HCPS 411 Update

April 29, 2021

You are a Hero

If you were not able to join today's Monthly Minute, please take a moment to watch the inspirational video Dr. Bulson shared.

Reminder: Resignation Deadline for Non-Tenured Teachers

Non-tenured teachers who wish to resign from HCPS without prejudice must submit their letter of resignation prior to May 1, 2021, to be effective June 30, 2021. The Notification of Separation form is available by clicking here, or by accessing the HR SharePoint-HR Forms and General Information page. Principals and supervisors are asked to share this information with their faculty and staff.

Questions regarding this information should be directed to the Staff Management Department at 410-588-5238.

Be on the Lookout: Benefits Open Enrollment Coming Soon

Open enrollment for the 2021–2022 plan year will begin on Monday, May 10, 2021, and end at 11:59 p.m. on Monday, May 24, 2021.

The 2021–2022 Benefit Reference Guide is now available on the Human Resources page of the HCPS website at https://www.hcps.org. Please take the time to review the guide to be ready to make changes to your elections beginning on Monday, May 10. An informational presentation will also be posted to the website at the beginning of open enrollment. Additional information will be presented in future issues of the HCPS 411 Update newsletter.

Questions? Contact the Benefits Office by email at benefits@hcps.org.

Parent Academy Real Talk: HCPS Summer Learning Opportunities

The Harford County Public Schools Summer Learning Program offers a variety of summer learning opportunities to students in Pre-K through grade 12. A summer course catalog is available to families on the HCPS website now. Registration will open on Monday, May 10, 2021, and will close on Monday, May 24, 2021, at midnight. Registration will be available via a Summer Programs Registration link on hcps.org.

All summer programs are dependent upon student enrollment, available staffing, budget, and latest COVID-19 requirements. Currently, HCPS requires the consistent use of fabric face coverings, social distancing where possible, staying home when sick, following isolation/quarantine guidance in conjunction with the local health department, and frequent handwashing to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Questions regarding this information should be directed to Becky Pensero, coordinator of eLearning, at Rebecca.Pensero@hcps.org.

Real Talk: Summer Learning

Academic Tutoring

This summer, the Academic Tutoring Program will run from July 6 through August 5, 2021. Tutors will provide students with instructional support and remediation. Tutors are needed in the areas of reading and mathematics for students in grades K through 9. 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.

Orientation for summer tutors will be held in early June. Parents/guardians will complete an online form to express interest in tutoring for their child. Tutors will receive their list of students by June 21. If you are interested in serving as a tutor, please complete this survey. For any questions, please contact Academic.Tutoring@hcps.org.

Survey link: https://survey.hcps.org/rws5.pl?FORM=SummerTutoringInterestForm.

Good to Great Moment

Stakeholders may feel like they have won a great prize when they are the recipient of outstanding customer service. In this video, Dan Reimers and Andrea Harthausen showcase the impact of transparency and consistency to the experience for the customer.
Customer Service Gameshow

Congratulations to the HCPS National Board Certified Teachers!

For nearly 30 years, the National Board has served as the profession’s vehicle for setting the highest standards for accomplished practice, thereby advancing student learning and achievement. Through National Board Certification, a process created for teachers, by teachers, we are keeping outstanding teachers in the classroom and enabling them to grow in their practice and become leaders in the profession.

HCPS educators who have earned or renewed National Board Certification in the 2020-2021 school year include:


  • Laura Garfinkel, Honors Chemistry / Integrated Physics & Chemistry Teacher at Aberdeen High School, Certified: Chemistry ~ Adolescence/Young Adulthood
  • Kateri Morrison, Band and Orchestra Teacher at Homestead/Wakefield Elementary School, Certified: Music ~ Early Middle Childhood Music
  • Amanda Roberts, Social Studies Teacher at Harford Technical High School, Certified: Social Studies – History ~ Adolescence/ Young Adulthood
  • Katie Stout, Chorus and Orchestra Director at Fallston High School, Certified: Music Vocal ~ Early and Middle Childhood
  • Clarissa Ward, Music Teacher at Fountain Green Elementary School, Certified: Music ~ Early and Middle Childhood/Vocal
  • Elizabeth White, Social Studies Teacher at Harford Technical High School, Certified: Social Studies/History ~ Adolescence and Young Adulthood

NBCT Renewals:

  • Rebecca Gault, English Teacher at Bel Air High School, Renewal of certification: English/ Language Arts – Literacy ~ Middle Childhood
  • Erin Jacobson, Instructional Coach at Harford Technical High School and the Alternative Education Program, Renewal of Certification: English Language Arts ~ Adolescence and Young Adulthood
  • Christy Renzulli, Guidance Counselor at Norrisville Elementary School, Renewal of Certification: School Counseling ~ Early Childhood through Young Adult
  • Kathleen Thompson, Gifted and Talented Resource Teacher at Joppatowne and Ring Factory Elementary Schools, Renewal of Certification: Generalist ~ Middle Childhood

Please join HCPS in congratulating these master educators on having demonstrated their skills and dedication by earning or renewing National Board Certification!

National Board Scholarship Applications Now Available

The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) seeks to elevate the status, voice, and role of accomplished teachers in shaping a true profession. Through a rigorous certification process, teachers may achieve certification in 26 areas, which represent all contents. HCPS is pleased to announce that it’s time for teachers to apply for the National Board scholarship, which will fund most of the cost of the certification process. The only cost to teachers will be a $75 processing fee for each year they attempt to certify.

Click here to apply for the National Board Scholarship: https://harford.tedk12.com/hire/ViewJob.aspx?JobID=4755.

All applications are due May 19, 2021.

Questions regarding this information should be directed to Jacqueline Tarbert, in Professional Development & Curriculum, at Jacqueline.Tarbert@hcps.org.

QuaranTeam 5 and Harford County Regional Association of Student Councils Collaborate on Student Voice

The QuaranTeam 5 recently had the opportunity to speak with the (HCRASC) about the importance of student voice. They worked with middle and high school students to discuss the importance of communication, provided examples of best practices, and asked students to share examples of using their voice this year to represent their peers. To conclude, they asked students to complete the sentence starter, “I want my teachers to know that…” This word cloud represents some of their thoughts; please click to see it enlarged.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month!

May 2-6 is Children's Mental Health Awareness Week!

Show your support on Thursday, May 6, by wearing green for children's mental health awareness.

Take pictures of you and your colleagues wearing green and post on social media. Be sure to use #childrensmentalhealthmatters and tag HCPS along with the HCPSMentalZone!

Mental Health Awareness Art Contest

All HCPS students are encouraged to consider participating in the 2021 HCPS Mental Health Awareness Art Contest. The contest is open to all grade levels, and winners will be selected from the elementary, middle, and high levels. The student's contest submission should reflect what mental health means to him/her; all forms of art are acceptable (drawings, pictures, collages, etc.). The contest will be open May 3 through May 27, and winners will be announced June 1. Contest entries will be featured on social media. Please see the flier for more details, including how to submit contest entries.

Wellness Recovery

As part of HCPS’ Wellness Recovery efforts, the Office of Student Support Services will be providing a short video each week with some tips, reminders, and things to think about as students and staff return to in-person learning. We hope these videos provide some thoughtful guidance to your work with students and your own personal reflection on wellness throughout the remainder of this school year.

Littles University

Mark your calendars! May 6 will be our next Littles University! Manager of Communications Jillian Lader will be reading "Press Here" by Herve Tullet! Don't have a copy? Don't worry! The

Harford County Education Foundation is back again to make sure you do! Visit their website and register for a copy of the book- we hope to get them into the hands of 160 families before May 6 so don't delay, register today! https://harfordeducation.org/littlesuniversity/.

Tuition Reimbursement Information

Tuition reimbursement requests, to include (1) the Partial Reimbursement Request form that aligns to your union, (2) an official transcript, and (3) an itemized receipt showing payment method(s) and amount(s), must be submitted within 90 days of the course completion date.

ALL spring 2021 semester reimbursement requests received on 5/5/21 or later will be reimbursed AFTER 7/15/21 on pay dates leading up to and including the new school year's first and second pay dates. Employees will receive an email confirming the reimbursement date of their request once it is processed. Due to the volume of requests received during this time, please do not inquire as to whether the request was received. This processing timeline will apply to all staff, including those not scheduled to work during the summer break. Please visit https://hcps365.sharepoint.com/sites/HumanResources/Benefits/tuition/default.aspx for additional tuition reimbursement information, including reimbursement request forms, sample receipts, eligibility, and the reimbursement submission process.

Note: HCPS is aware that some colleges and universities cannot mail official hard copy transcripts due to the pandemic.

If you can and prefer to obtain a hard copy official transcript:

  • Please email the scanned transcript (to include an image of the opened envelope for the transcript) along with the request form and the itemized receipt showing payment/payment method to Lisa Patterson (Lisa.Patterson@hcps.org) and Christine Lambert (Christine.Lambert@hcps.org), OR
  • Submit all documents via regular USPS mail (or a school courier, if available) to the attention of Lisa Patterson in Human Resources-Benefits at the A.A. Roberty Building. Hard copy requests will be forwarded to Certification after they are processed and scanned.

If you are unable to get a hard copy official transcript:

  • Please request that an official electronic transcript be emailed to Christine Lambert (Christine.Lambert@hcps.org) in Certification.
  • Additionally, please email Lisa Patterson (1) the request form and (2) the itemized receipt showing payment/payment method and copy Ms. Lambert on the email, so she is aware that reimbursement is pending.

Please allow a minimum of 4-6 weeks for processing. Employees will receive an email when the request is processed indicating the paycheck date in which they should expect the reimbursement; this also applies to employees who typically do not receive a paycheck during the summer months. The reimbursement is not taxed.

For employees taking coursework through a direct bill partner, coursework will be billed directly to HCPS. Therefore, no paperwork is needed from the employee for the reimbursement as the partnering university/college will provide the required official transcript/grade report.

*Courses completed before 7/1/21 will count towards the 7/1/20-6/30/21 fiscal year; courses completed on 7/1/21 or later will count towards the 7/1/21-6/30/22 fiscal year.

Questions concerning reimbursement should be directed to Lisa Patterson (Lisa.Patterson@hcps.org). Questions concerning Certification should be directed to Aretha Young or Christine Lambert.

Professional Development Announcements

Maryland Center for School Safety Summer Conference: Resilience Through Change

The Maryland Center for School Safety (MCSS) will hold its annual summer conference on July 13, 15, 20, and 22, in a fully virtual format. There is no cost to attend. Education administrators, teachers, school counselors, school safety professionals, and other school safety stakeholders are encouraged to register. Presenters will share content, experiences, and best practices while providing actionable and practical takeaways that attendees can bring back to their schools, school systems, and communities; therefore, please share the attached promotional flier widely throughout your school system. Please direct questions to Craig Meister at craig.meister@maryland.gov.


McDaniel College – Virtual Information Session

McDaniel College will hold an information session for their cohort program with HCPS on Thursday, May 6, at 5:00 p.m. Click here for flier and to register.

For more information, please contact gradadms@mcdaniel.edu


Walden University – Pursue Your Ed.D., Educational Administration and Leadership

Savings for You—and an Opportunity to Win Lunch for Your School. Walden is committed to rewarding hardworking administrators.

From Walden Univeristy: To show our appreciation for all you do, we are selecting six lucky schools to receive a free catered lunch* during Teacher Appreciation Week, May 3–7. You can enter your school for a chance to win HERE.

Additionally, as a school or district level administrator within Harford County Public Schools, you can receive a 25% tuition reduction† on Walden’s Doctor of Education (EdD) program with a specialization in Educational Administration and Leadership (for Administrators).

This program is designed for K–12 school or district level administrators, who want to increase their ability to build an effective and collaborative environment and includes a specially designed doctoral capstone project and a block transfer of 25 quarter credits! See flier.

Learn more about Walden’s EdD program with a specialization in Educational Administration and Leadership by visiting www.waldenU.edu/harford.


American College of Education – Teacher Appreciation

Educators have gone above and beyond this year! American College of Education (ACE) wants to help celebrate educators by providing a raffle of 15 $250 Amazon gift cards! The contest will run from now until May 7, 2021. Registration link: https://www.ace.edu/raffles/teacher-appreciation-week.

ACE wants to thank all educators for continuing to make a difference, even from a distance!

PARAPRO Assessment Opportunities – May 21, 2021

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 classrooms 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 May 21, 2021. The test will be 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.

CareFirst Work/Life Balance Webinar Series

With the constant pressure to work harder, stay at work longer, and take on more workload, employees are increasingly on the brink of burnout. This series teaches participants how to create a balance between work and the rest of your life. These are live sessions for all interested employees. Session dates and times are listed below:

Wellness Investment

Friday, May 7, 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.

Creating Healthy Habits While Working from Home

Friday, May 14, 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.

Discussing Burnout

Friday, May 21, 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.

Guided Meditations

Friday, May 28, 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.

To participate in the above session(s), click on the topic title listed above at the scheduled date and time. The Meeting ID: 996 0444 3697 and Passcode: 20uwjF will be the same for all four sessions.

CareFirst LiveWell Webinar

Sleep Solutions

Friday, April 30, 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.

Follow along a presentation that provides tips and tricks on how to get your best night’s rest. Then, your instructor will take you through a guided body scan to help you relax and slow down your mind.

To participate in the above session, click on the topic title listed above at the scheduled date and time. Meeting ID: 991 5827 0491 and Passcode: 431278

If you would prefer to participate by phone, you may do so by calling 301-715-8592 utilizing the same Meeting ID and Passcode listed above.

Introducing Work of Art

Presented through CareFirst Wellness

Get on the path to better mental health with the Work of Art program. The program begins on Monday, May 3.

Register today for the Work of Art Challenge!

Work of Art helps participants learn and practice activities that elevate emotional well-being, including skills to enhance resilience and cultivate happiness. Emotional fitness, like physical fitness, requires repetition and commitment to yield the most benefits. In Work or Art, participants perform activities that mean the most to them (more than 30 activities to choose from) in five categories:

  • Mindfulness
  • Optimism
  • Gratitude
  • Connection
  • Collage (miscellaneous)

Your Daily Activity

  • Aim to complete two activities a day, most days each week.
  • Choose activities that matter most to you.
  • You can do the same activity each day or skip around.

How Do I Register?

Registration is now OPEN! Click here to register.

Registration will be open through Friday, May 7. While visiting the registration page, please take time to read through the challenge Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). These will explain how the challenge works.

Who Can Participate in the Challenge?

Everyone, even family members 13+, can participate! When registering, make sure you select employee or family member.

Questions? If you still have questions about the challenge, use the "HELP" tab at the bottom of the challenge web page.

Register before Friday, May 7, to move toward a healthier you!

Freedom Federal Credit Union's Golden Apple Educator Award

Freedom Federal Credit Union is now accepting entries for this year's Golden Apple Educator Award. First place is a $2,000 award! For full details and to download the application, please visit https://www.freedomfcu.org/golden-apple/.

Shout Outs!

Dr. Peter Carpenter was nominated and selected as an awardee of the Outstanding Educator in Gifted and Talented Education as a local school or school system program coordinator as part of the MSDE Advisory Council for Gifted and Talented Education, EGATE, or Excellence in Gifted and Talented Education awards. Congratulations to Dr. Carpenter!

We are excited to share that the Harford County Branch of the American Association of University Women announced that Dr. Paula Stanton, supervisor of Equity and Cultural Proficiency for HCPS, has been chosen as their Woman of the Year!

"Dr. Stanton has taken on this responsibility to help staff and students reach a greater understanding of how they can be a builder of peace and understanding in this county and the greater world. She assists schools in planning cultural proficiency and multicultural programs and initiatives and professional learning for students and staff.

She is a National Board Certified teacher in English Language Arts – Adolescence and Young Adulthood. Her BA is from Howard University; a Master of Public Administration is from Southeastern University; and a Ph.D. in Education from Walden University. Locally, she was chosen as the Teacher of the Year in 2019 while teaching at Bel Air High and the CEO. In addition she is an Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Maryland University College.

At a recent AAUW meeting Dr. Stanton shared a story of a woman who had made a difference in her life – that of her English teacher Susan May Thomas. Dr. Stanton stated: “Mrs. Thomas inspired me to become a teacher, despite advice from others that I wouldn’t make a lot of money and despite being told that I could do better-- being valedictorian and all. She inspired me to want to inspire others, to see past poverty, disabilities, trauma, and all other barriers, to see the light within every single one of our students. Her expectations of us were high, and it didn’t matter that our school was not in a “nice” neighborhood or that some of us were on free lunch. Every day of my career, I wanted to be that kind of teacher.”

That is exactly what Dr. Stanton has done and continues to do and why AAUW is proud to bestow this honor on her this year."


“A huge shout out and thanks to my "middle school librarian tribe," as I call them - Sarah Scholl, Chrissy Davis, Libby Gorman, Linda Bugliosi, and Alex Lawhon. Talk about strong, innovative, and engaging librarians! These five friends of mine are my go-tos for endless questions, ideas, advice, laughs, and more. They welcomed me with open arms when I transitioned from an ELA teacher to school librarian three years ago, and I am a confident librarian because of these amazing ladies!"

-Claire DeRose Ring, School Librarian, Fallston Middle School

"The Miracle League of Harford County hosted a baseball play day on Saturday, April 24, 2021, at the Shucks Road Miracle League field for children and adults of all abilities. The Aberdeen High School Varsity and Junior Varsity Baseball teams came out to support the players, acting as buddies. They cheered the players, shared their knowledge of the game, and joined the excitement players and fans demonstrated during the game. Aberdeen coaches, Bob Arnold and Ethan Wallace, demonstrated the concept of community leading by example. The Aberdeen baseball teams set a explementary standard of community support."

-Kim Mayforth, Special Educator, Infants and Toddlers Program

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.