HCPS 411 Update

November 12, 2020

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*For a printable version of this graphic, please click here.

Dr. Bulson Addresses Board of Education of Harford County on Monday, November 9, 2020, Concerning Move to 100% Virtual Instruction

Superintendent Announces Move to 100% Virtual Effective Friday, November 13, 2020.

Employee Assignment and Compensation During Period of Virtual Instruction -- Beginning November 13, 2020

Twelve-month employees

- Some staff will continue to provide essential services in HCPS buildings. Staff will receive specific direction from their supervisor about work location.

- If assigned to work virtually, employees must be available during normal work hours and performing the essential functions of their job, as assigned by the supervisor.

- All 12-month employees will continue to receive their normal compensation during this period of virtual learning whether working on site or virtually.

- There is no change to the current hourly rates of pay for non-exempt employees when working virtually or from an HCPS location.

- Employees who are not available for duty may request leave (sick, vacation, personal business as appropriate).

-Non-exempt employees shall continue to submit bi-weekly electronic time records to indicate hours worked on site, hours available for work, or leave hours used.


Ten- and eleven-month employees

- Some staff will continue to provide essential services in HCPS buildings or in-person with students. Staff will receive specific direction from their supervisor about work location.

- If working virtually, all 10- and 11-month employees must be available during normal work hours and be performing the essential functions of their job, as assigned by the supervisor.

- Employees who are not available for duty may request leave (sick and personal business leave as appropriate).

-All 10- and 11-month employees will continue to receive their normal compensation during this period of virtual learning whether working on site or virtually.


Other employees (employees paid for actual hours worked following the end of a pay period)

- For the November 13, 2020, and subsequent paychecks until school returns to hybrid instruction, pay practices continue as defined below:


  • Long Term Substitutes/Home Teacher Employees: Employees will continue to receive the daily rate of compensation for days worked. With principal approval, long-term substitutes will remain in place at their currently assigned school, eligible to work daily, and take direction from the school administration regarding duties and responsibilities during this period of virtual instruction.

  • Per-diem staff (e.g. food service workers): Employees that have been assigned as a Learning Support Assistant and now assigned to support Connectivity Hubs will continue to receive compensation based on the employee’s regularly scheduled hours. In the event an employee is unable to fulfill a given assignment, compensation will be adjusted accordingly.

  • Daily substitutes: No further compensation will be provided once daily substitutes have received payment for actual days worked.

  • Professional Staff < .5 FTE: Employees will receive the rate of compensation for hours worked.

  • Retirees/other: Employees will receive the rate of compensation for hours worked.

Maryland Department of Health Issues Expanded Out-of-State Travel Advisory

With contact tracing data showing an uptick in confirmed cases connected to travel outside of the state, the governor has directed the Maryland Department of Health to issue an expanded public health advisory for out-of-state travel. Marylanders are strongly advised against traveling to any state with a positivity rate above 10% or any state with average case rates above 20 per 100K. Anyone traveling from these states should get tested and self-quarantine while awaiting results. Read the travel advisory.


If an employee informs HCPS that their travel impacts their ability to physically report to work, then the employee can’t sign into any HCPS building and must work with their supervisor if the essential functions of their job can be performed virtually or if they need to request leave. HCPS is not actively seeking travel information from employees and is utilizing the building health and exposure sign-in/acknowledgement to guide employees in their personal decision-making.

Call-in Technology Support

As a reminder with the return to 100% virtual instruction for all HCPS students, call-in technology support is available for families from 7:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. on days when school is in session.
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Payroll for November 13, 2020

As a reminder, Wednesday, November 11, was a bank holiday. Employees who bank with a financial institution that regularly provides early access to their direct deposit may not see those funds in those accounts on Thursday this week. All funds will be fully available on the HCPS paydate of Friday, November 13, 2020.

Title IX Final Rule - New Regulations

Due to the new Title IX Final Rule (new regulations) passed in August 2020, any HCPS employee or member of the Board of Education who has knowledge of or is on notice of conduct that may constitute sexual harassment or allegations of sexual harassment occurring in the education program or any activity of the school system must report that information immediately to the Title IX Coordinator, Dr. Paula Stanton, by email at Paula.Stanton@hcps.org, by phone at 410-809-6065, or in person/by mail at 102 South Hickory Avenue, Bel Air, MD 21014. All employees will receive additional Title IX training in the upcoming weeks.

Provide Your Feedback on the Superintendent's Proposed Operating Budget

As Harford County Public Schools (HCPS) works on developing the Superintendent's Proposed Operating Budget for Fiscal Year 2022 (FY22), it is important to receive our community's input. Superintendent Bulson is seeking feedback on how you would rank the school system's priorities for the FY22 budget. With the goal of North Star (all HCPS students graduate with college experience or career licensure) in mind, please take a moment to participate in a brief survey to contribute your voice. HCPS will use the feedback it receives from this survey to help guide the formulation of the budget to best meet the needs of students, staff, and our community.


Input will be collected through 11:59 p.m. on November 20, 2020. Your responses to this survey will help us understand how future decisions on operating budget for FY22 can be improved. This is completely optional. Have comfort and confidence in knowing that your responses are reported anonymously. The survey will take approximately 2-3 minutes to complete.


Please click here to complete the survey now. You can also find the survey link at www.hcps.org/budget, as well as on HCPS Facebook and Twitter pages. Thank you for your time and participation.

Teacher Observation and Evaluation Resources

HCEA and HCPS have reached an agreement on the observation and evaluation process for the 2020-2021 school year. Each school’s leadership team may have shared details and a narrated PowerPoint outlining the process. The narrated PowerPoint, as well as a Teacher FAQ, which has been crafted in association with HCEA, are linked for teacher use and review.

“Wait... How Do I Do That?”

Here’s Assistant Principal Spence at Havre de Grace High School to talk tips and tricks to use on a Chromebook!
"Wait... How do I do that?" - Chromebooks

Subscribe to the Teacher of the Year Blog!

You can follow the 2020 HCPS Teacher of the Year, Beth White, by signing up to receive notifications when there are new posts. Access the Teacher of the Year blog on hcps.org, or by clicking here!
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National Bookkeeper Certification

Harford Community College was awarded $477K from the Governor's Emergency Education Relief (GEER) fund to distribute among both credit and non-credit programs for students to use for tuition, books, exams, and/or stipends depending on the programming needs.


Bookkeeping certification is one of the programs that is being offered to interested individuals. We are sharing this opportunity as there may be individuals in our system interested in pursuing this certification as it relates to their current role or in preparation for opportunities that may come available in the future within HCPS.


Please click here for the flier with more information.

University of Maryland – TESOL Program

The University of Maryland, Baltimore County Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) program is now offering the master's degree and postbaccalaureate certificate at a 20% reduced tuition rate for Maryland P-12 educators (teachers, paraeducators, and administrators). Options are available for those seeking initial P-12 ESOL certification, as well as for educators who are already certified and who would like deeper training in working with learners of English across content areas.


Additional details are available in the flier and information sheet.

HCPS Meal Kit Pickup Changes

Throughout the pandemic, the HCPS Food and Nutrition Department has been working hard to ensure families across Harford County have access to food. As we anticipate cold weather during the winter months and evaluate the effect of meal kit pickup times on the instructional day, we will implement the following changes to meal kit distribution. This will allow us to continue to provide meals to anyone who would like to utilize this resource, and allow distribution on Friday’s during asynchronous learning.


Updates to meal kit distribution effective Friday, November 13, 2020:

  • Meal kits will be distributed once a week, on Fridays from 12:00 to 1:00 p.m.
  • Meal kits will be available at:
    Aberdeen High
    Abingdon Elementary
    Bel Air Middle
    Church Creek Elementary
    C. Milton Wright High
    Dublin Elementary
    Edgewood High
    Edgewood Parks and Rec
    Hall's Cross Roads Elementary
    Havre de Grace Elementary
    Jarrettsville Elementary
    Joppatowne Elementary
    North Harford High
    Patterson Mill Middle/High
    Red Pump Elementary
    Southampton Middle
    Windsor Valley
    Youth's Benefit Elementary


Meal kits will now include food for five (5) meals along with a half-gallon of milk to be used over the course of five days. If changes need to be made to the meal kit distribution date due to scheduled holidays or school closures, information will be posted on hcps.org.


Watch the video below for a "tour" through the new meal kit!

Food and Nutrition Meal Kit Update

National School Psychology Week - The Power of Possibility

During the week of November 9–13, 2020, schools throughout the country will celebrate National School Psychology Week to highlight the important work school psychologists and other educators do to help all students thrive. This year's theme is "The Power of Possibility," which conveys hope, growth, resilience, and renewal. Possibility suggests that even something as small as a seed can grow into something magnificent. The word “power” implies that things can and will happen. When we focus on what is possible, we have hope that students will grow, thrive and bloom and will be empowered to take the action steps necessary to do so. Our hope is to connect with students and staff to highlight how focusing on possibilities can help lead us to our goals, our interests, and our positive growth.


School psychologists help empower children to grow in areas of skill such as social skills, empathy, and compassion for others, as well as individual or intrapersonal skills such as problem solving, goal setting, and study skills. The concept that we continue to grow and develop as people and with our skills is central to our theme, as is the idea that with help, we can develop resilience beyond stressful circumstances. School psychologists are particularly skilled at assisting students and staff in seeing possibilities and developing positive change to thrive in school and life. Focusing on these possibilities can help us set goals, identify action steps, communicate needs, and engage in discussions to help create the connections necessary for students to develop critical academic and social emotional skills.


Please spread the word through some aspect of your work, and help others make the impossible possible!

Maryland State Retirement and Pension System Pre-Retirement Webinar

If you were not able to attend the October 3 HCPS pre-retirement webinar, the Maryland State Retirement and Pension System, through the Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC), is holding webinars for members who are within eight (8) years of retirement.


These webinars will cover the following topics:

  • The Maryland State Retirement and Pension System,
  • Legal Issues,
  • Social Security and Benefits, and
  • Financial Planning.


Webinars are scheduled for:

Saturday, November 21, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Thursday, December 17, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.


To register:

1. Visit the website http://www.ccbcmd.edu/ceed-preretirement-county

2. Under the headline, How to Register, click the Register Online link.

3. Click the Select button next to the course titled "Pre-Retirement Webinar," towards the bottom of the screen.

4. Scroll back to the top of the screen to click on the button, Register for Selected Courses.

5. If you are not already logged in, you will be redirected to the login page.

a. 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? You can call CCBC at (443) 840-5059.

b. If this is your first Pre-Retirement Seminar, choose "New Account" on the right-hand side of the screen. Fill out your information (anything in red is required information) and choose Submit.

6. After you have registered for your seminar, choose "Finalize Selection" and print your confirmation. You should receive an email confirmation of your registration within three (3) business days.


As the Maryland State Retirement and Pension System, through CCBC, schedules more webinar dates, those dates will also be posted in the weekly HCPS 411 Update for interested individuals. If you are unable to attend an event but are interested in learning more, a shorter presentation about the Maryland State Retirement and Pension System is available on the Maryland State Retirement Agency website.


If you have any questions, please contact Elizabeth Miller, Coordinator of Benefits, at Elizabeth.Miller@hcps.org.

Shout Outs!

"I would like to send a shout out to Raymond San Juan. He is always ready to assist with data extrapolation. He also helps tremendously with testing site issues, understanding data, and providing student access. He helps me put out fires quickly so that my testing runs smoothly. He is so kind and goes well above the call of duty to help us as we assist students in this difficult time. I am able to confidently promote reading by using data that he helps me to interpret and understand. I couldn’t be as effective without his help."

-Gina Wilson, English Instructor, Joppatowne High School


"I would like to Shout Out Stacy Bopst, Debbie Daffern, and Diane McNamara, our awesome John Archer School nurses. They have been working extra hard and have been super nice as they work. They have gone over and above keeping everyone safe and healthy."

-Rachel Otremba, John Archer School


"I would like to send a HUGE shout out to Julia Elloff at Bakerfield Elementary School. Not only is she an amazing librarian and makes engaging lessons for our students, but she has been everyone's go to for technology support and questions. She goes above and beyond to make sure that the teachers, students, and families are set up for success while learning virtually. The staff at Bakerfield is BEYOND lucky to have her as a co-worker and friend! We couldn't do this without you!"

-Chelsea Grossman, First Grade Teacher and Teacher in Charge, Bakerfield Elementary 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.