HCPS 411 Update

March 24, 2022

Monthly Minute with Dr. Bulson

The next Monthly Minute with Dr. Bulson is scheduled for Thursday, March 31, from 12:15-12:30 p.m. Click here to join the LIVE event on March 31.

A Warm Welcome to Our New General Counsel!

Join us in welcoming Kimberly Neal, who will be joining HCPS as General Counsel effective March 28, 2022. Kimberly comes to us with more than 14 years of experience as an attorney with private practice experience in business litigation and employment law. For the past six years, she has served as the Chief Legal Officer with the Children’s Guild, a private non-profit dedicated to education, mental health, and career training of children, with focus towards special needs students. In 2021, she was recognized by The Daily Record for Leadership in Law.

Calendar Update

Primary Election Day is shown on the current calendar as Tuesday, June 28. This is reflected on the HCPS calendar as a system-wide closure with schools and offices closed. Although the Maryland Primary Election has been rescheduled to Tuesday, July 19, HCPS Schools and Offices will remain closed on Tuesday, June 28, 2022. Calendar updates regarding July 19 will be provided at a future date.

Annual Leave Reminders - Carryover Guidelines

Annual leave allows eligible staff members an opportunity to get much needed and uninterrupted down time in order to decompress from the stress of the work environment. Use of annual leave is strongly encouraged in order to enjoy leisure time activities, time to focus on mental health, as well as the ability to connect with family and friends, either near or far. Employees are strongly encouraged to use the annual leave available to them.

Please note that carry-over of accrued annual leave will follow the guidelines as stated in your respective negotiated agreement at the end of the fiscal year and exceptions will not be permitted this coming June.

Questions regarding this information should be directed to Human Resources at 410-588-5226.

This information was previously published in the 12/2/21 HCPS 411 Update.

Best Practices for Dismissal Procedures

In response to receiving reports of increased traffic and congestion at many schools, please take a moment to review the recommended Best Practices for Safety at Dismissal to minimize potential hazards and safety concerns. Dismissal of school buses should be the priority over dismissal of car riders and non-service area students. At no time should students or staff approach or chase a moving bus. If an administrator needs to contact a bus that has already started its trip, the Transportation Department should be contacted for assistance.

Questions regarding this information should be directed to your Transportation Area Supervisor:

Teacher Tour, Presented by 5xStronger

The Teacher Tour, presented by the 2021 Teacher of the Year finalists, known as 5xStronger, recognizes and celebrates some of the fantastic and extraordinary teachers in our schools. Each month, nominations are accepted for teachers who are doing an outstanding job in a specific area. One winning teacher will be selected each month, but every nominee will be recognized in the HCPS 411 Update. The winning teacher will receive a surprise visit from the 5xStonger team and a special gift from one of our community partners.

For their third stop, 5xStronger recognized Tailyn Kite, of Swan Creek School! As educators, we are constantly reinventing and reimagining ways to connect with our students. The last couple of years have taught us the importance of leveraging technology to support all students’ needs, moving from simply consuming and sampling technology to a true application of tools to transfer learning. For this stop on our teacher tour, we are celebrating teachers that do an exemplary job of leveraging technology in their classrooms to support all students. Click here for more information and to see all of this month’s nominees! A big, heartfelt thank you to our program sponsor, APGFCU, for their donations to our program!

Attention Teachers!

Teachers are needed to start right away to work with our Home and Hospital students. No application needed for current HCPS teachers. Pay is 100% your daily rate, typically for six (6) hours per week. You will make your own schedule with your home/hospital student (outside of your duty day), and almost all of our cases are conducted virtually. If interested, please email Joe DiBasilio at joseph.dibasilio@hcps.org to get started ASAP.

National Board Scholarship Applications Now Available

The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) seeks to elevate the status, voice, and role of accomplished teachers in shaping a true profession. Through a rigorous certification process, teachers may achieve certification in 26 areas, which represent all content areas. HCPS is pleased to announce that the National Board scholarship application window has opened. The scholarship funds will cover most of the cost of the certification process. The only cost to teachers will be a $75 processing fee for each year they attempt to certify. Click here to apply for the National Board Scholarship Harford County Public Schools - TalentEd Hire (tedk12.com). All applications are due by April 14, 2022. Questions regarding this information should be directed to HCPS.NationalBoard@hcps.org.

National Board Certification Virtual Information Meeting for 2022-23 School Year

Teachers and school counselors who hold a bachelor’s degree, have completed three years of successful teaching experience (Please note: conditional teaching experience does not count toward eligibility requirements.), and hold a valid state teaching license or meet the licensure requirements established by MSDE for a school counselor are encouraged to apply for financial aid to pay for the National Board process. Certification can be achieved in one, two, or three years and leads to many benefits, including: professional learning, possible stipends from HCPS and MSDE, CPD credits, and support from the NBCT community throughout the process.

Informational meetings will be held to share the requirements for the 2022-23 application process:

If you are interested in more information about starting the National Board Certification process during the 2022-23 school year, please complete this form.

Check out the National Board Site.

Questions or concerns? Please email HCPS.NationalBoard@hcps.org.

Calling all support staff and substitutes! Do You Want to Be a Teacher?

Has your experience in a school inspired you to become a teacher? Not sure of your next step?

An informational session will be held on TEAMS on Monday, March 28, from 4:00 to 4:45 p.m. Attend this session to hear about the options of the GET More Program (for current support staff) and conditional teacher certification.

Members of the Human Resources Team will explain the process and supports provided to our conditionally certified teachers and to those in our GET More Program.

We love to grow our own teachers, so we hope you decide to shine with us!

There is no need to pre-register for this session!

Click here to join the meeting

For additional information about the informational session, please contact Shannon Hagan at Shannon.Hagan@hcps.org or by calling 410-588-5238.

GET More Program Updates

We have some exciting news regarding The Growing Exceptional Teachers More (GET More) Program. The program provides tuition reimbursement equivalent of the negotiated tuition reimbursement rate for instructional staff (currently $300 per graduate credit hour) for employees who are represented by HCEA-ESP or AFSCME. The purpose of this tuition reimbursement assistance is to allow program participants to complete a teacher certification program in a high needs area of teacher education, with the ultimate goal of receiving their teacher certification and returning to work as a teacher in HCPS.

NEW - We have made a recent update to the program that now allows participants in the program to be eligible to receive up to 12 weeks of paid internship when meeting specified criteria. The GET More program is open to employees who have been employed with HCPS for one or more years of service with HCPS. More information is available by clicking the provided link: GET More Program Application.

For additional information about the GET More program, please contact Shannon Hagan at Shannon.Hagan@hcps.org or by calling 410-588-5238.

Professional Development Announcements

Regional Training Center (RTC)/La Salle Summer 2022 Courses

RTC, in partnership with La Salle University, will be offering off-campus and virtual classroom courses with numerous start dates from May through August. For more information, please see flier.

Visit theRTC.net to schedule and to register! Questions? They now have a chat feature on their website. Chat with them; they are happy to help!

Real Talk Series: Safety and Security Part 2

We will continue to highlight our partnerships with local law enforcement agencies in a series of short Real Talks focused on safety and security. Take a moment to watch this week's video, featuring two of our School Resource Officers, Deputies Steg and Mitchell, as well as our Chief of Safety and Security Donoven Brooks.
School Safety Part 2

Mark Your Calendar: The Gift of Failure

On Thursday, April 21, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., teacher, international speaker, and celebrated author and columnist Jessica Lahey will present “The Gift of Failure: How the Best Parents Learn to Let Go So Their Children Can Succeed” at Patterson Mill High School. The presentation is based on her New York Times best-selling book “The Gift of Failure,” which offers parents common-sense advice on how to let children learn from their mistakes.

A seasoned teacher, Ms. Lahey is internationally recognized as an expert on parenting styles and their impact on students’ motivation, learning and resilience. Ms. Lahey will answer questions and provide recommendations to help parents and educators reframe children’s temporary setbacks as beneficial steps toward lasting, long-term success.

Parents and caregivers are invited to attend this free presentation sponsored by the Harford County Department of Community Services’ Office of Drug Control Policy and held in partnership with Harford County Public Schools’ Parent Academy. Childcare is available for children ages 4-12 (pre-registration required). Please register for the event at www.harfordcountymd.gov/services.

2022 Teacher of the Year Sponsor Shout-Outs

Thank you to the following Diamond and Platinum sponsors of the 2022 HCPS Teacher of the Year program!
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Thrive by Five Early Childhood Summit

The HCPS Parent Academy is proud to sponsor the upcoming Thrive by Five Early Childhood Summit for parents/guardians of children ages birth through five and childcare providers. During April 4-7, 2022, registrants may participate in up to 19, 25-minute online sessions. For the list of session topics and the summit schedule, please see the linked event flier, which is also available on our Parent Academy Facebook page or the Parent Academy page on www.hcps.org.

Spots are open to the first 250 registered. Click here to register now.

Registration for this event closes at midnight on April 1, 2022.

HCPS Health Challenge, Presented by QuaranTeam 5

The QuaranTeam 5 is challenging HCPS employees to participate in activities to support staying fit - both mentally and physically. Click here to see the challenges! When you participate in any challenge, submit a photo or screenshot here to enter to win a prize. Each challenge you complete is one entry to win. Two lucky winners will receive a Nutri Ninja Pro Single Serve Blender (pictured), and one lucky winner will receive a CareFirst gift package!

You can also share your commitment to health using the hashtag #HCPSHealth on social media. Some HCPS employees are already participating, and including their pets! Check out some of our recent participants and their furry friends – Sara Wagner, Megan McCrum, Elizabeth Thomas, Lisa Smith, Amy Wolff, Laura Knapp, Nicole Jergensen, Erin Kassouf, Kelsey Melamed, and Oriana Brenneman!

LAST CALL: The deadline to participate is fast approaching! Submit your photos or screenshots to enter to win a prize by Thursday, March 31, 2022! Winners will be announced in the HCPS 411 Update on Thursday, April 7, 2022.

Community News

Please share this information with students who may be interested in attending:

The Susquehanna Workforce Network is hosting the Harford County Summer Employment & Entry Level Job Fair on Saturday, March 26, from 9:00 a.m. until noon. Job seekers can register now on their website (www.swnetwork.org/job-fair) or at the Swan Creek Workforce Center the day of the event. The event will have 20 employers recruiting for open positions.

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Summer Academic Tutoring

The Academic Tutoring Program will be running from July 10 – August 6, 2022. Tutors will provide students with instructional support and remediation. Tutors are needed in the areas of reading and mathematics for students in grades k-12. Tutors are also needed in science and social studies at the high school level. Tutoring will be offered for the graduation required courses in these two areas. Teachers and paraeducators in any content area may serve as tutors and will be able to identify their desired content(s) and grade level(s). Tutors will also be able to determine the number of tutoring sessions that they would like to conduct each week. Elementary students will be supported in a virtual, one-on-one setting. Middle and high school students will be supported in a virtual, small group setting with three or fewer students. Tutors will be compensated at their true hourly rate when working with students and the negotiated rate for planning.

If you are interested in serving as a tutor, please complete this survey form:


For any questions, please contact Academic.Tutoring@hcps.org.

Summer Jobs in Maintenance Listed

Harford County Public Schools Facilities Management Department has a nine-week Summer Maintenance Program (June 20 – August 18, 2022) open to anyone who enjoys varying jobs such as painting and general maintenance tasks. Those selected will work at school buildings and annexes throughout the Harford County Public Schools system. Applicants must be at least 16 years of age and able to provide their own transportation to the various job sites.

The hours are 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday. There are two 15-minute breaks plus a 30-minute lunch. Starting pay for painting is $12.50.

Applications are located on the Harford County Public Schools website (hcps.org) under About Us > Current Vacancies > Other Career Opportunities/Substitutes. Only online applications will be accepted until positions have been filled.

If you have any questions regarding the program, please call the Hickory Annex at 410-638-4088.

BurnAlong Virtual Wellness: Check Out These Trending Classes

Here are some of the top classes other at Harford County Public Schools enjoyed in February. Take a short wellness break, and try a class today!

Are you looking to track a wellness habit or continue a program before the end of the month? Log in to BurnAlong and keep your wellness progress going.

As a reminder, BurnAlong is our health and wellness partner who provides you and your family with access to 1,000's of online classes from 1,000+ local instructors at no cost to you. To activate your complimentary account, get started by visiting https://fit.burnalong.com/hcps. If you have any trouble accessing your account, contact customercare@burnalong.com.

Find out more about BurnAlong in this brief video.

CareFirst Members: Will You Find the Golden Ticket?

Beginning February 1 through April 30, all CareFirst Members registered for their Well-being Platform powered by Sharecare will be eligible for the Golden Ticket!

What is the Golden Ticket Promotion? Every month, 60 randomly selected members will have a Golden Ticket image on their Well-being platform timeline. Lucky winners will each receive a $25 Visa® Virtual Gift Card! To claim your prize, you must find the Golden Ticket on your Sharecare timeline located in the CareFirst ShareCare app and click the "Claim Your Prize" button.

Ready to win? Follow these steps to get started!

1. Register or log in to your Sharecare Account! Click here to access your Sharecare Account.

2. Check your timeline daily to see if a Golden Ticket image appears.

3. If you see the image, follow the prompts to claim your prize!

CareFirst Wellness Announcements

March is National Nutrition Month

This month is all about making informed food choices and creating healthy eating habits that will help increase your overall quality of life. As Hippocrates once said, "Let food be thy medicine" – a sentiment which still rings true today! Our diet's nutrients provide the fuel we need to get through our busy days. To learn more and view the recipe of the month, Healthy Omelet Makeover, click here to view CareFirst's March Wellness Newsletter.

EAP Webinar: Keeping Engaged and Preventing Burnout

Presented by KEPRO Employee Assistance Program

The March KEPRO EAP resources are here. As we enter the third year of the pandemic, it is no surprise that many are experiencing heightened stress levels. Even though many things are happening beyond your control, there are still some steps to take to help reduce stress. This session will help you learn how to get around burnout, prevent it, and keep yourself engaged in your work and personal life. Click here to learn more.

Date: Available on demand beginning March 17, 2022

Broadcast Length: 50 minutes
How to Access: Go to your EAP website: www.EAPHelpLink.com. Enter your code: HCPS and look for Online Seminars in the lower left-hand corner of this homepage, or you can search for them by title.

The Employee Assistance Program is available to employees and their families anytime, any day and is a free, confidential program to help you balance your work, family, and personal life.

Employees and their family members can call KEPRO 24-hours per day, 7 days per week toll-free at (866) 795-5701 to visit their website online at www.EAPhelplink.com.

Shout Outs!

"A big shoutout to school librarians Tracy Papinchock (PMHS) and Cori Mank (SCS) for an awesome and thought provoking presentation to our content area about collection development. Their dedication to ensuring the librarians of HCPS are able to support and provide materials to meet the needs of ALL of our students is incomparable! Thank you for all of your awesome work!"

-Sarah Scholl, School Librarian, Havre de Grace Middle High School

Welcome to HCPS!

Please join us in welcoming the following new hires to the HCPS family:

  • Deborah Rowell, Food and Nutrition Services Worker, Harford Technical High School
  • Tyra Allen, Administrative Support Assistant, Education Services
  • Edith Hutton, Custodian I - Shift 2, North Harford Middle School
  • Cassandra King, School Bus Attendant, Transportation Department
  • Paulina Nino Gonzalez, Paraeducator, Magnolia 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.