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Employee Well-Being

As a people‑centered organization, HCPSS values every student, employee and community member. HCPSS strives to provide staff with an organizational culture and climate that is supportive, safe and healthy. Staff have many resources and programming available to them to support their mental health and well-being.

Whenever I visit a school or office, I see fresh examples of how deeply HCPSS employees care about the well-being of students and each other. Your selfless commitment makes our school system a very special place to work and learn. It’s important that you make your own well-being a priority as well.
Dr. Michael Martirano, HCPSS Superintendent

Employee Well-Being logo.

Thumbnail of Employee Well-Being Canvas page.

Employee Well-Being Canvas Community

HCPSS staff are invited to visit and join the HCPSS Employee Well-Being Canvas Community to view wellness and mental health resources and information. (Employee login required)

Employee Well-Being Programs

Counseling and Support Services Program

HCPSS employees have access to free, professional and confidential counseling and support services to manage their needs. Access this program to get connected to resources to help improve your finances, schedule counseling sessions, develop strategies for navigating stress, and much more.

Employees and family members can receive up to six free counseling sessions (including assessment, follow-up and referral services) per person, per episode, per year. Visit Canvas for more information.

Staff Dietitian

The HCPSS registered dietitian is available to speak with staff members one-on-one to provide food and nutrition information and assist staff with improving their nutrition-related matters. Contact the registered dietitian to schedule an appointment.

Well-Being Work Groups

Staff are invited to participate in different well-being work groups. The work groups help curate resources for staff to support them on the continuum of mental health, identify well-being supports to help leaders manage their own well-being; and much more. If you are interested in participating, please contact the well-being work group chair for more information.

Well-Being Representative

The well-being representative plays a key role in each school or division by raising awareness about the importance of taking care of one’s well-being and sharing resources and programming to support one’s mental, emotional and physical health. The representative understands the value of creating a workplace culture and climate that is supportive and nurturing, and wants to encourage others to contribute to a healthy and safe environment.

Employee Well-Being Funding Program

HCPSS employees have the opportunity to participate in well-being activities that are funded through this program. This opportunity is made possible through our partnership with CareFirst and AETNA. Both providers support health and wellness initiatives. Learn more about the funding program.

A yoga class.

As a member of HCPSS staff, you are entrusted with a profound and precious responsibility: the care and education of our 58,000 students. As you devote your time to nurturing those around you, please remember to make time to practice mindfulness and nurture yourself. Dr. Michael Martirano, HCPSS Superintendent

Staff Recognitions

There are several ways HCPSS recognizes and celebrates deserving staff. Visit the Communications page on Canvas to learn more about staff recognition opportunities.

Peer to Peer Certificates: Recognize a fellow staff member by using this simple form to share your appreciation for their efforts. Once you complete the form, a digital certificate is generated automatically and emailed directly to their inbox.

Random Acts of Celebration: HCPSS leaders visit schools to surprise deserving staff by presenting a certificate, and sharing a few words from the nominator’s submission. These visits occur as needed throughout the school year. You can use this form to nominate staff any time.

Oakland Mills cluster random act of celebration.

Board Recognitions: You can use this form to let us know if you or any of your colleagues receive state or national accolades, so they can receive recognition from Dr. Martirano at a future Board of Education meeting.

Work Hard Be Kind Award: Recipients are those who go above and beyond to embody kindness while consistently doing their best work. All staff are welcome to submit a nomination. Awardees are celebrated at the Bright Minds Foundation Night of Honor event. (This event was put on hold during the pandemic.)

Group in an auditorium celebrates outstanding HCPSS alumni and staff.

HCPSS Staff Excellence Award: One individual is selected from each school and central office division by their respective supervisor (e.g. school administrator, division chief). Recipients are celebrated at the Bright Minds Foundation Night of Honor event. (This event was put on hold during the pandemic.)

Staff Focus: Staff engagement is a prerequisite to student engagement and HCPSS fosters a culture that brings out the best in our employees. Staff from schools and offices are highlighted throughout the year in this feature.

Allison Whitney - Staff Focus.

Principal of the Year and Teachers of the Year: Each year, HCPSS announces its winners for Principal of the Year and Teachers of the Year. The Principal of the Year Award seeks to recognize one’s ability to demonstrate highly effective leadership that fosters cooperation and dialogue between the school and community, maintain an exemplary commitment to instructional practices, and display continuous caring for student and staff well-being. The Teacher of the Year Award seeks to recognize excellence in teaching, to encourage creative and quality instruction, and to contribute in a substantive way to the improvement of education.

 →Learn more about the HCPSS 2021 Principal and Teachers of the Year

Howard County Public School Principal Named Washington Post 2021 Principal of the Year

photo of Deep Run Elementary School principal Denise Lancaster with text: Congratulations! Deep Run ES Denise Lancaster. Washington Post Principal of the Year

Additional Recognitions: HCPSS regularly recognizes staff for various achievements and accomplishments on its website and via social media. Some examples include:

Professional Development

HCPSS is committed to providing ongoing professional learning and growth for staff. Visit the following Canvas communities to learn more about your options:

staff at ESP conference in August 2019

Employee Resources

Staff Help Site

HCPSS provides answers to frequently asked questions impacting school system employees.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Initiatives

Higher levels of staff diversity lead to diverse viewpoints and perspectives, which add value to all school communities. HCPSS has worked to advance equity and embrace diversity and inclusion into every major undertaking.

Policies

HCPSS policies and implementation procedures reflect the importance of staff well-being. Policies cover basic commitments, support services, human resources, and school and community involvement including additional categories.

Community News & Programs

Access the searchable listing of community notices that feature programs and events that may be of interest to you as a staff member.