Summer lunch and kids in parks programs

Summer Lunch and SKIPP Programs_2016-08-20(Community Events & Activities)Olympia Parks and Recreation will facilitate the USDA FREE lunch program this summer at both Garfield and Madison elementary schools. Lunches are free for children 18 and under.

Children 6- to 12-years-old can also participate in the free Summer Kids in Parks Program (SKIPP) after lunch.

For more information on both of these summer programs for children, click on the flier image with this article, which is posted on the district website and was sent to all families this week in our latest issue of Community Connections.

It’s not too late to apply for OSDEF grants for the 2016-17 school year!

OSDEF logoThe Olympia School District Education Foundation (OSDEF) is accepting applications for grants that will be available in the 2016-17 school year. More than $50,000 in grants were awarded this year with a record number of applications, so don’t delay in sending in your application!

Grant categories, guidelines and applications are available online on the OSDEF website.

While there are no specific deadlines for grant applications, if grant funds are needed for the beginning of the school year, applications must be received in the OSDEF office by August 1.  Applications received after that time will be processed for the month following receipt of the application.

All applications received by August 1 will be processed by September 1, and applicants will be notified of the results before the first day of school. Note that all applications submitted will be acknowledged within one week of their being received in the OSDEF office. If you have not heard from us within that time, please contact Bev Sperry in the OSDEF office by email at or by phone at (360)753-8853.  The office is open all year, including summer months.

Feel free to contact the OSDEF office if you have questions or concerns about applying for a grant.

Bridges elementary math curriculum achieves highest EdReports rating

IMG_0303The following is a message from the Olympia School District’s K-12 Teaching and Learning Department sharing exciting national news about the Bridges elementary math curriculum. This week marks the end of the second year of the curriculum’s use in elementary schools throughout the Olympia School District.

A huge thank you goes out to all of the teachers who were on the elementary math adoption committee in 2013-14. Another thank you to our elementary teachers and the incredible work they have done with the implementation of Bridges. EdReports recently evaluated Bridges, and the Math Learning Center’s Collin Nelson relays the exciting results in the following report:

“Bridges in Mathematics Second Edition was evaluated by EdReports and met all three major criteria at each grade level. This places Bridges among the very few programs that have achieved the organization’s highest rating.

EdReports is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing educators with a trusted resource for independent reviews of classroom curricula. Their rigorous process evaluates how closely curricula align to the Common Core State Standards using three main criteria: (1) Focus and Coherence, (2) Rigor and the Mathematical Practices, and (3) Instructional Supports and Other Usability Indicators.

After a thorough review of Bridges, EdReports found that Bridges materials are coherent, follow a logical progression, balance all three aspects of rigor, devote effort to the math practices, and develop conceptual understanding of key mathematical concepts. EdReports also deemed Bridges highly usable noting that in terms of “use and design, the problems and exercises are developed sequentially and each activity has a mathematical purpose.

‘We appreciate the important role EdReports plays in terms of evaluating curricula and we’re gratified they found Bridges to be among the best,’ said Rick Ludeman, Math Learning Center president.”

Click here to see the report and learn more about EdReports on its website:

This is exciting news and continues to add to the credibility of our elementary math program.  Teachers are reporting they are seeing a huge amount of growth in their students.  Students are entering new grade levels as more confident math learners and have the ability to communicate their thinking.  We are looking forward to even more math growth in our students in 2016-17!

Donate items for this year’s Teacher Materials Exchange

2016 Teacher Materials Exchange (2)_Page_1The Second Annual “Teacher Materials Exchange” is under way! All staff, especially those who are retiring, are encouraged to box up new or gently used classroom materials or office supplies that could benefit new Olympia School District teachers.

Items may be boxed, labeled and sent to the Knox Warehouse from school buildings between now and the last day of school. If interested in donating items over summer, call Ruth Ickert at 360-628-7770 or email her at to arrange a date and time to get items to the warehouse as there is no mail pickup at schools once school has ended.

The deadline to donate items for the teacher materials exchange is Friday, August 19. For specific instructions on how to label and send, as well as a list of ideas for materials to donate, view the flier adjacent to this article (click the flier image to see a larger version that can be downloaded and printed). New teachers  will receive an invitation to come to the Knox Administrative Center in August to select from these usable items for their classrooms. It will be terrific!

2016 Teacher Materials Exchange_Page_2

Technology “to-dos” before leaving for summer break

Below are some details regarding technology to prepare you for the summer and next year.

Summer Checkout for Classroom Teachers

Our technicians will visit each classroom to ensure you have all of your basic classroom tech, as well as coordinate if you are leaving your laptop or iPad with us for the summer.  There will be no form for you to sign.

Laptops and iPads

You may leave your laptop or iPad with technology over the summer if you wish.  We will only be storing it, so it will be as you left it when you pick it up.  Contact the helpdesk if you want to do this.

Classroom Tech

Please lock up your remote controls, video dongles and microphones over the summer.  These are the devices that typically get lost if left out.

Retiring Staff

If you are retiring this year and you have district issued technology, please contact the helpdesk so we can check it back in.

Changes for Next Year

We are adding a letter label to each chromebook cart; there are not enough basic colors to cover all of the carts we have at larger schools and managing this has become a challenge.  We will phase the colors out over next school year.

Additionally, we will be adding DNR stickers (Do Not Repair/Replace) to older technology.  When one of these fails, it won’t be repaired and won’t be replaced.  We will continue to issue out new carts of chromebooks to all schools every year, and carts of PC/Mac laptops for all schools over a 5 year cycle.

Summer Technology Support

The helpdesk is open all summer.  Please feel free to contact us if you need tech support or wish to schedule maintenance for your computer.

Thank you!

Technology Helpdesk

360-596-6172 or ext. 6172

School board meeting highlights

June 6 was a night of celebrations during the Olympia School Board meeting. A standing-room only crowd watched as the board:


Rachel Hodes, new student representative to the Olympia School Board

Welcomed Olympia High School student Rachel Hodes, the new student representative to the Olympia School Board. Olympia High School Assistant Principal Mick Hart introduced Hodes, who was joined by family members for the special occasion. Board President Mark Campeau administered the oath of office, and Hodes shared a few words about herself, including how she is looking forward to being a student voice on the board. She then joined other board of directors at the table for her first meeting as student representative.

Celebrated three schools named recipients this year of the statewide Washington Achievement Award. Nancy Faaren, assistant superintendent of K12 teaching and learning, called forward school principals from Boston Harbor Elementary, and Jefferson and Reeves middle schools, as she shared about the awards. Boston Harbor Elementary has been recognized for Overall Excellence and English Language Arts Growth. Reeves Middle School has been recognized for High Progress, while Jefferson Middle School has been recognized for Overall Excellence, High Progress and English Language Arts Growth. The purpose of the Washington Achievement Award is to recognize schools that excel on many different levels and to shine light on the best practices that are making success possible. Board President Campeau presented each principal with an etched acrylic plaque, provided to all honored schools statewide as part of the Washington Achievement Award program. School principals also received a Washington Achievement Award banner to proudly hang in their schools and took a moment during the recognition to have a photo taken with the banner and fellow school colleagues, the board of directors, and Superintendent Dick Cvitanich. 


Boston Harbor Elementary School


Jefferson Middle School


Reeves Middle School

Honored the 2016 Olympia School District Employee Recognition Award winners. This annual awards program is designed to recognize employees from throughout the district in several categories. All employees districtwide were invited to send in nominations, and a committee reviewed the entries and selected the winners. Master of Ceremonies Scott Niemann, executive director of K12 teaching and learning, called forward each of the


Cissy McCormick, Student Support and Early Childhood, “The Unsung Hero”

winners, as well as the person who nominated the individual to share about the award recipient. Each award winner then received an etched wooden plaque and stand made by students in Brian Morris’s Tech Arts Enterprises class in the Washington Middle School CTE program. Eighth grader Maddie Waite also received a special shout-out for designing the plaque. Congratulations to all of the winners! We have included a few photos here; however, more than 50 photos are posted on the district Facebook page. Be sure to like us on Facebook at the same time if you aren’t following us already! A complete list of all winners was published as a posting in last week’s Here’s the Scoop staff blog. Click here to see the honorees.


Anne Meyer, Madison Elementary School, “The Bridge Builder”


Capital High School Math Department Teachers, “The Dream Team”

In other business the board:

  • Held a first reading of the English Language Arts middle school curriculum. A second reading will be held at a special board meeting scheduled on Monday, June 13. The meeting begins at 4:30 p.m. at Knox Administrative Center, 1113 Legion Way S.E., Olympia.
  • Heard the 2016-17 Superintendent’s Budget Proposal, presented by Jennifer Priddy, assistant superintendent of finance and operations.
  • Approved the 2016-17 school year calendar.

Gmail Tip of the Week

How to set your “Vacation Responder”

Are you interested in learning how to quickly set your vacation time in Gmail so that your email contacts and OSD staff know when you are out of the office? The vacation responder sends an automated reply to incoming messages.

Click on this video created by Instructional Technology Coach Sharyn Merrigan to see the step-by-step instructions for this easy process.

Summer camp information

Middle School Robotics Summer Camp_2016-06-27(Summer Camps)_Page_1Numerous nonprofit organizations have fliers posted on our district website sharing information about summer activities, including camps and sports opportunities.

Be sure to visit the district website to see the full list of events and activities, which range from Hands on Children’s Museum summer camps and YMCAYMCA - Learn to Swim_2016-09-02(Summer Sports) summer sports, to a Middle School Robotics Summer Camp and Seed to Table camp for youth. Refer families to the website to learn more about summer offerings, as well as offerings throughout the 2016-17 school year.

Seed to Table Summer Camp_2016-07-15(Summer Camps)

2016 graduation dates and guest information

Graduation season is upon us! The following are a list of this year’s graduation dates, times and locations, as well as information about which ceremonies are open to all district employees to attend. Congratulations to the many staff around the district who have worked over the years with students in the Class of 2016!

Thursday, June 9
Avanti High School, 6 p.m., Knox Administrative Center: The auditorium has limited space, so if district staff are interested in attending, they need to contact the Avanti HS office at 360-596-7900 to inquire about tickets.

Friday, June 10
Transition Progra
m, 7 p.m., Knox Administrative Center: This graduation is open to all district staff (no ticket needed for staff members with their OSD ID badge). Teachers and other staff who have worked with Transition Program students throughout their time in the district are encouraged to attend.

Wednesday, June 15
Olympia Regional Learning Academy, 6 p.m., Indian Summer Country Club
: Due to limited space at this venue, the ORLA graduation is not open to all district employees.

Thursday, June 16
Olympia High School, 7 p.m., St. Martin’s University Marcus Pavilion
: District employees interested in attending this graduation are welcome, on a space available basis, and need to R.S.V.P. to Wendy Rae at if interested in attending. Employees who attend need to wear their OSD ID badge and tell the usher they are to sit in the faculty/staff section.

Friday, June 17
Capital High School, 7 p.m. St. Martin’s University Marcus Pavilion: This graduation is open to all OSD staff (no ticket needed for staff members with their OSD ID badge). All OSD Staff with their badge will be seated in a special section next to the Capital HS staff.