October is Disability History Month and International Walk to School Month

proclamationSuperintendent Dick Cvitanich read a proclamation at the September 26 Olympia School Board meeting designating October 2016 as International Walk to School Month.

Read the proclamation and visit the school district website to learn about related events planned for October.

October is also Disability History Month, as set forth in school district policy 2336 “Required Observances,” and is recognized by many school districts throughout the state and nation. Stay tuned to this weekly blog for posts throughout October containing information about disabilities, teaching strategies and accessibility.

Eat more fruits and vegetables with on-the-go snack tips

wellness_newsletter-october-2016_page_2Be sure to see this month’s copy of “Wellness Is A Way of Life!” The newsletter is provided as a wellness resource for all employees by the Child Nutrition department.

This issue includes articles about how you can get more fruits and vegetables in your diet by making them an on-the-go snacking  habit!

Read the full Wellness newsletter. Previous issues from the 2015-16 school year are available on the Olympia School District website Child Nutrition Web page.

Safety Tip of the Week

This week, Wendy Couture, the district’s safety and risk reduction manager, shares tips about stretching to reduce stress in the workplace.

Stretching to Reduce Stress

Work out your stiffness and stress with these tips for stretching in your workspace:

  1. Neck and Shoulders

Hunching over your desk can strain the cervical spine and stiffen your shoulders. Try reaching your arms behind you, interlocking your fingers and lifting your arms. You should feel this stretch in your chest and shoulders.

  1. Back (Cat Pose)

If work space allows – This is a yoga pose which aligns your spine and helps to improve extension and flexion in your back. Start on all fours (if you can find an empty space) and switch between arching your back like a cat and lifting your head and tailbone towards the ceiling.

  1. Legs

If you don’t sit properly you could be reducing the ability for blood to circulate properly, especially in your legs. Remaining seated, extend your legs and reach down towards your toes. Or while standing stretch while reaching towards your toes.

  1. Overhead Stretch

This is a natural stretch that we all do when we’re feeling a bit stiff and tired. Simply raise your arms above your head, interlock your fingers and push away from yourself. Bending at the waist and reaching slowly to the right and hold for a few seconds and then to the left and hold for a few seconds. Repeat if needed.

  1. Wrist Stretch

This one’s for those of you who spend all day typing! Simply stand up and place your wrists on the desk so they face away from you, and gently apply pressure until you feel the stretching. Hold for a few seconds, and then follow with some wrist circles.

Stretching can help improve flexibility, and, consequently, range of motion in your joints. Stretching also increases blood flow to the muscle. You can view stretches here  for additional ideas and help with stretching.

Open Enrollment ends in two days!

A reminder that Open Enrollment ends this Friday, September 30, 2016. This enrollment period is for benefits effective November 1, 2016.

For helpful documents, links and bargaining group specific benefit information, please visit the OSD Benefits page.

During open enrollment, the Payroll department is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Employees may schedule a one-on-one appointment with Amy McGuire, Payroll/Benefits Technician at (360) 596-6190.  The Payroll office also has a sign-up sheet for walk-ins, who are assisted by Amy McGuire in the order that they arrive.

See the latest Spotlight on Success district newsletter

unnamed-4Be sure to see the latest issue of the district newsletter, “Spotlight on Success.” The second issue of this year’s newsletter (formerly called Community Connections), was emailed to all staff and district families on September 14. It has been reformatted this year to be easily accessible on mobile devices.

Plans are to email the newsletter twice a month to all district families and employees, as well as community members who sign up to receive the e-newsletter. The new name was selected with input from staff, students and community members.

Please send ideas for articles, photos and videos featuring our students and staff to communications@osd.wednet.edu. If you have family or friends in the community who would like to receive the newsletter, please have them email their name and email address to communications@osd.wednet.edu. We will add them to our “Friends of the OSD” email list.

View Spotlight on Success newsletter

Nominations sought for Classified School Employee of the Year

The Olympia School District is accepting nominations for one or more staff members to be honored as Classified School Employee of the Year. The program recognizes the work of classified staff members who have made a positive difference in their profession. All school and support building employees who are categorized as “Classified” staff are eligible for nomination. Nominees should be employees who consistently demonstrate outstanding work performance, professional leadership and collaboration.

Please complete this online nomination form and submit by 4 p.m on Wednesday, October 5, 2016. A committee will review the applications and select the individual(s) to be recognized. The individual(s) chosen will be eligible to compete for the regional Classified School Employee of the Year selection process. The winner at that level advances to the state Classified School Employee of the Year selection process.

Retirement gathering for Judy Cole

Judy Cole, administrative assistant specialist for Transportation, will retire on Friday, September 30 after 28 years with the Olympia School District.

Employees are welcome to stop by the Transportation department between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. on September 30 to wish Judy well and enjoy cake, cookies and coffee. The department is located at 3000 RW Johnson Road S.E.

Thank you, Judy, for your many years of service!