HCPS 411 Update

October 22, 2020

Updated Guidance From CDC: COVID-19 Close Contact Definition

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has announced an expanded definition of who is considered a COVID-19 close contact. We continue to follow guidance from the CDC and work in partnership with the Harford County Health Department. The new definition is: Someone who was within six (6) feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period* starting from two (2) days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, two (2) days prior to test specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated.

*Individual exposures added together over a 24-hour period (e.g., three 5-minute exposures for a total of 15 minutes). Data are limited, making it difficult to precisely define “close contact;” however, 15 cumulative minutes of exposure at a distance of six (6) feet or less can be used as an operational definition for contact investigation.

Please note the significant difference is that now 15 minutes is measured cumulatively, rather than in one sustained time period.

Full guidance from the CDC may be found here.

For a printable version of the graphic included with this information, please click here.

Travel Advisories

Travel advisories during COVID-19 have changed frequently and have not stayed in a consistent location on Maryland.gov. HCPS is not actively monitoring travel advisories as there is no HCPS sponsored travel. Employees are only asked to pay attention to the travel advisories, if any exist, as it relates to their own personal needs and confirm before entering our buildings that any applicable advisories are being followed.

Parent Academy Event: Successfully Navigating the New Learning Environment

During this Parent Academy Real Talk, HCPS 2020 Teacher of the Year (TOY) Beth White and the TOY Finalists, also known as the QuaranTeam 5, shared tips and tricks on how parents/guardians can stay connected with their child’s teacher and support their child’s learning in this new environment. Check it out!
Parent Academy Real Talk: Successfully Navigating the New Learning Environment.

In-Person Learning FAQ for Secondary Teachers

The Secondary Teacher FAQ was developed to respond to the most frequently asked questions we’ve received from middle and high school teachers across the system. It provides information on topics related to schedules, technology, COVID-19 protocols and other items related to teaching and learning in the hybrid model.

Communications Reminders for Teachers

The Communications Office, in partnership with the executive directors of elementary and middle and high school performance, are providing communications checklists for staff as we continue in the virtual and hybrid learning environments. For a printer-friendly version, please click here.

Food and Nutrition Staff Appreciation

Our Food and Nutrition staff members have been providing meals to children in Harford County for months, and we're excited that they're able to continue providing meals to children through June 2021 at no cost! We hope you'll take the time to watch this tribute and to share a kind thought or comment with your favorite staff member of our Food and Nutrition department!
Food and Nutrition Staff Appreciation

Mindfulness Virtual Conference by Learning Forward Maryland

During this time of uncertainty, it is more important than ever that educators take care of themselves so they can effectively support and nurture the growth of our students. This interactive webinar will provide relevant strategies to support mindful behaviors for educators and students. The webinar will feature Heather Kutcher, HCPS Supervisor of Teacher Preparation & Professional Development; Mary Kayhoe, HCPS Teacher - Specialist, Early Childhood, Special Education; and Erin Leach, Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor, Registered Children's Yoga Teacher. Learning Forward Maryland will provide participants with all of the valuable resources included in the $25 ticket price at the conclusion of the webinar.

Date And Time:

Saturday, November 14, 2020

9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.


Online Event

To puchase tickets, please click here.

Countywide Cultural Proficiency PD Reminder: Closes October 30, 2020

The Countywide Cultural Proficiency PD window closes on October 30, 2020, for all instructional staff. Directions for how to access the Equity and Cultural professional learning course titled Countywide Cultural Proficiency PD in itslearning are provided here. Your school building administration team will provide a specific date for completing the synchronous Part 2 small and whole group discussions. Be sure to complete Part 1 before Part 2. If you have any questions, please reach out to Dr. Paula Stanton at Paula.Stanton@hcps.org.

Professional Development Announcements

Goucher College – HCPS Information Meetings

Goucher’s Graduate Program in Education offers a wide range of opportunities for professional development, educational advancement, and teacher preparation. Goucher College will hold weekly information sessions for their graduate cohort program with HCPS. Please see the flier for more information.

Questions may be directed to Kim Leonard at kleonard@exploregoucher.com.

Wellness News From CareFirst

Click here to access the November 2020 issue of Wellness News from CareFirst on diabetes awareness.

Final Event: 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.

Maryland State Retirement and Pension System Pre-Retirement Webinar

If you were not able to attend the October 3 HCPS pre-retirement webinar, the Maryland State Retirement and Pension System, through the Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC), is holding webinars for members who are within eight (8) years of retirement.

These webinars will cover the following topics:

  • The Maryland State Retirement and Pension System,
  • Legal Issues,
  • Social Security and Benefits, and
  • Financial Planning.

Webinars are scheduled for:

Thursday, November 12, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Saturday, November 21, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Thursday, December 17, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

To register:

1. Visit the website http://www.ccbcmd.edu/ceed-preretirement-county

2. Under the headline, How to Register, click the Register Online link.

3. Click the Select button next to the course titled "Pre-Retirement Webinar," towards the bottom of the screen.

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

5. If you are not already logged in, 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.

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.

As the Maryland State Retirement and Pension System, through CCBC, schedules more webinar dates, those dates will also be posted in the weekly HCPS 411 Update for interested individuals. If you are unable to attend an event but are interested in learning more, a shorter presentation about the Maryland State Retirement and Pension System is available on the Maryland State Retirement Agency website.

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

2020-2021 Responsible Use Procedure (RUP) Safe Schools November 2 Final Deadline

This year’s Responsible Use Procedure 2021 Training was moved to Safe Schools. As stated in the August 20 edition of the HCPS 411 Update, the deadline for all staff to complete was September 28, 2020. HCPS is extending the final deadline to November 2, 2020. On November 3, 2020, staff who have not completed the RUP will have access to technology restricted. Restricted permissions means that Internet access will limit you to Office 365, itslearning, educational resources, and the Safe Schools training modules only. To determine if you have completed the training, navigate to the Safe Schools website for Harford County Public Schools https://hcps-md.safeschools.com/ and ensure that your Course Status is set to Completed.

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, small group setting with HCPS teachers and paraeducators. If you are interested in employment as a tutor, please complete the survey here by November 6. 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 (after November 6), the Academic Tutoring Coordinators will send communication regarding orientation and tutor duties and responsibilities. With questions or concerns, please contact Academic.Tutoring@hcps.org.

Shout Outs!

"Sandy Finley has never stopped organizing gifts as part of our school social hospitality committee. She goes above and beyond planning and organizing so our JAS family feels loved!"

-Rachel Otremba, teacher, John Archer School

"We wanted to thank the Transportation Office, Ms. Bendis, Ms. Bedsaul, Ms. Dolan, and Ms. Levee, for their ongoing support to provide transportation for our nonpublic schools. It is has been an enormous task making adjustments as our schools' schedules have evolved since July. We appreciate everything that you have done to support our students."

-Vernon Crider and Megan Avampato, Teacher Specialist for Nonpublic Schools

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.