HCPS 411 Update

March 10, 2022

COVID-19 Updates

According to the new COVID-19 Community Levels tool, Harford County is LOW.

The operational status, effective March 1, can be seen here.

Updated FAQ can be viewed here:

March 18, 2022 Professional Development: Instructional Staff

All instructional staff will participate in systemwide professional development on the student early dismissal date of March 18, 2022.

Charts with links to access the sessions are housed in the March 18th Early Dismissal Professional Development SharePoint folder.

All instructional staff will participate in virtual professional development based on the schedule below.

Questions about this information may be directed to Heather Kutcher, Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment, at Heather.Kutcher@hcps.org or 410-588-5322.

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March 18, 2022 Professional Development: Clerical Staff

All clerical staff will have the option of selecting professional development sessions to participate on the student early dismissal day of March 18, 2022.

A chart with session times, descriptions, and links is housed in the March 18th Early Dismissal Professional Development SharePoint folder.

Questions about this information may be directed to Heather Kutcher, in Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment, at Heather.Kutcher@hcps.org or 410-588-5322.

Office of Equity and Cultural Proficiency: Virtual Equity Chats

The Office of Equity and Cultural Proficiency hosts monthly Virtual Equity Chats this school year. This is an opportunity to speak frankly about topics of equity and cultural proficiency. The third chat will be held on Wednesday, March 23, 2022, from 5:00-6:00 p.m. For this chat, bring questions or topics that YOU want to chat about with the group. We will provide time for participants to weigh in on topics/questions and break into small groups when appropriate.

Use this link to register to attend the chat no later than 3/23/22, at 3:00 p.m.: https://forms.office.com/r/JyJbS30w89 . We will send you the meeting link once you have registered.

Also, if you would like to lead future Equity Chats or have topics in mind, please reach out to Kimberly Sullivan at Kimberly.Sullivan@hcps.org.

Calling all support staff and substitutes! Do You Want to Be a Teacher?

Has your experience in a school inspired you to become a teacher? Not sure of your next step?

An informational session will be held on TEAMS on Monday, March 28 from 4:00 – 4:45 p.m. Attend this session to hear about the options of the GET More Program (for current support staff) and conditional teacher certification.

Members of the Human Resources Team will explain the process and supports provided to our conditionally certified teachers and to those in our GET More Program.

We love to grow our own teachers, so we hope you decide to shine with us!

Click here to join the meeting

For additional information about the informational session, please contact Shannon Hagan at Shannon.Hagan@hcps.org or by calling 410-588-5238.

GET More Program Updates

We have some exciting news regarding the Growing Exceptional Teachers More (GET More) Program. The program provides tuition reimbursement equivalent of the negotiated tuition reimbursement rate for instructional staff (currently $300 per graduate credit hour) for employees who are represented by HCEA-ESP or AFSCME. The purpose of this tuition reimbursement assistance is to allow program participants to complete a teacher certification program in a high needs area of teacher education, with the ultimate goal of receiving their teacher certification and returning to work as a teacher in HCPS.

NEW - We have made a recent update to the program that now allows participants in the program to be eligible to receive up to 12 weeks of paid internship when meeting specified criteria. The GET More program is open to employees who have been employed with HCPS for one or more years of service. More information is available by clicking the provided link: GET More Program Application

For additional information about the GET More program, please contact Shannon Hagan at Shannon.Hagan@hcps.org or by calling 410-588-5238.

National Board Certification Virtual Informational Meeting for 2022-23 School Year

Teachers and school counselors who hold a bachelor’s degree, have completed three years of successful teaching experience (please note: conditional teaching experience does not count toward eligibility requirements), and hold a valid state teaching license or meet the licensure requirements established by MSDE for a school counselor are encouraged to apply for financial aid to pay for the National Board process. Certification can be achieved in one, two, or three years and leads to many benefits, including: professional learning, possible stipends from HCPS and MSDE, CPD credits, and support from the NBCT community throughout the process.

Informational meetings will be held to share the requirements for the 2022/23 application process:

If you are interested in more information about starting the National Board Certification process during the 2022/23 school year, please complete this form.

Check out the National Board Site. Questions or concerns? Please email HCPS.NationalBoard@hcps.org.

Professional Development Announcements

University of Phoenix - March-July 2022 Schedule/Discount

For Continuing Education for Teachers, graduate-level courses for Reading requirements, Conditional Licensure, Certification renewal, MA+30 credits or endorsements, please see the Spring and Summer 2022 schedule. The schedule has classes grouped by subject area.

  • Classes are 100% online in an asynchronous format, so there is no set day/time required for students to meet online.
  • To receive 10% tuition discount, please contact Nicole Berkebile at nicole.berkebile@phoenix.edu or call/text message: 480-290-4328.

Continuing Teacher Education Cost per credit w/discount is $157.50.
Dates indicate the start date of class. Deadline to enroll is one (1) week prior.

McDaniel College – Master of Science in School Librarianship Program

Please see flier for details about the MS of Science in School Librarianship program and virtual open house on March 23, 2022, at 4:30 p.m.

Congratulations to This Month's Bowtie Breakfast Honorees!

The HCPS Bowtie Breakfast program celebrates Central Office employees who consistently demonstrate outstanding customer service and go above and beyond in their roles. Honorees are nominated by colleagues to attend Superintendent Bulson’s virtual event held each month. Congratulations to the March honorees! Join us in celebrating our awesome HCPS staff!

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Family Friendly School Award Voting Window Now Open!

The voting window to name the next Family Friendly School Award winner is NOW OPEN! There is only be one winning school each month… now is your time to weigh in!

Click here to vote once before 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, March 17, to let us know which nominated school should win the coveted title of “Family Friendly School” and a staff Chick-fil-A luncheon!

As a reminder, if “your” school isn’t in the running this month and you feel it should be, nominate it next month! One winning school will be named each month through May, and schools may win multiple times. Reminders about nominating and voting windows will be shared in the HCPS 411 Update and on the Parent Academy Facebook page throughout the school year.

We look forward to announcing the March winner later this month!

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Community Engagement Event at Homes at Fountain Green

Three Harford County Public Schools (HCPS) principals, along with school-based Student Support Services staff and several Harford County partners, planned a successful event on March 3 at the Homes at Fountain Green to welcome and connect with families new to the community.

Mr. Brad Stinar, principal of Hickory Elementary School, Mr. Chas Hagan, principal of Southampton Middle School, and Ms. Erica Harris, principal of C. Milton Wright High School, recognize the importance of community engagement and work every day to seek partnerships and build relationships that will help support their students and their families.

Hickory Elementary Principal Brad Stinar would like to give a special thank you to Tina Bland, Hickory's school counselor, and Angela Gottesfeld, Hickory's school nurse, for their work behind the scenes to make this event a success: “Tonight’s family event would not have been possible without Tina and Angela and their collective efforts, kudos and thank you to them both.”

HCPS also thanks the following partners who joined our three schools in welcoming the new families during the event:

• Maryland State Department of Education, Maryland EXCELS

• Boys & Girls Clubs of Harford and Cecil Counties

• Harford Community Action Agency

• Harford County Health Department

• Harford County Public Library

• Harford County Child Find; Partners for Success

• Healthy Harford

• Homes for America

• Homes of Fountain Green

• Dental Clinic of Harford County

• Lead & Asthma Group of Harford County


• HCPS Pupil Personnel, School Counseling, Community Outreach, Nursing, and Equity staff

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Teacher Tour, presented by 5xStronger

Teacher Tour Stop 3: Technology

As educators, we are constantly reinventing and reimagining ways to connect with our students. The last couple of years have taught us the importance of leveraging technology to support all students’ needs, moving from simply consuming and sampling technology to a true application of tools to transfer learning. For the next stop on our teacher tour, we are looking to celebrate teachers that do an exemplary job of leveraging technology in their classrooms to support all students. Please use this link to nominate an outstanding teacher on or before March 15, 2022. They may be the next stop on our teacher tour!

HCPS Health Challenge, Presented by QuaranTeam5

The QuaranTeam5 is challenging you to participate in activities to support staying fit - both mentally and physically. Click here to see the challenges! When you participate in any challenge, submit a photo or screenshot here to enter to win a prize. The first 50 teachers to participate will receive the book, 180 Days of Self Care for Busy Educators! The book guides readers through 36 weeks of self-care to improve and enhance their lives through mindful strategies and techniques. Because this book is geared specifically for educators, the weekly ideas correlate with weeks in a school year! Prioritize your health and wellness with the help of these tools and practices. Some books have already been claimed by our participating teachers. Act now: Less than 25 books remain! Two lucky winners will receive a Nutri Ninja Pro Single Serve Blender, and one winner will receive a CareFirst gift package!

You can also share your commitment to health using the hashtag #HCPSHealth on social media. Some HCPS employees are already participating! Check out these educators who are making their physical and mental health a priority – Erinn Ragan, Mikayla Corday, Faith Frankenhauser, and Beth White!

The deadline to submit photos or screenshots to enter to win a prize is Thursday, March 31, 2022! Winners will be announced in the HCPS 411 Update on Thursday, April 7, 2022.

Summer Jobs in Maintenance Listed

Harford County Public Schools Facilities Management Department has a nine-week Summer Maintenance Program (June 20 – August 18, 2022) open to anyone who enjoys varying jobs such as painting and general maintenance tasks. Those selected will work at school buildings and annexes throughout the Harford County Public Schools system. Applicants must be at least 16 years of age and able to provide their own transportation to the various job sites.

The hours are 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday. There are two 15-minute breaks plus a 30-minute lunch. Starting pay for painting is $12.50.

Applications are located on the Harford County Public Schools website (hcps.org) under About Us > Current Vacancies > Other Career Opportunities/Substitutes. Only online applications will be accepted until positions have been filled.

If you have any questions regarding the program, please call the Hickory Annex at 410-638-4088.

Summer Academic Tutoring

The Academic Tutoring Program will be running July 5 – July 30, 2022. 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. Tutors are also needed in Science and Social Studies at the high school level. Tutoring will be offered for the graduation required courses in these two areas. Teachers and paraeducators in any content area may serve as tutors and will be able to identify 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 true hourly rate when working with students and the negotiated rate for planning.

If you are interested in serving as a tutor, please complete this survey form by May 11, 2022: https://forms.office.com/r/4CrAzKzGYP.

For any questions, please contact Academic.Tutoring@hcps.org.

PARAPRO Assessment Opportunities – March 18, 2022

With principal approval, the ParaPro Assessment will be available to all HCPS employees seeking to meet the highly qualified requirements of paraeducator positions in Harford County, which permits an individual to work with students in the classroom under the direction of the teacher.

The test measures skills and knowledge in reading, math, and writing, as well as the ability to apply those skills and knowledge to assist in classroom instruction. Test administration is scheduled for March 18, 2022. The test will be offered from 1:00 to 3:30 p.m. at C. Milton Wright High School, located at 1301 North Fountain Green Road, Bel Air, MD 21015. Please sign-up and pay for the assessment on HECTOR.

Additional information related to the test, procedures for reimbursement, test prep/review and the MD passing score requirements are also available on the HR site HERE.

Questions regarding this information should be directed to Pauline Timmons, in Special Education, at Pauline.Timmons@hcps.org or 410-588-5246.

EAP Webinar: Keeping Engaged and Preventing Burnout

Presented by KEPRO Employee Assistance Program

The March KEPRO EAP resources are here. As we enter the third year of the pandemic, it is no surprise that many are experiencing heightened stress levels. Even though many things are happening beyond your control, there are still some steps to take to help reduce stress. This session will help you learn how to get around burnout, prevent it, and keep yourself engaged in your work and personal life. Click here to learn more.

Date: Available on demand beginning March 17, 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.

BurnAlong Virtual Wellness: Check Out These Trending Classes

Here are some of the top classes other at Harford County Public Schools enjoyed in February. Take a short wellness break, and try a class today!

Are you looking to track a wellness habit or continue a program before the end of the month? Log in to BurnAlong and keep your wellness progress going.

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 Members: Will You Find the Golden Ticket?

Beginning February 1 through April 30, all CareFirst Members registered for their Well-being Platform powered by Sharecare will be eligible for the Golden Ticket!

What is the Golden Ticket Promotion? Every month, 60 randomly selected members will have a Golden Ticket image on their Well-being platform timeline. Lucky winners will each receive a $25 Visa® Virtual Gift Card! To claim your prize, you must find the Golden Ticket on your Sharecare timeline located in the CareFirst ShareCare app and click the "Claim Your Prize" button.

Ready to win? Follow these steps to get started!

1. Register or log in to your Sharecare Account! Click here to access your Sharecare Account.

2. Check your timeline daily to see if a Golden Ticket image appears.

3. If you see the image, follow the prompts to claim your prize!

CareFirst Wellness Announcements

March is National Nutrition Month

This month is all about making informed food choices and creating healthy eating habits that will help increase your overall quality of life. As Hippocrates once said, "Let food be thy medicine" – a sentiment which still rings true today! Our diet's nutrients provide the fuel we need to get through our busy days. To learn more and view the recipe of the month, Healthy Omelet Makeover, click here to view CareFirst's March Wellness Newsletter.

CareFirst/ShareCare Monthly Challenge: March Healthy Plate Challenge

March 1 – March 31

Many people know that nutrition is essential to help you maintain a healthy weight. But there are many other benefits to good nutrition, including reducing the risk of heart disease, delaying the effects of gaining, and maintaining a healthy immune system. Join the challenge in March and prioritize your nutritious choices to improve your well-being.

Click here to learn more about this challenge and how to participate.

CareFirst March Health Awareness Dates:

  • March 2022: Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month- Do you know how to prevent Colorectal Cancer? Take this quick quiz from the CDC and test your knowledge! Colorectal Cancer Quiz | CDC
  • March 22, 2022: National Diabetes Alert Day- Observed annually on the fourth Tuesday in March, Diabetes Alert Day is a "wake-up call" that focuses on the seriousness of diabetes and the importance of understanding your risk. This quick and simple Diabetes Risk Test will help determine if you or a loved one are at risk for type 2 diabetes.

HCPS Customer Satisfaction Survey Link Encouraged in Email Signature Lines

We recognize customer service as a vital component of an organization's culture that, in our case, ultimately affects overall student success. To ensure that HCPS remains accountable for delivering top-notch customer service, we are encouraging all HCPS employees to add a link to a customer satisfaction survey to the signature line of their HCPS emails. To do so, simply copy and paste this into your current signature line:

Click here to take a brief customer satisfaction survey.

In addition, the link to the survey is accessible in the footer on hcps.org.

The responses to this survey will greatly help us gauge our current level of service and identify opportunities for improvement. Survey responses and data are collected and monitored by Judy Simon, HCPS Customer Service Specialist.

Shout Outs!

"Shout out to Amanda Hensley at Edgewood Middle School who pulled the entire 7th grade team of teachers together with a unifying message and made us all t-shirts with her cricut talent! Peace - Love - Equality - Edgewood Strong."

-Jennifer Knoll, Teacher Specialist, Edgewood Middle School

"Heather Quigg, administrative assistant at CMW, exemplifies customer service every day. I have the opportunity to observe Mrs. Quigg provide support to students, teachers, parents, and staff in the most professional manner. There are many occasions she is bombarded with many people in the office while answering a litany of phone calls. She seamlessly addresses all concerns or questions respectfully and expeditiously."

-Brooke Fisher, Teacher - Specialist Instructional Coach, Curriculum

Welcome to HCPS!

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

  • Natalie Hill, Speech Language Pathologist, John Archer School
  • Heather Fox, Inclusion Helper, Roye-Williams Elementary School
  • Julia Shepard, Paraeducator, John Archer School
  • Jennifer Keefer, Paraeducator, Hickory Elementary School
  • Gregory Melton, School Bus Attendant, Transportation
  • Cali Tyson, School Bus Attendant, Transportation
  • Delicia Webb, Inclusion Helper, George D. Lisby Elementary School at Hillsdale
  • Lynn Parker, Administrative Support Specialist, Business Services

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.