HCPS 411 Update

November 3, 2022

Calendar Reminder

Schools AND offices are closed to the PUBLIC three (3) hours early this Friday, November 4, 2022. Staff are scheduled to work all day Friday; offices are closing early to allow staff to attend professional development opportunities.


Many of our positions are filled by word of mouth by our employees. Help us share our employment needs!

  • Ground and Equipment Maintenance II – Facilities

  • Chief Custodian Level IV – Bel Air Middle School
  • Administrative Support Assistants - Harford Academy, Fallston High School, Magnolia Elementary School
  • Paraeducator and Inclusion Helpers – Various Locations

Follow us on social media @hcpsrecruiter and share our employment posts. To find a full list of our available positions, visit hcps.org and click on the sun!

October Monthly Minute Video

Click below to watch Dr. Bulson's latest Monthly Minute message from October 27.

To view a complete archive of all past Monthly Minute videos, visit the Monthly Minute page on our website by clicking here.

Monthly Minute with Dr. Bulson - October 27, 2022

HCPS FY24 Budget Survey

The Harford County Public Schools (HCPS) Fiscal Year 2024 (FY24) Budget Survey was shared with the community at a public budget input session last week. If you were unable to attend the presentation, visit the Budget page on hcps.org. You can view Dr. Bulson's presentation on the state of the district and how it impacts budget decisions.

As HCPS works on developing the Superintendent's Proposed Budget for FY24, it is important to receive our community's input. Superintendent Bulson is seeking feedback on the school system's priorities for the FY24 budget. HCPS will use the feedback it receives from this survey to help guide the formulation of the FY24 budget to best meet the needs of students, staff, and our community.

Your responses to this survey will help us understand how future decisions on operating and capital budgets for FY24 can be improved. This is completely optional and your responses are reported anonymously. The survey will take approximately 3-5 minutes to complete.

Please take a moment to complete the HCPS FY2024 Budget Survey by 11:59 p.m. on November 4, 2022.

Superintendent's Proposed Budget Public Input Session - October 2022

Celebrating HCPS Safety Month

The offices of Communications and Family Outreach and Safety and Security have partnered to launch a marketing campaign for November for HCPS Safety Month. As part of the plan, we will introduce our new School Safety Liaisons and Regional Security Coordinators (RSC) to the community on social media; highlight practices to keep our buildings safe, such as emergency drills; and share information with parents/guardians about ways they can partner with us, such as reminding their child(ren) about responsible use on social media and, "if you see something, say something."

In the Parent Academy Real Talks linked below, RSCs share about their specific roles and responsibilities in the HCPS Office of Safety and Security and how their backgrounds in law enforcement allow them to effectively support the schools across our county.

Meet our Regional Security Coordinators Part 1: Misty Goines - Southern Region
Meet our Regional Security Coordinators Part 2: Donald "DJ" Ravadge - Central Region
Meet our Regional Security Coordinators Part 3: Michael Stephens - Northern Region

Together We Shine

National School Psychology Week 2022

During the week of November 7-11, 2022, schools throughout the country will celebrate National School Psychology Week (NSPW) to highlight the important work school psychologists do to help students thrive.

This year's theme, "Together We Shine" is derived from how we see hope after several challenging years. We have all faced difficulties created by the pandemic, economic stress, and challenges to mental and physical health. For some, it has been a time of real darkness, and finding light is critical to building resilience and hope. Though each of us has our own inner light-the strengths and attributes that shape our capabilities and dreams when we bring together our ideas and actions to uplift each other-we shine even brighter together, both as individuals and as a community. Feelings of isolation and disconnection have been challenging these past 2 years. Reconnecting with others and reestablishing the sense of being valued parts of a greater whole empowers students and adults to find purpose and possibility.

Our hope as HCPS school psychologists is to connect with students and staff to highlight how each person's contribution to the collective can lead us forward. Just as we continue developing individually and with our own skills through collaboration and with support from others, we in turn can help others foster resilience and support those who need it. Working together we shine hope and resiliency among our schools, families, students, and colleagues. Together we shine light on setting goals for well-being, growth, and learning.

This week and every week, we encourage HCPS school psychologists and school staff to promote positive growth and resiliency in all areas - the counseling room, the classroom, the community, and beyond. Working together, we can shine!

Diversity 365

Join us as we continue to shine the light on how HCPS celebrates diversity all year long. 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:

National Native American Heritage

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 Monday, November 28, 2022. This month’s celebrations will be shared in the December 1 issue of the HCPS 411 Update.

New Principal Toolkit Video

Standard 6: Collaborate with the Community

Hall’s Cross Roads Elementary School Principal Chrissy Douglas shares how she works as a school leader to connect with community organizations to support the needs of students, families, and staff with the Great Neighbor initiative.

Standard 6: Collaborate with the Community

The Nomination Window is Open for the November 2022 Family Friendly School Award!

Calling all nominations for the November Family Friendly School Award!

Nominations for the award are being accepted now through 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, November 8, 2022 .

***ONLY nominations submitted during this window will be considered for this month's award.***

It takes just a few minutes to nominate a school...access the link to nominate here: https://www.hcps.org/parents/parentacademy/familyfriendlyschools.aspx.

Please spread the word! Help your school be celebrated for their efforts to communicate well, engage and welcome all families, and support student success.

Winning schools receive the positive coverage of the award, a custom banner to display in the school, and a complimentary staff luncheon from Chick-fil-A of Harford County.

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Littles University

Click here to visit our Harford County Education Foundation partners to register for your copy of November's book, "The Rainbow Fish," by Marcus Pfister. Then, tune in November 17 for a message from Mrs. Lader for all our Littles Scholars!
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Reporting Form for Abuse/Neglect

A new form for reporting abuse and neglect has been posted to SharePoint. Please note that a copy of each report should now be forwarded to the Mental Health Specialist in the Department of Student Support Services, Christina Alton, instead of the Supervisor of Pupil Services.

For questions, please contact Bernard Hennigan, Executive Director of Student Support Services, at Bernard.Hennigan@hcps.org or 410-588-5334.

Youth Mental Health First Aid Training

The Office of Student Services will offer Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA) Training to interested HCPS staff members. The training is designed to teach participants how to support and assist young people in the early stages of a developing mental health problem or those experiencing a mental health crisis.

Participants will learn about the prevalence of mental health problems among young people and examine “typical” adolescent development and its relation to mental health issues. Participants will also learn ways to approach, support, and refer young people believed to be at-risk for mental health issues or those who are experiencing a crisis.

This course is offered over two evenings. Attendees must be present both evenings in order to be recognized as a First Aider.

The class will be offered on Tuesday, November 15, and Wednesday, November 16, from 4:30 to 8:00 p.m. at Havre de Grace Middle/High School. Again, you must attend both evenings.

This is a paid opportunity for HCPS 10-month employees.

To sign up, please use this link: https://www.hcps.org/registration/workshops/workshops.aspx?filter=1531 or the course listing may be found on HECTOR under Student Services.

Questions regarding YMHFA should be directed to Christina Alton, Mental Health Specialist, at Christina.Alton@hcps.org or 410-809-6243.

Professional Development Announcements

McDaniel College – Virtual Open House

Learn more about McDaniel's Graduate Programs for Educators. Please see flier for an upcoming open house on Wednesday, November 16, 2022, at 4:30 p.m., and use the Register Here button on the flier to RSVP.

A Special Message from the Edgewood Middle School Ecology Club

Students in the Edgewood Middle School Ecology Club made posters to let all HCPS staff and students know how they can dispose of their pumpkins in an eco-friendly way. Help them spread the word!!

Student Services Standout Award (S.T.A.R. Award)

The Office of Student Services is accepting nominations for the STUDENT SERVICES STANDOUT AWARD (S.T.A.R. AWARD). This award is presented once per semester (biannually) to a nominated member of the student services staff. The nominee must currently be an employee budgeted under Student Services, who is based in a school or Central Office. This would include staff under the offices of School Counseling Services, School Health Services, Psychological Services, or Pupil Personnel Services. Any person, regardless of position or relationship to the nominee, including students, may make the nomination. The nomination form and supporting narrative must be submitted by December 1, 2022. Click here to access the nomination form and the rubric used by the judges and consider nominating someone today!

Questions regarding this information should be directed to Kay Malone, Supervisor of School Counseling, at Kay.Malone@hcps.org or 410-588-5251.

Academic Tutoring

The Academic Tutoring Program is seeking short-term and long-term tutors for the 2022-2023 school year. Tutors will provide students with instructional support and remediation. Tutors are needed in the areas of Reading and Mathematics for students in grades K-12, as well as Science and Social Studies for the graduation required courses at the high school level. Teachers and paraeducators in any content area may serve as tutors and will be able to select their desired content(s) and grade level(s). Tutors will also be able to determine the number of tutoring sessions that they would like to conduct each week. Elementary students will be supported in a virtual, one-on-one setting. Middle and high school students will be supported in a virtual, small group setting with three or fewer students. Tutors will be compensated at their per diem rate.

If you are interested in serving as a tutor, please complete this survey form:


HCEA COVID-19 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)

The Harford County Education Association (HCEA) COVID-19-related MOU, revised on August 30, 2022 between the Board of Education and the HCEA, is available on the Human Resources Staff Relations SharePoint site, or by clicking here.

Questions regarding this information should be directed to Mae Alfree, Ed.D., in Human Resources at Mae.Alfree@hcps.org or 410-588-5226.

New Process for Teacher Certification

MSDE has released The Educator Application and Certification Hub (TEACH). Existing applicants and certificate holders will need to complete a one-time registration by visiting https://certificationhub.msde.maryland.gov. You will be required to upload verification of identification such as a driver’s license or passport. Verification of your identification must be completed before any service or request can be completed. When registering, please ensure your email address is updated. The Certification Department will provide updates and notification to teachers through TEACH as well as your HCPS email. TEACH requires educators to submit an application/request for initial certification, renewal of a certificate, adding an endorsement or name change. This must be done on MSDE TEACH through the educator’s dashboard.

For those who have a Maryland teaching certificate that is expiring DECEMBER 31, 2022; if you have not done so already, please log onto TEACH and request a renewal of your certificate. More information regarding this process can be found in the MSDE TEACH INFORMATION 9-2022 document on SharePoint, Human Resources, Certification, under Certification Forms & Information.

In order to renew certificates in a timely manner, please have your dashboard and request completed by November 1, 2022.

Questions regarding this information should be directed to CJ Harbach, Certification Assistant, or Aretha Young, Certification Coordinator, at Certification@hcps.org or 410-588-5258.

Health for the Holidays

Looking for a way to relieve holiday stress and maintain balance? Picture yourself having a healthier, happier holiday season by joining us in Health for the Holidays, a lighthearted online wellness program. As you record daily health behaviors, you paint a winter scene – brushing on more color and detail – while earning inches of snow. The more you do, the more your painting comes to life and the more snow builds up, reinforcing your healthy holiday accomplishments. Every week there’s a new scene – with surprises that inspire you to keep at it until you finish each painting. Your goal is to record daily exercise, healthy eating, and special Gift Box behaviors (there’s a new one each day). You add an inch of snow for each of these activities… piling up to 21 inches a week. And you complete a painting by recording activities 5 or more days a week. Aim to accumulate 60 total inches of snow and finish 4 paintings during the 4-week campaign. Participants can log their daily activity on a computer or on their phone using the Health for the Holidays app! You can even connect a tracking device to record your daily steps! The participant with the most points at the end of the 4-week program will receive a grand prize, courtesy of our partners at CareFirst.

Don’t miss out on the perfect way to wrap up the year feeling more energetic and resilient. Click here to view a brief promotional video for the program. This program is available to all HCPS employees, free of charge.

Registration will open on Monday, November 14 and the program will begin on Monday, November 21, 2022.

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Ready for Your New Fall Fitness Routine with BurnAlong?

What's Cooking with B? Soup and Sweets: It's What's for Dinner

Fall is in full swing, and it's time to get your soup ladles out. This month, BurnAlong is bringing you a savory vegetarian twist on a classic, and a surprisingly sweet recipe.

  • Vegetarian Chickenpea Noodle Soup: Looking for a new take on chicken noodle soup? Try out a vegetarian-friendly version of chicken noodle soup, where you still get your protein!
  • Carrot Cake Muffins: Have a sweet tooth? Try out these carrot cake muffins for a sweet surprise!

What is BurnAlong?

As a reminder, BurnAlong is our health and wellness partner who provides you and your family with access to more than 23,000 live and on-demand online classes from 5,000+ credentialed instructors at no cost to you.

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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.

Take BurnAlong with You

Join thousands of others on their health and wellness journey by downloading the Mobile App. Available in iOS and Android, take BurnAlong with you by downloading the app today!

#HCPShealth Health and Wellness Program Survey

Getting healthy and holistically feeling your best can be fun and easy with help! That's why HCPS wants to launch a health and wellness program to help you live healthier and to provide resources to support your overall well-being while making it a program that works for employees. If you haven't done so already, please take a few moments to click the link below to complete the survey to help us shape this year's program by letting us know which health issues are important to you so that we may develop a program that meets the needs of all staff.

Click here to complete the survey.

CareFirst Wellness Announcements: National Diabetes Awareness

November is National Diabetes Awareness Month

Did you know more than 237 million people in the United States live with diabetes and 96 million adults with prediabetes (National Diabetes Statistics Report | Diabetes | CDC)? National Diabetes Awareness Month is an important health observance promoted each November to raise awareness and sound the alarm on the growing diabetes epidemic. To learn more, click here to view CareFirst's November Wellness Newsletter.

CareFirst One-on-One Health Coaching

You have access to personal health coaching as part of your health coverage. To learn more about the coaching program, or to join, call (877) 260-3253 and press option 7. You may also receive a call inviting you to participate. While not mandatory, we encourage you to participate in this voluntary and confidential phone-based program to help you achieve your best possible health. You can leave the program at any time. Click here to learn more.

October Recipe of the Month: Salmon with Spinach

Salmon isn't just a delicious fish. It is also full of healthy fats that are good for your heart. Click here to try this healthy as you relax on a night in with this tasty recipe perfect for one.

Johns Hopkins Medicine and CareFirst Reach New Strategic Agreement

CareFirst has notified the HCPS Benefits Office of their contract agreement. Below is the news brief from CareFirst posted on October 26, 2022.

Parties chart a new course to bring greater value to shared communities

Johns Hopkins Medicine and CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield (CareFirst) have agreed to a new multiyear contract to provide high-quality care options while building on a long-standing relationship and commitment to serving our shared communities. This agreement ensures continued service to existing members and patients while opening new opportunities to create value for the people and communities we serve.

“We are pleased to announce that we have reached an agreement with CareFirst to keep our doctors, nurses and other caregivers in CareFirst’s network,” said Theodore L. DeWeese, M.D., interim dean of the medical faculty and CEO of Johns Hopkins Medicine. “Our goal was to reach a resolution before our patients had to make changes to their care or their coverage, and we appreciate CareFirst’s collaboration to make that happen.”

“Together, CareFirst and Johns Hopkins Medicine are poised to continue providing high-quality health care and maintain our focus on the people who matter most: members and patients,” said Brian D. Pieninck, president and CEO, CareFirst. “The impact of our partnership remains tied to advancing health outcomes in the community, and this new agreement provides the structure necessary to organize our efforts and deliver on that shared goal.”

“Our patients are our top priority,” added Kevin W. Sowers, M.S.N., R.N., F.A.A.N., president of the Johns Hopkins Health System and executive vice president of Johns Hopkins Medicine. “We look forward to continuing to work with CareFirst to best support the communities we serve.”

Through this new agreement, Johns Hopkins Medicine and CareFirst have reinforced their commitment to continuing this relationship while recognizing that, together, they will create an even more significant impact on the health of this region for years to come.

EAP Webinar: Navigating Your Holidays

Presented by KEPRO Employee Assistance Program

Do the holidays typically leave you worn out and exhausted? Now is the time to reflect on changes you can make as you enter this year's holiday season. This month, learn effective ways to plan, organize, and make the most of your holidays. Click here to learn more.

Date: Available on demand beginning October 18, 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.

Registration Now Open: Annual Fall Pre-Retirement Webinar

Through the Maryland State Retirement Agency and the Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC), Harford County Public Schools announces 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 year's pre-retirement session will be held virtually on Saturday, November 5, 2022, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. To register:

  1. Click here to go to the Pre-Retirement Webinar Pre-Retirement Planning Registration portal.
  2. Scroll to the section, CE Pre-Retirement Planning. Click the "Select" button next to the Pre-Retirement Webinar option.
  3. Click "Register for Selected Courses."
  4. You will be redirected to the login page. 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? No problem! Call at 443-840-5059 and let our call center register you for course number/CRN 36295.
    - If this is your first Pre-Retirement Seminar, click the "New Account" button on the right-hand side of the screen. Fill out your information (anything in red is required information) and choose "Submit."
  5. After you have registered for the seminar, choose "Finalize Selection" and print your confirmation.
  6. You will receive an email confirmation of your registration within three business days.
  7. You will receive instructions on how to join the webinar two days prior to the event.

If you are unable to register online or by phone at 443-840-5059, please email Sarah Moore at scullip@ccbcmd.edu.

COVID-19 Breakthrough Leave Survey Link

Employees who have received the primary vaccine series and at least one (1) booster can submit verification of their vaccination status through an online employee survey to be eligible for COVID Breakthrough Leave for the 2022-2023 school year. Individuals who already submitted both their primary vaccine series and booster information during the 2021-2022 school year will not need to complete this survey again. Information collected from the COVID Breakthrough Leave survey will be utilized for the 2022-2023 school year to determine COVID Breakthrough Leave eligibility. The survey can be accessed by clicking here.

The complete MOU specific to your bargaining unit can be found on the Staff Relations SharePoint page. Questions about COVID Breakthrough Leave can be directed to Staff and Labor Relations Office at (410) 588-5311.

Freedom Federal Credit Union's Community Shred Day

Stop by Freedom’s Park Avenue Branch in Bel Air for Our Community Shred Day event!

When: Saturday, November 5, 2022, from 9:00 a.m – Noon (Or Until Truck is full)

Where: 2019 Emmorton Road, Bel Air, MD 21015

Bring up to four boxes of sensitive documents and let them safely destroy them for you. The shred truck will be available from 9:00 a.m. to Noon, or until it reaches capacity.

Shred day guidelines may be found here.

Please do not arrive prior to 8:45 a.m. If arriving after 8:45 a.m. and before 9:00 a.m., they ask that you allow the shred truck to pull into its space. Please ensure that you do not begin to form a line until then.

This event is open to the community. Don't forget to enter their drawing for a chance to win a gift card!

This is a rain or shine event however, any changes to the schedule due to inclement weather will be posted on the Freedom Facebook page.

Shout Outs!

"I would like to thank the EL teachers for all their hard work this year. What you do is so important and I am inspired to be a part of such an amazing and collaborative team!"

-MC Bienkowski, EL Teacher

"Ama Mattei, what would we do without you? You are an absolute gem and such an amazing resource for our Title 1 schools, parents, students, and teachers! Thank you for everything you do!!"

-MC Bienkowski, EL Teacher

"I would like to give a shout out to Mary Jo Griswold and Donna Dannenfelser – they are the backbone of the Ed Services division and despite being incredibly busy, they are always ready to lend a helping hand to the principals that call. They often de-escalate challenging personalities and help bring a fresh perspective to a situation. And when they aren’t busy with conflict resolution and de-escalation, they are helping everyone around them meet their timelines/deadlines with the gentlest and most friendly reminders possible. These ladies are consistently AWESOME!"

-Erica Harris, Principal, C. Milton Wright High School

Welcome to HCPS!

Please join us in giving a warm welcome to the following new members of the HCPS family!

  • Ashley Baldwin, Inclusion Helper, Joppatowne Elementary School
  • Sara Mulieri, Paraeducator, Joppatowne Elementary School
  • Amy Morrell, Vision Impaired Teacher, Harford Academy
  • Errol Chatman, Custodian I - Shift I, Edgewood High School
  • Rejeana Credell, Administrative Support Technician - Student Services, Aberdeen Middle School
  • Tara Hargrove, Judy Center Family Services Worker, Deerfield Elementary School
  • Tara Koppenhaver, Inclusion Helper, Havre de Grace Elementary School
  • Kimberly Loss, Administrative Support Assistant, Aberdeen Middle School
  • Amanda Nolan, Paraeducator, Homestead/Wakefield Elementary School
  • Tawanda Smith, School Safety Liaison, Office of Safety and Security
  • Courtney Sturgill, Paraeducator, Meadowvale Elementary School
  • Rose Tincler, School Bus Attendant, Transportation Department
  • DeQuan Daney, School Safety Liaison, Office of Safety and Security
  • Samantha Foster, Paraeducator, Darlington Elementary School
  • Raymond O'Dwyer, Paraeducator, Magnolia Middle School
  • Brittany Rosenkrans, Inclusion Helper, Harford Academy

Office of Communications and Family Outreach

Editor: Lindsay Bilodeau, Innovation 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.