HCPS 411 Update

December 19, 2019

2019 Superintendent Holiday Message

2019 Superintendent Holiday Message

Board of Education of Harford County Meeting Rescheduled

When Harford County Public Schools closed on Monday, December 16, due to inclement weather, all after-school and evening activities, including the Board of Education business meeting, were cancelled. The Board meeting has been rescheduled for Monday, January 13, 2020.

We Are HCPS!

Check out Ms. Kathleen Thompson, gifted and talented teacher at Joppatowne Elementary and Ring Factory Elementary schools and a 2019 Teacher of the Year finalist, who is impacting students every day!


Who comes to mind when you think about a teacher who had an impact on your life? Be sure to nominate him or her for the 2020 Teacher of the Year! More information is available by clicking here. Don't delay in nominating that special teacher! Nominated teachers must submit their completed applications for Teacher of the Year by midnight on Thursday, January 2, 2020.

We Are HCPS- Ms. Thompson

Parent Academy Real Talk: Special Education

Check out the latest Parent Academy Real Talk segment on Special Education. Our panel of experts and parents share valuable information for families on how to identify and support Harford County Public Schools students with special needs.
Parent Academy Real Talk: Special Education

Sleep Is As Important To Life As Food And Water

Are you getting enough?


Getting a good night’s sleep can change your whole day. But getting sleep can sometimes be a challenge. It's important to know:


  • Sleep needs by age
  • Suggestions for quality sleep
  • Sleep disorders and symptoms


Learn more about the importance of sleep in the linked flier.

Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) Technical Assistance Bulletins

The HCPS Special Education Department, as part of an effort to inform school leaders and faculty, will be highlighting each week one or more of the MSDE Division of Early Intervention and Special Education Services (DEI-SES) technical assistance bulletins.


This week, we are sharing the guidance on various low-incidence disabilities:



A full list of available DEI-SES Technical Assistance Bulletins are available on the MSDE website, located here. Questions regarding this should be directed to any of the coordinators for Special Education at x5246.

Shout Outs!

  • Erika Edwards, agricultural educator at North Harford High School, is one of a select group of agriculture teachers nationwide who received the 2019 Teachers Turn the Key (TTTK) professional development scholarship from the National Association of Agricultural Educators (NAAE). As a scholarship recipient, Ms. Edwards attended the NAAE annual convention in Anaheim, California, December 3-7, 2019. The TTTK scholarship brings together agricultural educators with two to four years of experience and immerses them in five days of professional development that addresses issues specific to the early years of teaching agriculture. Participants also have the opportunity to become involved in NAAE leadership and network with other NAAE convention attendees. TTTK awardees come away from the experience with a long-lasting peer cohort and tools that will help them have successful careers as agricultural educators. In addition to attending professional development, each of the TTTK scholarship recipients was also recognized at a general session during the NAAE convention. RAM Trucks sponsors the TTTK program as a special project of the National FFA Foundation. Congratulations, Ms. Edwards!


  • Corrected from last week to include Aberdeen and Joppatowne high schools: HCPS was represented at the THE AVENUE at White Marsh in the 21st Annual Holiday Parade on Saturday, December 7, 2019. C Milton Wright, Edgewood, North Harford, Aberdeen, and Joppatowne high schools were in attendance, playing holiday classics. The marching bands were greeted by an enthusiastic crowd cheering them on. Way to go, HCPS musicians!

Spotlight On Customer Service


  • Each year around the holidays, Transportation Department staff members take the time to visit the bus lots to personally show their appreciation to the drivers. On December 18, they spent the morning handing out cookies from Stephanie's Sweets to spread a little cheer.


  • "We would like to honor our lead secretary, Mrs. Rhonda Utz, for her work creating, organizing, and running our Forest Hill Elementary Charity Holiday Shop. Each year, Mrs. Utz sets forth throughout Harford and adjacent counties, and raids Walgreens, CVS, Walmart and other stores for all of their holiday clearance sales. She even takes their merchandise display stands and other accouterments so that when she sets up for the Holiday Shop, it LOOKS like a Holiday Shop. She makes multiple runs from stores back to our school where she off-loads and stashes her loot for the coming December. As the time draws nigh, she bit-by-bit prices every item (she gets them so cheap that when kids buy them they are STILL cheap) and assembles her army of volunteers. The night before our Winter Wonderland event, she sets up the shop in our multi-use room with wall-to-wall and floor-to-ceiling displays of holiday gifts galore. The night of the event the doors open and all our children have a chance to shop for their families and friends. She has a well-oiled system down pat for handling all our children’s shopping needs. The shop stays open during arrival in the mornings all week long, which she and her volunteers run, helping little gift-givers all along the way. All the proceeds go to local Harford County charities and needy families. Over the past three years, the Holiday Shop has become a favorite event in our community, and it’s due entirely to our amazing lead secretary, Mrs. Rhonda Utz. Through her tireless efforts, the Forest Hill community has donated a great deal to our local charities and needy families, and our students experience a wonderful opportunity to be ‘on their own’ shopping for loved ones." -Marc Hamilton, Principal of Forest Hill Elementary School


#HCPScustomerservice

We're So Glad You're Here!

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


  • Necole Martinez, Inclusion Helper, Hall's Cross Roads Elementary School
  • Maria Taylor, Inclusion Helper, John Archer School
  • Nikita Robinson, 4th Grade Teacher, Hall's Cross Roads Elementary School
  • Jeffrey Wilson, Food & Nutrition Equipment Maintenance Chief, Food & Nutrition Office
  • Nicholas Porter, Custodian I - Shift 2, Magnolia Middle School
  • Nicole Willis, Earth/Space Teacher, Aberdeen Middle School
  • Shamia Gee, Inclusion Helper, Bakerfield Elementary School
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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.