Safety Tip of the Week

This week Wendy Couture, the district’s safety and risk reduction manager, shares tips about the benefits of walking. This is especially timely as Superintendent Dick Cvitanich has proclaimed October as International Walk to School Month in the Olympia School District.

Walking to improve your health

Something as simple as taking a daily walk can help you live a healthier life.

For example, walking can help you:

  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Prevent or manage various conditions, including heart disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes
  • Strengthen your bones and muscles
  • Improve your mood
  • Improve your balance and coordination

Plan your routine

As you start walking, remember to:

  • Choose the right shoes. Good shoes with proper support will make walking easier and more comfortable. Remember to plan for various types of weather. If you walk outdoors when it’s dark, think safety and wear bright colors and/or reflective tape for visibility.
  • Choose your course. Outside is great, but if the weather isn’t appropriate for walking outside, consider walking in a shopping mall that offers open times for walking.
  • Stretch. Remember to stretch before you walk to warm up and after you cool down, gently stretch your muscles.

Stay motivated

  • Set yourself up for success. Start simple, a goal of a 10-minute walk at first until it becomes a habit Then set new goals, such as 20 minutes after work. Find times to walk that works for your schedule.
  • Make walking fun. If you don’t like walking alone, ask a friend, coworker or neighbor to join you. Maybe you might like listening to music while you walk.
  • Vary your routine. If you walk outdoors, have several different routes planned for variety. If you decide to walk alone, be sure to tell someone which route you’re taking.
  • Take missed days in stride. If you find yourself skipping a walk, don’t give up. Remember how good you feel when you get your exercise, and then get back on track.

Set realistic goals

As a goal, aim for at 30 minutes of physical activity a day. If that seems difficult then try several 10-minute sessions throughout the day.

Remember, it’s OK to start slow — if you haven’t been exercising regularly. You can start with five minutes a day and increase your time by a few minutes each week until you reach at least 30 minutes a day.

For proper walking technique, visit the Mayo Clinic! website.

Free flu shot clinics Oct. 25 and 26

The Olympia School District is committed to helping keep students, staff, parents and community members healthy throughout flu season. The district has partnered with the Seattle Visiting Nurse Association (SVNA) to provide annual free flu shot clinics.

The clinics are open to all OSD staff, students, families (children must be 4 years of age or older) and community members. Please note that students under 18 need a Patient Consent Form signed by their parent/legal guardian. The SVNA will bill most insurance plans, including Group Health, for the flu shot. Insurance plans not billed include Cigna and Kaiser.

Students under 18 without insurance coverage will be offered a flu shot at no cost. Adults without current coverage may pay $30 by cash or check.

Clinic dates and locations:

Tuesday, October 25: Washington Middle School Eighth-Grade Commons: 3-6:30 p.m.
Wednesday, October 26: Capital High School Commons: 3-6:30 p.m.

For information contact Jeff Carpenter, director of health, fitness and athletics, at 360-596-8544 or

Who is our latest Featured Faculty?

stephen-lord-featured-facultyCongratulations, Stephen Lord, for being named as the latest winner of the school district’s “OSD Featured Faculty” recognition award! Stephen’s photo and the following short bio is featured on the Home page of the district website and social media pages:

“Stephen is the Administrative Assistant in our incredibly busy Transportation Department. He is constantly going above and beyond to make things workable and easier for staff and families. Stephen gets the job done! He makes such a difference to our school staff who need fast and accurate transportation information. Stephen is a responsive team player who is willing to take suggestions and work collaboratively to make processes more efficient.

On behalf of our entire district, thank you Stephen for being our “Transportation Hero” and going above and beyond in your role in the Transportation Department!”

To nominate other colleagues for the Featured Faculty recognition, please fill out the  OSD Recognition Form. The form may also be used to nominate a student for a “Student Spotlight” recognition, as well as to suggest programs to be featured at your school.

October 14 is last day to apply for elementary teacher mini-grants

The Thurston County School Retirees’ Association is accepting applications for its $200 elementary teacher mini-grant program for the 2016-17 school year.

The deadline to apply for the mini-grants is Friday, October 14, 2016. The grants are designed to provide an opportunity for elementary school teachers to enhance the education of their students.

View and download a copy of this year’s application. The form is also available at

Organizers encourage applicants to include specifics about the needs identified in the grant application. Additionally, if requesting books, please include a list of books, not just whether they are fiction or non-fiction. Finally, please include an approximate dollar amount for the items being requested.

For additional information, contact Jo Edwards at Thurston County School Retirees’ Association is a chapter of the Washington State School Retirees’ Association.

Department of Retirement Systems offers webinars

The Washington State Department of Retirement Systems offers live webinars to give employees another option to learn about state retirement plans. Click the adjacent attachments to learn more about the various webinars offered in October, including one offered tomorrow, October 13.


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Understanding overtime versus compensatory time

The Human Resources department has shared the information below to help employees understand the difference between overtime and compensatory (“comp”) time.


  • Overtime: Pay non-exempt employees earn at one-and-a-half times their regular rate of pay for hours worked over 40 in a single work week.

Compensatory (“comp”) Time – offered instead of overtime

  • Compensatory Time: Under certain prescribed conditions, employees may receive compensatory time off, at a rate of not less than one and one-half hours for each overtime hour worked over 40 in a single work week, instead of cash overtime pay.  
  • Failure to compensate an employee with identical rates is a violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

At no time may a supervisor ask an employee to work and not clock in. It is illegal to “Work off the clock.” Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which applies to most workers, requires that employees be paid overtime when working beyond 40 hours a week for all work done for their employers.

Disability History Museum

In recognition of Disability History Month, Kari Lewinsohn, executive director of Student Support, encourages staff to visit the “Disability History Museum.”

The Disability History Museum is a virtual project that aims to provide site visitors, including people with and without disabilities, with tools “to help deepen their understanding of human variation and difference, and to expand appreciation of how vital to our common life the experiences of people with disabilities have always been.”

Its mission, as printed on the museum website, is to “foster a deeper understanding about how changing cultural values, notions of identity, laws and policies have shaped and influenced the experience of people with disabilities, their families and their communities over time.”

Visit the Disability History Museum

Kudos to staff and students featured in Spotlight on Success newsletter

unnamed-4Be sure to see the latest issue of the district’s Spotlight on Success newsletter, which features stories and photos about students and staff. Kudos to everyone featured in this issue!

Remember to send ideas for articles, photos and videos featuring our students and staff to 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 We will add them to our “Friends of the OSD” email list.

View the October 4, 2016 newsletter

Nominations close today 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.

Avanti HS named a School of Distinction

dsc_0108Avanti High School joins an elite group of less than 100 schools statewide that have been named a School of Distinction for being among the top 5 percent of highest improving schools.

This is the fourth time in six years that the school has received a School of Distinction Award from The Center for Educational Effectiveness (CEE).

The CEE award is based on a review of five years of school information. This year, the organization examined the sustained improvement of reading and math scores at the elementary and middle school levels, and 4- and 5-year graduation rates at the high school level.

Read more about Avanti High School’s latest recognition on the district website. Congratulations!