The Board of Education and Harford County Public Schools have identified topics that may be of interest or
concern to the public. Information is provided on:
CURRENT STATUS: VIRTUAL LEARNING
UPDATE: APRIL 13, 2021
The following message will be sent at 5:00 p.m. tonight to students and staff utilizing Verizon hotspots issued by HCPS. The message will be sent via phone, email, and text in our mass communication system.
Verizon has issued a recall in cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission for the Verizon Ellipsis Jetpack mobile hotspot device that you have been using for virtual learning. Over the last several weeks, Verizon was made aware that the lithium-ion battery in the hotspots can overheat, posing a fire and burn hazard.
We will be working with Verizon as quickly and efficiently as possible to exchange all Ellipsis Jetpack devices that were issued. The replacement device will be an Orbic Speed mobile hotspot and will be replaced free of charge.
If your device is currently turned off, please turn it on so that the Ellipsis Jetpack can receive two (2) over-the-air, automatic software updates that will (a) enable the device’s identifying number to be viewed on its scrolling screen to help facilitate its exchange and (b) prevent the device from charging while the device is plugged in and powered on. You will know the software update has occurred when you see the device’s identifying number scrolling across its screen. When not in use, the device should be turned off, unplugged from its power source, and securely stored until you receive your replacement device and packaging to return the Ellipsis Jetpack safely.
At this time, HCPS has been informed that the replacement devices will not arrive for at least 4 weeks. You will receive a notification for the replacement process. Please be sure to collect all materials, including chargers, etc. from your original device and return them to the building when you return your laptop at the end of the school year.
As a reminder, and to help promote the safe operation of all devices, please follow these updated best practices:
If you have any questions or concerns about the technology issued to you, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
UPDATE: APRIL 8, 2021
The following message will be sent at 5:00 p.m. tonight to all contacts via phone, email, and text in our mass communication system.
As we continue with the school boundary review process, the Advisory Team for balancing enrollment in Harford County schools is inviting you to a Community Education Forum on Wednesday, April 14, 2021 from 5:00pm – 8:00pm. During this meeting, the team will present potential elementary school boundary adjustments. This is an initial look at the most recent scenarios being reviewed by the Advisory Team. During the live event, participants will be able to ask questions in the chat and encouraged to take part in live polls to capture public opinion. For one week following the meeting, an exit survey will be also available on our website to contribute feedback on the boundary adjustments being discussed. The Advisory Team will use the information gathered during this event and from the survey to continue to revise and refine the proposed boundary adjustments. Use the link at the time of the event to join the meeting.
Join the Live Event Here - April 14, 2021 from 5:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Please visit the HCPS Balancing Enrollment website for more information including maps of the initial draft boundary adjustment scenarios, an interactive web map, the meeting access link, and a detailed agenda by region. You can also listen in on the latest Parent Academy Real Talk for more information about the process.
If you are unable to attend the live event, a recording of the presentation will also be available on our website.
We look forward to going through this process with you.
UPDATE: APRIL 7, 2021
The following message was sent at 12:00 p.m. to all contacts via phone, email and text in our mass communication system.
Enrollment in the HCPS Blended Virtual Learning program for the 2021-2022 school year has officially begun. Applications are now being accepted and can be found on www.hcps.org. Also available on www.hcps.org are a recording of the parent/guardian informational session and a parent/guardian question and answer document.
If you or your family have seen benefits in virtual learning and would like to continue next year, please be sure to register!
Virtual Program from Home (eLearning) Elementary School Application
Virtual Program from Home (eLearning) Middle School Application
Virtual Program from Home (eLearning) High School Application
UPDATE: APRIL 6, 2021
BOARD OF EDUCATION OF HARFORD COUNTY
NOTICE OF PUBLIC COMMENT PARTICIPATION
BUSINESS MEETING – APRIL 12, 2021 – 6:30PM
The Board of Education of Harford County Business Meeting will be held on April 12, 2021 at 6:30PM with only Board Members, staff, and presenters in attendance virtually. The meeting will be streamed live and archived for later viewing on the HCPS Website.
Public Comment Participation Call-In Process
Community members who wish to provide comments during the Public Comments segment of the Business meeting are required to register by completing this form Public Comment Registration Form, https://www.hcps.org/boe/publiccommentrequest.aspx
Registrations must be received by 9:00AM on Monday, April 12, 2021. All fields on the registration form must be completed.
First and Last name
1. Registered speakers will receive an email from HCPS with a Call-in Phone # and a Conference ID #.
2. Registered speakers are required to call-in and enter the conference ID# at 6:30PM on Monday, April 12, 2021.
3. Important: If you are unable to take your phone off mute, you may need to dial *6.
4. All speakers, regardless of affiliation, will receive 3-minutes per speaker. Speakers may be interrupted and be given notice when they have 30 seconds left. When speakers have reached their 3-minute mark, callers will be removed from the meeting.
5. The Board has allotted two-hours for the Public Comments segment of the Business meeting.
6. If you are admitted from the virtual lobby to the meeting within the two-hour time constraint, you will be placed on hold and greeted by an HCPS staff member when it is time to begin your public comment. Expected hold time may vary based on number of registered speakers. The maximum wait time in the lobby is 30 minutes; should you be disconnected please call back.
7. Registration forms are limited to one (1) per person.
8. In accordance with Board policy, if the number of speakers impede the ability of the Board to complete scheduled business, the Board reserves the right to reduce the amount of time allotted per speaker, or overall time allotted for public comment.
9. The Board expects that all comments will be submitted with the decorum and respect appropriate to the conduct of public business.
10. Topics such as personnel matters, pending appeals, specific student disciplinary matters or which constitute commercial solicitations are not permitted.
11. Disparaging comments, personal attacks, and inflammatory remarks about specific schools or personnel are not permitted. Speakers who engage in these comments will be reminded of the rules and the Board reserves the right to remove the speaker from the call.
12. All public comments submitted will be part of the records maintained by the Board office.
Speakers are reminded that public comments are considered public information and, as such, are subject to the Maryland Public Information Act.
UPDATE: APRIL 1, 2021
The following message is being sent at 11:45 a.m. to all contacts with an email in our mass communication system.
Click here for a special message from Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Sean Bulson, and Health Officer of Harford County, Dr. David Bishai. We wish you all a safe, happy, and healthy spring break!
UPDATE: MARCH 31, 2021
The following message was sent at 10:00 a.m. to all contacts with an email in our mass communication system.
In May 2020, former Student Member of the Board of Education (SMOB) of Harford County, Christian Walker, and incoming SMOB, Phoebe Bailey-Probst, approached the Superintendent of Schools Sean Bulson, Ed. D. to suggest conducting a survey to learn about student perceptions of racism, implicit bias, and other forms of discrimination within Harford County Public Schools (HCPS).
Dr. Bulson encouraged Mr. Walker and Ms. Bailey to work with Mr. Yakoubou Ousmanou, manager of Research and Program Evaluation, and Dr. Paula Stanton, supervisor of Equity and Cultural Proficiency, to develop and administer the HCPS Survey on Racism, Implicit Bias and Other Forms of Discrimination. Dr. Bulson and his senior leadership team encouraged the administration of this survey and provided all the resources and support needed to successfully launch the survey; and pledged to use the findings of the survey to help address the issues of systemic racism, implicit bias, and other forms of discrimination in HCPS.
We are pleased to provide you with a direct link to this research report that presents key findings and recommendations from an analysis of the survey data. We ask that you take a moment to review the report. It is a valuable resource that HCPS leadership will use in conversations and planning as we move forward. Thank you to Mr. Walker and Ms. Bailey-Probst for their leadership in this endeavor!
UPDATE: MARCH 30, 2021
The following message will be sent to all contacts via phone, email, and text at 5:30 p.m.
All HCPS students, in-person and virtual learning, will be dismissed 3 hours early on Thursday, April 1, 2021. Schools will remain closed to students, with no virtual learning through Tuesday, April 6. We look forward to welcoming students back to in-person and virtual learning on Wednesday, April 7, 2021. Please note, half-day PreK will NOT meet on early dismissal dates.
HCPS offices will also dismiss 3 hours early on Thursday, April 1 and remain closed to visitors through Tuesday, April 6. The closure of offices on April 6 will allow all staff to attend professional development.
UPDATE: MARCH 30, 2021
The following message was sent to all contacts with an email in our mass communication system at 10:00 a.m.
As we continue with the school boundary review process, the Advisory Team for balancing enrollment in Harford County schools is inviting you to a Community Education Forum on Wednesday, April 14, 2021 from 5:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. During this meeting, the team will present potential elementary school boundary adjustments. This is an initial look at the most recent scenarios being reviewed by the Advisory Team. During the live event, participants will be able to ask questions in the chat and encouraged to take part in live polls to capture public opinion. If you are unable to attend the live event, a recording of the presentation will be available on our website at www.hcps.org/community/balancingenrollment/. For one week following the meeting, an exit survey will be also available on our website to contribute feedback on the boundary adjustments being discussed. The Advisory Team will use the information gathered during this event and from the survey to continue to revise and refine the proposed boundary adjustments. For more information, please visit the Balancing Enrollment page at www.hcps.org/community/balancingenrollment/. We look forward to going through this process with you.
Additional information, including a link to the event, will be sent next week.
UPDATE: MARCH 30, 2021
The following message was sent to all contacts via phone, email, and text Monday, March 29, 2021 at 5:00 p.m.
As we approach the first day of competition on April 7, we want to ensure our community is aware of mitigation strategies that will be in place for all athletics. For all athletic events, spectators will be limited to TWO family members per athlete. Face masks and social distancing are required. The student body will not be able to attend, and we will not accept staff IDs for entry to any athletic event. Thank you in advance for your understanding and cooperation as HCPS staff work to ensure spectators follow these steps and we can continue to welcome limited spectators at each athletic event.
UPDATE: MARCH 25, 2021
The following message will be sent to the John Archer School community via phone, email, and text at 5:00 p.m.
HCPS Leadership and a special Graduation Task Force have been working diligently to establish a plan to hold in-person graduation ceremonies. It has been a challenge due to changes to venue and gathering restrictions, in addition to the need to make plans with venues well enough in advance to finalize contracts and details. We are pleased to officially announce that Future Links graduation ceremony will be on Friday, June 4 at 10:00 a.m. and John Archer graduates will celebrate on Friday, June 4 at 1:00 p.m. Both ceremonies will be held in the Amoss Center at Harford Technical High School. We anticipate our graduates will be able to celebrate this milestone with their classmates as well as their invited guests. Please note, mitigation strategies like social distancing in seating arrangements, mask wearing, and a health check, will be required. We look forward to celebrating Future Links and John Archer graduates on June 4 in the Amoss Center at Harford Technical High School!
UPDATE: MARCH 24, 2021
The following message will be sent to all HCPS contacts in our mass communication system via phone, email, and text at 5:00 p.m.
HCPS Blended Virtual Learning in the 21-22SY: Info Session
This is an important message for families who would like to enroll in blended virtual learning for the 2021-2022 school year. Parents, guardians, and students, are invited to join Principal DeLeva, Elementary Assistant Principal Farver, Secondary Assistant Principal Lovelace, and Coordinator of eLearning Rebecca Pensero, on March 30, 2021 from 6:00-7:00 p.m. for more information about enrolling in blended virtual learning in the 2021-22 school year!
The information session will be made available through a Live Microsoft Teams link. We ecourage you to watch a special video invitation from Principal DeLeva. If you or your family have seen benefits in virtual learning and would like to continue next year, this meeting is for you! Be sure to tune in to ensure you have all the information about what enrolling in a Blended Virtual program next year will entail, what instruction will look like, and to know all the deadlines and requirements so you don’t miss your chance to enroll.
UPDATE: MARCH 23, 2021
The following message will be personalized with the commencement ceremony date and time, and sent to each high school community at 5:00 p.m. via phone, email, and text. The commencement calendar has also been updated on hcps.org, "About Us-Calendars."
HCPS Leadership and a special Graduation Task Force have been working diligently to establish a plan to hold in-person graduation for the graduating class of 2021. It has been a challenge due to changes to venue and gathering restrictions, in addition to the need to make plans with venues well enough in advance to finalize contracts and details.
We are pleased to officially announce that we have reached an agreement with Ripken Stadium in Aberdeen. The venue holds approximately 1600 seats and what the stadium calls “pod” seating. In this venue, with these seating options, we anticipate our graduates will be able to celebrate this milestone with their classmates as well as their invited guests. Please note, mitigation strategies like social distancing through “pod” seating, mask wearing, and a health check, will be required.
This is an outside venue. If you receive our communications emails, the full schedule, including “Rain” dates will be attached. The schedule has also been posted on hcps.org, "About Us-Calendars." In addition to “rain” dates at Ripken Stadium, we are discussing additional “rain” dates with Harford Community College should we need to utilize the APGFCU Arena for graduations. If that is needed, graduation dates would be during the week of June 1 and adjustments would need to be made for the size and mitigation strategies at the Arena. We look forward to celebrating HCPS 2021 high school graduates at Ripken Stadium!
UPDATE: MARCH 22, 2021
The following message will be sent to all families at 5:00 p.m. via email. An abbreviated message will be sent via phone.
Elementary schools successfully transitioned to 2 days in-person learning per week on March 1, 2021 and secondary schools successfully welcomed students back to in-person learning on March 15, 2021. Consequently, we will move forward with our plan to welcome HCPS elementary school students into schools 4 days per week on March 29, 2021 and secondary schools (middle and high) will welcome students back to in-person learning 4 days per week on April 7, 2021. All students will remain at home for asynchronous learning on Fridays for the remainder of the school year.
We have seen students and staff with positive COVID-19 test results and are ensuring isolation and quarantine procedures are followed in all our buildings. We are also following all mitigation strategies outlined in our Continuity of Learning plan and ask for your continued support and understanding if HCPS staff contact you to discuss these mitigation strategies for your child or children.
The Continuity of Learning plan is on our website. In addition to CDC guidance, HCPS has established multiple mitigation strategies like mask wearing, social distancing when and where possible, plexiglass, staying home when sick, and sanitization, to ensure precautions are in place. As a reminder, HCPS nurses can administer with parent/guardian permission, rapid antigen testing on site when a student begins to show COVID-like symptoms while at school. This strategy is in place as another layer to keep our schools open!
For more on keeping schools open, you can view a video (also sent in a previous message) with HCPS Risk Manager, Katie Ridgway, and HCPS Nurse Coordinator, Mary Nasuta who sit down to discuss all of our mitigation strategies in more detail.
For families and students who wish to remain virtual, that option is available through the end of the 2020-2021 school year in all grade levels. Elementary students who wish to remain asynchronous for the remainder of the 2020-2021 school year, may do so. HCPS is in the planning stages of implementing a blended virtual program that can accommodate students in grades K-12 for the 2021-2022 school year. Interested students will need to apply to the blended virtual program (eLearning). If accepted into the program students will be enrolled in the blended virtual program (eLearning) rather than their home school. More information is available in the updated Continuity of Learning linked above and additional details about the program will be discussed at a Live Teams information session on March 30, 2021 from 6:00-7:00 p.m. This information session will provide an opportunity to meet principal, Rob DeLeva, Elementary Assistant Principal, Beth Farver, Secondary Assistant Principal, Zachary Lovelace, and Coordinator of eLearning, Rebecca Pensero. A brief presentation about the blended virtual program and enrollment deadlines will be provided followed by a time for Q&A. Click here for a special invitation from Principal DeLeva.
UPDATE: MARCH 16, 2021
BUSINESS MEETING – MARCH 22, 2021 – 6:30PM
The Board of Education of Harford County Business Meeting will be held on March 22, 2021 at 6:30PM with only Board Members, staff, and presenters in attendance virtually. The meeting will be streamed live and archived for later viewing on the HCPS Website.
Registrations must be received by 9:00AM on Monday, March 22, 2021. All fields on the registration form must be completed.
2. Registered speakers are required to call-in and enter the conference ID# at 6:30PM on Monday, March 22, 2021.
UPDATE: MARCH 12, 2021
A message from HCPS Superintendent Dr. Bulson
In January 2021, HCPS conducted virtual focus groups about COVID-19 and the 2020-21 school year with the goal of understanding what went well with district operations during the pandemic, lessons learned, and priorities for planning for a return to in-person learning. The full COVID-19 focus group report can be accessed here. I encourage you to find time to read and review the key findings and recommendations included in the report.
The following research questions guided the analysis of the focus group information and data:
Parents and guardians with questions regarding the report can reach out to Yakoubou Ousmanou, Manager of Research and Program Evaluation (North Star), via the following email address: NorthStarResearch@hcps.org.
Sean Bulson, Ed. D.
Superintendent of Schools
4/13/2021 12:32:00 PM