HR shares procedures for weather-related delays and closures

Olympia Capitol building with snow-covered hillside and treesThe following is shared by the Human Resources department. Please retain this information for weather-related delays and closures. Hopefully this will be a useful reference document to make weather-related decisions clearer for everyone.

LATE START

Contractual language and past practice allows for modified schedules due to emergency conditions in which employees may, with the approval of their supervisor, 1) take a salary deduction for the time missed, 2) work regularly scheduled time if safety permits, 3) use vacation leave or emergency leave if permitted by bargaining agreement, 4) arrange with a supervisor to complete their work at an alternate location, or 5) arrange with a supervisor to make up the time missed in regular-time status. Safety permitting, employees should report to work per their regular schedules. Teachers should be at the work site at least 30 minutes prior to students arriving.

EARLY RELEASE

Contractual language and past practice allows for early release provisions due to emergency conditions in which employees may, with the approval of their supervisor, leave early and 1) take a salary deduction for the time missed, 2) work regularly scheduled time if safety permits, 3) use vacation leave or emergency leave if permitted by bargaining agreement, 4) arrange with a supervisor to complete their work at an alternate location, or 5) arrange with a supervisor to make up the time missed in regular-time status.

CLOSURE

Because contracted staff who work a typical school schedule will make up their time when student days have been rescheduled, there is no need for them to take leave at this time. For year-round and other employees who provide non-student related services, contractual language and past practice allows for closure due to emergency conditions in which employees may, with the approval of their supervisor, 1) take a salary deduction for the time missed, 2) work regularly scheduled time if safety permits, 3) use vacation leave or emergency leave if permitted by bargaining agreement, 4) arrange with a supervisor to complete their work at an alternate location, or 5) arrange with a supervisor to make up the time missed in regular-time status.

Thank you for your dedication to the Olympia School District. We appreciate your efforts and hope that you remain safe during inclement weather conditions.

Certificated Teachers: February 14 is deadline for early retirement and/or resignation incentive

White ceramic teacup sits on railing with mountains and lake in the distance

The following is a message shared by Scott Niemann, executive director of Human Resources

Greetings OSD Certificated Teachers,

The Olympia School District and the Olympia Education Association offers employees an early retirement and/or resignation incentive. Since we are always anxious to post and find the best qualified candidates for openings, we are hoping to hear from you early if you are planning to retire or resign at the end of this 2019-20 school year.

The district is offering two paid days (fill out a time slip in June) at the end of the school year for any OEA member who provides a letter of retirement or resignation to the Human Resources Department on or before February 14, 2020.

If you have already provided the Human Resources department a letter of resignation or retirement, you have done what you need to do in order to receive the two incentive days. Remember: in June you must submit a time slip for the two incentive days. On the time slip, write “Early Notice Incentive” and record 6 hours for each day — a total of 12 hours. This incentive time is intended to be paid time so you can “tie up loose ends, pack and check out of your building.” Time slips must be turned in by June 30 of this year to receive the early incentive payment.

If you submit your letter of resignation or retirement after February 14, 2020, you will not be eligible for the two incentive days.

As always, thank you for your dedication to the Olympia School District.

Meet our newest Everyday Hero!

Everyday Heroes Logo with the words: Celebrating OSD EmployeesEveryday Heroes is a regular feature in this staff blog. Remember to submit names of employees districtwide who have done something deserving of encouragement and praise. Give a shout out to one of your colleagues at your school or support building and watch for it to appear in an upcoming Everyday Heroes blog post.

Here is our newest honoree:

Everyday Hero
Mark Hoy, Bus Driver, Transportation

Mark, I want to publicly recognize and thank you for the amazing job you do every day driving one of our DLC buses! If an adult isn’t at your bus to bring in your student, you walk him into the cafeteria to ensure he gets his breakfast and knows where he is going. When you do, you always greet everyone with a huge smile and a cheery “Good Morning!” — brightening everyone’s day who has the chance to see you. You are also so kind and caring with your student, and it is clear you love what you do. Thank you so much, and keep up the great work!
Submitted by Condee Wood, Principal, Marshall Middle School

How to nominate an Everyday Hero

  • Email the Communications and Community Relations Department (communications@osd.wednet.edu) a few sentences, and no more than 200 words, about why the person deserves recognition. It’s easiest to write as if speaking directly to the colleague, such as “Thank you for helping with…” or “I really appreciated when you…”
  • Write “Everyday Heroes” in the subject heading of the email.
  • Include your first and last name as the person submitting the comments.
  • Include the first and last name of the OSD employee you are recognizing.
  • Include the job title and work location (school or department) of the person you are recognizing.

All submissions will be posted in this blog on a weekly basis and archived each week.

Share with students: Submissions due January 16 for Thurston County Auditor’s Office art contest

Image of camera, paints and brushes with information about demARTracy Contest. Information all included in adjacent article.In celebration of Temperance and Good Citizenship Day, the Thurston County Auditor’s Office invites students to visualize the power they have to change the world by taking part in the first annual 2020 demARTracy Art Contest. A winner and two runners up will be chosen from four age groups for both 2D and video categories: grades K-5, 6-8, 9-12, undergrad students.

Artwork must fall into either the category of 2D Fine Art or Video Entries. The artwork must depict the entrant’s interpretation of the phrase: “You have the power to change the world. Vote!” Entries must be original and are limited to one submission per student. For more specifics on entries and contest rules, please view this news release  on the Thurston County Auditor’s Office website.

Submissions are due on January 16, 2020.

Capital High Theatre presents ‘Almost, Maine’

Two people sitting on a park bench with show falling behind them and information about the performance, which is included in the adjacent article

Capital High School Theatre proudly presents “Almost, Maine,” by John Cariani. This romantic comedy examines a variety of small-town relationships. From first love to heartbreak, these vignettes shed light on the best and the worst parts of life and of love. As the Aurora Borealis shines down on the inhabitants of this sleepy town, a population of thoughtful, honest, and sincere people are revealed, each with a compelling story.  This contemporary play explores the many forms that love takes and the power it wields.

Performances are at 7 p.m. January 16-18 and January 23-25 in the Capital High Performing Arts Auditorium, 2707 Conger Ave. N.W. Tickets are $8 for students and senior citizens and $10 for general admission.

“Almost, Maine” is presented by special arrangement with Dramatists Play Service, Inc., New York.

For more information, visit the Capital Theatre website  or call the box office at (360) 596-8053. Tickets may be purchased at the door, from the Capital HS ASB Office or through PurplePass.com.

Accessibility Tip of the Week: Adding Alt Text in Microsoft Office and Google Docs

Blank canvas hung on wall

This week Robert Hardy, our district website accessibility specialist, shares about adding alternative text in Microsoft Office 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 screen reader operates by synthesizing text into speech. When it encounters an image, it requires a description of the image to read to the user. This description is called alternative text.

Effective alternative text describes both the content and the function of an image, ensuring the meaning of the image is conveyed to all users. A good way to approach writing alternative text is to consider what information would be left out if the image was missing.

Microsoft Office

Newer versions of Microsoft Office allow alt text to be added by right-clicking an image and selecting “Alt Text.” Both a Title and a Description field will be available – filling in just the Description field is sufficient as most screen readers ignore the Title field.

To add alternative text in an older version of Microsoft Office:
Microsoft Word Format Picture Menu. The Size and Properties tab is selected, and the Alt Text option is expanded. The Description field is highlighted.

  1. Right-click the image and select Format Picture.
  2. Select the Size and Properties icon.
  3. Expand the Alt Text option.
  4. Enter alternative text into the Description field.

Google Docs

Google Docs screenshot. The Alt Text menu is displayed and the Description field is highlighted.

  1. Right-click the image and select Alt Text.
  2. Enter alternative text into the Description field.

Including alternative text is essential to creating accessible content. Guides on including alternative text in your other content may be found on the district’s Website Accessibility Resources page.

If you have questions about alternative text, or other aspects of accessibility, please feel free to reach out to Robert Hardy (x6105), the district’s website accessibility specialist.

District offers PD opportunities to support Educators of Color

The following is a message shared by the Human Resources department:

Calling All Educators of Color: Do you consider yourself an educator of color? Would you like to build a community with other educators of color within the Olympia SD? The Olympia School District will be holding four professional development opportunities specifically designed to support educators of color. Topics covered will center around the OSD Student Outcomes and include: culturally responsive teaching practices, advocating for social and emotional wellness, empowering students to confront bias, and closing opportunity gaps within our school system.   

*Certificated staff may use staff development hours or receive curriculum rate of pay for all sessions.

*Paraeducators will be paid via time slip at their regular hourly rate for all sessions

Save the Dates:
January 21: 4-6 pm
March 17: 4-6 pm
May 5: 4-6 p.m.
June 9: 4-6 p.m.

Location:
Knox 111 – Board Room
111 Bethel St. N.E.
Olympia, WA 98506

If you wish to attend and/or are interested in clock hours, please register via pdEnroller, Event ID #100760.  

Click here to register: pdEnroller – OSD Educators of Color Network 2019-2020