HCPS 411 Update

October 21, 2021

COVID-19 Status and Updates

Today’s Harford County COVID-19 positivity metrics are 5.40% positivity and 18.79 cases per 100,000 residents. This information is updated daily by the Harford County Health Department here.

We have seen Harford County’s positivity rates hover around and above 5% for over a week. As planned, our operational status will be updated. To ensure we are meeting our essential mission for students, we are reviewing our language and protocols for the next update, which is intended for release next week. Thank you to all for continued efforts for masking, for distancing whenever and wherever possible, and for intentionally planning activities based on COVID-19 prevention.

Resources regarding HCPS COVID-19 safety protocols can be found both on hcps.org under COVID Resources and on SharePoint here.

Monthly Minute Teams LIVE Link

Big picture
Join Dr. Bulson next Thursday, October 28, at 12:15 p.m. by clicking here.

October HCPS Limelight Honorees

Congratulations to the October honorees highlighted below! And thank you to this month's sponsor, Cintas. In addition to their certificate and car magnet, these employees received a water bottle with the HCPS Limelight logo, and our lucky grand prize winner, Vicki Lutz from Havre de Grace Elementary School, won a North Face backpack and a $250 gift card to the Cintas product catalog!

Big picture

Celebrating HCPS PBIS Schools 2020-2021 Badge Award Recognition

Take a moment to watch this video that celebrates 18 of our HCPS PBIS state recognized schools that applied for badges for the 2020-2021 school year. The seven recognition badges of successes that all PBIS schools could apply for were:

  • Teamwork Makes the Dreamwork
  • Power of Teacher
  • Instructional & Restorative Responding
  • Our Classroom, Our Community
  • Community Connections
  • Data on My Mind
  • Tier 2

Congratulations to our schools that earned badges!

Celebrating HCPS PBIS Schools 2020-2021 Badge Award Recognition

Upcoming Parent Academy Workshop

Mark your calendar!

The link to join the workshop is here and will also be shared on the Parent Academy Facebook page and Parent Academy web page.

Big picture

Kindergarten Readiness Assessment Data and Reports Webinar for Teachers

Kindergarten teachers, administrators, and others who support using KRA data are invited to attend the Kindergarten Readiness Assessment Data and Reports Webinar for Teachers, sponsored by the Maryland State Department of Education.

Topics include:

  • Accessing key KRA reports as soon as you administer the KRA
  • Differentiating instruction based on results
  • Using KRA data for teacher collaboration
  • Communicating about results with families

Meeting Date & Time: Wednesday, November 3, 2021, 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.

For your convenience and for those who cannot attend, the webinar will be recorded.

How to Access the Webinar:

Click this link to access the training: Meeting Registration - Zoom. You will be asked to complete a brief form. Then, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Questions regarding this information should be directed to Kathy Griffin, Coordinator of Early Childhood Programs, at Kathy.Griffin@hcps.org or 410-588-5252.

Elementary Science and Social Sciences Survey

The Code of Maryland requires the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) to survey science and social sciences educators annually. The data from the survey provide an indicator of the amount of instructional time spent on science and social science instruction in elementary schools, the availability/use of instructional resources and teaching technology, and the availability/use of professional learning. All surveys are anonymous, with respondents identified only by school system and grade level. MSDE is required to compile the survey results, post the results on its website, and send a report to the Governor and General Assembly in January.

This survey closes on November 5, and your participation would be appreciated! Completion should require fewer than 10 minutes. Questions may be directed to Mrs. Erin Lange, Supervisor of Social Sciences or Mr. Andrew Renzulli, Supervisor of Science.

Social Sciences and Science Teacher Survey

The Season of Giving - Central Office Food and Coat Drives

The holiday season is a time of year many families are unable to enjoy a Thanksgiving meal and gift giving due to financial hardship. From now through November 19, the HCPS Office of Title I will collect nonperishable food items and monetary donations. Nonperishables may be dropped off in the A. A. Roberty Building lobby Monday through Thursday from 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monetary donations may be made at the A. A. Roberty Building in cash or check made out to Harford County Public Schools. Monetary donations can be made Mondays and Wednesdays from 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Please ask for Pam Smith, HCPS Homeless Liaison, to deliver your monetary donation. All funds will be used to purchase food items for families in Harford County.

A winter coat and toy drive will run from November 1 through December 17, 2021. Coats and toys will be delivered to Harford County families for the holiday season. All coat sizes will be accepted. Toys should be unwrapped and can be for all ages. A box will be in the lobby of the A. A. Roberty Building for donations.

Academic Tutoring

The Academic Tutoring Program will be running for the duration of the 2021-2022 school year. We are looking for short-term (“on call”) and long-term tutors. 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. We are expanding the program to tutoring students 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 per diem rate.

If you are interested in serving as a tutor, please complete this survey form: https://survey.hcps.org/rws5.pl?FORM=Fall2021TutorRegistration.

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

October is National Physical Therapy (PT) Month!

Celebrate PT Month with the HCPS Physical Therapy Team! HCPS has a proud team of countywide physical therapists (PTs) and physical therapy assistants (PTAs) that provide physical therapy services to students with IEPs and 504 plans. PTs and PTAs are licensed health care professionals and are movement experts. They work collaboratively with students, school staff, and families to improve students’ functional mobility.

The HCPS PT team created a fun quiz to see how much you know about Physical Therapy. There’s a sweet treat if you participate! Answer all questions and you will be entered into a raffle for two dozen custom decorated cookies to celebrate PT Month!

Take the quiz here: Physical Therapy Month Quiz.

All entries must be received by Friday, October 22, 2021.

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 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 November 6, 2021, 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. Click the “Select” button.
  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 73804. 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. 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 complete the highlighted sections on this form and email it to Sarah Moore at scullip@ccbcmd.edu.

Upcoming Webinar: Understanding Social Security

In partnership with MetLife, HCPS is offering employees the opportunity to participate in a webinar to help better understand the nuances of Social Security. The more you know about Social Security, the better chance you have of getting the most out of it. In this webinar, you will learn how it can pay to delay your benefits, the effective of earned income and how benefits are taxed, and the next steps you can take to create an income strategy.

Date: Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Time: 5:00 – 6:00 p.m.

Click here to reserve your spot! Register online now. Space may be limited.

Get Started with BurnAlong

BurnAlong is right by your side with a ton of great programming to keep you healthy, well, and fit. First off, a brand new BurnAlong partner, LivFitCo, is now offering upbeat cycling, HIIT, Barre, and breathing practice classes on the platform. Check them out!

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 complementary 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.

CLICK HERE to watch this quick two-minute video to help get started with your online member portal.

STEM@Home Virtual Programming is back!

Aberdeen Proving Ground's C5ISR Community Outreach Program is offering a series of FREE interactive virtual opportunities for your students through our STEM@Home programming.

World-class scientists and engineers who work at Aberdeen Proving Ground will be guest speakers at many of their STEM@Home events, each of which is designed to engage and inspire the next generation of STEM experts - your students among them.

For students in sixth through eighth grade, they are offering our STEM@Home Middle School Night online from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, November 10. This month’s topic will be “Artificial Intelligence.”

For information on programming for students in kindergarten through twelfth grade, please visit their website at https://c5isr.ccdc.army.mil/student_programs/.

Spotlight on Customer Service

"I’d like to give a huge shout out to Christopher Carnohan, Computer Technician at both Bel Air Middle and Bel Air High Schools. I got to work alongside him for a few days at BAMS, where he spent much of his day in the library, a common area where he was attending to technology work orders and taking in/sending back out Chromebooks. Yet, when teachers and students had questions about laptops or programs not working, he always offered up solutions, if he could—for steps relative to settings, or advice about troubleshooting. I could see him empowering young people to be able to troubleshoot “on their own” next time. BAMS recently had Boxlight Panels installed, and Chris has tirelessly supported teachers when small things (which are big things in many ways) like display settings and cable hook ups need to be adjusted. Chris has also helped the instructional tech team when we have questions, as we work with teachers—empowering us to help the next person, if a similar problem arises. It means so much to staff and students to know that Chris “has their back.” Now that we have returned face to face, and all students have a device, we value our computer technicians more than ever! Thank you Chris for all you do for your schools, your co-workers, and their school community. You remind us that we are HCPS together!"

-Alyssa King, Instructional Technology Teacher Specialist, Office of Organizational Development

"The C. Milton Wright Library continues to be an incredible example of going the extra mile for customer service! This week, a student, who is struggling to find the right book to connect with, made a visit to the library. Afterwards, I also talked to the librarian about how hard this student was struggling to find the right book. Mrs. Marcia Buckley, our librarian, e-mailed me the next day with detailed information about a book that she thought might appeal to this reader! I love that she kept thinking about this student even after she was out of sight, and that she had taken time to note her interests to continue brainstorming a great fit!"

-Jennifer Gusso, English I/Honors English I/Drama I, C. Milton Wright High School

Shout Outs!

"We wanted to give a huge shout out and thank you to Amanda Swearington, Kimberly Gue, and the whole PreK Team at George Lisby - Hillsdale for being incredible individuals who work hard for their amazing students every day! Amanda, Kim, and the GLES community welcomed a student transitioning from John Archer School to GLES with open arms and warm hearts. Despite their intensely busy schedules, they have taken the time to provide updates on the great progress he is making in his new classroom. Thank you for filling our buckets and our hearts!"

-The PreK Team at John Archer School

"Special thank you to Vince Evans and Brianna Quinn, assistive technology specialists, along with Laura Knapp, Tammy Taylor and Dawn Zipay who developed meaningful and relevant personalized learning opportunities for our teachers in the virtual blended program at Swan Creek. Thank you for sharing your expertise with the staff. Your time and dedication to building our teachers’ capacity is appreciated."

-Brooke Fisher, Instructional Coach, Office of Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment

"I would like to give a shout out to the secretaries of Edgewood High School, Quintessa Beard, Brittany Pantoja, and Chiwy Webster. These fantastic administrative assistants have been working overtime and going the extra mile while we are down staff. Their hard-work does not go unnoticed and they are appreciated immensely!"

-Amanda Seiverd, School Counselor, Edgewood High School

"My classroom staff would like to give a shout out to the locksmiths, Lee and John, for patiently helping us get our keys to our snack cabinet to work! It took them several demonstrations, but we finally got them to work!"

-Keelin Eder, Special Educator, John Archer School

Welcome to the HCPS Family!

Please help us welcome the following new HCPS employees:

  • Alexia Alascio-Huegelmeier, Inclusion Helper, Forest Lakes Elementary School
  • Linda Bilsbury, Paraeducator, Hickory Elementary School
  • Ali Cataggio, Paraeducator, Aberdeen High School
  • Faith Christ, Inclusion Helper, John Archer School
  • Lasha Cunningham, Inclusion Helper, Bakerfield Elementary School
  • Jennifer Farquharson, Paraeducator, Joppatowne High School
  • Kenneth Miller, Title IX Compliance Specialist, Student Support Services
  • Samantha Sienkielewski, Inclusion Helper, Bel Air Middle School

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.