HCPS 411 Update

January 9, 2020

Changes to Boundary Exception Procedure

On December 10, 2019, the latest version of the Boundary Exception Procedure was signed by the Superintendent. While there are several changes to the procedure, there are two most notable for employees. First, all applicants will not need to reapply from year to year for the same school. New applications will only need to be completed if the reason for the request has changed or a new school is being requested. Second, the decision on employee applications will be made using building capacity and grade level capacity as a factor. While this was not a practice in the past, it will be from this point moving forward. In February, a Frequently Asked Questions document detailing the other changes to the procedure will be sent home to all of the parents of students on a Boundary Exception. If you have any questions, please refer them to Bernard Hennigan, Executive Director of Student Support Services. A link to the revised procedure is below:


2020 Revised W-4 Form

The Internal Revenue Service made significant changes to the Form W-4, Employee’s Withholding Certificate for 2020. Employees are not required to file a new W-4 at this time. However, new hires and anyone making changes to their federal withholdings, effective immediately, are required to use the 2020 Form W-4. For all of the details, see the 2020 Form W-4 memo, which can be found here.

New Mileage Rate Effective January 1, 2020

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 2020. Beginning January 1, 2020, the standard mileage rate for use of a personal vehicle will be 57.5 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 January 1, 2020. (This form is posted to the Business Services’ Accounts Payable SharePoint page.) Additional details may be found in the Employee Mileage Memo 2020.

Youth Mental Health First Aid Training

The Office of Student Services will offer Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA) Training to interested HCPS staff members. The training is designed to teach participants how to support and assist young people in the early stages of a developing mental health problem or those experiencing a mental health crisis.

Participants will learn about the prevalence of mental health problems among young people and examine “typical” adolescent development and its relation to mental health issues. Participants will also learn ways to approach, support, and refer young people believed to be at-risk for mental health issues or those who are experiencing a crisis.

This course is offered over two evenings. Attendees must be present both evenings in order to be recognized as a First Aider. The class will be offered on January 15 and 16 from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the Media Center at Bel Air Middle School. This is a paid opportunity for HCPS 10-month employees. To sign up for the class follow this link: https://www.hcps.org/registration/workshops/workshops.aspx?filter=1531.

Questions regarding this information should be directed to Christina Alton, in Student Support Services, at Christina.Alton@hcps.org or x6243.

QPR Suicide Prevention Classes Available from Student Support Services

Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR) suicide prevention training is a 60-90-minute class aimed at teaching attendees suicide warning signs and ways to respond. The class is meant for laypeople, ages 12 and up, as well as professionals who may encounter a person experiencing a suicide crisis. Attendees are taught to recognize signs that may indicate someone is thinking of suicide, how to question that person about their intent, ways to persuade them to seek help, and where to refer for appropriate resources.

The Office of Student Support Services would like to offer QPR training to your club, class, or organization, i.e. STARS/SADD, SGA, health classes, etc. With suicide being the second leading cause of death among youth ages 15-19, knowing the signs and how to render aid is extremely important. Offering QPR would also provide knowledge to HCPS students who are increasingly asking for information related to mental health and available supports.

QPR is the CPR of suicide prevention.

If you would like to learn more about QPR, please click on the following link:


To discuss scheduling a class for your club or organization, please contact HCPS Mental Health Specialist Christina Alton at Christina.Alton@hcps.org or x6243.

Top Health Newsletter - January Issue

Click below for this month's full issue of the Top Health wellness newsletter from CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield.

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KEPRO Employee Assistance Program

The January 2020 KEPRO Employee Assistance Program (EAP) communication resources are here! Please see the attached tip sheet and webinar information entitled “Your Financial Checkup.”

Monthly Online Seminar Title: Financial Goals: Your Financial Checkup

Description: Walk through a “financial checkup,” guiding you through the necessary steps to examine your finances.

Date: Available on demand beginning January 21, 2020

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 right-hand corner of this homepage, or you can search for them by title.

Available anytime, any day, the EAP is a free, confidential program to help you balance your work, family, and personal life.

Call toll-free at 1-866-795-5701 or visit online at www.EAPHelpLink.com.

Maryland State Department of Education Technical Assistance Bulletin

The Special Education Department, as part of an effort to inform school leaders and faculty, will be highlighting each week one or more of the MSDE Division of Early Intervention and Special Education Services (DEI-SES) technical assistance bulletins.

This week we are sharing the guidance FAQ About: Transportation of Children with Disabilities and Epilepsy and the School Bus Driver.

A full list of available DEI-SES Technical Assistance Bulletins are available on the MSDE website, located here.

Questions regarding this should be directed to any of the Coordinators for Special Education at x5246.

Professional Development Opportunities

Seats are still available for the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) courses listed below. Please see the course catalog for details: Spring Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Course Catalog. Registration for these MSDE credit courses is available on HECTOR.

Cooperative Education and Outdoor Initiative (1 credit)

Engaging Students Through Novel Instruction (2 credits)

Teacher Leadership: Developing Skills for Success (1 credit)

Questions should be directed to Lori Gohlinghorst at Lori.Gohlinghorst@hcps.org or 410-273-5621.

Spring MSDE Professional Learning Online Courses

Earn MSDE CPD credits through online courses offered by MSDE, eConnect, and Thinkport. The Spring 2020 Course Catalog is available. Registration closes January 30.

HCPS Book Studies

Many schools/departments have expressed interest in offering book studies for their teachers. MSDE credits for book studies go through the Professional Development Center. School administrators wishing to structure this opportunity should contact Lori Gohlinghorst at Lori.Gohlinghorst@hcps.org for more information. It is advised that the book study is set in HECTOR prior to facilitating course.

LifeBridge Health/ExpressCare 2020 Community Scholarship

LifeBridge Health and ExpressCare are excited to rollout their 4th Annual Community Scholarship Program. They believe that education is an investment in the future and are sponsoring an essay contest to provide college scholarships to students in our communities. Each contest winner will receive a $2,500 scholarship. The linked essay contest flier displays the eligibility, award, and the application information. Please encourage senior students to participate; the deadline to submit is March 1 by 11:59 p.m.

Letters to the Ravens

The Baltimore Ravens want to hear from their fans during the Playoffs! Fans are invited to create, write, or design letters to the team wishing them well in postseason. Letters will be displayed for all players, coaches, and staff to see at the Under Armour Performance Center throughout the playoff run. The Ravens want to hear from their young fans, too! Kids can participate using the linked template below.

Shout Out!

  • "Shout out to Eric Davis and the HCPS Central Office Social Committee who organized donations for an Angel Tree in December. The Angel Tree donations provided a generous supply of gifts for 10 families of the Joppatowne High School community. An office at school was filled with large boxes of wrapped presents for each member of the 10 families in need. On behalf of HCPS Social Committee Angels, I received hugs and heart felt thank you messages from the students and their families. On behalf of the Joppatowne High school community, thank you for this amazing act of human kindness and customer service." -Pamela Zeigler, principal of Joppatowne High School

  • In honor of National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day (January 9), North Harford Middle School sixth grade students are sponsoring a Law Enforcement Appreciation Thank You Open House. The school sent an open invitation for law officers in all branches who serve our community to stop in to say hello, enjoy a coffee and snack, and receive a special goodie bag made by students. For those who work night shift or cannot attend the event, the school will be delivering the treats and thank you’s to the precincts so they can enjoy them.

Spotlight On Customer Service

"Sherry Hurley is a secretary at Bel Air Middle School. She is friendly to everyone she sees. Sherry goes out of her way to get to know people and she finds ways to show everyone that she cares. Every parent, student, staff member, and community member feels special when talking to Sherry because she invests in people. In addition to her friendly and caring personality, Sherry is great at what she does. She is dependable, reliable, trustworthy, patient and efficient. Sherry is also a problem solver. If she does not know an answer to a question, she will find the answer or direct you to someone who can get you the answer. We couldn’t ask for a more outstanding individual to be on the front lines in our main office." -Laura Silk, Bel Air Middle School assistant principal


We're So Glad You're Here!

Please help us welcome the following new employees to our HCPS family:

  • Samantha Bailey, Special Education Teacher, Fallston Middle School
  • Brittany Baker, Grade 4 Teacher, William Paca/Old Post Road Elementary School
  • Heather Boehmer, Special Education Teacher, Forest Lakes Elementary School
  • Selena Campbell, Special Education Teacher, Abingdon Elementary School
  • Kevin Dorsey, Grade 5 Teacher, Havre de Grace Elementary School
  • Alex Giordano, Special Education Teacher, Church Creek Elementary School
  • Tania Howard, Custodian I - Shift 2, Edgewood Elementary School
  • Vicki Lutz, School Nurse, Havre de Grace Elementary School
  • Samantha McBee, Grade 4 Teacher, Bakerfield Elementary School
  • Joshua Mink, Custodian I - Shift 2, Patterson Mill Middle School
  • Linda Myers, Inclusion Helper, John Archer School
  • Corrine Nocar, Administrative Support Assistant, Fallston Middle School
  • Enrique Robinson, Social Studies Teacher, Aberdeen Middle School
  • Kerrie Williams, Inclusion Helper, Forest Hill Elementary 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.