News

New wireless network for Android users

Published on
Thu, 01/26/2023 - 12:03 PM

The Technology Department recently added an additional HCPSS wifi network called HCPSS-Enterprise.

Android mobile phone users who cannot connect to the HCPSS-Wireless network, can join the HCPSS-Enterprise network. Review the guide for joining an Android device to Wi-Fi to learn the proper settings to apply when adding the network to your device.

If you have additional questions please contact Technology Support at 410-313-7004 or send an email to techsupport@hcpss.org.

Synergy Maintenance Window, Thursday, Jan. 26

Published on
Wed, 01/25/2023 - 9:18 AM

The vendor for Synergy has scheduled a maintenance window to complete regular updates starting on Thursday, Jan. 26 at 9 p.m. The window will last until all necessary updates have been successfully applied but not beyond Friday, Jan. 27 at 5 a.m. Users may experience times of no or sluggish response during this maintenance window.

During this time, access to Synergy and Hoonuit may be periodically unavailable for users. Staff and students will be able to access Canvas. HCPSS Connect may be unavailable for parents/guardians, including Synergy and Canvas.

If you experience any system issues after this change, please contact Technology Support at 410-313-7004 or send an email to techsupport@hcpss.org.

Virtual NBC Information Sessions, January-April

Published on
Thu, 01/19/2023 - 1:53 PM

All educators interested in pursuing their National Board Certification are invited to attend an upcoming virtual information session. Remaining sessions will be one hour and are scheduled to be held:

  • Feb. 15, 6:30 p.m.
  • Feb. 21, 4:30 p.m.
  • March 2, 4:30 p.m.
  • March 8, 3:30 p.m.
  • March 16, 4:30 p.m.
  • March 20, 7 p.m.
  • April 12, 3 p.m.
  • April 24, 4:15 p.m.

Registration is required for each session.

Attendees will learn more about the process, how to receive a full candidacy scholarship, and an exciting Towson post-baccalaureate certificate opportunity aligned with the work of NBC.

Details on the information sessions are available online and on the NBC Canvas community.

Outstanding Educator and Leader Nominations Due Feb. 15

Published on
Wed, 01/18/2023 - 1:05 PM

Each year, the Maryland Society for Educational Technology (MSET) honors teachers and leaders for outstanding use of innovative and effective practice of educational technology. Nominations are now open for both the Outstanding Educator and Outstanding Leader Awards. Nominations are due February 15.

Update: Restart your Windows computers and pin apps to Taskbar

Published on
Tue, 01/17/2023 - 10:01 AM

It is recommended that staff who experienced last Friday’s Microsoft issue, restart their computer. Then re-pin applications that disappeared from their Taskbar.

As a reminder, the Taskbar is similar to the Dock on an Apple computer, and appears at the bottom of the Window. Users can "pin" applications to the taskbar for quick launch and icons for any open applications will be viewable on the Taskbar. Clicking on the icon on the taskbar will either open the application or bring it to the forefront of the screen.

Pin an app to the Taskbar from Start Menu

In the search box on the taskbar, type the name of the app you want to pin to the taskbar. Right-click on the app, then select Pin to the taskbar.

To unpin an app, follow the same steps and select Unpin from taskbar.

Learn more on how to use the taskbar in Windows 10

If you have additional questions please contact Technology Support at 410-313-7004 or send an email to techsupport@hcpss.org.

Submit any supplemental digital tools for use in the 2023-2024 school year for approval no later than March 31

Published on
Tue, 01/17/2023 - 9:07 AM

All staff should be aware that due to changes in state law, digital tools must be reviewed and pass accessibility standards in order to be used in classrooms. Because of this, HCPSS has updated its digital tool review process to include accessibility review.

Staff should submit any supplemental digital tools they would like to use in the 2023-2024 school year for approval no later than March 31 using the Request New Supplemental Digital Tools form found on the HCPSS Digital Tools website. Additionally, administrators should delay digital tool purchases this school year until a review can be completed. Effective immediately, administrators will not be able to use p-cards to make supplemental digital tool purchases.

HCPSS uses a number of contracted Essential Digital Tools and authorized Supplementary Digital Tools to deliver educational programs and services, enhance educational experiences, and educate students about safe and effective online practices. A digital tool is any interactive website, application or software that requires an account with a username and password.

Supplementary Digital Tools: HCPSS authorizes digital tools to be used as supplementary (non-essential) enrichments to students’ educational experience. Parents have the right to opt their students out of these digital tools. Examples are Khan Academy, Kahoot, and Plickers.

If you have questions regarding the approval process for digital tools, please email Stephen Dolney, Director of Strategy and Data Privacy.

Coming Soon - Mandatory MFA enrollment for securing HCPSS credentials

Published on
Thu, 01/12/2023 - 1:34 PM

In November 2022 HCPSS provided all staff the ability to enroll in multi-factor authentication (MFA). MFA is a security measure that requires users to enter multiple sources of authentication before being granted access to their account. 

Voluntary enrollment is currently ongoing and will transition to mandatory enrollment in the near future. 

  • Voluntary Enrollment (In progress) – Voluntary enrollment provides time to become familiar with the authentication process and help minimize any disruptions to staff member’s daily workflow.
  • Mandatory Enrollment (Coming soon) – Once mandatory enrollment is enforced, supervisors will be notified of staff that are out of compliance​ and access to some HCPSS systems may become restricted.

In the coming weeks guidance will be published that highlights the date when MFA enrollment will become mandatory. During this mandatory phase, staff may receive an increase in alerts and communications highlighting the requirement to enroll in MFA. 

! Call to Action ! Learn more about Duo MFA on the Technology Resources Canvas community and start using the new system today. During the process, staff who are currently using MFA via Microsoft Authenticator will be able to discontinue its use.

 If after reviewing the resource you have any questions, contact Technology Support at (410) 313-7004 option 4 or TechSupport@hcpss.org.

Electronic W-2s Now Available in Workday

Published on
Tue, 01/10/2023 - 10:30 AM

For staff who elected to receive electronic copies of year-end tax documents, the 2022 electronic W-2s are now available in Workday. Detailed instructions on how to View/Print Your W-2 Tax Form are available online.

For staff who elected to receive both electronic and paper copies of your year-end tax documents, electronic W-2s will be available Jan. 30. Please note this information was shared in an opt-out alert Dec. 12, 2022. Paper copies of the W-2s will be mailed via USPS and postmarked no later than Jan. 31.

If you would like access to your 2022 electronic copy sooner, please make the electronic only election. Once this selection is made, you will have immediate access. 

See attached for details on understanding your W-2.

Attachments

FBI warns of increase in sextortion cases targeting teenagers

Published on
Mon, 01/09/2023 - 8:51 AM

The FBI has reported a substantial increase in the number of cases involving children and teens being threatened and coerced into sending explicit images online—a crime called sextortion. Children are being targeted using email, gaming devices and other apps, often encouraging victims to move to a secondary messaging platform after making initial contact. Sextortion, like other forms of abuse, can lead to changes in a student's mood, behaviors, and school performance. As a reminder, Board Policy 1030 - Child Abuse and Neglect outlines employees, contractors and volunteers responsibilities for the handling and reporting of suspected abuse or neglect of a child or vulnerable adult student and more information about the child abuse reporting procedures can be found on the Student Support Resources and Information Canvas community.

! Call to Action: Take a moment to learn how sextortion works so you are aware of how this occurs and possible warning signs.. Information, resources, and conversation guides are available at fbi.gov/StopSextortion.

General Information Regarding Phishing Emails:
As always, staff should maintain a heightened state of awareness and caution when receiving external email messages containing hyperlinks and attachments. Employees are encouraged to report any suspected HCPSS communications by contacting abuse@hcpss.org. Do not forward any messages that you suspect may contain sensitive information or imagery.

If assistance is needed, contact the Technology Support at TechSupport@hcpss.org.