Follow us on social media!

Don’t miss out seeing your colleagues and the many amazing students across the district who are featured on the school district’s social media pages: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. To follow us and like/comment on posts, click on the social media icons on the first page of the blog, (symbols) located just under the featured photo at the top right side of the page.

In addition to photos and articles we produce in district Communications, we also regularly link to media coverage of our staff and students, including articles in ThurstonTalk.com and The Olympian.

Finally, don’t forget to bookmark the link to the district’s YouTube account to see the many videos completed this year. Here is the latest video on the Marshall Middle School Citizen Science Institute (CSI). Enjoy!

Teacher Materials Exchange is next week!

Teacher Materials ExchangeaDon’t forget! Next week is the Second Annual Teacher Materials Exchange.

Employees throughout the district, including those who retired in June, have donated classroom supplies to help give first- through fifth-year teachers a great start to the new school year. Thanks to everyone who donated!

All of the items will be in the gym space next to Avanti HS and behind the Knox Administrative Center at 1113 Legion Way S.E. Olympia School District teachers may “shop” for treasures between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. on the following dates:

Tuesday, August 23: First-year teachers
Wednesday, August 24: Second- and third-year teachers
Thursday, August 25: Fourth- and fifth-year teachers

Safety Tip of the Week

This week’s safety tip is contributed by Marc Elliott, chief information officer in the school district’s Technology department. Great advice!

Defining “Phishing,” “Email Spoofing” and Business Information to Never Send Through Email

As we are all aware, there are sophisticated criminals across the globe that prey on the “human element” of businesses employees to glean Personally Identifiable Information (PII) to steal identities, money and/or credit. These acts are very difficult to investigate, as the criminals use many methods to conceal their true identities and physical locations. It is very typical to see these scams performed through “Phishing and Email Spoofing” actions.

Phishing (Mirriam-Webster definition): a scam by which an email user is duped into revealing personal or confidential information which the scammer can use illicitly.

Email Spoofing: A  process in which a scammer changes the header information in an email to make it appear to have originated from somewhere or someone other than the true sender.

A common tactic for cyber criminals is to “phish” an entire organization or even a select few members. They “phish” the organization using a “spoofed” email which makes it look like it came from a reputable source such as a bank, security agency and other employees in supervisory positions, including those in school districts. They will often try to get you to click a link where you will be taken to a page, asking for personal information. They will also ask you reply to the email and to attach files containing financial and/or personal information about you and/or your workplace.

To avoid falling victim to a phishing/email spoofing scam, there some items to remember when responding to email.

  • Never send social security, credit card and/or bank account information through email.
    If someone requests that information through email, discuss the request with them personally (face to face or phone) and determine a more secure process for delivering that information.
  • Never click a link in an email unless you are positive of the sender’s identity and intentions.
    Clicking a link in a phishing email (spoofed or not) will often take you to a Web page that looks official (easy to fake) and asks for account numbers, passwords and other PII. Email links can also establish a discrete download of malware to your computer, such as ransomware, adware, viruses, trojan horses etc.
  • Exercise caution when sending PII, and be positive of the sender’s identity and intentions.
    When responding to email requests of other types of PII (legal name, mailing address, birthdate, phone numbers etc.) make sure you know who is making the request of you, that they have a reason for requesting it and that they are who they say they are.
  • Be suspicious of poorly or generically addressed emails.
    Often times scammers will phish huge groups of people all at once (cast a huge net!) and will address the email generically. Upon seeing a poorly addressed email, immediately be suspicious. If you determine it is not authentic, delete it.

Unfortunately, in this era of the Internet, criminals will continuously attempt to scam people and businesses out of information, ultimately for monetary gain. Help protect yourself and the district by following the technology safety tips above when opening, reading and responding to email.

Remember… if you question the authenticity of an email, contact the sender directly or contact the Technology Help Desk at x6172 and we will help!
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Special education endorsement opportunity

16FQ SPED Flyer 8.8.16[1]Seattle University and the Puget Sound Educational Service District have partnered to offer Washington teachers the opportunity to earn their Special Education Endorsement through the Online Special Education Endorsement Academy.

The 24-credit academy meets two evenings a week in syncronous online sessions over the course of one year. This year’s endorsement academy offers teachers an additional opportunity: to begin work toward the College of Education’s master’s degree in Special Education.

For registration information or to apply, click the image of the adjacent flier, which includes links to related resources. Please note an upcoming information session on Wednesday, August 17 from 5-6 p.m.

School supplies accepted for families in need

Little Red SH photo 2The annual Little Red Schoolhouse Project, which provides school supplies and other basic necessities to Thurston County students in need, is welcoming donations through tomorrow, August 11 at a variety of area  businesses.

Supplies most in demand this year include ruled paper, three-ring binders, rulers, colored markers and pencils, scientific calculators and backpacks. New or gently used coats or sweatshirts, and new socks and underwear, are also needed.

Cash donations are also accepted to go toward the purchase of school supplies, including backpacks and calculators at lower prices when purchased in bulk. Checks can be sent anytime to The Little Red Schoolhouse Project, P.O. Box 6302, Olympia, WA 98507.

The free distribution of supplies, coats, socks and underwear will take place from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday, August 18 at Komachin Middle School, 3650 College St. S.E. in Lacey. This pickup site is along Intercity Transit bus route #64. Please share this information with any families that could benefit from this free school supply giveaway.

The Little Red Schoolhouse Project was founded in 1991. Last year, 2,884 students from low-income families received the basic necessities to start school. The program is under the umbrella of the Together! organization and is coordinated by a volunteer committee of representatives from local service agencies, churches, businesses and individuals.

There is still time to donate to this worthy cause! School supplies, coats, sweatshirts, socks and underwear are accepted through Thursday, August 11 at the following locations, unless otherwise noted:

  • All five area Heritage Bank locations.
  • Capital City Storage, 9520 Kimmie Rd. S.W. in Tumwater.
  • O Bee Credit Union (Olympia, Tumwater, and Lacey locations).  
  • Mixx 96.1 fm will accept donations at the corner of State Avenue N.E. and Washington Street S.E. in downtown Olympia from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m on Friday, August 12.

Payroll reminder: 2015-16 time slips due by September 2

This is just a friendly reminder!

If you worked in the 2015/16 school year and have not submitted your time slips, these must be submitted/received in the Payroll department by September 2.

This will allow the Payroll department enough processing time to charge these work hours to the 2015/16 school year before the year is closed. If you have any questions, please contact the Payroll department at payroll@osd.wednet.edu or 360-596-6190.

Teacher Materials Exchange Aug. 23-25

Employees throughout Teacher Materials Exchangeathe district, including those who retired in June, have donated classroom supplies to help give first- through fifth-year teachers a great start to the new school year. Thanks to everyone who donated!

All of the items are in the gym space next to Avanti HS and behind the Knox Administrative Center at 1113 Legion Way S.E. Olympia School District teachers may “shop” for treasures between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. on the following dates:

Tuesday, August 23: First-year teachers
Wednesday, August 24: Second- and third-year teachers
Thursday, August 25: Fourth- and fifth-year teachers

Safety Tip of the Week

Welcome to the first of what is planned as a regular weekly feature in the employee blog. This week’s “Safety Tip of the Week” comes from Wendy Couture, the district’s new safety and risk reduction manager. Wendy joined the Olympia School District this summer.

Preparing your classroom

Welcome back to the new school year! As we prepare for the start of the year by readying our classrooms, please be very aware of your surroundings. It is our priority this year to reduce injuries in our work place and this is a great time to start!

When preparing your work space by putting up posters, decorations or any work above standard reach, make sure you remember to use a step stool or ladder instead of chairs. Chairs are not designed to stand on and can slip. Trips and falls make up a large part of injuries. The National Safety Council says employees are 2.5 times more likely to suffer a disabling fall in an office setting than anywhere else, and your classroom is your office. Your safety is important! Remember SAFETY FIRST!

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