HCPS 411 Update

May 20, 2021

Updated COVID-19 Protocols

Linked below you will find updated information related to COVID-19 protocols at HCPS.

The information related to operations and changes for students was shared this week with parents/guardians via a Connect 5 email on Monday, May 17.

For further reference, MSDE and the CDC recently updated their operational guidance for schools. Please see the information below from MSDE (updated May 18) and the CDC (updated May 15):

COVID-19 Mobile Testing Pop-Up Site at Magnolia Middle School

On Monday, May 24, 2021, from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m., the Maryland Department of Health will bring a mobile testing pop-up site to Harford County. The testing site will be located in the parking lot at Magnolia Middle School. The site is open to any Harford County resident NOT experiencing COVID-19 like symptoms who would like to be tested to see if they are asymptomatic with COVID-19. Testing is available for all ages. Anyone under the age of 18 will require parent/guardian permission. Attendees may walk up, scan a QR code, complete the registration, and will receive information at the time of testing on how to access results.

In case of inclement weather, the pop-up testing site will be moved indoors.

Additional information about COVID-19 is available from the Maryland Department of Health at covidlink.maryland.gov. Questions may be emailed to mdh.rapidpoctest@maryland.gov.

Parent Academy Real Talk: Student Vaccines

Dr. David Bishai, Harford County’s health officer, joins HCPS Supervisor of Health Services Mary Nasuta to discuss the opportunity for students ages 12+ to receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination in the community and during clinics being held in middle and high schools beginning next Monday, May 24. Parents/guardians who have questions or concerns about the vaccine, which is recommended by American Pediatrics Association and approved by the Advisory Committee for Immunization Practice at the CDC, should reach out to their child’s pediatrician.

Parent Academy Real Talk: Student Vaccines

Reminder: Teacher Assistance Needed With Student Engagement Survey

As we prepare for the 2021-2022 school year, HCPS would like to get feedback from your students about what they found engaging during their virtual learning experience. Below you will find links to a quick survey for students in grades K-5* (elementary schools), grades 6-8 (middle schools) and grades 9-12 (high schools). We are kindly asking all teachers to please have their students complete the survey by Wednesday, June 2, 2021. We encourage you to determine a time in your schedule (3 to 5 minutes total) to allow for your students to participate in the survey during the school day. One suggestion is during the homeroom block. Student responses will aid HCPS in better assisting future virtual learners. HCPS will use the information/best practices captured in survey responses to influence any future guidance around virtual and/or hybrid learning that may be developed at the county and/or state level.

Survey Link For Elementary School Students: Grades K-5


Survey Link For Middle School Students: Grades 6-8


Survey Link For High School Students: Grades 9-12


*In the original email message sent to all HCPS staff this morning, May 20, we indicated that only students in grades 3-5 at the elementary level should participate in the survey. However, K-2 teachers are encouraged to use the elementary link as well; access has since been updated to include all elementary students in Kindergarten through grade 5 (K-5).

If you have any questions or need additional information regarding this survey, please contact Yakoubou Ousmanou (Ousman), Manager of Research and Program Evaluation - North Star Initiative, at Yakoubou.Ousmanou@hcps.org, or Gregory Bane, Social Studies teacher at Fallston Middle School, at Gregory.Bane@hcps.org.

Open Enrollment Will End Soon!

***The deadline to enroll or make changes is Monday, May 24.***


*No changes to medical, dental, or life insurance rates

*No change to medical, dental, or life insurance plan design

*New Service Covered: Bariatric Surgery. Beginning July 1, 2021, members who meet the requirements to enter a bariatric surgery program at a CareFirst Blue Distinction Center may be eligible for coverage of bariatric surgery services. For more information, please view the Benefit Reference Guide available on the Human Resources Department page of the HCPS website.

There are only four (4) days of Open Enrollment remaining. Do not miss your chance to make changes to your election options without having experienced a qualifying life event. The deadline to complete your enrollment is 11:59 p.m. on Monday, May 24.

Looking for more information? This year, all employees will have the option to view the open enrollment presentation on the Human Resources page of the HCPS website to learn more about their benefits package.

Your current health, dental, and life elections will carry over to the 2021 - 2022 benefit plan year unless you go in and make a change. If you currently carry the flexible spending benefit and want to do so again for the next benefit plan year, you will need to complete an active enrollment through your account at https://hcps.benelogic.com before 11:59 p.m. on Monday, May 24.

If you add any new dependents to your health or dental coverage for the 2021 - 2022 plan year, you will need to submit the Dependent Verification Form and required documentation to the Benefits Office by June 15. Failure to provide proper documentation will result in your dependent not being added to the coverage.

To log into your account through Benelogic to enroll in, waive, or make changes to your elections:

1. Using a computer with the internet, visit https://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 on the “Forgot User ID/Password” link for further assistance.

4. Click the orange “Sign In” button.

5. To start your enrollment, click on the large green “GO” arrow.

6. Once you have reached the end, be sure to click the Submit button to finalize your enrollment.

7. Print a copy of the Enrollment Summary for your records.

Don’t have access to a computer? Call the Benefits Office at 410-588-5275 for assistance with completing your annual open enrollment.

Monthly Minute Teams LIVE Link

Due to the HCPS high school graduation schedule, the May Monthly Minute will be held next Friday, May 28, at 12:15 p.m. Please mark your calendar to join Dr. Bulson and your colleagues to hear systemwide updates and information from Dr. Bulson.

If you are not available to participate in the Monthly Minute, that's okay! To ensure that all employees have the opportunity to hear what Dr. Bulson shares during these system check-ins, we will record the event and share it in next week's HCPS 411 Update.

Monthly Minutes will continue to take place on the last Thursday of each month at 12:15 p.m. via a Microsoft Teams LIVE event. Watch for the link to join in the HCPS 411 Update the week before the event.

To join the event on Friday, May 28, at 12:15 p.m., click here.

HCPS Teacher Leadership Conference

HCPS will hold a one-day Teacher Leadership Conference on Thursday, June 17, 2021, from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. This virtual conference will include morning sessions on key HCPS initiatives including North Star, social-emotional learning strategies, equity and inclusivity, and digital teaching and learning. Participants will select from a wide range of afternoon choice workshops led by teacher leaders on promising teaching and learning practices implemented this over the past school year.

Eligible participants will be compensated at the negotiated rate for their attendance and can register for the event via Hector at Teacher Leadership Conference June 2021. Registration will remain open until June 10, 2021.

This conference is open to all HCPS administrators, teachers, and educational support professionals.

Questions about this information can be directed to HCPSProfessionalLearning@hcps.org.

Balancing Enrollment Update

As the school boundary review process continues, the Advisory Team for balancing enrollment in Harford County Public Schools has updated the webpage with a proposed scenario for elementary, middle, and high schools. In preparation for the next set of Community Education Forums, the Advisory Team is requesting the community visit the Balancing Enrollment webpage on hcps.org, review the scenarios, and submit questions prior to May 28, 2021.

The Advisory Team will hold two forums to discuss the proposed boundary adjustments for middle and high schools with the elementary feeder patterns and answer pre-submitted questions.

On Wednesday, June 2, 2021, from 5:00 to 7:30 p.m., the team will discuss the North Harford, Magnolia, Joppatowne, Edgewood, Havre de Grace, and Aberdeen boundary areas.

On Thursday, June 3, 2021, from 5:00 to 7:30 p.m., the team will discuss the Bel Air, Patterson Mill, Southampton, C. Milton Wright, and Fallston boundary areas.

If you are unable to attend the live forums on June 2 and June 3, a recording of the presentation will be available on our website after the forums.

For one week following the forums, an exit survey will be available on our website to contribute feedback on the boundary adjustments being discussed. The Advisory Team will use the information gathered during the forums, and from the survey, to continue to revise and refine the proposed boundaries.

For more information, including maps of the boundary adjustment scenarios, meeting access links, and to submit questions, please visit the Balancing Enrollment page under the Community tab at HCPS.org.

Please take a moment to watch the latest Parent Academy Real Talk on this topic.

Balancing Enrollment

FY22 Payroll Calendar

The FY22 Payroll Calendar is available on SharePoint and can be accessed by clicking here.

For questions regarding this information, please contact Mary Folus at Mary.Folus@hcps.org or 410-588-5241.

Parent Academy Real Talk: Tools for All

As HCPS students prepare for end of year exams and assignments, we have some great resources to share with you. Tools for All, which include Read and Write for Google Chrome and EquatIO Math Spaces, provide text to speech, voice dictation, digital math manipulatives and SO MUCH more! These tools are available on HCPS devices and personal devices. Take a moment to watch the latest Real Talk, featuring members of the HCPS assistive technology team, to learn more!

Tools for All resources page on HCPS.org:

To request help:

Parent Academy Real Talk: Tools for All

Virtual Pre-Retirement Planning Seminars

The Community College of Baltimore County is offering members of the Maryland State Pension System the opportunity to attend virtual pre-retirement planning seminars. Topics include:

  • Maryland State Pension System
  • Legal Issues to Consider in Retirement
  • Social Security Benefits
  • Financial Planning

Sessions will be held from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on the following dates:

  • June 3 (CRN 38616)
  • June 22 (CRN 38619)

To register for one of the sessions, click here and follow the on-screen prompts. If you experience issues with registering online, call 443-840-5059.

Please note these sessions are not hosted through HCPS, and therefore, will not include information about our benefit plans. That session will be held will be in Fall 2021. More information will be shared in the HCPS 411 Update newsletter at a future date.

Wellness Recovery

As part of HCPS’ Wellness Recovery efforts, the Office of Student Support Services will be providing a short video each week with some tips, reminders, and things to think about as students and staff return to in-person learning. We hope these videos provide some thoughtful guidance to your work with students and your own personal reflection on wellness throughout the remainder of this school year.
Summer Day Trips

Professional Development Announcements

From Phoenix University:

I hope you are looking forward to summer break! This is the perfect time to fulfill coursework that is needed for Conditional Licensure requirements, recertification, or Master's +30 credits. Please visit the link for the University of Phoenix course schedule . The schedule has start dates for our four-week, three-credit Continuing Education Classes and degree programs . The deadline to enroll is two weeks prior to the start date to ensure your seat in the online class.

Please enroll now to schedule your online class this summer! To enroll and receive 10% off tuition cost, contact Nicole Berkebile at nicole.berkebile@phoenix.edu or call/text 480-290-4328.

Enrolling now for all programs to begin your first course in June!

Online Teacher preparation programs:

  • Bachelor in Elementary
  • Bachelor in Early Childhood
  • Masters in Elementary
  • Masters in Secondary
  • Masters in Special Education
  • Post-Bachelor Certification in Elementary
  • Post-Bachelor Certification in Secondary
  • Post-Bachelor Certification in Special Education
  • or for those on Conditional Licensure - individual courses, see attached schedule.

Advanced Degrees in Education:

  • Masters in Curriculum and Instruction
  • Masters in Administration and Supervision (leads to Principal Licensure)
  • Masters in Adult Leadership and Training
  • Doctorate in Education (EdD)

CareFirst Work/Life Balance Webinar Series

With the constant pressure to work harder, stay at work longer, and take on more workload, employees are increasingly on the brink of burnout. This series teaches participants how to create a balance between work and the rest of your life. These are live sessions for all interested employees. Session dates and times are listed below:

Discussing Burnout

Friday, May 21, 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.

Guided Meditations

Friday, May 28, 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.

To participate in the above session(s), click on the topic title listed above at the scheduled date and time. The Meeting ID: 996 0444 3697 and Passcode: 20uwjF will be the same for all four sessions.

Shout Outs!

"Lydia Goodin is a sign language interpreter for a student in my class. She goes above and beyond in supporting her student, but is a voice on the other side of the screen when something I am presenting has gone wrong! Her pleasant demeanor and cheerful 'good morning' has been a bright spot in the day during this very difficult year. Ms. Goodin is patient, kind, and supportive. Any student or teacher would be lucky to have the opportunity to work with Ms. Goodin."

-Beth Davis, Art Teacher, Joppatowne High School

Welcome to HCPS!

Please help us give a warm welcome to the newest member of the HCPS family:

  • Emily Regert, Administrative Support Assistant, Fallston Middle School
  • Tiana Spencer, Administrative Support Assistant, Edgewood Elementary School

Remembering Dr. A.A. Roberty

Obituary shared from McComas Funeral Home:

Alfonso “A. A.” Roberty, 94, of Bel Air, MD, passed away on May 14, 2021 at the Upper Chesapeake Medical Center, one week before his 95th birthday.

He is the last surviving child of five born to Erminia and Michael Roberty on May 21,1926 in Mannington, West Virginia. While attending high school he worked in his parents’ shoe store and at a local printing company. He graduated from Mannington High School in June of 1944 and was drafted into the Army in August of 1944.

Upon completion of basic training at Camp Croft in South Carolina, he was assigned to the 14th Regiment of the 71st Infantry Division and was sent on the Queen Mary troop ship to Gorrick, Scotland; he then proceeded to South Hampton, England, to cross the English Channel to Le Havre, France and to the Alsace Lorraine area of France to join the U.S. army unit to which he was assigned as a replacement soldier. He participated in military action in several locations across France and through the Siegfried Line to cross the Rhine and Danube Rivers through Germany and Austria. In June of 1945, he was transferred from the 71st Division to the Military Government Unit that was involved in the occupation of places in Bavaria that included Munich and Wurzburg. He continued serving in this assignment, returned to the United States, and was discharged as a Staff Sergeant on the July 4, 1946. He received the Combat Infantryman Badge, the European Theater Operations Medal with two Battle Stars, the Good Conduct Medal, the Victory Medal, and the US Army Occupation Medal. In 2014, Dr. Roberty received the order of Saint Maurice Medal provided by the National Infantry Association.

Following active duty, he graduated in 1950 with a Bachelor’s degree in education from Fairmont State College in West Virginia. That same year he married Ruth Trumbo and was employed as a science and mathematics teacher at Cambridge High School in Dorchester County, Maryland. In 1951, he was employed as a chemistry and physics teacher at Bel Air High School in Harford County, Maryland. In 1953, Dr. Roberty became the Director of Adult Education for Harford County Public Schools. He was appointed to a position at the central office of the school system in 1956, subsequently advancing to the position of Business Manager. In June of 1960, Dr. Roberty received a Master’s degree from the University of Maryland in College Park. In 1977 he earned a Doctor of Education degree from George Washington University, Washington, D. C. In 1962, Dr. Roberty was promoted to Assistant Superintendent of Schools. In 1970, he was appointed to the position of Superintendent of Schools and held the position until he retired in 1988.

In 1970 after Dr. Charles W. Willis, the former superintendent, retired, there remained a substantial need to continue to build new classrooms for the school system. At that time, many portable classrooms were in use in practically every elementary school, middle school, and high school. Dr. Roberty needed to oversee the completion of the construction of Joppatowne High School and the Harford Vocational Technical School. He then planned for construction of Fallston High School (1978) and C. Milton Wright High School (1980). He also planned the construction of the Edgewood Middle School, the North Harford Middle School, and the Magnolia Middle School each with a regulation-sized swimming pool. Dr. Roberty also planned for the construction of six new elementary schools. As a result of these efforts the number of portable classrooms was reduced.

Dr. Roberty made a substantial effort during his 18 years as Superintendent of Schools to seek funding for the construction of a new administration building for the central office staff that occupied an old two- story abandoned elementary school for over 25 years. Part of the staff was housed in inadequate rented spaces and nearby houses. He was unsuccessful in this effort since most of the available funds from the county were used to construct new schools or renovations to schools. However, after Dr. Roberty retired, and on September 10, 2007, the Board of Education of Harford County dedicated a new $11 million four-story building for the central administrative offices, naming it in his honor.

Throughout his career, Dr. Roberty participated in many educational and civic organizations. He was president of the Bel Air Rotary Club and served on the Maryland Public Broadcasting Commission and the Board of Directors for Blue Shield. He was a member of the Harford Chamber of Commerce, served as President of the Public School Superintendents Association of Maryland, and was a member of the Maryland Commission on the Funding of Public Education. He was also a member of the American Association of School Administrators, and The George Washington University Chapter of the Phi Delta Kappa Professional Education Fraternity.

One of the highlights of Dr. Roberty’s career was a visit in 1972 to the Soviet Union. Dr. Roberty was one of thirty top school administrators from the United States selected to study schools in the Soviet Union.

Dr. Roberty is survived by his two daughters: Paula C. Roberty, retired Harford County Public Schools music teacher, and Cecilia R. Silva, retired Baltimore County Public Schools teacher and assistant principal, and her husband Michael A. Silva, and two grandsons, Daniel M. Silva and Nicholas A. Silva (Alyse Marselle). His wife, Ruth, passed away in 2005.

The family requests, in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to charity of your choice.


Thursday, May 20, 2021

2:00-4:00 p.m.

Bel Air United Methodist Church (21 Linwood Avenue, Bel Air, MD 21014)


Friday, May 21, 2021

11:00 a.m.

Bel Air United Methodist Church

2021 Golden Apple Award - Entries Due by May 30!

Big picture

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.