HCPS 411 Update

#TBT to Superintendent Bulson's Back to School Kick-Off Event

Take a moment to relive the excitement of our Back to School Kick-Off on August 23 by watching the fun video mash-up of the event linked below!

2019 Superintendent Staff Kick-Off Event

Shout Out to Bakerfield Elementary School!

What a way to kick off the 2019-2020 school year! Thank you to Bakerfield Elementary School staff, students, parents and guardians, guests, and sponsors for making the Million Father March a huge success!
2019 First Day - Bakerfield Elementary School Million Father March

Spotlight on Customer Service

  • Kudos to Kim Sullivan, administrative support specialist in the Office of Communications and Family Outreach, for demonstrating excellent customer service to all stakeholders each day! #hcpscustomerservice
  • Many thanks to Angela Herman, administrative support assistant at Joppatowne Elementary School, for her excellent customer service and warm welcome to her school! #hcpscustomerservice

Report Financial Fraud, Waste, and Abuse

The Board of Education of Harford County encourages any concerned individual to report financial fraud, waste, or abuse. Financial fraud consists of ways by which HCPS employees or vendors use their employment status or vendor relationship to take funds for themselves or others at the expense of HCPS. Financial waste or abuse of financial resources includes ways that HCPS employees or vendors improperly, carelessly, or excessively spend, consume, mismanage, or misuse HCPS resources. Waste also includes spending unnecessarily as a result of inefficient or ineffective practices.

If you are aware of misuse of HCPS resources, please call the Fraud Hotline at 410-809-6056. You can also fill out the Fraud, Waste or Abuse Reporting Form and submit via email to Laura.Tucholski@hcps.org, or send directly to the Office of the Internal Audit, located in the A.A. Roberty Building. Please note all reports are kept confidential.

Questions regarding this information should be directed to Laura Tucholski, in the Office of Internal Audit, at Laura.Tucholski@hcps.org or x5297.

Get Psyched!

Click the image below to read the full September issue of the Get Psyched! newsletter.

Professional Development Announcements

  • Continuing Professional Development Course – Brain-Based Practices for the Success of All Students: There are seats available for the next offering of this course, which begins September 19. Brain-Based Best Practices for the Success of All Students is a 2 MSDE credit course that is designed as an introduction to what top brain researchers have found to be the best brain-based practices for classroom management and stunted success. Participants will learn strategies for minimizing student and teacher stress; cultivating positive attitudes, behaviors, and skills within students; and maximizing student motivation and attention. Time for application of the strategies to each participant’s particular students/student population will be a focus of each session. Additional details can be found in the Summer/Fall 2019 CPD Course Catalog, and registration is done through HECTOR. If you have any questions regarding CPD courses, please contact Lori Gohlinghorst at Lori.Gohlinghorst@hcps.org or call the Professional Development Office at 410-273-5621.

  • Online Learning Courses – MSDE CPD Courses through Thinkport: Several online CPD courses offered by Thinkport have openings. Earn 1 to 3 MSDE CPD credits through these facilitated online courses. Register soon, fall sessions start October 16 and late fall sessions start November 6. Please see Thinkport’s list of MSDE CPD courses here.

  • HCPS Book Studies: Schools and departments have expressed interest in offering book studies for their teachers. MSDE credits for book studies go through the Professional Development Center. School administrators wishing to structure this opportunity should contact Lori Gohlinghorst at Lori.Gohlinghorst@hcps.org for more information. It is advised that the book study be set in HECTOR prior to facilitating course.

  • M.S. Cohort at the TUNE Center: Towson University is offering the Transformational Education Leadership with Administrator 1 Certification and Instructional Technology Concentration Program. The cohort begins October 22 and runs through summer of 2022. Twelve credits are offered each year. Educators with at least three years of teaching experience are urged to apply. Please see the flier for additional details.

  • Walden University Virtual Open House: Walden University invites HCPS employees to take part in its Back-to-School Virtual Open House. Through the special online event, you can learn about Walden’s degree and certificate programs, access professional development webinars, participate in social change initiatives, and more! To learn more about Walden University and exclusive tuition reductions for HCPS employees visit WaldenU.edu/Harford. To register for the virtual open house, visit WaldenU.edu/openhouse.

Important! Paystub Review Requested

All participants of Harford County Public Schools health, dental, life, or flexible spending program should review their paystub in Employee Self Service (ESS) to verify deductions match your requested plan and coverage level. Review the “Current amt” column on your paystub. Employees may review their benefit elections in Benelogic at https://hcps.benelogic.com.

All employees should see a deduction for “Retirement/Pension” in the “Current amt” column on their paystub. The only exception is for rehired retirees.

Any employee missing a deduction or with an incorrect deduction amount should contact the Benefits Office at (410) 588-5275 no later than Thursday, September 26.

For your reference:

  1. Retirement/Pension and 403B/457 plan deductions are taken every pay period (26 pays for 12-month employees, and 22 pays for 10-month employees).
  2. Health, dental, life, and flexible spending plan deductions are taken the first and second pay period of the month (24 pays for 12-month employees and 20 pays for 10-month employees).
  3. For Fiscal Year 2020 the months of November & May have a third pay in which deductions will not be taken for health, dental, life or flexible spending.

For a copy of the current Insurance Rate Chart, please refer to your HCPS Benefits Enrollment Guide (pages 5 and 6). This guide is available on SharePoint/Human Resources/Benefits/Forms & Information, or by clicking here.

Thinking Ahead to Retirement?

  • Pre-Retirement Planning Seminar will be held October 5, 2019. The HCPS retirement coordinators, via the Maryland State Retirement Agency and the Community College of Baltimore County, announce a FREE, one-day seminar for HCPS employees and spouses. To register, please contact the Benefits Office at (410) 588-5275 as seating is limited. Deadline for registration is Friday, September 27. This seminar provides vital retirement information to all members who are approaching retirement, whether it is normal service or early retirement. Discussion topics include: planning for retirement, social security benefits, financial planning, state retirement pension benefits, and legal considerations. If you are within eight years of being eligible to retire, this seminar is for you! Registration is open to all HCPS employees who have not attended this seminar in the last four years.

Date: October 5, 2019

Location: Harford Glen Outdoor Education Center, Dining Hall

Time: 8:30 a.m. - 1:45 p.m. (30-minute lunch break)

Brown bag lunch is recommended.

  • Pre-Retirement Webinars: The State Retirement Agency hosts pre-retirement webinars every month. If you are unable to attend the October 5 session, you may want to register for one of the webinars by clicking here. These webinars provide a general overview of Maryland State Retirement and Pension System (MSRPS) benefits, including a general description of retirement eligibility and benefits provided by the MSRPS. Questions? Please contact State Retirement Agency Member Services at 410-625-5555 / 800-492-5909 or sra@sra.state.md.us.

  • Fall into good habits with a positive step toward your future! See the attached flier for a to-do list to help you prepare for retirement. The earlier that you start saving, the more you will have to enjoy your retirement. Check out www.LincolnFinancial.com/Retirement or talk to a plan representative listed on the flier.

Address Verification for MD State Retirement System

Please verify that the address shown on your 9/6/19 pay stub is your current address. If the address is incorrect, log into Employee Self Service (ESS) and update your address (click on 'Life Events' and then 'Move'). Please note, to access ESS, you must be logged onto an HCPS computer/HCPS network. Also, the format for username is now your network username followed by “@hcps.org,” for example, johsmith@hcps.org. See the DSS/ESS Instructions for all you can do in DSS/ESS.

For questions regarding this information, please contact Mary Folus at Mary.Folus@hcps.org or 410-588-5241.

HCPS Support Services Superstar Awards Program - Nominate Someone Today!

Nominations for the Support Services Superstar Award are being accepted from now until September 30, 2019. APG Federal Credit Union (APGFCU) is the proud sponsor of the HCPS Support Services Superstar Awards program. All HCPS regular support staff employees are eligible for the award. Program information and nomination forms may be downloaded at www.hcps.org, or by clicking here. Questions regarding this information should be directed to Jean Mantegna, in Human Resources, at Jean.Mantegna@hcps.org or x5226.

Towson University Study: Opportunity to Earn $250

Are you excited about teaching engineering to your students? Are you a full-time classroom teacher or special educator working in an elementary school in HCPS? Are you curious about what it would be like to teach student avatars? If you answered “yes” to all of these questions, then Towson University (TU) and the Educational Testing Service, need your help in contributing to their research project on how teachers with expertise in teaching science and engineering to elementary students conduct engineering discussions. Compensation is $250 for about 3.25-4.25 hours of participation time. Research takes place at the TU in Northeastern Maryland (TUNE) building on the Harford Community College Campus on Friday, October 11 (afternoon/evening) and Saturday, October 12 (morning/afternoon). Participation is voluntary, and there is no penalty for choosing not to participate. Click here to see the complete recruitment flyer. In it is a link to the Consent and Application survey, which is due September 13, 2019, and will take about an hour to complete. To access this Consent and Application survey directly, click here. For more information, contact the Principal Investigator of the study, Dr. Pamela Lottero-Perdue, professor of Science and Engineering Education at plottero@towson.edu.

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.