Planned Synergy Outage, July 30

Published on
Mon, 07/26/2021 - 11:14 AM

The Information Technology Department has scheduled a Synergy outage on Friday, July 30 from 7 p.m.-12 a.m.

During this time, access to Synergy will be unavailable for staff and students. Staff and students will be able to access Canvas. HCPSS Connect will 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

Microsoft Office 365 Synchronous Training

Published on
Fri, 07/16/2021 - 11:49 AM

Microsoft is offering several one-hour synchronous webinars for Central Office staff whose home directories and shared folders were moved to OneDrive, SharePoint, and Teams and other HCPSS staff who use the Office 365 platform.

These sessions will cover basic information about Microsoft OneDrive, SharePoint, and Teams, including how to synchronize cloud storage locations to your computer and mobile devices. They are interactive so come prepared with any questions you have, whether you are a beginner or experienced user.

! Call to Action: Use the links below to register for each session. You will receive an email confirmation containing a link to each live event.

  • OneDrive – stores personal work files in the cloud
  • SharePoint – stores shared files in the cloud
  • Teams - collaboration application

*Sessions will take place in Teams. Learn more about Teams by reviewing the guide in the Technology Resources Canvas community.

Other information:

Interested in additional live Microsoft webinars?

If you can attend one of the live sessions, please let IT know in a post-session survey what future training you would like to see.

Need additional self-help resources?

Use your network credentials to access this site, Microsoft 365 Training Center

If you have any questions or need help, please contact Technology Support at

HCPSS to Eliminate Health Fund Deficit Two Years Ahead of Schedule

Published on
Mon, 07/12/2021 - 2:30 PM

Howard County Public School System Superintendent Dr. Michael J. Martirano, joined by Board of Education Chair Dr. Chao Wu, County Executive Calvin Ball, County Council Chair Liz Walsh, and system and county leaders, on July 12, 2021, announced the school system’s health fund deficit will be eliminated this year (fiscal year 2022) – two years ahead of schedule.

“This deficit has significantly constrained our operating budget for several years and limited our ability to adequately fund several priorities,” said Superintendent Martirano. “Eliminating the deficit became an immediate top priority for me and Board of Education members. Today truly is a momentous day as we can celebrate that our commitment and collaboration has finally addressed this deficit and that the Howard County Public School System will not be hampered by this looming deficit year after year. It is our responsibility and the responsibility of all future leaders in our county to ensure that our employee health care costs are fully funded.“

Read more in this HCPSS press release.

IMPORTANT: Changes to dialing on HCPSS landline phones

Published on
Wed, 06/30/2021 - 4:45 PM

HCPSS has completed the upgrade of its old phone system to a new phone system. This impacts the way staff at all HCPSS schools and offices call each other.

All internal extensions are now five digits instead of four to allow for additional phone lines.
You may continue to use ten-digit numbers to call HCPSS phone numbers.

Below are instructions for how to dial locations and staff across the district.

Central Office staff at the Board of Education, ARL, Mendenhall, Berger Road, Ridge Road, Gerwig Lane, and Old Cedar Lane -

  • Dial “3” plus the last four digits of an individual’s or office’s ten digit number.
    • Example: Dial 35555 or 410-313-5555
  • To call Ascend One, dial the full ten-digit number 410-313-7017.

A school’s main number -

  • Dial “8” plus the last four digits of the main number.
    • Example: Dial 87081 or 410-313-7081 for the Homewood Center

School staff or offices with direct dial lines, including principals and health rooms (410-313-xxxx or 410-880-xxxx) -

  • Dial the individual’s or office’s ten-digit number.
  • If this is a number you call frequently, ask for the internal five-digit extension* and use that number to call them in the future.

*The ten-digit number is different from the internal five-digit extension.

School staff with internal extensions only* including classrooms, media centers, custodial offices, and other locations inside the building
*Each front office maintains the internal directory listing for their location.

  • Dial the main number of the school to be transferred.
  • If this is a number you call frequently, ask for the internal five-digit extension and use that number to call them in the future.

Information about this project can be found on the Technology Resources community in Canvas. If you have any questions or need help, contact Technology Support at or (410) 313-7004 option 4.

Staff Hub Updates Postponed to July 19

Published on
Tue, 06/29/2021 - 1:30 PM

In order to give staff additional time to move communities and/or documents out of the Staff Hub/Hub Docs (Alfresco), the update of the Staff Hub has been postponed to Monday, July 19.

As a reminder, due to critical updates that must be made to the Staff Hub, the Hub will be changing, including:

  • New look and feel
  • Discontinuation of all Hub Communities
  • Discontinuation of Hub Docs (Alfresco)
  • Discontinuation of Marketplace

The functions most commonly used will not be impacted. The Staff Hub homepage will be redesigned and employees will continue to be able to use it to navigate to websites, applications and self-service locations.

Staff who administer communities in the Hub and/or who have documents in Hub Docs will need to move to another platform, such as Canvas, Google Drive and/or Office 365 no later than July 18.

Questions may be directed to

July/August Pre-Retirement Webinars

Published on
Tue, 06/22/2021 - 9:41 AM

HCPSS employees planning to retire under the Maryland State Retirement and Pension System within the next eight years and their spouses are invited to attend an upcoming virtual information session, hosted by the Community College of Baltimore County. The session will include information on the Maryland State Pension, legal issues, Social Security benefits and financial planning.

Staff who wish to participate must register online at Upon completion of registration, users will receive a link and instructions on participating.

Webinars run from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. on:

  • July 7
  • July 20
  • August 3

Questions may be emailed to Sarah Moore at

The registration link is also accessible on the Maryland State Retirement Agency website, where that agency also offers 1-hour Maryland State Retirement and Pension system webinars.

Summer Reminders and Tips from Technology Support

Published on
Thu, 06/10/2021 - 2:31 PM

As the school year comes to a close, Technology Support has a few summer reminders and tips for 10- and 11-month staff.

  • If issues arise with your HCPSS-issued technology over the summer, call 410-313-7004 or email
  • Keep your computer charged to avoid any date/time issues.
  • Staff assigned Apple computers who have a name change completed by Human Resources should contact Technology Support prior to, or at the start of the 2021-2022 school year to arrange a time to update their name on their computer. Due to call volume at the start of the school year, name updates may be delayed.
  • Store your assigned computer in its protective case, and take appropriate precautions to prevent damage, loss or theft.
  • If you haven't already, backup important files on your assigned computer to protect yourself from a file disaster.

Staff who are not returning for the next school year and temporary employees who were assigned technology devices can return the equipment to their school location or a Technology Support Center.

We hope you have a relaxing and rejuvenating summer, and look forward to partnering with you again in the new school year. If you have any questions, please contact Technology Support at 410-313-7004 or

Reminder! Summer Prep for Printers

Published on
Wed, 06/09/2021 - 2:01 PM

As a reminder, please keep all printers powered on and connected to the network this summer while staff work to complete the transition to the Managed Print Services Program. This is the first full summer of the new printer project and we will use this opportunity to gather important info from printers, make adjustments and move the printers to the new secure printer network. We are only able to access the printers to complete this work if they are turned on and connected to the network. This work will ensure the printers work as efficiently as possible in the years to come. 

Please email with any questions.

Planning Ahead - Summer Prep for Printers

Published on
Tue, 05/25/2021 - 10:53 AM

Staff should plan ahead that desktop printers and Sharp MFDs should remain turned on during the summer. Keeping them plugged in and powered on allows real-time monitoring software to provide accurate information. In addition, printers should remain connected to the network port at all times.

Please email if you plan to move a printer to a different location in your building.