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Dr. Soner Tarim

Soner Tarim Dr. Soner Tarim is a founding member and current superintendent of Harmony Public Schools, high performing K-12 public charter schools located in Texas with a strong focus on science, technologies, engineering, and math (STEM) providing opportunities for underserved communities. He is the driving force in creating STEM academies with an emphasis on college-readiness and the tracking of performance metrics of its high caliber students.

A luminary in the Charter School Community, his leadership philosophy recognizes the need to develop meaningful partnerships, maintain open collaborative lines of communication, and leverage relationships with high-level corporate, business, civic, legislative and international leaders to advance the mission of Harmony and opportunities for its beneficiaries.

Over his 24 year professional career, Dr. Tarim has developed innovative educational programs geared to K-12 schools. He is highly sought after as a consultant and as a speaker in state charter & STEM conferences and has distinguished himself as a results-oriented educator with unrivaled expertise and knowledge in developing and managing innovative charter schools.

Under Dr. Tarim's leadership, Harmony has grown to 36 schools and 20,000 students from throughout the state of Texas, many of which have been recognized as academically competitive schools in the nation. Harmony has received numerous outstanding awards and recognitions including the National Title I Distinguished School Award for closing the achievement gap and a Broad Prize nomination.

Dr. Tarim holds a Ph.D. from Texas A&M University and is a trained biologist and ecologist. In addition to his background in biological sciences, he has taught many courses in the field of biology, ecology, general science, and physical education at the high school, college and graduate school levels. Dr. Tarim has spearheaded scientific symposiums and international science Olympiads including I-SWEEEP (the International Sustainable World Energy, Engineering, and Environment Project), the largest science fair event of its kind comprising over 1,000 top-ranked high school students representing 43 states and over 70 nations world-wide presenting and sharing their ideas, experiences, and knowledge to promote maintaining global sustainability. He has also has developed and directed successful after school programs.

Dr. Tarim has published numerous peer reviewed scientific articles, policies, procedures, and guidelines for charter schools in the areas of Admissions, Governance, and Human Resources. He is a certified school board member and school administrator trainer and sits on the Board of Directors of the Region 4 Education Service Center, which is the largest Texas educational service center providing services to 54 school districts representing over 1,000,000 students and more than 83,000 professional educators.

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Wellness Policy

Local Wellness Policy  

Houston South District


Harmony Public Schools (Houston South District) shall follow nutrition guidelines that advance student health and reduce childhood obesity and shall promote the general wellness of all students through nutrition education, physical activity, and other school based activities.


Nutrition Education  

The school shall implement, in accordance with law, a coordinated health program with a nutrition education component and shall use health course curriculum that emphasizes the importance of proper nutrition.


In addition, the district establishes the following goals for nutrition education.

• Students will receive nutrition education that fosters the adoption and maintenance of healthy eating behaviors.   

• Nutrition education will be a district wide priority and will be integrated into other areas of the curriculum, as appropriate.

• Staff responsible for nutrition education will be adequately prepared and will participate in professional development activities to effectively deliver the program as planned.

• The Child Nutrition staff, teachers, and other school personnel will coordinate the promotion of nutrition messages in the cafeteria, the classroom (lesson plans), and other appropriate settings.

• During Parent – Teacher Conference Day, educational nutrition information will be shared with families and the general public to positively influence the health of students and community members.

• Schools will promote National School Lunch & School Breakfast Weeks.  Nutrition tips, activities in their classroom and / or cafeteria.


Physical Activity

The district shall implement, in accordance with law, a coordinated health program with physical education and physical activity components and shall offer at least the required amount of physical activity for all grades. In addition, the district establishes the following goals for physical activity:


1. The district will provide an environment that fosters safe and enjoyable fitness activities for all students, including those who are not participating in competitive sports.

2. Physical education classes will regularly emphasize moderate to vigorous activity.

3. The district will encourage teachers to integrate physical activity into the academic curriculum where appropriate.

4. The district will encourage parents to support their children’s participation, to be active role models, and to include physical activity in family events.


School Based Activities

The district shall create an environment conducive to healthy eating and physical activity through implementation of the following policies.


• Students shall be allowed sufficient time to eat meals.

• The lunchroom facilities shall be safe, clean, and visually promote a message of healthy eating and wellness.

• Students shall have access to free potable water during mealtimes.  The water may be provided through water fountains inside or directly adjacent to the cafeteria, water dispenser, or water pitcher and cups.

• Nutrition and physical activity shall be promoted to students and their families at suitable school sponsored events, like school Field Days.  


Nutrition Guidelines for All Foods Available

The nutrition guidelines for foods served by the district during the school day shall be adequate to advance students health and reduce childhood obesity and shall meet or exceed federal regulations and guidance, and that all foods available on each campus are in accordance with Texas Department of Agriculture policy and school-established standards.


• Meeting the required meal patterns

• Calories minimums and Maximums

• Saturated fat<10  

• Sodium limits  

• Zero Trans fat    


Fundraising Days  

Fundraising (exempt from Smart Snack Guidelines):  


TDA policy allows for 6 days per school year for fundraising events that are exempt from the Smart Snack Guidelines.  These 6 days will be designated by each School Administration and must be published in the school calendar.     

Fundraising (compliant with Smart Snack Guidelines):  


Fundraising events where foods compliant with the Smart Snack Guidelines are sold may occur one day per month (Sept-May). Dates must be published in the school calendar.  Required documentation of any Smart Snacks fundraising must be kept and submitted to District CN Coordinator and /or District CN Director.  


Guidelines for Reimbursable Meals

The district shall ensure that nutrition guidelines for reimbursable school meals shall be at least as restrictive as federal regulations and guidance and that all foods available on each campus are in accordance with the Texas Department of Agriculture regulations.    


Measuring implementation  

The District Superintendent or designee shall oversee the implementation of this policy and shall develop administrative procedures for periodically measuring the implementation of the wellness policy.  The Wellness Committee will conduct a yearly review of implementation, with the results published on the schools’ websites.  


Revisions and Updating the Policy  

The District Wellness Committee will update or modify the wellness policy based on the results of the annual progress reports and triennial assessments, and/or as District priorities change; community needs change; wellness goals are met; and new Federal or state guidance or standards are issued.  The wellness policy will be assessed and updated as indicated at least every three years, following the triennial assessment.  


Committee Members

The district shall seek to involve parents, students, representatives of the school food authority, the School Board, administrators, physical education teachers, school health professionals, and the public in the continued development and implementation of this school wellness policy.
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