Employee Benefits

Sherry McElroy

  Sherry McElroy
Benefits Coordinator

[email protected]
  • Benefits - Enrollments
  • Billings and Processing
  • Fingerprinting/Background Check/I-9’s Processing
  • Leave Reports - School Board Office
  • Substitute Teachers - Processing and Reports

Employee Benefits

Welcome to Gainesville City School System (GCSS) Benefits website!


As a benefits-eligible employee, your total compensation is more than just the dollars you receive in your paycheck. Your benefits are an important part of your total compensation, so we invite you to familiarize yourself with details of these plans and encourage you to seek clarification when necessary.

Below is an overview of your benefits as an active employee. For more information on benefit plans, please visit our online employee benefits website

Benefits Overview

Benefits Eligibility

Employee: All full-time employees working at least 20 or more hours per week are eligible to participate in the benefit plans.

Dependents: Your legal spouse; dependent child(ren) under the age of 26; and your dependent child(ren) certified as medically disabled prior to their 26th birthday.

Note: You will be required to show documentation of your relationship to a dependent. Examples include a marriage certificate, birth certificate, adoption certificate and income tax returns.

Enrolling in Coverage

You can enroll within 31 days of your employment or your benefits eligibility date. After that, you can enroll or make changes to your coverage:

  • During the annual Open Enrollment period (held in the fall)
  • When you experience a qualified change in family status

To enroll, access ADP portal at and enter user name and password. For first-time users, see instructions for HOW TO ENROLL.

Retirement Enrollment

GCSS participates in Social Security, Georgia Teachers Retirement System; and Public School Employees Retirement System of Georgia. You will be automatically enrolled in these plans.

Qualifying Events

GCSS allows members to pay premiums on a pre-tax basis by adhering to IRS section 125. Under this program, the IRS has established strict rules regarding the changes you may make to your plans. The choices made during the open enrollment period must remain in effect for the entire plan year (January 1- December 31). Exceptions are permitted under IRS rules when a member has a qualifying event. You must consult your Benefits Administrator immediately, and you will have 31 days from the date of the event to make changes. This includes events that occur during the summer or holiday breaks while you may not be at work. Qualifying events include:

  • Marriage
  • Divorce
  • Birth or adoption of a child, or having a child placed in your custody or guardianship through the court
  • Death of a spouse or covered dependent
  • Becoming eligible (or losing eligibility) for Medicare, Medicaid or PeachCare
  • If your spouse's employment status changes causing a gain or loss of eligibility for coverage
  • Change in a spouse's employer causing gain or loss of coverage
  • A change in residence to an area not covered by your current option
  • If your spouse changes coverage during his/her employer's Open Enrollment period
  • If a Qualified Medical Child Support Order is established for a dependent
  • Enrollment in Marketplace coverage

When Coverage Begins

Your benefits coverage becomes effective the first month following one full calendar month of employment, unless the hire date is concurrent with the first of the month. If the hire date concurrent with the first of the month, then coverage is effective the first month following the hire date.

How to Enroll / First time registration

Complete the registration process on/after the first day of employment.

How to enroll in State Health Benefit?

For first time users, visit

  1. Click on “Register Here”
  2. Enter SHBP-GA as the registration code. It can be all caps or all lower case.
  3. Enter all requested information on steps 2-7. You will receive an activation code by your choice of method(s) of communication. Enter this code on the screen as instructed.
  4. Click on the login button on the bottom left of the page.
  5. You are now at the login screen. Use the new username and password that you created.
  6. You can view your coverage, information, update information, add/delete dependents, etc.

Note: Take this opportunity to explore this site. This is where you will complete open enrollment options. You have 20 days from your hire date to complete the registration and choose your health insurance coverage that will be in place until December 31st.


If you are transferring from another school system in Georgia and currently have health benefits, your benefits will transfer to GCSS. You will want to login to the enrollment portal to confirm that the transfer has been made.

How to enroll in Supplemental Benefits?

  1. For first time users, visit
  2. To log on you will need a username and password.
  • Your username is UP TO the first 6 letters of your last name, first letter of first name and the last 4 numbers of your social security number. 
  • Your password is your social security number WITHOUT dashes. You will then be asked to create a new password and set up your security questions. 
  • Example: Jane Doe 123-45-6789    Username: doej6789   Password: 123456789


If you are transferring from another school system in Georgia and currently have supplemental benefits, you would need to re-enroll

Your Benefits Offerings

Employer Paid $10K Life Insurance Policy -Every employee receives $10,000 life insurance coverage through UNUM at no cost to you.

Employee Assistance Program - Gainesville City Schools offers this program free of charge to assist employees and their families with the following:

  1. Access to a confidential Licensed Professional Counselor to help you through personal, family, or work issues (up to 6 free sessions)

  2. Legal/financial consultation and services

  3. Medical Bill Saver service to negotiate medical bills over $400 not covered by insurance

  4. Find services from childcare to eldercare and more

Department of Community Health

When it comes to keeping you and your family healthy, we have you covered with several options:

  • State Health Benefit Plan – Anthem (BCBS Gold, Silver, Bronze, HMO), United Healthcare (HMO and HDHP), Kaiser Permanente (HMO)
  • Pharmacy Benefits – CVS Caremark
  • Wellness Program – Sharecare, Inc.

Supplemental Benefits

  • Short-Term Disability 
  • Long-Term Disability 
  • Basic Life Insurance 
  • Voluntary Term Life 
  • Accidental Death & Dismemberment 
  • Permanent Life 
  • Dental 
  • Vision 
  • Critical Illness with Cancer 
  • Flexible Spending Account (Health Care and Dependent Care) – CAS
  • Retirement Investment (403b and 457b) – VALIC

Sick Leave

Each employee earns 1 ¼ days of sick leave per month (12 ½ days per year for 10 month employees; 13 ¾ days per year for 11 month employees and 15 days per year for 12 month employees). You can use 3 days of your accrued sick leave per year for personal leave. You can continue to accumulate leave up to a maximum of 45 days. Any leave over the maximum will not be lost it will be a credit towards your retirement. If you use more than your accumulated leave the days will be deducted from your pay.

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