HCPS 411 Update

February 19, 2021

Student Services Proudly Announces Newest Winner Of The S.T.A.R. Award

Congratulations to Laurie Smith, School Counselor at Prospect Mill Elementary School!

The STUDENT SERVICES STANDOUT AWARD (S.T.A.R. AWARD) is presented to a Student Services employee who shows evidence of going above and beyond the job requirements and having a positive impact on the department/school system and students.

Laurie was nominated by School Psychologist Sarah Sinclair, and School Psychologist Intern Jenna Guglielmini. Her nominators shared that Laurie is truly a shining S.T.A.R. in her endless efforts, creativity, and giving heart. Laurie volunteered to distribute materials after hours, delivered materials to students' homes, and worked with families to troubleshoot technology issues. She has contacted more than 75 businesses and organizations to secure donations to support the emotional and physical well-being of students and teachers. She also created two organizations to directly support the emotional well-being of staff. As a part of this effort, she delivered care packages to the homes of approximately 50 staff members across three states. Additionally, she created an award for staff to recognize their passion for students. Lastly, she uses her own time and money to purchase materials for students and small gifts for staff members, even going as far as buying lunch for the entire staff.

Congratulations Laurie, you deserve to be a S.T.A.R!

Nominations Are Being Accepted Now for the S.T.A.R. Award!

The Office of Student Services is accepting nominations for the S.T.A.R. Award. This award is presented once per semester (biannually) to a nominated member of the Student Services staff. The nominee must currently be an employee budgeted under Student Services who is based in a school or Central Office. This would include staff under the offices of School Counseling Services, School Health Services, Psychological Services, or Pupil Personnel Services. Any person, regardless of position or relationship to the nominee, including students, may make the nomination. The nomination form and supporting narrative must be submitted by December 1 or May 1 of the respective semester. Please see the link below to access the nomination form and consider nominating someone today!

Link to Student Services S.T.A.R. Award

Monthly Minute Teams LIVE Link

Join Dr. Bulson next Thursday, February 25, at 12:15 p.m. by clicking here.
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Superintendent's Student Advisory Council to host a Choose Kindness Week!

During the week of February 22-26, 2021, The Superintendent's Student Advisory Council (SSAC) is holding a Choose Kindness Week! This is just a few days in February where you can let your kindness shine through, by completing small acts of kindness to help build yourselves and your community. All of these activities are “Socially Distant” friendly and so simple to complete; therefore, all students can participate! The events were created by The SSAC Choose Civility and Kindness group. We can all agree that 2020 had its challenges, so join us to make this season the best of 2021 by helping others out!

SSAC Choose Civility and Kindness February Video

2020-2021 Support Staff Annual Evaluation Campaign

The 2020-2021 Support Staff Annual Evaluations opens on February 19, 2021 and will be available in the HR Compliance SharePoint site by clicking on “eValuation” on the left hand side of the page. The deadline for completion of the annual evaluations is May 15. General information about support staff evaluations can be found by clicking on the “Support Staff Evaluations: Guidelines and Tips for Completing” link on the right hand side of the page. Please note that employees covered by the HCEA – ESP (formerly HCESC) negotiated agreement are entitled to have their evaluation completed at least five (5) duty days before the end of the school year. Any evaluation that is not completed, including the electronic signature portion by both the employee and the evaluator, will be considered successful. Evaluators are encouraged to review the status of their assigned evaluations by checking the column titled “status.” If the status is anything other than “Received by HR” or “Completed and Recorded,” the evaluation is incomplete. Portal navigation assistance is now available by clicking on the eValuation Tutorials.

Please note the following “primary” supervisor adjustments. This change does not preclude building administrators from participating in the evaluation process by requesting “partial delegation” assignment.

Mary Nasuta, Supervisor of Health Services, will be responsible for completing evaluations for nurses.

The assigned Custodial Coordinator Supervisor will be responsible for completing evaluations for custodians.

Questions regarding this information should be directed to:

BangTam Miller at BangTam.Miller@hcps.org


March 5, 2021 is a 3-hour early dismissal day for students. Each Content or Related Service Office will offer a one-hour, optional, synchronous Office Hour to their teachers, counselors, educational support personnel, social workers, psychologists, and/or related service providers. Instructional Staff may join the Office Hour for informal networking, support, and Q&A.

You can find the list of times and links here: Chart for March 5 Office Hours. The remaining professional learning time may be directed by your school(s). Modules 5 and 6 of the Digital Teaching and Learning course in itslearning remain open and available for review.

Questions about this information should be directed to:

Jacqueline Tarbert, Office of Organizational Development, at Jacqueline.Tarbert@hcps.org and/or Heather Kutcher, Office of Organizational Development, at Heather.Kutcher@hcps.org.

Hybrid Learning Strategies Webinars

Various sessions with a specific elementary and secondary focus on hybrid learning strategies will be offered to teachers on Friday mornings, beginning TODAY, February 19, 2021. Sessions will support educators as they prepare for learning and teaching in a hybrid environment. These sessions will incorporate strategies that highlight collaboration, communication, assessment, and engagement.

Who: All Teachers and Instructional Staff

What: Hybrid Learning Strategies Webinars


  • Friday, February 19, 2021
  • Friday, February 26, 2021
  • Friday, March 5, 2021
  • Friday, March 12, 2021

Register in Hector for your session choice.

AVAILABLE NOW: BurnAlong Virtual Fitness Platform

Employees can sign-up for a *free* account through BurnAlong, an online on-demand fitness platform. Harford County Public Schools, in partnership with CareFirst, is happy to provide employees with access to BurnAlong.

What is BurnAlong? They are an online health, wellness, and fitness class platform to help you stay motivated and focus on your well-being. BurnAlong provides classes from 100's of instructors spanning 40+ categories.

Best Part? This service is available to all part-time and full-time employees at no cost, thanks to CareFirst! Also, each participant receives up to four (4) free accounts for family and friends so that you can work out at home separately, but together.

To set up your account, go to fit.burnalong.com/hcps. If you experience any trouble registering your account, you may email customercare@burnalong.com for assistance.

Learn more by clicking here for the member enrollment flyer.

Have Questions? Check out this F.A.Q.

College Board Positions

The College Board is seeking interested persons to fulfill various leadership roles within their organization. If you’re interested, please go to this link to learn more and potentially apply.

Visit www.collegeboard.org for more information.

Walden University – Tuition Savings and Virtual Information Session

Walden University is offering limited time programs through their College of Education Masters of Science in Education (MSED) program! Students can take their first MSED course at no cost for the March 8, 2021 start date, and then receive the partnership 10% tuition reduction on the remainder of their program.

There are also additional savings for the Ph.D. in Education, Ed.D., and Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education programs!

Visit www.waldenu.edu/harford for more information.

American College of Education Webinar

American College of Education (ACE) has been partnering with many Maryland public school districts to provide information on continuing education opportunities available to educators. These coursework areas can include both full programs and single course recertification options.

ACE will be hosting an informational webinar on March 11, 2021 at 7:00 p.m. Please see this flyer for more information. If staff is unable to attend, they can still register and a link of the recorded session will be sent. Register here!

University of Maryland Innovative Virtual Teaching Network Academy

Teachers, Educational Support Personnel, and Teacher Specialists are invited to sign-up for the University of Maryland’s Innovative Virtual Teaching Network Academy. The Academy provides access to monthly webinars on topics related to virtual and hybrid teaching including project-based learning, student engagement and active learning, and feedback as dialogue. Webinars can be attended live or viewed at participants’ discretion.

Participation in the Academy allows instructional staff to network with teachers across the state. Opportunities to discuss challenges, brainstorm promising practices, and leverage the expertise of hundreds of veteran teachers across the state are available throughout the year-long program. Eligible staff will receive a University of Maryland Academy Certificate and up to two (2) Continuing Education Units (CEUs).

The University of Maryland will honor the first 50 HCPS instructional staff who indicate interest via on the University of Maryland Academy Interest Form

More detailed information can be accessed on the HCPS Professional Learning Share Point Site.

Questions can be directed to Heather Kutcher, Office of Organizational Development, at Heather.Kutcher@hcps.org.

Teacher Leadership Opportunities through the University of Maryland’s Virtual Teaching Network Academy

Current classroom teachers are invited to apply to the University of Maryland (UMD) Virtual Teaching Network Academy for a prestigious, paid fellows program. The UMD Fellows will receive monthly training over a two-year period in exemplary instructional practices in blended learning, as well as teacher leadership for continuous improvement. In the second year of the Fellowship, Teacher Leaders will design, implement, and lead a Community of Practice (CoP) with a cohort of HCPS educators. Fellows will receive an annual stipend from UMD for their active contribution, and will be eligible to earn up to three (3) continuing education credits as well.

The application as well as more detailed information can be accessed at UMD Teacher Leader Technology Fellows.

Questions can be directed to Heather Kutcher, Office of Organizational Development, at Heather.Kutcher@hcps.org

Smart Money Moves in Your 20’s and 30’s

How can you make smart money moves in your 20’s and 30’s?

Hosted by MetLife

When it comes to money, there’s a lot to learn! Space is available at MetLife’s Smart Money Moves in Your 20’s and 30’s: 10 Ways to Help Set Yourself Up for Financial Success.

This complimentary, 60-minute workshop includes 10 important tips to help get you on the right track, from creating and sticking to a budget, to making the most of your savings and investments. There is also an opportunity for a personal consultation.

Join your colleagues for the complimentary workshop. Spouses and partners are welcome!


Workshop details:

Thursday, February 25, 2021

5:00 – 6:00 p.m.

If asked for company name, enter “Harford County Public Schools”

Can't attend but still need help with financial questions? You can still sign up for a free, no pressure, no obligation personal consultation. For more information, click here.

Shout Outs!

"I would like to give a special shout-out to Faye Carter, Jack Getz, and Timothy (TJ) Hurley for their help and support with our website, www.hcps.org. They are always going above and beyond to assist with posting documents, links, and even creating new spaces to share helpful information for students, families, staff, and our HCPS community. Thank you for all that you do!"

- Stephanie Wall, Office of Communications and Family Outreach

Welcome to HCPS!

Please help us welcome the following new employees to our HCPS family:

  • Jodie Rohrer, Social Worker, John Archer School
  • Mark Ressler, Grounds/Building Maintenance, Facilities
  • Laurie Dahlquist, Paraeducator, Hickory Elementary School

Office of Communications and Family Outreach

Editor: Lindsay Bilodeau, communications specialist

To submit an HCPS Shout Out or recognize a colleague in the Spotlight on Customer Service, please email the information and photo (if available) to HCPS.411@hcps.org.