Home - Harford County Public Schools

Office 365/Microsoft Teams: Issues with the Service

If you are unable to access Teams from a Chromebook or if the Teams error message prompts you with "to re-enable the application, the tab needs to be refreshed" please open these directions and follow these steps:

How to Refresh/Clear Cache/Browsing History on Chromebook


Padlet: Issues with the Service

Users may be prompted to upgrade their account.  Users should log out and log back in (with Microsoft) to correct this.

As we move forward, we are following closely the decisions and announcements made by Governor Larry Hogan and State Superintendent of Schools Karen Salmon. As we progress and restrictions change, we will adjust our course of action while making every effort to maintain the highest level of safety for the health and well-being of our students and staff.

Continuity of Learning Plan

In preparation for the 2020-2021 school year, the following information and forms require distribution and/or signature from families.

REQUIRED Forms/Documents for ALL Students:

  1. 1. Virtual Instruction Consent: All parents/guardians are required to sign this acknowledgement to support our virtual learning environment.

    2. Parent/Guardian Permission Form: The Office of Accountability requires all families to complete this form annually. This year an option will be available for families to complete the form electronically. For families who cannot complete the form online, hard copies will be provided to schools for distribution when students pick up their devices.
  2. Immunization Records: Check with your health care provider to be sure your student’s immunizations are up to date. Contact your school nurse if you need assistance. For additional information, visit the HCPS Health Center on our website.

In addition to the above requirements,

Students attending School
are REQUIRED to complete the following:

  1. 3. COVID-19 Parent Acknowledgement Letter: All students accessing in-person HCPS opportunities will require a parent/guardian signature on this form (Español) regarding COVID-19 screening and risks. .

In addition to the above requirements,

Students who QUALIFY, should complete the following:

  1. 4. FARMS The meal benefit application can be completed online here on myschoolapps.com. This form for free and reduced meal qualification will be mailed directly to families homes by the start of September.
  2. 5. HCPS Transportation: Students who qualify for HCPS Transportation should visit the School/Bus Locator for bus stop and route information.

OPTIONAL for all Students:

  1. 6. Student Accident Insurance: Board Policy 02-0023-000 requires student accident insurance to be made available to all students. Physical flyers for this insurance have been sent to each school by Risk Management for distribution with laptops/curriculum materials. An explanatory letter and a link to the vendor website for insurance purchase is here on hcps.org
  2. 7. Before and After Care: Families can find information about before and after school care here.


Return to In-Person
How-To Resources
Tools for All
Additional Resources

Additional Documents

State Resources
  1. Care for School Aged Children
  2. Maryland Strong: Roadmap to Recovery
  3. Maryland Together: Maryland’s Recovery Plan for Education
  4. MSDE Reopening Maryland Schools K-12 Decision Matrix
Local Resources
  1. Khan Academy
HCPS Resources
  1. Student Health Guidelines
  2. Acknowledgement Letter
  3. Academic Tutoring
  4. HCPS Town Hall - Special Education

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

2020-2021 School Year

  1. Will gifted and talented students continue to receive support?

    Students who have been identified as Gifted and Talented (G/T) will continue to receive G/T services. Specialists will work with identified teachers and students to provide academic and affective programming to meet the students' needs through co-teaching and small group instruction.

  2. How will students in Magnet and Signature Programs participate in required hands-on learning?/strong>

    Planning teams have continued to modify curriculum that will engage students in project-based learning and other ways to make the student experience as hands-on as possible. Curriculum writers continue working to create engaging and innovate experiences for all magnet and signature students.

  3. I am a parent who is required to work outside of the home and cannot support synchronous learning. Is asynchronous learning (learning that does not occur in real time with a teacher) an option for working parents?

    HCPS has developed a plan to offer asynchronous learning opportunities for families for the 2020-2021 school year. While some features of live, synchronous instruction from a teacher will be limited, families and students will be able to access the curriculum and critical content pacing charts in the itslearning platform on their own time, including mornings, afternoons, evenings, and/or weekends.

  4. Will school nurses be available in school buildings?

    Yes, school nurses will be available in all school buildings to conduct monitoring and surveillance. In the event that a student or staff member becomes ill with COVID-19, or a COVID-19-like illness, school nurses will adhere to the latest Maryland Department of Health (MDH) guidance regarding isolation and quarantine procedures including but not limited to: following the Decision Tree matrix provided by MDH to determine appropriate course of action; partnering with the Harford County Health Department (HCHD) to identify and notify close contacts; and determining school cleaning and closing decisions based on the latest guidance from the state and local health department. HCPS Health Services will collaborate with the HCHD to assist with appropriate contact tracing measures.


  1. How will HCPS help families obtain internet access?

    HCPS has submitted a grant application to the Maryland Governor's Office of Rural Broadband for funding to address broadband access to unserved students. If awarded funds, HCPS will purchase cellular hotspots for students who do not have the ability to obtain broadband Internet access at their home. To comply with the FCC mandate, Internet access through the hotspots will be filtered. The grant funds extend through December 2020, at which time, HCPS will cover the monthly fee for the balance of instruction delivered virtually.

  2. How will families receive a Hotspot to access WiFi if they need it?

    Regarding the distribution of cellular hotspots for students, the Office of Technology is analyzing data provided by the FCC for address locations who do not have the physical capability of obtaining broadband internet access. At this time, funding is available to provide a cellular hotspot to those addresses only. Students that qualify for free and reduced status, who reside at aforementioned address, will be our top priority. Our second wave of distribution will be the balance of addresses who do not have the physical capability of obtaining broadband access. We recognize that some addresses have the topographic challenge of receiving a cellular signal which will prevent a hotspot from being a viable solution to obtaining internet access. HCPS does not have another means to provide internet access to these topographical challenged locations.

  3. How will HCPS ensure students are safe and secure while working online?

    The HCPS Office of Technology will have the capability to monitor Google's G-Suite portal which provides information on students' activity with their Chromebook. Similarly, Microsoft's Office 365 and InTune portals will provide information on Windows-based devices. Additional tools, such as Cisco's Security Umbrella service, will also provide tracking data on student's web usage.

  4. What is the make/model of the HCPS provided Chromebooks?

    Dell Chromebook 3100

  5. What is the make/model of the HCPS provided laptops?

    Windows-based Dell Latitude 3190

  6. What are the programs/software needed?

    All HCPS computers will have web-based access to itslearning, Office 365, and other online resources via the start.hcps.org site. Some HCPS Windows-based devices will have program apps, like PowerPoint App and Word App (non-web-based); however, these are not required for critical content participation and assignment submission. Please note: any student using a personal computer at home only needs to have the most recent version of Chrome browser to be able to open resources from the start.hcps.org site.

  7. Will devices need to have camera/video access?

    All HCPS issued devices (Chromebooks and Windows-based devices) have built-in cameras. It is helpful for personal devices at home to have built-in or USB-connected cameras; however students can still participate in a virtual instruction session (via Microsoft Teams) and with critical content and assignment submission by using audio and typed responses as a participant. Students will still see their teacher from the teacher camera during virtual instruction, but students will need to let the teacher know if they do not have a camera available.

  8. Will schoolwork be graded the same on personal devices instead of HCPS devices?

    Yes. Students will submit assignments to teachers through itslearning. Students completing any work outside of itslearning will upload their assignment through a link on the Chrome browser. The teacher will grade those assignments that are submitted.

  9. If I wish to use or purchase a personal device for my student what specifications need to be met?

    • Minimum 4GB RAM
    • Minimum 32GB Hard Drive
    • Operating System:
      • Windows: v10
      • MAC: OS X Yosemite 10.10 or later
    • Webcam (external or internal)
    • Microphone (headsets preferred but not necessary)

    It is not recommended that students use iPhones, Android phones or tablets, or Kindles, due to the limitations of the Chrome browser from these devices. iPads should only be used when the iOS is at least 10.0 to access the Microsoft Teams app and when the Chrome browser is available to access itslearning. Some features may be limited on an iPad.

  10. Will families need to have access to a printer and/or scanner for schoolwork requirements?

    No. All critical content and submitted work is possible via access from start.hcps.org. Students may be encouraged to take notes on paper (such as a lined notebook a student has at home).

PreK and K

  1. Can I hold back my 5-year-old child and enroll him/her in kindergarten for the 2021-2022 School Year?

    Yes, parents/guardians may complete and submit a kindergarten one-year maturity waiver available online here or contact the local elementary school.

  2. Can I choose an alternate kindergarten placement?

    Yes, the Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR 13A.08.01.02-2) states that parents/guardians may make a written request to place their child full time in a licensed family program, licensed childcare center or a nonpublic kindergarten program in lieu of attending public kindergarten. Parents/Guardians must complete the Kindergarten Exemptions Form available online here or contact your local elementary school.

Athletics and Activities

  1. What is the status of HCPS Athletics?

    Harford County Public Schools virtual athletics for high schools began on October 12, 2020. This plan was created by high school principals, Athletic Directors, the Supervisor of Athletics, Executive Director and Director of Secondary Education, and HCPS student athletes. The Virtual Athletics schedule details weekly challenges and competitions in which your high school student(s) can compete. Visit the Athletics page on hcps.org on hcps.org to register! Watch here as Supervisor of Athletics, Debbie Basler, shares more information about Virtual Athletics!

    We understand the importance of athletics and other co-educational activities. As such, we want to align the introduction of these activities to our overall plan to return to in-person learning.


  1. Are HCPS schools and offices open to visitors?

    Central Office and school offices are open to visitors by appointment. Please make sure you first have an appointment and sign-in when entering the main lobby of any building. If you DO NOT have any of the symptoms listed on the visitor sign-in sheet and have answered "NO" to the "close contact" question:

    • Complete and sign the sign-in sheet. *
    • You may then physically report to your appointment.

    If you DO have any of the symptoms listed on the visitor sign-in sheet OR have answered "YES" to the "close contact" question:

    • Please exit the building.
    • Notify the party you had an appointment with.


    • Fever (Temperature of 100˚ F or higher)
    • Cough
    • Shortness of Breath or Difficulty Breathing
    • Chills
    • Muscle Pain
    • Sore Throat
    • New loss of taste or smell
    • Any other flu-like symptoms

    Close Contact Question

    Have you been in close contact with someone with a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis, without using infection protection and control precautions?

    Close contact is defined as someone who was within six (6) feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period* starting from two (2) days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, two (2) days prior to test specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated.

    *Individual exposures added together over a 24-hour period (e.g., three 5-minute exposures for a total of 15 minutes). Data are limited, making it difficult to precisely define “close contact;” however, 15 cumulative minutes of exposure at a distance of six (6) feet or less can be used as an operational definition for contact investigation.

    Please note the significant difference is that now 15 minutes is measured cumulatively, rather than in one sustained time period.

  2. Will use of school grounds be allowed?

    HCPS outdoor spaces are open to the public. Currently, Use of Facilities (UOF) applications will be accepted for small group events only after UOF application review. Prior to the approval of a UOF application, a COVID-19 Plan must be sent by the organization requesting use of an HCPS facility. Individuals and requesting organizations must adhere to social distancing guidelines while on school grounds.

Family Support and Resources

  1. How will families access meals during the fall?

    Virtual - Meal sites, like the current summer meal program, will be operational in certain areas of the county. Guidance from MSDE and USDA will regulate the procedures involved.

  2. Who can I contact if I have concerns about my child’s mental health or need assistance this fall?

    HCPS Student Support Services staff will provide support to students. In addition, the HCPS Emotional Recovery Team has put together a vast resource of activities to support the social and emotional well-being of students, which will be accessible to parents/guardians, students, and staff. Parents/Guardians and students can access resources that exist within their assigned school, school counselor, social worker, school psychologist, trusted teacher or administrator. From one of those access points families can either be served by HCPS staff or referred to a community resource.

    Parents/Guardians and students can also reach out to Christina Alton, LCSW-C, HCPS Mental Health Specialist, christina.alton@hcps.org or e-mail mentalhealthsupport@hcps.org . The mental health support e-mail inbox is monitored by a school social worker.

    In the event of a mental health emergency, families should call 911. 911 .

    The Klein Family Harford Crisis Center is also an option for mental health support. Families can call 1-800-NEXT-STEP or 410-874-0711 . The walk-in clinic is located at 802 Baltimore Pike in Bel Air and is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

    Families are encouraged to continue to seek guidance and referral from their physicians.

  3. Will school nurses be available in school buildings?

    Yes, school nurses will be available in all school buildings to conduct monitoring and surveillance. In the event that a student or staff member becomes ill with COVID-19, or a COVID-19-like illness, school nurses will adhere to the latest Maryland Department of Health (MDH) guidance regarding isolation and quarantine procedures including but not limited to: following the Decision Tree matrix provided by MDH to determine appropriate course of action; partnering with the Harford County Health Department (HCHD) to identify and notify close contacts; and determining school cleaning and closing decisions based on the latest guidance from the state and local health department. HCPS Health Services will collaborate with the HCHD to assist with appropriate contact tracing measures.

  4. Where can I find childcare or an after-school program for my child?

    For free, personalized service, contact a LOCATE: Child Care Referral Specialist by calling 877-261-0060 Monday through Friday, between 8:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. A Referral Specialist can help find childcare options based on your family’s specific needs.


Special Education

  1. What supports are being supplied for students with special needs?

    The families of students with an Individualized Education Program (IEP) will be contacted by HCPS special education staff to discuss the needs of individual students. Special education staff will: collaborate with families to address student learning needs; prioritize face-to-face assessments to inform eligibility and shape goals in the student’s IEP; collect student data to inform student progress and identify opportunities for recovery; complete on-going monitoring of student progress and communicate with families, teachers, and service providers; convene virtual IEP meetings whenever necessary to address student needs, amend or revise IEP goals based on student progress; and partner with families, the Special Education Citizens Advisory Council, other community supports, and staff to proactively provide and respond to student needs.

  2. How will needs assessments occur for students with disabilities or suspected disabilities in a virtual learning environment?

    Face-to-Face testing will be utilized during the 2020-2021 school year. HCPS related services staff will contact the families of students with disabilities or suspected disabilities who require a Face-to-Face assessment to schedule these assessments. Proper safety protocols have been established and will be utilized to minimize health risks to students and staff throughout the assessment process. Parents/Guardians will be given the option to proceed with or decline the offer of Face-to-Face testing. Families who decline will be contacted by their child’s case manager to schedule an IEP meeting.

  3. What is Child Find? How can I contact them for support?

    Child Find is a special education service provided by HCPS to identify children with disabilities, birth to age 21, who are suspected of having an educational disability and may need special education and related services. Child Find services are supplied year-round, at no-cost. Preschool children living in Harford County who are not enrolled in a preschool program, as well as children ages 3-21 attending an MSDE approved private/parochial school located in Harford County, are eligible to receive Child Find services.

    The HCPS Child Find process includes referral, prescreening to determine the need for assessment, a first evaluation or reevaluation to determine eligibility, and the development of an IEP or Service Plan upon eligibility for special education services. This process begins with a referral to the HCPS Child Find Center started by the parent/guardian or by an individual familiar with the child’s development (with parent/guardian consent). Parents/Guardians of children enrolled in HCPS, should contact their local school if they suspect their child may have a disability requiring special education services.

    For more information related to Child Find, contact the HCPS Child Find Center at 410-638-4386 or 410-638-4387 .

    Parents/Guardians of children, who are not yet three years old, may contact the Harford County Infants and Toddlers Program at 410-638-3823 for inquiries about accessing services.

Grading and Reporting

  1. Will teachers take attendance? How will I let the school know my child is "absent" from school?

    School staff will communicate with parents/guardians regarding student absences and many of the typical interventions to address absenteeism will be in place during the virtual learning model. Additionally, parents/guardians will be permitted to submit absence notes electronically.

  2. How will students be graded on their assignments this fall?

    Students will be graded for their schoolwork with teachers providing direct and timely feedback to students. The Home Access Center (HAC) will be utilized to monitor student progress and to publish report cards at the end of the first and second quarter for all students in grades K-12. PreK students will receive a report card via email. All grades will be reported as dictated in the HCPS Board of Education policy entitled Report Cards and Marking System.

    Parents/Guardians who have technical difficulties establishing a HAC account, please contact us for assistance. Parents/Guardians with students in middle and high school should contact their school counselor with non-technical questions.

Class of 2021

  1. Will students receive help/support to prepare college applications?

    Students wanting assistance with college materials should contact their individual/home school. School counselors will be able to support the college application process virtually and through Naviance, focusing on the vision of North Star through college and career readiness.

  2. How can students find out about SAT’s?

    SAT’s are being administered in our schools. Please visit the College Board website to register: https://collegereadiness.collegeboard.org/sat

HCPS Employees


  1. How will HCPS work to ensure equitable practices and structures are in place for the 2020-2021 school year?

    HCPS is addressing equity, guided by the four focus areas identified by MSDE: Academic Achievement and Growth, Leadership and Human Capital, School Climate and Culture, and Educator and Staff Capacity. This includes using an equity lens to strategically monitor and evaluate curriculum that supports the academic achievement of all students, working to attract and retain a diverse faculty and staff, and providing professional development on digital teaching and learning, disproportionate discipline, implicit bias, culturally responsive practices, and social emotional learning. HCPS will continue to monitor every policy, practice, and process for its impact on every student to ensure an equitable environment for all.


  1. Will bus transportation change for students?

    Service Model:
    The HCPS service model for bus transportation will continue to follow the same guidelines for bus routing and bus stop information as we did prior to COVID-19. The only change will be that your student(s) schedule may vary depending on the school schedule. Students should only ride the bus on the scheduled day(s); assigned to them by the school. See bus information here: http://www.infofinderi.com/ifi/?cid=HCPS3HATZU1H2

    COVID-19 Transportation Guidance:
    HCPS will follow the guidance provided by Maryland Association of Pupil Transportation in conjunction with the Maryland State Department of Transportation.