Harford County Public Schools – Department of Special Education believes that individuals with disabilities
full potential in a comprehensive and coordinated birth to 21 system of services emphasizing high
Harford County Public Schools – Department of Special Education provides leadership, supports, and
accountability for results
to all stakeholders by way of a seamless, comprehensive system of coordinated services to children, students
and youth with disabilities, birth to 21, and their families.
Special Education in Harford County Public Schools is a collaborative effort involving schools, families and
working together to ensure a free appropriate public education (FAPE) to all children with disabilities,
birth through age 21. Special education is defined as specially designed instruction, provided at no cost
to parents, in order to meet the unique needs of a child with an educational or developmental disability.
Services are provided in the least restrictive environment (LRE), to the maximum extent possible.
A Child with a Disability or Student with a Disability means a child, birth to age 21, evaluated in
accordance with IDEA
or COMAR having any of the following disabilities, causing an adverse effect on the child’s educational
resulting in the need of special education and related services:
Special education services are available in all Harford County Public Schools and across a range of learning
district’s processes and procedures for disability determination, placement and service delivery align with
federal and State regulations. Harford County Public Schools utilizes the
Statewide IEP Process Guide as the
framework for student educational planning and compliance with the
Requirements of the 2004 Reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
Child Find is a special education service provided by Harford County Public Schools to identify
children with disabilities,
birth to age 21, who are suspected of having an educational disability and may be in need of
special education and related services. Child Find Services are provided year-round, at no-cost.
Preschool children residing 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
County are eligible to receive Child Find services.
The Harford County Public Schools’ Child Find process includes referral, prescreening to
determine the need for assessment,
an initial 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
to the HCPS Child Find Center initiated by the parent or by an individual familiar with the
development (with parent consent). Parents of children enrolled in Harford County Public
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 of children, who are not yet three, may contact the Harford County Infants and Toddlers
Program at 410 638-3823
for inquiries about accessing services.
The Harford County Infants and Toddlers Program, serving children with disabilities, birth through age 3
to 4* is a countywide system of coordinated, interagency, multidisciplinary early intervention services.
Through family centered services, parents and caregivers are provided guidance and coaching to help
their child be successful at home and in the community.
Parents or other individuals who are concerned about a child's development may make a referral to the
Harford County Infants and Toddlers Program at 410-638-3823 . Upon referral, developmental evaluations are
completed to determine eligibility for early intervention services. Health and developmental needs may
be identified in the areas of: hearing; speech; language; physical development; cognitive development;
social-emotional development; and/or self-help skills.
Children, birth through age 3 to 4*, are eligible to receive Individualized Family Service Plan
(IFSP) services, if a developmental delay or diagnosed condition that has a high probability of
resulting in developmental delay is identified during the IFSP Team Process. The IFSP provides the
"what, when, where, why, and how" of early intervention services to be provided to the child with a
disability and his/her family. The IFSP is implemented and monitored by staff of the Harford County
Infants and Toddlers Program. Prior to the child's third birthday, a transition planning meeting is
scheduled to discuss the continued need for early intervention services (IFSP) for children birth to age
3, an extended IFSP option or the transition to preschool special education services, addressed by the
Individual Educational Program (IEP) are also available for children with disabilities, ages 3 to 4*
*Children ages 3-4 are provided services through Harford County Infants and Toddlers Program upon
meeting the requirements of the Maryland Extended Individual Family Service Plan options.
A Family Guide to Early Intervention in Maryland: Maryland Infants and Toddlers
For families of children ages 3-5 who have concerns regarding their child's development, please contact
Harford County Public Schools' Child Find at 410-638-4386 to make a referral. The Child Find process
includes referral, prescreening to determine the need for assessment, an initial evaluation to determine
eligibility and the development of an Individual Education Program (IEP) or Service Plan upon
eligibility for special education services. If a preschool age child is determined eligible for special
education services, the IEP team will consider a continuum of services and placement options including
services in the community or school-based preschool settings.
For more information related to Child Find, contact the HCPS Child Find Center at 410-638-4386 or 410-638-4387 .
A Family Guide to Preschool Special Education in Maryland
Harford County Public Schools uses a team process to determine whether a child is a student with
a disability requiring specialized
instructional supports and services. Parents are valued and essential members of this
team. The Individual Education Program (IEP) Team determines eligibility of a child for special
education and related services by means of a comprehensive evaluation process, which includes
a range of data sources including, as appropriate: academic or developmental performance;
general intelligence; health, including hearing and vision; motor abilities; and social,
or behavioral status. If a child is determined to have an educational disability requiring
education services, an IEP is developed by the school staff with input from the parents. The
IEP identifies the child’s present levels of academic achievement and functional performance,
measurable annual goals and short term benchmarks, a statement of special education and related
services necessary to implement the IEP.
Harford County Public Schools provides for a continuum of special education services and
placement considerations. Service delivery and placement options are
based upon the needs identified in the IEP and are a result of the IEP Team decision-making
Harford County Public Schools seeks to improve the performance of all children with disabilities
and assist in narrowing
achievement gaps by ensuring equal access to curriculum and differentiated instruction in the
least restrictive environment. The service delivery continuum includes: consultative supports;
inclusion utilizing a co-teaching model; resource or related services provision outside of the
general education setting; self-contained learning environments; regional programs or a separate
day school placement. Programming options include:
Family Support Network (birth to 3)
The Family Support Network (FSN) was created to meet the needs of Maryland
birth to 3, who have been identified as having developmental delays or disabilities. The
FSN provides information to families regarding community services, refers families to
groups, workshops, and advocacy groups, and provides opportunities for families to
El Sistema que soporte familia (nacimiento a edad tres)
El Sistema que soporte la familia fue creado para satisfecher las necisidades de
Maryland con niños , nacimiento a edad tres,quien han sido identificados que tienen un
de desarollo o discapacidades. El Sistema de soporte familia prove información para
sobre los servicios de la comunidad,refiere las familias a grupos locales para
y grupos de defensores y prove oportunidades para familias para conectar y compartir
Partners for Success Centers, established as part of each local school system in
Maryland, are availableto parents as a resource and information center. Specifically,
Partners for Success Centers seekto provide information about community services, assist
families in resolving concerns, and increaseparental involvement in the special
education decision making process.
Compañeros para éxito (nacimiento a edad 21)
Los centros de compañeros para éxito, establecidos de una parte de cada sistema
en Mryland, están disponibles a padres como un recurso y un lugar de información.
Compañeros para éxito busca proveer información sobre servicios de la comunidad, ayudar
en resolviendo preocupaciones, y aumentando la participación de los padres en el proceso
las decisiones de educación especial.
The Office of Third Party Billing is a division of the Department of Special Education reporting
to the Director of Budgets.
Third Party Billing is a process that generates Medicaid funds for the Harford County Public
Schools. Recovery costs for health related services are sought “after the fact” for students
who meet Medicaid guidelines. Health-related services are identified in a student’s
Education Plan (IEP) or Individual Family Service Plan (ISFP). These services include
therapy, occupational or physical therapy, nursing, audiology, social work, and psychological
services for screening, evaluation and treatment. In addition to health-related services,
County Public Schools bills Medicaid for case management services provided to children 3 to 21
years. Medicaid funds are used to supplement specialized services provided by school personnel.
view the Special Education Staffing Plan 2019-2020
Harford County Public Schools (HCPS) provides a full continuum of related
students. Occupational Therapists, Physical Therapists, and Speech-Language Pathologists
licensed healthcare professionals trained to address the needs of students to support
participation, and/or progress in his/her learning environment.
The Vision Program offers specialized Braille Programs within a designated
middle, and high school, with a Braille
Transcriber at each location. Teachers of the Visually Impaired (TVI), as well as
and Mobility Instructors (O&M), travel to the students' assigned school or natural
to provide services relating to the vision loss of the student. The Vision Program
work collaboratively with the family, school staff, and eye medical professionals
consultation in order to provide support and resources.
Eligibility for the continuum of related services and vision/hearing services is
by the appropriate team once all relevant evaluations are completed and reviewed.
be initiated by a parent or outside provider with parent permission.
Based upon the age of the child, please direct your inquiry or referral to the
UPDATE: April 9, 2020
An Important Message from Dr. Bulson
Please take a moment to view this important message from Dr. Bulson, Superintendent of Harford County Public Schools, available on the HCPS YouTube channel. An updated FAQ has been posted to www.hcps.org/coronavirus with additional details.
We hope you have a wonderful break and we look forward to connecting again next week!
UPDATE: April 6, 2020
Holiday Closure and Additional Meal Resources
As a reminder, Harford County Public Schools will be closed Friday, April 10, 2020 and Monday, April 13, 2020 with a three hour early closure on Thursday, April 9, 2020.
In response to the scheduled closure, this Thursday, April 9, 2020, an additional meal bag will be available for each child at every meal site during regular distribution hours. The additional meal bag, which includes items for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, is intended to provide food support to our families who may need additional resources during this difficult time.
For additional meal site information, visit www.hcpsmenus.com.
UPDATE: April 3, 2020
A Message from Superintendent Bulson
This week, teachers and other instructional staff returned to work in this new and evolving environment of school closures and stay-at-home orders. Our goal was for our schools to reestablish contact with students. I want to thank our employees for their persistence in reaching out to families and beginning the process of helping our students continue their learning at home. Our continuity of learning plan cannot replace face-to-face instruction, but we are committed to improving our ability to support student learning every week we are closed.
I also want to thank our dedicated Food and Nutrition staff who are now distributing meals at 21 different sites across the county. Today we served over 10,000 meals to 3,500 students, and demand for meals continues to increase daily.
Please continue to monitor the HCPS Coronavirus web page for updates and the latest system news about the ongoing pandemic. This week we updated our Frequently Asked Questions to provide guidance related to third quarter grades and continuity of learning. The site also contains the latest information on food distribution, event and activity cancellations, as well as links to important local, state, and national resources.
I know this is a difficult time for everyone and I want to thank you for your patience and understanding. I am confident we will get through this together!
Thank you and have a wonderful weekend,
Sean Bulson, Ed.D.
Harford County Public Schools
UPDATE: March 29, 2020
Monday, March 30, 2020, your student’s teacher will reach out to you. Teachers are working from home, so you may get a call from a blocked or private number. We will encourage teachers to leave a message indicating a time they will call back if you do not pick up. Please be on the lookout for these calls.
Our goal for this week, as teachers and other instructional staff return to work, is to re-establish contact with students and identify the best ways to be in touch during the closure.
UPDATE: March 26, 2020
A Message from Superintendent Bulson
Yesterday, in conjunction with Governor Hogan’s press conference, State Superintendent of schools, Dr. Karen Salmon, closed all Maryland public schools through April 24, 2020.
In preparation for an extended closure, we have developed Recommended Learning Experiences for families to use with their children over the next two weeks. Those resources are now available on our website, hcps.org for families to access electronically. To access the documents, open the COVID-19 page on our website and click the Out-of-School Curriculum Materials tab. You will then need to enter your child’s student ID number so we may confirm which families have accessed the online resources.
To maintain social distancing practices, it is best if families access the materials electronically. However, beginning today, March 26, and tomorrow, March 27, families who cannot access them in that manner may obtain printed copies of the Recommended Learning Experiences by visiting one of the 19 meal sites throughout the county, as well as John Archer, Fallston High, Norrisville Elementary, and North Bend Elementary schools. Materials will be available from 11:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. and from 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
On a related note, we are adding two new meal sites today and two additional sites on Monday, so please visit hcpsmenus.com to see the list of sites to be used for food and materials distribution and for news about new sites we may add in the future.
Over the next two weeks our teachers and staff will be re-establishing contact with all students and they will begin providing support and guidance to help with the Learning Experiences materials.
Throughout this crisis, we ask you to continue following the directions and guidance from the Governor to practice social distancing and refrain from any unnecessary travel. Over the last two weeks we have all encountered significant changes in our personal and professional lives, and we thank you in advance for your patience and understanding moving forward through these unprecedented times. The health and safety of our students and community members is our first priority, so thank you for everything you have been doing toward that end.
Sean Bulson, Ed.D
Harford County Public Schools
UPDATE: March 19, 2020
A Message from Superintendent Bulson
As schools across the country confront the effects of COVID-19, I want to thank you, the parents and guardians, our students, and our staff, for your patience, understanding, and flexibility as we face this challenge together.
At this time, we have no formal announcement from State authorities about how much longer we should expect to remain closed. HCPS is not equipped to deliver comprehensive online instruction to our students. However, we continue to seek additional information about access to technology for the households of our students and staff members. I want to thank you for the more than 20,000 responses we received to our digital survey for families and the over 2,500 responses we received from staff as we look to the future of how instruction may be delivered in our school system. The preliminary information we have learned from the responses is helping us better understand the steps we will need to take in the event we stay closed beyond March 27. Please submit your responses by 12:00 p.m. tomorrow, Friday, March 20, when the survey will officially close.
I also understand that future school-related dates and events are at the forefront of your minds. I have received questions on everything from grades, to testing, to graduation credits and other end-of-year events. As soon as we have greater clarity about when we will return to school, I will ensure we communicate clear decisions about those events as quickly as possible.
I want to thank our food and nutrition department who has been preparing and distributing breakfast, lunch, and dinner “to go” at sites throughout the county. If you are not able to access a meal site or need additional assistance, I encourage you to call 2-1-1 or reach out to the Harford Community Action Agency.
Please follow local health department and county government social media pages as well as the site for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for the latest guidance. We will continue to provide new information about Harford County Public Schools via our website, social media channels, and of course, through this channel.
I look forward to speaking with you again next week and I hope you have a wonderful evening.
Sean Bulson, Ed.D
Harford County Public Schools
UPDATE III: March 17, 2020
Food Services Information II
Food services hours and locations have been updated and are posted on www.hcpsmenus.com. Please check back regularly as this site will continue to be updated as new information becomes available.
UPDATE II: March 17, 2020
Food Services Information
Information about food services for students is posted on www.hcpsmenus.com and will continue to be updated as it becomes available.
Effective tomorrow, March 18, 2020, two new locations have been added: Bel Air Elementary and Dublin Elementary Schools. Please check www.hcpsmenus.com for additional sites, operating hours, and menus.
UPDATE: March 17, 2020
Please Complete the Online Resources Survey
Harford County Public Schools staff are continuing to work diligently to ensure plans are in place for any additional actions that may need to be taken in response to COVID-19. Please click here to complete the survey to determine the level of access to our online resources that may be utilized, should it be necessary to provide additional instructional resources for students to access from home beyond this initial 2-week closure.
UPDATE: March 16, 2020
Harford County Public Schools Operations Update
Most HCPS 12-month employees will be expected to work from home beginning tomorrow, Tuesday, March 17, 2020. Critical staff will be in buildings to ensure things like cleaning, food preparation, and payroll continue, but please note that our buildings and property will not be open to the public beginning tomorrow, Tuesday, March 17, 2020; this includes all tracks, fields, and playgrounds. All afterschool/evening and weekend activities remain canceled. This means all sports practices and competitions are canceled until schools reopen. Teams should not gather or practice on or off school grounds.
If you did not contact your child’s school nurse last week to pick up medications from the nurses suite, please utilize the COVID-19 hotline or email address, available on the HCPS website, to make pick-up arrangements.
Meal delivery sites where breakfast and dinner will be delivered with lunches, are listed on www.hcpsmenus.com.
We will continue to provide updates as more information becomes available.
UPDATE: March 13, 2020
Harford County Public Schools Closure Information for Parents/Guardians and Staff
All afterschool/evening, and weekend activities are canceled today, Friday, March 13, 2020. Today, daycares in HCPS buildings will remain open for one hour beyond the end of the school day.
As shared yesterday, all Maryland public school systems will be closed from March 16-27. We are awaiting guidance from the Maryland State Department of Education as to whether these days will be made up or waived by the state.
The instructional packet coming home today is also available on our website by clicking here, in addition to being shared via the Home Access Center, or HAC.
Food and Nutrition information, including menus and distribution locations, will be on www.hcpsmenus.com as soon as it is available.
If you have not done so already, please call your school if you need to make arrangements to pick up your child’s medication.
Harford County Public Schools has created a webpage with additional resources; you can access it by clicking on the COVID-19 button at the top of our website or by clicking here.
12-month employees are to continue to report to work as normally scheduled, Custodians will work with their supervisor to determine their work schedule; 11-month employees should await further instruction from their supervisor; 10-month employees do not report as of March 16, 2020. If there are changes to this work schedule, employees will be contacted via our normal avenues of communication. All 10 and 12 month employees will continue to be paid according to our originally published pay schedule.
We will share additional information as it becomes available.
4/9/2020 4:22:19 PM