The Bi-Weekly What: Friday, December 18th, 2020

January 11th, 2021


The Bi-Weekly What:
Friday, December 18th, 2020

We’re so excited to share so many academic highlights and student opportunities with you in this edition of the Bi-Weekly What. Stay tuned ’til the end!

A Message from our School Leader
Quarter 3 Re-Opening plans

Greetings New Harmony Family!

Congratulations to our entire staff, students, and partners on making it through an entire semester of virtual learning. What a crazy year it’s been so far. On top of all the things our kids are learning in classes and intervention groups, virtual internships and volunteer opportunities, they’re also learning how to be resilient and flexible and adaptable when things don’t go as planned. I think we will all be thrilled when we can put this year behind us, but unfortunately, there’s an uncertain stretch in front of us. Finding balance in this difficult time has been a challenge, but we still continue to value our relationships with each other and concentrate on the time in our future when we are back together.

Our current plan is to enter Quarter 3 in a hybrid capacity, with half of our kids coming back in person one week and the other half the next. We’re keeping a close eye on the Covid-19 New Orleans Dashboard, and if numbers are above our internal threshold, we will once again put the safety of our students and staff first and continue to be fully virtual. Parents, if you didn’t receive our reopening email, let us know!

As a school leader faced with making really difficult decisions, I just want to express a deep thank you for everyone who has been kind and understanding during such a difficult time. None of us were prepared for a global pandemic. Thanks to our incredible school board, partners, staff, and families for recognizing there are very few wins right now, and seeing that the decisions we’re making using science and data are putting the safety of the entire community in front of our own personal opinions.

In addition to the craziness of the pandemic, at the end of October, our New Harmony family was faced with the tragic loss of Stella, one of our founding class members. Being apart from one another while experiencing this loss is something many of us still can’t even wrap our minds and hearts around. Stella is an unforgettable spirit and her impact on our school will indeed last forever. We love you, we miss you.

I sincerely hope you all have a wonderful holiday season and get time to rest and relax and recharge. We will be back in January ready to take on whatever semester 2 brings to us! We hope 2021 brings a reprieve we all desperately need. Take care of yourselves, and hold your loved ones close to your heart.



Join us for the 2021-2022 school year!

New Harmony students are placed with us via the One App. Round one is open now until January 29th, 2021. If you have any questions about attending New Harmony please email
We hope to see you in the Fall!

Click Here to Apply

U.S. History Project Highlights

In US History, students have been thinking a lot about what history is and how perspective and power shape what we know about our nation’s story. Too often, school history texts omit, gloss over, or even alter American history to suit a particular narrative or ideology, often to the benefit of white, hetero- and neuro-normative, patriarchal imperialism. As a contrast to that pattern, and to parallel our class anchor text, students are creating their own textbook: “A New Harmony History of the United States.” The “book” will actually be a multimedia website reflecting the history that is important to them, interesting to them, and relevant to their lives. The project is ongoing and each student will submit several textbook entries over the course of the school year. This semester, students chose any topic related to US History to investigate and share. In the spring, look out for submissions on unheard heroes and community stories!

See some projects below…

Sebastian’s Stonewall Riots Collage

From Kyren, a hand-drawn character comparison on the history of Marvel 

Here are some of the topics to study chosen by NHH’s US History students

World Geography Highlights

In World Geography, understanding Louisiana land loss is about more than just the coast- it involves the study of nearby communities whose safety, health, and very presence are under threat from continual petrochemical development.  After watching 7 women tell their stories in the “Women of Cancer Alley” short film series, our freshmen shared their own reflections on loss by writing letters to the film subjects.  The letters will be delivered next week, a small token of gratitude for these women for sharing their stories.  Some excerpts from their letters:

“I haven’t known about Cancer Alley until now even though I have gone through the community all my life. I just want to thank you for sharing your story and helping people understand what you are going through.”

“You are truly an amazing, strong, and beautiful person. You are a great mother and I hate to see you having to deal with this hardship.” 

“Your story stuck out to me because you have such a young son. All that I can think about is how worried you must be all the time. Knowing that you have to block your windows and doors so the bad air doesn’t get in devastates me.”

“I learned that I want to be someone who can help fight this environmental injustice you all are facing and I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for being brave enough to share your story because you have now inspired me to get out and do better.”

Fine Arts Highlight

For the last two weeks Fine Arts class has been exploring collage making and learning about collage artists. We have been using the guiding artmaking questions: How do we work with what we have? How do we repurpose what we have? How do we transform what we have into something new that is a reflection of our heart, hands and mind working together?

Jai’de Blackmon, Untitled Collage

English II Highlights

People have never been shy about sharing their opinions, but the first time the word “essay” was used to describe this process was when a Frenchman named Michel de Montaigne got so bored staying at home during the Bubonic Plague that he decided to try and formally write down his views on life. Once again, we can blame a pandemic for ruining school. While the very thought of analyzing literature in essay form may elicit groans or trigger stressful flashbacks of due dates and uncompromising English teachers, New Harmony sophomores set out to do like Montaigne and introduce their own ideas to the world by analyzing universal themes in one of four unique books.

Here are some of them.

Click Here to Read the Essays

Chemistry Highlights

One of the biggest challenges of virtual learning is creating opportunities for teachers and students to do hands-on, inquiry-based, and experimental work together. How do we experiment, test, and study without the tools we normally have available in our classrooms? Teachers have to get super creative about how to make these meaningful learning experiences come alive at home. Our teachers at New Harmony have taken on this challenge with gusto and were able to create some awesome experiences for students in their living rooms and backyards. Students in Liz’s Chemistry class all received soil testing kits at home and collected a soil sample from their backyard to test. They completed a soil test together on Zoom [I wish I had a screenshot of this – it was great] to research the composition of our local soil and investigate and research the connection between soil quality and human health and behavior. The pictures show a student’s soil test for the soil’s Potassium level and pH levels. Sierra’s Biology classes got materials to plant seeds and grow different kinds of vegetables and herbs at home while testing hypotheses about conditions that impact optimal plant growth, and the impact of soil composition on plant growth. In the spring, the Chemistry students are aiming to transplant the Biology student’s starts to get our very own New Harmony school garden off the ground. These are just a couple of examples of how so many of our teachers are dedicated to building creative and engaging opportunities to continue hands-on, project-based work during virtual learning.

Volunteer Days Highlight

Shining a spotlight on the New Harmony students and staff who volunteered to clear trails at Couturie Forest last weekend and during Common Ground Relief Day on Monday!

Community & Student Opportunities

The Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana CRCL is accepting high school student nominations for their inaugural Future Coastal Leaders Spring 2021 program, and they want New Harmony students to be in the first cohort.

This program aims to inspire and connect young adults to the growing field of environmental conservation. The nominated students will experience a multifaceted program that includes both virtual and in-person educational opportunities, experiential learning, and networking.

At the moment, they have the ability to engage 40 young adults this Spring and they’re eager to reach that threshold before the end of December.

Here is a four-page overview that includes links to our nomination form.

Please email if you have any questions.

The Climate Museum Internship

We’d like to share a virtual internship opportunity with The Climate Museum, an organization whose mission is to inspire action on the climate crisis with programming across the arts and sciences that deepens understanding builds connections, and advances just solutions. 

The internship will include training workshops and collaborative programs focused on climate arts, science, communications, advocacy, and related social justice issues as well as museum programming.

For details on the internship and how to apply click here–and also review the flyer below.

Note that applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, and the final deadline to apply is January 10th, 2021.

Please email if you have any questions.

XQ #MakeaSongChallenge

Don’t forget! You can still submit an original song or lyric to the XQ #MakeaSongChallenge. Winners will receive home studio equipment and more. Visit their website here for more info.

Parent Actions and Need to Knows…

Meal Assistance Program Extended

Click here for more information

NOCCA and New Harmony:

Application NOW OPEN!

New Harmony partners with NOCCA for after school and half-day programming.
Click through to learn more about the audition process.


for students interested in applying to NOCCA for the 2021-2022 school year.
Take a moment to set-up your account and begin to review
your application & audition requirements.Link to NOCCA Application Here
Application Deadline: Friday, January 22, 2021

Wishing you and your families a safe and happy holiday season!


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