HCPS 411 Update

April 23, 2020

A Video 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 23, 2020 Important Message from Superintendent Bulson
Please click the links below to access the documents Dr. Bulson refers to in his video message.

These documents may also be found on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) page on hcps.org.

HCPS 2020 Teacher of the Year to be Announced TONIGHT!

We just can't wait any longer to announce the 2020 HCPS Teacher of the Year! So tonight, Thursday, April 23, in true Teacher of the Year fashion, our five Finalists will be honored... remotely!

We'll have dinner delivered to their homes, followed by a virtual ceremony where their students will tell us what makes them SO special!

Even though we won't be together for our traditional banquet, what really matters is that we'll have an opportunity to celebrate the teaching profession and these five outstanding educators, together!

We are excited to name the new Harford County Public Schools Teacher of the Year - look for the big announcement soon!

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

During this new virtual Parent Academy Real Talk segment, HCPS 2019 Teacher of the Year Paige Milanoski shares strategies for how parents/guardians of teenagers can support learning at home during the COVID-19 school closure. Check it out below!

Parent Academy Virtual Real Talk: Supporting Teenagers During the COVID 19 School Closure

Boys and Girls Clubs Offering Childcare for Teachers and Educators

At no out-of-pocket expense to essential personnel, Boys & Girls Clubs of Harford and Cecil counties are providing a safe and fun option for children ages 4 to 13 (must be potty trained) to engage in enriching programs and activities with trained youth development professionals. Care is available Monday through Friday, 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Meals will be provided by Harford County Public Schools and Cecil County Public Schools. Click here to view the flier.

Locations include:

  • Bel Air Boys & Girls Club, McFaul Center, 525 W Macphail Rd, Bel Air, MD 21014
  • Havre de Grace Boys & Girls Club, 351 Lewis Ln, Havre de Grace, MD 21078
  • Edgewood Boys & Girls Club, 2002 Cedar Dr, Edgewood, MD 21040
  • Aberdeen Boys & Girls Club, 100 E. Bel Air Ave, Aberdeen, MD 21001
  • Boys & Girls Club at the Willows, 1000 Maresca Cir, North East, MD 21901

Questions? Contact Megan Cornett, Director of Administration & Donor Relations, at mcornett@bgcharfordcecil.org.

For more information or to register, visit www.bgcharfordcecil.org/essential-childcare.

Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) requires certain employers to provide their employees with paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. These provisions will apply from April 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020 and include:

  • ordered quarantine situations by governmental agency or healthcare provider for the employee or family member,
  • caring for a child whose school or place of care is closed (or child-care provider is unavailable), or
  • any other substantially-similar condition specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services.

Eligible Employees: All employees of covered employers are eligible for two weeks of paid sick time for specified reasons related to COVID-19. Employees employed for at least 30 days are eligible for up to an additional 10 weeks of paid family leave to care for a child under certain circumstances related to COVID-19. *Please note that pay will vary according to the specified reason.

For more information on FFCRA, please see the linked document.

If you feel that any of the above scenarios apply to you, please contact Joanna.Hewitt@hcps.org or Lisa.Patterson@hcps.org via email to obtain further information.

PreK and Kindergarten Registration to be Rescheduled

The Harford County Public Schools prekindergarten, early entrance, and advanced placement applications, as well as kindergarten registration and waivers, were scheduled to begin the first Friday in May. However, due to the current health crisis in Maryland, these procedures will need to be rescheduled. We are looking into alternative viable dates and methods for the application, waiver, and registration process for the 2020-2021 school year.

Other event and activity cancellations may be found here.

Professional Development Opportunities

Youth Suicide Prevention

McDaniel College is offering Youth Suicide Prevention, a fully online, self-paced 5-week graduate course, designed specifically to meet the Lauryn's Law requirements for school counselors' professional development for MSDE certification renewal.

Completion of this one-credit graduate course will provide counselors and other school personnel with a foundation for understanding how a person's mental health is connected to suicidal thoughts and behaviors. Topics encompass best practices, triage assessments, warning signs, and what to do if you know someone is at risk. The cultural context of suicide will be explored. Finally, students will learn to keep themselves mentally fit when dealing with this difficult population.

For more information about the course, please click here.

Questions regarding this opportunity should be directed to Kay Malone, supervisor of School Counseling, at Kay.Malone@hcps.org.

Harford Community College (HCC) Literacy in the Content Area Part II

HCC is offering online courses for teachers this summer including Literacy in the Content Area Part II (formerly Reading in the Content Area Part II), Assessment for Reading Instruction, Introduction for Special Education, and Child Psychology. The college is also working on adding an online section of Instruction of Reading. Summer classes start May 26, and registration is now available. If you have any questions, are looking for a different class, or need assistance, please contact Laura Hutton at lhutton@harford.edu.

University of Phoenix

The University of Phoenix strives for transparency and choice in selecting a degree program that fits your goals. The cost of coursework and degree programs is available on their site and in email communication. Their tuition guarantee means degree students keep the same tuition until graduation. Classes are offered frequently so that you can balance education with work and life. Visit

https://www.uopxpresents.com/view/new/mail?oeID=rf2VsQKXVqBdjK6T59xb. For more information and to receive 10% off tuition, contact: Nicole Berkebile at nicole.berkebile@phoenix.edu or call/text message 480-290-4328.

Choose Confidence, and Control What You Can

In times of uncertainty, one thing remains certain: Lincoln Financial Group is here for you. Click here to link to a flier on SharePoint for more information to help you choose confidence and control what you can.

Click2Meet - Virtual Appointments With Your Lincoln Rep

Lincoln Financial Representatives are available to speak with you on select days through the Click2Meet system, in which they will give you a call at the time you choose. This can be scheduled through the link: https://lfg.com/hpsschedule. Additionally, if these days or times do not work, email Stacey.Spedden@LFG.com and someone will reach out to you in order to schedule a time that accommodates your schedule.

Freedom Federal Credit Union's Golden Apple Educator Award

Freedom Federal Credit Union is accepting entries for this year’s Golden Apple Educator Award! Entrants must be a Freedom Member and an employee at a Harford County school.

Awards include:

First Place – $2,000 Award

Second Place – $1,000 Award
First Runner-Up – $500 Award
Second Runner-Up $500 Award

To enter, the teacher, school administrator, or school support employee must submit an entry form and essay. The essay must describe how the funds will be used. Scoring favors proposals demonstrating the greatest impact on local schools, classes, students, and/or the community at large.

Please click here for more information and the entry form.

Employee Assistance Program (EAP) Reminder

During these uncertain times, our feelings of stress and anxiety may be elevated. It is important that we care for ourselves, as we care for others.

Employee Assistance Program (EAP) services continue to be available. KEPRO serves as the EAP for HCPS employees. Information regarding COVID-19, as well as links to other topics that may be of interest, is available on their website.

Your EAP services can be accessed by calling 1-866-795-5701 or via the internet at www.EAPHelpLink.com, just enter HCPS as your Company Code.

EAP counselors are available 24 hours, 7 days a week. We encourage you to utilize the resources available to you.

CareFirst Video Visit

CareFirst Video Visit is now available at no cost for the duration of this public health emergency. COVID-19 is spreading within the United States, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that now is the best time to prepare yourself and your family. One thing you can do is sign up for CareFirst Video Visit so you can visit with a doctor from the comfort of your home, minimizing possible exposure to the virus for yourself and others. Doctors can evaluate your risk for COVID-19 and other respiratory conditions, advise on next steps, and refer you to in-person care if needed. Video visits using CareFirst Video Visit are a covered benefit under your CareFirst health plan. Sign up for free today and be prepared! Go to carefirstvideovisit.com or download the mobile app.

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.