HCPS 411 Update

March 11, 2021

Keeping PACE - Parent Resource Center at Hall's Cross Roads Elementary School

Each week in the HCPS 411 Update, the Parent Academy will release a new video showcasing a school/program that demonstrates a best practice related to one of the six National PTA Standards. Additionally, the videos will be archived on the Parent Academy page on hcps.org for reference.

This series will serve as a way to highlight and recognize the good work happening in our schools and create an opportunity to share ideas within our system.

Please take a moment to watch Principal of Hall's Cross Roads Elementary School Chrissy Douglas, Title I Teacher Specialist and PACE Liaison Melissa Stout, and Community Schools Specialist Angelica Taylor share about their school’s Family Resource Center and Great Neighbors Initiative - great examples of PTA Standard 1: Welcoming All Families and PTA Standard 6: Collaborating with the Community.

Parent Resource Center at Hall's Cross Roads Elementary School

Social Emotional Foundations for Early Learning, Ages Birth to Five

Parent Academy and Early Childhood Programs are proud to bring families with young children a series of workshops promoting social and emotional wellness.

The workshops will be offered from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. on select dates beginning March 23 and are designed specifically for parents/guardians of children ages birth to five.

Please register by Friday, March 19, 2021, using the link below.

The link to access the workshops will be emailed to the email address provided at registration. (Note: The same link will be used for each workshop offered.)

Register now!

To view/print the flier, click here.

Emergency Drill Guidance from Safety and Security

Please see the linked PowerPoint and video below from the Office of Safety and Security. For questions regarding this information, please contact Donoven Brooks, in Safety and Security, at Donoven.Brooks@hcps.org or x4242.


Hybrid Learning Strategies Webinars

Various sessions with an elementary and secondary focus on hybrid learning strategies will be offered to teachers throughout the mornings of March 12 and March 19. Sessions will support educators as they prepare for learning and teaching in a hybrid environment. These sessions will incorporate strategies that highlight collaboration, communication, assessment, and engagement. Additional details and registration is available in HECTOR.

  • Who: All Teachers and Instructional Staff
  • What: Hybrid Learning Strategies Webinar
  • When: Friday, March 12 & Friday, March 19
    Friday, March 12, 2021 – Secondary Focus
    Friday, March 19, 2021 – Elementary Focus

Register in Hector for your sessions.

PARAPRO Assessment Opportunities – May 21, 2021

With principal approval, the ParaPro Assessment will be available to all HCPS employees seeking to meet the highly qualified requirements of paraeducator positions in Harford County, which permits an individual to work with students in the classrooms under the direction of the teacher.

The test measures skills and knowledge in reading, math, and writing, as well as the ability to apply those skills and knowledge to assist in classroom instruction. Test administration is scheduled for May 21, 2021. The test will be from 1:00 to 3:30 p.m. at C. Milton Wright High School, located at 1301 North Fountain Green Road, Bel Air, MD 21015. Please sign-up and pay for the assessment on HECTOR.

Additional information related to the test, procedures for reimbursement, test prep/review, and the MD passing score requirements are also available on the HR site here.

Questions regarding this information should be directed to Pauline Timmons, in Special Education, at Pauline.Timmons@hcps.org or 410-588-5246.

Professional Development Announcements

McDaniel College – Virtual Open House

McDaniel College is hosting a virtual open house on Thursday, March 18, at 7:00pm. Please see flier for details.

American College of Education – School Nurses: Enrollment to earn your MSN

The end of this very challenging school year is finally in sight! If your spring and summer plans include expanding your skills and advancing your degree, take a look at the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) to Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program at American College of Education (ACE).

Our online, Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)-accredited program will keep you engaged with simulation learning and interactive technology while aligning to nursing professional standards. You can choose from two Focus of Study options – nursing education and nursing administration – and you’ll work with ACE faculty and a local preceptor to complete a unique practice experience. ACE courses are typically five weeks long with a week off in between, so you can always count on regular breaks along the way.

We are enrolling now for the term beginning April 12! In addition to the BSN to MSN program, ACE also offers the Registered Nurse (RN) to BSN (at an industry-low price of $7,950 including tuition and fees) and the full RN to MSN pathway.

Because you’re an employee of an ACE partner, you can save with a grant toward tuition on the nursing master’s programs. Take advantage of this exciting opportunity and enroll in the April 12 term. Please see flier for more information.

If you have any questions, just reply to this email, fill out this form, or call at (844) 823-0652.

American College of Education is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. In addition, The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. All programs may not be available in your state. Please refer to the College Catalog for availability.

Planning for Success

Presented by KEPRO Employee Assistance Program

The March KEPRO EAP communication resources are here! Are you looking for ways to limit stress and feel more in control and energetic? Explore the secrets behind being more organized and more efficient.

Date: Available on demand beginning March 16, 2021.

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 the 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.

Call KEPRO toll free at (866) 795-5701 or visit their website online at www.EAPhelplink.com.

BurnAlong Challenge: Make March A Slam Dunk!

BurnAlong is hosting their 3rd annual March Mania Challenge beginning on March 15. The challenge will run for four weeks (March 15 – April 9) and will be LOADED with prizes directly from BurnAlong. Not only will you be competing against your coworkers, but with ALL BurnAlong users across the globe.

March Mania consists of four weekly challenges. To be entered to win, you must complete a certain number of classes each week. Here’s how to enter:

1. Week 1: Take 1 BurnAlong class

2. Week 2: Take 2 BurnAlong classes

3. Week 3: Take 3 BurnAlong classes

4. Week 4: Take 4 BurnAlong classes

Did somebody say prizes? YES! Each week all participants who complete their classes will be entered into a raffle where five winners will be chosen to receive a BurnAlong swag box. At the end of the contest, three winners who completed all four weeks will receive a $50 gift card. To read the full sweepsteaks terms and conditions visit: burnalong.com/sweepstakes-terms.

If you haven’t already signed up for this free benefit, BurnAlong is an online on-demand fitness platform. This program is being powered by Harford County Public Schools in partnership with CareFirst. You and your family have unlimited access to 1,000’s of on-demand and live video classes spanning 45+ health and wellness categories.

You can take classes alone or invite up to three friends or family members to join you. You can add up to four friends or family members under your account to access this benefit at no cost to them or you.

To set up your account, go to fit.burnalong.com/hcps. If you experience any trouble registering your account, you may email customercare@burnalong.com for assistance.

Have You Discovered Your RealAge®?

Harford County Public Schools’ has a new wellness program available for ALL HCPS employees, in partnership with CareFirst powered by Sharecare.

This program helps connect you to personalized information, support, and resources to help you live your healthiest life. If you haven’t already, get started by taking the RealAge health assessment. You will learn the physical age of your body and identify which habits may be helping you stay younger or making you age faster.

This program provides a wealth of tools and resources, as well as easy-to-understand recommendations and insight that reflect your individual interests and needs – all tailored to help you live your healthiest life. Available through the program: RealAge Test, Personalized timeline, Trackers, Challenges, Health Profile and Health Coaching, Weight Management Programs, and Financial well-being.


Sharecare, Inc. is an independent company that provides health improvement management services to HCPS employees.

Shout Out!

"A big shout out to Matt Swoboda, the Special Education Department Chair at North Harford High School. Matt has shown tremendous leadership through these new and adventurous times. He has worked with his Special Education team, General Education team, Administration, Students and Families to ensure the best educational opportunities for students and teachers alike. Matt’s willingness to go above and beyond for his team and students has not gone unnoticed. Thank you Matt for everything you do for the North Harford High School community."

-Alex Lumbard, Transition Resource Itinerant, Office of Special Education

"Special Shout Out to Riverside Elementary School bus drivers Tony Auth and Brenda Smith. Mr. Tony takes time to acknowledge students for displaying positive behaviors while riding the bus. Mr. Tony, thank you for recognizing our students for being respectful, engaged, and safe. Ms. Brenda took time to ensure that one of our youngest learners got off at the right bus stop. Ms. Brenda, thank you for communicating with the school and parent to ensure the safety of the student."

-Tara Sample, Assistant Principal, Riverside Elementary School

Welcome to HCPS!

Please help us welcome the following new employees to our HCPS family:

  • Rene Geisler, Food and Nutrition Services Worker, Patterson Mill High School
  • Cheryle Gerdes, School Bus Attendant, Transportation Department
  • Tina Parker, Food and Nutrition Services Worker, Magnolia Middle School
  • Willamae Williams, Check & Connect Grant Mentor, Aberdeen High 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.