HCPS 411 Update

October 3, 2019

Erin Wyatt of North Harford Middle School Earns $25,000 Milken Educator Award

From the Maryland State Department of Education:

Every morning, teacher Erin Wyatt shows her eighth-grade students what's in store, literally, by having some of her students help run the school store at North Harford Middle School. With her hands-on mentoring and pragmatic, down-to-earth approach, Ms. Wyatt ties social and emotional learning to academics with impressive results. Ms. Wyatt is boosting STEM scores, empowering young women, and stitching together the social fabric in her rural community — while lifting students at all academic levels.

Yet, it was Ms. Wyatt getting a big lift at a surprise school assembly on October 2 where she was presented with a Milken Educator Award by Milken Educator Awards Senior Vice President Dr. Jane Foley and Maryland State Superintendent of Schools Dr. Karen Salmon. An elated Wyatt was named a 2019-20 recipient of the national recognition, which comes with an unrestricted $25,000 cash prize. She is the only Milken Educator Award winner from Maryland this year, and is among up to 40 honorees for 2019-20.

The Milken Educator Awards, hailed by Teacher magazine as the “Oscars of Teaching” has been opening minds and shaping futures for over 30 years. Research shows teacher quality is the driving in-school factor behind student growth and achievement. The initiative not only aims to reward great teachers, but to celebrate, elevate and activate those innovators in the classroom who are guiding America’s next generation of leaders. Milken Educators believe, “The future belongs to the educated.”

Ms. Wyatt is bringing that future closer with a personal touch and true dedication to science education and her students’ needs, getting to know each one individually. Committed to community outreach, curriculum enhancements and staff development, she is a favorite with parents as well as the new teachers she mentors. She's also a magnet for appreciative former students who return often to visit this influential teacher.

More information about Ms. Wyatt, plus links to photos and a video from the assembly, can be found on the Milken Educator Awards website at https://www.milkeneducatorawards.org/educators/view/erin-wyatt.

MD Milken Educator Erin Wyatt Remarks at Surprise Notification

2019-2020 Salary Notification Available on Employee Self Service

Annual salary letters for all HCPS employees are available for immediate review through Employee Self Service (ESS). Questions regarding this information should be directed to Human Resources Information Systems at hris@hcps.org or x5226. For issues accessing ESS, please review the Employee Self Service Overview and Reference information or contact the Help Desk at x5242 for assistance.

Parent Academy

Check out the new HCPS Parent Academy video. Parent Academy will provide a centralized access to resources to support your work to engage families and the community in promoting student achievement. Follow us on Facebook for information about workshops, events, and resources.

Introduction to the HCPS Parent Academy

October is National Principals Month

Every year in October, the American Federation of School Administrators (AFSA), the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP), and the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) join forces to celebrate our nation’s principals for their tireless dedication to their students and the schools they serve.

This month, we will highlight one principal a week from the elementary, middle, and high school levels to share what serving in this profession means to them. They represent all of the great principals we are fortunate to have at HCPS.

Take a moment to thank a principal this month!

Staff Wellness Program

Improving your health just got easier! CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield has partnered with Sharecare, Inc. to bring Harford County Public Schools employees a new wellness program that puts the power of health directly in your hands. Access the program's tools, resources, and personalized recommendations whenever and wherever you want. Get started by clicking here to learn your RealAge® and you'll be one step closer to a healthier you!

We also have a community partnership with Dr. Rob Reier of Healthy Harford. Dr. Reier will be producing short videos monthly to serve as a way to provide information, insight, and resources on health and wellness topics of most interest to our employees. Look for them in upcoming issues of the HCPS 411 Update.

Staff Wellness Program information and the video archive may be found on hcps.org by clicking here.

HCPS Get Fit Wellness Program

Top Health Newsletter - October Issue

Click below for this month's full issue of the Top Health wellness newsletter from CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield.

Emotional Wellness: Building Better Mental Health

The October 2019 KEPRO Employee Assistance Program (EAP) communication resources are here! The theme is Positive Emotional Health. In a fast-paced and high-pressure world, it is essential that we are armed with self-awareness and personal strategies to enjoy a life of positive emotional wellness and optimal mental health.

Monthly Online Seminar Title: Emotional Wellness: Building Better Mental Health

Description: Gain coping strategies for dealing with adversity in a constructive way and develop structured mechanisms for building better mental health.

Date: Available on demand beginning October 15, 2019

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

Youth Mental Health First Aid Training

The Office of Student Support Services will offer Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA) Training to interested HCPS staff members. The training is designed to teach participants how to support and assist young people in the early stages of a developing mental health problem or those experiencing a mental health crisis. Participants will learn about the prevalence of mental health problems among young people, examine “typical” adolescent development, and its relation to mental health issues. Participants will also learn ways to approach, support, and refer young people believed to be at-risk for mental health issues or those who are experiencing a crisis.

This course is offered over two evenings. Attendees must be present both evenings in order to be recognized as a First Aider. Classes will be offered on the following dates:

October 23 & 24, 2019, from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the Media Center at Bel Air High School. This is a paid opportunity for HCPS 10-month employees. To sign up for the class follow this link: https://www.hcps.org/registration/workshops/workshops.aspx?filter=1474

Questions regarding YMHFA should be directed to Christina Alton, HCPS mental health specialist, at Christina.Alton@hcps.org or x6243.

Emails from Blackboard Connect5

To ensure HCPS employees receive communications sent to their specific school or to the entire school system via the Blackboard Connect5 mass notification system, employee email addresses have been added to the database for Blackboard Connect5. As a result, employees are now receiving email correspondence from email@blackboard.com to their HCPS email accounts. These messages are generated by Blackboard Connect5 for HCPS informational purposes and are safe to open. You will receive emails generated by the Office of Communications on behalf of the entire school system, as well as emails created by your specific school administrators via Blackboard Connect5.

If you are not receiving these emails, please check your junk folder. The emails are sent through the Blackboard Connect5 communication platform and are consequently considered “external” messages. If you are not receiving these emails, and they are not in your junk folder, please contact communications@hcps.org for further assistance.

If you do not want to receive these communications via email, there is an “unsubscribe” option at the bottom of the email. Please note, if you unsubscribe to the email communications, you will not receive any emails, including inclement weather email notifications.

Grants Available from the Maryland Retired School Personnel Association

Mini-Grants are available through Maryland Retired School Personnel Association. The grants may be used on special projects or activities that are not funded through the school system or Parent Teacher Organization. Mini-Grant applications need to be completed and returned to MRSPA by November 1, 2019. Applications will be reviewed on November 20, 2019, and winners will be notified by January 2020. Six Mini-Grants of up to $300 will be awarded. Grant money will be sent directly to the winning teacher to be used in the current school year. Click here for the application. If you have any questions, please contact Maryland Retired School Personnel Association at 410-551-1517 or email mrspa@mrspa.org.

Professional Development Opportunities

  • Content Sharing: The Instructional Technology Team will be hosting Content Sharing sessions for 6th and 8th grade 1:1 teachers. Attend these sessions to collaborate with like-minded content area teachers in sharing ways 1:1 has impacted the classroom. Share lessons, tips, and celebrations from your own classroom and hear ideas from other teachers. Registration is currently open, visit HECTOR for more information. For questions, contact instructionaltech@hcps.org.

  • Digital Citizen Workshop: The Office of Technology is offering a seven week online workshop for teachers from October 28 – December 13 titled Teaching Today’s Digital Citizen. This online workshop is a paid experience for teachers, 15 hours at the negotiated $20/hour rate. Topics include: Week 1 – Digital Citizenship in the Digital Age; Week 2 – Digital Footprint and Online Identity; Week 3 – Privacy and Security; Week 4 – Media Balance and Positive Online Communication; Week 5 – Cyberbullying and Digital Drama; Week 6 – Online News and Media Literacy; Week 7 – Connecting Topics to your School Community. Register through Hector.

  • Goucher College: Goucher’s Graduate Program in Education offers a wide range of opportunities for professional development, educational advancement, and teacher preparation. Goucher College will hold an information session for their graduate cohort program with HCPS on Wednesday, October 9, at the Edgewood Library. Click here for details. Questions should be directed to Lori Gohlinghorst at Lori.Gohlinghorst@hcps.org or x5621.

Spotlight on Customer Service

  • "Mr. Harley Main, principal of Church Creek Elementary, makes it a priority to meet/greet and check in with our substitutes throughout their day while at CCES. Our guests appreciate the warm welcome and appreciation from our building leader." -Christine Murdock, speech-language pathologist at Church Creek Elementary School

  • Congratulations to Kristen Hite, satellite kitchen assistant at John Archer School, who was recognized with an award for outstanding commitment to the training and development of individuals with disabilities from the Harford County Commission on Disabilities.

  • "Mr. Komondor [principal of Bel Air High School],

    I can not express my gratitude enough for the support and assistance of your entire administrative team and athletic director on Friday Night. As rumors swirled about a huge turnout and possible skirmishes in the stands, your team worked collaboratively with ours to find solutions that prioritized safety and security. Not only did you make announcements and social media posts to help organize the Bel Air Student Section, you supported the move to an earlier start time, and you also brought your entire administrative team to work the game with us. I can honestly say that the presence of your team was what held everything together as we had to shut down the gates because we reached capacity. Many of the parents commented about how wonderful it was that your administrative team and athletic director were in attendance and I made sure that they knew how lucky we were to have you there.

    As we begin the 2019-2020 school year with an eye toward customer service, I think that on Friday night you and your team exemplified customer service by giving freely of your time and energy to ensure the safety of all of our parents and students.

    Thank you,

    Erica Harris


    C. Milton Wright High 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.