Learn about the OSD Educational Programs and Operations Replacement Levy

Middle school classroom photoThe Olympia School Board has unanimously agreed to place an Educational Programs and Operations Replacement Levy proposal before voters on the February 11, 2020 Special Election ballot.

The proposed levy is not a new tax. The measure on the February 2020 ballot would replace an expiring four-year educational programs levy approved by voters in February 2016.

School levies are the only locally approved ballot measures that directly pay for classroom and educational needs of students not funded by the state.

Levy funds would provide classroom and districtwide support staff not funded through state basic education such as paraeducators, school nurses, social and mental health supports and security staff. Funds would also provide enhanced education to students with disabilities and support middle and high school athletic and extracurricular activities, transportation outside of the basic school day, visual and performing arts programs, staff professional development, and maintenance and operations not funded through state basic education.

“This renewal levy continues the district’s efforts, as outlined in our Strategic Plan, to prepare students for success now and into the future,” said School Board President Joellen Wilhelm. It creates opportunities for our students to build knowledge and skills to meet their individual goals.”

The levy would raise an estimated $133.6 million over four years (2021-24), or an average of $33.4 million per year. The proposed $2.50 maximum tax rate for the Educational Programs and Operations Replacement Levy in each of the upcoming four years is one cent more than in 2020.

The estimated levy rate depends on the final dollar amount of assessed value of property within the school district. State law limits school districts to collect a maximum of $2.50 per $1,000 of assessed valuation for Educational Programs and Operations levies; the rate may be lower than $2.50 per $1,000 of assessed valuation but it cannot be more than $2.50.

Using the projected rate of $2.50 per $1,000 of assessed valuation, the owner of a $250,000 home would pay about $52 a month, or $625 per year, for the replacement levy.

The proposed replacement levy tax, combined with the Olympia School District voter-approved school construction bonds and the technology and safety levy, would keep overall tax rates below 2020 levels. The total projected tax rate over the four years would be between $4.84 and $5.05 per $1,000 of assessed valuation, which is less than the $5.15 tax rate in 2020.

For more specifics on the replacement levy proposal, including a list of frequently asked questions, visit the Levy 2020 webpage on the Olympia School District website.

Schools announce winter holiday concerts

Three students play violinsStaff are invited to enjoy winter holiday concerts scheduled throughout the Olympia School District. Concerts already held will be removed daily from the following concert schedule:

Olympia Regional Learning Academy Winter Concert
Dec. 10, at Olympia Regional Learning Academy 2:15 p.m.

Centennial ES Band & Strings Concert
Dec. 10 at Centennial ES; 2:30 p.m.

Reeves MS Choir Concert
Dec. 10 at Olympia HS; 6 p.m.

Washington MS Winter Choir Concert
Dec. 10 at Olympia HS; 7:30 p.m.

Roosevelt ES Choir Concert
Dec. 11 at Roosevelt ES; 2 p.m.

Garfield ES 4th and 5th Grade Strings, Band, Choral Winter Extravaganza
Dec. 11 at Garfield ES; 7 p.m.

Olympia HS Festival Concert I
Dec. 12 at Olympia HS; 7:30 p.m.

Jefferson MS Band Winter Concert
Dec. 12 at Jefferson MS; 7:30 p.m.

Marshall MS Winter Band Concert
Dec. 12 at Marshall MS; 7:30 p.m.

McKenny ES Winter Concert
Dec. 13 at McKenny ES; 2 p.m.

Pioneer ES Music Concert 4th and 5th Grades
Dec. 16 at Pioneer ES; 2:15 p.m.

Marshall MS Winter Concert
Dec. 16 at Capital HS; 6 p.m.

Olympia HS Festival Concert II
Dec. 16 at Olympia HS; 7:30 p.m.

LP Brown ES 4th and 5th Instrumental Concert
Dec. 17 at LP Brown ES; 2 p.m.

Pioneer ES Music Concert K-3
Dec. 17 at Pioneer ES; 2:15 p.m.

Hansen ES Winter Concert
Dec. 17 at Hansen ES; 6:30 p.m.

Capital HS Winter Music Concert I
Dec. 17 at Capital HS; 7 p.m.

Jefferson MS Winter Orchestra Concert
Dec. 18 at Capital HS; 7 p.m.

Olympia HS Festival Concert
Dec. 18 at Olympia HS; 7:30 p.m.

Marshall MS Orchestra Concert
Dec. 18 at Marshall MS; 7:30 p.m.

Lincoln ES Band and Orchestra Concert
Dec. 19 at Lincoln ES; 1:45 p.m.

Madison ES Winter Music Concert
Dec. 19 at Madison ES; 2 p.m.

Capital HS Winter Music Concert II
Dec. 19 at Capital HS; 7 p.m.

Washington MS Afternoon Assembly
Dec. 20 at Washington MS; 2 p.m.

Capital HS Music Department Concert Assembly
Dec. 20 at Capital HS; 9:30 a.m.

McLane ES Winter Concert
Dec. 20 at McLane ES; 2 p.m.

Jefferson MS Choir Concert
Jan. 14 at Capital HS; 7 p.m.

Save more with Deferred Compensation Program in 2020

Pink piggy bank with coins surrounding bankWith the approach of the new year, it’s a great time to evaluate your Deferred Compensation Program contributions. Are you saving enough to meet your retirement goals?

The IRS has increased the amount you can defer into DCP. In 2020, you can contribute up to the following maximum amounts:

  • $19,500 annually if you are under age 50
  • $26,000 annually if you turn 50 or older in 2020

Even if you don’t contribute to the maximum, it’s a good idea to check your deferral amounts and consider saving a bit more in 2020.

Depending on your employer’s payroll, it can take up to 30 days for your account changes to go into effect. So for the new year, you might want to start your changes now! Change your contributions through your online account at www.drs.wa.gov/login or call the DCP record keeper for assistance at 888-327-5596.

Remember, DCP is a special type of savings program that helps you invest for the secure and stable retirement you want to achieve. Unlike traditional savings accounts, DCP is tax-deferred — it lowers your taxable income while you are working and it delays payments of income taxes on your investments until you withdraw your funds. DCP is a great way to save!

To learn more, visit the DCP website at www.drs.wa.gov/dcp.

Flags lowered to half-staff for National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day

Flags lowered to half-staffGov. Inslee directs that Washington state and United States flags at all state agency facilities, including schools and support facilities, be lowered to half-staff on Saturday, December 7 for National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.

National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day was created by Congress in 1994 in honor of those Americans killed or injured as a result of the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.

The Governor’s Office has no objection to agencies lowering the flags at the close of business on Friday, December 6. Flags should remain at half-staff until close of business or sunset on Saturday, December 7, or first thing Monday morning, December 9.

Accessibility Tip of the Week: Changing Default Heading Styles in Word or Google Docs

This week Robert Hardy, our district website accessibility specialist, shares about how to modify the default appearance of true headings in Microsoft Word and Google Docs. Please call Robert with any accessibility questions at Ext. 6105. He is more than happy to talk by phone or schedule a time to meet with you.

A staff member recently asked if it is possible to change the default styling of the true headings within Word and Google Docs. The answer is yes! Not only can the styling be altered within each document (as described in the MS Word and Google Docs quick-start guides), but the default styling can also be changed for future documents.

Google Docs

  1. Highlight the text you would like to make a heading.
  2. From the style drop-down in the top menu, select the desired heading level. In this example, it will be a Heading 1.Google Docs top menu. The Style menu drop-down is highlighted.
  3. Change the formatting of the heading text as you would like it to appear in this and future documents.
  4. Go back to the Style drop-down in the top menu and highlight the appropriate heading style. In the menu that appears, select ‘Update ‘Heading X’ to match’. This will update all text set to the same heading style within this document.Google Docs screenshot. The Style menu is activated, Heading 1 is activated, and Update Heading 1 to match is selected.
  5. Repeat the previous steps as desired for other heading styles.
  6. To save this styling as the default for future documents, return to the Style menu and highlight ‘Options’. Select ‘Save as my default styles.’Google Docs screenshot. The Style menu is activated, Options is activated, and Save as my default styles is highlighted.

Microsoft Word

  1. Right-click the appropriate heading style from the Home ribbon and select ‘Modify.’MS Word screenshot of the Home ribbon / Styles menu. Heading 1 has been right-clicked and Modify is highlighted.
  2. Within the Formatting section of the Modify Style menu, select the text properties you would like for this heading style.MS Word screenshot. The Modify Style menu is activated and the Formatting section is highlighted.
  3. Once the desired formatting has been achieved, check the ‘Add to template’ box. This ensures the heading style will be altered for future documents using the standard template.MS Word Screenshot. The Modify Style menu is activated and the checkbox Add to template has been checked and is highglighted.
  4. Click Ok.

As always, if you have any accessibility tips or questions, please feel free to reach out to the district’s Website Accessibility Specialist, Robert Hardy at extension 6105.