HCPS 411 Update

September 15, 2022

HCPS Back to School 2022

Thank you to those who shared photos as we kicked off the 2022-2023 school year!

HCPS 2022 / 2023 First Day of School Slideshow

Blueprint Updates

The five Blueprint Committees are gearing up for a productive school year. Updates can be found in the Back-to-School Blueprint Newsletter. Blueprint quick guides have also been updated for all blueprint pillars and can be found on hcps.org: Career Ladder, North Star, Early Childhood, and Student Supports. As a reminder, you can sign-up for real-time updates of committee agendas, minutes and presentations through SharePoint.

Mentor Teachers Needed For HCC Students

This semester, Harford Community College (HCC) is looking to place education students for their 30-hour field observation experience. The experience provides the HCC student an opportunity to observe teaching in action as well as support instruction and teaching tasks as appropriate. Interested teachers should complete the survey by Friday, September 23: HCC Mentor Interest Survey.

Questions? Contact Rebecca.Spencer@hcps.org (Office of Teacher Preparation & Professional Development)

Support Services Superstar Award Program

Nominations for the Support Services Superstar Award are being accepted now until October 14, 2022. APG Federal Credit Union (APGFCU) is the proud sponsor of HCPS Support Services Superstar Awards. All Harford County Public Schools regular support staff employees are eligible for the award. Program information and nomination forms may be downloaded at www.hcps.org.

Questions regarding this information should be directed to Ben Richardson, in Human Resources, at Benjamin.Richardson2@hcps.org or 410-588-5226.

National Board

Are you a teacher pursing National Board Certification but are not receiving or applied for the MSDE/HCPS funding? Are you interested in participating in the support network?

Our support team is organizing cohort groups and would like to include you. Please complete this form: https://forms.office.com/r/SPVHHHA4E6.

Questions? Please email hcps.nationalboard@hcps.org.

Parent Academy Real Talk: The Clubhouse by Ashley

Hear from Laura Dahl, LCPC, Director of Family Services at Ashley Addiction Treatment, about a new resource for Harford County’s families, The Clubhouse by Ashley, located at the Aberdeen Marketplace shopping center! The Clubhouse is a free, fun, and safe after-school and summer program for Harford County students between the ages of 12 and 17 years of age. Also, learn about the Strengthening Families program offered at The Clubhouse designed to help parents/caregivers and their teens strengthen family bonds.

Parent Academy Real Talk: The Clubhouse by Ashley

Academic Tutoring

The Academic Tutoring Program will be running for the 2022-2023 school year beginning at the end of 1st quarter. More information will be coming out soon in the HCPS 411 Update.

Report Financial Fraud, Waste, and Abuse

The Board of Education of Harford County encourages any concerned individual to report financial fraud, waste, abuse, or violation of Board of Education Policy and HCPS procedures.

Financial fraud consists of ways by which HCPS employees or vendors use their employment status or vendor relationship to take funds for themselves or others at the expense of HCPS. Financial waste or abuse of financial resources includes ways that HCPS employees or vendors improperly, carelessly, or excessively spend, consume, mismanage, or misuse HCPS resources. Waste also includes spending unnecessarily as a result of inefficient or ineffective practices. Board of Education Policy and HCPS procedures are available on hcps.org and SharePoint.

If you are aware of misuse of HCPS resources or violation of Board of Education Policy and HCPS procedures, please call the Fraud Hotline at 410-809-6056. You can also fill out the Fraud, Waste or Abuse Reporting Form and submit via email to Laura.Tucholski@hcps.org, or send directly to the Office of the Internal Audit, located in the A.A. Roberty Building. Please note all reports are kept confidential.

Questions regarding this information should be directed to Laura Tucholski, Office of Internal Audit, at Laura.Tucholski@hcps.org or 410-588-5297.

Subaru Loves Learning Surprise Event at Magnolia Middle School

As part of the Subaru Loves Learning program, Jones Bel Air Subaru held a back-to-school celebration for teachers at Magnolia Middle School on September 13, where they were surprised with a $12,500 donation and school supply kits. Enjoy this video capturing the announcement and celebration!
Subaru Loves Learning Surprise Event at Magnolia Middle School

Congratulations to This Month's Bowtie Breakfast Honorees!

The HCPS Bowtie Breakfast program celebrates Central Office employees who consistently demonstrate outstanding customer service and go above and beyond in their roles. Honorees are nominated by colleagues to attend Superintendent Bulson’s virtual event held each month. Congratulations to the September honorees! Join us in celebrating our awesome HCPS staff!

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Voting Window is Open to Name the September 2022 Family Friendly School!

The voting window to name this month's and the first of the 2022-23 school year Family Friendly School Award winner is open! There can only be one winning school each month… now is your time to weigh in!

Click here to vote once before 11:59 p.m. on Monday, September 19, to let us know which nominated school should win the coveted title of “Family Friendly School” and a staff Chick-fil-A luncheon!

As a reminder, if “your” school isn’t in the running this month and you feel it should be, nominate it next month! One winning school will be named each month through May, and schools may win multiple times. Reminders about nominating and voting windows will be shared in the HCPS 411 Update and on the Parent Academy Facebook page throughout the school year.

We look forward to announcing the September winner later this month!

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Aberdeen High School Physical Education Teacher and Athletic Director Earns Master Athletic Administrator Certification

The National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (NIAAA) recently announced that Timothy W. Lindecamp, Physical Education Teacher and Athletic Director at Aberdeen High School, has been named a Certified Master Athletic Administrator.

To earn this distinction, Mr. Lindecamp demonstrated exemplary knowledge, contributions, and on-going professional development in the field of interscholastic athletic administration. The voluntary certification process included a thorough evaluation of the candidate's educational background, experience, NIAAA Leadership Courses, and professional contributions. It culminated with a practical written or oral presentation project.

Mr. Lindecamp is one of a very elite group of interscholastic athletic administrators nationwide to attain this level of professionalism.

Congratulations, Mr. Lindecamp!

Diversity 365

Join us as we continue to shine the light on how HCPS celebrates Diversity throughout the year. Each month, we will highlight a cultural/organizational holiday. All you have to do is take a picture or two and share the wonderful things your school or office is doing to celebrate the contributions we all make to HCPS.

This month, we are celebrating: Hispanic Heritage.

Please email your celebration pictures and a brief write up regarding the event to Sherron Foster-Moore, Diversity Retention & Recruitment Specialist, at sherron.fostermoore@hcps.org by Thursday, October 6, 2022. This month’s submissions will be shared in the October 13th edition of the HCPS 411 Update.

Harford County Arts Week

Harford County Arts Week, coordinated in partnership with Visit Harford and arts organizations across Harford County, is September 10-18, 2022. The event will offer over 30 arts-related events throughout Harford County during the week. You are invited to share information with your students about this initiative and encourage them to participate in any way they are able. This week coincides with National Arts in Education Week, so it is a perfect time to engage our youth in the arts.

Information about the initiative and a schedule of events can be found at https://www.visitharford.com/things-to-do/arts-and-culture/harford-county-arts-week/.

What's New with BurnAlong in September

What's for Dinner Thursday: Healthy Game Day Snacks

Spoiler Alert: Game day doesn't have to include wings.

Meet the new Game Day duo: Potatoes and Hummus. This healthy snack will score you a touchdown at the next gathering. All you need is a bag of yellow potatoes, a container of hummus, and a few spices to kick up this dish and provide a healthy alternative to snacking on game day. Looking for the recipe to see if you have all of the ingredients? Click here to get the recipe and start cooking.

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.

CareFirst Wellness Announcements: Self-Improvement Month

September is Self-Improvement Month

This health observance is a timely reminder to assess where we are and would like to be. It is time to care for ourselves and focus on improving our personal, mental, financial, and physical health. To learn more, click here to view CareFirst's September Wellness Newsletter.

September Recipe of the Month: Italian-Style Chicken Recipe

Click here to try this Italian-style chicken designed to fill you with good-for-you vegetables and tasty, nutritious chicken.

SmartDollar Financial Wellness Solution

When it comes to managing your finances and preparing for your financial future, it may not be easy to know if you're on the right track. SmartDollar is a free online financial program brought to you by CareFirst ShareCare. All employees, enrolled in the medical plan or not, can access ShareCare to take advantage of this opportunity to help you steer your financial destiny. To learn more about how to register, click here.

September ShareCare Self Challenge: Sleep Better Now

Did you know you are supposed to get at least 7-9 hours of sleep each night? Join ShareCare's self-managed Sleep Better Now Challenge and start making little changes in your sleep habits that could help you catch more zzzs and improve your overall health. To learn more and participate, click here.

AP Webinar: Open Communication - Talking about Talking

Presented by KEPRO Employee Assistance Program

We often spend most of our communication energy trying to get our point across and feel understood and heard by others. This month, participants will attain the skills to have open and effective communication at work and home. Click here to learn more.

Date: Available on demand beginning September 20, 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, seven days per week toll-free at (866) 795-5701 to visit their website online at www.EAPhelplink.com.

Upcoming Webinar Workshop: Life Insurance Options

Let's face it, life and disability income insurance can be confusing. You are not alone if you are unsure how much you need or which type of insurance to choose. HCPS is partnering with our life insurance vendor, MetLife, to offer all employees the opportunity to learn the benefits of insurance, how to determine your insurance needs, and which types of insurance are best suited for different situations.

Date: Thursday, September 22, 2022

Time: 5:00 – 6:00 p.m.

If asked for the 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!

Save the Date: Annual Fall Pre-Retirement Webinar

Through the Maryland State Retirement Agency and the Community College of Baltimore County, Harford County Public Schools announces a pre-retirement webinar for HCPS employees and their spouses. This webinar provides vital retirement information to all members within eight (8) years of retirement, whether 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 November 5, 2022, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Watch future HCPS 411 Update newsletters for more information on registering and obtaining a day of event link.

Access Healthcare Anywhere with CloseKnit

Virtual-First Primary Care Practice through CareFirst

CloseKnit is a virtual-first primary care practice that offers preventive, urgent, and mental health services through an easy-to-use app. As a CloseKnit member, you'll receive a dedicated Care Team to manage your health, navigate billing and benefits, and coordinate in-person and specialty care. Chats with your Care Team are FREE, and there are no annual or monthly membership fees.

How to Get Started or Learn More about CloseKnit Health:

1. Visit https://www.closeknithealth.com/register or download the free app using your phone or tablet.

2. Register and create your profile using your CareFirst member ID.

3. Start accessing the care you need.

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.

KEPRO EAP Presents: A Suicide Awareness and Prevention Podcast

In support of National Suicide Awareness Month this September, KEPRO EAP proudly presents a Suicide Prevention podcast hosted by Licensed Clinical Psychologist Dr. Erica Gergely and Ann Stephan, Licensed Professional Counselor and Kepro Account Manager. In this episode, the team addresses the characteristics that place someone at higher risk for suicide, the risk factors, and warning signs to be aware of, how to help a person who may need support, and how to access that assistance.

Click Here to Listen to The First Episode

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Drive Thru Flu Shot Clinics

Get Your Flu Shot Without Leaving Your Car

HCPS, in partnership with CVS, will be hosting a drive-thru flu shot clinic. Events will be held on various days in school parking lots throughout the county. Employees and their families (ages 3+) are welcome to attend an event to receive their flu shot.

Pre-registration is preferred but not required. To register, click on the school location+ and date you wish to attend.

PLEASE NOTE: Additional clinics are being scheduled and will be promoted in future 411 Newsletters as those events are confirmed. Please be sure to bring your insurance card and identification with you. Flu shots will be billed to your insurance*. Questions? Email the Benefits Office at benefits@hcps.org.

*HCPS medical plans cover flu shots at 100% with no member liability.

+Events will be held at the school location listed per the selected link.

University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health Career Fair for Harford County High School Students

University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health is hosting a healthcare career fair at Ripken Stadium on Friday, September 23, from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. This event is designed for junior and senior high school students to provide information and resources around a healthcare career. Service line staff will be available to answer questions about the wide array of opportunities in the healthcare setting – not just nursing. In addition, volunteer counselors will be onsite to help students understand things like professional certifications, advanced vocational training, and personality matching for those interested.

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Shout Outs!

"The counselors at Edgewood Middle would like to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of Maria Batory. As an administrative support technician, Ms. Batory works tirelessly to ensure that families that need to register students in our building feel welcome and that the overall enrollment process goes smoothly. Ms. Batory is always available to help others when needed and her attention to detail is impeccable. Her vast knowledge of the procedures and policies of Harford County Public Schools makes her an invaluable resource to staff, students and families. She is truly an asset to not only our office but to our school and we are so grateful for all she does to make the lives of all around her better!"

-Susan Marco, 8th Grade School Counselor, Edgewood Middle School

"I would like to send a shout out to Dave Filbert, Todd Bell, and Ben Gilmore for the amazing work they do taking care of our school campus and grounds. This grounds crew goes above and beyond to ensure our fields, playgrounds, and campus are neatly manicured and inviting. We appreciate the work they do for our students, staff, and community."

-Patricia S. Chenworth, Principal, Dublin Elementary School

"I wanted to shout out Elizabeth Maier, Check and Connect Mentor at Edgewood High School. As a Check and Connect mentor, Liz meets with students on a weekly basis to check in about grades, behaviors, and attendance. Liz has a way of connecting and encouraging students that has proven to be successful in helping them meet their educational goals. From talking basketball to reviewing credits, the students and parents recognize the difference Liz is making in their school experience. Multiple parents have reached out to echo my sentiments! Great job, Liz!"

-Nicole Blanchard, Check and Connect Trainer & Mentor, Department of Special Education

Welcome to HCPS!

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

  • Cindel Berlin, Special Educator - Grade 1-8, Dublin Elementary School
  • Heather Blake, Inclusion Helper, Bel Air Middle School
  • Amari Butler, Inclusion Helper, Aberdeen Middle School
  • Lisa Chenoweth, Administrative Support Assistant, Joppatowne High School
  • Vindra Chhaturam, Inclusion Helper, Youth's Benefit Elementary School
  • Rachel Colbourn, Speech Language Pathologist - Infants and Toddlers, Harford Academy
  • Mary Crawley, Inclusion Helper, Homestead-Wakefield Elementary School
  • Emilie Danko, School Nurse, Aberdeen Middle School
  • Linda Fowler, Custodian I - Shift 2, C. Milton Wright High School
  • Marisa Garrison, Inclusion Helper, Riverside Elementary School
  • Nicola Greene, Custodian I - Shift 1, Aberdeen Middle School
  • Rebekah Hamby, Inclusion Helper, Bel Air Elementary School
  • Kimberly Jones, Paraeducator, Hall's Cross Roads Elementary School
  • Jacob King, Inclusion Helper, Youth's Benefit Elementary School
  • Melissa Leimbach, Kindergarten Teacher, Joppatowne Elementary School
  • Theresa Milburn, Paraeducator, Forest Lakes Elementary School
  • Erin Neal, School Safety Liaison, Havre de Grace Middle School
  • Danielle Osgood, Inclusion Helper, Ring Factory Elementary School
  • Cecilia Pazmino, Custodian I - Shift 2, Bel Air Elementary School
  • Raymond Robinson, Custodian I - Shift 1, Joppatowne High School
  • Jason Russell, School Safety Liaison, North Harford Middle School
  • Luis Sandoval, Inclusion Helper, Harford Academy
  • Jennifer Seal, Community Schools Specialist, Hall's Cross Roads Elementary School
  • Laura Stefanko, Inclusion Helper, Roye Williams Elementary School
  • Samuel Stollof, Custodian I - Shift 2, Bakerfield Elementary School
  • Tiffany Wagner, Paraeducator, Fountain Green Elementary School
  • Michala Wagner, Custodian I - Shift 2, North Harford Middle School
  • Kimberly Wigfall, Inclusion Helper, Deerfield Elementary School
  • Kate Wiherle, Inclusion Helper, Church Creek Elementary School
  • Sheraton Woods, Inclusion Helper, Hall's Cross Roads Elementary School
  • Kenyona Wooley, Inclusion Helper, Southampton Middle 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.