continue its tradition of having a Veterans Day assembly (from 9 AM to 10 :15 AM).

Eighth graders will watch live in the auditorium and 6th and 7th graders will watch live on video from their classrooms. 

As we prepare for this event, we are looking for veterans who wish to speak to our school about the importance of being a veteran.  We are in need of four speakers. 

Parents, if you are interested in speaking, please email Eric Stewart (eric.stewart@lcps.org).

In addition to our four speakers we will be recognizing each branch of the military so parents and staff attending are encouraged to wear their uniform.  Any 6th or 7th grader whose parent is attending with be allowed to attend in the auditorium with them.

We look forward to honoring our military on November 8th (although not veterans day, it is the best day for our Band and school schedule).  Thank you to all those who have served our country in the military!

 

October 9

Parents,

This month our School Counselors are meeting with the kids in each grade to discuss topics related to bullying.  This would be a great chance to follow up with your kids to see what they talked about and what their plans are to prevent and report any form of bullying.  If you have any questions about these presentations, please contact your child’s grade level Counselor.  THANKS.

6th Grade Presentation Topic – “Bullying”

7th Grade Presentation Topic – “Sexual Harassment and Bullying”

8th Grade Presentation – “Cyberbullying and Internet Safety”

During this time, they will also be discussing the difference between “teasing” and “bullying” (repeated, harmful, and intent to harm)

 

October 4

It’s everyone's favorite week - the Book Fair (Oct 15 - 19)!!  And we can’t do it without you.  Our volunteers are the key to this super successful fund-raiser that supports the library and puts books in students’ hands.  If you can help us, please sign up below. Many thanks for sharing your time!

Volunteer Here

 

September 30

Hello Harmony!

In October, we will be observing Anti-Bullying Awareness month with a focus on awareness and prevention of cyberbullying. Students and teachers are meeting Wednesday, 10/3 and Wednesday, 10/17 in Hive Time. Lessons are leveled per grade and resources are available for staff.  Parents, if you have questions, please contact your child's School Counselor.

6th Grade:

10/3: Cyberbullying awareness lesson and discussion —"Be Upstanding!”

10/17: WEB lesson—8th grade WEB leaders will help present a lesson on rumors.

7th Grade:

10/3: Cyberbullying Awareness/Prevention — students write and practice skits that highlight issues with cyberbullying.

10/17: Skits are performed for partner classrooms.

8th Grade:

10/3: Anti-Cyberbullying Ad Campaign — poster contest to promote awareness/prevention of cyberbullying

10/17: Complete posters and submit for judging.

 

September 29

Parents,

Harmony is hosting a 60 player field for an "Old School" Football, Basketball, and Hockey tournament.

Ask your parents (or grandparents) what paper football, nickel basketball, or penny hockey games were before there were computers and the Internet.

Sign up on our website, https://www.lcps.org/harmony under Headlines.  If you don't know how to play, we'll teach you!  Only 60 slots open. 

Oct 9 from 7:30 AM to 8:15 AM.  When you sign up, you'll see room information.

You must sign up online and ahead of time.

 

September 28

Parents,

In addition to our regular communications, we plan to do a monthly highlight about our three school focus areas (Safety, Climate, and Instruction).  This is the second update!

 

Safety

This month we practiced three fire drills, two Lock Down Drills, and three scenario trainings.  Staff and students should be fully trained in our practices and able to implement them for any situation.  October will see one more Fire Drill and Scenarios #4 and #5.  Weather depending, we will also use the Fire Drill to move into the Emergency Response Plan. We finished our Bus Evacuation drills and started a Parking Pilot (with some staff parking behind the building) to reduce the amount of vehicles in the main parking lot.

All staff must wear an ID badge visible at all times and use magnets between their door frame and door so that the door can remain locked at all times.

Parents and visitors will be asked to show an ID badge to enter the building.

Continue to report any safety concerns you see in or out of the school.

 

Climate

Harmony Administrators cooked a Pancake Breakfast for staff and served over 80 people! 

Our second Jersey Day for staff and students is October 5th.

Staff are expected to reply within 36 hours to all parents but generally do not answer emails after 6 PM or on weekends.

You saw from our recent communication that the PBIS / Advisory Team has organized two Hive Time Anti-bullying activities.

Last year the month of November was one in which our staff and students raised over $1,500 for cancer.  We’ve had soup lunches, “no shave” November, Jean's days, and more. Details for this year coming soon.

We encourage all staff and families to participate in healthy habits (exercise and good nutrition) to ensure a longer and healthier life.  

Student opportunities for recognition have started with what we call the Woot Woot Wagon. Teachers will be starting to fill those out soon.

 

Instruction

Parents - A big long-term goal we have is to try to get the kids to think deeper.  One method we have for doing this is by purposefully designing and asking higher level questions that don’t require memory or a yes/no answer. 

A comparison example for home would be, “Did you learn anything at school today?” (This yields a yes/no answer) versus, “What did you learn in social studies today?” or “How was yesterday’s math class better today than last class?”

We want kids to learn to articulate what they are doing at a deeper level instead of just shrugging their shoulders and saying yes or no.

Here are some other questions you could ask them that we are also focusing on improving:

  • What are the kids in your class doing to reflect on or critique their learning?
  • Describe the level of effectiveness of teacher feedback to your classmates.How is it positive and how does it help them learn?
  • How are technology tools (Chromebooks) being used in class?
  • What is the teacher doing to stoke curiosity and engage the students?

(By asking what other kids are doing, it can take the focus off your child but allows them to give you a classroom perspective that may make them feel more comfortable because they are talking about others.)

Thanks again!  Have a great weekend and month of October!

 

September 28

Congratulations to tho following 6th grade students selected to the 2018 All-County Chorus!

Zoe Mazeska, Zachary Haag, Ashlyn Tarrant, Jaden Johnson, Daniel Bundick, Janele Winner, Grace Oat, Christopher Shuffleton, Sophie Mason, Regan Alford, Maleeya Martin (alternate), Anna Horan (alternate)

 

September 27

Please see upcoming dates and news items:

Sept 29 – Field Trip to the Baltimore Symphony

Oct 2 – Fire Drill #4

Oct 3 – Hive Time Bell Schedule

Oct 3 – Interims – check your child’s work on ParentVUE

Oct 8 – No School

Oct 11 – 8th Grade Chorus Concert at WHS

Oct 16 – Chipotle Spirit Night (4 PM to 8 PM)

Oct 18 – Fire Drill #5

Oct 29 – Fall Portraits (out of HPE)

Oct 30 – Fall Portraits (out of HPE)

 

NEWS:

We are having a drive to help with the recovery from Hurricane Florence.  We are taking canned vegetables, dry goods, peanut butter, dog food, beans, diapers, detergent, plastic bags, cat food, and toiletries. There are boxes outside each House area. Collection ends Oct 5.

Clubs are now on the main Harmony webpage. You will see an icon under "School News" and will be updated periodically.

You will also find Clubs under Quick Links, as well as under "Our School."

Congratulations to Karlie Sprecher for winning the Yearbook design cover contest.

Reminder to check our website weekly.  We have many announcements there, past Connect Ed news, daily announcements, and links to teacher sites.

Thank You!

  

September 19

HARMONY ODYSSEY - RECRUITING STUDENTS and COACHES...

The Harmony Middle School Odyssey of the Mind program is currently building teams for the 2018-19 competition season.

Odyssey of the Mind is an international academic enrichment program that teaches creative-problem solving and communication skills in a team environment. 

For more information, please email program coordinator Kim Ramsey at kim@nwvoices.org

 

September 17

We recieved notification from the transportation department that parents should expect all busses to be late this evening primarily due to an accident on Rt. 287.

 

September 12

Dear Parents,

Thank you all for your support in our PTA fundraiser!  We have raised $2259 for our school so far!

The DUE DATE for fundraiser order forms is this FRIDAY, September 14th.  We will have volunteers in the cafeteria during lunch blocks to receive fundraiser forms/payment.  Students can also turn in to their house secretary.

Please make sure your student has filled out their forms correctly and legibly and attached payment in the correct amount.

All students who have sold 5 or more items are eligible to win CASH prizes this week as well. We will be pulling our FINAL winners this Friday 9/14 so remind your students to turn their tickets in to the bin in the main office marked "CASH GRAB" by the end of the school day this Friday.  On Friday after school we will pull winners for the following:

  • $50 CASH
  • $25 CASH- 5 winners
  • other miscellaneous prizes including a drone

Winners will be announced next Monday morning. 

We will also be pulling 2 winners for a $50 VISA gift card at the end of the fundraiser. All students who have orders placed online or by phone pay will be entered to win.

We expect orders to be delivered around mid-late October. At that time we will send an email with instructions on where/when to pick up.  Thank you again for your support! The funds raised are used to support our teachers and staff in many different ways throughout the school year.

Sincerely,

Your HMS PTA Board

 

September 12

Parents,

Each student at Harmony is on either the Eagles, Sharks, or Wolves.  Some students are getting T-shirts and if you are interested, please open the attached order form. THANKS!

Harmony Team Shirt Order Form

 

September 9

Parents,

Please see upcoming school dates and reminders below:

Sept 10 – Lockdown Drill (PM)

Sept 12 – PTA and School MOD Pizza Spirit Day – Percent of Sales Goes to PTA (PM activity)

Sept 13 – Ping Pong Tournament (7:30 AM to 8:15 AM). Sign up on our website.

Sept 14 – Surprise Student and Staff Event (AM)

Sept 17 – Fire Drill #3 (PM)

Sept 20 – Bus Evacuation Drills (AM)

Sept 21 – Bus Evacuation Drills (AM)

We appreciate your help and support in the following practices below. After safety, our priority is protecting instructional time.

Absent/Tardy:  Please call our Attendance Hot Line #540-751-2502 for any absence and leave your name, student’s name, date, and reason for absence or tardy.

Deliveries and Reminders:   To protect instructional time from potential disruptions, we do not call into classrooms for deliveries or reminders. Any deliveries or reminders are placed on the cart located in the main office, and students can pick items up between any classes or during lunch period.

Homework Requests:   All teacher assignments are posted on individual teacher’s websites or can be obtained by communicating with that teacher.

Early Dismissals:  Please send a note for any early dismissal and have your child turn it in as soon as they arrive.

Parent Surveys:  Throughout the year our Parent Liaison, Betty Webber, Elizabeth.bleswebber@lcps.org, will be calling fifty parents per grade, to obtain feedback as to how we are doing. She is also available all year to anyone with questions or in need of assistance.

Thank you and have a great week!

 

September 7

Parents,

Yesterday we had our second fire drill of the year and then discussed Scenario #2 with your kids.  Scenario #2 asks, “What do you do if you are in the cafeteria during an emergency (Ex - alarm goes off)?” When reviewing this scenario with your child, he or she should be able to tell you that when the alarm goes off, students should leave the building in an orderly and quiet fashion.  They should NOT return to their room.  They should find the nearest exit and leave calmly and once outside, and safely away from the building, should wait for their teachers to find them.  The key is that they are safe outside, away from whatever it was that caused the alarm, and quietly waiting for staff instructions.

On Monday, we will be practicing our first lockdown drill.  As you know, a lockdown drill is very different from a fire drill.  During a lockdown, students will already be inside their rooms and they should gather quietly against the wall, away from ANY view of the door.  The teacher will have removed the magnetic block from the locked door, and covered any windows on the door.   Students should be completely quiet and NOT open the door for anyone until the all clear signal is given by the school.

In the near future, we are preparing Scenario #’s 4-5-6.  If you have certain concepts you’d like us to consider, please call (540-751-2500) or send the ideas to jeff.jacobson@lcps.org.  We appreciate your input.

Thanks for helping us out with all things safety.

Have a great (and safe) weekend.

Eric Stewart

 

August 31

Parents,

The buses have left for the day are did depart on time.  However, Transportation informed us that there is a backup at 9 and 287 that is longer than usual (possibly 1 to 2 miles long).  If you live anywhere in that area or north, please expect a later than normal arrival home.

 

August 31

The LCPS Department of Pupil Services wants parents to read the attached letter regarding a change in Attendance Reporting Practices. Please take a moment to review this information.

Attendance Reporting Practices Letter

 

August 29

Parents,

Throughout the year, students are periodically recognized for their work and behavior during class by each teacher. Students can earn recognition in others ways as well at the end of each quarter. Our school offers four recognition Awards Nights (described below).

Quarters 1, 2, and 3

We plan student Recognition Nights at the end of each of the first three quarters for students earning our Cornerstone Awards (Selected by our staff in the areas of Citizenship, Effort, Leadership, Scholarship, and Excellence in Mathematics and Writing).  You will see in our attachment how students are selected each quarter.  Students are also recognized during the ceremony for earning the “All A” honor roll and the “All A/B” honor roll. Dates for Q1 recognition nights will be sent in a few weeks.

Quarter 4

The end of Quarter 4 ends our academic year and we honor students for excellence in all school subjects with an End-of-Year ceremony that honors ONE winner in each Department (Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Music, Art, HPE, etc.).  On this night, we also have the Cornerstone finalists and special awards for selected 8th graders that include the Malone Awards, Business Partnership winner, and others.

If you have any questions about these programs, please contact our school principal, Eric Stewart at 540-751-2500.

Harmony Recognition Student Criteria

 

August 29

Parents,

Today we had our first fire drill of the year.  We were able to evacuate the building under three minutes and the students were accounted for prior to re entering the building. 

When they returned to class, their teachers led them in a discussion about, "What to do in an emergency if you have a substitute teacher." Your children should now know where the Emergency Information Packet is located in each room (near the door).  They should know how to properly evacuate the building (lights turned off, door shut when the last person leaves, and to head to the closest exit in an orderly and quiet manner. They should know how we do things if a substitute is ever in their classroom and isn't aware of our practices.

Each class also began discussing what to do in a Lock Down situation; what we would do during an emergency when we do NOT leave the building.

It may take a few practices for them to be comfortable in all of these different situations but we are confident with practice, that all of our students will be alert and helpful during any emergency (drill or real).

Anything you can do at home to reinforce our discussion today and keep them aware of the seriousness of our preparations, would be very helpful.

IF you have any questions about our drills, please contact Jeff Jacobson (jeff.jacobson@lcps.org) or Eric Stewart (eric.stewart@lcps.org).

Thanks for your help!

 

August 25

Parents,

The Transportation Division has implemented a new telephone call menu system.  The menu allows callers to connect to the Transportation Area that oversees their school and should make access to bus information (and transportation issues) much easier.

If you are calling the Transportation Department, dial 571-252-1700.  You will either talk to dispatch (after hours) or will be prompted to choose an option to reach the WESTERN LOUDOUN Transportation Area Call Center.  The number for the western Loudoun schools is 540-751-2580.

Callers can also go to the Transportation Division Contact webpage at the following link to see which Area their student’s school is in and call directly to the Area. https://www.lcps.org/Page/201167.

We hope this will make bus and transportation information more readily available.

Thanks

 

August 23

Harmony Parents,

Today we distributed Chromebooks to every one of our students.  They are expected to transport their device from school to home and bring it, fully charged and ready to use, each day we are in school.

For more information about this initiative, we have created a variety of resources for you to use.  Please click on the links below to learn more about this opportunity from Loudoun County Public Schools:

Student Technology Website - A comprehensive website for students and parents, with a link to the LCPS Technology Handbook; there is also a link to it in LCPSGo.

LCPS Technology Handbook - From receiving the device to FAQs and where to get help, everything you need to know about the Chromebook is here.

A Trifold BrochureThis contains brief information about the device and a paper copy will be available at BTSN.

 

August 23

Parents,

Things are going smoothly here and we are pleased with the students' behavior and enthusiasm.  It is great to see them back with their friends and in our halls.

A big THANK YOU to the over thirty parent volunteers who helped in our building this morning!

Students received their computer devices (Chromebooks) this morning and another Connect Ed will be sent at 3:30 PM today with information about that.

Our next goal for today is to get the kids home in a timely manner. Teachers have the bus lists and will be reviewing them with the students near the end of the day.

Buses on the first day typically do not leave on time but we will try our best to make that happen this year.  We will give you an alert should they be significantly late.

Other than that, today has been a GOOD DAY so far. We promise many more.

Eric Stewart, Principal

 

August 22

Parents,

For your information, we are sending the pick up line map as an attachment.  You will find the AM drop off runs smoothly but the PM pick up line has a heavy congestion and requires extra caution.  Please think of safety first.

Use the side lot only.  The front is for buses.

See you tomorrow!

Harmony Parent PM Pick Up Map

 

August 22

Hello Parents,

This past Monday's schedule and locker distribution went smoothly and we were glad to see everyone (almost 1,000 students). We are excited to get school started tomorrow!

Our doors will open at 8:15 AM and each grade level will head to an area where we will give out additional information before we send them to "Hive Time" where they will receive their Chromebooks.

6th Graders will start in the GYM. 

7th Graders will start in the CAFE

8th Graders will start in the AUDITORIUM

If you would like to help us (especially in the 6th grade locker area), please check in at the main office, and then we will send you down to the 6th grade locker area. We need you most from 8:30 AM until 9:15 AM. You do not need to RSVP.  Please just come in and help with the lockers; they can be tricky for our new students.

We look forward to our first day of school!

 

August 19

Thank you to the more than 25,000 students, parents and guardians who have used the LCPS Virtual First-Day Folder and ParentVUE to complete their back-to-school paper work online. You’ve saved time, reduced paper consumption and freed up time for school staff to concentrate on a successful opening of school Thursday. If you haven’t used the Virtual First-Day Folder, please take a moment to check this link 2018VirtualFirstDayFolder. Taking a few minutes to do this will make the return to school more enjoyable for everyone.

Here are some tips from some people who have already used the Folder:

  1. Transportation information is located on ParentVUE’s Student Information tab (make sure to scroll down).
  2. Parents can reset their ParentVUE password by clicking the Forgot your password? Click here link at portal.lcps.org
  1. Students cannot reset their StudentVUE password by clicking on the link in StudentVUE.  Passwords were reset to default birthdate formats on August 11th: (month/day) for K-5 students and month/day/year for students in grades 6 through 12.  If students need password assistance, they should contact their school.
  2. If you or your student would like to review the Student Rights and Responsibilities again, please follow any of the following steps:
    1. Use the Quick Links on the left side of the Virtual First-Day Folder page.
    2. Go to the My Account tab in ParentVUE to re-download the document (only accessible through the web-browser version).
    3. Go to the green Students tab on the LCPS home page and scroll down to the Student Rights and Responsibilities links.
  3. If you would like a hard copy of the Student Rights and Responsibilities, or other documents in the Virtual First-Day Folder, please contact your school.
  4. Don’t forget to review the opt out and opt in options for your students in ParentVUE!  Please see this Quick Reference Guide for assistance.

 

August 13

Harmony Parents,

We wanted to pass on information shared with us from Dr. Clark Bowers. LCPS Director of Student Services...

"As of the 2018/2019 school year, acetaminophen (Tylenol) will no longer be stocked for student use in our school health offices.  According to Virginia State Medication Guidelines, all medication must come from home.  Based on these guidelines, we have been advised by the VDOE Student Health Specialist to discontinue the practice of providing acetaminophen, or any other unauthorized medication to students.  Instead, of acetaminophen, students may be given water, rest and ice for headaches.  Health office staff will also check the student's temperature to ensure that they can remain in school.  A statement regarding this change can be found in the 2018/2019 Student Rights and Responsibilities.

Parents or guardians who prefer to have acetaminophen available at school for their child can complete the Authorization for Medication Administration form and bring the completed form along with a small bottle of acetaminophen to the health office.  School Nurses and Health Clinic Specialists should contact parents or guardians prior to the administration of the child’s own acetaminophen."

Please contact Kathy Mills, Harmony Nurse, if you have any questions.  She can be reached at 540-751-2500 or kathleen.mills@lcps.org.

 

August 13

Parents,

If any of your children have participated in our Summer Literacy Challenge, you still have until the first week of school to finish the requirements.  If you need information about it, please contact our librarians, Cori Rovang (cora.rovang@lcps.org) or Susan McGilvray (susan.mcgilvray@lcps.org).

 

August 13

Parents,

The countdown begins!  TEN days and counting. We are excited to see your children at Harmony.

Some Important Dates Below:

Aug 15 – Teachers Return

Aug 17 – WEB Training (for selected 8th graders, 8:30 to 12:00)

Aug 20 – 6th Grade Orientation (for all 6th graders, 8:00 AM to 11:30 AM – starts in the GYM)

Aug 20 – 6th Grade Parent Orientation (11:00 AM to 11:30 AM in the auditorium with principal Stewart)

Aug 20 – 7th and 8th Grade Schedule Give Away (2:30 PM to 4:30 PM - see Website for specific times)

Aug 23 – First Day of School (Front doors open at 8:15 AM / School starts at 8:50 AM)

Aug 27 – Fund-raiser information sent home

Aug 28 – 6th Grade Back to School Night (7 PM to 9 PM)

Sept 3 – Holiday

Sept 4 – 7th and 8th Grade Back to School Night (7 PM to 9 PM)

Other Information:

Many of you have asked about the size of the Chromebooks so you can get something to protect it.

Chromebook Screen Size = 13”, Dimensions = 11.5” x 8”, and Brand = Levono 300E

 

August 13

To reduce the burden on parents and on the environment, Loudoun County Public Schools is encouraging parents and guardians to fill out information online usually contained in paper first-day packets. Updating information online will save parents time, reduce paper consumption, and free up school staff to do more important things, like welcome students back to school and answer parents' questions.

Please take a moment to check this link, http://www.lcps.org/2018VirtualFirstDayFolder and see how you can make the return to school easier for you and your student.

 

August 6

Parents – we hope your summer is going well!

School starts on August 23rd and we are excited to confirm that EVERY student at Harmony will be receiving a computer (Chromebook / Learning Device)!  Our current plan is to distribute the nearly 1,100 devices during the first four days of school.  Below are some answers to questions you may have about this LCPS  initiative. As always, if you need anything or have questions, please call (540-751-2500) or email (eric.stewart@lcps.org) the school.


When will devices be handed out to students?

Schools have flexibility in determining how to best distribute devices to students. Harmony plans to distribute the devices between Aug 23 and Aug 28.


What happens if a student loses or damages their Chromebook?

Any lost or damaged device should be immediately reported to a staff member (i.e. teacher), which will be reviewed and if appropriate, the student will be sent to the media center to be issued a loaner device by your school’s Technology Assistant, Librarian, or Library Assistant.  A Service Desk incident will be created to repair the device and follow the hardware repair process. Upon repair of the device, it will be issued back to the student.  In cases of loss, stolen, or intentional damage, the same process will be followed and additional documentation may be required.


Will we allow students to bring and use their own devices (BYOT) if they have a school-issued Chromebook?

YES. Issuing individual learning devices to students is a complement to, not a replacement for, our division’s BYOT initiative. Student-owned devices still play an important role in a student’s learning environment, even when students also have access to a school-issued device. However, teachers and schools have the flexibility to provide guidance to students about when and where technology use is appropriate. Students’ may bring personal devices to school for instructional use only, at teacher discretion. When not used for instruction, students will keep any personal devices in their lockers.


What software and services will be available to students on their Chromebook?

A Chromebook does not run traditional software applications like a Windows PC or Mac. Instead, Chromebooks provide access to software applications that run on the internet. These “Cloud Applications” can be accessed and used on a Chromebook just like they can on any modern web browser. G Suite for Education and Microsoft Office 365 are two “cloud-based” productivity suites of software applications that students can use on their Chromebook.

Chromebooks can also run small software programs called Apps or Extensions that can be installed on the device. Students can only install apps and extensions that have been approved by LCPS.  Students can access many other cloud applications and resources through LCPS GO.


What kind of training will be provided for students?

Schools will be provided materials for a “Student Boot Camp” to give students an introduction to their device, including discussions about how these devices will support their learning, their responsibilities when using their school-provided device, the basics of using their Chromebook for personal productivity, and using their device for learning at home. The “Boot Camp” has three parts, and schools can determine when and how to best deliver this content to students.


Do students need to sign an agreement form?

YES. Students must sign a laptop agreement form to acknowledge their responsibilities in using and caring for their device. That form should be signed by students and parents and returned to school.  Students do not need to have a signed form before they are issued their device, but students and parents should be notified that if a signed form is not returned within 10 days of receiving the form, the student will need to keep their Chromebook at school until the signed form is returned.


How can parents learn more about this initiative?

LCPS is developing a Student Chromebook Handbook that can be shared with parents to answer many of the questions they might have about this initiative. In addition, the Department of Instruction and Department of Digital Innovation are building a website to serve as a resource for parents and other stakeholder groups.


Are students required to get a case for their Chromebook?

Students are NOT required to get a case for their device. A case or protective sleeve will help protect it but is not required.


Can students decorate or personalize their devices?

Students can add decorations or personalize their device as long as those decorations are removable. For example, they may use decorative clings on their device that can be easily peeled off, but should not use stickers that will leave a permanent residue.  Any accessory or personalization may not interfere with the operation of the device (e.g. accessories that could damage the screen when closed).


Will students be able to charge their assigned device while at school?

NO. Students will be expected to arrive to school and class with their assigned device fully charged.  The Chromebooks selected for students can operate for 10+ hours on a single charge.


How can we ensure we have enough headphones for student use?

Schools should consider adding headphones or earbuds to back-to-school supply lists so students have access to headphones when they need them.


Do devices have to go home?

YES, these devices are intended to go home so student learning opportunities can span beyond the school day.


Will devices be returned to the school at the end of the school year?

YES, devices will be returned to the school over the summer.  Upon the next school year, students will be issued the same device they used in the year prior, unless the student is moving to another school.  


What if a student doesn’t have internet access at home?

Students who do not have internet access can still utilize their Chromebook offline to perform productivity tasks such as creating or editing documents. If families in your community don’t have access to internet because of financial need, schools can make families aware of programs such as Comcast Internet Essentials, which provides low-cost internet services to households that qualify for free or reduced price lunch. Students that do not have internet access at home may be able to take advantage of free wireless access at their local library or access hotspots at local coffee shops or restaurants.


Are student Chromebooks filtered or monitored when off school property?

YES, regardless of the wireless network the device is connected to, internet traffic on student Chromebooks is always routed through the LCPS internet content filter. In addition, LCPS uses a monitoring service called Gaggle, which monitors the content of students’ email, Google Drive, and Office 365 OneDrive and reports content that is concerning.


Now that we have Chromebooks, can I expect the classrooms to be paperless?

While providing Chromebooks for students will save on paper and printing costs, saving paper and toner is not the primary goal of this initiative. There may be situations where paper is the most appropriate medium for an instructional activity, or there may be students who prefer to work with printed materials.

THANKS!

That’s it for now.  We will continue to send more information as we get it.  See you soon!

August 2

Good afternoon,

The Information Management team will be emailing all parents who have not activated their PVUE accounts during the week of August 6-13.  The email message to parents will contain their activation letter and instructions for how to activate their PVUE account.  For those parents that do not have an email address in Phoenix, we will be mailing letters home.  This summer task used to be done at the individual school level, which is no longer needed.  We hope centralizing this tasks provides schools more time to work on other important beginning-of-year activities.  Note, schools are still responsible for providing PVUE activation letters for parents who register students after August 6th and throughout the school year.

If you have any questions about this process, please refer to the ParentVUE User Guide on VISION.  We are also providing the District PVUE page that has all of our ParentVUE resources in case you need it.

Thank you,

Debi Merrill

Sr. Data Analyst

DDI – Information Management & Data Security