I am an educator and I find it my responsibility to warn prospective parents about this school. This school is not free. It is funded by Fethullah Gulen. Please do a search about Harmony and Fethullah Gulen. How can I be so sure? Because I was one their best students. I went to their tutoring schools (all independent on the surface) in Turkey. I did very well in the national university entrance exams and they tried to convince me to join the army and become their informant. Because my family was secular, they thought my ties to them could not be traced. Why do you think the teachers are so dedicated for so little money? They are soldiers of Gulen who is taking over Turkey as of today.
Here's the deal. You get out of this school what you are willing to put in. I have worked at this school and have had my kids there. The school is designed for academic excellence. If your kid puts in the effort, they will excel. However, they also have to have numbers to operate. There are a few bad seeds in the school. You will find them everywhere. If and when Harmony takes a stronger stance in getting the bad seeds out, I think this school will work the way it does in Houston and other places. Eventually, if enough kids that want to be there enroll, then you will find that this school is an incredible option to public school. I still have a son there. The smaller class sizes help him focus on his studies. One teacher we could do without, but you can't win everything. The bottom line... if you can get in, do it. Eventually there will be enough good kids in there where they can turn away the problem kids.
I wonder if the two former teachers that submitted reviews would have done so it they had not been fired. It would seem that the two teachers would fit into the category of disgruntled former employees. My child attends Harmony and flourishes there where as before Harmony the opposite was true. They have some really great teacher and some not so great like any other school. The only complaint that I have is it seems a bit unorganized at times. Harmony may not be for every child, but for mine it the only thing.
I would not recommend this school to anyone. I taught there for a year and was fired because there were too many potty accidents in my class. The HEAD principal who is Turkish told me this. I will never teach there again and do not recommend it to anybody looking to put there child in this school. The administration does not support what the teachers say; they believe only what the parents say because they want the school to be big in NUMBERS.....they only care about how many students are in the school and not about the education.
My son has attended this school for the 2011-12 school year and it will me his only year to attend. The post that mention disorganized and lack of communication hit it on the head. My son states that his teacher does scream and yell at them as I have also heard other students say. Please look for other schools before enrolling in this one.
I am a current parent at Harmony and I have only good things to say about this school. There are excellent academic programs. The teachers are very encouraging and the environment is great. They really bring out the best in all their students and create in them a desire to learn and to really enjoy it. I highly recommend it to any parents considering education.
Please do yourself and your children a favor and do not send them to this school or any other Harmony schools. I guarantee that you will regret it. There is a complete lack of communication; it doesn't matter how many times you ask the counselors or staff to do something for your child. It will never get done. The Turkish teachers cannot teach and their accents make it hard to understand anything. Nothing is ever organized. Overall, Harmony schools are worse than any public school that you will find.
I am currently a teacher at HSA and have been since it opened. The first couple of years were rough (as are most schools when they first open) but it has been much smoother the last few years. As with any school we have to have foreign language classes...Spanish and Turkish are the two offered at HSA at this time. That is no different than other schools offering German or French. While there are Turkish administrators, there are also American women administrators. The school has to follow the same rules that public schools do as far as TAKS/STAAR testing. Rather than just listening to waht disgruntled parents and teachers who weren't rehired, come on out and take a look for yourself. There are no more problems in Harmony than Cooper, Frenship or LISD . Every school has kinks to work out and ours are getting worked out just fine. Please don't take my word for it, come on out and see what we we are like!
We toured the school earlier this year, and were stunned by what we saw and heard. Despite the fact there was a tour going on, teachers were screaming (yes, SCREAMING) at classrooms and at students in the halls, in front of administrators. The teachers were never admonished, nor were we told it would be handled. It was treated as though this was status quo. We left, and will NEVER go back.
I taught at Harmony for one year and I would NEVER send my children there. Why? 1) Lack of Communication. The administration is severely disorganized and communicate very poorly with everyone. 2) Unqualified administration and teachers. The administration is predominately Turkish and not qualified for their positions. Many teachers have no degree in education and absolutely no experience! 3) Children aren't put first. We teachers begged for a counselor because our students were struggling, but the administration refused to comply because it was "not required by the state." 4) Over-Testing. Harmony advertises that it is an "Exemplary School," but the test scores are actually very low. They had FOUR Mock TAKS tests in addition to the regular TAKS schedule last year to compensate. 5) Turkish agenda. They have Turkish as a foreign language,they require teachers to enter students in the Turkish Olympiad every year, and they hire a LOT of teachers from Turkish-speaking countries. 6) Poor science education. Despite advertising themselves as a science school, the facilities are of much poorer quality than most public schools. Students do more worksheets than experiments.
My son went to school there for about six weeks, and it seemed that everytime we turned around he was being told something, or other kids were picking on him, but he would not say anything being the new kid, so he was always being blamed for things and the other students just were left to pick on him, and when he wld get into trouble they wld laugh at him. And the math teacher, I would not have her teach in any school in this country.
This school is not a good school!!! They have high ratings and I am guessing it is because the higher the grade level the less students they have but as for the structure of the school, I would not recommend it! They never have the dates and times right for activities, evry time I went to the school there were kids running around the halls. They are too "soft" my child was left to do the work on her own and in first grade I believe a child still needs to be told what to do and watched to make sure the work gets done! This was my childs first year at Harmony (1st grade) and she will never go back and I will never recommend it!
They emphasize science, math, languages, and ethics, and the school is bright and clean and full of beautiful pictures and posters.
My kids have just started here but there is so very little structure it has me concerned. The lunch room is chaos as is the pick-up and drop-off. The classroom ratios are much higher than we were toldmy second grade child has 24 students in his class and just one teacher and so does my kindergarden age child. We are playing wait and see right now to see if things will settle down soo but we may be moving them in the second semester if it doesn't change.
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The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.
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