The Office of Research and Program Evaluation provides information and analyses to support
continuous improvement in the academic and operational services at Harford County Public Schools
Want to learn how to create your own custom survey?
Use this helpful guide to learn more about the most
common types of survey questions and best practices
in survey design.
In the spring of 2021, Harford County Public Schools (HCPS) sought to understand the cognitive, emotional, and behavioral engagement of students in the virtual and/or hybrid learning environments necessitated by COVID-19. To this end, HCPS administered a survey to students in Grades 3-12, all teachers, as well as school and central office staff to identify engaging practices and to analyze responses to the survey’s closed- and open-ended questions.
This analysis will support HCPS in identifying best practices to engage future virtual learners and develop guidance for virtual and/or hybrid programs that may be developed at the county and/or state level.
This report answers the following research questions:
Harford County Public Schools (HCPS) is committed to providing superior customer service as measured by its TRACK-ing Excellence program, where TRACK represents Transparent, Responsive, Accessible, and Kind communication. To gauge satisfaction with the district’s customer service, HCPS offers a stakeholder survey on its website (Appendix B).
In this document, the HCPS Office of Research and Program Evaluation presents findings from an analysis of open-ended responses to HCPS’ Customer Satisfaction Survey. This analysis is for the responses received during the survey administration window of January 15, 2021, through June 30, 2021. During this period, HCPS received a total of 327 responses (Appendix A: Closed-Ended Results) including 164 open-ended responses (out of a total of 167) after data cleaning. Of the 164 open-ended responses, 10 included comments unrelated to customer service experiences within the district. To keep the findings as salient as possible for HCPS’ future decision-making, HCPS excluded these comments from this analysis, focusing on the content contained in the remaining 154 open-ended responses.
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 the return to in-person learning.
The Superintendent of Schools, Sean Bulson, and his leadership team used a focus group method to bring together virtually a demographically diverse group of stakeholders to participate in a guided discussion on the implementation of educational programs, services, or concepts. The HCPS facilitators or moderators led a 30-90-minute discussion within the groups to gather helpful information and feedback. The HCPS focus groups were administered separately to teachers, principals, central office staff, students, and parents. Members of these focus groups discussed topics related to virtual and hybrid instruction, special education, Learning Support Centers, and other key topics.
The HCPS Office of Research and Program Evaluation worked with focus group facilitators, HCPS staff and external researchers to review and synthesize the meeting minutes from the focus groups, summaries of survey results and follow-up surveys, and raw survey data for educators (teachers, principals), central office staff, students and parents. As part of this review and analysis, the researchers and the team identified key themes the District can use to evaluate and improve district operations, teaching and learning, and its Continuity of Learning Plan.
This report presents key findings and recommendations from the analyses of the data, and information received from the focus groups stakeholders
UPDATE: OCTOBER 19, 2021
BOARD OF EDUCATION OF HARFORD COUNTY
NOTICE OF PUBLIC COMMENT PARTICIPATION
MONDAY, OCTOBER 25, 2021
OPEN SESSION: 5:45 PM - 5:50 PM
This meeting will be conducted virtually with no public attendance due to the brief nature of this meeting and the logistical issues regarding allowing public attendance in advance of the 6:30 p.m. meeting. *The only item the Board will consider during this open meeting is consideration of meeting in a closed session.
CLOSED SESSION: 5:50 PM - 6:15 PM
BUSINESS MEETING: 6:30 PM – ADJOURNMENT
This meeting will be conducted in a hybrid fashion and public attendance will be permitted as explained below:
DOORS WILL OPEN AT 6:20 PM AND THE MEETING WILL BEGIN AT 6:30 PM
The Board of Education of Harford County will hold a hybrid Business Meeting on Monday, October 25, 2021, at 6:30 PM in the Board Room of the A.A. Roberty Building with Board Members, staff, and presenters in attendance both virtually and in-person. A 60-seat capacity will be available to the public. Seats will be available on a first come-first served basis. 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 virtually during the Public Comments segment of the Business meeting are required to register by completing this form Public Comment Registration Form.
Registrations must be received by 9:00 AM on Monday, October 25, 2021. All fields on the registration form must be completed.
1. First and Last name
2. Email Address
3. Phone Number
4. Registration forms are limited to one (1) per person
- Registered speakers will receive an email from HCPS with a Call-in Phone # and a Conference ID #.
- Registered speakers are required to call-in and enter the conference ID# at 6:30 PM on Monday, October 25, 2021.
- Important: If you are unable to take your phone off mute, you may need to dial *6.
- If you are admitted from the virtual lobby to the meeting, you will be greeted by an HCPS staff member when it is time to begin your public comment. Expected hold time in the virtual lobby 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.
Public Comment Participation In-Person Process
Persons who are attending the meeting in person, as provided above, may make in-person public comment. Board Comment cards will be available for Board meeting attendees prior to the Board Meeting for sign-up. Board Comment Registration forms are limited to one (1) per person.
The Board has authorized public comment as follows:
- Board policy permits speaker three (3) minutes to provide comments. However, Board policy authorizes the Board to reduce the amount of time allocated to each speaker if allocating 3 minutes to each speaker will impede the Board’s ability to complete scheduled business. It is anticipated that in light of the number of speakers at recent Board meetings, the Board will reduce the amount of time allocated to each speaker. Consequently, please be prepared to abbreviate your comments.
- The Board will receive in-person public comment first and virtual public comment second. The Board expects that all comments will be submitted with the decorum and respect appropriate to the conduct of public business.
- Topics such as personnel matters, pending appeals, specific student disciplinary matters or which constitute commercial solicitations are not permitted.
- 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.
- 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: OCTOBER 18, 2021
HCPS FY23 Budget Input Sessions and Survey available
This is a reminder that attendees are asked to register by 5:00 p.m. TONIGHT to attend one of the two virtual HCPS FY2023 Budget Input Sessions to be held this week. If you are unable to attend, please take a moment to complete the FY23 Budget Survey, linked below.
On Wednesday October 20 and Thursday October 21, 2021 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Dr. Bulson will share his comments regarding the FY2023 budget and will provide an opportunity for small group discussions via Microsoft Teams meetings. Community members who plan to participate in the virtual session are asked to register via the links listed below by 5:00 p.m. on Monday, October 18, 2021.
Click here to register for the Wednesday, October 20, 2021 Virtual HCPS FY2023 Budget Input Session from 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Click here to register for the Thursday, October 21, 2021 Virtual HCPS FY2023 Budget Input Session from 6:30-8:30 p.m.
If you have registered to attend, you will receive the link to join the meeting approximately 24 hours prior to the event. Please be sure to check your spam or junk folder. If you do not receive the link, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information.
If you are unable to participate in the virtual input sessions, please complete the FY23 Budget Survey. The survey will be available through midnight on Friday, October 29, 2021.
The input you provide at the input sessions or via the survey is crucial to the process of shaping the next HCPS budget. We appreciate you sharing your time and comments.
As a reminder, the Superintendent’s proposed budget will be presented to the Board of Education in January 2022. Thank you for your continued engagement and participation.
UPDATE: OCTOBER 13, 2021
The following information will be sent to families of students in selected classes at HCPS middle and high school via phone, email, and text via our mass communications system through the end of November.
Your student will be given the opportunity to participate in the Maryland Youth Risk Behavior and Tobacco Survey, conducted by the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene in collaboration with the Maryland State Department of Education and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC. The survey was designed by the CDC to identify risk behaviors and may include questions about safety practices, such as use of helmets and seat belts; depression and mental health; use of tobacco, alcohol, or other drugs; nutrition and physical activity; and sexual behavior. MSDE requires each local school system to administer the survey. The survey is voluntary for students, and you have the opportunity to review the survey and opt out for your student by accessing the Parental “Opt-out” form available on our website, hcps.org. You can access the information and links by clicking "Learn More" in the top right corner of hcps.org; or by visiting the Resources for Parents webpage. Those with email addresses in the system will receive the link via email with this communication. If you would like to opt out, please return the completed form to your student’s homeroom teacher prior to the survey, which will be administered next week. If you have any questions about the survey, you are encouraged to visit the CDC website at https://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/ for additional information.
UPDATE: OCTOBER 5, 2021
The following information will be sent directly to all families via phone and email via our mass communications system Tuesday, October 5, 2021 at 5:00 p.m.
Parent/Guardian Permissions are collected annually by Harford County Public Schools (HCPS) for each student. Collecting this information ensures HCPS is complying with a variety of local, state, and federal requirements, and legal obligations.
If you have not completed the Parent/Guardian Permissions for the 2021-2022 school year, please go online to https://registration.hcps.org/ to complete the Parent/Guardian Permissions for your student(s). The page can sometimes take a moment to load; please allow additional time for loading. If you have any trouble logging in or completing this form, please click contact us! at the bottom of the registration.hcps.org page.
If you need to complete a paper copy of the Parent/Guardian Permission Form, please contact your student’s school.
UPDATE: SEPTEMBER 29, 2021
The following information will be sent directly to all staff and families via phone, email, and text via our mass communications system Wednesday, September 29, 2021 at 5:30 p.m.
Per Harford County Public Schools board policy, the proposed 2022-2023 school calendar is open for 60 days of public comment. This year, a survey to help collect input has been posted on hcps.org on the Board of Education page. HCPS staff, parents/guardians, students, and community members are asked to review the two proposed calendars and provide feedback. The deadline for completion is Friday, November 26, 2021.
UPDATE: SEPTEMBER 28, 2021
The following information will be sent directly to all staff and families via phone, email, and text via our mass communications system Tuesday, September 28, 2021 at 5:00 p.m.
September 28, 2021
Dear Parents and Guardians,
Thank you for your efforts to keep our community healthy by monitoring your student(s) for symptoms of COVID-19 and complying with universal masking. This letter is to inform you of changes to how Harford County Public Schools (HCPS) will respond to COVID-19. These changes will begin today, Tuesday, September 28, 2021.
Starting today, the quarantine period will be reduced from fourteen days to ten days. We will also modify our student-to-student contact tracing; we will only identify student close contacts in situations where students are unmasked. Contact tracing investigations that involve contact with any staff members will remain unchanged. Students currently in quarantine were identified during higher transmission of COVID-19 so they will continue to quarantine, but they may return to school once 10 days have passed since their last exposure to a person with COVID-19.
Parents will be alerted via letter by school administration if their student is affected by a classroom or school outbreak. A hard copy of the letter may be sent home with the affected student and/or distributed via email. Outbreaks are determined by the Maryland Department of Health (MDH), as defined here:
• Two or more laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases among students/teachers/staff with onsets (or, if asymptomatic, collection dates) within a 14-day period, and who are epidemiologically linked, but not household contacts.
• Three or more classrooms with cases from separate households that meet the classroom/cohort outbreak definition that occurs within 14 days; OR
• 5% or more unrelated students/teachers/staff have confirmed COVID-19 within a 14-day period [minimum of 10 unrelated students/teachers/staff].
Harford County Public Schools (HCPS) is watching the experience our greater Harford County community has with COVID-19, modifying protocols when appropriate, focusing on essential activities to a student’s learning, and creating unique safety plans for higher risk activities, such as dances. As such, starting November 15, 2021, HCPS will begin an after-school testing program for high school winter sports and fine arts. Students impacted by this program, which includes an opt-out for vaccinated students, will receive more details next month.
Please continue to monitor yourself and your student(s) for signs of illness, including a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, new onset of severe headache, sore throat, vomiting, diarrhea, or new loss of taste or smell. If you notice symptoms, please stay home and consult with your health care provider. In addition, please continue to minimize the spread of COVID-19 by always maintaining maximum physical distance from others, wearing a face covering when you are out of your home, and washing your hands regularly. If you are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, please speak with your health care provider about being vaccinated.
Thank you for your help in keeping our community healthy.
Sean Bulson, Ed. D.
Harford County Public Schools
10/20/2021 2:42:18 PM