HCPS 411 Update

April 30, 2020

A Message From Superintendent Bulson

Please take a moment to watch this week's video message from Dr. Bulson, also available on the HCPS YouTube channel.
April 30, 2020 Important Message from Superintendent Bulson

2020 Census - Fill It Out Today!

Make sure Harford County gets its share of federal funds for schools, school lunches, kids’ healthcare, and more. Fill out the 2020 Census today! Click on the image below, or go to https://2020census.gov/.

HCPS Digital Learning Survey - Your Response Is Requested

HCPS has developed a survey to gather more information related to digital learning as we continue to work with our Board of Education and other members of our leadership team to determine the best way to increase our digital learning capacity and initiatives going into the next school year.

To better understand how we can serve our school community in this way, we are asking all students, parents/guardians, staff members, and community members to participate in a short online survey about digital learning during the school closure as a result of COVID-19. For our student population, the survey is open to those in grades 3-12. We encourage their participation and understand that some students - especially those in the younger grades - may want or need to take the survey with the assistance of a parent/guardian.

All information provided in survey responses will remain confidential by HCPS and will only be reported collectively.

We hope you will take this survey to provide us with valuable data that will help inform future decisions on digital learning; however, participation in the survey is voluntary and not mandatory.

To take the 3-5 minute survey now, click here. The survey link is also accessible from our website, hcps.org.

2019-2020 Teacher Evaluation Process

In order to complete teacher evaluations in a fair and equitable manner during this time of distance teaching/learning due to COVID-19, the Board of Education of Harford County and The Harford County Education Association have agreed to an evaluation process for the 2019-2020 school year. The full memorandum of understanding regarding this process can be found on the Human Resources SharePoint page or by clicking here. Questions regarding this information should be directed to Jeff Fradel, Senior Manager of Staff and Labor Relations, at Jeff.Fradel@hcps.org or x5226.

Public Notice to Participate in the Board of Education Business Meeting on May 4, 2020

On May 4, 2020, at 6:30 p.m., the Business Meeting of the Board of Education of Harford County will be hosted virtually. The Audio Live Stream will be available on https://hcps.org/boe/livestream/.

Those who wish to submit a public comment may do so by submitting comments in writing at https://www.hcps.org/contactus/contactform/default.aspx… no later than 12:00 p.m. on Monday, May 4, 2020.

The following information must be provided in the contact form when submitting comments:

1. Emails must be marked “Comment for May 4, 2020 Board Meeting”
2. First and last name
3. Email and phone number
4. Address


  • Comments received by 12:00 p.m. on May 4, 2020 will be read into the record during the public comment segment of the Business Meeting.

  • Comments received after the 12:00 p.m. deadline will not be read into the record during the Business Meeting.
  • The Board expects that all comments will be submitted with the decorum and respect appropriate to the conduct of public business.
  • Topics such as personnel matters, pending appeals, and specific student disciplinary matters will not be read into the record.

  • Disparaging comments, personal attacks, and inflammatory remarks about specific schools or personnel will not be read into the record.

  • The Presiding Officer will not read a comment that does not conform to the rules of the Board regarding public comment.

  • All public comments submitted will be part of the records maintained by the Board office.

  • Please be reminded that written comments submitted are considered public information and, as such, are subject to the Maryland Public Information Act.

Please contact Teri Schmid via email at Teresa.Schmid@hcps.org with any questions. Thank you.

HCPS Coronavirus Communication Flowchart

Did You Know?

  • The Harford County Health Department makes notifications about personal exposure to COVID-19.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines “close contact” as being within 6 feet for 10 minutes or in direct contact with someone who is infected with COVID-19.
  • If an HCPS employee develops COVID-19-like symptoms or tests positive for COVID-19 and reports that information to HCPS, a location risk assessment is conducted, “close contact” coworkers will be sent home and should check with their health providers about current health department guidelines.
  • HCPS works closely with the Harford County Health Department on all notifications and instructions.

Open Enrollment - Coming Soon

The 2020-2021 Benefit Reference Guide will be available on the HCPS website next week. Please take the time to review the guide so that you are ready to make changes to your elections beginning on Monday, May 11, 2020.

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

Year-end Dates for Processing Transactions

A memorandum communicating due dates for processing transactions relating to fiscal year ending June 30, 2020, is now available on SharePoint: Year-End Dates Memo. Please share this information as appropriate. Please be aware that any purchases through year-end must have been included on the budget worksheets provided to Eric Clark. If additional purchases are required, please contact Eric Clark at Eric.Clark@hcps.org. Questions regarding the deadlines should be directed to Jay Staab, in Finance, at Jay.Staab@hcps.org.

Virtual Tour of the Professional Development SharePoint Site

During the COVID-19 closure, each of us has been required to adapt to a “new way of doing things.” The HCPS Professional Development Office has been working with a team of dedicated employees to create and curate resources we feel would be beneficial to our current work. This video is a brief virtual tour of the Professional Development SharePoint site to introduce everyone to the various resources posted. Reach out to the Professional Development team with additional needs or suggestions at HCPSProfessionallearning@hcps.org.

Intro to PD site with cc 32

Parent Academy Virtual Real Talk: Helping Our Elementary Students Learn and Thrive During the COVID-19 School Closure

During this virtual Parent Academy Real Talk segment, Mr. Ron Wooden, principal of Havre de Grace Elementary School, shares suggestions and ideas for parents about how to help our elementary school students learn and thrive during the COVID-19 school closure.

Parent Academy Virtual Real Talk: Supporting Elementary School Students During the COVID-19 Closure

Watch the 26th Annual - and First Virtual! - Teacher of the Year Event

On April 23, 2020, Harford County Public Schools held its first ever, virtual, Teacher of the Year Announcement. Over 160 attendees were able to watch the LIVE event, including a keynote from the reigning Teacher of the Year, video messages to the five finalists from their students, and the surprise announcement from the Superintendent of the 2020 Teacher of the Year!

“This event provides an opportunity for the Harford County community to come together, in a very unique way this year, to celebrate the teaching profession,” said Dr. Bulson. “We shine the spotlight on five outstanding finalists. Right now, these finalists and teachers throughout the system are illustrating what our educators mean to our community. They are showing us that educators aren’t just in our classrooms as they currently work to instruct, support, and encourage our students remotely."

Utilizing Microsoft Teams LIVE, the HCPS Communications Office was pleased to host the 26th Annual event virtually. We hope you enjoy watching and take a moment to send a note of congratulations to the HCPS 2020 Teacher of the Year!

HCPS 2020 Teacher of the Year VIRTUAL LIVE Announcement

Alternative Education Program eLearning Positions

The Alternative Education Program (AEP) at the Center for Educational Opportunity will be shifting a portion of their programming to a blended learning, eLearning program starting in the 2020-2021 school year. HCPS will be posting two (2) eLearning teaching positions for the AEP program on the HCPS website on Friday, May 1, 2020, in the areas of eLearning Mathematics and eLearning English. Any current HCPS certificated employee who has tenure and meets the qualifications as outlined in the job description are encouraged to apply. The postings are limited to qualified internal HCPS employees at this time. Interested candidates must submit an application prior to 11:59 p.m. on May 11, 2020, in order to be considered. Questions regarding this information should be directed to Dan Reimers, in Human Resources, at Daniel.Reimers@hcps.org.

How can the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act help you?

Are you participating with Lincoln? Lincoln is committed to helping participants navigate financial difficulties resulting from COVID-19. Take a moment to check out resources from Lincoln Financial that explain the CARES Act provisions that are available to participants:

May is Mental Health Month

Mental health and substance abuse issues not only impact an individual experiencing the illness, they create a ripple effect impacting family, friends, co-workers and ultimately the community. According to NAMI, 1 in 5 US adults experience mental illness with 1 in 25 experiencing serious mental illness. This month, we encourage you to raise awareness and support to help debunk the harsh stigma around mental health.

Click here for Wellness News: Tips for employers and employees to stay healthy from CareFirst.

Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week May 3-9, 2020

One in five children may experience a mental, emotional, or behavioral health problem before age 18. These problems affect children of all demographic groups, regardless of education, income, race, or culture, and 70% of school-aged children with a diagnosable mental illness do not receive treatment.

While May is Mental Health Month, May 3-9 is dedicated to the mental health needs of children. During this week, we shine a light on the unique needs of children related to mental health. It is hoped that communities, schools, and families will recognize the importance of mental health as it relates to children and learn about available resources to support their success.

Throughout the week, the HCPS Mental Health Zone will provide facts, tips, and activities via Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

The mental health of our children is important now more than ever! You can show your support by wearing green on Thursday May 7! Snap a photo, tag the @HCPSMHZONE and @HCPSchools Facebook pages, and use the hashtag #CMHMMaryland on Twitter. Let’s show our kiddos how much we care!

For more information about Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week you can go to the Children’s Mental Health Matters website at: https://www.childrensmentalhealthmatters.org/.

Top Health Newsletter - May Issue

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

Professional Development Opportunities

National Board Certification Virtual Meetings Scheduled

All teachers who have three years of teaching experience in the state of Maryland are encouraged to apply for financial aid to pay for the National Board process. Certification can be achieved in one, two, or three years and leads to many benefits, including: professional learning, stipends from HCPS and MSDE, credits, and support from the NBCT community throughout the process. Two informational meetings will be held to share the requirements for the 2020 application process on May 6, from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m., via Teams Meeting. Please RSVP through HECTOR. Questions or concerns may be emailed to Lori Gohlinghorst at Lori.Gohlinghorst@hcps.org.

Towson University - New Leadership Cohort for Northeast MD Educators

Please see flyer for information on the new Leadership Cohort for Northeast Maryland Educators starting in the Fall of 2020. M.S in Transformational Education Leadership with Administrator 1 Certification at the Towson University's Northeast Campus (TUNE).

For more information, visit https://www.towson.edu/coe/departments/leadership/, or contact the Program Director, Dr. Carla Finkelstein, at cfinkelstein@towson.edu.

American College of Education

The team at American College of Education (ACE) appreciates educators. We know this is an unprecedented time for every organization, and we want to make sure that you know we are here for you and your teams!

During Teacher Appreciation Week, ACE is offering educators the opportunity to win one of five $500 or one of five $250 Amazon gift cards from April 23-May 9. Winners will be drawn on May 12: Enter Raffle Here.

ACE is currently enrolling for the May 18 term. In the spirit of teacher appreciation, they are also offering an early application fee credit. Applicants can save $50-100! Learn more here.

ACE wishes you a happy Teacher Appreciation Week, and thanks you for your continued partnership!

Loyola University Maryland - Lauryn's Law Course

EDGC 822 Lauryn’s Law: School Counselor Response to Indicators of Mental Illness and Behavioral Distress

This course meets the educational requirements outlined in Lauryn’s Law. Specifically, this course enhances the school counseling practitioners’ knowledge and skills to understand and respond to the social, emotional, and personal development of students, including knowledge and skills relating to: (1) the recognition of indicators of mental illness and behavioral distress, including depression, trauma, violence, youth suicide, and substance abuse; and (2) the identification of professional resources to help students in crisis. This course for school counselors provides a current, interactive overview of these skills and supports participants’ development/acquisition of a resource bank for distribution to parents or guardians, shcool staff, and students, as appropriate.

  • Cost: $350; tuition must be paid in full at the time of registration
  • Summer 2020 Session: Fully Online May 11 - June 14, 2020
  • To learn more and register: loyola.edu/laurynslaw
  • For more info contact: educationdean1@loyola.edu

Walden University: Celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week

This Teacher Appreciation Week, Walden University wants you to know you are doing a great job!

  • Inspiration for Your Virtual Classroom: Enter to win a gift card from Teachers Pay Teachers*, an online marketplace where you can find original education materials to help you adapt and teach at your best: Enter to Win
  • Professional Development to Transform Your Teaching: Transform your teaching. Choose from their new selection of individual course offerings designed to meet your certification and continuing education needs. Receive 25% OFF summer start dates when you use code PARTNERSUMMER25: Explore Courses Here
  • A Webinar on Mindfulness for Educators: Explore how mindfulness can change brains to improve focus; decrease stress; alleviate anxiety; and increase curiosity, wonder, and compassion. Walk away armed with a toolkit for cultivating mindfulness in your classrooms, virtually, and at home: Access Here

Harford County Education Foundation Launches Third Harford Reads One Book

Harford County Education Foundation kicks off its third Harford Reads One Book program on Monday, May 4, 2020, to support learning during school closures, with the book “The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle,” written by Leslie Connor. The book is a coming of age story that follows Mason Buttle, a 12-year-old boy with learning disabilities, who is grieving the recent loss of his best friend, Benny.

The second Harford Reads One Book, a districtwide read-aloud program, began two weeks after the shuttering of Harford County Public Schools, due to COVID-19, with the reading of “Bob” written by Wendy Mass & Rebecca Stead. Harford County Education Foundation shipped over 150 copies of the book directly to families participating in the program.

Harford County Education Foundation hosted its first Harford Reads One Book in the Summer of 2019. Children enjoyed watching videos of readers, participating in discussions, and engaging in the many story themed activities posted on the Harford Reads One Book Facebook page. Many families return to participate in this opportunity to share in reading with their children.

Parents and guardians can register their child for Harford Reads One Book at www.fb.com/harfordreads. Detailed participation information about the program is posted on the Harford Reads One Book Facebook page. A limited number of free books will be available as needed, or families can purchase a copy from their favorite bookseller. Guided discussion questions and activities are presented on the Facebook page to encourage readers in comprehension and more profound thinking skills.

Harford County Education Foundation is providing Harford Reads One Book with the generous support of Harford County Public Library. Learn more at www.harfordeducation.org/empowereverychild.

Shout Out!

"I would like to thank Oscar Torres [art teacher at Red Pump Elementary School] for his amazing support of the students at Red Pump Elementary. During this time of distance learning, my student became stressed with submitting her work publicly. Mr. Torres took the time to reply to her email with kind and encouraging words of support - just what she needed to hear! Thank you!"

-Meghan Bennett Marx, media specialist at Red Pump Elementary School

"Shout Out to George D. Lisby Elementary School at Hillsdale for being featured on the news (WMAR-2)! It was a story about the efforts we are making during distance learning."

-Mary McAuliffe, Special Education Teacher, George D. Lisby Elementary

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.