HCPS 411 Update

March 17, 2022

COVID-19 Updates

According to the new COVID-19 Community Levels tool, Harford County is LOW.

Over the last few weeks, our COVID-19 voluntary testing site operator, MAKO, has been evaluating the number of voluntary tests administered at each location around the county. Due to the declining number of voluntary testing participants, today, Thursday, March 17, 2022, will be the last date for all voluntary testing sites.

We encourage you to reach out to your medical provider with any questions about future COVID-19 testing.

Congratulations and Best Wishes to Patrick Spicer, Esquire!

Congratulations on your 33-year career with Harford County Public Schools as General Counsel and your well-deserved retirement! Thank you for being a tireless professional, a helpful colleague, and a good friend to many. We wish you all the best in this new chapter ahead of you. Happy Retirement, Patrick!

Congratulations to Alycia Covelly, of Edgewood High School!

Congratulations to Alycia Covelly, School Social Worker at Edgewood High School, for being honored with the Student Services STAR Award.

Alycia was nominated by her colleague, school counselor Amanda Seiverd. In her nomination, Ms. Seiverd shared, "Since joining the EHS team three years ago, Mrs. Covelly has continued to be an outstanding service provider for our student services department. Her dedication and knowledge are endless, her professionalism is exceptional, and we are extremely lucky to have her at school." The nomination went on to share the numerous ways in which Alycia goes above and beyond to serve EHS students and families.

Alycia never hesitates to volunteer to serve beyond the scope of her duties at Edgewood and is a valued member of the small but mighty group of HCPS social workers. The Office of Student Support Services is lucky to have Alycia as a team member!

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March Good to Great Moment

Looking to jumpstart your customer service skills? Meet Keyonna Barnes! In a little over three minutes, you’ll learn Key’s philosophy for customer service, which is both inspiring and motivating! Join us here in the HCPS 411 Update next month for a peek into another outstanding HCPS staff member’s strategies for promoting outstanding customer service.


We Want to Hear From Our Stakeholders!

Service is Central at HCPS! To ensure that HCPS remains accountable for delivering top-notch customer service, we have been encouraging all HCPS employees to add a link to our customer satisfaction survey to the signature line of their HCPS emails. In addition, the link to the survey is accessible in the footer on hcps.org.

We have noticed the link has been added to many signature lines throughout the system, and we appreciate those who have joined our movement!

Now we are ready to raise awareness about the survey within our community. It is important to increase the number of responses to this survey, as they will greatly help us gauge our current level of service and identify opportunities for improvement.

We will share the following image regularly on HCPS social media accounts, beginning tomorrow. Survey responses will continue to be collected and monitored by Judy Simon, HCPS Customer Service Specialist, and data will be analyzed to guide our future professional development efforts.

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** If you would like to add the link to the Customer Satisfaction Survey to your HCPS email signature but have not yet done so, please use this or something similar:

Click here to take a brief customer satisfaction survey.

New Real Talk Series: Safety and Security

Over the next few weeks, we will highlight our partnerships with local law enforcement agencies in a series of short Real Talks focused on safety and security. We kick off this series talking with Mr. Donoven Brooks, chief of Safety and Security for Harford County Public Schools, and Mr. Brooks Kimbrough, school safety liaison at Edgewood High School. Please take a moment to watch the first video in our series below.
School Safety

Coming Soon: Monthly Safety Updates

Beginning soon, there will be a section in this newsletter where we share updates and announcements from Chief of Safety and Security Donoven Brooks related to changes or new information about our safety and security procedures.

This standing section will be included in the HCPS 411 Update once a month and will highlight important information, so please be sure to look for it!

Thrive by Five Early Childhood Summit

The HCPS Parent Academy is proud to sponsor the upcoming Thrive by Five Early Childhood Summit for parents/guardians of children ages birth through five and childcare providers. During April 4-7, 2022, registrants may participate in up to 19, 25-minute online sessions. For the list of session topics and the summit schedule, please see the linked event flier, which is also available on our Parent Academy Facebook page or the Parent Academy page on www.hcps.org.

Spots are open to the first 250 registered. Click here to register now.

Registration for this event closes at midnight on April 1, 2022.

Littles University

We invite families with Littles University scholars (any child in Harford County birth through age 5) to visit our wonderful partners at the Harford County Education Foundation to register for a free copy of "Madeline and the Bad Hat," by Ludwig Bemelmans. Don't delay - register by March 29 to grab one of only 220 copies available! Then, join HCPS Manager of Communications Jillian Lader on April 5 to see what Madeline is up to and to explore reading techniques we can use with our Littles!
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Field Trip Procedure Reminder

Please be reminded that all field trips must be entered into the Travel Tracker website. This includes any trip outside of the building, including walking trips.

Busing for all field trips must be entered into the Travel Tracker site and paid for by the requesting school or sponsoring organization. Please note the rate for special needs transportation includes the rate charged for the bus driver and bus attendant.

Current rates for HCPS Field Trip Buses:

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Questions regarding this information should be directed to Cathy Bendis, Director of Transportation, at Cathy.Bendis@hcps.org or 410-638-4092.

Office of Equity and Cultural Proficiency: Virtual Equity Chats

The Office of Equity and Cultural Proficiency hosts monthly Virtual Equity Chats this school year. This is an opportunity to speak frankly about topics of equity and cultural proficiency. The third chat will be held on Wednesday, March 23, 2022, from 5:00-6:00 p.m. For this chat, bring questions or topics that YOU want to chat about with the group. We will provide time for participants to weigh in on topics/questions and break into small groups when appropriate.

Use this link to register to attend the chat no later than March 23 at 3:00 p.m.: https://forms.office.com/r/JyJbS30w89 . We will send you the meeting link once you have registered.

Also, if you would like to lead future Equity Chats or have topics in mind, please reach out to Kimberly Sullivan at Kimberly.Sullivan@hcps.org.

National Board Scholarship Applications Now Available

The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) seeks to elevate the status, voice, and role of accomplished teachers in shaping a true profession. Through a rigorous certification process, teachers may achieve certification in 26 areas, which represent all content areas. HCPS is pleased to announce that the National Board scholarship application window has opened. The scholarship funds will cover most of the cost of the certification process. The only cost to teachers will be a $75 processing fee for each year they attempt to certify. Click here to apply for the National Board Scholarship Harford County Public Schools - TalentEd Hire (tedk12.com). All applications are due by April 14, 2022.

Questions regarding this information should be directed to HCPS.NationalBoard@hcps.org

Would you like to become a National Board Certified Teacher? Interested in more information for the 2022/23 school year or to register for an informational session? Please complete this form.

Voluntary Transfer Requests

HCEA represented employees and inclusion helpers (HCEA-ESP represented employees) who wish to be considered for a voluntary transfer must submit their request online prior to the deadline date stated in the applicable negotiated agreement. The Voluntary Transfer Request site may be accessed on the following SharePoint link: Staff Management Department. Each subject and/or position requested must be submitted separately. It is important to note that the Voluntary Transfer Request site is only accessible from a HCPS device connected to the HCPS network. Please note that only online requests completed on the voluntary transfer request site will be accepted.

Transfer requests are accepted on a year-round basis. Although transfers are accepted on a year-round basis, decisions will be based on the existing vacancy/transfer timeline. To review the 2021-2022 SY Employment Timeline, please click on the following SharePoint link: Staff Management Department.

NewPlease note the following programs are being added for the 2022-2023 SY:

  • STRIVE at Abingdon Elementary School
  • Classroom Support Program at Church Creek Elementary School
  • Early Learners Program at Meadowvale Elementary School

NewBlueprint Career Ladder Low Performing Schools & NBCT:

Under the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future Legislation, there is an element of the Career Ladder which incentivizes teachers who have National Board Certification to apply for positions at “low-performing schools.” This designation is defined by MSDE and must include schools identified as a 1-star or a 2-star school in 2 of the 3 most recently available years of the Accountability System. The designation also includes some local flexibility, where schools can be included if they are in the bottom 10% of schools in their Elementary/Middle or High schools.

NBCT teacher salary increases associated with the career ladder include the following:

  1. A Nationally Board-Certified Teacher currently working in an approved position as determined by MSDE will receive the NBCT salary increase of $10,000. (previously $2,000 per year). The $10,000 salary increase takes effect for the 2022-2023 school year.
  2. A Nationally Board-Certified Teacher teaching at a Blueprint Career Ladder Low Performing School will receive an additional salary increase of $7,000 and the increase continues as long as the teacher is teaching at the school, even if the school ceases to be low performing.

    For the 2022-2023 school year, the following schools will be designated as a Blueprint Career Ladder Low Performing School and are eligible for the additional $7,000 in compensation in relation to the Career Ladder salary increases:

    - Aberdeen Middle School
    - Edgewood High School
    - Edgewood Middle School
    - Magnolia Elementary School
    - Magnolia Middle School

Individuals holding NBCT who are already working in one of these schools will receive the $10,000 salary increase (effective 2022-2023 school year) and the additional $7,000 salary increase for working in an identified low performing school. Individuals holding NBCT who request a voluntary transfer into one of these identified schools and who are selected to fill a known vacancy will also receive the additional $7,000 salary increase.

Current NBCT salary eligibility as defined by MSDE is as follows: Teachers eligible for the mandated salary increases provided under the Blueprint include only "a certified public-school employee who is primarily responsible for and accountable for teaching the students in the class" (Md. Code Ann., Ed. Art. § 6-1001). The law clarifies that ‘teacher’ does not include: curriculum specialists, instructional aides, attendance personnel, psychologists, social workers, clerical personnel, an individual with a resident teacher certificate, or an individual with a certificate for career professionals" (Md. Code Ann., Ed. Art. § 6-1001).

This language continues to be a topic of discussion between MSDE and all of the Maryland LEAs. Should any changes to eligibility be made, we will communicate this information with the HCPS community.

All Other HCEA-ESP Represented Employees

For all other HCEA-ESP represented positions, applications, including transfers, must be done through the online application process. All positions within the unit, which offer promotional and transfer opportunities, will be posted for at least one week prior to the close of the application deadline. You must apply online for consideration.

Questions regarding voluntary transfer information should be directed to Joanna Karolenko, in Human Resources, at Joanna.Karolenko@hcps.org or 410-588-5238.

Questions regarding information related to NBCT should be directed to Aretha Young, in Human Resources, at Aretha.Young@hcps.org or 410-588-5258.

Calling all support staff and substitutes! Do You Want to Be a Teacher?

Has your experience in a school inspired you to become a teacher? Not sure of your next step?

An informational session will be held on TEAMS on Monday, March 28, from 4:00 to 4:45 p.m. Attend this session to hear about the options of the GET More Program (for current support staff) and conditional teacher certification.

Members of the Human Resources Team will explain the process and supports provided to our conditionally certified teachers and to those in our GET More Program.

We love to grow our own teachers, so we hope you decide to shine with us!

There is no need to pre-register for this session!

Click here to join the meeting

For additional information about the informational session, please contact Shannon Hagan at Shannon.Hagan@hcps.org or by calling 410-588-5238.

GET More Program Updates

We have some exciting news regarding The Growing Exceptional Teachers More (GET More) Program. The program provides tuition reimbursement equivalent of the negotiated tuition reimbursement rate for instructional staff (currently $300 per graduate credit hour) for employees who are represented by HCEA-ESP or AFSCME. The purpose of this tuition reimbursement assistance is to allow program participants to complete a teacher certification program in a high needs area of teacher education, with the ultimate goal of receiving their teacher certification and returning to work as a teacher in HCPS.

NEW - We have made a recent update to the program that now allows participants in the program to be eligible to receive up to 12 weeks of paid internship when meeting specified criteria. The GET More program is open to employees who have been employed with HCPS for one or more years of service with HCPS. More information is available by clicking the provided link: GET More Program Application.

For additional information about the GET More program, please contact Shannon Hagan at Shannon.Hagan@hcps.org or by calling 410-588-5238.

HCPS Health Challenge, Presented by QuaranTeam 5

The QuaranTeam 5 is challenging you to participate in activities to support staying fit - both mentally and physically. Click here to see the challenges! When you participate in any challenge, submit a photo or screenshot here to enter to win a prize. The first 50 teachers to participate will receive the book, 180 Days of Self Care for Busy Educators! The book guides readers through 36 weeks of self-care to improve and enhance their lives through mindful strategies and techniques. Because this book is geared specifically for educators, the weekly ideas correlate with weeks in a school year! Prioritize your health and wellness with the help of these tools and practices. Some books have already been claimed by our participating teachers. Teachers act now: Less than 15 books remain! Two lucky winners will receive a Nutri Ninja Pro Single Serve Blender, and one winner will receive a CareFirst gift package!

You can also share your commitment to health using the hashtag #HCPSHealth on social media. Some HCPS employees are already participating! The QuaranTeam 5 would like to give a special shout-out to our 2022 Teacher of the Year finalists for participating in this challenge and prioritizing their physical and mental health! Check out some of our recent participants – Cybil Rohner, Ashley Gereli, Elizabeth Nemeth, Rebecca Gault, Anthony Bunger, Sarah Edler, and Elizabeth McMahon!

The deadline to participate is fast approaching! Submit your photos or screenshots to enter to win a prize by Thursday, March 31, 2022! Winners will be announced in the HCPS 411 Update on Thursday, April 7, 2022.

Professional Development Announcements

McDaniel College – Open House

Learn more about McDaniel's Graduate Programs for Educators. They offer more than 27 master and post-bachelor certificate programs, which serve over 1,300 students. Their faculty are highly-experienced practitioners, and most of their programs are delivered in an online, 8-week model eliminating travel time and offering flexibility to focus on one course at a time while keeping an accelerated pace to program completion. You will find their tuition to be very competitive when comparing tuition and fees with no hidden per credit fees. McDaniel's administrative fee is $100 per semester, no matter the number of credits a student is taking. Please see this flier for information about an upcoming open house on March 23, 2022.

Summer Program Positions

Applications are being accepted for Summer Programs. Please note that current employees should use the designated internal application.

To access an employment application, please visit the Current Vacancies section of the HCPS website at www.hcps.org found under the About Us banner or click here. Summer Program Employment Information can also be accessed on the HCPS website under the About Us banner. Select Current Vacancies/Summer Program.

The following positions are available:

  • Audiologist
  • Braille Transcriber
  • Inclusion Helper
  • Interpreter
  • Occupational Therapist
  • Paraeducator
  • School Counselor
  • School Nurse
  • Speech Language Pathologist
  • Summer Swim Instructor
  • Summer Swim Site Coordinator
  • Teacher

The following programs are being offered:

  • Special Education Infants & Toddlers
  • Special Education ESY Elementary & Early Interventions Programs
  • Special Education ESY Secondary
  • Special Education ESY John Archer
  • Special Education Child Find Test Center
  • Elementary Summer School Learning Program for Mathematics and Reading – Pre-K through grade 5
  • Middle School Summer Learning Program for Mathematics and Language Arts
  • High School Summer Learning Program for Mathematics, English, Science, and Social Studies
  • High School Physical Education Summer Learning Program
  • Summer Swim Program

Summer Academic Tutoring

The Academic Tutoring Program will be running July 5 – July 30, 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 by May 11, 2022: https://forms.office.com/r/4CrAzKzGYP.

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.

BurnAlong Virtual Wellness: Check Out These Trending Classes

Here are some of the top classes other at Harford County Public Schools enjoyed in February. Take a short wellness break, and try a class today!

Are you looking to track a wellness habit or continue a program before the end of the month? Log in to BurnAlong and keep your wellness progress going.

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.

CareFirst Members: Will You Find the Golden Ticket?

Beginning February 1 through April 30, all CareFirst Members registered for their Well-being Platform powered by Sharecare will be eligible for the Golden Ticket!

What is the Golden Ticket Promotion? Every month, 60 randomly selected members will have a Golden Ticket image on their Well-being platform timeline. Lucky winners will each receive a $25 Visa® Virtual Gift Card! To claim your prize, you must find the Golden Ticket on your Sharecare timeline located in the CareFirst ShareCare app and click the "Claim Your Prize" button.

Ready to win? Follow these steps to get started!

1. Register or log in to your Sharecare Account! Click here to access your Sharecare Account.

2. Check your timeline daily to see if a Golden Ticket image appears.

3. If you see the image, follow the prompts to claim your prize!

CareFirst Wellness Announcements

March is National Nutrition Month

This month is all about making informed food choices and creating healthy eating habits that will help increase your overall quality of life. As Hippocrates once said, "Let food be thy medicine" – a sentiment which still rings true today! Our diet's nutrients provide the fuel we need to get through our busy days. To learn more and view the recipe of the month, Healthy Omelet Makeover, click here to view CareFirst's March Wellness Newsletter.

CareFirst/ShareCare Monthly Challenge: March Healthy Plate Challenge

March 1 – March 31

Many people know that nutrition is essential to help you maintain a healthy weight. But there are many other benefits to good nutrition, including reducing the risk of heart disease, delaying the effects of gaining, and maintaining a healthy immune system. Join the challenge in March and prioritize your nutritious choices to improve your well-being.

Click here to learn more about this challenge and how to participate.

CareFirst March Health Awareness Dates:

  • March 2022: Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month- Do you know how to prevent Colorectal Cancer? Take this quick quiz from the CDC and test your knowledge! Colorectal Cancer Quiz | CDC
  • March 22, 2022: National Diabetes Alert Day- Observed annually on the fourth Tuesday in March, Diabetes Alert Day is a "wake-up call" that focuses on the seriousness of diabetes and the importance of understanding your risk. This quick and simple Diabetes Risk Test will help determine if you or a loved one are at risk for type 2 diabetes.

EAP Webinar: Keeping Engaged and Preventing Burnout

Presented by KEPRO Employee Assistance Program

The March KEPRO EAP resources are here. As we enter the third year of the pandemic, it is no surprise that many are experiencing heightened stress levels. Even though many things are happening beyond your control, there are still some steps to take to help reduce stress. This session will help you learn how to get around burnout, prevent it, and keep yourself engaged in your work and personal life. Click here to learn more.

Date: Available on demand beginning March 17, 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.

Shout Outs!

"I’d like to give a warm and appreciative shout out to the COVID testing liaisons for our afterschool testing program: Mary Grandea (FAHS), Kenya Davis (ABHS), Ann O’Donnell (NHMS), Rachel Sellman (CMHS), Connie Forster (BAHS), Lauren Hoover (HTHS), Elizabeth Navin (PMHS), Sonya Janouris (HDHS), Madonna Thomas (JOHS), and Stephen Ross (EDHS). They each exhibited professionalism, organization, problem solving, and leadership throughout this year and I am grateful for their contributions."

–Katie Ridgway, Director of Strategic Initiatives

"Shout out to Fatima Peterson, Patterson Mill High School music department chair, for her extreme dedication to not only her students but her co-workers. Fatima is one of the most passionate teachers I’ve ever met. She goes above and beyond in everything she does. Dividing her time equally so that she can balance all of her responsibilities with her love for inspiring student musicians before and after school. The best part about Fatima is that her energy and laugh is contagious and brightens up the music and art departments at Patterson Mill."

–Alison Filicko, Art Educator, Patterson Mill High School

"I'd like to give a shout out to Katie Brautigan, the lead secretary at Edgewood Middle School. Ms. Brautigan works tirelessly to support the front office staff, to support administrators, and to support the entire EMS staff. Ms. Brautigan often steps up to help others, without ever being asked to do so. Ms. Brautigan is dependable, reliable, and incredibly efficient. She is someone who consistently goes above and beyond to keep our school moving forward. Katie, EMS is so lucky to have you!"

–Sarah Lumbard, Assistant Principal, Edgewood Middle School

"This shout out goes to Mary Kahoe, Title I Early Childhood Specialist, WPOPR, for the meaningful presentation that she prepared for FGES! Staff benefited from her knowledge, compilation of resources, and real-life examples shared during our professional learning time together this week. Mary's willingness to engage in collaboration speaks to her dedication to all students in HCPS. Thank you, Mary!"

–Mary Ann Clinton, Principal, Fountain Green Elementary School

Welcome to HCPS!

Please join us in welcoming the following new hires to the HCPS family:

  • Conswella Baker, Inclusion Helper, Hall's Cross Roads Elementary School
  • DaJuan Felder, Custodian I - Shift 2, Fallston Middle School
  • Brendan McCarter, Custodian I - Shift 2, North Harford Middle School
  • Brandon Montgomery, Transportation Coordinator, Transportation Department
  • Mateo Munoz, Custodian I - Shift 2, Havre de Grace High School
  • Sherri Watkins, Custodian I - Shift 2, North Harford Middle School
  • Deborah Rowell, Food & Nutrition Services Worker, Harford Technical 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.