HCPS 411 Update

December 12, 2019

We Are HCPS!

Check out Mrs. Dawn Zipay, instrumental music teacher at Ring Factory Elementary School and a 2019 Teacher of the Year finalist, who is impacting students every day! What teacher do you picture when you think about a teacher who had an impact on your life? Be sure to nominate him or her for the 2020 Teacher of the Year*! More information is available on www.hcps.org, or by clicking here.

*Don't delay in nominating that special teacher! Nominated teachers must submit their completed applications for Teacher of the Year by midnight on Thursday, January 2, 2020.

We Are HCPS- Ms. Zipay

Safe Schools Promote Students' Success - Video Now Available

If you were unable to attend the Parent Academy Safe Schools Promote Students' Success presentation held in October, you can now access the video on demand. Many thanks to Harford Cable Network (HCN) for making this available for all families to watch. In addition, this will air on HCN on Saturdays at 7:00 p.m. during the month of December.

W-2 Address Verification Reminder

Please verify the address shown on your 12/13/19 pay stub is your current address. If the address is incorrect, log into Employee Self Service (ESS) and update your address (select Life Events and then Move). Please note, to access ESS, 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/ESS Instructions for all you can do in DSS/ESS.

Unless you update your address prior to the preparation of 2019’s W-2’s, the address shown on your 12/13/19 pay stub is what will print on your W-2.

Additionally, if you are separating/retiring on or before 12/31/2019 and move or will be moving prior to January 24, 2020, please contact HR or Mary Folus with your new address so your 2019 W2 reflects your new address and reaches you timely. Reminder: Maryland State Retirement System uses the address in LAWSON when mailing your annual Personal Statement of Benefits.

For questions regarding this information, please contact Mary Folus at Mary.Folus@hcps.org or 410-588-5241.

United Way Campaign - HCPS Ignites Change!

Thank you to everyone who participated in this year’s Harford County Public Schools United Way Campaign. Harford County Public School employees raised over $14,000. Many employees participated in the online donation process as well as Jeans Days at the various schools to help to ignite a change.

Although our campaign has come to an end, the opportunities to give back to our communities continue. With the holidays right around the corner, we would like to share several opportunities that are available through the United Way. There will be a Holiday Pop-Up Market at Hall’s Cross Roads Elementary on December 16, 2019, if you are interested in volunteering and/or making a donation. Click here to learn more about helping families during the holidays.

Thank you, again, for helping to make the campaign, “How Will You Ignite Change?” a success and helping United Way.

How can you make smarter financial decisions?

By saying “YES” to MetLife Retirewise®.

Join your colleagues for the Retirewise® workshop series offered through MetLife. It doesn’t matter how much or how little planning you’ve done, or if your retirement is many years away. At the Retirewise workshops, there is something for everyone to learn.

When you attend a workshop, you can expect:

  • Objective information on a wide range of financial topics,
  • To hear questions from your coworkers,
  • Interactive exercises,
  • A resource book that is yours to keep, and
  • An opportunity for an optional personal consultation.

This spring, Harford County Public Schools will offer MetLife’s Retirewise program for all employees at various locations throughout the county. We are asking for your help with session planning, whether to host classes for one hour per week for four weeks or two hours per week for two weeks. If you are interested in attending the Retirewise seminars, please click the link below to provide your feedback by January 10, 2020.


We thank you in advance for your assistance. Event dates, times, and locations will be announced at a later point. If you have any questions, please contact the Benefits Office by phone at (410) 588-5275 or by email at benefits@hcps.org.

Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) Technical Assistance Bulletins: Native Language

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-SED) technical assistance bulletins.

This week we are sharing the guidance on Native Language.

A full list of available DEI-SED 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.

From Our Professional Development Center...

Harford Community College – Courses for Provisionally Certified Teachers

HCC is offering a number of courses for provisionally certified teachers this spring. Please see the linked flier for more information. Questions regarding this information may be directed to Laura Hutton via lhutton@harford.edu or 443-412-2093.


Harford Community College – Credits for Re-certification

Do you need credits for re-certification? Consider taking an online class at Harford Community College (HCC) this spring. A number of courses appropriate for current teachers are offered, including EDUC210 Children with Behavioral Challenges and EDUC219 Everyday Classroom Assessment. If you have questions or want more information, please contact Laura Hutton at lhutton@harford.edu or 443-412-2093.


American College of Education - Enter to Win an Amazon Gift Card

American College of Education (ACE) wants to make the holidays a little brighter with the chance to win one of five $250 Amazon gift cards! From December 3 to 13, 2019, you can be entered in a gift card drawing by filling out a short form at ace.edu/holiday. There is no purchase necessary. ACE will notify the winners of the five gift cards on December 16, 2019 – just in time for last-minute shopping! From the entire ACE team, have a peaceful and happy holiday season!



Walden University: Be Well – Teach Well Contest

Support Your Team, and Yourself.

Walden understands that taking care of yourself is important to successfully aid in taking care of others—in and outside of the classroom. During this holiday season, Walden University wants to thank you and your team for all that you do. They invite you to refocus and recharge with the following teacher wellness initiatives:

  • Enter the Be Well, Teach Well contest. Tell Walden why you’re thankful for your team and you could win:
    • A wellness tech tool of your choice valued up to $300. Whether you prefer an Apple Watch, a Fitbit, or wireless headphones, you’ll be one step closer to achieving your wellness goals!
    • AND a wellness kit for yourself and your colleagues valued up to $200. Our wellness kit may include exercise mats, water bottles, fitness bands, stress balls, and more, empowering you and your team to start everyday healthy, focused, and recharged. ENTER NOW: WaldenU.edu/Wellness

Shout Out!

HCPS was represented at the THE AVENUE at White Marsh in the 21st Annual Holiday Parade on Saturday, December 7, 2019. C Milton Wright, Edgewood, and North Harford high schools were in attendance, playing holiday classics. The marching bands were greeted by an enthusiastic crowd cheering them on. Way to go, HCPS musicians!

Spotlight On Customer Service

  • "I would like to recognize a special bus driver who was exceptionally kind and helpful to the Havre de Grace High School Speech and Debate Team! Mr. Chris, who is always kind, was extra patient and helpful to our team when one of our members with a new cast on her leg was traveling with us to a competition. We needed help with her gear, and he jumped in to help without our asking. He didn’t rush us and helped us to travel easily. The team and I truly appreciate Mr. Chris for his caring attitude!" -Sue Andrews, English Teacher, Havre de Grace High School

  • "Special educator Kristen Travers works with the 5th grade students at Bel Air Elementary. Each year, she travels to Harford Glen to assist her students and make sure that they get the most from their experience. She always arrives at Harford Glen excited and ready to help. She is enthusiastic about all of the activities and lessons at Harford Glen and truly embraces it as a learning experience for not only her students but herself included. Her enthusiasm for learning enhances the experience for her students and encourages them to try new activities that may be out of their comfort zone. Kudos to Kristen for her positivity and enthusiasm for the environment and her students." -Melanie Kane, Outdoor Education Teacher, Harford Glen Environmental Education Center

  • "I would like to recognize Will Hughes. He is a custodian on the day shift at Aberdeen High School. He never hesitates when there is a call on the walkie talkie, no matter what he is in the middle of or how many times he's opened the same locker. He greets everyone with his shy smile - staff and students. He recently went above and beyond for the health suite. It needed a thorough cleaning and he took time to do that for us. I appreciate all the does for our school!" -Kara DeFord, School Nurse, Aberdeen High School


We're So Glad You're Here!

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

  • Courtney Brown-Intano, Kindergarten Teacher, Bel Air Elementary School
  • Sougand Nejad, Custodian I - Shift 2, Southampton Middle School
  • Louis Reichart, Chief Custodian - Level II, Red Pump Elementary School
  • Serena Simmons, Paraeducator, Church Creek Elementary School
  • Jennifer McLain, Inclusion Helper, Roye-Williams Elementary School
  • Jerome Stewart, Custodian I - Shift 2, Magnolia Middle School
  • Jennifer Sinsz, Supply/Equipment/Inventory Control, Facilities

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.