HCPS 411 Update

November 19, 2020

A Message From Superintendent Bulson

Dear HCPS Family,

As we enter the season of gratitude, I want to take pause and express my heartfelt appreciation to each of you who collectively make up our HCPS Family.

Every one of our more than 5,000 employees has worked harder these past nine months than ever before to continue to deliver an exceptional education for our community’s children, regardless of the rapidly changing and often challenging circumstances. I know it has not been easy during this pandemic, and I am proud of our school system staff for demonstrating their steadfast commitment to providing the best for our students.

To our school-based administrators and teachers: I’ve seen the passion and dedication that you bring to your work each and every day. The love you have for the students we serve is evident through your efforts and is truly inspiring. Without you, there would be no school – in-person or online – and I appreciate all that you do.

I would also like to give a Shout Out to the HCPS departments that have been crucial in our operation during this unprecedented time:

  • Education Services: thank you for coordinating with our school-based staff to provide guidance and support for administrators, teachers, and support staff as they navigate creating a safe learning environment for our students.
  • Facilities: thank you for taking pride in cleaning and disinfecting our buildings, ensuring a safe place for our staff and students.
  • Food and Nutrition: thank you for lovingly preparing and serving meals for our students. More than 1.3 million meals have been distributed in our community since March to ensure no child is hungry.
  • Human Resources: thank you for ensuring our schools and offices remain staffed.
  • Senior Staff: thank you for your tireless leadership and the countless hours you put in to making sure our students are safe, healthy, and learning.
  • Student Services: thank you for caring for students’ physical and social-emotional health by continuously providing support through school counselors, connecting those in critical need to local mental health organizations, and ensuring our special education students are a priority.
  • Support Staff: thank you for serving on the frontline in the main offices, in our Learning Support Centers, or behind the scenes in the Central Office.
  • Technology: thank you for enhancing our technology infrastructure and for the efforts made to ensure each student has access to a device and Internet.
  • Transportation: thank you for safely transporting students to and from our schools, when we could.
  • A special note of thanks to Mary Nasuta, Supervisor of Health Services, for her coordination with outside health organizations and for her leadership to our school nurses; and to Katie Ridgway, Risk Manager, for her focus on safety measures for staff members. These two individuals have never faltered in their efforts keep our staff and students healthy.

The list goes on. But no matter what individual role you play or what department you are a part of, I humbly say thank YOU. I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday and a restful break; you deserve it. I look forward to continuing our great work, #HCPStogether.


Sean Bulson, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools

2020-2021 Calendar Update: School System Closure December 24 - January 1

Superintendent Bulson has announced that schools and offices will be closed from Thursday, December 24, 2020 through Friday, January 1, 2021. The changes to note from previously published school calendars are the office closures on December 28, 29, and 30. Questions should be directed to the appropriate supervisor.

COVID-19 Checklist for Schools

In a collaborative effort with professionals in diverse job functions throughout HCPS, a tool has been developed for schools to utilize in their efforts for enacting and following COVID-19 Safety Protocols. This tool combines the various safety and health requirements that schools have been following regarding COVID-19 since we opened our doors this school year, and it allows schools to document their practices with their school safety and health teams. Any questions about this tool can be directed to Risk Management via Katie.Ridgway@hcps.org.

2021 HCPS Teacher of the Year - Nominate Someone Today!

The 2021 Teacher of the Year application is now available! This year will mark the 27th anniversary of the Harford County Public Schools’ Teacher of the Year banquet program. Harford County’s Teacher of the Year holds a prominent position as the county’s education spokesperson and is the county’s candidate for Maryland Teacher of the Year. Nominations may be self-submitted or submitted by administrators, colleagues, students, parents, or others.

Please take the time to nominate that special teacher in your life who is truly a shining star with HCPS and worthy of this honor. This award is not only an amazing experience for the winning teacher, but for his/her students and the entire school community.


If you or your teacher have any questions about the nomination process, completing the online application, or the Teacher of the Year program, please contact Christina Paquette in the Office of Communications and Family Outreach at Christina.Paquette@hcps.org.

HCPS 2021 Teacher of the Year Applications Available!

November's Mental Health Minute Presented by Jennifer Knoll

This year, the 2020 HCPS Teacher of the Year Finalists, dubbed the "QuaranTEAM 5," would like to shine a light on mental health issues and maintaining mental well-being. Our finalists will research ideas and consult with mental health professionals, in order to share helpful tips and strategies for building better mental health in our professional community. Each month, this information will be shared through a Mental Health Minute. Take a moment to watch the November issue of Mental Health Minute.

Monthly Minute with Jennifer Knoll

Upcoming Parent Academy Event: College Admission Process

The HCPS Parent Academy is proud to partner with the Alpha Kappa Alpha, Incorporated Xi Delta Omega Chapter to bring you this important event about the college admission process. Join us on November 30 at 6:00 p.m. via Zoom. This is open to all high school juniors and seniors and their families.

To register, click here:


To join the event on November 30:


Meeting ID: 890 1505 3428

Passcode: 189479

Announcing a NEW Website for our Lincoln Retirement Plan

LincolnFinancial.com/HCPS is the new retirement plan website for all employees. The new website provides employees with a one-stop shop for comprehensive plan information. Click here for a link on SharePoint to a flier introducing the new Lincoln retirement plan website, which includes a link to the new site. Take a moment to check it out today!

Professional Development Announcements

Spring CPD Courses

The Spring 2021 Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Course catalog is now available. Registration for these MSDE credit courses is available on HECTOR. Register early for the best course selection.

Course Selections

  • Education That is Multicultural in the Classroom of the 21st Century
  • Spanish for Communication I
  • Teacher Leadership: Developing Skills for Success
  • Authentic Learning in Science

Questions should be directed to Lori Gohlinghorst at Lori.Gohlinghorst@hcps.org or hcpsprofessionallearning@hcps.org, or by calling 410-273-5261.

KEPRO Employee Assistance Program

Family Resources: Caregiving and Parenting

Many families have had to adjust to new regulations and limitations of school, childcare, and eldercare provisions during the pandemic and added pressure from being confined in the same space for longer than usual. Balancing between our job's challenges and the demands of our personal lifestyle can be overwhelming at times. KEPRO's Employee Assistance Program provides solutions in finding cost-effective resources to provide relief when the balance is disrupted.

A KEPRO Work-Life Consultant will take the time to fully understand your needs and explore all of the options that may help restore balance in your life. Once this assessment is completed, local resources will be provided to you that match your requests. These are some of the areas a KEPRO Work-Life Consultant can assist with information and referrals on a variety of family matters, in:

Childcare and Parentings

  • Prenatal care
  • Daycare
  • Special needs services
  • Summer camps
  • Babysitting
  • Nanny searches


  • Assisted living facilities
  • In-home care
  • Transportation services
  • Adult daycare
  • Geriatric Care Management

KEPRO can be accessed 24 hours, 7 days a week:

Toll-Free Phone: 1-866-607-1522

Website: www.EAPHelplink.com

Company Code: HCPS

Provide Your Feedback on the Superintendent's Proposed Operating Budget

As Harford County Public Schools (HCPS) works on developing the Superintendent's Proposed Operating Budget for Fiscal Year 2022 (FY22), it is important to receive our community's input. Superintendent Bulson is seeking feedback on how you would rank the school system's priorities for the FY22 budget. With the goal of North Star (all HCPS students graduate with college experience or career licensure) in mind, please take a moment to participate in a brief survey to contribute your voice. HCPS will use the feedback it receives from this survey to help guide the formulation of the budget to best meet the needs of students, staff, and our community.

Input will be collected through 11:59 p.m. on November 20, 2020. Your responses to this survey will help us understand how future decisions on operating budget for FY22 can be improved. This is completely optional. Have comfort and confidence in knowing that your responses are reported anonymously. The survey will take approximately 2-3 minutes to complete.

Please click here to complete the survey now. You can also find the survey link at www.hcps.org/budget, as well as on HCPS Facebook and Twitter pages. Thank you for your time and participation.

Maryland State Retirement and Pension System Pre-Retirement Webinar

If you were not able to attend the October 3 HCPS pre-retirement webinar, the Maryland State Retirement and Pension System, through the Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC), is holding webinars for members who are within eight (8) years of retirement.

These webinars will cover the following topics:

  • The Maryland State Retirement and Pension System,
  • Legal Issues,
  • Social Security and Benefits, and
  • Financial Planning.

Webinars are scheduled for:

Saturday, November 21, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Thursday, December 17, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

To register:

1. Visit the website http://www.ccbcmd.edu/ceed-preretirement-county

2. Under the headline, How to Register, click the Register Online link.

3. Click the Select button next to the course titled "Pre-Retirement Webinar," towards the bottom of the screen.

4. Scroll back to the top of the screen to click on the button, Register for Selected Courses.

5. If you are not already logged in, you will be redirected to the login page.

a. If you have previously attended a Pre-Retirement Seminar or other class at CCBC, log in using your current username and password. Not sure what your username and password are? You can call CCBC at (443) 840-5059.

b. If this is your first Pre-Retirement Seminar, choose "New Account" on the right-hand side of the screen. Fill out your information (anything in red is required information) and choose Submit.

6. After you have registered for your seminar, choose "Finalize Selection" and print your confirmation. You should receive an email confirmation of your registration within three (3) business days.

As the Maryland State Retirement and Pension System, through CCBC, schedules more webinar dates, those dates will also be posted in the weekly HCPS 411 Update for interested individuals. If you are unable to attend an event but are interested in learning more, a shorter presentation about the Maryland State Retirement and Pension System is available on the Maryland State Retirement Agency website.

If you have any questions, please contact Elizabeth Miller, Coordinator of Benefits, at Elizabeth.Miller@hcps.org.

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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.