HCPS 411 Update

September 22, 2022

Office Closures for Scheduled Professional Development

Clerical staff will have the opportunity to engage in professional development activities on both the afternoon of November 4, 2022, and April 3, 2023. The central Instructional Leadership Team has approved the closure of offices on the afternoon of November 4, 2022, and for the full day on April 3, 2023, for clerical staff to fully engage in professional development. At the discretion of their supervisors, clerical staff may engage in the professional learning from their work location or offsite. The agenda and Teams links for the November 4, 2022, professional learning sessions will be forthcoming. Questions regarding this information should be directed to Peter Carpenter, in Organizational Development and Continuous Learning, at Peter.Carpenter@hcps.org or 410-809-6300.

Proposed 2023-24 HCPS School Year Operational Calendar

The 2023-2024 HCPS School Year Operational Calendar was presented to the Board of Education at the September 19, 2022, Board Business meeting. The Board will accept feedback on the proposed calendar for 60 days. At the conclusion of the 60 days of public comment, the calendar committee will review feedback received, determine if adjustments are needed to the proposed calendar, then present a final draft of the calendar to the Board of Education in December for a vote. You can view the calendar presentation from the Board of Education meeting on hcps.org by clicking on "live stream" under the Board drop down menu.

After reviewing the presentation, provide your support of the proposed calendar or your suggested edits by clicking the button on our homepage or use this link.

FY23 Payroll Calendar - Revised

The FY23 Payroll Calendar has been revised for the 11/11/22 Federal Reserve Holiday. Our pay date will be on Thursday, 11/10/22. The revised calendar is on SharePoint and can be accessed by clicking Here.

If you have payroll related questions, please contact your Payroll Coordinator. Click Here to find the Payroll Coordinator for your location.

Not sure who to contact? Send your question to Payroll at Payroll@hcps.org.

Email Delivery of Pay Stubs

As a reminder, you have the ability to sign up for email delivery of your pay stub (it will still be available under Electronic Documents - My Pay Stubs in Employee Self Service). Email delivery allows you to receive a copy of your pay stub from any computer by logging into the email(s) you choose.

Here are the steps to enable this option:

  • Sign into Employee Self Service (ESS). See the link below if you need instructions for signing into ESS.
  • Select Bookmarks
  • Select Employee Self Service
  • Select Electronic Documents
  • Select Pay Stubs under My Delivery Settings
  • Check Yes for Web Delivery
  • Enter a personal email address, if desired, and enter a password. This password does not expire so do not use your network password.
  • Click Submit

To access ESS, you must be logged onto an HCPS computer. If you need information on logging into ESS, click on the following link DSS and ESS Instructions.

If you have any Payroll questions, please contact your Payroll Coordinator. Click Here to find the Payroll Coordinator for your location.

Not sure who to contact? Send your question to the general email at Payroll@hcps.org.

Address Verification

Please verify the address shown on your 9/16/22 pay stub is your current address. If the address is incorrect, log into Employee Self Service (ESS) and update your address (click on Life Events and then Move). Note: To access, you must be logged onto an HCPS computer/HCPS network. The format for username is your network username followed by “@hcps.org”, for example, johsmith@hcps.org. See the DSS and ESS Instructions for all you can do in DSS/ESS.

If you have any payroll questions, please contact your Payroll Coordinator. Click Here to find the Payroll Coordinator for your location.

Not sure who to contact? Send your question to the general email at Payroll@hcps.org.

New Teacher Certification Process

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.

Career Counseling is Available to You!

Explore the right career opportunities with a Human Resources Representative! Career Counseling is now available to all HCPS employees. A few benefits of career counseling are:

  • Job Search Support
  • Determine Strengths and Weaknesses
  • Clarify Career Goals
  • Goal Setting
  • Resume and Cover Letter Assistance

Be on the lookout for upcoming drop-in career counseling appointments at your school!

For more information, or to schedule a career counseling appointment, please email maranda.scott@hcps.org.

Principal Toolkit: Joppatowne Elementary School

Take a moment to hear from proud Principal of Joppatowne Elementary School Jessica Hichkad and her school's PTA President Dawn Hines about an innovative way Joppatowne Elementary kept its school community engaged and connected all summer.

This is a great example of National PTA Standard 1: Creating a climate and culture that is welcoming all families into the school community. Families are active participants in the life of the school and feel welcomed, valued, and connected to each other, to school staff, and to what students are learning and doing in class.

*Principal Toolkit videos are archived on hcps.org under the Staff tab and on the Parent Academy page.

JOES PToolkit

Professional Development Announcements

Goucher College Upcoming Information Meetings:

To RSVP, visit the Information Meeting Page. For more details right away, please call (667) 444 2410.

Programs Offered:

Master of Education (M.Ed.) & Professional Development (PD) Certificate Programs:

  • At-Risk and Diverse Learners (offered as a cohort)
  • Athletic Program Leadership and Administration
  • ESOL for Certified Teachers (offered as a cohort)
  • Literacy Strategies for Content Learning (offered as a cohort)
  • Reading Instruction Concentration (offered as a cohort)
  • Reducing Student, Classroom, and School Disruption
  • School Improvement Leadership Concentration (offered as a cohort)
  • Special Education (offered as a cohort)
  • Teacher as Leader in Technology Concentration

Masters of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.):

  • Dual Elementary (Grades 1-6) and Special Education (Grades 1-8) (offered as a cohort)
  • Dual Secondary with Special Education (offered as a cohort)
  • Elementary Education (Grades 1-6) (offered as a cohort)
  • Elementary Special Education (Grades 1-6) (offered as a cohort)
  • Secondary Education (Grades 6-12) (offered as a cohort)
  • Secondary Special Education (Grades 6-12) (offered as a cohort)

Questions? Please email Kim Leonard, Goucher Graduate Information Specialist, at kleonard@exploregoucher.com.

WIDA Self-paced Virtual Workshops

WIDA, housed within the Wisconsin Center for Education Research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, supports students, families, educators and administrators with high-quality, research-based tools and resources, dedicated to language development for multilingual learners. WIDA is offering any teacher within our state the ability to take any or all of their virtual workshops offered for FREE. These self-paced virtual workshops cover general topics related to instructing ELs to content-specific sessions. See this link for session descriptions:


Those interested in participating in the workshops must provide their name and email address to Chandra Krantz, Supervisor of World Language and English Learner Programs, prior to accessing the workshop content so they may be added into the WIDA secure system.

Questions regarding this information should be directed to Chandra Krantz, World Language and English Learner Programs, at Chandra.Krantz@hcps.org or 410-588-5218.

Mentor Teachers Needed For HCC Students

This semester, Harford Community College (HCC) is looking to place education students for their 30-hour field observation experience. The experience provides the HCC student an opportunity to observe teaching in action as well as support instruction and teaching tasks as appropriate. Interested teachers should complete the survey by Friday, September 23: HCC Mentor Interest Survey.

Questions? Contact Rebecca.Spencer@hcps.org in the Office of Teacher Preparation & Professional Development.


The COVID-19 Leave MOU’s between the Board of Education and both the Association of Harford County Administrative, Technical, and Supervisory Professionals (AHCATSP) and the Association of Public School Administrators and Supervisors of Harford County (APSASHC) are now 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., Director of Staff and Labor Relations, at Mae.Alfree@hcps.org or 410-588-5226.

STEM Center Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at Hall's Cross Roads Elementary

Take a moment to learn more about the brand new Cal Ripken Sr. STEM Center at Hall's Cross Roads Elementary School as we give you a peek into the exciting ribbon cutting ceremony held this week. This new, in-school center will provide Hall's Cross Roads Elementary students with opportunities for innovative STEM experiences in afterschool and summer programs, and even small-group settings.
STEM Center Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at Halls Cross Roads Elementary

Lunch & Learn: Internet Safety Strategies

Parent Academy is excited to host the first Lunch & Learn of the new school year! Help us spread the word, and encourage those interested to mark their calendars to join us online next Thursday, September 29, from 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. for the important topic of internet safety. Information about internet safety tools, conversation starters, and social supports for students will be shared by some of our community experts.

Click here to join the conversation on September 29 at 12:00 p.m.

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Real Talk: Optional Purchases for Families

In this Real Talk, hear from Assistant Superintendent of Business Services Deborah Judd and Technology Team Leader Jason Wilkinson who share information about why parents/guardians should consider purchasing the optional HCPS device protection plan, which covers accidental damage that may occur to their student’s device any time during the entire school year. In addition, Supervisor of Risk Management Julie Uehlein shares information about optional student accident insurance that families may want to take advantage of if they don’t have insurance or if they want to cover and potential gaps in their existing plans.


School and Classroom Enrichment Grants From Harford County Education Foundation

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Good Luck, Ms. Gereli!

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Support Services Superstar Award Program

Nominations for the Support Services Superstar Award are being accepted now until October 14, 2022. APG Federal Credit Union (APGFCU) is the proud sponsor of HCPS Support Services Superstar Awards. All Harford County Public Schools regular support staff employees are eligible for the award. Program information and nomination forms may be downloaded at www.hcps.org.

Questions regarding this information should be directed to Ben Richardson, in Human Resources, at Benjamin.Richardson2@hcps.org or 410-588-5226.

Academic Tutoring

The Academic Tutoring Program will be running for the 2022-2023 school year beginning at the end of 1st quarter. More information will be coming out soon in the HCPS 411 Update.

Diversity 365

Join us as we continue to shine the light on how HCPS celebrates Diversity throughout the year. 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: Hispanic 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 Thursday, October 6, 2022. This month’s submissions will be shared in the October 13th edition of the HCPS 411 Update.

Ring Factory Elementary School Celebrates Dot Day!

International Dot Day is named for the classic Peter H. Reynolds storybook, The Dot, and is a celebration of creativity and courage. The book shares the story of a girl who begins a journey of self-discovery after a caring teacher challenges her to “make her mark.” It is a great day to connect, collaborate, and celebrate self-expression. Ring Factory Elementary School celebrated Dot Day together during National Arts in Education Week!
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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.

PLEASE NOTE: Additional clinics are being scheduled and will be promoted in future 411 Newsletters as those events are confirmed. 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.

What's New with BurnAlong in September

What's for Dinner Thursday: Healthy Game Day Snacks

Spoiler Alert: Game day doesn't have to include wings.

Meet the new Game Day duo: Potatoes and Hummus. This healthy snack will score you a touchdown at the next gathering. All you need is a bag of yellow potatoes, a container of hummus, and a few spices to kick up this dish and provide a healthy alternative to snacking on game day. Looking for the recipe to see if you have all of the ingredients? Click here to get the recipe and start cooking.

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: Self-Improvement Month

September is Self-Improvement Month

This health observance is a timely reminder to assess where we are and would like to be. It is time to care for ourselves and focus on improving our personal, mental, financial, and physical health. To learn more, click here to view CareFirst's September Wellness Newsletter.

September Recipe of the Month: Italian-Style Chicken Recipe

Click here to try this Italian-style chicken designed to fill you with good-for-you vegetables and tasty, nutritious chicken.

SmartDollar Financial Wellness Solution

When it comes to managing your finances and preparing for your financial future, it may not be easy to know if you're on the right track. SmartDollar is a free online financial program brought to you by CareFirst ShareCare. All employees, enrolled in the medical plan or not, can access ShareCare to take advantage of this opportunity to help you steer your financial destiny. To learn more about how to register, click here.

September ShareCare Self Challenge: Sleep Better Now

Did you know you are supposed to get at least 7-9 hours of sleep each night? Join ShareCare's self-managed Sleep Better Now Challenge and start making little changes in your sleep habits that could help you catch more zzzs and improve your overall health. To learn more and participate, click here.

AP Webinar: Open Communication - Talking about Talking

Presented by KEPRO Employee Assistance Program

We often spend most of our communication energy trying to get our point across and feel understood and heard by others. This month, participants will attain the skills to have open and effective communication at work and home. Click here to learn more.

Date: Available now on demand

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, seven 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!

"I want to give a shout out to Eric Rommelman and the entire facilities crew. They took time out of their busy schedules to help Edgewood Middle School install a sensory light curtain for our brand new wellness area. The install was not straightforward and required a lot of problem solving. Thanks to their hard work and ingenuity, the curtain looks amazing! Thank you again!!"

-Katie Phipps, School Psychologist, Edgewood Middle School

Welcome to HCPS!

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

  • Kyriann Blair, Paraeducator, Roye Williams Elementary School
  • DiCocco Crowe, Inclusion Helper, Riverside Elementary School
  • Alicia Gibson, Paraeducator, Joppatowne Elementary School
  • Ayanna Harcum, Inclusion Helper, Harford Academy
  • Leah Hopkins, Food and Nutrition Services Worker, Edgewood High School
  • Emmie Hundley, Inclusion Helper, Harford Academy
  • Patrick Jones, Special Education Teacher, Havre de Grace Middle School
  • Nixon Keadon, Inclusion Helper, Aberdeen Middle School
  • Izetta Keithly, Custodian I - Shift 1, North Harford Middle School
  • Gretchen Klein, Paraeducator, Edgewood Elementary School
  • Jaime Mattlin, Administrative Support Assistant, Bel Air Middle School
  • Jackylynn Paris, Inclusion Helper, Bel Air Elementary School
  • Shalia Pettiford, Judy Center Family Services Worker, Magnolia Elementary School
  • Elena Pettiford, Administrative Support Assistant, Fallston Middle School
  • Lisa Redding, Custodian I - Shift 2, North Harford High School
  • Sheryl Smith, Inclusion Helper, Harford Academy
  • Anjelica Soliz, Inclusion Helper, Roye Williams Elementary School
  • Ashley Walto, Inclusion Helper, Ring Factory Elementary School
  • Joseph Waters, School Bus Driver, Transportation Department
  • Alexis Watson, Special Education Teacher, William S. James Elementary 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.