HCPS 411 Update

October 1, 2020

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.

Please take a moment to thank our phenomenal HCPS principals this month!

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Support for Setting up the Classroom for Hybrid Teaching and Learning

Please find linked the “Hybrid Teaching and Learning Scenarios” technology set up reference document. The purpose of this document is to provide guidance as staff prepare classrooms and technology to support the return to in-person teaching and learning. This document provides directions for the technology set up of three possible teaching scenarios. These scenarios are not all inclusive and may be personalized to be meet the needs of learners, teaching style and available technology.

Employee Health Guidelines Related to COVID-19: Updated Information as of September 30, 2020

(Content changes are in bold italics; previous update was August 13, 2020.)

Guidance about COVID-19 is rapidly evolving; updates will be provided as needed.

All staff are expected to notify their supervisor as soon as they are made aware that they have tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19 or that they have been exposed to a person who is confirmed to have COVID-19. Employees must follow the guidance of healthcare providers, state

( https://coronavirus.maryland.gov/ ),and local ( https://harfordcountyhealth.com/ ) health departments.

Employees should follow all current State of Maryland state advisories including travel, if any are in effect at the time of travel. ( https://governor.maryland.gov/ ).

Reminder: All employees must sign in each time they enter an HCPS building.

Employees must review all assigned and required on-line training including “All Staff COVID-19 Safety Review” https://hcps-md.safeschools.com/training/home


  • It is a requirement that every employee complete a self-check, including temperature, before arriving to work.
  • If an employee has any COVID-19 symptoms including fever (100° F or greater) or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, or diarrhea, the employee should stay home, notify their supervisor, and call their doctor.
  • If the employee becomes sick during the day, they must inform their supervisor and go home immediately. HCPS communication processes will be enacted, including alerting HR and determining additional precautionary steps for the worksite.
  • Employees cannot return to work until the criteria to discontinue home isolation are met, in consultation with healthcare providers and state and local health departments.

Social Distancing and Masks:

All employees must practice social distancing and should maintain 6 feet between employees as work duties permit.

  • An employee’s mask must cover the nose and mouth. Masks are not a substitute for social distancing.
  • If you are alone in your private office/workspace, it is not necessary to wear a mask.
  • If you leave your desk to walk into an area where you may encounter another person, you must wear a mask. If a person comes into your office area and there is less than 6 feet, all parties must always have their masks on.
  • If you work in an area that interfaces with the public, masks must always be worn.
  • When in doubt, wear a mask. A cloth mask has been made available for every employee.
  • Employees must disinfect their office space after working without a mask.

Cleaning Guidelines:

  • Cleaning occurs at regular intervals during the day.
  • Employees may assist by disinfecting their personal areas and other communal areas such as door handles, shared equipment, communal work surfaces.
  • Employees must disinfect their office space after working without a mask.

Questions regarding employee benefits related to COVID-19, including leave, may be directed to Joanna.Hewitt@hcps.org or Lisa.Patterson@hcps.org.

Any questions pertaining to this memo may be directed to Kathy DeHoff, Medical Case Manager in Human Resources, at Kathleen.Dehoff@hcps.org.

Wait...How Do I Do That?!

"Wait...How do I do that"- Digital Learning Grab Bag Edition.

CIA Frequently Asked Questions Updates

The Office of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment continues to update the Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment Frequently Asked Questions document as information becomes available due to the needs of students and staff. The FAQ document is posted Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment Frequently Asked Questions.pdf. As a reminder, the FAQ document contains information for principals and teachers relating to relevant teaching and learning topics. You will notice updates are listed by date and there are links embedded to allow for ease of use to see the most current information. Updates for October 1 include teacher interest form for Academic Tutoring program, the next itslearning curriculum release and pacing information, and upcoming professional learning opportunities.

Academic Tutoring

The Academic Tutoring program will resume this fall to provide students with academic and instructional supports throughout second quarter. The Academic Tutoring Coordinators, Catherine Jones and Kelly Mattingly, are working with the Office of Accountability to target our students most in need, using an equity lens. Students will receive tutoring services in a virtual, individual or small group setting with HCPS teachers and paraeducators. If you are interested in employment as a tutor, please complete the survey here by October 8. Teachers will be compensated for tutoring at the 75% rate for time worked outside of the duty day. Paraeducators will be compensated at their hourly rate. Upon completion of the survey to indicate your interest, the Academic Tutoring Coordinators will send communication regarding Orientation and tutor duties and responsibilities. With questions or concerns, please contact Academic.Tutoring@hcps.org.

HCPS Student Mental Health Council is Seeking New Members

The HCPS Student Mental Health Council (SMHC) is seeking new members! The mission of the SMHC is to reduce the stigma that surrounds the topic of mental health. Members intend to do this by having open and honest discussion about mental health through student advocacy and by planning initiatives that educate our school community. The council meets at least once monthly. To be considered, students must have a 2.0 GPA or better, have a desire to advocate for other students, and have a passion for mental health.

If you know a student who would be interested in applying, please direct them to the following link:

SMHC Application

Please direct any questions to HCPS Mental Health Specialist Christina Alton at Christina.Alton@hcps.org.

Parent Academy Real Talk: Mental Health Supports

Join us on October 13 at 5:00 p.m. for a very important Parent Academy event raising awareness about mental health supports in our community. Mental health experts will share information for parents about how to access resources to help themselves and their children during the COVID-19 crisis and beyond. Additionally, information about a showing of the movie, "Angst", will be shared. Due to the sensitive nature of this topic, please submit your mental health questions by October 10 at 4:00 p.m. to mentalhealthsupport@hcps.org. Registration is required to participate in the event; mark your calendar and stay tuned...link to register is coming soon!

HCPS Parent Academy Survey

The Harford County Public Schools (HCPS) Parent Academy is a collaboration between educators and community partners that provides workshops, parenting courses, and activities designed to empower parents with the resources needed to prepare all students for success. HCPS will continue to host Parent Academy events and opportunities to support learning during this school year.

In order to design workshops that meet the needs of parents and caregivers, please take a moment to complete this survey to indicate which topics you are most interested in learning more about. Thank you for your time and feedback.

Professional Development Announcement

American College of Education (ACE) - District Partner Webinar

Thursday, October 8, 2020

6:00 p.m. ET

Learn more about available district grants, programs offered, affordability, upcoming start dates and next steps to enroll.

Register below to find out how ACE is here to get you there!

Unable to attend? Please register and a link of the recorded session will be sent to view at your convenience.

SafeSchools Courses: All Staff

The Office of Risk Management has assigned two additional SafeSchools courses to staff that will be effective in time for Friday’s professional development window as follows:

  • “All Staff COVID-19 Safety Review” due October 12, 2020
  • “Health Emergencies: Overview” due October 19, 2020

Log onto SafeSchools using your HCPS network credentials: https://hcps-md.safeschools.com/training/home.

Maryland State Retirement and Pension System Announcements

Personal Statement of Benefits are Posted

The Maryland State Retirement and Pension System (MSRPS) no longer provides members with printed copies of their Personal State of Benefits each year. This document can now be accessed through member’s accounts available through the new mySRPS portal.

If you have not registered for a member account through the new mySRPS portal, you must first request a registration code by visiting https://mysrpsusers.sra.maryland.gov/GetEnrollment. Once you receive your registration code, you will be able to set up your user account by visiting https://mysrpsusers.sra.maryland.gov/home/register and following the onscreen prompts. If you experience issues throughout this process, please contact MSRPS at (410) 625-5555.

If you cannot access your mySRPS account and would like to have a paper copy of your Personal Statement of Benefits mailed to your home, you may call the Maryland State Retirement and Pension System at (410) 625-3662 to request a copy.

Beneficiary Changes Now Made Online

Through their new mySRPS portal, members of the Maryland State Retirement and Pension System (MSRPS) can now update their beneficiaries online. Notarized paper forms will no longer be required by the State when changing your beneficiary designation(s).

To do so, you will need to log into your member portal at mysrps.sra.maryland.gov and click on the link to the left, Beneficiary Information. You can view your beneficiaries and click on the red Update button to change your beneficiary designation(s). Please be sure to read the instructions on changing your beneficiary information provided on the web page and electronically sign your beneficiary designation form.

If you have not registered for a member account through the new mySRPS portal, you must first request a registration code by visiting https://mysrpsusers.sra.maryland.gov/GetEnrollment. Once you receive your registration code, you will be able to set up your user account by visiting https://mysrpsusers.sra.maryland.gov/home/register and following the onscreen prompts. If you experience issues throughout this process, please contact MSRPS at (410) 625-5555.

Harford County Public Schools and Maryland State Retirement and Pension System Pre-Retirement Webinar

Through the Maryland State Retirement Agency and the Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC), Harford County Public Schools announce a pre-retirement webinar for HCPS employees and their spouses. This webinar provides vital retirement information to all members who are within eight (8) years of retirement, whether it is normal service or early retirement. Discussion topics include:

  • HCPS Retiree Benefits
  • State Retirement Pension Benefits
  • Legal Consideration
  • Social Security Benefits
  • Financial Planning

This webinar is scheduled for Saturday, October 3, 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.


1. Click to visit the website for Pre-Retirement Planning Registration.

2. Click the Select button next to the course titled Pre-Retirement Webinar, towards the bottom of the screen, and you will advance to the next screen.

3. Click Register for Selected Courses towards the top of the screen.

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

5. 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 and let the call center register you for course number CRN33758.

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. You will receive instructions on how to join the webinar two days before the event.

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

Drive-thru Flu Shot Clinic

Get Your Flu Shot Without Leaving Your Car!

HCPS, in partnership with CVS, will be hosting a drive-thru flu shot clinic. Events will be held on various days in school parking lots throughout the county. Employees and their families (ages 9+) are welcome to attend an event to receive their flu shot.

Pre-registration is preferred, but not required. To register, click on the school location and date you wish to attend.

CVS representatives will be wearing masks and proper PPE. Please be sure to bring your insurance card and identification with you. Flu shots will be billed to your insurance*.

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

*HCPS medical plans cover flu shots at 100% with no member liability.

+Events will be held at the school location listed per the selected link although the provided address is for Central Office.

Shout Out!

"Shout Out to Pam Boschert and Wanda Sampson, the best school secretaries ever!! They work so hard and are so amazingly sweet to everyone!! They always handle everything with kindness and our students all love them too."

-Rachel Otremba, John Archer School

"Huge thank you to the BAMS custodial staff. We appreciate your diligence and the exceptional care you've given our school since the beginning of the pandemic. What a great group of team players! You are so appreciated!"

-Michelle Taylor, School Nurse, Bel Air Middle 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.