HCPS 411 Update

June 16, 2022

Publication Note

Next Thursday, June 23, is the last regularly-scheduled issue of the HCPS 411 Update for the 2021-22 school year. The newsletter will resume publication weekly on Thursdays with the start of the new school year. Important information for staff will be shared over the summer via Special Announcement newsletters as needed. Have a safe, relaxing, and fun summer!

HCPS Crisis Preparedness Report

At the June 13, 2022, Board of Education Business Meeting, HCPS staff presented the Board with a report on HCPS safety, security, and crisis preparedness. We encourage you to watch the presentation available in the Board Video Archive.

You can access the report on the hcps website or by clicking here.

As defined in the HCPS Strategic Plan, Goal 4 for the Board of Education of Harford County is to, "Provide safe, secure, and healthy learning environments conducive to effective teaching and learning, creativity, and innovation." In February and March 2022, the co-chairs of the HCPS Safety and Security Work Group, Dr. Stacey Gerringer and Mr. Donoven Brooks, hosted a series of focus groups and stakeholder meetings with internal and external partners to gather input for updating and improving HCPS safety and security procedures after the post-pandemic school reopening.

As HCPS continues conversations on the safety and security of our students, staff, and facilities, we will provide updates and hope you will continue to be a part of the conversation.

Extended School Year (ESY) Program

Paraeducators are still needed at Forest Lakes Elementary School (FLES), Prospect Mill Elementary School (PMES), and Roye-Williams Elementary School (RWES). Inclusion helpers are needed at most sites. Apply at Summer School Employment Opportunities. Summer employment incentives are applicable.

Harford County Public Schools Summer Employment Incentive

To increase the applicant pool for all of our summer programs, we have identified funding to provide stipends for all individuals (instructional and support) who elect to work in one of our summer programs this summer. In addition, anyone who is working in a summer program will continue to receive the per diem pay rate that was negotiated between HCEA and HCPS that took effect on July 1, 2021. The per diem pay rate will reflect an employee’s true hourly rate that is based on an employee’s annual salary. The stipends being offered will be paid in addition to the hourly pay provided for actual hours worked. The appropriate stipend will be paid on the second pay of September 2022.

To review the full memorandum of understanding reached between HCPS and HCEA, including charts detailing the programs, hours, and stipend amounts, please click here.

If you are interested in working a summer program, please submit your application as soon as possible. You can apply at Summer School Employment Opportunities.

Questions regarding this information should be directed to Staff Management, Human Resources, at StaffManagement@hcps.org.

Summer Meals

HCPS is pleased to announce we will continue to provide the Summer Meals Program to students 18 years of age and younger beginning Monday, June 20, 2022. Visit hcps.org and click on Menus for details. Please note: Due to federal regulations, the list of locations may have changed, and HCPS cannot provide meal kits; children participating in the summer meals program must be present and enjoy their meal on site. Alternative community meal supports are linked on the website for convenience.

National Board Webinars

National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) will be hosting the following webinars for Maryland educators. Please use the links below to register.

June 20, 2022, 10:00 a.m. - Introduction to National Board Certification

July 11, 2022, 10:00 a.m. - Introduction to National Board Certification

July 18, 2022, 11:00 a.m. - Maintaining Your National Board Certification

August 1, 2022, 1:00 p.m. - Introduction to National Board Certification

Questions? Please send to hcps.nationalboard@hcps.org.

Professional Development Announcements

University of Phoenix (UOPX) - Master of Arts in Education/Curriculum and Instruction

Starting on July 26, 2022! Make learning come alive for students. In as little as 17 months, you can earn a Master of Arts in Education/Curriculum and Instruction, designed for teachers (P-12) who want to serve as leaders in their schools with advanced knowledge and skills in curriculum and instruction.

Teachers with academic endorsements or who have completed specific University of Phoenix Continuing Education for Teachers courses, such as Assessment and Evaluation for Educators and Technology Integration for Educators, can save time and money by applying to waive up to 12 credits.

Your Benefits:

  • 10% off tuition
  • $486 per credit (includes 10% off tuition)
  • Locked-in Tuition - pay the same price from start to finish
  • Financial aid eligible
  • Students complete a total of 35 credits in the MAEd/Curriculum and Instruction program, with potential course waiver with previous course credits
  • Register now for July 26, 2022, start date

Why does UOPX work for working adults?

  • 100% online asynchronous allows students to attend class on their schedule
  • Students take one, six-week class at a time
  • Practitioner faculty (average of 20 years in the field)
  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission
  • Career Services for Life

If you would like more information on this program and 10% off tuition cost, please contact
Nicole Berkebile at Nicole.Berkebile@phoenix.edu or call 480-290-4328.

Inclusion Helpers Scheduled Work Days - 2022-23 School Year

The four (4) additional scheduled work days beyond the student calendar for Inclusion Helpers during the 2022-23 school year will be:

  • Monday, August 29, 2022
  • Tuesday, August 30, 2022
  • Friday, September 2, 2022
  • Monday, April 3, 2023

*These are systemwide Professional Development Days, therefore, the hours will be 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.*

Questions regarding this information should be directed to Dan Reimers, in Human Resources, at Daniel.Reimers@hcps.org or 410-588-5226.

New Investment Committee Member

The Investment Committee is seeking at-large members to serve on the committee. The committee meets virtually from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. two times per year, with additional meetings as needed. All HCPS employees are eligible to serve on the committee as long as they are active participants in either one or both of the 403b or 457 plans.

The Committee has the authority, duty and responsibility to:

1.) Select the funding vehicles available under the Plans.

2.) Monitor and evaluate the performance of the funding vehicles and the Plans’ investment line-up.

3.) Remove and replace funding vehicles available under the Plan.

4.) Retain an advisor to assist the Committee in the exercise of its authority, duty and responsibilities.

Please contact Deborah Judd, Assistant Superintendent for Business Services, if you are interested in serving on this committee or have questions regarding this information: Deborah.Judd@hcps.org or 410-588-5321.

New Mileage Rate Effective July 1, 2022

Harford County Public Schools reimburses employees at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) standard mileage rate for business use of personal vehicles. The IRS announced a change in the mileage reimbursement for the second half of 2022. Beginning July 1, 2022, the standard mileage rate for use of a personal vehicle will be 62.5 cents per mile for business miles driven. Employees who are approved for mileage reimbursement should download an updated Employee Expense Reimbursement Voucher for mileage incurred on or after July 1, 2022. (This form is posted to the Business Services’ Accounts Payable SharePoint page.) Please submit separate forms for January 2022 through June 2022 and July 2022 through December 2022. Additional details may be found in the Employee Mileage Memo 2022. Also, be sure to save the form to your own computer. The default folder is saving information to Share Point. Click here for detailed instructions.

Parent Academy Real Talk: An Overview of the HCPS Health Curriculum

In this Real Talk, hear directly from HCPS health education leaders on the new Comprehensive Health Education Framework from the Maryland State Department of Education and how HCPS, as well as all local school systems, will align our current curriculum to the new framework. The framework, or guide, outlines the health standards to be taught in Prek-Grade 12 and indicates what students should know at the end of each grade level as well as the skill sets used to navigate the content topics. HCPS experts dive a little deeper to explain what parents and students may expect as they progress through the curriculum.

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Parent Academy Real Talk: Introducing Mr. Joe Harbert as the new HCPS Director of Health and Wellness

In this Real Talk, you’ll hear directly from Mr. Joe Harbert, who was recently named Director of Health and Wellness for Harford County Public Schools. Mr. Harbert shares the role and responsibilities of this newly created job, such as developing partnerships with community agencies to provide resources to support students who may be dealing with mental and/or emotional issues, connecting with schools to provide training for trauma-informed instruction, etc. We know our students cannot thrive academically if they are not well physically or mentally. HCPS looks forward to expanding its efforts in this area and providing support to families beyond the school day. Take a watch to “meet” Mr. Harbert and learn more about his new role.

Introducing Mr. Joe Harbert as the new HCPS Director of Health and Wellness


On June 19, 1865, Union soldiers arrived in Galveston Bay, Texas to announce that more than 250,000 enslaved persons were free per executive decree. Although the Emancipation Proclamation was made effective in 1863, states under heavy Confederate control were delayed in conveying the news to their enslaved citizens. June 19th has come to be nationally recognized as Juneteenth, memorializing the end of enslavement of African Americans in the United States. Later that year in December 1865, the 13th amendment was adopted officially abolishing slavery in America.

In 1979, Texas declared Juneteenth an official holiday and on June 17, 2021 President Biden signed into law the recognition of Juneteenth as a federal holiday. Today, Juneteenth is celebrated throughout the nation with a wide variety of efforts centered around educating all Americans about Juneteenth as well as supporting ongoing efforts to strengthen social justice causes throughout the land.

For more information on Juneteenth, visit National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Pride Month

LGBTQ Pride Month is celebrated annually in the month of June to honor and recognize the 1969 Stonewall uprising in Manhattan, New York. This month-long celebration acknowledges the accomplishments of LGBTQ individuals, commemorates their ongoing pursuit of equality, and serves as an avenue to uplift voices of the LGBTQ community and the contributions they bring to our nation. A rainbow flag, originally created in 1978 by artist Gilbert Baker, is widely used as a symbol of the LGBTQ community. Did you know each color of the rainbow flag has a specific meaning? The color red symbolizes life, orange symbolizes healing, yellow symbolizes sunlight, green symbolizes nature, blue symbolizes art, and purple symbolizes harmony.

For more information on the importance of Pride Month, and for ways to get involved, visit the Human Rights Campaign website. For information on celebrations taking place during the month of June, visit MD Pride Events.

Caribbean American Heritage Month

In June 2006, then president George W. Bush issued a proclamation denoting June as National Caribbean American Heritage Month. This month serves as a time to recognize, celebrate, and raise awareness for Caribbean American contributions to the United States. Caribbean Americans have brought rich and diverse languages, traditions, and values that contribute to our nations diverse population. For more information on the importance of Caribbean American Heritage Month, and for ways to get involved, visit the Caribbean American Heritage Month official website.

Looking to try some Caribbean American cuisine? Check out these restaurants right here in Harford County!

2022 HCPS Green Teachers of the Year

Congratulations to the 2022 HCPS elementary and secondary Green Teachers of the Year! This year’s elementary honoree is Ms. Sue Nickerson, second grade teacher at Fountain Green Elementary School (FGES). Nominated by her principal, Ms. Mary Ann Clinton, Ms. Nickerson leads the annual Arbor Day tree recognition, supports the outdoor learning area at FGES, and encourages all staff and students to be environmental stewards.

Our secondary honoree is Ms. Karen Jones, science teacher at Fallston Middle School (FAMS). Nominated by her principal, Mr. Jamie Johnson, Ms. Jones leads the FAMS green team and plays an integral part in the Green School certification team.

Thank you to both of our 2022 Green Teachers of the Year for their role in promoting environmental literacy and stewardship in Harford County Public Schools!

The Daily Record Announces 2022 Leading Women Honorees

The Daily Record selected Jillian Lader, Manager of Communications, Harford County Public Schools, to receive one of the 2022 Leading Women awards.

The Daily Record’s Leading Women awards honor women who are 40 years of age or younger for the accomplishments they have made so far in their careers. Winners were selected for the honor based on their professional experience, community involvement and commitment to inspiring change.

The honorees were selected by previous Leading Women and The Daily Record.

To read the full press release, please click here.

Thank You to Our Bus Contractors!

On Tuesday, June 14, the HCPS Transportation Department staff donated breakfast to the HCPS Bus Contractors to recognize their efforts during the 2021-22 school year. These are just some of the people behind the scenes that keep our HCPS buses moving for 180 school days. The early mornings, the long evenings, the field trips, and the sporting events would not be possible without their dedication to our school community.

Thank you to our HCPS bus contractors for their commitment to safety and service!

Littles University

We are excited to bring you the next free book, "Maybe: A Story About the Endless Potential in All of Us" by Kobi Yamada. Order your free copy by June 30 with our amazing partners, Harford County Education Foundation, and join Mrs. Lader on the HCPS Facebook page on July 6 for a special video!

With a book description like this, we had to share- you don't want to miss this one! Register for your free book today because we think they'll go quick!

"You are the only you there ever has been or ever will be. You are unique in all the universe. Just the odds of you being here at this exact place and this exact time are so great and so rare that it will never happen again. Written by New York Times best-selling author Kobi Yamada, this is a story for everything you will do and everything you can be. It’s a story about all the possibilities ahead of you. It’s for who you are right now and it’s for all the magical, unbounded potential you hold inside. With its beautiful visual storytelling and timeless message, 'Maybe' is an inspiring story for kids of all ages."

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Celebrating the Year at Edgewood Elementary's Summer Kick Off Block Party

Shout out to Edgewood Elementary School for hosting this amazing event for their families!

What do you get when more than 400 family guests, 40 staff members, and 12 local business and community partners gather on one school's front lawn? One AMAZING end of year celebration!

Edgewood Elementary School hosted its first annual Summer Kick Off Block Party yesterday evening, hoping to not only celebrate an amazing year, but also send our families off to summer with school and community-based resources that they can access while school is out of session. Families and staff shared a meal, a visit to the ice cream truck, dancing and games, and even a few rounds under the Dunk Bucket! The school wanted the night to be an opportunity to enjoy each other's company as one, big, Edgewood Eagle family, and they certainly hit the mark! Thank you to the amazing staff who worked so hard to pull it off, the awesome community partners who showed up to support, and the incredible families for joining them and brining the fun!

For more great pictures from the event, check out the HCPS, Parent Academy, or Edgewood Elementary Facebook pages!

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Save the Date for the 2022 End of Summer Fest!

We are excited to announce that HCPS is once again partnering with the Aberdeen IronBirds to host the End of Summer Fest at Leidos Field at Ripken Stadium during the Thursday, August 25, 7:05 p.m. home game (IronBirds vs. Wilmington Blue Rocks). The purpose of this event is to end summer in a fun way and celebrate the beginning of a new school year with the families in our community. Many community partners will be onsite and there will be fun activities for kids. Mark your calendar now; more information about the event and a link to purchase discounted tickets will be shared on the HCPS website and HCPS and Parent Academy Facebook pages during the summer. We hope to see you there!

What’s New on BurnAlong

Let’s head outside in June! Join the June BurnAlong Challenge

June is National Outdoors Month, so take BurnAlong on the go with you this summer! Join the challenge beginning on June 16 to participate in their Wellness Habits Challenge. From June 16 to June 30, track a wellness habit through your account on the BurnAlong app or your desktop. If going outside isn’t your thing, no big deal! Commit to another wellness habit for 15 days, such as drinking water. Click here to update your wellness habits.

BurnAlong Coaching Services

BurnAlong Coaches can help individuals with developing a routine no matter where you are starting from, starting a new BurnAlong category, connecting you with coaches and instructors to best meet your needs, set and track your goals and wellness habits, and assist you with finding the perfect program to achieve your health, wellness, and fitness goals. To get started with a BurnAlong Coach today, email coach@burnalong.com.

Healthy Mind, Healthy Life

If you need to have some more reasons to head outdoors, BurnAlong has curated some compelling benefits, ideas to incorporate the outdoors into your workday, and some suggested classes to take with you while you roam. For more information, click here.

On the Road this Summer?

You can take BurnAlong with you! Download the app and create an account if you have not done so already. BurnAlong has curated classes that you can take from hotel rooms with limited time and depending on your mood.

What is BurnAlong?

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 Wellness Announcement: Men’s Health Month

June is Men’s Health Month

This national health observance is all about encouraging boys, men, and their families to make healthy living decisions such as getting regular screenings, eating health, and exercising. Another important June health observance is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness month. To learn more, click here to view CareFirst’s June Wellness Newsletter.

June Wellness-Being Awareness Dates

  • June 5: National Cancer Survivor’s Day
  • June 13-19: Men’s Health Week
  • June 17: Wear Blue to Show Your Support for Men’s Health

June Recipe of the Month: Sirloin Steaks with Mushroom Sauce

Click here to learn more and try this delicious dish

CareFirst Wellness Announcement: UV Safety Awareness Next Month

July is UV Safety Awareness Month

While the sun’s rays boost Vitamin D, overexposure to the sun can cause significant risks. As we gear up for summer vacations and outdoor activities, it is essential to stay mindful of the short- and long-term effects exposure to UV rays can cause and how we can protect our skin during exposure. To learn more, click here to view CareFirst’s July Wellness Newsletter.

Click here to learn more about the American Cancer Society’s tips for preventing skin cancer.

July Recipe of the Month: Mixed Lettuce Salad with Cucumber Herb Vinaigrette

Click here to learn more and try this delicious dish.

EAP Webinar: Finding Yourself Through Nature

Presented by KEPRO Employee Assistance Program

The June KEPRO EAP resources are here. Get out this summer and explore nature. In this session, you will discover the importance of being outside and find your own way to enjoy nature and increase your wellbeing. Click here to learn more.

Date: Available on demand beginning June 21, 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.

Notice: CareFirst Customer Service Hours of Closure

On Monday, June 20, and Thursday, June 23, from 8:00 to 11:00 a.m., CareFirst Customer Service will be unavailable. The entire CareFirst team will be participating in a Corporate meeting on these dates and times. There will not be the option for members to leave a message, but they will be advised to call back when their service center reopens after 11:00 a.m. CareFirst thanks you for your understanding during this time.

Shout Outs!

"A big shout out to Robert Smith, Mark Ressler, and Theodore Plass for the incredible work they did on our school grounds. We celebrated Churchville Elementary School's 90th birthday recently and had a lot of compliments on the landscaping. Thank you for all your hard work!"

-Lisa Minutoli, Principal, and Linda Puto, Chief Custodian, Churchville Elementary School

"Special thanks to the teachers who provided mentorship and feedback for HCPS National Board candidates this year: Kristen Bard, Anne Black, Leigh Bondrole, Wendy Butz, Sarah Edler, Heather Floros, Susan Hoy, Cindy Lippencott, Christy Renzulli, Caitlin Sieracki, Dr. Paula Stanton, Annmarie Steltzer, and Andrea Yeager. We appreciate your time and dedication!

- Dr. Jennifer Palmer, Crystal Rufenacht, and Kathy Thompson

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.