HCPS 411 Update

October 20, 2022


Many of our positions are filled by word of mouth by our employees. We have added this section to the HCPS 411 Update so that you can help us share our employment needs.

  • English Teacher - Edgewood Middle School
  • Social Studies Teacher - Edgewood High School
  • ESSER Substitutes (three days a week substitutes) - 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!

Celebrating National Principals Month in October

National Principals Month honors principals for their significant impact on the success and well-being of our nation’s students. Join us as we celebrate and show appreciation for ALL HCPS principals throughout October.

We would like to highlight our newest HCPS principals in a video series, Five in Five, this month. Acting Supervisor of Leadership Development Audrey Vohs talks with each of our new principals to ask five questions in five minutes so we can get to know them better. Take a moment to hear from Dr. Helen Miller of Southampton Middle School and Mr. Brad Spence of Havre de Grace Middle/High School in the videos linked below. Stay tuned for more new principal recognitions in HCPS 411 Updates this month!

Meet Helen Miller, new principal at Southampton Middle School
Meet Brad Spence, new principal at Havre de Grace Middle / High School

Congratulations to the October Limelight Honorees!

Congratulations to all of the October honorees highlighted below! And a special thank you to this month's sponsor, Bravura Information Technology Systems. In addition to their certificate and car magnet, 10 lucky winners chosen by random draw received gift certificates from Bravura:

    • Nathan Horn (Prospect Mill Elementary School)
    • David Girken (Bel Air High School)
    • Tovah Ferullo (George D. Lisby Elementary School at Hillsdale)
    • Jennifer Gusso (C. Milton Wright High School)
    • Laura Snodgrass-Pohlenz (William S. James Elementary School)
    • Lori Zavoyna (Deerfield Elementary School)
    • Jessica Riedel (Edgewood High School)
    • Amy Spenard (Emmorton Elementary School)
    • Amanda Fager (Patterson Mill High School)
    • Regina Morgen (Darlington Elementary School)
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    Superintendent's Proposed Budget Public Input Session

    On Wednesday, October 26, 2022, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the Patterson Mill Middle/High School cafeteria, Dr. Bulson will share his comments regarding the FY2024 budget and will provide an opportunity for small group discussions and public input.

    If you are unable to attend, the session will be recorded. The video link will be shared for viewing at your leisure via the HCPS YouTube channel.

    We encourage students, parents, staff, and community members to complete the FY24 Budget Survey. Please CLICK HERE to access the survey. The survey will be available through midnight on Friday, November 4, 2022.

    Please email budget@hcps.org with questions.

    The input you provide is crucial to the process of shaping the next HCPS budget. We appreciate you sharing your time and comments.

    As a reminder, the Superintendent’s proposed budget will be presented to the Board of Education in January 2023. Thank you for your continued engagement and participation.

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    Real Talk: Canvas

    In this Real Talk, Mary Beth Stapleton sits down with Marth Barwick, Ed. D., HCPS Supervisor of Innovation in Learning, who talks about Canvas, a system that allows students to engage deeply in content; connect and interact with their teachers and peers; and have access to organizational tools, like calendars. The features of the Canvas learning management system – links to online resources and databases, playlists for activities or assignments, videos, discussion boards, simulations, etc. – help to extend the learning taking place in the classrooms. Dr. Barwick shares what parents will see in Canvas and how students at every level may be using this learning management system now and as they progress through the school year.

    Real Talk: Canvas - The Learning Management System for HCPS

    November 4th Clerical Professional Development Sessions

    On the afternoon of November 4th, clerical staff will have the opportunity to engage in virtual choice professional development sessions. The choice sessions may be found by clicking HERE.

    HCPS offices will be closed on the afternoon of November 4th in order to allow clerical staff to participate in professional development. Clerical staff should work with immediate supervisors to determine the best location for clerical staff to engage. They will need a laptop with a camera. Clerical staff will receive an email on Thursday, October 20, 2022, with their session topics.

    Questions regarding this information should be directed to Peter Carpenter, in Organizational Development, at Peter.Carpenter@hcps.org or 410-809-6300.

    Annual MSDE Survey of Science and Social Science Teachers

    The annual MSDE survey of Science and Social Science teachers (elementary, middle, high) is open now through November 7, 2022. This annual survey is used by MSDE to determine the amount of instructional time in those disciplines; available resources, including professional learning; and the numbers of classes taught by teachers certified in these content areas. All surveys will be confidential, identified only by school system and grade level (elementary, middle, high). MSDE is required to compile the survey results, post those results on its website, and send a report to the Governor and General Assembly in January of each year.

    All teachers who teach either Science or Social Science/Social Studies should complete this survey. This includes non-departmentalized elementary teachers who teach multiple subjects. You can access the survey using this link: https://msde.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_9YqhcNoC9FSoYaa.

    Thank you in advance for participating in this year’s survey.

    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

    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:

    • ADD/ADHD Awareness
    • Filipino American Heritage
    • German American Heritage
    • Italian American Heritage
    • Polish 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 Wednesday, October 27, 2022. This month’s celebrations will be shared in the November 3rd issue of the HCPS 411 Update.

    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.

    Public Service Loan Forgiveness

    The deadline for the Federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Limited Waiver is October 31, 2022. This limited waiver allows borrowers to receive credit for past periods of repayment that would not have qualified for PSLF. For more information, visit the US Department of Education's PSLF stakeholder resource page.

    All PSLF forms may be sent via email to certification@hcps.org or by interoffice mail to Human Resources/Certification.

    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.

    MRSPA Mini-Grant Opportunity

    The Maryland Retired School Personnel Association (MRSPA) is offering six (6) Mini-Grants of up to $300 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. Applications and additional information can be found at MRSPA.org. Applications can be submitted from October 1, 2022, through November 1, 2022. Please view MRSPA.org or contact wtwigg@mrspa.org for additional information.

    #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 an employee health and wellness program to help you live healthier and to provide resources to support your overall well-being. Please take a few moments to complete this survey to help us shape this year's program by letting us know which health issues are important to you.

    Beneficiary Updates

    Help Keep Your Beneficiary Information Up to Date

    Suppose you have recently gotten married, welcomed a baby, adopted a child, undergone a divorce, or suffered a death in the family. In that case, it may be time to update your beneficiary(ies). Imagine if your Life Insurance benefits were unintentionally left to someone else. These situations can and do happen. It is essential to keep your beneficiary information up to date by at least reviewing your designated beneficiaries annually.

    Beneficiary information can be updated at any time throughout the year through your account at hcps.benelogic.com. To log into your account through Benelogic:

    1. Using a computer with the internet, visit hcps.benelogic.com.
    2. Enter your User ID, which is your HCPS 5-digit Employee ID number.
    3. Enter your password. If you do not know your password, click the "Forgot User ID/Password" link for further assistance.
    4. Click the orange "Sign In" button.
    5. Click on the large green "GO" arrow to start your enrollment.
    6. Once you have reached the end, click the Submit button to finalize your enrollment.
    7. Print a copy of the Enrollment Summary for your records.

    Questions? Contact the Benefits Office by email at benefits@hcps.org.

    Drive Thru Flu Shot Clinics

    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 3+) 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 will accept walk-ins at each event listed below if appointment slots are unavailable.

    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.

    Ready for Your New Fall Fitness Routine with BurnAlong?

    Are you looking for a quick workout or a jumpstart to a new fall fitness routine? Check out the BurnAlong playlist, "Monte's Greatest Hits," featuring some of Monte Sanders' most popular BurnAlong classes, along with eight (8) brand new workouts from America's Favorite Trainer. Click here to check out the playlist and get started with a quick workout, or meet Monte Sanders with a quick intro video.

    October is for Raising Awareness about Cancer

    With nearly two million new cancer diagnoses every year, changes are you or someone you love is navigating treatment, management, and healing. BurnAlong will be hosting live events and some class suggestions to focus on cancer wellness.

    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!

    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.

    CareFirst Wellness Announcements: Think Pink!

    October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

    This October, we challenge you to spread awareness of not only the prevalence and impact of breast cancer but also the importance of early detection. To learn more, click here to view CareFirst's October Wellness Newsletter.

    October Recipe of the Month: Hulled Barley Vegetable Soup

    Few things warm your body and spirits like a steaming bowl of soup. Click here to try this healthy barley vegetable soup for a cozy night.

    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.

    Save the Date: Annual Fall Pre-Retirement Webinar

    Through the Maryland State Retirement Agency and the Community College of Baltimore County, Harford County Public Schools announces a pre-retirement webinar for HCPS employees and their spouses. This webinar provides vital retirement information to all members within eight (8) years of retirement, whether 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 November 5, 2022, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Watch future HCPS 411 Update newsletters for more information on registering and obtaining a day of event link.

    Access Healthcare Anywhere with CloseKnit

    Virtual-First Primary Care Practice through CareFirst

    CloseKnit is a virtual-first primary care practice that offers preventive, urgent, and mental health services through an easy-to-use app. As a CloseKnit member, you'll receive a dedicated Care Team to manage your health, navigate billing and benefits, and coordinate in-person and specialty care. Chats with your Care Team are FREE, and there are no annual or monthly membership fees.

    How to Get Started or Learn More about CloseKnit Health:

    1. Visit https://www.closeknithealth.com/register or download the free app using your phone or tablet.

    2. Register and create your profile using your CareFirst member ID.

    3. Start accessing the care you need.

    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.

    Shout Outs!

    "Shout Out to Tracey Hankins, Food Service at Patterson Mill, for managing the Harford Glen kitchen during the residential program. Tracey is responsible for coordinating eight meals and two snacks for each residential session for up to 120 students and teachers! She has been working tirelessly over the last few weeks to prepare the kitchen for meal service and make sure the equipment was up to her standards. Tracey knocked it out of the park during the first session of fifth grade students. The students loved the food. The teachers couldn’t stop talking about the savory flavors (Yea- Breakfast Pizza!). Tracey graciously made individual meals for students with dietary restrictions and made sure everyone at Harford Glen had what they needed to fill their bellies. The first session could not have been any smoother in the Dining Hall and we are looking forward to working with Tracey for the rest of the school year. Super proud of your hard work, Tracey!!"

    -The Harford Glen Team (Amanda, Mel, Chris, Kristie, Kathy, Tivis & Howard)

    "Thank you so much to Jo Hewitt for making a very serious medical situation for my husband a little less stressful! Thank you for helping me with my FMLA and never getting frustrated with my many questions and always changing return dates. She had so much empathy for my situation that really helped so that I wasn’t torn between the guilt of not being at my job or not being at my husband’s side! Thank you Jo for being so awesome! HCPS is so lucky to have you!!"

    -Renee Ford, School Safety Liaison, North Harford High School

    "I would like to give a shout out to Pat Brewer, who is always quick to respond and help with computer issues. He has tons to do but always makes it seem like your individual computer issue is important. And thank goodness he also downloads things from your desktop that you didn’t even realize that you had or needed!"

    -Kimberly Driver, Occupational Therapist, Harford Academy

    "I would like to shout-out Brian Tully & Sarah Doyle from Havre de Grace High School. They are new to our building this year, and they have transitioned seamlessly into our Warrior Family. They are patient, supportive, detail-orientated, and most importantly, friendly. We are happy to have them here!"

    -Samantha Brown, English I, II, and Journalism Teacher, Havre de Grace High School

    "We want to give a huge shout-out to Angie Tilley. She has been an indispensable addition to the User Support team this year, and she has helped us in tracking down numerous students' Chromebooks to get them back in the right hands. She has always been willing to go above and beyond and responds quickly! Thank you, Angie!"

    -Krissy Flatau and Alex Lawhon, Aberdeen Middle School

    Welcome to HCPS!

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

    • Michelle Kropkowski, Administrative Support Assistant, Magnolia Elementary School
    • Kristin Woods, Administrative Support Technician, Educational Services
    • Rebecca Nielson, Administrative Support Assistant, Edgewood Middle School
    • Cyleigh Nicewonger, Inclusion Helper, Bel Air High School
    • Corey Harris, English Teacher, Edgewood Middle School
    • Jennifer Behler, School Counselor, North Harford High School
    • Shanna Ward, School Nurse, Harford Glen
    • Jason Harkins, Roofing/Waterproofing/Delivery, Facilities
    • Savannah Adams, Paraeducator, Abingdon Elementary School
    • Heidi Lipple, Paraeducator, Prospect Mill Elementary School
    • Donnette Faulkner, Paraeducator, Magnolia Middle School
    • Ashley Beavers, Paraeducator, Bakerfield Elementary School
    • Layne Felts, Paraeducator, William S. James Elementary School
    • Karen Blum, Inclusion Helper, Havre de Grace High School
    • Samantha Potts, Paraeducator, Aberdeen High School
    • Chloe Lippert, Paraeducator, Church Creek Elementary School
    • Tricia Sands, Paraeducator, Church Creek Elementary School
    • Yeayea Grant, Custodian I - Shift 2, Aberdeen High School

    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.