HCPS Blueprint

Summer Issue


This spring, HCPS held 13 Blueprint Committee meetings comprising of more than 100 individual members with unique voices. The results of these initial meetings have led to prioritization, action items, and a clearer path for the work ahead in the 2022-2023 school year. Thank you to all committee members and presenters for your contribution.

Here are highlights of the meeting feedback:

Big picture

Blueprint Networking Event

All Blueprint committee members are invited to a networking event at Main Street Tower in Bel Air on Wednesday, July 27, 2022. Thank you to our generous sponsors, APGFCU and the Harford County Education Foundation, for sponsoring this event.

Community Committee Member Highlight

Connie Hess, SVP Strategic Partnerships, USB Payment Processing

"I am excited to be a participant on the North Star Committee as part of the Blueprint for Maryland. As a member of the business community, I know first-hand the importance of our students being fully prepared to enter the workforce, post- secondary education or the trade industries at the time of graduation. My goal through this committee is to reach children at a much earlier age and grade level and to introduce multiple career options from college to trade apprenticeship programs which can be used to help develop the correct pathways for our children as they move through upper middle school and high school."

James Karmel, Ph.D., History Professor, Harford Community College

"I am glad to be on the HCPS Blueprint committee for career ladders. Equity in career advancement and other personnel matters is vital for educational success in Harford County. Through my work on the Harford Civil Rights Project, I have studied the hard-fought battle for racial desegregation and educator equity in Harford schools during the Civil Rights era. With my awareness of this historical context, I am proud to help advance equity and meaningful professional opportunities for all at HCPS moving forward."

New Blueprint Webpage

The HCPS Blueprint Website has been updated! Thank you to the HCPS innovation specialists, the Steering Committee members who provided feedback, and all whose voices continue to inform our process. Check it out at: https://www.hcps.org/superintendent/blueprint.aspx.

Big picture

Career Ladder

Highlighting the Sub-committee Facilitator:

Lesley Sampson, HR Specialist - Case Manager, Harford County Public Schools

"I joined HCPS in September 2021 after working in public health for 17 years. My experiences working with vulnerable populations, and understanding the layers of implications when basic needs are not met, motivate me to be an active participant in opportunities for institutional improvement. I am excited to see what recommendations our subcommittee generates to achieve a robust career ladder model that will directly impact HCPS staff, students, and community."

The Career Ladder committee has explored the Blueprint requirements, the Harford County Education Association’s (HCEA) perspectives, a sample career ladder instituted by University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health, diversity and recruitment data, and discussed priorities of the work ahead.

The following presentation was given at the April 5, 2022, Committee meeting by Mae Alfree, Director of Staff and Labor Relations, and provides an excellent over of the Blueprint Career Ladder.

Click graphic above to access the presentation.

Early Childhood

Highlighting the Sub-committee Facilitator:

Pauline Timmons, Coordinator – State/Federal Special Education Programs, Harford County Public Schools

"My name is Pauline Timmons and I am the facilitator for the Blueprint Early Childhood Committee. For the past three years I have worked closely with the Harford County Infants and Toddlers program along with the rest of my current work as the Special Education Coordinator of State and Federal Programs. Prior to being asked to join this committee I knew very little about this area of the Blueprint, and I have already learned so much. I am excited to see what our committee creates for us to move forward with our work as outlined in the law. It is a challenge but I feel we have a great team and will build a system to benefit our youngest children and their families in Harford County."

The Early Childhood committee has explored HCPS current early childhood efforts and learned about the requirements for expansion within the Blueprint, which includes private pre-K providers. The committee chairs have a theme of setting priorities by honoring what HCPS should keep in our current work and what can be improved for early childhood services in the future.

To see an overview of HCPS current early childhood program, please view this presentation given by Kathy Griffin, Coordinator of Early Childhood Education, and Missy Romano, Coordinator of Birth to Five Programs.

Click graphic above to access the presentation.

North Star

Highlighting the Sub-committee Facilitator:

Faith Buxton, Teacher – Specialist Special Education, Harford County Public Schools

"As a former school counselor and current teacher specialist, my passion has and will always be supporting the “whole” student and facilitating their connection to their post-secondary goals. My experience as a parent of three children in HCPS schools, a school counselor, a Harford Community College admissions specialist, and a HCPS special education pre-employment transition services grant facilitator, has given me the opportunity to see things from a multitude of perspectives better preparing me to support a variety of voices in this work. More importantly, those experiences have taught me how vital building capacity and flexibility must be to truly support the vast needs of all students with achieving their individual post-secondary goals. I look forward to bringing those perspectives and experiences to the North Star Blueprint committee as their facilitator."

The Blueprint North Star committee has focused on alignment of Blueprint college and career readiness requirements (CCR), current CCR standards, the HCPS North Star initiative, state graduation requirements, HCPS graduation requirements, and HCPS current local pathways.

Sara Saacks, Coordinator of North Star & School Performance, and Rob Limpert, Supervisor of Business, Technology, and Magnet Programs, gave a great presentation at the April meeting that provides a foundational overview of these areas of alignment.

Click graphic above to access the presentation.

Student Supports

Highlighting the Sub-committee Facilitator:

Joe Harbert, Director of Health and Wellness, Harford County Public Schools

"I have served HCPS for 24 years, during that time I have been a Physical Education and Health teacher, an Assistant Principal and Principal, and most recently the Supervisor of Physical Education and Health Education for Elementary and Middle Schools. As the Director of Health and Wellness, I’m excited to work within HCPS and our community partners to make a positive, meaningful impact to improve and strengthen how we support students’ mental and physical health and wellness needs. As the facilitator of the Blueprint Student Supports Sub-Committee, our goal will be to work collaboratively to find the best ways to provide more support to students and schools who need it most and ways to establish and sustain those efforts over time."

The Student Supports committee has explored many areas that help to reach all students who need additional support, including mental health services, special education programs, English language learners, and community schools.

This sub-committee would like to feature a presentation given by Dr. Roclande White, Grants Specialist, about Community Schools at HCPS.

Click graphic above to access the presentation.

Steering Committee

Highlighting HCPS Blueprint Coordinator:
Katie Ridgway, Director of Strategic Initiatives, Harford County Public Schools

"As Director of Strategic Initiatives, I have a non-traditional path in education leadership through risk management and COVID recovery, and now work on systemic initiatives including Blueprint, Continuity of Learning, Talent Pathways, and grants. I have lived in Havre de Grace, Maryland, for twenty years, have two children in Harford County Public Schools, ages 13 and 10, and I am the leader of two Girl Scout troops in Havre de Grace. The Blueprint presents both opportunity and challenge, and if we are successful in meeting our goals, we can impact generations of learners, families, and schools."

The steering committee has received reports from all co-chairs of the Blueprint sub-committees about priorities and action items. The steering committee provides oversight and direction for all of the HCPS Blueprint initiatives for Blueprint implementation.

The following is a special taping of the Blueprint overview that has been provided to the steering committee, HCPS leadership, and originally presented to the Board of Education on May 9, 2022, by the HCPS Blueprint Coordinator, click here.

Blueprint for Maryland's Future HCPS Introduction: Originally presented to BOE May 9, 2022

We Are Here

Big picture

Statewide Updates

Strong Schools Maryland

Strong Schools Maryland, an independent advocacy group, has issued progress reports on Maryland Blueprint implementation. Progress reports issued for all counties can be viewed here.

Big picture

Accountability and Implementation Board

The Accountability and Implementation Board (AIB) hosted a series of viewable, recorded planning sessions about the Blueprint pillars.

  • June 30, 2022: High-quality and Diverse teachers and leaders
    Presenters include Linda Darling-Hammond, President and CEO of the Learning Policy Institute; and Senator Paul Pinsky, Chair of the Senate Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee and member of the Kirwan Commission; and Peggy Brookins, President and CEO of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V-YhBAM5edM

Contacts & More Information

The following contacts may be useful:

Big picture

July 5, 2022