HCPS 411 Update

April 28, 2022

Last Day of School for the 2021-22 School Year

As of today, given the number of inclement weather days used, the last day of school for students in kindergarten through grade 11 is Thursday, June 16, 2022. The last day for pre-k students is two days prior, Tuesday, June 14, 2022. As noted in the Board approved calendar, staff will have one day of Professional Development following students last day. The last day for instructional/10-month staff is currently Friday, June 17, 2022. Mark your calendars but stay tuned for any additional inclement weather days that may make it necessary to update the calendar!

April Monthly Minute With Dr. Bulson

Were you unable to join the Monthly Minute earlier this week? No worries - we have you covered! Click below to watch Dr. Bulson's latest Monthly Minute message from April 26.

To view a complete archive of all past Monthly Minute videos, visit the Monthly Minute page on our website by clicking here.

Monthly Minute with Dr. Bulson. April 26 , 2022

Special Education Teacher Opportunities

Human Resources will be opening an application for current Harford County Public Schools teachers who hold a Special Education endorsement, but are not currently in a Special Education teacher position.

This application will allow those that apply to be considered for FY23 Special Education vacancies within the system. Tenured and Non-Tenured teachers are welcome to apply. Applicants will be able to identify their program and age level preference.

Applications can be found on the HCPS website by clicking on the Employment Opportunities icon. The posting window will open Thursday, April 28, and close at midnight on Wednesday, May 4, 2022.

For additional information or questions, please contact Shannon Hagan, Supervisor of Staff Management at Shannon.Hagan@hcps.org or by calling 410-588-5238.

Professional Development Announcements

Wilmington University – National Board Certified Teacher Programs

For those teachers interested in National Board Certification, there is an additional opportunity to earn graduate-level credit while preparing to attain National Board Certification. Wilmington University offers stackable, online graduate certificate and master’s degree program options that support candidates while they work on National Board components. Please see flier and contact Dr. Palmer at jennifer.l.palmer@wilmu.edu if you are interested in attending an information session to learn more.

Reminder: Resignation Deadline for Non-tenured Teachers

Non-tenured teachers who wish to resign from HCPS without prejudice must submit their letter of resignation prior to May 1, 2022, effective June 30, 2022. The Notification of Separation form is available by Clicking Here or by logging on to the HR Sharepoint-HR Forms & General Information page.

If you have any questions, please contact the Staff Management Department at 410-588-5238.

2022 Summer Incentives MOU: AFSCME and AHCATSP

The Board along with AFSCME and AHCATSP have agreed to provide a summer employment incentive stipend to 10-month personnel represented by their Association working in the 2022 summer programs. Details outlining the 10-month personnel and requirements can be found in the respective MOU below:

Questions regarding the 2022 Summer Incentive Stipends should be directed to the Staff and Labor Relations Office at 410-588-5226.

HCPS Summer Programs

This year, elementary and middle summer school registration will begin with students who were identified for early access to registration using specific criteria, such as interventions and report card grades. Registration will then open to all students, for all summer programs, on May 16.

A catalog of summer programs has been added to the HCPS website and is available under the “Parents” tab on hcps.org. The course catalog will specify if a course is virtual or in-person. General registration will be available on Monday, May 16, 2022, at 7:00 a.m. and will close on Saturday, May 28, 2022, at noon. Registration will be available via a Summer Programs Registration link which can be found on hcps.org. This information will also be available in the News Alert on hcps.org. We encourage you to review the summer programs course catalog and register as soon as possible as space in each program is limited.

All summer programs are dependent upon student enrollment, available staffing, and budget.

Prekindergarten, Kindergarten, and Advanced Placement to First Grade Information

Harford County Public Schools prekindergarten applications, kindergarten registration, kindergarten early entrance applications, and advanced placement to first grade applications will be available Friday, May 6, 2022.

Kindergarten registration will be available to complete online on May 6. Prekindergarten applications, kindergarten early entrance applications and advanced placement to first grade applications will be available to view and print at Register for School, on the Parents tab on hcps.org. To submit your application, follow the directions on the cover sheet of the printed copy. Printed copies will be available at each elementary school on May 6.

Please note that prekindergarten and kindergarten registration is not available at Swan Creek School. This is a result of the Maryland legislature passing House Bill 1163. The bill says we cannot offer prekindergarten or kindergarten instruction as part of our virtual instruction.

Please share this information in your community as we try to ensure families who may not be connected to HCPS are aware that applications and registrations will be available May 6, 2022.

Additional information will be available on hcps.org by May 6.

HCPS Bus Driver and Attendant of the Year

The 1st Annual Banquet for the HCPS School Bus Driver & Attendant of the Year Awards was held today, April 28, 2022, at Mountain Branch Golf Club. Of this year's five finalists, we are thrilled to announce the following winners:

  • Kimberly Pierpont, Bus Driver of the Year
  • Sharon Clements, Special Needs Driver of the Year
  • Sheri Whitley, Special Needs Attendant of the Year

Congratulations to these winners and all of this year's finalists!

HCPS has more than 600 certified bus drivers and attendants, and the Transportation Department was excited to recognize the best-of-the-best in HCPS student transportation.

Each of this year's finalists demonstrated a commitment to being a professional school bus driver or attendant, and they embody a safety-first attitude along with a student-centered approach in their work each day. They were nominated by either a colleague, administrator, parent, student, or other community member. From those nominations, the selection committee determined the finalists and ultimately the winners. Click here to learn more about this year's nominees.

A special thank you to Freedom Federal Credit Union for making this awards program possible!

Fountain Green Elementary Named April's Family Friendly School Winner!

HCPS Parent Academy, in partnership with Chick-fil-A of Harford County, is excited to announce that Fountain Green Elementary School is the April winner for the school system’s Family Friendly School Award program!! Way to go, Falcons!

This month, a total of 15 schools were nominated and 1,357 unique votes were cast by the community among the nominated schools, naming Fountain Green Elementary the winner with 943 votes!! Not only does the school earn the coveted title of Family Friendly School for the month of April, but the entire school staff will be treated to a luncheon by the program’s partner, Chick-fil-A of Harford County.

We want to give a special shout out to this month's runner up schools:

  • Fallston Middle School
  • Riverside Elementary School
  • Roye-Williams Elementary School

Keep up the great work!

The school system will continue to celebrate its schools that best engage all families by consistently demonstrating the National PTA Standards for Family-School Partnerships. One school will be named a family friendly school each month through May.

May is up for grabs and is the LAST award of this school year! Want to see your school highlighted for this award on the website and social media, plus treated to a Chick-fil-A lunch? Continue to encourage parents/guardians, students, staff and community members to nominate your school for the Family Friendly School Award! The nomination window will be open again May 2-9, 2022, on the Parent Academy page of hcps.org. If your school is nominated, our community can show how welcoming your school is by casting their vote May 11-18, 2022.

More information may be found on https://www.hcps.org/parents/parentacademy/familyfriendlyschools.aspx.

HCPS is deeply grateful for its generous Chick-fil-A partners at the Aberdeen, Bel Air, Constant Friendship, and Forest Hill locations for their tremendous support of this program.

Family Friendly Award FGES

Congratulations to the April Limelight Honorees!

Congratulations to all of the April honorees highlighted below! And a special thank you to this month's sponsor, Aberdeen IronBirds. In addition to their certificate and car magnet, all of this month's nominees were gifted four tickets to a game of their choice this season and Jean Grimmel of North Harford High School was the lucky winner by random drawing of a skybox with catering for 25 family and friends!

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Maryland Association of Environmental and Outdoor Education Maryland Green Schools

A huge shout out to the six new and recertifying HCPS Maryland Green Schools! Congratulations to the staff and students for promoting environmental stewardship and literacy in our schools across the county.

  • Bel Air Middle School (New!)
  • Edgewood High School (Recertification)
  • Edgewood Middle School (Recertification)
  • North Harford Elementary School (Recertification)
  • Aberdeen High School (Sustainable)
  • Norrisville Elementary School (Sustainable)

Check out some of the great things happening at Edgewood Middle School!

Teacher Tour Stop 5: Engagement

“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” -Benjamin Franklin

Engaged students are interested in the content, involved in the lesson, and invested in their learning. Engaging classrooms often have students that are excited, curious, and committed to learning. These classrooms can be identified by a positive and energetic environment, resulting in a deeper understanding and a higher level of retention. Do you know a teacher who is a master at engaging students in their content? Tell us about some of the amazing things they do to engage their students. They could be the next stop on our Teacher Tour!

Please use this link to nominate an outstanding teacher on or before May 15, 2022. They may be the next stop on our teacher tour!

Due to testing schedules, the Teacher Tour Stop 4: Student Relationships will occur in the coming weeks. Stay tuned for that announcement!

Northeastern Maryland Technology Council and Bravura Information Technology Systems, Inc. Announce 2022 Women in STEM Scholarship Recipients

We are proud to share this year’s Northeastern Maryland Technology Council (NMTC) scholarship winners from Harford County Public Schools, each earning $5,000:

Sean Luk, C. Milton Wright High School, Biomedical Engineering
Eliana Peyton, Science & Mathematics Academy at Aberdeen High School, Neurosurgery
Lydia Kendzierski, C. Milton Wright High School, Aerospace Engineering
Micaela Venyo, Harford Technical High School, Mechanical Engineering
Ava Darling, Havre de Grace High School, Materials Engineering

Through the generosity and commitment of Bravura Information Technology Systems, Inc. and their founder Claudine Adams, NMTC increased the number of scholarships this year after seeing the extraordinary accomplishments of the many candidates.

This unique annual program offers $5,000 scholarships to women graduating from public and home schools in Harford and Cecil counties and pursuing a four-year degree in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics (STEM).

The NMTC/Bravura Women in STEM Scholarships is now in its fifth year, awarding $150,000 in scholarships.

Havre de Grace Wins its Second Championship in the 37th Annual Harford County Academic Tournament

On Saturday, April 23, five area high schools, including C. Milton Wright, Fallston, Harford Technical, Havre de Grace, and North Harford, participated in the 37th Annual Harford County Academic Tournament.

In the five preliminary rounds, Fallston went undefeated and so entered the finals as the #1 seed. The other playoff teams were #2 seed Havre de Grace at 4-1, #3 seed C. Milton Wright at 3-2, and #4 seed Harford Tech at 2-3.

Havre de Grace defeated C. Milton Wright in the first semi-final 160 to 110. Harford Tech upset Fallston in the second semi-final 130 to 120. Havre de Grace won the Finals 160 to 120 and thus took home their second championship in as many years.

Congratulations to the Havre de Grace team and all the teams that participated in this year’s academic tournament!

Ring Factory Elementary School Celebrates Earth Day

Ring Factory Elementary School celebrated Earth Day last week in a big way by planting trees! Fifth grader Camden Steiner received 15 flowering trees for the school campus for winning the statewide Arbor Day poster contest, and they went in the ground on April 22. Mrs. Anne Gilbert from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources was onsite and recognized the poster contest participants with a group photo.

A big shout out and thank you to Grounds Crew Chief Paul Kline and his crew Steve Wolfe, Cody Dickson, Jamie Sinsz, and Charlie White for preparing the holes and providing mulch, compost, and expertise for the event. Paul and his crew were instrumental in making sure everything was in place for a successful planting.

Diversity 365

In honor of Celebrate Diversity Month, we invite you to share how your school or office celebrates diversity throughout the year. Each month, we will highlight a cultural/organizational holiday. All you have to do is take a picture or two and share the wonderful things your school or office is doing to celebrate the contributions we all make to HCPS.

This month, we are celebrating Autism Acceptance!

Please email your celebration pictures and a brief write-up about the event to Sherron Foster-Moore, Diversity Retention & Recruitment Specialist, at Sherron.Fostermoore@hcps.org by Friday, April 29, 2022. This month’s submissions will be shared in the May 5th edition of the HCPS 411 Update.

Be on the Lookout: Open Enrollment is Coming!

Open enrollment for the 2022-2023 plan year will begin on Monday, May 9, and end at 11:59 p.m. on Monday, May 23, 2022.

The 2022-2023 Benefit Reference Guide will be posted to the website in early May to review to be ready to make changes to your elections beginning on Monday, May 9. Virtual Open Enrollment meetings will be hosted on Tuesday, May 10, and Wednesday, May 18.

More information about the open enrollment and the virtual meetings links will be posted closer to the start of Open Enrollment.

Questions? Contact the Benefits Office by email at benefits@hcps.org.

ParaPro Assessment Opportunity

With principal approval, the ParaPro Assessment will be available to all HCPS employees seeking to meet the highly qualified requirements of paraeducator positions in Harford County, which permits an individual to work with students in the classroom under the direction of the teacher.

The test measures skills and knowledge in reading, math, and writing, as well as the ability to apply those skills and knowledge to assist in classroom instruction. Test administration is scheduled for May 6, 2022. The test will be offered from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. at C. Milton Wright High School, located at 1301 North Fountain Green Road, Bel Air, MD 21015. Please sign-up and pay for the assessment on HECTOR.

Additional information related to the test, procedures for reimbursement, test prep/review, and the MD passing score requirements are available on the Human Resources SharePoint site HERE.

Save the Date! A Family Wellness Night

May is Mental Health Awareness Month

Each year, millions of Americans face the reality of living with a mental illness. While 1 in 5 people will experience a mental illness during their lifetime, everyone faces challenges in life that can impact their mental health. Over the past several years, our country has seen an increase in behavioral health conditions, including depression, anxiety, and substance misuse. The stigma which often times surrounds behavioral health, keeps many people from seeking the help they need, when they need it most. In fact, most people living with behavioral health challenges say the stigma they face causes shame and self-doubt, isolation, increased substance use, and loss of hope in the ability to recover (NAMI, 2016). The Harford County Local Behavioral Health Authority are passionate about paving the way to confront behavioral health stigma head-on.

Now, it is more important than ever before to raise awareness about mental health. Through the development of partnerships and collaboration between public and private sector businesses and agencies, we strive to make Harford County a stigma-free community.

How can you learn more?

We all play an important role in destigmatizing mental health. Please help us raise awareness and thank you for your support in this effort.

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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.

CareFirst Wellness Announcements: Mental Health Month

May is Mental Health Month

To be healthy as a whole, mental health take a role. Our emotional, social, and psychological wellbeing affects how we think, feel, and act. After the last two years, many are realizing just how much of an impact stress, isolation and uncertainty have taken on all of us. That’s why it is important we all take the time to support our own mental health. To learn more, click here to view CareFirst’s May Wellness Newsletter.

May Recipe of the Month: Antioxidant-rich Berry Smoothie: Click here to learn more and try this delicious dish.

Maryland State Pension System: Mentor Newsletter

The Spring 2022 retirement newsletter provided by the Maryland State Retirement and Pension System is now available for active employee members. Included in this edition is important information about new legislation, disability benefits, and so much more. To view the newsletter, click here.

Here’s A Little Treat Just For YOU

Presented by BurnAlong Virtual Wellness Portal

You are doing awesome, and the weekend is almost here! Enjoy some rejuvenation in under 10 minutes with the most popular classes others at Harford County Public Schools have enjoyed this month.

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.

Upcoming Webinar Workshop Series: Retirewise

Get your finances on track with the Retirewise workshop series presented by MetLife.

With Retirewise, you’ll be on your way to making smarter financial decisions and creating an action plan that works for you. From budgeting and building an emergency fund to determining your investment options and creating a will, there’s something for everyone to learn.

Each Retirewise session has different topics that build on each other:

  • Building the Foundation
  • Creating & Managing Wealth
  • Establishing Your Retirement Income Stream
  • Making the Most of What You Have

Workshop Details:

Session 1: Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Session 2: Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Session 3: Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Session 4: Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Time: 5:00 – 6:00 p.m. EST

If asked for the company name, enter Harford County Public Schools.

Click here to reserve your spot! Register online now. Space may be limited.

On the fence? Here’s a sneak peek of what to expect. Spouses and partners are welcome! For more information, click here.

EAP Webinar: Finding a Hobby: How it Impacts Your Life

Presented by KEPRO Employee Assistance Program

The April KEPRO EAP resources are here. Studies have shown that engaging in enjoyable leisure activities can reduce stress, replenish depleted reserves, and lead to overall positive mental and physical health benefits. This session will help you to understand the importance of having a hobby. Click here to learn more.

Date: Available on demand beginning April 19, 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.

End of Year Tuition Reimbursement Requests

Tuition reimbursement requests, including the Partial Reimbursement Request form that aligns with your union, an itemized receipt showing payment method(s) and amount(s), and an official transcript sent electronically from your university, must be submitted to the transcripts@hcps.org email address within 90 days of the course completion date. Please visit https://hcps365.sharepoint.com/sites/HumanResources/Benefits/tuition/default.aspx for additional tuition reimbursement information, including reimbursement request forms, sample receipts, eligibility, and more details about the reimbursement submission process.

All Spring 2022 semester reimbursement requests received on and after May 1, 2022, will be reimbursed after July 15, 2022, leading up to and including the new school year’s first and second pay dates. Employees will receive an email confirming the reimbursement date of their request once it is processed. This processing timeline will apply to all staff, including those not scheduled to work during the summer break. Employees taking coursework through a direct bill partner will have their coursework billed directly to HCPS. Therefore, no paperwork is needed from the employee for the reimbursement as the partner University/College will provide the required official transcript/grade report.

Courses completed before July 1, 2022, will count towards the July 1, 2021-June 30, 2022 fiscal year, while courses completed on or after July 1, 2022, will count towards the July 1, 2022-June 30, 2023 fiscal year.

Questions concerning reimbursement should be directed to Lisa Patterson at lisa.patterson@hcps.org. Questions concerning certification should be directed to certification@hcps.org.

Shout Outs!

"Thank you to Sarah Scholl, our wonderful media specialist. Thank you for advocating for video editing software for our students. They love being able to learn new skills and show them off in projects. It is a skill they can apply to their future endeavors, too! Also, thank you for acting as a guest judge for our Brutus Trial. You made students truly have to show their knowledge and gave willingly of your time to allow them to engage in real discussion and debate."

-Liz Nemeth, Seventh Grade Social Studies, Havre de Grace Middle School

"Thank you to Kim Call, one of our paraeducators. Thank you for all you do for our students. You take the time to get to know our students and their needs. The relationships you form make you an asset as an educator at Havre de Grace Middle School. Thank you for always being a team player!"

-Liz Nemeth, Seventh Grade Social Studies, Havre de Grace Middle School

"Shout out to Leslie Sunderland at Patterson Mill for organizing and implementing a parent and teacher One School One Read around the book "The Gift of Failure," by Jessica Lahey. Leslie facilitated numerous book discussions that were attended by both teachers and parents. All of this work will culminate in a visit by the author to our school on April 21. Thank you Leslie for bringing our school community together in this way!"

-Tracy Papinchock, School Librarian, Patterson Mill High School

"A huge shoutout to Libby Gorman, as master of ceremonies and librarian at EDMS, Alex Lawhon, the producer extraordinaire and librarian at ABMS, and Claire Ring, for channeling her inner Oprah and librarian at FAMS. You all did an amazing job organizing and facilitating an excellent virtual visit with "When Stars Are Scattered" author, Omar Mohamed. It is no small feat to plan an event that brings together so many middle school students and an author working globally, who shared his message about strength and hope. Thank you so much for brining Mr. Mohamed’s story and experience to the students of HCPS!

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

The Parent Academy, Title I Office, Pupil Personnel Services, Community Schools Specialists, and Judy Center staff joined the United Way Project Connect event today to support families at the Epicenter at Edgewood!

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Welcome to the HCPS Family!

Please join us in welcoming the following new hires:
  • Steven Moran, Administrative Support Technician, Human Resources
  • Danielle Stefanski, Administrative Support Assistant, Educational Services

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.