HCPS 411 Update

September 30, 2021

COVID-19 Status and Updates

Today’s Harford County COVID-19 positivity metrics are 4.47% positivity and 17.45 cases per 100,000 residents. This information is updated daily at approximately 10:00 a.m. by the Harford County Health Department here. The newly updated HCPS operational status reflects consistent positivity at or below 5% and can be viewed here.

Resources regarding HCPS COVID-19 safety protocols can be found here. This dedicated page on SharePoint will continue to be maintained with resources and information as it becomes available.

New/updated this week:

SafeSchools training, COVID-19 Update, is required for all employees by October 4, 2021.

COVID-19-Related Reporting

If you are a school-based employee who is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, please contact your school nurse immediately for further guidance on isolation or quarantine requirements.

If you are a non-school based employee who is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, please contact the Human Resources office at covidreporting@hcps.org for further guidance on isolation or quarantine requirements.

All questions regarding leave can be directed to covidreporting@hcps.org.

September Monthly Minute

Were you unable to join the Monthly Minute live last week? No worries - we have you covered! Click below to watch Dr. Bulson's latest Monthly Minute message from September 23, 2021.
Monthly Minute with Dr. Bulson. September 2021

William Paca/Old Post Road Elementary Named September Family Friendly School!

Parent Academy, in partnership with Chick-fil-A of Harford County, is excited to announce that William Paca/Old Post Road Elementary School is the September winner for the school system’s newly launched Family Friendly School Award program!! Way to go, Penguins!!

The HCPS Family Friendly School Award program commenced with the 2021-22 school year, and in the inaugural month of the program, every single HCPS school was nominated for the award. Nearly 2,500 unique votes were cast by the community among the 54 schools, naming William Paca/Old Post Road the winner with 138 votes.

“I am so proud of our school for being recognized with the inaugural Family Friendly School Award. Creating an atmosphere where others feel safe and welcome is a priority for us at William Paca/Old Post Road Elementary School. It is all about that Penguin Power,” said Ronald Wooden, principal of William Paca/Old Post Road Elementary School.

Not only does the school earn the coveted title of Family Friendly School for the month of September, 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, that narrowly missed the title by a few votes:

  • Youth's Benefit Elementary School
  • Aberdeen High School
  • George D. Lisby Elementary School at Hillsdale

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 September through May.

October is up for grabs! 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 October 1-8, 2021, 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 October 12-19, 2021.

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.

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Congratulations to the September HCPS Limelight Honorees!

Our new, systemwide school-based staff recognition program kicked off this month to honor employees who consistently demonstrate outstanding customer service.

School administrators nominate one member of their staff each month to attend the virtual events held September through May. HCPS Limelight events are sponsored by a different community business partner each month, and the nominees are entered into a live drawing for a grand prize from that sponsor. In addition, all honorees receive a certificate of recognition from Superintendent Bulson and a car magnet (pictured above).

Congratulations to the September honorees highlighted below! And thank you to this month's sponsor, Strategic Alliances Group, Inc. In addition to their certificate and car magnet, these employees received $10 dining gift cards, and our lucky grand prize winner, Kristina Linville from John Archer School, won a $100 Visa card!

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Next month's event will be held on October 20 and is sponsored by Cintas.

Real Talk: Harford County Public Library Resources for Parents

Take a moment to watch the latest Real Talk featuring Harford County Public Library CEO Mary Hastler highlighting the amazing public library resources available to parents, grandparents, and caregivers to help children and teens thrive.

Visit https://www.hcplonline.org/schoolsupportcentral.php for more information and direct links to resources.

Parent Academy Real Talk - Highlighting Harford County Public Library

CareFirst Resources: Behavioral Health Digital Assistance

To help provide mental health support, CareFirst, in cooperation with 7 Cups of Tea, is launching a Behavioral Health Digital Resource for members. The new Behavioral Health Digital Resource is designed to provide a safe environment for you to seek confidential care needed. You can talk to active listeners, connect with licensed professionals, participate in online discussion boards, and learn coping skills through this new resource. To learn more about this process and how to access these available resources, click here.

Professional Development Updates

Goucher College – Environmental Studies Certificate program

Goucher College is offering post-baccalaureate environmental studies certificates in Environmental Studies for certified teachers. The program is open to any teacher in any content area, not just science. Please click here for flier or here for a video.

Questions about the programs may be directed to the program director, Dr. Peggy Eppig, at Margaret.eppig@goucher.edu.

Questions about the application process may be directed to graduateadmissions@goucher.edu.

Academic Tutoring

The Academic Tutoring Program will be running for the 2021-2022 school year. We are looking for short-term (“on call”) and long-term tutors. 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. We are expanding the program to tutoring students 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 per diem rate.

If you are interested in serving as a tutor, please complete this survey form: https://survey.hcps.org/rws5.pl?FORM=Fall2021TutorRegistration.

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

PARAPRO Assessment Opportunities – October 15, 2021

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 classrooms 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 October 15, 2021. The test will be from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 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 also available on the Human Resources site: HERE.

Questions regarding this information should be directed to Pauline Timmons, in Special Education, at Pauline.Timmons@hcps.org or 410-588-5246.

School and Classroom Enrichment Grants

Harford County Education Foundation has opened applications for the School and Classroom Enrichment Grants program. Teachers and school administrators can apply for project funding that benefits individual classrooms or their entire school. Innovation and enrichment funding provides the resources teachers need to inspire and enhance learning. Details and the application can be found at www.harfordeducation.org/programs/classroom-grants. The deadline for grant applications is October 22.

Contact Deb Merlock at deb@harfordeducation.org with any questions.

ClassKick Webinar

ClassKick is a new HCPS webtool. Want to learn about the affordances of ClassKick? ClassKick will be hosting 45-minute webinars to showcase the tool. No registration needed. Join via the link include:

Questions regarding this may be sent to instructionaltech@hcps.org.

Changes to the Submission Process for Certification and Tuition Reimbursement Requests

Effective October 1, 2021, all transcripts and or tuition reimbursement documentation should be electronically submitted to transcripts@hcps.org.

Electronic transcripts submitted directly from the college/university are preferred. If you cannot obtain an electronic transcript, a scanned copy, including the envelope, may be emailed in place of the electronic submission. Transcripts should be sent as a separate document from all tuition reimbursement forms.


Tuition reimbursement requests, to include:

  • An official transcript,
  • The Partial Reimbursement Request form which aligns with your union, and
  • An itemized receipt indicating payment method(s) and amount(s).

Documentation must be submitted via one of the above methods within 90 days of the course completion date. Please do not send incomplete requests; all documentation should be submitted collectively when possible (except for official transcripts when emailed directly from the college/university/transcript service).

Tuition Reimbursement Questions: benefits@hcps.org

Certification Questions: certification@hcps.org

Get Started with BurnAlong

BurnAlong is right by your side with a ton of great programming to keep you healthy, well, and fit. First off, a brand new BurnAlong partner, LivFitCo, is now offering upbeat cycling, HIIT, Barre, and breathing practice classes on the platform. Check them out!

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 complementary 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.

CLICK HERE to watch this quick two-minute video to help get started with your online member portal.

Save the Date: Annual Fall Pre-Retirement Webinar

Through the Maryland State Retirement Agency and the Community College of Baltimore County, Harford County Public Schools announces a pre-retirement webinar for HCPS employees and their spouses. This webinar provides vital retirement information to all members who are within eight (8) years of retirement, whether it is normal service or early retirement. Discussion topics include:

  • HCPS Retiree Benefits
  • State Retirement Pension Benefits
  • Legal Consideration
  • Social Security Benefits
  • Financial Planning

This year’s pre-retirement session will once again be held virtually on November 6, 2021. Check future HCPS 411 Update newsletters for more information, including session times, agendas, and how to register.

Drive-Thru Flu Shot Clinics

Get Your Flu Shot Without Leaving Your Car

HCPS, in partnership with CVS, will be hosting a drive-thru flu shot clinic. Events will be held on various days in school parking lots throughout the county. Employees and their families (ages 3+) are welcome to attend an event to receive their flu shot.

Pre-registrations is preferred, but not required. To register, click on the school location+ and date you wish to attend.

Please be sure to bring your insurance card and identification with you. Flu shots will be billed to your insurance*. Be sure to watch for additional dates and times that will be announced throughout September and October.

Questions? Email the Benefits Office at benefits@hcps.org.

+Events will be held at the school location listed per the selected link.

*HCPS medical plans cover flu shots at 100% with no member liability.

Shout Outs!

“At the peak of the monsoon rainstorm last Thursday morning, Kyle Blevins, Jarrett Leuschner, Garrett Johns, Chris Desell, Tammy Bonney, and Scott Arnold from the awesome Facilities Grounds team helped me move more than 40 laptop carts out of Joppatowne High School to make room for the building renovation. I appreciate their help immensely as I could not have completed that project without them!”

-Josh Oltarzewski, Computer Support Technician, Office of Technology

"Elise Dalesio is not only an amazing teacher, but is rocking her new position as Technology Support Teacher at Edgewood Middle. When I asked her how her day was, she lit up, smiled, and began telling about all the people she has been helping. I know she has a lot on her plate, but she never ceases to focus on the positive! Your students and colleagues are lucky to have you Elise!"

-Jennifer Knoll, Teacher Specialist

"A heart-felt shout out to our teachers, counselors, psychologists, and related service providers who are mentoring College and University student interns this semester! You are ensuring that even the children of our children have caring, well-prepared educators in every classroom and office. This is selfless, ongoing customer service to our College and University students and to our community."

-Heather L. Kutcher, Supervisor of Teacher Preparation and Professional Development,

Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment

"Norrisville Elementary would like to give a shout-out to Ray San Juan in the Office of Accountability! Ray’s customer service practice and responsiveness are stellar. Thank you, Ray!"

-Mary Ann Clinton, Assistant Principal, Norrisville Elementary School

"A huge shout out goes to Candy Powell, Library Media Technician at Havre de Grace Middle High School. She is the reason our middle high library runs so smoothly day in and day out. A constant presence for students and teachers, Mrs. Powell helps everyone find what they need, always with a smile."

-Sarah Scholl and Jessica Jefferies, Librarians at Havre de Grace Middle High School

Welcome to the HCPS Family!

Please help us welcome the following new HCPS employees:

  • John Burke, Staff Attorney, Central Office

  • Tonia Saddler, Inclusion Helper, George D. Lisby Elementary School at Hillsdale

  • Lesley Sampson, HR Specialist - Case Manager, Human Resources Department
  • Terri Smith, Speech Language Pathologist, Central Office
  • Jaelyn Brown, Administrative Support Assistant, George D. Lisby Elementary School at Hillsdale
  • Ashlee Chapman, Paraeducator, Forest Lakes Elementary School
  • Roopwaite Chatterpaul, Inclusion Helper, Edgewood Middle School
  • Tina Comer, Administrative Support Specialist, Joppatowne Elementary School
  • Katelyn Eckart, Grade 3 Teacher, Darlington Elementary School
  • Allison Molella, Inclusion Helper, Fountain Green 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.