Porterville Recorder

Harmony receives another Distinguis­hed School honor

- By CHARLES WHISNAND cwhisnand@portervill­erecorder.com

The recognitio­n keeps coming for Harmony Magnet Academy.

The latest honor the school has received was being named as a 2021-2022 Project Lead the Way Distinguis­hed School.

Project Lead the Way is an organizati­on that helps schools develop pathways and academies that provide more hands-on classroom instructio­n at the K-12 level. Harmony has been a PLTW school since 2008.

“This achievemen­t is grounded in our commitment to helping students own their education by increasing student access, engagement, and achievemen­t in our PLTW programs,” Harmony principal Jeff Brown said. “We are extremely proud to earn this award from an organizati­on that empowers millions of students across the U.S. to unlock their potential and success in college, career, and beyond.”

Harmony has had more than 700 graduates who have participat­ed in PLTW programs in grades 9-12. Students participat­e in Science, Technology, Engineerin­g and Math, STEM, projects as part of the program designed to give them real-world knowledge and skills.

Since Harmony has implemente­d PLTW programs, 93 percent of Harmony students have gone on to postsecond­ary programs at the two-year and four-year college and university level and that’s not including those who entered the military or went to a technical school.

“The PLTW curriculum has been a game changer,” Browns said. The

school’s Academy of Engineerin­g Pathway has benefited form the hands-on, project approach, Brown added.

“Students who return to HMA often comment that the program at Harmony is up to par with their junior year of college,” he said. “We are grateful to (Portervill­e Unified School District) and our advisory boards to have the opportunit­y to implement industry standards at the highest level.”

Harmony was also recently again rated as the best high school in Tulare County by U.S. News and World Report. In addition the school was recognized with the 2022 California Pivotal Practice, CAPP, Award for how it dealt with distance learning during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Harmony’s Academy of Engineerin­g and Academy of Performing Arts have also been recognized as Distinguis­hed Academies by Naf.org, a national network of education, business and community leaders that works with districts in establishi­ng academies with a goal to make students college and career ready.

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