HCPS 411 Update

May 7, 2020

Open Enrollment: May 11-22, 2020

Open enrollment is quickly approaching! This year, all employees will have the option to view the open enrollment presentation on the Human Resources page of the HCPS website to learn more about their benefits package. Your current health, dental, and life elections will carry over to the 2020 - 2021 benefit plan year unless you go in and make a change. If you currently carry the flexible spending benefit and want to do so again for the next benefit plan year, you will need to complete an active enrollment through your account at www.hcps.benelogic.com before 11:59 p.m. on Friday, May 22.

The 2020 - 2021 Benefit Reference Guide is now available on the HCPS website at https://www.hcps.org. Please take the time to review the guide now to be ready to make changes to your elections at www.hcps.benelogic.com, beginning on Monday, May 11.

To log into your account through Benelogic:

1. Using a computer with the internet, visit www.hcps.benelogic.com.

2. Enter your User ID, which is your HCPS 5 digit Employee ID number.

3. Enter your password. If you do not know your password, click on the “Forgot User ID/Password” link for further assistance.

4. Click the orange “Sign In” button.

5. To start your enrollment, click on the large green “GO” arrow.

6. Once you have reached the end, be sure to click the Submit button to finalize your enrollment.

7. Print a copy of the Enrollment Summary for your records.

Questions? Contact the Benefits Office by email at benefits@hcps.org.

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Carry-over of Accumulated Annual Leave

In a typical work year, more than 100 staff members forfeit annual leave that cannot be carried over into the next year. Currently, a much larger number of staff members have an annual leave balance that exceeds the amount permitted to be carried over into the next fiscal year. Taking annual leave provides an opportunity for staff to get much needed and uninterrupted down time in order to decompress from the stress of the work environment. Given that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused many staff members to cancel annual leave plans or to reschedule to a time in the future where shelter-in-place restrictions may be relaxed, the Superintendent has authorized additional carry-over of annual leave into the next fiscal year.

In addition to current labor contract provisions:

  • Up to five additional days of accumulated annual leave will be rolled into leave balances beginning July 1, 2020. For staff members represented by APSASHC and AHCATSP, the carry-over into annual leave will occur first, to be followed by contractual provisions for conversion to sick leave.
  • Any remaining balance of annual leave that is not eligible for carry-over will be converted to sick leave. There is no limitation on the number of sick leave days a staff member may accumulate.
  • Current practices and limitations remain in place for the payment of accumulated, unused annual and sick leave upon separation from employment.
  • Effective July 1, 2021, carry-over of accumulated annual leave will revert to the labor contract provisions.

Please refer to your pay stub or the electronic leave system to determine your leave balance. Questions regarding this process should be referred to Holly Flynn, Human Resources Time Accrual Specialist at Holly.Flynn@hcps.org.

Staff members are encouraged to use the added annual leave carry-over days by the end of this calendar year. Take the time that is available to you to ensure a healthy work/life balance.

A Special Video Message to Our Teachers

Our secondary administrators and directors put together a very special video message of thanks for our teachers in honor of Teacher Appreciation Week. Take a look!
HCPS Secondary Principals Teacher Appreciation Video

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Experience for Implementing Continuity of Learning Plan

The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) has approved a new Continuing Professional Development (CPD) experience for classroom teachers, specialists, administrators, and supervisors currently employed in a position in which they are required to hold a MSDE educators certificate. Educators may earn up to six (6) MSDE CPD credits for having implemented the HCPS Continuity of Learning Plan.

Please register through HECTOR by Monday, June 1, 2020. There will be no registration extensions. Registration does not guarantee credit. Please see here for registration instructions.

Participants will receive confirmation of credit(s) approved once course requirements have been reviewed and confirmed for approval.

Question or concerns should be sent via email to HCPSProfessionallearning@hcps.org.

Instructional Technology Webinars

The Instructional Technology Team is hosting a series of webinars to support teachers in their use of technology. A schedule can be found on the Instructional Technology Professional Development Calendar. Webinar titles are listed on the calendar, and by clicking on a title, you will see a description as well as the Teams link to join the webinar. Webinars will be recorded, and videos shared to the Instructional Technology Professional Development SharePoint Site.

Tuition Reimbursement Information

Reminder…tuition reimbursement requests, to include (1) the request form, (2) an official transcript, and (3) an itemized receipt showing payment method(s) and amount(s), must be submitted within 90 days of the course completion date.

Note: We are aware that some colleges and universities are not able to mail official hard copy transcripts due to the pandemic.

  • If you can obtain a hard copy official transcript:
    • Please submit the transcript along with the request form and itemized receipt showing payment/payment method via email (to include an image of the opened envelope), or
    • Submit all documents via regular USPS mail to the attention of Lisa Patterson in Human Resources-Benefits. Staff is checking mail received at Central Office once or twice a week.
  • If you are unable to get a hard copy official transcript:
    • Please request that an official electronic transcript be emailed to Christine Lambert (Christine.Lambert@hcps.org) in Certification.
    • Additionally, please email Lisa Patterson (1) the request form and (2) the itemized receipt showing payment/payment method and copy Ms. Lambert on the email so she is aware that reimbursement is pending.

ALL spring 2020 semester reimbursement requests received AFTER 5/15/20, will be reimbursed AFTER 7/15/20 on pay dates leading up to and including the first and second pay dates of the new school year. Employees will receive an email confirming the reimbursement date of their request once it is processed; please do not inquire as to whether the request was received. This processing timeline will apply to all staff including those not scheduled to work during the summer break.

For employees taking coursework through a direct bill partner, coursework will be billed directly to HCPS. Therefore, no paperwork is needed from the employee for the reimbursement as the partnering university/college will provide the required official transcript/grade report. Direct bill requests will also be processed sometime after 7/15/20.

*Courses completed prior to 7/1/20, will count towards the 7/1/19-6/30/20 fiscal year; courses completed on 7/1/20 or later will count towards the 7/1/20-6/30/21 fiscal year.

Please visit https://hcps365.sharepoint.com/sites/HumanResources/Benefits/tuition/default.aspx for additional tuition reimbursement information including reimbursement request forms, sample receipts, eligibility, and the reimbursement submission process. Questions regarding this information should be directed to Lisa Patterson, in Human Resources-Benefits, at Lisa.Patterson@hcps.org.

Adapted Physical Education Teacher Position

The Office of Physical Education and Health will be expanding their Itinerant Adapted Physical Education staff for the 2020-2021 school year. HCPS will be posting this position on the website Friday, May 8th. Any current HCPS certificated employee who has tenure and meets the qualifications as outlined in the job description is encouraged to apply. Adapted Physical Educational National Certification is preferred. The posting is limited to qualified internal HCPS employees at this time. Interested candidates must submit their application by 11:59 p.m. Monday, May 18 in order to be considered. Questions regarding this position should be directed to Shannon Hagan, Human Resources, at Shannon.Hagan@hcp.org.

Parent Academy Virtual Real Talk: Helping Our Middle School Students Learn and Thrive During the COVID-19 School Closure

During this virtual Parent Academy Real Talk segment, Ms. Laurie Namey, principal of Magnolia Middle School, shares suggestions and ideas for parents about how to help our middle school students learn and thrive during the COVID-19 school closure.

Parent Academy Virtual Real Talk: Supporting our Middle School Students During the COVID 19 Closure

Professional Development Announcements

Regional Training Center (RTC) Summer Course Offerings

RTC had to change their schedule and course format due to COVID-19. They added virtual classroom classes as their newest format, in some cases to replace the face-to-face classes that were on the schedule for this summer. They also added accelerated 4-week online classes, which they have in addition to 6 week online classes.

Please see announcement.

Click here for course schedule.

University of Phoenix

Please click here for the University of Phoenix's schedule of Continuing Education for Teachers courses for HCPS teachers and staff. Since summer is the busiest time of year, we suggest enrolling at least two weeks prior to the start date of class.

To start the registration process, and receive 10% reduction in tuition, please email Nicole.Berkebile@phoenix.edu the following information for student file:
Home address:
Primary email:
Course ID:
Start date:

Questions may be directed to Nicole.Berkebile@phoenix.edu or 480-290-4328.

HCPS Digital Learning Survey - Your Response Is Requested

HCPS has developed a survey to gather more information related to digital learning as we continue to work with our Board of Education and other members of our leadership team to determine the best way to increase our digital learning capacity and initiatives going into the next school year.

To better understand how we can serve our school community in this way, we are asking all students, parents/guardians, staff members, and community members to participate in a short online survey about digital learning during the school closure as a result of COVID-19. For our student population, the survey is open to those in grades 3-12. We encourage their participation and understand that some students - especially those in the younger grades - may want or need to take the survey with the assistance of a parent/guardian.

All information provided in survey responses will remain confidential by HCPS and will only be reported collectively.

We hope you will take this survey to provide us with valuable data that will help inform future decisions on digital learning; however, participation in the survey is voluntary and not mandatory.

To take the 3-5 minute survey now, click here. The survey link is also accessible from our website, hcps.org.

The survey closes at 11:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 12, 2020.

Baltimore Ravens: Poe's Pop Ins

In an effort to boost virtual classroom morale and provide a much-needed break from the current normal, the Baltimore Ravens created Poe’s Pop Ins! Their official mascot Poe will log in to your virtual classrooms for a quick visit. There is no charge for these virtual Pop Ins. The Baltimore Ravens simply want to offer some encouragement and a heartfelt thank you to our educational community during this time.

The sessions with Professor Poe are 5-minute appearances intended for Pre-K to 5th grade virtual classrooms. Below is a sample format and further details.

  • Individualized greeting from Poe with sign featuring the school, teacher, and\or grade level
  • Quick ice breaker game of Poe Says (like Simon Says but with Poe)
  • An interactive game with Poe
    • Grades Pre-school - kindergarten: Hide and seek with Poe hiding on camera
    • Grades 1st – 5th: Word game based on letters and spelling
  • Poe says goodbye with a message to stay home and stay safe

If you are interested in having Poe visit your virtual classroom, please submit a request HERE.

Once the Baltimore Ravens receive your request, they will reach out to schedule your Pop In with Professor Poe. You will receive a detailed email with the structure and planned activities for Poe’s visit, including a loose script for teachers to follow.

The Baltimore Ravens commend teachers’ hard work and dedication to learning during this time and hope Poe’s Pop Ins will provide a bit of Ravens excitement to their online class. If you have any questions outside of the request form, please direct them to our Mascots Program Manager at brandon.williams@ravens.nfl.net.

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Office of Communications and Family Outreach

Editor: Lindsay Bilodeau, communications specialist

To submit an HCPS Shout Out or recognize a colleague in the Spotlight on Customer Service, please email the information and photo (if available) to HCPS.411@hcps.org.