HCPS 411 Update

October 27, 2022


Many of our positions are filled by word of mouth by our employees. Help us share our employment needs!

  • School Nurse - Bakerfield Elementary School
  • In-School Suspension Technician - Magnolia Middle School
  • Chief Custodian - Norrisville Elementary School

Follow us on social media @hcpsrecruiter and share our employment posts. To find a full list of our available positions, visit hcps.org and click on the sun!

Celebrating National Principals Month in October

National Principals Month honors principals for their significant impact on the success and well-being of our nation’s students. Join us as we celebrate and show appreciation for ALL HCPS principals throughout October.

We would like to highlight our newest HCPS principals in a video series, Five in Five, this month. Acting Supervisor of Leadership Development Audrey Vohs talks with each of our new principals to ask five questions in five minutes so we can get to know them better. Take a moment to hear from Zachary Greenbaum of Emmorton Elementary School and Sandra McMichael of Edgewood High School in the videos linked below.

Meet Zach Greenbaum, new principal at Emmorton Elementary School
Meet Sandra McMichael, new principal at Edgewood High School

November is HCPS Safety Month!

Tune in this month on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to meet Safety and Security staff and learn more about our buildings' safety and security practices to keep students and staff safe!
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Bel Air Elementary School Named October Family Friendly School Winner!

HCPS Parent Academy, in partnership with Chick-fil-A of Harford County, is excited to announce that Bel Air Elementary School is the October winner for the school system’s Family Friendly School Award program!! Way to go, Bulldogs!

This month, a total of 34 schools were nominated and 3,711 unique votes were cast by the community among the nominated schools, naming Bel Air Elementary the winner with 895 votes!! Not only does the school earn the coveted title of Family Friendly School for the month of October, but the entire school staff will be treated to a luncheon by the program’s partner, Chick-fil-A of Harford County.

We want to give a special shout out to this month's runner up schools:

  • Harford Technical High School
  • Bel Air High School
  • Swan Creek School

Keep up the great work!

The school system will continue to celebrate its schools that best engage all families by consistently demonstrating the National PTA Standards for Family-School Partnerships. One school will be named a family friendly school each month through May.

Want to see your school highlighted for this award on the website and social media, plus treated to a Chick-fil-A lunch? Continue to encourage parents/guardians, students, staff and community members to nominate your school for the Family Friendly School Award! The nomination window will be open again November 1-8, 2022, on the Parent Academy page of hcps.org. If your school is nominated, our community can show how welcoming your school is by casting their vote November 10-17, 2022.

More information may be found on https://www.hcps.org/parents/parentacademy/familyfriendlyschools.aspx.

HCPS is deeply grateful for its generous Chick-fil-A partners at the Aberdeen, Bel Air, Constant Friendship, and Forest Hill locations for their tremendous support of this program.

Family Friendly Award BAES

Strategic Initiatives Focus Group Series

A multi-talented group is participating in a series of sessions led by the Office of Strategic Initiatives to unpack and explore ideas for planning time at the elementary school level. The group is comprised of students who are aspiring teachers in the Teacher Academy of Maryland, interns, teachers, teacher leaders, administrators, central office leadership, and Towson University. The focus group series is committed to connecting different perspectives to create recommendations to the Superintendent about planning time. Thank you to all the voices in this work, as “parties who see different perspectives of a problem can constructively explore their differences and search for solutions that go beyond their own limited vision of what is possible.” (Thomas & Perry, “Collaboration Processes: Inside the Black Box,” 2006)

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Are you interested in becoming a teacher?

The Growing Exceptional Teachers More (GET More) Program provides tuition reimbursement equivalent to the negotiated tuition reimbursement rate for instructional staff (currently $300 per graduate credit hour) for employees who HCEA-ESP or AFSCME represents. This tuition reimbursement assistance aims to allow program participants to complete a teacher certification program in a high-needs area of teacher education, with the ultimate goal of receiving their teacher certification and returning to work as a teacher in HCPS.

This program allows participants in the program to be eligible to receive up to 12 weeks of paid internship time when meeting specified criteria. The GET More program is open to employees who have been employed with HCPS for one or more years. More information is available here: GET More Program Application.

For additional information about the GET More program, please contact Maranda Scott at Maranda.Scott@hcps.org.

Youth Mental Health First Aid Training

The Office of Student Services will offer Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA) Training to interested HCPS staff members. The training is designed to teach participants how to support and assist young people in the early stages of a developing mental health problem or those experiencing a mental health crisis.

Participants will learn about the prevalence of mental health problems among young people and examine “typical” adolescent development and its relation to mental health issues. Participants will also learn ways to approach, support, and refer young people believed to be at-risk for mental health issues or those who are experiencing a crisis.

This course is offered over two evenings. Attendees must be present both evenings in order to be recognized as a First Aider.

The class will be offered on Tuesday, November 15, and Wednesday, November 16, from 4:30 to 8:00 p.m. at Havre de Grace Middle/High School. Again, you must attend both evenings.

This is a paid opportunity for HCPS 10-month employees.

To sign up, please use this link: https://www.hcps.org/registration/workshops/workshops.aspx?filter=1531 or the course listing may be found on HECTOR under Student Services.

Questions regarding YMHFA should be directed to Christina Alton, Mental Health Specialist, at Christina.Alton@hcps.org or 410-809-6243.

New Way to Fax for Harford County Public Schools

To streamline processes and provide cost savings to HCPS, the Office of Technology and Information Systems is happy to announce that it is implementing a new centralized fax system.

All HCPS staff members have single sign-on access to this system for outbound faxing. Inbound faxing will be implemented as resources are available to port fax numbers to the new system. When the new system is implemented for inbound faxing for your location, faxes will be delivered to the email mailboxes of members of your Administrative Support team. They will forward the fax onto the intended recipient. The old fax machines will no longer be functional. We will be recovering those machines as time permits.

Instructions on the use of the new system are located at XMFax New User guide - v1.3.pdf. If you have any questions or are unsure if your department or school has started using the new system, please reach out to your Administrative Support team or contact Bill Waldrup at William.waldrup@hcps.org.

Happy faxing!

Johns Hopkins Medicine and CareFirst Reach New Strategic Agreement

CareFirst has notified the HCPS Benefits Office of its contract agreement. Below is the news brief from CareFirst posted on October 26, 2022.

Parties chart a new course to bring greater value to shared communities

Johns Hopkins Medicine and CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield (CareFirst) have agreed to a new multiyear contract to provide high-quality care options while building on a long-standing relationship and commitment to serving our shared communities. This agreement ensures continued service to existing members and patients while opening new opportunities to create value for the people and communities we serve.

“We are pleased to announce that we have reached an agreement with CareFirst to keep our doctors, nurses and other caregivers in CareFirst’s network,” said Theodore L. DeWeese, M.D., interim dean of the medical faculty and CEO of Johns Hopkins Medicine. “Our goal was to reach a resolution before our patients had to make changes to their care or their coverage, and we appreciate CareFirst’s collaboration to make that happen.”

“Together, CareFirst and Johns Hopkins Medicine are poised to continue providing high-quality health care and maintain our focus on the people who matter most: members and patients,” said Brian D. Pieninck, president and CEO, CareFirst. “The impact of our partnership remains tied to advancing health outcomes in the community, and this new agreement provides the structure necessary to organize our efforts and deliver on that shared goal.”

“Our patients are our top priority,” added Kevin W. Sowers, M.S.N., R.N., F.A.A.N., president of the Johns Hopkins Health System and executive vice president of Johns Hopkins Medicine. “We look forward to continuing to work with CareFirst to best support the communities we serve.”

Through this new agreement, Johns Hopkins Medicine and CareFirst have reinforced their commitment to continuing this relationship while recognizing that, together, they will create an even more significant impact on the health of this region for years to come.

November 4th Clerical Professional Development Sessions

On the afternoon of November 4th, clerical staff will have the opportunity to engage in virtual choice professional development sessions. The choice sessions may be found by clicking HERE.

HCPS offices will be closed on the afternoon of November 4th in order to allow clerical staff to participate in professional development. Clerical staff should work with immediate supervisors to determine the best location for clerical staff to engage. They will need a laptop with a camera. Clerical staff received an email on Thursday, October 20, 2022, with their session topics.

Questions regarding this information should be directed to Peter Carpenter, in Organizational Development, at Peter.Carpenter@hcps.org or 410-809-6300.

Littles University

This month, Jillian Lader, Manager of Communications, reads "Martina the Beautiful Cockroach," by Carmen Agra Deedy to our Littles Scholars. Keep an eye out for how you can register to receive next month's new book, thanks to our friends at Harford County Education Foundation.
HCPS Littles University- "Martina the Beautiful Cockroach"

Annual MSDE Survey of Science and Social Science Teachers

The annual MSDE survey of Science and Social Science teachers (elementary, middle, high) is open now through November 7, 2022. This annual survey is used by MSDE to determine the amount of instructional time in those disciplines; available resources, including professional learning; and the numbers of classes taught by teachers certified in these content areas. All surveys will be confidential, identified only by school system and grade level (elementary, middle, high). MSDE is required to compile the survey results, post those results on its website, and send a report to the Governor and General Assembly in January of each year.

All teachers who teach either Science or Social Science/Social Studies should complete this survey. This includes non-departmentalized elementary teachers who teach multiple subjects. You can access the survey using this link: https://msde.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_9YqhcNoC9FSoYaa.

Thank you in advance for participating in this year’s survey.

Student Services Standout Award (S.T.A.R. Award)

The Office of Student Services is accepting nominations for the STUDENT SERVICES STANDOUT AWARD (S.T.A.R. AWARD). This award is presented once per semester (biannually) to a nominated member of the student services staff. The nominee must currently be an employee budgeted under Student Services, who is based in a school or Central Office. This would include staff under the offices of School Counseling Services, School Health Services, Psychological Services, or Pupil Personnel Services. Any person, regardless of position or relationship to the nominee, including students, may make the nomination. The nomination form and supporting narrative must be submitted by December 1, 2022. Click here to access the nomination form and the rubric used by the judges and consider nominating someone today!

Questions regarding this information should be directed to Kay Malone, Supervisor of School Counseling, at Kay.Malone@hcps.org or 410-588-5251.

Academic Tutoring

The Academic Tutoring Program is seeking short-term and long-term tutors for the 2022-2023 school year. 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, as well as Science and Social Studies for the graduation required courses at the high school level. Teachers and paraeducators in any content area may serve as tutors and will be able to select 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 per diem rate.

If you are interested in serving as a tutor, please complete this survey form:


HCEA COVID-19 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)

The Harford County Education Association (HCEA) COVID-19-related MOU, revised on August 30, 2022 between the Board of Education and the HCEA, is available on the Human Resources Staff Relations SharePoint site, or by clicking here.

Questions regarding this information should be directed to Mae Alfree, Ed.D., in Human Resources at Mae.Alfree@hcps.org or 410-588-5226.

Public Service Loan Forgiveness

The deadline for the Federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Limited Waiver is October 31, 2022. This limited waiver allows borrowers to receive credit for past periods of repayment that would not have qualified for PSLF. For more information, visit the US Department of Education's PSLF stakeholder resource page.

All PSLF forms may be sent via email to certification@hcps.org or by interoffice mail to Human Resources/Certification.

New Process for Teacher Certification

MSDE has released The Educator Application and Certification Hub (TEACH). Existing applicants and certificate holders will need to complete a one-time registration by visiting https://certificationhub.msde.maryland.gov. You will be required to upload verification of identification such as a driver’s license or passport. Verification of your identification must be completed before any service or request can be completed. When registering, please ensure your email address is updated. The Certification Department will provide updates and notification to teachers through TEACH as well as your HCPS email. TEACH requires educators to submit an application/request for initial certification, renewal of a certificate, adding an endorsement or name change. This must be done on MSDE TEACH through the educator’s dashboard.

For those who have a Maryland teaching certificate that is expiring DECEMBER 31, 2022; if you have not done so already, please log onto TEACH and request a renewal of your certificate. More information regarding this process can be found in the MSDE TEACH INFORMATION 9-2022 document on SharePoint, Human Resources, Certification, under Certification Forms & Information.

In order to renew certificates in a timely manner, please have your dashboard and request completed by November 1, 2022.

Questions regarding this information should be directed to CJ Harbach, Certification Assistant, or Aretha Young, Certification Coordinator, at Certification@hcps.org or 410-588-5258.

MRSPA Mini-Grant Opportunity

The Maryland Retired School Personnel Association (MRSPA) is offering six (6) Mini-Grants of up to $300 to classroom teachers across Maryland. The grants may be used on special projects or activities that are not funded through the school system or Parent Teacher Organization. Applications and additional information can be found at MRSPA.org. Applications can be submitted from October 1, 2022, through November 1, 2022. Please view MRSPA.org or contact wtwigg@mrspa.org for additional information.

Ready for Your New Fall Fitness Routine with BurnAlong?

What's Cooking with B? Soup and Sweets: It's What's for Dinner

Fall is in full swing, and it's time to get your soup ladles out. This month, BurnAlong is brining you a savory vegetarian twist on a classic, and a surprisingly sweet recipe.

  • Vegetarian Chickenpea Noodle Soup: Looking for a new take on chicken noodle soup? Try out a vegetarian-friendly version of chicken noodle soup, where you still get your protein!
  • Carrot Cake Muffins: Have a sweet tooth? Try out these carrot cake muffins for a sweet surprise!

What is BurnAlong?

As a reminder, BurnAlong is our health and wellness partner who provides you and your family with access to more than 23,000 live and on-demand online classes from 5,000+ credentialed instructors at no cost to you.

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To activate your complimentary account, get started by visiting https://fit.burnalong.com/hcps. If you have any trouble accessing your account, contact customercare@burnalong.com. Find out more about BurnAlong in this brief video.

Take BurnAlong with You

Join thousands of others on their health and wellness journey by downloading the Mobile App. Available in iOS and Android, take BurnAlong with you by downloading the app today!

#HCPShealth Health and Wellness Program Survey

Getting healthy and holistically feeling your best can be fun and easy with help! That's why HCPS wants to launch a health and wellness program to help you live healthier and to provide resources to support your overall well-being while making it a program that works for employees. If you haven't done so already, please take a few moments to click the link below to complete the survey to help us shape this year's program by letting us know which health issues are important to you so that we may develop a program that meets the needs of all staff.

Click here to complete the survey.

CareFirst Wellness Announcements: National Diabetes Awareness

November is National Diabetes Awareness Month

Did you know more than 237 million people in the United States live with diabetes and 96 million adults with prediabetes (National Diabetes Statistics Report | Diabetes | CDC)? National Diabetes Awareness Month is an important health observance promoted each November to raise awareness and sound the alarm on the growing diabetes epidemic. To learn more, click here to view CareFirst's November Wellness Newsletter.

CareFirst One-on-One Health Coaching

You have access to personal health coaching as part of your health coverage. To learn more about the coaching program, or to join, call (877) 260-3253 and press option 7. You may also receive a call inviting you to participate. While not mandatory, we encourage you to participate in this voluntary and confidential phone-based program to help you achieve your best possible health. You can leave the program at any time. Click here to learn more.

October Recipe of the Month: Salmon with Spinach

Salmon isn't just a delicious fish. It is also full of healthy fats that are good for your heart. Click here to try this healthy as you relax on a night in with this tasty recipe perfect for one.

Beneficiary Updates

Help Keep Your Beneficiary Information Up to Date

Suppose you have recently gotten married, welcomed a baby, adopted a child, undergone a divorce, or suffered a death in the family. In that case, it may be time to update your beneficiary(ies). Imagine if your Life Insurance benefits were unintentionally left to someone else. These situations can and do happen. It is essential to keep your beneficiary information up to date by at least reviewing your designated beneficiaries annually.

Beneficiary information can be updated at any time throughout the year through your account at hcps.benelogic.com. To log into your account through Benelogic:

  1. Using a computer with the internet, visit hcps.benelogic.com.
  2. Enter your User ID, which is your HCPS 5-digit Employee ID number.
  3. Enter your password. If you do not know your password, click the "Forgot User ID/Password" link for further assistance.
  4. Click the orange "Sign In" button.
  5. Click on the large green "GO" arrow to start your enrollment.
  6. Once you have reached the end, click the Submit button to finalize your enrollment.
  7. Print a copy of the Enrollment Summary for your records.

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

EAP Webinar: Navigating Your Holidays

Presented by KEPRO Employee Assistance Program

Do the holidays typically leave you worn out and exhausted? Now is the time to reflect on changes you can make as you enter this year's holiday season. This month, learn effective ways to plan, organize, and make the most of your holidays. Click here to learn more.

Date: Available on demand beginning October 18, 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.

Registration Now Open: Annual Fall Pre-Retirement Webinar

Through the Maryland State Retirement Agency and the Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC), Harford County Public Schools announces a pre-retirement webinar for HCPS employees and their spouses. This webinar provides vital retirement information to all members who are within eight (8) years of retirement, whether it is normal service or early retirement. Discussion topics include:

  • HCPS Retiree Benefits
  • State Retirement Pension Benefits
  • Legal Consideration
  • Social Security Benefits
  • Financial Planning

This year's pre-retirement session will be held virtually on Saturday, November 5, 2022, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. To register:

  1. Click here to go to the Pre-Retirement Webinar Pre-Retirement Planning Registration portal.
  2. Scroll to the section, CE Pre-Retirement Planning. Click the "Select" button next to the Pre-Retirement Webinar option.
  3. Click "Register for Selected Courses."
  4. You will be redirected to the login page. If you have previously attended a Pre-Retirement Seminar or other class at CCBC, log in using your current username and password. Not sure what your username and password are? No problem! Call at 443-840-5059 and let our call center register you for course number/CRN 36295.
    - If this is your first Pre-Retirement Seminar, click the "New Account" button on the right-hand side of the screen. Fill out your information (anything in red is required information) and choose "Submit."
  5. After you have registered for the seminar, choose "Finalize Selection" and print your confirmation.
  6. You will receive an email confirmation of your registration within three business days.
  7. You will receive instructions on how to join the webinar two days prior to the event.

COVID-19 Breakthrough Leave Survey Link

Employees who have received the primary vaccine series and at least one (1) booster can submit verification of their vaccination status through an online employee survey to be eligible for COVID Breakthrough Leave for the 2022-2023 school year. Individuals who already submitted both their primary vaccine series and booster information during the 2021-2022 school year will not need to complete this survey again. Information collected from the COVID Breakthrough Leave survey will be utilized for the 2022-2023 school year to determine COVID Breakthrough Leave eligibility. The survey can be accessed by clicking here.

The complete MOU specific to your bargaining unit can be found on the Staff Relations SharePoint page. Questions about COVID Breakthrough Leave can be directed to Staff and Labor Relations Office at (410) 588-5311.

Shout Outs!

"I want to give a big shout out to Amanda Subolefsky at Harford Glen. We have had multiple staffing changes at Harford Glen this year, and Amanda has gone above and beyond to make sure that everyone is comfortable in their job. She works extra hours to answer questions and troubleshoot any issues that arise. In addition, Amanda has worked endless hours to get our overnight program up and running again. We appreciate you, Amanda! Thank you for all that you do for Harford Glen!"

-Melanie Kane, Harford Glen Outdoor Educator

"Magnolia Elementary School would like to shout out to Kim Noll and Stephanie Pfefferkorn for their help with keeping up with administrative duties while we have been down a 10-month secretary. Their willingness to help, either virtually or in-person, has truly helped out not only our 12-month administrative assistant, but also our administration. Thank you!"

-Erin Morring, Assistant Principal, Magnolia Elementary School

"I would love to give a shout out to a new inclusion helper at Magnolia Middle School who joined us this school year from Magnolia Elementary School. Ms. (Raushanah) Scott ("Me-me" as she is also called) has made such an impact on our school. First of all, coming from one of our feeder elementary schools, she knows a ton of our students already (especially 6th graders). Since they knew her already, that made them feel comfortable at this new experience we call middle school :) and having that connection with the kids is enjoyable to see. Meme is also a coach for our dance/drill team and has such a passion for this extra curricular activity. I don't know how she does it, but she always seems to have a smile on her face and be ever upbeat!! One of my favorite things about her is seeing an opportunity to help students and always taking it. Just a couple days ago, she took a couple students aside because she saw something that warranted a quick coaching up of the kids. It's a blessing to work with these kind of people at my school, and I know the students feel the same way about Ms Scott."

-Sarah Seidl, Guidance Secretary, Magnolia Middle School

Welcome to HCPS!

Please join us in giving a warm welcome to the following new members of the HCPS family!

  • Samantha Potts, Paraeducator, Aberdeen High School
  • Chloe Lippert, Paraeducator, Church Creek Elementary School
  • Tricia Sands, Paraeducator, Church Creek Elementary School
  • YeaYea Grant, Custodian I - Shift 2, Aberdeen High School
  • Henry Hom, Custodian I - Shift 2, Youth's Benefit Elementary School
  • Wendy Ploughman, Paraeducator, Youth's Benefit Elementary School
  • Tasha Carter, Food & Nutrition Services Worker, Edgewood Middle School
  • Sana Qureshey, Paraeducator, Church Creek Elementary School
  • Erica Long, Paraeducator, Magnolia Middle School
  • Deborah Donohue, Inclusion Helper, Youth's Benefit Elementary School

Office of Communications and Family Outreach

Editor: Lindsay Bilodeau, Innovation 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.