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 or through the Maryland Infants and Toddlers online referral link at https://referral.mditp.org/. 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
Maryland Infants and Toddlers Online Referral Brochure
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
Do you know about our Learning Together program? HCPS is looking for typically developing 3- and 4-year-old children to participate in a free, 2- or 3-half-day preschool program for the 2023-2024 school year. The purpose of the Learning Together Program is to have typically developing children learning alongside preschool children with disabilities. The program promotes social, communication, literacy, and numeracy skill development for all children.
The program is located at the following schools: Meadowvale Elementary, Havre de Grace Elementary, Edgewood Elementary, Homestead/Wakefield Elementary, Youths Benefit Elementary, and North Bend Elementary.
Children must be at least 3-years old as of September 1, 2023 and be toilet trained.
For more information and to access the application, visit https://www.hcps.org/departments/instructionalsupport/specialeducation/learningtogether/
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
1/27/2023 3:03 PM
1/18/2023 5:00 PM
1/17/2023 4:00 PM
Harford County Public Schools (HCPS) is pleased to announce Joppatowne High School has been approved by the Department of the Army to establish a U.S. Army Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) program, effective February 1, 2023. Students currently in eighth grade throughout the county will be able to apply to join JROTC at Joppatowne High. Applications will be available Tuesday, January 17, 2023, through Friday, February 10, 2023, on hcps.org and in all middle school counseling offices.
Click here to watch a Parent Academy Real Talk about JROTC in HCPS!
In May 2016, the Board of Education of Harford County approved the submission of the JROTC application and the establishment of the program at Joppatowne High School. Strong support was provided from the Military Officers Association of America; Susquehanna Chapter; and numerous local, state, and federal leaders for instituting a program at Joppatowne High. Joppatowne High was the first school in the nation to offer a high school curriculum program for Homeland Security. The Homeland Security Emergency Preparedness Program is a signature curriculum that is affiliated with internships and instruction from area colleges and civil defense agencies. JROTC is an excellent addition to the program.
Harford County is the proud home of Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG). APG is the largest employer in the county and is a critical US Army research, development, test, and evaluation installation. In 2017, APG and the surrounding community celebrated the 100th anniversary of APG as a national military garrison. This year, Harford County celebrates a 250-year anniversary. Launching the JROTC program in Harford County is a great addition and way to continue to celebrate Harford County’s legacy.
1/12/2023 12:33 PM
Applications will open next week, on Tuesday, January 10, 2023, for the blended virtual learning programs at Swan Creek School for the 2023-2024 school year. If you are interested in applying for grades 2-12 e-learning or grades 6-12 for in-person, blended learning, please visit the Swan Creek School website for additional information about the school.
Applications will be due February 15, 2023. Students will be informed of their enrollment status by March 31, 2023. If the number of eligible applicants exceeds the number of seats per classroom, a lottery system will be implemented.
If after reviewing the program information on the website you have questions about the program or application process, please contact Swan Creek School at 410-273-5594.
1/3/2023 2:33 PM
This is an important message for all parents and guardians with a student in twelfth grade.
Graduation dates, times, and locations have been finalized. Visit the calendar page on hcps.org for the full schedule and visit our YouTube channel or click here to watch the latest Parent Academy Real Talk discussing graduation ceremonies this year.
Your school will provide additional details about your schools specific graduation ceremony.
12/22/2022 5:00 PM
12/21/2022 12:09 PM
The following message is being sent to all contacts in our mass notification system via phone, email, and text message at 5:00 p.m., Thursday, December 8, 2022:
The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) approved the HCPS application to conduct asynchronous virtual instruction on up to 3 inclement weather days. HCPS staff are diligently working to prepare a “practice” of what this will look like. That practice is scheduled for the evening of Monday, January 9, 2023. Prekindergarten students will receive a bag of supplies when the bags are delivered. Students in kindergarten through grade 12 will bring their device home January 9, 2023; as part of their homework, they must log into their inclement weather tile, which will appear on Canvas, and send a confirmation message to the teacher. The HCPS curriculum offices is creating the assignment that every single student will do that will be a quick confirmation that they were able to get in.
If your school needs to adjust the systemwide asynchronous virtual instruction plan, they will reach out to your directly with additional information.
Please note, if there is a need to close HCPS for inclement weather PRIOR to January 9, we will NOT utilize virtual instruction. Following the practice on the evening of January 9, HCPS plans to conduct asynchronous virtual instruction on the first 3 closures for inclement weather.
Families can expect additional details to be available on hcps.org, including information about where to access asynchronous virtual instruction, what time it will be available, as well as a Parent Academy video with additional details. This will be available prior to the January 9, 2022 scheduled "practice."
Again, MSDE approved the HCPS application for asynchronous virtual instruction on inclement weather days and we look forward to having a very brief systemwide “practice” after school on Monday, January 9, 2023. Additional details will be made available as soon as possible.
12/8/2022 5:00 PM
11/17/2022 12:59 PM
The following message will be sent via phone, email, and text message to all parents and guardians at 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 1, 2022:
If you are active military personnel, a civilian or federal employee working and/or living on federal property, your child has received or will receive a form to be completed and returned to school. If your child is not attending school in person, please find a blank form attached to this email. It is very important that we receive the completed form from you, as this is a means of funding that will impact your child’s school system. Persons working on federal property, please be sure to complete the box indicating the specific location of your employment. The forms should be returned to school with your child no later than Friday, November 11, 2022. Blank forms are also available on www.hcps.org on the Resources for Parents page under ‘Forms and Documents.’ Please contact your school if you have any questions.
11/1/2022 8:00 AM
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