Anne Arundel
County Public SchoolsHuman Resources

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

General (applicable to all employees)
Applying for Employment
Dress Code
Evaluations/Job Performance
Fingerprinting
Hours
Leave of Absence
New Employee Processing
Pay Schedule
Personnel File
Training/Professional Growth & Development
Tuition Reimbursement

Job Categories
Hiring Times
Position Classifications
Tuition Reimbursement
Permanent Substitute

Application FAQs

Vacant Position
Applications Active
Search Agent

Substitute Teaching
Qualifications
Applying
Pay Rate
Training


New Teacher Applicants

Obtaining an Application
Application Status
Teaching Certificate
Interviews
Selected for a Teaching Position
Contract
Other Paper Work
Previous Employment Verification

Health Care Benefits
General
Open Enrollment
Life Style Change
Deductions
Pre-existing Conditions
Obtaining Duplicate cards
Spouse Coverage
Prescription Coverage
Locating Primary Care Provider Code
Parent Child Coverage
Age Limits for Dependents
Coverage Ends - Leaving AACPS
HIPAA

Other Benefits
Flexible Spending Accounts
Life Insurance
403(b)/457(b)
Voluntary Benefits
Long Term Care
Name/Address Changes
Retirement


General Questions

What are my work hours?  

Hours of work vary depending on the assignment and department.  When you are hired, your supervisor will advise you of your work hours and reporting time. 

What training opportunities are available for employees?

The Office of Staff Development offers courses throughout the year that are open to all employees.  Sample course offerings include computer education, library media, leadership and supervision, outdoor education and special topics for teachers.  In addition, several area colleges and universities offer credit classes through Staff Development at satellite locations in Anne Arundel County. Course catalogs are available throughout the school system. For a complete listing of course offerings through Staff Development, please go to Professional Growth & Development.

Are employees eligible for tuition reimbursement?  

Employees may be eligible for tuition reimbursement for courses taken which will improve their job performance or apply toward certification requirements.  Information concerning tuition reimbursement benefits can be obtained here.

When do I get paid?  

Payday occurs on a bi-weekly basis every other Wednesday.  Permanent 12-month employees are paid up-to-date with the exception of Unit III (AFSCME) employees whose pay is always two weeks behind.  New teachers are paid over 12 months (26 pays).  Teachers who are still paid over 10 months may elect to change their pay status each June.  Temporary workers and substitute teachers are paid two weeks behind.

Is there a dress code for Central Office employees?  

It is important that school system employees present themselves in a professional manner at all times.  All employees are expected to dress in professional business attire and exhibit good taste in grooming, clothing and hair style.  Extremes in attire and appearance should be avoided. Sports and social fashion are not appropriate office apparel.

Do I have to be fingerprinted even though I’ve been hired for a temporary position?  

All new employees of the school system are required to undergo a background investigation, regardless of their status as permanent employees with benefits or temporary/contractual workers.  Fingerprinting must be completed prior to an employee’s first day on the job.  The fee for fingerprinting is $61.07.

Does my supervisor evaluate my job performance?  

Generally, permanent employees receive their first performance appraisal after completing their probationary period.  The length of the probationary period varies depending on the employee’s bargaining unit.  Employees should refer to the agreements for their negotiating unit for the details which specifically relate to them.  Unit I members should refer to Administrative Regulation 801.08, and Unit II members should refer to Administrative Regulation 801.09.  The regulations may be viewed on this site under “Board Policies and Administrative Regulations.”

How do I arrange to view my personnel file?  

All employees have an official file that is maintained in the Division of Human Resources.  Access to an employee’s official personnel file is limited to the employee, the employee’s designated representative, administrative and supervisory personnel and Human Resources personnel.  All employees have the right to review their personnel file by making an appointment with the Division of Human Resources.  Requests for copies of a personnel file must be submitted in writing to the Division of Human Resources.  A copying fee will be charged.

What should I do if I need a leave of absence?  

Employees are entitled to leaves of absence of varying types and under varying conditions depending upon the employee group and the particular circumstances of the employee’s situation. Detailed information is provided in the negotiated agreements covering each employee group, and the forms for use in applying for leave are available on the AACPS website. A leave of absence is granted for reasons such as personal illness, maternity, care of an infant, and academic study. A leave of absence is requested and granted for an extended period of time (generally up to two years maximum) and is taken without pay. AACPS employees who need information concerning long term leave or FMLA are invited to contact Judy Dixon (if your last name begins with A-L) or Patrice Lambert (if your last name begins with M-Z), at 410-222-5090.

What do I have to do to sign up for a New Employee Processing Session? 

Once you have received an offer of employment, contact a Human Resources Technician at 410-222-5070 to reserve your place in a processing session. Sessions for both permanent and temporary employees are held Thursdays at 1:00 p.m.” Sessions for temporary employees only, are held Tuesdays at 10:00 a.m.

How can I apply for employment?  

You may apply online here.


Job Categories

When does the school system hire?  

AACPS accepts applications for new teachers and classified positions such as custodians, teacher assistants, food service and clerical positions during certain times of the year. For more information on when certain jobs are advertised, please click here ( http://www.aacps.org/humanresources/external.asp). Some positions are advertised when a specific vacancy exists and particular qualifications and experience are sought. Generally, these are central office based instructional positions or professional support positions in the areas of management, supervision or administration.

The following outlines some specific information concerning classified positions:

Clerical to be considered, you must take and pass a typing test at 40 wpm.  After applying, call the Human Resources clerk at 410-222-5070 to be scheduled for the test.  Typing tests are administered on the first and third Monday of the month at 1:00 and 3:00 p.m. at the Board of Education.  Clerical pay varies depending on the type of position.  Generally, entry level clerical employees are paid between $13.87-18.37 per hour based on experience.  Applicants are also encouraged to apply for temporary clerical positions which can occur more frequently than permanent positions. Temporary Clerical employees are paid at the minimum temporary pay rate for an entry level clerical employee which is $13.87 or the minimum pay grade for the specific job.

Teacher Assistant
-
positions require a high school diploma or GED.  AACPS prefers applicants to have at least 48 college credits. Teacher Assistants in Title I Grant-funded schools require all Teacher Assistants to have at least 48 college credits or a Passing score on the Para Pro Test which is administered by the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE). For more information on the Para Pro Test please visit the MSDE website. The pay scale for Teaching Assistants is as follows:

  • High School Diploma: $13.70 to $18.45/hour based on experience
  • H.S. + 30 college credits: $14.39 to $19.07/hour based on experience
Applicants should also consider applying for Temporary Teacher Assistant openings which generally occur more frequently than permanent positions. Temporary Teaching Assistants are paid $10.00 per hour and do not provide employee benefits.

  • Custodian - positions at the entry level do not require a high school diploma; however, a high school diploma or GED may be required for promotional opportunities. Applications are shared with the Operations Department who will contact qualified applicants as positions become available.

  • Maintenance -  positions often require specific skills or experience in a trade. Some maintenance positions may require an Apprentice, Journey level, or Masters License. Applicants are shared with the Maintenance Department who will contact qualified applicants as positions become available.

  • Health Aides -  hired through the Health Department.  Call 410-222-6838.

  • Bus Drivers -  and Bus Aides -  must possess a high school diploma or GED.  AACPS hires only Bus Aides and Special Education Bus Drivers.  All other bus drivers are hired by outside contractors.  If you are interested in becoming a Special Education Driver, please fill out a classified application form and the additional supplemental Bus Driver qualifications sheet which can be obtained by contacting Human Resources at 410-222-5061.  For information concerning how to become a bus driver through an outside contractor, please contact the Department of Transportation’s Waterford Lot @ 410-222-6965.

  • Lunch Recess Monitors -  Complete the online application process and contact the school where you are interested in working so they can advise you of any opportunities that are available.

What is a Permanent Substitute?  

Permanent substitutes are permanent employees with benefits who are assigned to one school for the purpose of filling in for teachers on leave. Permanent substitutes must have at least 60 college credits in order to qualify.


Application FAQs

How do I apply for a vacant position that is posted?  

Please click on the Apply Now button at the bottom of the vacancy listing and follow the steps provided to complete your application. 

How long does my application remain active?  

Applications for many classified positions remain active for one year from the month in which they were received.  Applicants may request that their application remain active for an additional year by contacting the Human Resources Clerk at 410-222-5070. Teacher applications are active from October to October.  Applications received July 1st and after will remain active until October of the following year.  Teacher applicants are contacted by Human Resources to determine if they want their application forms to remain active for an additional year.

What is a search agent?

A Search Agent is a tool that allows candidates to be notified of positions that become advertised that meet their criteria.  It eliminates the need to continually check the website and automatically notifies you by email when positions that meet your criteria are advertised.

How do I create a search agent?

To create a Search Agent, please click here for illustrated instructions. - http://www.aacps.org/humanresources/searchagent.pdf

View Helpful Telephone #'s for Human Resources


Substitute Teaching

What are the qualifications to become a substitute teacher?

Effective 7-1-08 the minimum qualification to become a substitute teacher is at least 48 credits from an accredited college.

Where can I apply to be a substitute teacher at AACPS?

You may apply online here or for questions please call the Substitute Office at 410-222-5068.

How/where do I apply for a substitute teacher position?

Online at www.aacps.org

Click on the Human Resources/Employment link.

Click on the Current job Opportunities - External link.

Click on Search Openings.

Choose “All” openings

Click on the Search Tab

Apply to Job(s)

You may also visit Human Resources at 2644 Riva Road, Annapolis, MD for help with the online process.  Our office hours are from 8:00 am to 4:30 am.

Once we receive your application we will need you to request your official transcripts.  Once the application and transcript has been received you will be sent an email explaining the next step in the employment process.

Prior to your processing/training session, you will need to be fingerprinted.   The fingerprinting can only be done in our office.   Contact the fingerprint office at (410) 222-5045 to schedule an appointment.  There is a fingerprint fee of $63.82.

You will need to bring the following items with you to the processing/training session
- two forms of identification (example: drivers license, social security card, birth certificate or passport)
- your blue fingerprint card.
- your direct deposit information

What is the daily rate of pay for Substitute Teacher?

$55 with 48 college credits
$60 with 60 college credits
$90 with a minimum of a bachelors degree

$120 long term assignment with a minimum of a bachelors degree

What is the daily rate of pay for Substitute Teacher Assistant?

$52 daily rate  
$75 longer term assignment

Will I receive any training prior to beginning an assignment with the school system?

AACPS holds mandatory training sessions which are held during the processing session.

How often are the processing/training sessions held?

We hold processing/training sessions on an as needed basis.


New Teacher Applicants

How do I obtain an application for a teaching position? Please apply online here

What supplementary materials do I need to return along with my application?  

Using the confidential form included with the application: a minimum of 3 references (mentor teachers, college supervisors, current and most recent supervisors, etc.)

  • Copy(ies) of your college transcript(s)

  • Copy(ies) of Praxis I & II scores, if you’ve taken Praxis

  • Copy(ies) of in-state or out-of-state teaching certificate(s) you may hold

How will I be able to determine the status of my application?

Shortly after you apply online by entering your resume, you will receive an email to acknowledge receipt of an electronic application that will also include follow-up instructions.

Do I need a teaching certificate (or be eligible for one) in order to be considered for a teaching position in AACPS?

Generally, yes, but in some critical shortage areas such as Math and Science (Chemistry, Physics, Earth/Space), conditional candidates are occasionally considered.

Will I be interviewed for a teaching position?

Due to the large volume of applications that we receive, we cannot guarantee that every candidate that applies will be granted an interview. AACPS hiring specialist will review applications and contact those candidates who best fit our hiring needs. If you are not contacted immediately for an interview, it does not mean that you may not be contacted at another time depending on our hiring needs.

Who will contact me for an interview?

A Human Resource Specialist will contact you if an interview is warranted.

How will I know whether I am selected for a teaching position?  

All offers of employment will come directly through the Division of Human Resources.  A Human Resources Specialist will contact you to make the offer and review the scope and sequence of the employment process.  Verbal commitments are binding.  

If I accept an offer for a teaching position, do I sign a contract?  

Yes, either a regular (blue in color) contract, if you are certified or eligible for certification, or conditional (gray in color) contract, if you are not certified.  If it is the latter, the conditional contract will be accompanied with other paper work, documenting your need to pursue and complete certification requirements over a period of time.  

What other paper work is required for me to complete along with the contract?  

A signed copy of your employment offer letter is also required. In addition, you will be provided with a link to an electronic portal that will contain several other documents that you must complete as part of the hiring process.

Do I need to obtain verification of previous employment for which I am being credited?

Yes, this is the new employee’s responsibility.  Verification of Experience forms will be emailed shortly after acceptance of an offer for a teaching position is received.  In addition, along with the contract may be employment verification forms, which in turn you will need to send out to your previous employer(s) to corroborate the experience with which you have been projected/credited.  Your employer(s) is/are then to complete the employment verification form(s) and return the form(s) directly to the Division of Human Resources at 2644 Riva Rd., Annapolis, MD, 21401, or via fax at 410-222-5600.


Health Care/Benefits

When is AACPS healthcare effective for new employees?

New employees are eligible for healthcare benefits the first of the month following their date of hire. New employees should attend a Benefits orientation (call 410-222-5074 to schedule) and must enroll on-line here no later than 31 days from their date of hire to sign up for benefits. Flexible Spending Account (FSA) enrollment applications fall within the same guidelines. Paperwork may be submitted to HR/Benefits via basket mail or mailed to AACPS, HR/Benefits, 2644 Riva Road, Annapolis, MD 21401. If I do not enroll in medical, dental, vision, and FSAs within the 31-day enrollment period, when may I enroll next?

You will need to wait until open enrollment or until you have a qualifying lifestyle change during the plan year.

When is open enrollment for health insurance?

Open enrollment is every November, when you can sign up for or change your elections for healthcare, FSAs and voluntary life insurance. Retiree healthcare open enrollment is each October. It is not necessary to re-enroll if you do not wish to make any changes; however, you must re-enroll every year if you wish to start/continue a FSA. 

Does AACPS provide a credit or reimbursement to employees that do not elect to participate in healthcare coverage with the Board?

No, AACPS does not provide this.

Does AACPS recognize same sex marriages?

Coverage for same sex spouses will be available effective July 1, 2011. HR/Benefits will permit enrollment in the AACPS healthcare benefits program only if the employee is lawfully married to a person of the same gender as recognized by the laws of any state or jurisdiction where such a marriage is legal. Please call HR/Benefits at 410-222-5221/5219 for further information and the necessary paperwork (Lifestyle Change Form and marriage certificate). Please be advised that these benefits may be subject to imputed income per IRS code. This will impact your w-2 for 2011.

What is a qualifying life style change? 

A “qualifying event” or “family status change” permits you to make changes to your benefits within 31 days of the following events:

  • Birth of a child, adoption, or change in custody of child;

  • Marriage or divorce;

  • Death of a spouse or child;

  • Spouse’s loss of coverage or dependent’s loss of coverage

If I am a new teacher who is paid over 12 months, how often are healthcare deductions taken out of my check?  

Deductions are taken over 26 pays. Deduction frequency is aligned with the employee’s number of pays (except for retirement deductions).

Do the AACPS medical plans cover pre-existing conditions?  

Yes, our plans cover pre-existing conditions from the first date of coverage. No waiting periods apply. 

How do I obtain a duplicate healthcare or prescription card?

You may contact your healthcare vendor directly (see Benefits Guide for telephone numbers) to request a replacement card or request an extra card for your dependent(s), or call HR/Benefits at (410)222-5221/5219.

How does coordination of benefits work if my spouse has coverage too?   

IIf you enroll yourself and your spouse in our program, our plan is primary for you, and your spouse’s plan is primary for his/her benefits. If dependent children are covered under both plans, the parent with the first birth date of the year provides the primary coverage. Please note, the spouse in this example may submit uncovered expenses such as deductibles, etc to our plan. Coordination of benefits works well if the two plans are a PPN or PPO plan or a program that has an out-of-network benefit. Benefit coordination is difficult in an HMO environment. 

What is the best AACPS medical option?  

The best AACPS medical option is the plan that best suits your individual and family’s needs. Provider networks, referral ease, co-payments, coverage, and premiums are all factors to consider when evaluating your options. 

What kind of prescription coverage do I have?   

All enrollees in AACPS medical coverage have prescription benefits through the CVS Caremark Prescription Plan. New employees receive a card directly in the mail from CVS Caremark. Members must use the CVS Caremark prescription card and not their health plan card at the pharmacy. Maintenance medications must be requested either through CVS Caremark Mail Service or at a CVS Pharmacy. Please review plan materials for a complete description.   

How do I locate the primary care provider code to place on my healthcare enrollment application?  

You may go to the provider websites: www.carefirst.com, www.unitedconcordia.com (links are also available during your on-line enrollment).

May I just sign up for dental and vision benefits if I wish to stay under my spouse’s medical program?  

Yes, you may sign up just for dental and vision, or either one.  

What is “parent and child” coverage?  

Parent child coverage covers the employee (parent) and one child. Rates are lower than the family rate. 

What are the coverage age limits for children under the AACPS healthcare program? 

Eligible dependents are covered through the end of the month of their 26th birthday.

If I separate from AACPS, when does my coverage end?

Your coverage will end on the last day of the month in which you separate from AACPS or, if you are a 10-month employee who completes the school year, your coverage will expire on the last day of August. You will be offered the opportunity to continue your benefits through COBRA coverage (contact 410-222-5221/5219).

What is HIPAA?

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) provides certain protections under the law regarding benefit portability, limits exclusions for pre-existing conditions, and ensures confidentiality measures are taken by providers and group health plans to protect information. 


Flexible Spending Accounts

How do I enroll for this program?

You are eligible to sign-up for a dependent care (daycare) spending and/or healthcare spending account within 31 days of your date of employment or during the annual open enrollment period each fall. You may also join the spending account benefit program or change your deduction with an eligible lifestyle change.

What are plan maximums for deferral?

Both plans have an annual $5,000 pre-tax limit.

Does use–it-or-lose it still apply?

Currently, under IRS guidelines, yes. Employees should budget anticipated expenses carefully. 

How do I seek reimbursement?

Reimbursement is provided through our administrator, HFS Benefits. Dependent Care claims may be faxed, mailed or e-mailed. Checks are cut once a week. Healthcare spending account claims may be faxed as well, or the flex (debit) card may be used for eligible expenses (such as co-pays). Personal documentation should be saved for proof of purchase/or co-payments.

How do I obtain more information?

Visit hfsbenefits.com via the benefits website. View the Flexible Benefits Presentation for more complete details as well as review other exhibits that are available. Employees may also contact HR/Benefits at 410-222-5221/5219.


Life Insurance

Can I change my life insurance and retirement beneficiaries at any time?

Yes, you can change your beneficiaries at any time during the year. Marriage, divorce, death, birth can all trigger this important event. Remember to keep your beneficiaries updated. The AACPS Beneficiary Designation Form and the State Retirement Agency Form may be found on our Employee Forms page. Voluntary life insurance coverage can be changed mid-year within 31 days of a qualifying lifestyle change and during Open Enrollment.

Who does my family notify to collect life insurance benefits upon my death?

Your family will need to contact the HR/Benefits Office at (410)-222-5221/5219. A certified copy of the death certificate will be needed in order to submit a claim form for life insurance benefits.

403(b)/457(b)

Is there a waiting period to enroll in these programs?

New employees may begin contributing to these programs immediately – there are no waiting periods. Employees (including temporaries and substitutes) may start these programs at any time, and may elect to change their contributions at any time, by contacting their provider representative

How do I start contributing?

Go here for Supplemental Retirement information  This provides information about the programs as well as the companies that AACPS utilizes: ING, Lincoln, MetLife and VALIC. Employees may contribute to a 403(b) program as well as a 457(b) option. Employees should contact the company’s representatives who are listed on-line to set up an appointment to review investment options and complete paperwork that will commence the payroll deduction. Employees may contribute to several companies, as long at the current IRS limits are not exceeded.

What is the main difference between a 403(b), (b)7 and 457(b) option?

A 403(b) is an annuity-based contract, and a 457(b) provides a variety of mutual investment opportunities; 403(b) plans provide loan options but 457 (b) does not. The 457(b) provides reduced tax penalties to participants if money is withdrawn prior to age 59 ½. Participants who withdraw funds prior to age 59 ½ without rolling over 403(b) funds are subject to a 10% federal excise penalty, whereas the 457(b) does not have such a tax effect.

Voluntary Benefits

What other optional benefits does the Board provide?

Employees may view additional voluntary benefits in the “Voluntary Benefits Guide” which is in their new employee packets and on-line (or contact HR/Benefits to receive one). The booklet reviews the Savings Bond Program, The Maryland College Savings Plan, Savings Account deduction options, and payroll deduction plans with vendors who provide additional life insurance, disability protection, etc. The booklet also reviews the benefits of participation with the Anne Arundel Employees’ Federal Credit Union.

What are the benefits of joining the Anne Arundel Employees’ Federal Credit Union?

Free Checking, Savings, loan options (available through AACPS payroll deduction), and other perks are available to AACPS employees. Employees may to go to either the Riva Road branch (410-222-7283) or the Millersville Branch (410-222-7283) to sign-up.

I would like to participate in the Maryland College Savings Plan. How do I receive materials?

The convenience of AACPS payroll deduction provides a major incentive for you to save through this valuable program. These funds may be used for your dependent children or for yourself for college tuition, room and board at any accredited college in the U.S. and some abroad universities as well. The Maryland College Investment Plans offers a choice of 10 different investment portfolios managed by T. Rowe Price. The Maryland Pre-Paid trust is also available through this program, but enrollment is limited to certain times during the year. For more information and an enrollment packet go to www.collegesavingsmd.org.

Long Term Care

What is long-term care insurance?

Long-term care insurance provides coverage for the type of care received either at home or in a facility when someone needs assistance with activities of daily living. Unum is the carrier for AACPS employees and they may be contacted directly at 1-800-227-4165 for further plan details. A variety of plan options exist within this program, which are available at group discounted premiums. Please review the Benefits website for further information.

Who is eligible for long-term care insurance?

Employees working 16 hours or more per week, retirees, spouses, adult children, siblings, parents (in-law) and grandparents (in-law), ages 18-80 are eligible to apply. Employee and spouse premiums are deducted from the employee’s paycheck; family members are direct-billed.

When can I apply for long-term care insurance?

New employees may purchase long-term care insurance with a guarantee issue coverage (no evidence of insurability required) within 30 days of their date of hire. Annual enrollment for active and retired employees and their family members occurs during the annual open enrollment period for all benefits every fall.

Name/Address Changes

How do I notify Human Resources of an address/phone number change?

Please fill out a Change of Personnel Records form and submit it to HR/Benefits.
View form here.

When will my name/address change be effective on the HR system?

As soon as it is entered, it will be effective. For payroll purposes, it will appear on your pay stub as soon as administratively possible (payroll cutoff related). For healthcare benefit purposes, it will be processed by the healthcare vendor as soon as the next file is processed. Name changes will cause a new healthcare card to be issued in the new name.

Retirement

I am thinking of retiring at the end of the school year. What do I need to do first and how soon should I start?

Submit an Application for an Estimate of Service Retirement Allowances to the MSRA (this form may be downloaded from the MSRA website at www.sra.state.md.us) within one year of retirement. Upon receipt of your estimate, make an appointment with your retirement counselor in Human Resources Office of Retirement. Contact Deanna Chew (if your last name begins with A-L) or Pamela Saulsbury  (if your last name begins with M-Z) and they will assist you in filing an Application for Service Retirement Allowance

What option is best for me and how much will I receive each month?

When you fill out the estimate form, check each option so you will know the monthly benefit amount for each option, which is verified by the MSRA. The benefit selection is a personal choice made by you. The retirement counselors at the MSRA (1-800-492-5909) can provide assistance to you in selecting the appropriate benefit.

How much will retiree healthcare benefits cost?

Please contact the Office of Retirement at 410-222-5224 or e-mail retirement@aacps.org to receive a copy of the retiree healthcare newsletter. Retiree medical and dental plans are funded at 75% by the Board, and vision is 100% retiree funded. Special funding limits apply to those hired on or after September 15, 2002 (please see Board Policy and Regulations information (800.13). The same plans available to active employees are also available to retirees. Medicare Supplemental options are available for retirees over age 65

What happens to my retiree benefits if I return to work at AACPS?

Please contact the MSRA regarding earning limitations that may affect your monthly retirement benefits. Retirees stay enrolled in their retiree healthcare programs if they return to work with AACPS.

When will I receive my first check after retirement?

Generally the first check is issued from MSRA by the end of the month in which the employee has retired. For example, if the retirement date is 7/1/11, the first check would be issued by 7/31/11.