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Introducing our
Education Innovation and
Research (EIR) Grant

As an award recipient of the prestigious Education Innovation and Research (EIR) grant (13% acceptance rate), Harmony Academy at National University is developing Harmony SEL-Academic Integration, an innovative model that embeds the Harmony Curriculum more intentionally into academic instruction, particularly in schools with historically underrepresented students.

As part of the grant, Harmony staff are working with leaders and educators from the New York City Public Schools and San Antonio Independent School District to develop, implement, and refine this model, potentially impacting more than 8,000 students in these major city school districts. Throughout the five-year project, Harmony staff are working with educators, staff, and leadership from the districts to integrate Harmony and SEL into academics for students in grades 3–5 across 49 schools.

The American Institutes for Research (AIR) serves as the independent evaluator to study the impact of the innovation and to provide usable data for continuous improvement.

Research and evaluation plays a critical role in the multi-year, grant-funded initiative. This will generate new insight into the impact of culturally responsive teaching practices on academic outcomes, social and emotional learning, and school climate.

How are educators supported by the grant?

Educators receive a broad range of support and resources to ensure success in applying Harmony SEL-academic integration over two years, including nine hours of professional learning across five sessions (two in person and three virtual) to learn, practice, plan, and reflect with colleagues. A lead teacher, counselor, or administrator will receive additional training to support educators throughout the two years.

How is the Harmony Curriculum embedded in the model?

Teachers often say they believe in social and emotional learning (SEL), but they find it hard to implement, given their current demands. They may also feel unsure of what SEL-Academic Integration means or looks like in the classroom.

Research shows that SEL enhances academic learning, and in fact, can be embedded and integrated with intention. That’s why Harmony Academy is developing a new, innovative program model called “Harmony SEL-Academic Integration.” The program guides teachers to integrate SEL seamlessly into academic instruction. As part of this grant, 3rd –5th grade teachers will receive Harmony SEL-Academic Integration, which includes implementation of Harmony Curriculum (Everyday Practices, Units, Lessons, and Activities) as a tool for academic instruction as well as professional learning, coaching, and useful tools and strategies that they can apply immediately in their classrooms.

What are the incentives?

Schools receive financial incentives for each year of participation, no-cost access to the Harmony Curriculum and professional learning, and a video camera to promote coaching and feedback, among other Harmony collateral.

Who is currently supported by the grant?

We are currently working with two districts: New York City Public Schools and San Antonio Independent School District with plans to expand our reach in the years ahead. We are looking for additional districts that already use Harmony schoolwide and want to lean into integrating Harmony Curriculum more purposefully in grades 3–5. We are randomly selecting schools to receive training beginning in the Fall of 2024. District, school, and teacher leaders can contact the Harmony and AIR research team at to share their interest or ask additional questions.

Stella Tijerina,
Douglass Elementary School,
Inclusion and Resource Teacher