HCPS 411 Update

June 4, 2020

Lead with Love Campaign

As Dr. Bulson shared in his letter to the Harford County Public Schools community yesterday, we are committed to eliminating racism and discrimination in our school system. In HCPS, we must do a better job of confronting the history and experiences of our Black students, and we must be the catalyst for healing that will allow us to prevent future violence rather than just condemn it.


To affirm our commitment, Dr. Bulson initiated a #leadwithlove campaign to feature our messages about eliminating racism and discrimination. Our school leaders have begun crafting their video messages, and we invite all teachers and staff to post short videos, images, and messages, centered around the campaign theme, to their social media pages using the hashtag #leadwithlove.


Guidelines for Campaign Messages:


  • Short messages (2 minutes or less) can be powerful!
  • Be aware of backgrounds and surroundings in videos.
  • Remember that we represent our entire district.
  • Use the theme, "lead with love" as a starting point.


In addition, we are asking teachers and staff to encourage students to post positive messages to their social media pages as well using the hashtag #leadwithlove.


We want the HCPS community to know that we stand with them to eradicate hate by leading with love.

HCPS Calendar Update: June 19 Alternate Holiday Closing

The State Board of Education designated Tuesday, June 2, 2020, Primary Election Day, as a school day. As a result, all HCPS schools and Central Office locations were open to conduct business. In recognition of certain collective bargaining agreements specifying Primary and General Election Days as a holiday, HCPS has designated Friday, June 19, as the alternate holiday closing date for eligible 12-month employees. Questions regarding this information should be directed to Jeffrey Fradel, in Human Resources, at Jeff.Fradel@hcps.org or x5226

Four-day Work Week Summer 2020 Schedule Approved

The Summer 2020 four-day work week schedule has been finalized. The nine (9) week period will commence the week of June 22 and terminate at the end of the week of August 17. The linked document PROCEDURAL GUIDELINES Summer Hours 2020 details the work schedule options and provides guidance regarding plans and exceptions to the schedule. Questions regarding this information should be directed to Jean A. Mantegna, Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources, at Jean.Mantegna@hcps.org or x5226.
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Parent Academy Virtual Real Talk: Distance and Digital Learning During the COVID-19 Closure

During this virtual Parent Academy Real Talk segment, Dr. Martha Barwick, Coordinator of Instructional Technology, shares suggestions and resources for parents on how to support students’ distance and digital learning during the COVID-19 closure.
Parent Academy Virtual Real Talk: Distance and Digital Learning During the COVID-19 Closure.

Recorded Virtual Fitness for HCPS Employees

Attend a Fitness Class Right in Your Home!


HCPS is pleased to be able to offer the recording of the live virtual fitness classes through CareFirst throughout June. These programs will be available to ALL HCPS employees and are made possible using Wellness Funds from our CareFirst contract.


Were you unable to attend one of the live session earlier this week? Use the links below to access the recorded session.


Fitness Classes Available:


  • Click here for Abs, Core, and More: Strengthen core muscles, including abdominals and lower back.
  • Click here for Boot Camp: A fun and inspiring class designed to work all major muscle groups.
  • Click here for Pilates: This program provides muscle-sculpting, core-firming benefits.
  • Click here for Yoga: Offers a complete body workout through the ancient practice of yoga.


Questions? Email the Benefits Office at benefits@hcps.org.

Resources from KERPO, our Employee Assistance Program

KERPO, our Employee Assistance Program (EAP), is helping to keep our employees informed and provide tools to strengthen emotional resilience and preparedness during this turbulent time of the COVID pandemic. KEPRO has provided some helpful tip sheets for all HCPS employess:


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Instructional Technology Webinars

The Instructional Technology Team is hosting a series of webinars to support teachers in their use of technology. A schedule can be found on the Spring 2020 Professional Learning site. Webinar titles are listed on the linked calendar and, by clicking on a title, you will see a description as well as the Teams link to join the webinar. Webinars will be recorded, and videos shared to the Instructional Technology Professional Development SharePoint Site.

Shout Outs!

"A Shout Out to Martha Barwick and her Instructional Technology team: They offered a series of webinars for faulty and staff. During this time of great change, their webinars were timely, informative, classroom-ready, and thorough. Great job!!"

-Andrew Bleichfeld, Assistant Supervisor of Mathematics, Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment


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Congratulations, Debbie Fonash!


"I'd like to do a shout out to a special educator at North Harford Middle School. Her name is Debbie Fonash, and she works with the 7th-grade students. She is retiring this year and ending her 50-year career as a special educator during the COVID closure. Debbie has always put her students first. She gives them the compassion and patience above all else. I have seen her go out of her way to help her students in so many ways such as locker issues and difficulties with friends. Debbie has always greeted each day with a smile and a funny story about her family or something funny a student shared with her. She has always worked as a partner with the parents of her students and interacted with them in the most genuine way during IEP meetings. She has been a wonderful asset to our special education team and she will be missed. She deserves a great send-off from HCPS."

- Mia Healy, Speech-Language Pathologist, North Harford Middle School


"Debbie Fonash is retiring from North Harford Middle School after 50 years of teaching! She is an amazing and caring special educator. She has dedicated 50 years to teaching and has enjoyed helping students develop into more independence thinkers. She will be missed! We wish her the best in retirement."

-Sandra Waltemire, Special Education Teacher, North Harford Middle School


"Congratulations to Debbie Fonash for 50 years of teaching. We will miss you."

-Virginia Blevins, Paraeducator, North Harford Middle 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.