News

Payroll Update for 10-Month Employees

The salary payment option update timeframe will be June 1–July 31. This annual opportunity allows 10-month employees who would like to change their current election to select either a 10-month or 12-month salary option for the upcoming school year. Eligible employees will receive a Workday notification to perform the update.

Please note:

  • If you wish to continue your current pay option, no action will be required.
  • If you wish to change your current pay option, the salary payment option election must be completed no later than July 31. Please note that Workday will be updated with your new pay option no sooner than Aug. 14.

If you are not sure of your current pay option, please follow these directions:

  1. Log into Workday
  2. Select your profile picture at the far right and then select view profile
  3. Select Job from the left side blue navigation menu
  4. Select the Organizations tab at the top
  5. Your current pay option displays in the first line 

Provide Feedback on HCPSS Inclement Weather Asynchronous Instruction Plan by May 24, 2024

As it has for the last several years, the Maryland State Department of Education will allow local school systems to use inclement weather days as asynchronous school days for the 2024-2025 school year. If approved by the Board of Education, HCPSS will repurpose up to three inclement weather days as asynchronous instruction days. More information for staff will be provided if/when the board passes the HCPSS plan.

! Call to Action ! Provide feedback on the HCPSS Inclement Weather Asynchronous Instruction Plan by emailing InclementWeatherPlan@hcpss.org or completing a brief online survey through Friday, May 24.

Please note, MSDE now requires a district to use the entirety of its allotted makeup days prior to inclement weather asynchronous instruction days. The HCPSS 2024-2025 academic calendar includes five inclement weather makeup days, so HCPSS must close schools for five (non- or consecutive) days for inclement weather prior to using the asynchronous option.

Details on the HCPSS plan are available online. 

Supplemental Digital Tools Approval Process

  • Any desired supplemental digital tools that are not currently on the approved/not approved tools list should be submitted using the new Digital Tools Request form found in the Service Request (SR) System by May 30. 

    Additional Information: A digital tool is an interactive website, application including Google services, or software that requires an account with a username and password. HCPSS categorizes digital tools as Supplementary or Essential.  

    More information, including currently approved tools, can be found on the HCPSS Digital Tools public website and the Digital Tools Canvas community. If, after reviewing the information, you have questions regarding the approval process for digital tools, please email Julie Wray.

    • When staff submit a request through the SR system, principals/supervisors will need to sign off. A supervisor might deny a request because the tool is not instructionally appropriate or requires a purchase that is not within the school’s budget. 
    • Following supervisor approval, the tool is reviewed for data privacy, accessibility, technology, and curriculum standards.
    • Throughout the workflow, the submitter will receive updated emails regarding the status of their submission.
    • Forms submitted after May 30 may not be approved for the start of the next school year and will be reviewed as time allows.  
    • Staff are reminded that P-cards cannot be used to purchase supplemental digital tools.
    • Supplementary Digital Tools: HCPSS authorizes digital tools to be used as supplementary (non-essential) enrichments to staff and students’ educational experiences. Parents have the right to opt their students out of these digital tools. Examples include Khan Academy, Kahoot, and Plickers.
    • Essential Digital Tools*: Essential Digital Tools are digital tools that HCPSS considers necessary to deliver educational programs and operational services that support the system's goals. Examples include, but are not limited to, those linked on the student landing page, hcpss.me.

      *School-based staff should not request essential digital tools. These are requested by curriculum staff. 

Reminder: Retirement Celebration Announcements

Staff are reminded that staff retirement celebration announcements can be found online. Users can find that link by going to the Staff Hub, scrolling down to Resources, and then selecting the Retirement Announcements link under Communications.

graphic with text stating Happy Retirement surrounded by blue, orange and red confetti

To have a celebration of HCPSS employees who are retiring AND that are open to anyone wishing to attend added to the site, email communications@hcpss.org with the following:

  • Who: Name of employee(s) being celebrated
  • When: Date and time
  • Where: Location, including address
  • Cost: If applicable
  • RSVP: If applicable, to whom and how

Celebrating HCPSS’ Principal and Teachers of the Year

HCPSS Acting Superintendent William J. Barnes on April 22 announced the recipients of the school system’s annual principal and teachers of the year award:

  • Principal of the Year: Dr. Joelle Miller, Centennial High School
  • Teacher of the Year: Jeanette Swank, Ellicott Mills Middle School
  • Teacher of the Year: Jessica Nichols, River Hill High School
(left to right) HCPSS’ Principal of the Year (Dr. Joelle Miller) and Teachers of the Year (Jessica Nichols and Jeanette Swank)

Each recipient was named during surprise visits at their respective schools, and will be recognized at an upcoming Howard County Board of Education meeting. The three also serve as the HCPSS nominees for Washington Post Principal of the Year, Washington Post Teacher of the Year (Swank) and Maryland State Department of Education Teacher of the Year (Nichols).

Read more about these outstanding staff members online.

Student Loan Assistance Program for Teachers

In accordance with Howard County Council Bill 14-2023, the Student Loan Assistance Program for Teachers employed by HCPSS was established. The purpose of the program is to attract, recruit and retain a diverse group of certificated teachers in the HCPSS by providing $225,000 this fiscal year for student loan repayment for eligible teachers.

Howard County will assist in the repayment of student loans for teachers meeting the eligibility criteria:

  • received a graduate, professional, or undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university. 
  • been employed with HCPSS full-time for 5 school years.
  • possesses a valid teaching certificate. 
  • not currently in default on any student loan. 
  • incurred at least $20K in student loan debt for any education loan used for undergraduate or graduate study obtained for tuition, educational expenses, or living expenses.
  • have a remaining balance of $5K or more on the student loan.

Apply online through May 13. (HCPSS Active Directory login required)

Repayment awards are not on a first come, first served basis. All applications completed and submitted by the due date will be considered.

The amount of money awarded to each applicant will be determined after the application window closes. Applicants will receive an email with the amount of their award in late May or early June 2024.

Should you require assistance, please email TeachersLoanAssistance@hcpss.org with your inquiry.

*For this program a teacher is defined as any employee whose job title is covered under the HCEA-Certificated Negotiated Agreement.

 

 

Updates to Summer Programs Hiring Announcement

Below are updates for the Summer 2024 compensation that was originally published on March 8, 2024. 

HCPSS staff are invited to submit their interest to work within one of the following HCPSS Summer Programs: 

  • Academic Intervention (AI) 
  • BSAP Summer Institute (BSAP) 
  • Cultural Exchange Program 
  • Extended School Year Summer School (ESY) 
  • Extended School Year RECC (ESY RECC) 
  • G/T Summer Institutes for Talent Development (GT) 
  • Innovative Pathways High School (IP) 
  • STARTALK Chinese Language 
  • Summer Camp Summer Math Scholars 

Summer 2024 Compensation: 

  • Current permanent HCPSS staff who are hired for any of the summer school programs listed above will be paid an hourly rate based on the activity for the hours they work before the first set-up day of the Summer Program. 
  • Current permanent HCPSS staff who are hired for any of the summer school programs listed above to serve in their regular school year position (as a teacher, substitute teacher, paraeducator, secretary, or liaison) will be paid an hourly rate for the hours they work, which is based on their current salary (per diem rate) excluding any stipends or supplements. 
  • Current permanent HCPSS staff in the ESP bargaining unit and hired in another ESP position other than their regular position, will be compensated at the grade of the position that they are working within. The staff member will be placed on the step they are currently on within that grade. 
  • Current HCPSS staff in the ESP bargaining unit that are hired into the HCEA certificated unit, will receive the hourly rate of a teacher on Step 4, Lane A of the certificated salary scale. 
  • Current HCPSS staff in the HCEA certificated unit working summer school in an ESP position will receive the hourly rate of the ESP position in which they are employed. The employee will be compensated at the last step of the grade of the position that they are hired into. 
  • Current permanent HCPSS staff who are hired for one or more of the summer school programs listed above that run 20 or more calendar days (including set-up days) will accrue a total of one (1) day of sick leave for working the entire program without missing any days of work. The accrued one (1) day of sick leave is not eligible for use during the Summer Program. 

Hiring Interest Surveys: 

To be considered for hiring, complete the Summer Programs Hiring Interest Survey for HCPSS Staff. Completion of the interest survey is NOT a formal offer of temporary employment. 

Qualified applicants who submitted their interest by March 22 will be screened first and then remaining open positions will be filled. Program staff will review the information and follow-up with references as needed. 

If you are interested in applying to MORE THAN ONE summer program, you will need to submit a SEPARATE form for each program. You will see a link to "Submit another response" after completing the survey. 

If you have any questions regarding the dates/times, locations, pay scale or completing the Summer Programs Hiring Interest Survey for HCPSS Staff (linked above), please contact the appropriate program lead listed in the survey. Thank you for your interest in working in HCPSS Summer Programs!

Class of 2024 Graduation Dates Set

The Howard County Public School System Class of 2024 graduation ceremony schedule is now available and listed below.

All ceremonies are scheduled to take place at Merriweather Post Pavilion, with the exception of Cedar Lane School, which will be held at that school. Graduations will be available for viewing live online and on-demand following each ceremony, and will be rebroadcast on the HCPSS local cable channel in Howard County (Comcast 95, Verizon 42).

The last day for all seniors will be Wednesday, May 22.

Additional graduation-related information is available online and will be updated as new information becomes available. Schools will communicate directly with families regarding tickets.

The schedule of graduation ceremonies is as follows:

Thursday, May 23

  • 10 a.m. - Cedar Lane School (at Cedar Lane)

Friday, May 24

  • 3 p.m. - Wilde Lake 

Tuesday, May 28

  • 11 a.m. - Glenelg
  • 3 p.m. - Atholton
  • 7 p.m. - Marriotts Ridge

Wednesday, May 29

  • 11 a.m. - River Hill
  • 3 p.m. - Centennial
  • 7 p.m. - Reservoir

Thursday, May 30

  • 11 a.m. - Long Reach
  • 3 p.m. - Hammond
  • 7 p.m. - Mt. Hebron

Friday, May 31

  • 11 a.m. - Howard
  • 3 p.m. - Oakland Mills

Recommendation: Check your Junk Mail Folder Regularly

Staff should be aware there is the potential for meaningful emails to be directed to staff members’ junk folders.  

Because email providers and their users are inundated with unsolicited email, providers use various strategies to try to help their users focus on the email that are important to them, and to block or sort malicious and/or unwanted correspondences. One effective strategy is an automation that sorts messages that have a high likelihood of being spam into a Junk or Spam folder.  At times, this automation may lead to meaningful emails to be directed to a junk folder. 

Recommendations: 

  • Check your Junk mail folder regularly.
  • Teach your account which emails are junk and which are relevant. Over time the algorithm used will be more in tune with your wishes. 

Please contact HCPSS Technology Support at techsupport@hcpss.org if you require technical assistance.

 

Watch for Bounce Back Email Messages

Staff emailing external recipients should be on the lookout for bounce back messages and seek alternative means of communications and/or try again later if bounce back messages are received. 

Staff are seeing an increased number of bounce back messages when emailing some external addresses that say “Delivery has failed to these recipients or groups: <email address>...Your message couldn't be delivered. Despite repeated attempts to contact the recipient's email system it didn't respond.”  Reports have shown that some yahoo.com and aol.com addresses have been impacted and there may be others. Microsoft has confirmed that a third-party anti-spam service is blocking a portion of Microsoft’s servers to protect organizations that use their services. Microsoft is working with the anti-spam service to rectify the issue. 

Please email HCPSS Technology Support at techsupport@hcpss.org if you require technical assistance.