HCPS 411 Update

June 9, 2022

COVID-19 Updates

Good to Great Viking Pride

We hope you’ve enjoyed learning some tips and tricks to improve your customer service with our HCPS staff. To cap off our year, listen to April Kenney from Magnolia Middle School as she shares some of her story of why customer service matters. Be inspired by clicking below.
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Lucy Calkins Units of Study Feedback

The Office of Accountability, in conjunction with the Office of Reading, English, and Language Arts, is seeking input from teachers, teacher specialists, literacy leaders, and instructional support staff members who have been directly involved with implementing the Lucy Calkins Units of Study in phonics or reading. The surveys are completely optional and should take less than ten minutes to complete.


Survey for grades K-2


Survey for grades 3-5


Thank you for taking the time to provide your reflection from the past year.

Questions regarding this information may be directed to Phillip Snyder, Supervisor of Accountability, at 410-588-5292.

Parent Academy Real Talk: The Finance Office of Business Services

Parents/caretakers and other community stakeholders often ask how HCPS manages their taxpayer dollars and the school system’s budget. In this latest episode of Real Talk, hear directly from Assistant Superintendent of Business Services Deborah Judd and Director of Finance Jay Staab about how our award-winning Finance Office works behind the scenes as part of the HCPS financial enterprise system, providing support to schools and overseeing payroll, accounts payable, and grants. This team prepares fiscal information for the Superintendent, Board of Education, schools, offices, county, and state fiscal authorities, and the public related to the actual financial performance of the system, as well as manages the external audit to produce the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report.

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Professional Development Announcements

Regional Training Center (RTC)/La Salle Fall 2022 Courses

RTC will be offering off-campus and virtual classroom for the fall. Click here for more information and schedule.


Visit theRTC.net to browse courses and register.

It's Back! Save the Date for the 2022 End of Summer Fest!

We are excited to announce that HCPS is once again partnering with the Aberdeen IronBirds to host the End of Summer Fest at Leidos Field at Ripken Stadium during the Thursday, August 25, 7:05 p.m. home game (IronBirds vs. Wilmington Blue Rocks). The purpose of this event is to end summer in a fun way and celebrate the beginning of a new school year with the families in our community. Many community partners will be onsite and there will be fun activities for kids. Mark your calendar now; more information about the event and a link to purchase discounted tickets will be shared on the HCPS website and HCPS and Parent Academy Facebook pages during the summer. We hope to see you there!

Congratulations to Rebecca Gault of Bel Air High School

Congratulations to Rebecca Gault, 9th grade English teacher at Bel Air High School (and Teacher of the Year finalist!), who is a recipient of one of three Education Ambassador Awards from the Pegasus Springs Education Collective (PSEC).


PSEC shared the following: "Dr. Gault was selected for this honor because she is an educator who inspires students and has the creativity and perseverance to make a transformational difference in the future of education. Such educators are continuous learners and role models for the education profession.


Dr. Gault is an innovator with her instructional practices and is excited to use this award to further elevate the profession of teaching."


Take a moment to read the entire press release to learn more about Dr. Gault's "all expenses paid" trip to Disney World!

Diversity 365 - June

Join us as we continue to shine the light on how HCPS celebrates Diversity throughout the year. Each month, we will highlight a cultural/organizational holiday. All you have to do is take a picture or two and share the wonderful things your school or office is doing to celebrate the contributions we all make to HCPS.


This month, we are celebrating:


  • Pride Month
  • Caribbean American Heritage
  • Juneteenth


Please email your celebration pictures and a brief write up regarding the event to Sherron Foster-Moore, Diversity Retention & Recruitment Specialist, at Sherron.Fostermoore@hcps.org by Thursday, June 16.


This month’s submissions will be shared in the July 7 edition of the HCPS 411 Update.

Diversity 365 Celebrations - May

Edgewood Middle School

Melissa Williams, Principal

Edgewood Middle School has made it their mission to provide a safe and inclusive environment that encourages joy in learning. EMS empowers members to advocate for social justice, celebrate diversity and engage in lifelong learning. A part of this commitment is celebrating cultures from around the world. Celebrations are planned by the school's Multicultural and Equity committee. For this year's Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month the entire school participated in an immersive experience bringing the four regions to life. Students were able to tour and discuss differences and similarities among cultures. Some students even shared their passports and discussed their travels around the world.


Special thanks to: Taryn Cash, George Kasnic & Nicole Gardner

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EAP Webinar: Finding Yourself Through Nature

Presented by KEPRO Employee Assistance Program

The June KEPRO EAP resources are here. Get out this summer and explore nature. In this session, you will discover the importance of being outside and find your own way to enjoy nature and increase your wellbeing. Click here to learn more.


Date: Available on demand beginning June 21, 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.

What’s New on BurnAlong

Let’s head outside in June! Join the June BurnAlong Challenge

June is National Outdoors Month, so take BurnAlong on the go with you this summer! Join the challenge beginning on June 16 to participate in their Wellness Habits Challenge. From June 16 to June 30, track a wellness habit through your account on the BurnAlong app or your desktop. If going outside isn’t your thing, no big deal! Commit to another wellness habit for 15 days, such as drinking water. Click here to update your wellness habits.


BurnAlong Coaching Services

BurnAlong Coaches can help individuals with developing a routine no matter where you are starting from, starting a new BurnAlong category, connecting you with coaches and instructors to best meet your needs, set and track your goals and wellness habits, and assist you with finding the perfect program to achieve your health, wellness, and fitness goals. To get started with a BurnAlong Coach today, email coach@burnalong.com.


Healthy Mind, Healthy Life

If you need to have some more reasons to head outdoors, BurnAlong has curated some compelling benefits, ideas to incorporate the outdoors into your workday, and some suggested classes to take with you while you roam. For more information, click here.


On the Road this Summer?

You can take BurnAlong with you! Download the app and create an account if you have not done so already. BurnAlong has curated classes that you can take from hotel rooms with limited time and depending on your mood.


What is BurnAlong?

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 Wellness Announcement: Men’s Health Month

June is Men’s Health Month

This national health observance is all about encouraging boys, men, and their families to make healthy living decisions such as getting regular screenings, eating health, and exercising. Another important June health observance is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness month. To learn more, click here to view CareFirst’s June Wellness Newsletter.


June Wellness-Being Awareness Dates

  • June 5: National Cancer Survivor’s Day
  • June 13-19: Men’s Health Week
  • June 17: Wear Blue to Show Your Support for Men’s Health


June Recipe of the Month: Sirloin Steaks with Mushroom Sauce

Click here to learn more and try this delicious dish

CareFirst Wellness Announcement: UV Safety Awareness Next Month

July is UV Safety Awareness Month

While the sun’s rays boost Vitamin D, overexposure to the sun can cause significant risks. As we gear up for summer vacations and outdoor activities, it is essential to stay mindful of the short- and long-term effects exposure to UV rays can cause and how we can protect our skin during exposure. To learn more, click here to view CareFirst’s July Wellness Newsletter.


Click here to learn more about the American Cancer Society’s tips for preventing skin cancer.


July Recipe of the Month: Mixed Lettuce Salad with Cucumber Herb Vinaigrette

Click here to learn more and try this delicious dish.

Notice: CareFirst Customer Service Hours of Closure

On Monday, June 20, and Thursday, June 23, from 8:00 to 11:00 a.m., CareFirst Customer Service will be unavailable. The entire CareFirst team will be participating in a Corporate meeting on these dates and times. There will not be the option for members to leave a message, but they will be advised to call back when their service center reopens after 11:00 a.m. CareFirst thanks you for your understanding during this time.

Shout Outs!

"We would like to extend a sincere thank you to Connie Charitonuk from Youth's Benefit Elementary School for taking on a virtual pre-algebra class with 5th graders from various schools. All year long, Ms. Charitonuk met with these students every day to provide a challenging math environment and enabled them to advance beyond the 5th grade curriculum. Your hard work and dedication is very much appreciated!"

-Cindy Lippencott, GT Resource Teacher, Emmorton Elementary

-Karen Benson, GT Resource Teacher, William S. James Elementary

Welcome to HCPS!

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


  • Jeleal Bowman, Custodian II - Shift 1, William Paca/Old Post Road Elementary School
  • Enid Rosa-Cabrera, Food and Nutrition Services Worker, Aberdeen High School
  • Lisa Bauer, School Bus Attendant, Transportation Department
  • Raetta Adkins, School Bus Attendant, Transportation Department
  • Terry Tabor, Interpreter, Havre de Grace 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.