HCPS 411 Update

September 24, 2020

HCPS Return to In-Person Learning Plan Released

At the Board of Education of Harford County business meeting on Monday, September 21, 2020, Superintendent Bulson presented a plan to return students and staff to our schools. The Superintendent’s presentation is available to watch in its entirety on the Board stream/archive page. An introductory video was shared following the meeting and is linked below. A visual of the timeline for bringing staff and students back to our schools is also available.
HCPS Return to In-Person Learning Plan

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.

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HCPS Employee Face Mask Distribution

Face masks for every HCPS employee, generously donated by Freedom Federal Credit Union (FFCU), were delivered to all school and work locations in late July. If you have not received a face mask, please see your administrator or supervisor.

We understand that temporary assignments may have impacted the quantity of masks needed at some worksites. Administrators and supervisors who need additional masks should contact Lori Hatfield at Lori.Hatfield@hcps.org.

We thank FFCU for this gift and demonstration of appreciation for the work done by every HCPS employee as we continue to educate the students of HCPS while maintaining a safe and protected environment for staff and students.

Have a safe and happy school year!

Please contact Lori Hatfield, HR Administrative Support Coordinator, at Lori.Hatfield@hcps.org with any questions.

An Important Message From Student Support Services

As we continue to work in a virtual manner, we may encounter situations where we become aware of a student in crisis. If you are directly contacted by a student in crisis, or are made aware by some other means, please contact your building principal/supervisor immediately. You should call 9-1-1 if you know the location of the student or cannot get a hold of your principal/supervisor. The proper next steps will be taken to alert the family and any agency that may need to get involved. It is vital that we share this information in a timely manner.

Also, when meeting with students virtually on a 1:1 basis, it is important to do the following:

  • Verify the current location of the student (address) at the start of the session
  • Have a phone number for an emergency contact or two
  • Identify if there is anyone else in the home with the student
  • Contact your supervisor if you have a situation that may require an immediate or additional response.

Thank you for your assistance with this. Take care of yourselves and others.

Questions regarding this information should be directed to Bernard Hennigan, Executive Director of Student Support Services, at Bernard.Hennigan@hcps.org or x5334.

HCPS Parent Academy: PTA Town Hall

During this event, Harford County Council of PTA, local PTA, and HCPS leaders shared their ideas on how families can stay engaged with their school communities during this time of virtual learning. The HCPS guests on the panel included Principal Ron Wooden from Havre de Grace Elementary School and Principal Laurie Namey from Magnolia Middle School.
PTA Town Hall

Instructional Staff Equity and Cultural Proficiency PD Directions: 9/25 to 10/30

  • The course will open on 9-25-2020, and the PD window will close on 10-30-2020. (Please refer to last week’s HCPS 411 Update for more information if needed.)

  • Directions for how to access the Equity and Cultural professional learning course titled: Countywide Cultural Proficiency PD in itsLearning are linked here.

  • Your school building administrators will provide a specific deadline for completing the asynchronous Part 1 (in itslearning) and Microsoft Teams meeting links for the synchronous Part II small and whole group discussions. Be sure to complete Part 1 before Part II.

If you have any questions, please reach out to Dr. Paula Stanton at paula.stanton@hcps.org.

Maryland Retired School Personnel Association Offers Mini-Grants

The Maryland Retired School Personnel Association, through its MRSPA Fund, is offering six (6) Mini-Grants to classroom teachers across Maryland. The grants may be used on special projects or activities that are not funded through the school system or Parent Teacher Organization. The grant flier and application form are linked to this message. Teacher and principal signatures are required on the applications to ensure that the activity or project in the application is approved by the school leadership to support, enhance or supplement the student learning experience.

The Mini-Grant applications need to be completed and returned to MRSPA by November 1, 2020. Applications will be reviewed on November 19, 2020 and winners will be notified by January 2021. Six Mini-Grants of up to $300 will be awarded. Grant money will be sent directly to the winning teacher to be used in the current school year. You will also be notified if a teacher from your system is selected.

The Mini-Grant flier and application are also available on the MRSPA website at www.mrspa.org.

HCPS Digital Teaching and Learning Newsletter

The latest issue of the Digital Teaching and Learning Newsletter was sent on September 23. If you missed the email, click here to access it.

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 Outs!

"My daughter, Mila - 3rd Grade, would like to give a shout out to Ms. Mikkonen of MVES. Mila says, 'Ms. Mikkonen is amazing at being a virtual teacher because she can help two kids at the same time by speaking and writing in the chat! In my opinion, she makes it even more fun than normal school!'"

-Katie Ridgway, Risk Manager, Business Services

"I want to give a shout out to Erin Jacobson. Erin has worked endlessly/tirelessly to help the HTHS staff and others to implement their digital learning plans with high efficiency.

Erin will go out her way to answer questions, do a teams call to help, and responds to emails at all hours. We are very grateful for her professionalism at HTHS."

-Steve Tanribilir, Social Studies Teacher, Harford Technical High School

“I would like to give a shout out to the C. Milton Wright Math Department! Our department has become even closer and supportive of one another through this pandemic. I am impressed with everyone’s initiative and excitement when learning and sharing new methods for engaging students! I am even more proud of how supportive we are of one another when things do go exactly as planned – which happens more often than we are used to. The laugh out loud moments keep us going! It truly is a pleasure working with such an amazing team.”

-Melissa Berardelli, Math Department Chair, C. Milton Wright High School

"The vision team would like to give a shout out to Vince Evans and team for their support in getting equipment and software for our students. Vince works non-stop and well beyond the workdays to assist students with visual impairments and blindness. We cannot thank him and the AT team for all they do to support our students. Never has a request been denied; and the team works expeditiously. We are very grateful for this team!"

-Krista Harris-Hermann, Itinerant Teacher of the Visually Impaired, John Archer School

"And the Emmy goes to…. Mr. Brad Spence!! Thank you for sharing not only your expertise with all things pertaining to technology but your sense of humor as well!! It is such a welcome bright spot in this time of frustration, uncertainty and fear. When I am ready to throw my computer (not an HCPS device) through the nearest window, your educational but enjoyable videos save the day every time! It is hard to believe I can go from wanting to tear my hair out to laughing out loud! What a wonderful example of exceptional teaching you are! I hope HCPS knows what a gift they have with you on staff. Thank you, thank you, thank you from the bottom of my very un-technical savvy heart!"

-Rebecca Rommelman, English Teacher, North Harford Middle School

“I want to shout out to Mary Lawson from the Forest Hill Warehouse for the amazing work she does most of the time solo in putting together science kits. I had no idea of what is involved in this job and it is massive. Mary is a very kind soul and is a dedicated, caring worker. I had the pleasure of spending 4 days with her and getting to know her and saw first hand the amount of physical work her job entails. Mary, here is a HUGE, virtual high five to you. Thank you!”

-Lucy Brandt, Administrative Support Technician, Office of Social Studies

“I want to shout out to Gary Childress and his amazing staff of Food and Nutrition. I have been working with these folks the past couple of weeks and it is a never ending, demanding job that the best of the best are working frantically to provide meals to the students. Their communication is key to keeping this process running smooth. Until you see and hear the numbers involved with this program that has not stopped all these months when life seemed to stand still, you have no idea of the volume of time, energy, and dedication that is involved. Kudos to ALL the food service workers! Thank you!”

-Lucy Brandt, Administrative Support Technician, Office of Social Studies

"I'd like to recognize the excellent customer service of Christine Wertz. For years she has handled our money matters efficiently, answered our emails quickly and, no matter how big or small the question, she answers without making us feel bad for having to ask something she probably already told us. I truly appreciate her knowledge, skill and stellar customer service!"

-Linda C. Zvitkovitz, School Librarian, Edgewood 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.