HCPS 411 Update

August 13, 2020

An Important Message From Superintendent Bulson

As we near the start of the 2020-2021 school year, we are finalizing operational plans for the 41 Learning Support Centers (LSC) opening in most of our schools on September 8, 2020. There are personnel who will be required to staff our LSCs, as LSC assistants or in their typical capacities, to include: administrators, counselors, nurses, paraprofessionals, inclusion helpers, custodians, food service workers, administrative assistants, School Resource Officers, safety liaisons, crossing guards, social workers, and any other identified personnel.

Currently, we need LSC assistants to monitor and oversee students attending the centers during the school day. In most cases there will be two (2) LSC assistants for every eight (8) students in a room; however, it's possible that in some rooms where there are students with greater needs there may be additional supports. I asked all principals and supervisors to carefully review the duties and responsibilities of each staff member within their school or department to determine which current HCPS employees may be temporarily reassigned to fill a critical LSC assistant position.

Our hope was to staff in-person work requirements with people who opted-in to those activities, but that will not be possible. Human Resources (HR) is collaborating with school-based and central office leaders to identify and reassign employees to LSC duties. Any affected employee will receive notice from HR explaining his/her change in work location and duties. Anyone who believes he/she cannot perform this work must contact the Benefits Office in HR at Benefits@hcps.org to explore options based on his/her individual circumstances. We anticipate being able to begin communicating these assignments by the end of next week.

Additionally, HR is actively screening and hiring new applicants to enhance the number of available LSC assistants. Please guide any individual interested in securing temporary employment of this nature to our vacancy announcement.

I will discuss this and more staff-specific information at the HCPS Staff Town Hall on Tuesday, August 18, from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. and hope that you can join me. In the meantime, please speak with your immediate supervisor should you have any immediate questions regarding LSC assignments.

Staff Continuity of Learning Plan Live Town Hall Event

You are invited to join Superintendent Bulson and members of Senior Staff in a Town Hall-style Q&A specifically for HCPS staff on Tuesday, August 18, from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. Dr. Bulson will give an update on the HCPS Continuity of Learning Plan and then allow time for questions from HCPS staff. You may submit your name and question through the LIVE Q&A feature on the Teams meeting. Questions will open at the conclusion of Dr. Bulson's presentation.

Click here to join the discussion via Teams on Tuesday, August 18, at 2:00 p.m. We look forward to "seeing" you there!

The event will be recorded and shared at a later date.

HCPS Opening Status: Beginning August 17

Please see the most recent version of the graphic describing our opening status below. For a printable version of this graphic, please click here.
Big picture

Employee Health Guidelines Related to COVID-19: Updated Information as of August 13, 2020

(Content changes are in bold italics; previous update was July 28, 2020.)

Guidance about COVID-19 is rapidly evolving; updates will be provided as needed.

All staff are expected to notify their supervisor as soon as they are made aware that they have tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19 or that they have been exposed to a person who is confirmed to have COVID-19. Employees must follow the guidance of healthcare providers, state

(https://coronavirus.maryland.gov/ ), and local (https://harfordcountyhealth.com/ ) health departments.

Employees should follow all State of Maryland state advisories, including travel.


Reminder: All employees must sign in each time they enter and when they exit a HCPS building.


  • It is a requirement that every employee complete a self-check, including temperature, before arriving to work.
  • If an employee has any COVID-19 symptoms including fever (100° F or greater) or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, or diarrhea, the employee should stay home, notify their supervisor, and call their doctor.
  • If the employee becomes sick during the day, they must inform their supervisor and go home immediately. HCPS communication processes will be enacted, including alerting HR and determining additional precautionary steps for the worksite.
  • Employees cannot return to work until the criteria to discontinue home isolation are met, in consultation with healthcare providers and state and local health departments.

Social Distancing and Masks:

All employees must practice social distancing and should maintain 6 feet between employees as work duties permit.

  • An employee’s mask must cover the nose and mouth. Masks are not a substitute for social distancing.
  • If you are alone in your private office/workspace, it is not necessary to wear a mask.
  • If you leave your desk to walk into an area where you may encounter another person, you must wear a mask. If a person comes into your office area and there is less than 6 feet, all parties must always have their masks on.
  • If you work in an area that interfaces with the public, masks must always be worn.
  • When in doubt, wear a mask. A courtesy mask is provided by Freedom Federal Credit Union.
  • Employees must disinfect their office space after working without a mask.

Sanitation Guidelines:

  • HCPS will follow sanitation guidelines, but employees can assist by disinfecting their personal areas and other communal areas such as door handles, shared equipment, communal work surfaces. Cleaning should occur at the start of the shift, midway through the workday, at the end of the shift and whenever needed.
  • Employees must disinfect their office space after working without a mask.

Questions regarding employee benefits related to COVID-19, including leave, may be directed to Joanna.Hewitt@hcps.org or Lisa.Patterson@hcps.org.

Any questions pertaining to this memo may be directed to Kathy DeHoff, Medical Case Manager in Human Resources, at Kathleen.Dehoff@hcps.org.

Special Education Town Hall Event

Join Harford County Public Schools Director of Special Education, Mike Thatcher, and members of the Office of Special Education in a Town Hall-style Q&A on Wednesday, August 19, 2020, from 6:00-7:00 p.m.

Mr. Thatcher will give an update on the HCPS Continuity of Learning Plan and then allow time for questions. You may submit your name and question through the LIVE Q&A feature on the Teams Live event. Questions will open at the conclusion of Mr. Thatcher's presentation. Click here to join us.

The event will be recorded for viewing and shared at a later date.

HCPS Responsible Use Procedure 2020-2021

The HCPS Responsible Use Procedure 2020-2021 has been moved to SafeSchools this year. Staff will receive notice via SafeSchools that you have been assigned this manual training to begin Monday, August 17. Staff must complete the RUP 2021 training by September 28.

Navigation through the training will follow this process:

  1. Scroll down to see the video or PDF. Videos may take a few seconds to load.
  2. Once you have watched the entire video, check the box.
  3. Click the Finish button to move to the next segment (there will be six short segments).
Big picture

Digital Teaching and Learning Professional Development for Paraprofessionals

Paraeducators and Inclusion Helpers play an essential role in the teaching and learning of HCPS students. HCPS will provide professional development aligned to the unique roles and responsibilities of these employees to assist in Getting Started in the new school year.

The Getting Started itslearning course for paraprofessionals will be released for completion during the week of August 31, 2020. Paraprofessionals will complete this course during their assigned duty day. The course must be completed by 11:59 p.m. on Friday, September 4, 2020.

Questions regarding this information should be directed to the Office of Organizational Development at HCPSProfessionaLearning@hcps.org.

Amendment to HCPS Non-Discrimination Statement

In accordance with the requirements of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and its implementing regulations, this is notice that the following HCPS employee has been designated as the HCPS Title IX Coordinator: Dr. Paula Stanton, Manager of Equity and Cultural Proficiency, 102 S. Hickory Avenue, Bel Air, Maryland 21014, Paula.Stanton@hcps.org, 410-809-6064.

The HCPS Non-Discrimination Statement, found on hcps.org, has been updated to reflect the following information:

“In accordance with the requirements of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (20 U.S.C. §1681, et seq.), Harford County Public Schools does not discriminate on the basis of sex in any of its programs or activities or with regard to employment. Inquiries about the application of Title IX, and its implementing regulations to Harford County Public Schools may be referred to Dr. Paula Stanton, Harford County Public Schools Title IX Coordinator, by mail to 102 S. Hickory Avenue, Bel Air, Maryland 21014, or by telephone to 410-809-6064 or by email to Paula.Stanton@hcps.org, or the Assistant Secretary for the Office of Civil Rights in the United States Department of Education by mail to 400 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20202 or by telephone 1-800-421-3481, or both.”

MSDE Blackboard Fall 2020 Catalog

This is a reminder that registration for the courses in the MSDE Blackboard Fall 2020 catalog closes September 17, 2020.

KEPRO Employee Assistance Program: Outsourcing Your To-Do List

The August 2020 KEPRO Employee Assistance Program (EAP) communication resources are here! Do you always feel like you never have enough time in your day? Everyday mundane tasks can often drain our time and distract us from more high-value activities. By outsourcing the thankless chores, we can discover a world of potential, leading towards a happier and more fulfilling way of life. Please see the attached tip sheet entitled “Outsourcing Your To-Do List.”

Monthly Online Seminar Title: Outsourcing Your To-Do List

Description: Learn to outsource the more thankless chores and discover a world of potential, leading towards a happier and more fulfilling way of life.

Date: Available on demand beginning August 18, 2020

Broadcast Length: 50 Minutes

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

Available anytime, any day, the EAP is a free, confidential program to help you balance your work, family, and personal life.

Call them toll-free at 1-866-795-5701 or visit them online at www.EAPHelpLink.com.

SafeSchools Online Training

The Office of Risk Management has worked with the Office of Organizational Development to streamline SafeSchools training courses to be issued to all employees with an effective date of August 3 and a due date of September 28, 2020.

  • Mandated Course (All Employees): Bloodborne Pathogens
  • Mandated Course (School-Based Employees): Child Abuse: Mandatory Reporting, Students Experiencing Homelessness, Youth Suicide Awareness, Sexual Misconduct: Staff to Student
  • Optional Course (All Employees): Coronavirus: Managing Stress and Anxiety

Employees may receive additional courses, such as Responsible Use Procedures, during this time or targeted courses specific to certain jobs. The Office of Risk Management will also continue to utilize SafeSchools to send out custom COVID-19 training for supervisors. In December, additional courses will be assigned, such a Health Emergencies and Service Animals. For SafeSchools questions, please contact Katie Ridgway at katie.ridgway@hcps.org.

Log on to SafeSchools using your HCPS network credentials:

Shout Outs!

"I would like to make a shout out to the ladies in the Office of Instructional Technology, Laura Knapp, Alyssa King, Michelle Huebel, Andrea Harthausen, Martha Barwick, and whomever else I might have missed. These ladies have worked diligently and methodically this summer to help set the teachers of this district up for success for virtual learning in the fall. They have given up their summer to help the teachers, and every teacher that has participated in any of the experiences orchestrated by these ladies has walked away armed with more confidence in their ability to teach virtually in the fall! They are the hidden gems of the district for sure!"

-Vickie Saxon, Fallston High School, Science Department

"I would like to give a Shout Out to Stephanie Sauter, media specialist at John Archer School, for her tireless advocacy for students and staff at John Archer."

-Ashley Mundrick, John Archer School

"Ashley Mundrik is the elementary department chairperson at John Archer School. During these last few months, she has been supportive, creative, and great team player. She stepped up to learn new technology with regard to lesson planning and supporting the yearbook development. She has reached out to lend instructional materials to other teachers finding ways to get materials into the hands of others. She even let me borrow something during the summer for instruction. Her communication, willingness to support and ability to work together has made her department an awesome team."

-Rachel Otremba, John Archer 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.