HCPS 411 Update

June 18, 2020

Summer Leadership Opportunities For Teachers

This summer, Harford County is fortunate to offer a range of professional learning and teaching opportunities which will afford teachers the ability to be innovative with their own classroom ideas, flexible scheduling, and compensation per the negotiated agreement. Interested teachers will find curriculum writing, teaching and tutoring, and professional learning regarding digital learning in the HCPS Leadership Opportunities for Educators catalogue. Additionally, there is a new opportunity for teachers that includes building the HCPS Instructional Repository with selected curricular lessons and unit plans created by you, the classroom experts.

Student Handbook Brief For Student Planners

For schools that include the HCPS Student Handbook Brief in their student planners, the updated 2020-2021 insert is now available. Click here to download the PDF. The PDF version of the Brief can also be found under the ‘Communications Links’ section of the Communications SharePoint page. Questions regarding this information should be directed to Stephanie.Wall@hcps.org.

Address Verification

Verify the address shown on your 06/12/2020 pay stub is your current address. If the address is incorrect, please update your address by one of the following methods:

  • If you have an HCPS laptop at home and see the LAWSON Employee Self Service tile on your homepage, log into Employee Self Service (ESS) and update your address (select 'Life Events' and then 'Move'). The format for username is 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.
  • If you have do not have an HCPS laptop at home or do not see the LAWSON Employee Self Service tile on your homepage, please complete the Change of Address Form and email it to Leah Hebert at leah.hebert@hcps.org.

Unless you update your address prior to noon on Tuesday, June 23, the address shown on your 06/12/2020 pay stub will be what the Maryland State Retirement System uses for your annual Personal Statement of Benefits.

Additionally, if you are separating/retiring and move prior to Friday, January 15, 2021, please complete the Change of Address Form and email it to Leah Hebert (leah.hebert@hcps.org) so your 2020 W2 will reflect your current address and reach you timely.

For questions regarding this information, please contact Leah Hebert at leah.hebert@hcps.org or 410-588-5225, or Mary Folus at mary.folus@hcps.org or 410-588-5241.

A Message From The Harford County Health Department

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Seeking New Investment Committee Member

The Investment Committee is seeking a new member to fill a vacant slot. The committee typically meets at the A.A. Roberty Building from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. two times per year, with additional meetings as needed. The last meeting was held virtually, and that format will be considered for the fall. All HCPS employees are eligible to serve on the committee as long as they are active participants in either one or both of the 403b or 457b plans.

The Committee has the authority, duty and responsibility to:

1.) Select the funding vehicles available under the Plans.

2.) Monitor and evaluate the performance of the funding vehicles and the Plans’ investment line-up.

3.) Remove and replace funding vehicles available under the Plan.

4.) Retain an advisor to assist the Committee in the exercise of its authority, duty, and responsibilities.

Please contact Deborah Judd, Assistant Superintendent for Business Services, if you are interested in serving on this committee or have questions regarding this information: Deborah.Judd@hcps.org or x5321.

Live Wellness Webinars for HCPS Employees


HCPS is pleased to be able to offer live wellness webinars through CareFirst throughout June. These programs will be available to ALL HCPS employees and are made possible using Wellness Funds from our CareFirst contract.

What Stress and Diet Have in Common

Learn how stress plays a part in your health status; contributes to inflammation and weight gain. Hormones released during constant stress could be behind your weight gain or prevent you from losing weight. Cortisol is one hormone that has many jobs including maintaining blood pressure and carbohydrate metabolism. During times of stress cortisol stays elevated causing an impact on weight gain. Stress, inflammation, and diet play together and could be helping us hold on to that unwanted weight.

Session Date: June 25, 2020

Time: 12:00 - 1:00 p.m.

Participation Link: http://bhsonline.adobeconnect.com/r82rlfpur1tt/

To Listen by Phone: 800-689-9374, Passcode: 819182

A Healthy Tummy Makes a Happy Brain: Gut Health 101

The microbiome is the bacterial ecosystem in your gut that helps you digest food. Scientists today have found that gut health is directly linked to brain health. In this session, you will learn how to nurture a healthy microbiome through simple self-care techniques. You will also learn the foods that will make your stomach feel great, improve your mood, and help your brain work at its best.

Session Date: June 29, 2020

Time: 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Participation Link: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1973743626172150796

Important Healthcare Flexible Spending Account Announcement

Changes are in effect for the 2020 calendar year only.

As part of the CARES Act, which was enacted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the IRS has enacted numerous changes to current laws governing the Healthcare and Dependent Care Flexible Spending Accounts. The following information below is to notify you of the changes that have been implemented:

Over-The-Counter Medications Covered

Participants of the health care Flexible Spending Account (FSA) may now use account funds to pay for over-the-counter medications. Medications like Tylenol®, Zyrtec®, and more will now be available for purchase with your FSA monies without a prescription. The CARES Act temporarily reverses the provision that required FSA users to obtain a prescription for over-the-counter medicines, retroactively back to purchases between the period of January 2020 and December 31, 2020.

If you have receipts for over-the-counter medications that you have purchased since January 2020, you may submit those for reimbursement from your health care FSA account by completing the Medical Reimbursement Claim Form, which can be found here.

Spend Down Period Extended

The IRS has released guidelines that extend the timeline for FSA participants to spend down all 2019–2020 remaining funds in their Healthcare and or Dependent Care accounts until December 31, 2020.

Mid-Year Election Changes

As a result of the recent IRS notice, you may make changes to your plan on a prospective basis, even if you previously declined coverage. You may enroll in, revoice, decrease, or increase your Healthcare and or Dependent Care FSA election. However, it is essential to remember that Healthcare FSA is a pre-funded account. You may not decrease your election below what has been withheld from your paycheck so far for the current plan year (2020 – 2021), or less than what has already been spent – whichever is greater.

If you have questions, please contact the Benefits Office at benefits@hcps.org.

Access To itslearning Academic Courses Over The Summer

Students will remain enrolled in current 2019-2020 academic courses until August 3, 2020. On August 3, all 2019-2020 academic courses will be archived, and students will be removed from these courses. Teachers have access to archived courses. Contact instructionaltech@hcps.org with any questions.

Shout Out!

"Shout Out to Shannon Hagan! I was completely amazed at how adaptive HR has become in the interview process during the COVID-19 pandemic. The remote interview process was fluid and efficient, and I did not notice a drop in quality from the live interview process. Kudos to her and the HR team for their efforts in this transition!"

-Jack Getz, Programmer/Analyst III, Office of Technology

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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.