HCPS 411 Update

March 3, 2022

COVID-19 Updates

According to the new COVID-19 Community Levels tool, Harford County is LOW.

February Monthly Minute With Dr. Bulson

Were you unable to join the Monthly Minute earlier this week? No worries - we have you covered! Click below to watch Dr. Bulson's latest Monthly Minute message from February 28, 2022.

To view a complete archive of all past Monthly Minute videos, visit the Monthly Minute page on our website by clicking here.

Monthly Minute with Dr. Bulson. Feb 28 , 2022

State Board of Education Teacher Member Election- Announcement of Nominees

The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) will be conducting a statewide online election from March 7, 2022, through March 13, 2022, to fill the teacher member position on the State Board of Education (SBOE). All teachers who hold an active Maryland Educator Certificate with at least one teaching area as of January 1, 2022, will be eligible to cast one vote in the election. Eligible certificate holders will receive a unique code that allows them to cast one vote. A list of candidates may be found on the MSDE website.

Should you have questions, please contact Kelly Meadows, Assistant State Superintendent of the Division of Educator Certification and Program Approval at 410-767-0385 or kelly.meadows@maryland.gov.

Reporting Abuse and Neglect

The state of Maryland is transitioning to a new phone number for reporting abuse and neglect. Any school staff making abuse or neglect reports should use the following phone number moving forward: 1-800-91-PREVENT or 1-800-917-7383. Please use this number during business hours only, and if after hours, please utilize the Sheriff's Office. The new form can be found at this link on our SharePoint site.

If you have questions, please contact Bernard Hennigan, Executive Director of Student Support Services, at Bernard.Hennigan@hcps.org or 410-588-5334.

March is Social Work Month

March 6-12 is National School Social Work Week


March 6-12, 2022, is National School Social Work Week, an opportunity for schools, communities, and partners to acknowledge and recognize the impactful work they do to support students, families, and their communities.

The theme for National School Social Work Week 2022 is “Time to Shine.” School Social Work Association of America (SSWAA) believes that School Social Workers shine brightly for their students, families, and school communities. Shining hope. Shining understanding. Shining respect.

"School Social Workers are humble professionals,” said Rebecca Oliver, LMSW, SSWAA Executive Director, “who often are the voice for students and families but do not always voice the value they add to the school community. School Social Workers shine a light on the need for mental health services, offering hope for students and families who face various challenges, and lighting the way for marginalized youth.”

If your school is lucky enough to have a social worker, please take a moment to thank them for their service, dedication, advocacy, and support to the students of HCPS!

National Board Certification Virtual Informational Meeting for 2022-23 School Year

Teachers and school counselors who hold a bachelor’s degree, have completed three years of successful teaching experience (please note: conditional teaching experience does not count toward eligibility requirements), and hold a valid state teaching license or meet the licensure requirements established by MSDE for a school counselor 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, possible stipends from HCPS and MSDE, CPD credits, and support from the NBCT community throughout the process.

Informational meetings will be held to share the requirements for the 2022/23 application process:

If you are interested in more information about starting the National Board Certification process during the 2022-23 school year, please complete this form.

Check out the National Board Site.

Questions or concerns please email HCPS.NationalBoard@hcps.org.

Parent Academy Workshop: Parenting Pivots During the Pandemic

HCPS Parent Academy, together with Partners for Success, is pleased to share the recording of the February 2022 workshop. Over the past two years, young children have experienced drastic changes to pre-pandemic routines, experiences, and opportunities. These changes can greatly influence a child's normal patterns of thinking, feeling, and behavior. During this workshop, worldwide, award-winning speaker and child advocate Frank Kros, MSW, JD discusses practical tools you can use to support your young child's healthy development in this challenging time, address behavior conflicts at home, and identify when to reach-out for help. Frank has more than three decades of experience in "Helping Adults Help Kids" and brings a wealth of knowledge to his workshops.
Parenting Pivots During the Pandemic

Coming Soon! March Parent Academy Workshop

This month’s Parent Academy workshop is designed for parents/caregivers of students in grades 11 and 12. On Thursday, March 10, Parent Academy, together with N-STEP, Inc., will present FAFSA: The Next Step After College Acceptance online via Zoom. Two sessions will be offered: 12:00-1:00 p.m. and 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.

During the workshop, participants will learn about:

  • Financial aid tips
  • Full-time versus part-time enrollment
  • Parents’ rights to grades
  • Satisfactory academic progress

Click here to join one or both workshops on March 10.

Please share this flier and information with your school community via your communications and social media pages. A Blackboard Connect5 email was sent today, March 3, to those in our system with a child in grades 11 or 12.

Family Friendly School Award Nomination Window Now Open!

Calling all nominations for the March Family Friendly School Award!

Nominations for the award are being accepted now through 11:59 p.m. on March 8.

***ONLY nominations submitted during this window will be considered for this month's award.***

It takes just a few minutes to nominate a school...access the link to nominate here: https://www.hcps.org/parents/parentacademy/familyfriendlyschools.aspx.

Please spread the word! Help your school be celebrated for their efforts to communicate well, engage and welcome all families, and support student success.

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Teacher Tour, presented by 5xStronger

Teacher Tour Stop 3: Technology

As educators, we are constantly reinventing and reimagining ways to connect with our students. The last couple of years have taught us the importance of leveraging technology to support all students’ needs, moving from simply consuming and sampling technology to a true application of tools to transfer learning. For the next stop on our teacher tour, we are looking to celebrate teachers that do an exemplary job of leveraging technology in their classrooms to support all students. Please use this link to nominate an outstanding teacher on or before March 15, 2022. They may be the next stop on our teacher tour!

HCPS Health Challenge, Presented by QuaranTeam5

The QuaranTeam5 is challenging you to participate in activities to support staying fit - both mentally and physically. Click here to see the challenges! When you participate in any challenge, submit a photo or screenshot here to enter to win a prize. The first 50 teachers to participate will receive the book, 180 Days of Self Care for Busy Educators! The book guides readers through 36 weeks of self-care to improve and enhance their lives through mindful strategies and techniques. Because this book is geared specifically for educators, the weekly ideas correlate with weeks in a school year! Prioritize your health and wellness with the help of these tools and practices. Some books have already been claimed by our participating teachers. Act now: Approximately 30 books remain! Two lucky winners will receive a Nutri Ninja Pro Single Serve Blender, and one winner will receive a CareFirst gift package!

You can also share your commitment to health using the hashtag #HCPSHealth on social media. Some HCPS employees are already participating! Check out these educators who are making their physical and mental health a priority – Sara Wagner, Karen Gonzalez, and Jennifer Dillard!

The deadline to submit photos or screenshots to enter to win a prize is Thursday, March 31, 2022! Winners will be announced in the HCPS 411 Update on Thursday, April 7, 2022.

Summer Jobs in Maintenance Listed

Harford County Public Schools Facilities Management Department has a nine-week Summer Maintenance Program (June 20 – August 18, 2022) open to anyone who enjoys varying jobs such as painting and general maintenance tasks. Those selected will work at school buildings and annexes throughout the Harford County Public Schools system. Applicants must be at least 16 years of age and able to provide their own transportation to the various job sites.

The hours are 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday. There are two 15-minute breaks plus a 30-minute lunch. Starting pay for painting is $12.50.

Applications are located on the Harford County Public Schools website (hcps.org) under About Us > Current Vacancies > Other Career Opportunities/Substitutes. Only online applications will be accepted until positions have been filled.

If you have any questions regarding the program, please call the Hickory Annex at 410-638-4088.

Professional Development Announcements

From the University of Phoenix:

University of Phoenix - Master of Arts in Education/Administration and Supervision

Hello Educators, You have a passion for leadership and education, and a desire to make a difference in students' lives. Take your leadership skills to the next level by advancing your education and lead change in your school with relevant coursework and real-world experience.

At University of Phoenix, we offer the Master of Arts in Education/Administration and Supervision (MAEd/ADM) online graduate program designed to prepare you for K–12 school principal licensure. Our curriculum was developed to align with national standards set by the Educational Leadership Constituent Council (ELCC) and includes relevant courses in data-driven decision making, as well as organizational and technology management. Gain the knowledge and skills necessary to be a successful school leader who can apply theory to practice.

Your Benefits:

  • 10% off tuition
  • $486 per credit (includes 10% off tuition)
  • Locked-in Tuition - pay the same price from start to finish
  • Financial aid eligible
  • Students complete a total of 38 credits in the MAEd/Administration and Supervision program, which may be earned from a combination of required and elected courses. Register now, choose the best program start date for you: March 15 or April 26, 2022

Why does UOPX work for working adults?

  • 100% online asynchronous allows students to attend class on their schedule
  • Students take one, 6-week class at a time
  • Practitioner Faculty (avg. of 20 yrs. in the field)
  • Scholarship opportunities
  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission
  • Career Services for Life

If you would like more information on this program and 10% off tuition cost , please contact Nicole Berkebile, at nicole.berkebile@phoenix.edu or call 480-290-4328.

Freedom Federal Credit Union: 2022 Golden Apple Awards

Freedom Federal Credit Union is now accepting entries for the 2022 Golden Apple Annual Educator Awards.

To enter, submit an entry form and essay. The essay must describe how you would use the

funds and why you should be selected. Scoring favors proposals demonstrating the greatest

impact on local schools, classes, students, and/or the community at large.

Freedom is pleased to announce that it has DOUBLED the number of awards to EIGHT!

1. TWO First Place – $2,000 Awards

2. TWO Second Place – $1,000 Awards

3. TWO First Runner-Up – $500 Awards

4. TWO Second Runner-Up $500 Awards

Entry deadline is May 30, 2022. Access the application and learn more by clicking here.

Summer Academic Tutoring

The Academic Tutoring Program will be running July 5 – July 30, 2022. Tutors will provide students with instructional support and remediation. Tutors are needed in the areas of Reading and Mathematics for students in grades k-12. Tutors are also needed in Science and Social Studies at the high school level. Tutoring will be offered for the graduation required courses in these two areas. 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. Tutors will be compensated at their true hourly rate when working with students and the negotiated rate for planning.

If you are interested in serving as a tutor, please complete this survey form by May 11, 2022: https://forms.office.com/r/4CrAzKzGYP.

For any questions, please contact Academic.Tutoring@hcps.org.

2022 Stars of Summer Program

HCPS is seeking educators to teach in the 2022 Stars of Summer program! Stars of Summer is a virtual, camp-like summer school experience for rising grade one through grade nine students. We need your ingenuity and creativity to provide students with another exciting summer learning experience. Please open the attachment to learn more about this paid teaching opportunity. Any questions may be directed to program coordinators at starsofsummer@hcps.org.

PARAPRO Assessment Opportunities – March 18, 2022

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 classroom 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 March 18, 2022. The test will be offered 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.

BurnAlong Virtual Wellness: Check Out These Trending Classes

Here are some of the top classes other at Harford County Public Schools enjoyed in February. Take a short wellness break, and try a class today!

Upcoming Webinar Workshop: Investment Basics

If you are new to investing or simply need some direction, then this complimentary workshop is for you. From an overview of investing and investment concepts, to terminology and how to deal with market volatility, MetLife’s Investing 101 will help you sort it out.

Date: Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Time: 5:00-6:00 p.m.

If asked for company name, enter Harford County Public Schools

Click here to reserve your spot! Register online now. Space may be limited.

On the fence? Here's a sneak peek of what to expect. Spouses and partners are welcome!

CareFirst Members: Will You Find the Golden Ticket?

Beginning February 1 through April 30, all CareFirst Members registered for their Well-being Platform powered by Sharecare will be eligible for the Golden Ticket!

What is the Golden Ticket Promotion? Every month, 60 randomly selected members will have a Golden Ticket image on their Well-being platform timeline. Lucky winners will each receive a $25 Visa® Virtual Gift Card! To claim your prize, you must find the Golden Ticket on your Sharecare timeline located in the CareFirst ShareCare app and click the "Claim Your Prize" button.

Ready to win? Follow these steps to get started!

1. Register or log in to your Sharecare Account! Click here to access your Sharecare Account.

2. Check your timeline daily to see if a Golden Ticket image appears.

3. If you see the image, follow the prompts to claim your prize!

EAP Webinar: Navigating Through Grief and Loss

Presented by KEPRO Employee Assistance Program

The February KEPRO EAP resources are here. Experiencing loss can be difficult no matter the circumstance. KEPRO can help you cope and provide strategies to grieve in a healthy way. This session will help you discover ways to say goodbye and work through the five stages of grief in a healthy way. Click here to learn more.

Date: Available on demand beginning February 19, 2022

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

The Employee Assistance Program is available to employees and their families anytime, any day and is a free, confidential program to help you balance your work, family, and personal life.

Employees and their family members can call KEPRO 24-hours per day, 7 days per week toll-free at (866) 795-5701 to visit their website online at www.EAPhelplink.com.

CareFirst Wellness Announcements

March is National Nutrition Month

This month is all about making informed food choices and creating healthy eating habits that will help increase your overall quality of life. As Hippocrates once said, "Let food be thy medicine" – a sentiment which still rings true today! Our diet's nutrients provide the fuel we need to get through our busy days. To learn more and view the recipe of the month, Healthy Omelet Makeover, click here to view CareFirst's March Wellness Newsletter.

CareFirst/ShareCare Monthly Challenge: March Healthy Plate Challenge

March 1 – March 31

Many people know that nutrition is essential to help you maintain a healthy weight. But there are many other benefits to good nutrition, including reducing the risk of heart disease, delaying the effects of gaining, and maintaining a healthy immune system. Join the challenge in March and prioritize your nutritious choices to improve your well-being.

Click here to learn more about this challenge and how to participate.

CareFirst March Health Awareness Dates:

  • March 2022: Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month- Do you know how to prevent Colorectal Cancer? Take this quick quiz from the CDC and test your knowledge! Colorectal Cancer Quiz | CDC
  • March 22, 2022: National Diabetes Alert Day- Observed annually on the fourth Tuesday in March, Diabetes Alert Day is a "wake-up call" that focuses on the seriousness of diabetes and the importance of understanding your risk. This quick and simple Diabetes Risk Test will help determine if you or a loved one are at risk for type 2 diabetes.

HCPS Customer Satisfaction Survey Link Encouraged in Email Signature Lines

We recognize customer service as a vital component of an organization's culture that, in our case, ultimately affects overall student success. To ensure that HCPS remains accountable for delivering top-notch customer service, we are encouraging all HCPS employees to add a link to a customer satisfaction survey to the signature line of their HCPS emails. To do so, simply copy and paste this into your current signature line:

Click here to take a brief customer satisfaction survey.

In addition, the link to the survey is accessible in the footer on hcps.org.

The responses to this survey will greatly help us gauge our current level of service and identify opportunities for improvement. Survey responses and data are collected and monitored by Judy Simon, HCPS Customer Service Specialist.

Shout Outs!

Shout out to Edgewood Middle School 6th grade students for their amazing Black History Month display, a Periodic Table of Black History (pictured on the right)!

"Special thanks to Dr. Paula Stanton who came to work with our Teacher Academy of Maryland students on Title IX and its implications in educational settings! We appreciate you, Dr. Stanton!"

-Alissa Thomas, Teacher Specialist, Program Coordinator, Teacher Academy of Maryland

"Massive shout out to Madison Clark of North Harford Middle School. She is an outstanding special educator, and we are so lucky to work with her. New to our building this year, she has made such a significant impact on our 7th grade students. Her dedication to meet students exactly where they are while simultaneously collaborating with teachers on content, parent communication, and overall well-being of every student, not just her caseload, is just remarkable. Her spirit shines through every interaction and her energy and enthusiasm for making school awesome is simply infectious. We should all be so lucky to work alongside someone so hard-working and positive."

–Kate Smith, 7th grade Language Arts, NHMS

"Shout out to Lydia Freeman who is such an asset to North Harford Elementary School. She is always there to lend a helping hand and is excellent at her job of working with the students who need her. Thank you for all that you do Lydia!! We are lucky to have you at our school!"

-Marna LaPlante, Teacher - Grade 02

"Shout out to school counseling secretary, Maria Batory, who has been doing "double duty" serving at Edgewood High School as well as Edgewood Middle. She always has a smile and is a consummate professional. We are so lucky to have her!"

-Barbara Polack, School Nurse, Edgewood Middle School

"I recently did an observation on a student and his inclusion helper, Ms. Yvonne Johnson, and was very impressed with his inclusion helper! She demonstrated patience and proper tone, avoided power struggles, and provided positive behavior support to the student she was working with. Ms. Johnson executed the student's behavior plan with fidelity and was on top of things! Ms. Johnson's administrators at Church Creek Elementary School confirmed that my perception was correct and Ms. Johnson is an excellent team member, supports with lunch duty, and has an excellent relationship with students and staff!"

-Gregory Willison, Grant Behavior Intervention Coach, Student Services

"We want to give a big shout out to Matt Bedsaul in Transportation, who came through when we needed urgent help last-minute. He got right back to us with the information we needed and ensured that all of our Spring Recovery students had transportation home who needed it."

-Becky Pensero and Katie Addington, Supplemental Instruction

Welcome to HCPS!

Please join us in welcoming the following new hires to the HCPS family:

  • Jocelyn Simoes, Earth/Space Teacher, Magnolia Middle School
  • Alexis Tobey, Paraeducator, Hickory Elementary School
  • Jonathan Schneider, Custodian II - Shift 2, Jarrettsville Elementary School
  • Stephanie O'Brien, Inclusion Helper, Deerfield Elementary School
  • Cinthya Hernandez, Custodian I - Shift 2, Aberdeen Middle 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.