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Harford Environmental Leadership Program
Department of Operations
H.E.L.P. Title

About Us

  • H.E.L.P. (Harford Environmental Leadership Program) was established to foster environmental stewardship and sustainability through:

    • Energy Management

    • Resource Conservation

    • Sustainability Education

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  • Mission

    To evaluate the current state of our school systems sustainability by analyzing the effectiveness of our energy management plan and environmental stewardship through education.

    In June 2008, the Harford County Board of Education reaffirmed their commitment to becoming a more environmentally friendly and sustainable organization with their approval of our Energy Management Plan . This Plan provides a framework toward our goal.

    GOAL: to SEE positive change

  • Our Policy


    The purposes of this policy are to establish Board goals and objectives relating to energy conservation and environmental stewardship; to facilitate responsible conservation practices; to emphasize environmental education curriculum; to allow Harford County Public Schools (HCPS) to comply with current and future regulations relating to energy management and conservation; to establish practices that will be applied to all aspects of HCPS operation to include but not limited to Operations and Facilities Management, Transportation, Planning and Construction, Purchasing, and School Based Decisions.

    Policy Statement

    1. It is the policy of the Board that HCPS shall conduct its business and operations to the extent reasonable and practical, so as to:

      1. Utilize the minimum amount of energy.
      2. Explore and implement energy conservation programs.
      3. Utilize technology to monitor energy usage.
      4. Explore the use of renewable energy sources in both new and existing facilities.
      5. Utilize alternative funding approaches to leverage implementation of renewable energy, conservation, recycling projects through partnerships with private organizations and other creative funding strategies.
      6. Partner with other government institutions in energy and environmental stewardship programs.

    2. The Superintendent will consult with the Energy Management Committee to develop, review, and implement procedures which more fully implement this policy

    Download the Conservation Energy Policy  in its entirety

  • Conservation Procedures
    Purpose and Scope

    The purpose of these procedures are to establish administrative regulations which implement the Board of Education Energy Policy and establish specific criteria and requirements relating to energy use, conservation, and sustainability at all levels of HCPS operations.

    Building Administration and RCA
    All Employees
    • Climate Control measures during heating and cooling seasons
    • Electrical Energy Conservation
    • Inspecting, Monitoring and Reporting
    • Recycling and Waste Reduction
    Download the Conservation Procedures  in its entirety
  • Energy Management Steering Committee

    Jan Abbott Lead Secretary. Facilities Management Department
    Patti Jo Beard Director, Facilities Management Department
    Cornell S. Brown, Jr. Asst. Superintendent for Operations
    Colin Carr Asst. Principal, Havre de Grace High School
    Richard Carr Chief of Facilities & Operations, Harford County Government
    Andrew Cassilly Asst. Supervisor of Energy Management, Facilities Mgmt.
    Vivian Comes Building Engineer, Southampton Middle School
    Bob Cooper Harford County Government, Director of Public Works
    Howard Eakes Asst. Supervisor of Environmental Science, Curriculum
    Steve Garey Capital Projects Coordinator, Harford Community College
    Glen Hedelson Educator, Bel Air High School
    Jenn Horner Purchasing Assistant, Purchasing Department
    Brian Hughes Senior Business Representative for BGE
    Mohanjeet Kohli Asst. Supervisor, Planning and Construction
    Spencer Pigeon BGE Smart Energy Savers Program
    Jeannine Ravenscraft Budget Analyst, Finance Dept
    Amy Ryan Teacher Specialist, Elementary Environmental Science
    Michael Svezzese Carpentry & Construction Instructor HTHS
    James Thatcher Deputy Chief, Harford County Government

  • How We Operate

    Our schools rely on the efforts performed by many supporting departments. Below are some of those operational departments and highlights of their efforts to promote our students wellbeing and the organizations sustainability. Our individual departments work with the Office Of Resource and Energy Conservation to evaluate their current practices and identify new processes to consider implementing

    Facilities Maintenance

    • Automated Building Systems manages the climate control systems in the school buildings to reduce heating and cooling during unpopulated times.
    • Automated lighting sensors have been installed in several of our schools to reduce lighting of unpopulated areas.
    • Custodial services department utilizes a green cleaning program.
    • Environmental services department tests and monitors the well water for all of the schools on well water.

    Food and Nutrition

    • All of our kitchens and cafeterias practice single stream recycling.
    • Our kitchens serve daily student lunches on solid surface reusable trays and utensils to avoid the use of Styrofoam and reduce landfill waste.

    Planning & Construction

    Many or our new schools are equipped with energy saving technologies to reduce consumption and have a lower environmental impact. Some of these technologies include:

    • Automated lighting controls
    • Geothermal heating
    • High speed hand dryers
    • LED lighting
    • Natural day lighting
    • Occupancy sensors
    • Reduced flow restroom fixtures
    • Variable speed drives on air handling motors


    • Attention is given to reduced packaging and purchasing products in bulk or concentrate.
    • Purchasing Agents work with suppliers to provide products that are environmentally sensitive and meet standards established by agencies such as Green Seal, CRI Green Label, Eco Logo Environmental Choice, Energy Star, and many others.
    • Single stream recycling has been incorporated into the refuse disposal contract.
    • We use the U.S. Communities Office Supply contract awarded to Office Depot. A list of environmentally friendly products is listed in their Green Book.
    • When Requests for Proposals (RFP) are issued, proposers are asked to submit a Sustainability Statement which indicates their corporate commitment to sustainable business practices.


    • Automated power off all computers at 9:00 P.M.
    • Consolidation of servers to save on energy, maintenance and replacement costs.
    • Replacement of CRT monitors with more energy efficient LCD units.
    • Replacement of legacy servers with newer energy efficient models.
    • Virtualization of servers to save on energy, maintenance and replacement costs.


    • Consolidation of bus routes to minimize trip distance.
    • Driver training for energy conscious driving techniques.
    • “No Idling” procedures requiring that vehicles be turned off during extended stopping periods.


One of our goals in the Office Of Resource and Energy Conservation is to educate and assist the parents who are a vital part of our school community. We hope that you will find useful information on our website as it applies to our efforts in maintaining a healthy atmosphere for your children. Our goal as an education system is to provide the highest level of education in facilities that mirror the sustainable concepts that we teach.

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Do you know what is in the plastic you use to drink or eat from?

3 Plastics to Avoid!!!

Plastics to Avoid

Code 3: PVC (polyvinyl chloride) Found in bibs, mattress covers, squeeze bottles, cling wrap, some peanut butter jars, and a few other food and detergent containers. The manufacture of PVC releases dioxin into the environment, a potent carcinogen that accumulates in animals and in us. It may also contain phthalates, chemicals used, among other things, to soften plastics. PVC workers have higher cancer rates. May be discarded at the recycling plant. AVOID #3!

Code 6: PS (polystyrene) Found in rigid plastics such as opaque plastic spoons and forks, and in Styrofoam, such as those found in coffee cups and meat trays. These plastics can leach styrene, a known neurotoxin with other negative health effects. AVOID #6.

Code 7: Other (including polycarbonate, nylon, and acrylic). This is a grab bag symbol. It includes polycarbonate, an important source of the endocrine disruptor BPA, and found in most baby bottles. Polycarbonate is also common in 5-gallon water bottles, sports bottles, clear plastic cutlery, and in the lining of food and formula cans. AVOID # 7, unless it is labeled as one of these new bio-based plastics.

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One of our goals in the Office of Resource and Energy Conservation to promote an environmentally conscientious education program while creating an atmosphere that is exciting and motivating for our students. The Harford Educational Leadership Program or HELP is designed to provide resources, information ,and processes that facilitate that goal. Please use this website to gather information about our programs and other environmental link that may help you.

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Our goal in the Office of Resource and Energy Conservation is to help our educators teach the next generation of environmentally responsible citizens. This website has many tools and resources for you and your students to use and incorporate into your lessons. But there is always some new great material evolving everyday, so we welcome any ideas, lessons, or projects that you would like to post for the benefit of students and teachers. In addition, we would love to post the achievements of those on our school community.

Issues and Updates

Setting up a School Conservation Program
Alliance to Save Energy - Green School Program

Eco Schools - National Wildlife Federation

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Energy Lesson Plans and Activities

Teachers! Have your students conduct an energy audit  at your school.

Single-stream Recycling Video: Single Stream Recycling - (WMRA)

Additional Resources

Contact Us

Harford County Public Schools
Harford Environmental Leadership Program
Hickory Annex
2209 Conowingo Road
Bel Air, MD 21015

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Tools for Schools

The Tools for Schools Program is intended to assist the teachers, students, and staff in monitoring and maintaining a healthy learning environment to work and learn in.

For more information on the Tools for Schools Program, follow this link .

  1. Click on the name of the form which you desire to complete.

  2. Complete the form with Adobe Reader by clicking on the boxes and filling out all of the desired fields.

  3. Click on the “SUBMIT” button at the bottom of the last page to submit the document you just completed.

  4. Have the first circle checked in the window that pops up after, and click “Continue”.

  5. Click “Send” on the outlook page in order to send a copy of the file to Cynthia Yost.

Tools for Schools Checklists/Forms:
Maryland Green Registry Waste Management Energy Star U.S. Green Building Council