The Weekly What: Wednesday, October the 2nd, 2019

October 10th, 2019


The Weekly What:
Wednesday, October the 2nd, 2019

No School Tomorrow,
October 3rd – Tuesday, October 8th!

This is a reminder that we will not have school on Thursday the 3rd through Tuesday the 8th for fall break. Teachers and staff will be in meetings on Tuesday the 8th, and students will return on Wednesday the 9th. Thank you!

School Leader
Sunny Summers Returning!

Families and Friends of New Harmony,

I’m happy to have returned to New Harmony with a different perspective as a mother. Parents, thank you! You all have entrusted us with the privilege of teaching and learning alongside your children.

Being out for 2 months in a just-born school means there is still much work to do. Dr. Dolly has gracefully steered the ship in my absence, and he will remain on as an advisor and coach while we take on the challenges of unknown waters in year 2. I’m back full time for a staff-only day on Tuesday the 8th, and look forward to seeing all of our students back on the 9th for the start of Quarter 2.

Happy Fall Break! Let’s hope the weather gets the hint and brings us some cooler temps!

All my best,


Advisory Day

Last Friday New Harmony students and advisors spent some quality time together. Advisory day is a quarterly tradition at New Harmony. Here’s an example of what we do during advisory day from Lauryl:

“Our advisory spent the day at Fontainebleau State Park. After the bus ride across the lake, we started the day with a chaotic dodgeball game and successfully completed a team-building activity that involved pouring water from a bucket into a cup (with strings and bungee cords and all hands on deck). After a potluck lunch together, everyone played in the park’s splash pad. We also saw a bunch of baby gators. The day was declared “more fun than they thought it would be.” ”
-Lauryl, 9th grade advisor

Open House

Our next Open House for prospective New Harmony families or anyone interested in learning more about our community is on Wednesday, November the 6th from 4:30-6:30pm at 3368 Esplanade Ave. We hope to see you there! 

Community Contributors

Izzy’s reflections on her most recent Ocean Hero’s event, an organization that actively works to combat plastic in our oceans.

Last week I visited a woman named Diane Wilson, who is a retired shrimper and activist. While we were there we collected around 1,250 nurdles, or very small plastic pellets, which the Formosa plastic plant we visited pumps out into the connecting waterways. Imagine all this trash within a five-minute drive of each other, I’m so disappointed. This is debris from the plant in Port Lavaca. The Formosa plant has over 1,800 violations from polluting our waterways and owes over 160 million dollars to clean up and pay for their violations. They want to put one of these in St. James parish. this is not something I want polluting our water, do you?”
-Izzy, class of 2022

Upcoming Learning Opportunities

Coastal New Orleans: Lost Communities of the Urban Delta, 1820s-1920s

Join Richard Campanella, geographer and author with the Tulane School of Architecture and Monroe Fellow with the New Orleans Center for the Gulf South, for an illustrated exploration of New Orleans’ lost coastal communities and their spaces today.

December 2nd, 2019 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM

Uptown Campus
Woldenberg Art Center
Freeman Auditorium

For Parents from our Parent Board Representative

Thursday: New Orleans Parent Leadership

Training Institute Information Session

NEW ORLEANS — The Mayor’s Office of Youth and Families, the Department of Health and Healthy Start invite parents and caregivers Thursday night to learn about the New Orleans Parent Leadership Training Institute (or PLTI). This free, 20-week leadership program will help increase the civic skills of diverse parents to become leading advocates for their children and bring about community change.

The second of two information sessions will be held Thursday, Oct. 3, from 6 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. at the Rosa F. Keller Library (4300 S. Broad St.). Dinner and childcare will be provided. 

Parents are offered four phases of training:

  • A retreat to develop the group and define the mission
  • A 10-week course on parent leadership and advocacy
  • A 10-week study of politics, policy and media
  • A community project to apply skills gained through PLTI within a community context

How are participants selected?

Parents will be selected for each class with consideration given to their ability to commit to attending the entire program as well as how their participation in the program will enhance diversity, strength and learning for the group as a whole.

To learn more or to RSVP, please call Tim Murphy at (504) 658-2600 or email

What We’re Reading

This week’s “What We’re Reading” is a bit different because we are wrapping up reading projects in Katy’s 10th-grade Humanities course, and Socratic seminars in Jeff’s 9th-grade Humanities course.

Parents visited in Humanities 2 this morning as students spoke about flooding vulnerabilities and climate change of the Indus River Valley. 

Students with Voice! Notice the teacher, Jeff, is purposefully outside the circle! Here students participate in Socratic Seminar in Humanities 9, asking probing questions and backing up their statements with text evidence.  

Community Engagement &
Career Exploration Program:

New Harmony’s Community Engagement & Career Exploration (CECE) Program is a major pillar of our students’ academic experience. The program offers students an opportunity to build relationships with people and organizations in our community in order to gain exposure to careers across various sectors. Through this explorative process, students will receive knowledge and develop skills that are essential for a fruitful, healthy and successful life.
For more information please visit our involvement page on our website here

Click Here to Get Involved

Getting to Know Our Advisories:
Fernando, 10th grade

Fernando joined New Harmony’s founding team after working at the Audobon Aquarium of the Americas. Fernando’s advisory is full of quirky characters that ultimately like to relax. You could also describe Fernando this way, and many of his kids do. His students also asked me to include a photo of his cartoon doppelganger, Spongebob’s ‘Kelpy-G’.

“Advisory is an interesting structure that allows me to have time with the kids. It relaxes the student-teacher dynamic and allows me to have an impact in another way that isn’t academic.” – Fernando

“All of our energy matches one another. His advisory allows us to be calm and take a breath.” – Stella

“I love the gineau pigs and I love that Fernando is a weirdo!” – Kyren

“This advisory is perfect for me because it is really quiet and calm like I am. Fernando is really a special type of being.” – Jalon

“In Fernando’s advisory, I can relax, or catch up on school work. I love talking to him about animals. I think every advisory should have a class pet, our guinea pigs are awesome.” – Jack

“Fernando is a very interesting character. He always looks at the bright side and adds comedy to everything.” – Wyatt


Mei, Class of 2023

What is something you do well?

I can pick up the basics of languages pretty quickly, last month I started Russian and I’ve already learned basic grammar and phrases.

What is something you have learned in the past week?

I have learned two different forms of the Russian alphabet and their songs. I’ve also learned that ink drawing is very smudgy. I’m doing the “Inktober Art Challenge” this month.

What is a misconception people have about you?

People always think that I’m older than I actually am.

What is the biggest dream you have for yourself that you do not often say aloud?

I would really like to become a graphic designer and an environmental engineer.

Who has had a positive influence on your life so far and why?

My sister! She is always very expressive and that has helped me with who I am and how I present myself especially with confidence.

What would you do differently if you knew nobody would judge you? 

I think over the past few years I have become a lot more expressive, I don’t worry so much anymore. A while ago I would’ve said I would like to dress more expressively but I’ve definitely gotten better at that.

What do you like about New Harmony?

I think that I really like the idea of going out every single week to do something hands-on when we’re already doing hands-on stuff in the classroom.

Mei’s graphic design work

Families, enjoy the break! 


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