Getting Ready for 2023-2024: Communications & Technology
August 9th, 2023
Throughout the next few weeks, we will share a series of Getting Ready for 2023-2024 emails on various topics, including back-to-school basics, new and important items, and more. Please see below for details on school and districtwide communications.
Previous back to school messages can be found online. Additional information related to the 2023-2024 school year also can be found online.
District & School Communications
In emergency situations (including inclement weather), information will be shared with the community through the HCPSS website, email and text, Twitter and the HCPSS weather hotline.
Parents/guardians can visit the HCPSS websites for details on school system programs and initiatives, news and information, and answers to frequently asked questions. Those sites can be found directly at:
- HCPSS website, www.hcpss.org
- 2023-2024 School Year, https://www.hcpss.org/2023-2024/
- HCPSS News site, https://news.hcpss.org/
- HCPSS Help site, https://help.hcpss.org/
Families can find information specific to their children’s schools by visiting school websites. Links to all school sites can be found online.
HCPSS also has active accounts on Twitter and Instagram. Additionally, many of our schools use social media to communicate to, and engage with their communities. Check with your school for details.
HCPSS News email and text alerts keep families up-to-date on news and events, and deliver real-time notices of emergency closings and information. In addition to emergency notifications, during the school year HCPSS sends a weekly message to families with timely information. All HCPSS News subscriptions are generated from the information provided in Family File and have been automatically updated for the 2023-2024 school year. Parents/guardians new to the system are automatically enrolled for email notification. All users must opt in to text alerts one time.
Please note! Unsubscribing from any school or district email or text will unsubscribe a user from all messaging, including emergency notifications.
The free HCPSS mobile app delivers HCPSS system and school news, upcoming events, information on the Board of Education, and direct connections to all system social media resources.
Board of Education Communications
Information regarding the Howard County Board of Education can be found online, including upcoming regular meetings, a link to the full meeting schedule, Board member details, and more.
Contact the Board Office by calling 410-313-7194 or emailing email@example.com. Contact information for Board of Education members can be found online.
Complete information on HCPSS technology can be found online, including details on:
HCPSS utilizes the Canvas online learning management system to access and manage online course learning materials, grades and more. Canvas is available to families online and via mobile app. Orientation videos for each school level, as well as guides for students and parents are available online.
Connect / Synergy
HCPSS Connect provides access to a variety of student information and classroom instructional tools offering personalized communication and timely, relevant and easily accessible information relating to your student. Parents/guardians may log in via HCPSS Connect to access and update Family File, access student attendance records, view report cards and more.
HCPSS Student Devices
The current HCPSS device deployment implementation plan is:
- Pre-K-5: Students will share devices that will be kept at school. Students who have a device identified as a supplementary aid as designated in an IEP or 504 Plan will continue to have a device assigned to them.
- 6-12: All students have or will receive an HCPSS-issued device to bring back-and-forth from home to school each day.
Families should review device responsibilities to learn about how to care for devices and their responsibilities should a device become lost, stolen or damaged while in their care. Additional information will be provided by your child’s school.
Technology Accounts for New Students
Beginning Friday, Aug. 11, families with students new to HCPSS and whose registration has been finalized will begin to receive emails from firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject “Technology account information for new HCPSS student.” The communication will be sent to the parent/guardian email address used during the student registration process and contains personalized and important information regarding new students’ technology accounts.
If you have a child new to HCPSS and do not receive the email and/or cannot locate the email in the junk/spam folder of the email account you used during registration, you can use the Forgot Password or Username button on the hcpss.me student landing page to retrieve both your child’s username and password. Directions for Account Self Service are posted online.
Families are reminded that students must abide by Board of Education Policy 8080 Responsible Use of Technology, Digital Tools, and Social Media, and specifically Standard E. Student Use-Technology, which states that “HCPSS permits students to bring personal technology devices to school, according to the following rules:
- Elementary Schools – Students will keep personal technology devices in backpacks during the school day, unless otherwise authorized by school administrators or instructional staff.
- Middle Schools – Students:
- Students will not use personal technology devices during non-instructional time, to include but not limited to transition between classes, lunch, recess, or in bathrooms.
- A school administrator may, on occasion, authorize the use of personal technology devices for special events and/or for positive behavioral supports and interventions.
- High Schools – Students:
- May only use personal technology devices during classroom instruction when allowed by instructional staff; and
- May use personal technology devices during non-instructional time (transitions between classes, lunch or special events), unless prohibited by school administrators or instructional staff.”
Policy 8080 helps ensure the personal use of devices does not distract students during instruction, or used to harm students or staff in any way. The policy is to be followed consistently across all schools.