About Us

About Us


Harmony Public Schools is a system of 54 Texas public charter schools that provides rigorous, high-quality education focused on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. Through a caring and collaborative environment, Harmony provides students from traditionally underserved communities the opportunity to excel through project-based learning where they learn the skills necessary to become a contributing global citizen.

In the year 2000, Harmony Public Schools opened its first school in Houston, Texas and still houses central administration in the Houston area. Since expanding, Harmony has grown into all major areas of Texas, forming six distinct regions (or districts).

Our Mission

Harmony prepares each student for higher education by providing a safe, caring and collaborative atmosphere. Our curriculum features a quality, student-centered educational program with a strong emphasis on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

Our Vision

Harmony’s vision is to lead our students from the classroom into the world as productive and responsible citizens.

Core Values

High Expectations

Every student will learn and grow into a successful and productive citizen.

Dedicated Staff

We do whatever it takes to help our students reach their goals.

Working Together

Our students, parents, and staff work in harmony to create a strong community of success.

Character Matters

We guide our students to value integrity, show respect, and be responsible.

STEM for All

Every student will graduate with a strong understanding and appreciation of STEM and how it connects to the real world.

Fatih Ay

Interim CEO

Headshot of Interim CEO Fatih Ay The Board of Directors of Harmony Public Schools is pleased to announce that our Dallas Area Superintendent, Mr. Fatih Ay has been named as the interim Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Ay brings decades of experience in both the classroom and the office as an educator and administrator.

From one simple school campus of 200 students to the largest charter system in Texas teaching almost 34,000 students across 54 campuses, Harmony Public Schools has experienced tremendous growth over the last 17 years. Now as we begin a new chapter, Mr. Ay takes the helm of our organization as the interim CEO as Dr. Soner Tarim begins his new role focusing on advocacy work.

Beginning as a graduate assistant at the University of Houston, and later as a science teacher at our first Harmony campus in Houston, a principal in El Paso and most recently as our Dallas Area Superintendent, Mr. Ay is poised to continue the implementation of Harmony’s 2020 Strategic Plan as a 14-year veteran of Harmony. Mr. Ay coordinated HPS T-STEM initiative statewide and adopted PLTW Pre-Engineering program at middle and high school level during his tenure as the Principal at HSA El Paso.

We are confident that Mr. Ay, as the successful leader who manages and supervises Dallas/Fort Worth district with 17 schools, 1056 staff members, and 90.3 million-dollar operating budget, is well suited to serve as the Harmony’s interim CEO to help continue Harmony’s steady leadership in providing high-quality public education to all of our students.

Please join us in welcoming Mr. Ay into this new position.

Board of Directors
Harmony Public Schools

Zekeriya Yuksel

Superintendent of Schools

Headshot of Superintendent Zekeriya Yuksel As a parent, you have many choices when it comes to your child’s education, and I appreciate that you’ve considered Harmony Public Schools as one of your options. At Harmony, we offer a wide variety of superior educational opportunities.

According to local, state and national rankings, Harmony Public Schools sets the standard for STEM education in the United States. Our dedicated and hardworking teachers and staff members are committed to excellence in and out of the classroom. Our goal is to provide every child with a safe, caring and collaborative educational environment.

I have been fortunate to be a part of Harmony Public Schools for many years in various roles, and I want to share with you the one of most important things I have learned. Harmony is not just another school district—we are a family. We are committed to personal excellence and superior teamwork. I have witnessed, with great pride, how our students help each other through mentorship programs, tutoring and other volunteer efforts from kindergarten all the way through our college alumni associations.

Harmony Public Schools has a family spirit that’s continuously growing. We take pride in preparing our students for real life challenges by providing a strong educational foundation, high aspirations and strong moral character. School is not just the acquisition of book knowledge; it is the catalyst for teaching the value of hard work, community and teamwork. We want our students to be the “best they can be,” for their family, their friends, their country and for the world they will inherit.

It is an honor to share Harmony Public Schools with you, your family and friends. I hope to have the pleasure of meeting you and seeing your child at one of our Harmony schools.

History

A mere three minutes secured the success of Harmony Public Schools and its ability to educate more than 30,000 Texas children each year. It was April, 1999 and seven American teaching assistants, including some Turkish-American Aggies, stood around a home printer watching it steadily spit out forms. They still needed hundreds of pages, and the clock was ticking down.

The Texas Education Agency’s application deadline to apply for a new charter school was 5 p.m. “It was 4:36 when we finished the final pages and got in our cars filled with boxes of proposals on Highway 1 (in Austin). We drove, really, so fast,” recalls Dr. Soner Tarim, CEO of Harmony Public Schools. “When we arrived at the building it was 4:57, and the TEA is very strict. If you miss a minute, they will not take your proposal.” Determined to make the deadline, Tarim literally wedged his foot in the door as it was being closed to lock up for the day.

Those Texan academics now run the largest public charter school system in the state. Their mission: reduce educational barriers to math and science careers for children across Texas, with a special focus on those from low-income backgrounds.

After seeing a learning gap among students he taught as a graduate assistant at Texas A&M, Tarim began to seriously consider ways to bridge the gap before they entered college. “I was puzzled with the lack of knowledge of freshman and sophomores who were coming to A&M,” he said. In order to better prepare students for the rigors of college math and science, he began researching the burgeoning concept of charter schools. He spent the next two years visiting any charter school that would allow him on site. “I even visited lousy schools to see what made them fail,” Tarim said.

But the TEA doesn’t give applicants advance notice of their charter approval. So, Tarim, along with his fellow Aggies, risked everything by hiring teachers and enrolling students before final permission came from the state in April of 2000.

Only a few months later in August, with TEA approval, Harmony officially opened the doors to its first campus in Houston.

The fledgling school was housed in a former Hebrew school. The personalized, hands-on instruction quickly attracted the attention of families searching for options for their children. Within 10 years, Harmony expanded to 33 campuses across the state, reaching as far as El Paso and Dallas. Harmony continuously gains the recognition of notable organizations and foundations for its academic achievements. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation awarded Harmony a $14 million start-up grant in 2006, which was followed by a $30 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education to grow Harmony’s project-based learning curriculum. In a crowning achievement, the Texas Education Agency awarded Harmony the “High Performing Charter School” designation, which allows them to start a campus without additional state approval. It’s now been 17 years and in the 2017-18 school year, Harmony will surpass its 2020 goal of operating 50 schools and educating 35,000 students by opening seven new campuses, bringing the total to 54 schools, educating 35,000 students. But that’s not the impressive part.

Harmony students are launching science experiments to the International Space Station, performing college-level biomedical research to cure cancer and designing cybersecurity software for students. They drive cross-country in solar-powered cars and claim spots at Ivy League schools nationwide.

“This is why I started Harmony,” Tarim said. “To see these students achieve so much makes every second of work worth it.”

Board of Directors

 

Group Photo of the Harmony Public Schools Board of Directors

Harmony Public Schools Board of Directors serve as unpaid volunteers to guide the policies and direction of the organization.

Potential members can be nominated by anyone and are selected by the existing board, which seeks individuals who have expertise, experience or leadership abilities that will contribute to maintaining Harmony’s standard of excellence in education.

Once each year, the board votes on nominations to replace members who have left the board due to term expirations or other reasons.



Headshot of Mr. Fatih Ay Beginning as a graduate assistant at the University of Houston, and later as a science teacher at our first Harmony campus in Houston, a principal in El Paso and most recently as our Dallas Area Superintendent, Mr. Ay is poised to continue the implementation of Harmony’s 2020 Strategic Plan as a 14-year veteran of Harmony. Mr. Ay coordinated HPS T-STEM initiative statewide and adopted PLTW Pre-Engineering program at middle and high school level during his tenure as the Principal at HSA El Paso.

Headshot of Dr. Celepcikay Dr. Oner Celepcikay is an adjunct faculty at the University of Houston Downtown Department of Computer Science & Engineering Technology. He also teaches for Texas A&M Commerce. His main teaching and research fields are Data Science, Data Mining, Machine Learning and Regression Analysis. He previously taught at University of Phoenix and University of Houston. He received his bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering from Istanbul University in Istanbul, Turkey, and his master's and doctorate degrees in Computer Science from the University of Houston. Dr. Celepcikay is a published researcher doing research in spatial data mining, cluster analysis, regional regression analysis, and big data analytics. He worked at the University of Houston Educational Technology Outreach Department from 2000 to 2007, and is a member of the Institute of Electrical & Electronics Engineers, the world's largest professional association dedicated to advancing technological innovation and excellence. Dr. Celepcikay is one of the founding members and current Chairman of the Board of Harmony Public Schools, the largest charter school system in Texas with a STEM focus and 43 campuses in Texas. He also sits at he Board of Directors of the Region 4 Education Service Center which serves a seven-county area composed of 50 public school districts and 45 public charter schools, representing more than 1.1 million students and 1,500 campuses.

Headshot of Ellen MacDonald Mrs. MacDonald is the Executive Director/CEO of the Senior Guidance Directory. It is a Caregiving Handbook, available free to elders and their caregivers and it provides a comprehensive listing of resources and services that can help improve the lives of seniors and their caregivers as they strive to resolve their health, lifestyle, and safety issues.

She has also previously served as program manager for care consultation and support groups at the Houston and Southeast Texas Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association and as Vice President for Health Services at Sheltering Arms Senior Services in Houston.

In 1999, Mrs. MacDonald retired from the University of Texas at Houston, School of Nursing, where she served in a number of important roles, including Division Head for Gerontology in the Department of Systems and Technology at the UT-Houston School of Nursing, and Associate Director for Community Affairs and Operations at the UT-Houston Center on Aging.

She received her bachelor’s degree in History from Houghton College and her master’s in Nursing from Case Western Reserve University.

Headshot of Homer Stewart Mr. Stewart is an electronic engineering technologist, a certified teacher in the state of Texas, and a curriculum development specialist and trainer. During his career he has served in the Fort Bend ISD, and as a faculty member at the Houston Community College Northeast Campus. Currently, Mr. Stewart, is employed at Subsea Solutions. LLC, where he develops service curricular for subsea well equipment and subsea control systems targeting training of well completion, petroleum, and subsea engineers. Mr. Stewart's interest is empowering students by correlating critical-thinking academic skills with the hands-on implementation, integration, and translation of academic skills and activities to real world applications. Mr. Stewart serves as an advisory member on several committees in the cities of Houston and Sugar Land.

Headshot of Cengizhan Keskin Mr. Keskin received a Master of Engineering degree in Petroleum Engineering from the University of Tulsa where he also worked as a research assistant for the University of Tulsa Fluid Flow Projects. Keskin also has a Master of Science degree from the Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey and received his bachelor’s degree in Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering from the same university.

Mr. Keskin is a petroleum engineer and senior flow assurance consultant for SPT Group, a global provider of technology solutions and personnel for the oil production industry. Prior to SPT, Mr. Keskin worked as a flow assurance specialist at Schlumberger Technology Corporation in Houston. Mr. Keskin is active in the academic community, serving as a judge for the science and engineering portions of several Texas middle and high school science fairs.

Headshot of Dr. Koc Dr. Koc is currently chairman and associate professor of Computer Engineering Program at University of Houston - Clear Lake. After receiving his B.S. degree in Electronics Engineering, he worked in the industry for two years. Then, he joined Syracuse University where he received his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Computer Engineering. During his graduate study, Dr. Koc was at The Pennsylvania State University as visiting scholar. His research and teaching are in the areas of digital system design, embedded systems, and computer architecture. His research work is published in prestigious academic conferences and journals. Dr. Koc is also very active in professional service. He regularly reviews scientific papers for several academic journals and conferences. He has served as executive committee member for Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Galveston Bay Section at various capacities including chair, vice chair, and secretary; and he has been the counselor of IEEE Student Brach at UHCL. He regularly serves in science fairs for middle and high school students. Dr. Koc is the recipient of several teaching and leadership awards including IEEE-USA Professional Achievement for Individuals Award, UHCL Piper Nominee Finalist, IEEE Outstanding Student Branch Counselor Award and IEEE MGA Outstanding Small Section Award. He is a member of IEEE and ACM.

Headshot of Daisy Morales Daisy Morales has served in the insurance industry for over twenty years, twenty–four years with Prudential/Aetna and 5 years with Humana. Daisy’s passion is women and children and her current role as Vice-President of Community Affairs with Community Health Choice is a perfect fit.

Community Health Choice is a non-profit HMO that offers access to coverage in Children Health Insurance Plan (CHIP), Children’s Medicaid and Marketplace (Affordable Care Act).

Daisy is known as an innovator and change agent, her specialty is strengthening organizational operations to yield improvements in service delivery, membership retention and growth.

Daisy is the president of the Hispanic Health Coalition and former board member of The Women’s Fund. She is also an involved member with The Hispanic Women’s Network of Texas, The Houston Hispanic Chamber and Houston Association Health Underwriters.

Board Meeting Schedule

Date Spacer Time Agenda Video
August 23rd, 2017
(Regular Meeting)
Wednesday 6:40 PM Agenda Video
August 23rd, 2017
(Emergency Meeting)
Wednesday 6:30 PM Agenda Video
September 9th, 2017
(Special Meeting)
Saturday 2:00 PM Agenda Video
September 27th, 2017 Wednesday 6:30 PM Agenda Video
October 25th, 2017 Wednesday 6:30 PM Agenda Video
November 15th, 2017 Wednesday 6:30 PM Agenda Video
December 13th, 2017 Wednesday 6:30 PM Agenda Video
January 31st, 2018 Wednesday 6:30 PM
February 28th, 2018 Wednesday 6:30 PM
March 28th, 2018 Wednesday 6:30 PM
April 25th, 2018 Wednesday 6:30 PM
May 30th, 2018 Wednesday 6:30 PM
June 27th, 2018 Wednesday 6:30 PM
July 25th, 2018 Wednesday 6:30 PM
August 29th, 2018 Wednesday 6:30 PM

Did you know?

School Cafe

Connecting Families to School Nutrition

School Cafe's mission is to help school nutrition professionals achieve excellence in their operations through innovative and trustworthy software solutions powered by passionate people.

  • Apply for Free & Reduced Meal Benefits
  • View Cafeteria Menus & Nutrition Information
  • Manage your Child's Cafeteria Account

Watch the Eligibility Walkthrough Video here!

AdvancEd Accreditation

AdvanceEd logo

Harmony Public schools would like to announce the esteemed honor of receiving additional accreditation from the educational evaluator, AdvancedEd. This nonprofit’s stamp of approval assures parents that we have a coherent curriculum throughout the system, our teachers have a clear understanding of their subjects, and our staff and students have access to the resources they need.

AdvancED is the largest community of education professionals in the world. We are a non-profit, non-partisan organization that conducts rigorous, on-site external reviews of Pre-K-12 schools and school systems to ensure that all learners realize their full potential. While our expertise is grounded in more than a hundred years of work in school accreditation, AdvancED is far from a typical accrediting agency. Our goal isn’t to certify that schools are good enough. Rather, our commitment is to help schools improve.

HPS honored by Department of Education!

Department of Education logo

Harmony Public Schools is pleased to announce that it was one of 13 recipients of the US Department of Education’s Teacher Incentive Program grant during the 2016-17 school year.

This five year, $26.7 million grant will assist Harmony continue its mission of supporting our engaged and dedicated teachers as they provide rigorous curriculum focused on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. Harmony looks to use these monies in order to expand its professional development and financial incentives for high-performing educators to increase and maintain student academic performance.

 

 

Protect yourself from Zika

Read a letter from Governor Greg Abbott, Dr. John Hellerstedt, Commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services, and Mike Morath TEA Commissioner of Education regarding how Texas schools can assist in preventing the transmission of the Zika virus.

Please share the information with others.



Zika Fact Card
 

TEA "A - F" Rating Overview

Parents will now have a quick and concise way to measure school performance through the new A - F grading system to be enacted in the upcoming years.

Starting in August 2018, campuses will be given a letter grade, from A through F, measuring performance in five categories and a cumulative grade for the entire school. The categories include:

  • student achievement
  • student progress
  • closing performance gaps for targeted demographics
  • postsecondary readiness
  • community and student engagement

To learn more about the transition to a new accountability system and its implementation, visit the links below.


 

Board Meeting Agendas

Texas Open Meetings Act, the Texas Government Code, Chapter 551 requires a school board to give a public advance written notice of the subjects it will consider in a regular, special, or called meeting. The notice must also state the date, hour and place of the meeting. A school district must post notice of meetings at a place at the central administrative office of the district that is generally accessible to the general public for at least 72 hours before the scheduled time of the meeting. The only exception to the 72 hour posting requirement is for "emergency" meetings and those meetings must meet the requirements of Texas Government Code Chapter 551.045. In cases of emergency, the board must post notice of the date, place and subject of the meeting for not less than 2 hours prior to the meeting.

Harmony Public Schools Board Agendas are posted on the glass window by the front gate pedestrian entrance of the Harmony School of Innovation building at 9321 W Sam Houston Pkwy S. Houston, Texas 77099.

HPS Board Agendas are posted here as a courtesy.

Board Meeting Videos

Media Relations

Timothy Lankford
timothy@outreachstrategists.com
(832) 236-3503



 

Media Credentials and Registration

Reporters interested in interviewing faculty, staff or students from Harmony Public Schools should contact Media Relations with details of the request. Harmony Public Schools happily conducts school tours upon request.

To set up a school tour, please email Timothy Lankford.

 

 
 

Accountability

2016 Ratings

Harmony Public Schools is excited to announce that all campuses statewide met or exceeded state standards on the annual State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) exam.

The Texas Education Agency released the 2016 state accountability ratings in August for 1,207 school districts, including charters, and 8,673 campuses.

All public schools, along with their districts, are graded on a pass or fail system with Harmony exceeding all state requirements. In addition, all seven of Harmony’s districts passed state accountability standards.

More than 78 percent of Harmony students passed the STAAR exam this year, 3 percentage points higher than the state average of 75 percent.

“We are thrilled to see the continued excellence at our campuses,” said Dr. Soner Tarim, CEO of Harmony Public Schools. “This only sets the stage for even greater achievement in the coming years.”

The TEA will announce campus and district distinctions in September. To access accountability reports and search for your district/campus, please visit the TEA website.

2016 Federal Report Cards

Federal Report Cards for the state, district, and campuses are available on the Texas Education Agency’s (TEA) website.

Each LEA that receives Title I, Part A funding is responsible for disseminating the State, LEA and campus-level report cards to

  1. all LEA campuses,
  2. to parents of all enrolled students, and
  3. to make the information widely available through public means such as posting on the Internet, distribution to the media, or distribution through public agencies.

At a minimum, the LEA must —

  • post direct links to the State, LEA, and campus report cards on its web site,
  • make hard copies available to parents on request,
  • make hard copies available for viewing in public locations, and
  • notify parents of ALL students about the availability of the report cards and the options for obtaining them no later than Monday, March 6, 2017..

LEAs must make the federal report card information readily accessible to the public, and parents must be notified of the availability of the federal report card information no later than the Monday, March 6, 2017.

To search for campus/district Federal Report Card vist the TEA website, and follow the instructions.

Harmony Public Schools Annual Reports

The Texas Education Code (TEC), §39.306, requires each district’s board of trustees to publish an annual report that includes the TAPR, district accreditation status, campus performance objectives, information on violent or criminal incidents, and information on the performance of the previous year’s graduates in their first year of college, as reported by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.

Harmony Public Schools annual reports can be found at the links below. Paper copies are available at the district’s administration office and at HPS Central Office.

Texas Academic Performance Reports

Texas Academic Performance Reports were compiled by TEA for every district and campus using PEIMS and student assessment data. The TAPR combines details of district and campus academic performance with financial reports and information about staff, programs, and demographics. Prior to the 2012–13 school year, TAPR was known as the Academic Excellence Indicator System (AEIS) reports.

Public Hearings

The Texas Education Code (TEC), §39.306, requires each district’s board of trustees to hold a public hearing to discuss the district’s annual report within 90 days of receiving the TAPR on November 30, 2016 (winter break not included). Within two weeks following the public meeting, each district must widely publish its annual report, including posting it on the district website and other public places. The hearing may be combined with a regularly scheduled meeting of the local board of trustees.

A public hearing was held in conjunction with the regularly scheduled Board Meeting on Wednesday, February 22, 2017 at 6:00 p.m. in the Harmony Public Schools Central office Building, 9321 W Sam Houston Pkwy S, Houston, Texas 77099. 2015-2016 Annual Reports for Harmony Public Schools were presented and discussed. Annual reports can be found at the links listed in the panel above. Paper copies are available at the district’s administration office and HPS central office.

2014 - 2015 School Report Cards:

Report cards are in pdf format. To download Adobe Reader, please visit the Adobe Link will open in new window site

Community and Student Engagement Reports

House Bill 5 of the 83rd Texas Legislative Session included a local evaluation requirement that is referred to as Community and Student Engagement. The statute requires each district to evaluate and designate a performance rating for the district and each of its campuses in the district based on criteria set by a local committee (TEC 39.0545). The law requires that each district and each campus be assigned a rating of exemplary, recognized, acceptable, or unacceptable. The district and campus performance ratings must be reported annually to TEA through PEIMS, and made publicly available by August 8 of each year beginning with the 2013–14 school year.

The statute provides nine factors for which the district and each campus must be evaluated:

Fine arts, wellness and physical education, community and parental involvement, 21st century workforce development program, 2nd language acquisition program, digital learning environment, dropout prevention strategies, educational programs for GT students, and compliance with statutory reporting and policy requirements.

 

Finance

The Finance Department is responsible for the financial accounting for all Harmony Public School funds. This includes Accounting, Accounts Payable, Budget, Purchasing, and Payroll.


Salary Information 2017/2018

Gross annual salary of Interim CEO: $149,500
Gross annual salary of Superintendent: $149,000

Financial Information

HPS - Form 990 | Year: 2015
HPS - Form 990 | Year: 2014
HPS - Form 990 | Year: 2013
HPS - Form 990 | Year: 2012
HPS - Form 990 | Year: 2011
HPS - Audit Report | Year Ended June 30th, 2017
HPS - Audit Report | Year Ended June 30th, 2016
HPS - Audit Report | Year Ended June 30th, 2015

Budget Information

HPS Austin | 2017 - 2018 Budget
HPS Dallas/Fort Worth | 2017 - 2018 Budget
HPS El Paso | 2017 - 2018 Budget
HPS Houston North | 2017 - 2018 Budget
HPS Houston South | 2017 - 2018 Budget
HPS Houston West | 2017 - 2018 Budget
HPS San Antonio | 2017 - 2018 Budget

Purchasing Department

Harmony Public Schools Purchasing Department extends a warm welcome to those wishing to do business with Harmony Public Schools and the affiliated schools that utilize our services.

HPS Purchasing Department requests that all prospective vendors register on our e-bid site in order for them to be notified of upcoming bids and submit bids in their respective fields.

Fill out the Vendor Registration Form.
Current Bid Opportunities.

Contact Us!

Public Information Request

Chapter 552 of the Texas Government Code, also known as the Public Information Act (PIA), gives the public the right to access certain government records, including records that pertain to the operation of Harmony Public Schools’ open-enrollment charter schools.

All requests must be submitted in writing and should contain:

  • Your name
  • Address
  • Phone Number
  • Fax Number (if available)
  • Description of the information and/or document being requested.

Requests must be sent as follows:

By mail:

Harmony Public Schools
Legal Services
9321 W Sam Houston Parkway S
Houston, TX 77099

By fax:

(713) 777-8555

In person:

Harmony Public Schools
Legal Services
9321 W Sam Houston Parkway S
Houston, TX 77099


A response should be expected 10 business days after the request has been submitted.

Charges to the Requestor: HPS will assess fees to the requestor in accordance with applicable state law.


For more information about the Texas Public Information Act, please refer to the following link: Office of the Attorney General Open Records Division


Now Accepting Applications for 2018 - 2019 Enrollment

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