Auditions for OSD Players musical “Annie” set for December 7

Auditions for this year’s OSD Players musical Annie are set for Wednesday, December 7. To audition for this year’s production, please review the following attachments and complete the audition form. One attachment describes the Annie audition process, including rehearsal and show dates, another is a listing of Annie characters, and the third is an audition form to download, print, fill out and bring with you to the auditions.

All OSD employees and their families are welcome to audition for a part in the production, directed by Colleen Powers. Auditions are from 6-9 p.m. on December 7 at Reeves Middle School, 2200 Quince St. N.E. in Olympia.

 Performances of Annie are scheduled at 7 p.m. on February 23, 24, and 25,  and at 2 p.m. on February 25 and 26 at Olympia High School.

Technology Fair logo contest entries due Friday, December 2

2017techfairlogocontestThank you to all who have encouraged students to participate in the 2017 Tech Fair Logo Contest.  The deadline for submissions is the end of the day this Friday, December 2.

The Technology department has already received a number of exciting submissions. Please remind students to name their files correctly, as as there is no other way to identify the artist. The theme for this year’s contest is “Through the Portal.”
Teachers are encouraged to talk with students about how a portal can be used in a computing sense as a doorway into different websites and services. Many students simply think of portals as they relate to video games. Feel free to share the student portal at and talk about how it is a jumping-off place for students to all of their curricula and applications. It’s a doorway to knowledge!
Click here for contest rules and entry submission information.

Read the latest Spotlight on Success district newsletter


See the latest issue of the district’s Spotlight on Success newsletter, which features students, staff and other district news. This issue includes a link to a video about Olympia High student Surabhi Mundada, photos of this year’s Classified School Employees of the Year, information about the success of McKenny Elementary’s Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) program, a snapshot of the new Wonders English Language Arts curriculum paired with technology at McLane Elementary, and more!

Open the latest Spotlight on Success newsletter

Safety Tip of the Week

This week Wendy Couture, the district’s safety and risk reduction manager, shares tips about winter safety.

Winter Safety

The time to devise a winter safety plan is long before the cold weather hits. Frequently, when people think of winter safety, they only think of snow and ice. In the Pacific Northwest, severe wind and rain storms can often be as debilitating. Flooding, mud slides and downed trees frequently affect our ability to perform our jobs and pose the threat of accidents and injury.

The most important things to keep in mind about Winter Safety is to stay informed and keep us informed.

Stay Informed:  Make sure you have access to accurate information about weather conditions before you leave home. Early in the morning, generally before 6 a.m., our district staff contacts the Public Schools Emergency System to alert all media outlets in the event of school closures or late starts. The district also contacts families through its automated calling/email system and posts weather-related closures or late starts on the district website and its social media pages. Check the OSD website, social media, northwest TV stations and local radio stations (KGY, KXXO/MIXX) for the latest information.

Keep us Informed:  We depend on you to notify your supervisor, custodian or maintenance personnel if you see a winter hazard so we can make corrections as quickly as possible. Additionally, please keep your phone and email contact information up-to-date with the district.

Winter Wise Words…

We all need to think about preventing weather-related slips, trips and fall hazards in a proactive manner. Slippery surfaces, unrecognizable ice and frost, can cause a loss of traction that can send you to the ground in a hurry.

Tips for getting to and from activities on walkways and in parking lots:

  • Wear the proper shoes and socks; perhaps hiking boots with proper tread. If you need to wear dress shoes pack them in a bag.
  • Another layer of insurance for your feet is a set of tire chains or ice cleats for your shoes and boots. Retailers sell single pairs of snow and ice spike shoe/boot covers starting at about $7.
  • Whether it’s navigating your way around a bus in the dark at the transportation facility or crossing a parking lot to get to a building, slow down to observe your surroundings.
  • Minimize how much you carry. It is harder to navigate ice when you cannot see over things in your arms… and it’s harder to balance with a heavy load.
  • Park strategically. Look for an area with no incline. Evaluate your walk to the building. Follow the path made by custodians or look for the least slippery route.
  • Avoid snow pile runoff that has frozen overnight. Melting snow may look like water but can be an icy hazard.
  • Make sure to use the building wipe-off mats to remove water and snow from your boots as you enter a building.

Be Safe!

December Wellness newsletter

december-2016-wellness-letter-2_page_2Why is it important to wash the outside of a melon before cutting? Why is it important to wash your hands before and after an exercise session at the gym? Learn more in the latest issue of “Wellness is a Way of Life!”

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

The monthly newsletter is provided by the Child Nutrition department as a wellness resource for all employees.

Two days left to contribute to this year’s United Way campaign

uwtc-finalThere are two days left to give to the Olympia School District’s 2016 United Way campaign!

United Way pledge forms have been distributed to all schools and support buildings. Completed forms need to be given to the building contact person or front office staff by this Friday, November 18.

The contact person or front office staff then need to bundle the forms and send to Kim Doherty in the district’s Communications department no later than Tuesday, November 22.

For those interested in donating, United Way is sponsoring a ’12 for 12′ Seahawks Campaign. Anyone who donates $12 (or more) during each of the next 12 months will be provided a “Live United” Seahawk green and blue T-shirt. People can give through a payroll deduction or a one-time gift of cash, check or credit card.

For more information, contact Kim Doherty at or (360) 596-6108.

Safety Tip of the Week

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

Ladder Safety – Three Points of Contact

During this time of year decorations can be a very important part of the classroom and putting up decorations may include climbing a ladder. When climbing a ladder, it is safest to use “Three Points-of-Contact” because it minimizes your chance of slipping and falling from the ladder.  At all times during ascending, descending and working on a ladder, you should face the ladder. Keeping two hands and one foot, or two feet and one hand in contact with the ladder steps, rungs and/or side rails.  In this way, you will be less likely to be unstable in the event you slip during climbing.  It is important to note that you should not carry any objects in either hand that can interfere with your grip on the ladder. If you are unable to grip and maintain “Three Points-of-Contact” with the ladder, the chance of falling is increased.

Some factors contribute to falls from ladders such as haste, worn condition of the ladder and your footwear.

Improper climbing posture can create clumsiness and may cause falls. Reduce your chances of falling during climbing by:

  • Wearing slip-resistant shoes.
  • Cleaning the soles of shoes to maximize traction.
  • Using an assistant to carry materials so that your hands are free when climbing.
  • Climbing slowly and deliberately and avoiding sudden movements.
  • Never attempting to move a ladder while standing on it.
  • Keeping the center of your belt buckle (stomach) between the ladder side rails when climbing and working. Do not overreach or lean while working so that you don’t fall off the ladder sideways or pull the ladder over sideways while standing on it.
  • Making sure the ladder is placed on level secure ground before climbing.
  • Making sure you do not step on the top rung on the ladder and that you choose a ladder that is the adequate size for your project.
  • Not placing ladders in front of doors where the door can be opened and knock the ladder over. Otherwise the door will need to blocked, locked or guarded.

Kaiser Permanente and Group Health: Acquisition Q & A

am0001259-01-16_v14_page_1Attention Group Health members: Group Health has signed an agreement to be acquired by Kaiser Permanente. Group Health and this district will continue to keep employees informed as more information is available. In the meantime, please visit the Group Health Web link for the most current information. Below are some commonly asked questions and answers as outlined when clicking the link above.

Why is Group Health joining Kaiser Permanente?

Increasing competition from large national companies, rising drug costs and technology expenses are some of the reasons it’s becoming harder for a small, regional organization like Group Health to continue providing high-quality care and coverage at an affordable price. Joining Kaiser Permanente — a nationally recognized, nonprofit organization that shares our (Group Health’s) approach to health care — is the best way we can ensure that members continue to get the kind of care and coverage they have come to know and trust.

Is Group Health a part of Kaiser Permanente now?

No. Group Health is not yet part of Kaiser Permanente, though some important milestones have already taken place — such as public forums around the state and the approval of our voting members. The proposed acquisition is currently being reviewed by the Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner (OIC).

What are the next steps in the acquisition process?

The OIC must approve the acquisition and additional necessary actions must be taken before we can become part of Kaiser Permanente. We don’t know the exact date the OIC will make its decision, but we anticipate it will happen in late 2016 or early 2017.We know you probably have specific questions about what’s ahead. While we may not have all the answers today, we will update you when there is new information to share. You can go to for the latest information.

Will Group Health’s name change?

Yes. Group Health Cooperative’s name will change to Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Washington. Beginning in March, you’ll start to see the Kaiser Permanente name in medical centers, on staff apparel, on our (company) website and other places. Staff will answer the phone as Kaiser Permanente.

Will you be communicating news about the acquisition to members?

Yes. We’re beginning to send communications to members about what they can expect if the acquisition is completed, including reassurance that their plan for 2017 will not change. Please refer to the attached postcard that will land in subscribers’ homes starting on Nov. 22. If the acquisition is completed, Kaiser Permanente is committed to keeping members informed through the transition. Members can expect to receive a welcome from Kaiser Permanente and customer service staff will be ready to answer any questions they may have. In the first half of 2017 members will receive a new Kaiser Permanente ID card and will begin to see changes to signs in facilities and online.

What can I expect when the acquisition is approved?

When a decision has been made by the OIC, we will be notified and provide you the update. If the acquisition is completed, Kaiser Permanente is committed to keeping everyone informed through the transition. You can expect to hear more, including,

  • Information about the process and timing for the transition, what we know will change, and what will remain the same.
  • Advertising and other elements to introduce Kaiser Permanente in the state of Washington.
  • A “Welcome to Kaiser Permanente” letter to members, highlighting a commitment to our members’ care and experience.
  • Name changes throughout our system, including on member ID cards, online, at clinics and even in the way Customer Service representatives answer the phone. This work will begin following all approvals and through 2017.
  • Increased call center staffing to support members calling with questions.
  • Ongoing updates to our website dedicated to the acquisition and transition:

Does Kaiser Permanente plan on making improvements?

Yes. As part of the acquisition agreement, Kaiser Permanente has committed to investing $1 billion in facilities and technology to the current Group Health system over the next 10 years. These ongoing improvements to infrastructure, technology and other areas will support and enhance members’ care experience in the years ahead. Additionally, Kaiser Permanente’s greater resources will help us grow stronger and continue to attract top doctors and staff.

Will plans and benefits change for 2017?

No. When clients choose a Group Health plan during 2016 Open Enrollment, the plan they select will not change in 2017.

What impact will the acquisition have on 2017 premium rates?

None. The proposed acquisition does not affect 2017 premiums, benefits or costs.

Will members still be able to see their Group Health doctors in 2017?

Yes. Members can continue to receive care in the Group Health location they do now. The name on the building will change but the same convenient clinics with doctor offices, lab, pharmacy and X-ray usually under one roof will continue to be there.

What plans will Kaiser Permanente offer in the future?

It’s too early to know exactly what health plans, rates or benefits will be offered beyond 2017. But we do know that Kaiser Permanente understands the value of offering plans that give employees choice in providers and intends to offer choice products in Washington with access to community providers outside of our medical centers. Provider networks for 2018 products would be determined sometime in 2017.

What are some other advantages to joining Kaiser Permanente?

Once the acquisition is complete, our health plans will become part of the larger Kaiser Permanente organization, broadening the appeal of products to employers that have a presence outside of Washington. (Kaiser Permanente operates in California, Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, Maryland, Oregon, and Virginia, and the District of Columbia.) Kaiser Permanente’s larger footprint brings advantages for everyone including employers and members. Additionally, each of Kaiser Permanente’s regions has local operations, where local decisions are made. Each region has its own personality, and there will continue to be local leadership, governance, and teams supporting members’ care and service here in Washington.

Employee Assistance Program provides support to employees and dependents


Click image to enlarge

Personal issues, planning for life events or simply managing daily life can affect an employee’s work, health and family. “GuidanceResources” provides support, resources and information for personal and work-life issues. The program is company-sponsored, confidential and provided at no cost to employees and their dependents.

Services provided include:

  • Confidential counseling.
  • Financial information and resources.
  • Legal support and resources.
  • Work-life solutions.
  • Free online will preparation.
  • Help for new parents.

Learn more by viewing the attached GuidanceResources information flier.

Safety Tip of the Week

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

During this time of year decorations can be a very important part of the classroom or office area. Decorations enliven the classroom and serve an instructional purpose. Safety is especially important during this time of year for students, teachers and visitors. Here are some common safety tips for decorating the classroom.

  • Classroom exits should be clear and not blocked by obstructions.
  • Exit signs for emergency window exits should be visible at all times.
  • Use flame retardant decorations whenever possible.
  • Decorative items should not be suspended or hanging from fire sprinkler heads.
  • Decorative or instructional items should not be suspended from classroom ceiling lights.
  • Materials stored on top of shelves or cabinets should not be closer than 18″ to automatic sprinkler heads.
  • Mount decorations within reach of the floor for easy and safe access and to limit the risk of falling.
  • If decorations do need to be mounted higher than standard reaching height remember to use a step stool and not a chair or desk.
  • Never place staples or nails through strings of lights, power cords, or extension cords as it could damage the cord and present a fire hazard. Make sure cords do not dangle from counters and tabletops where they can be pulled or tripped over.
  • Do not overload electrical outlets.
  • Do not use any type of decoration that has an open flame.
  • Make sure that any illuminated items are turned off when you leave your work area so there is no risk of fire breaking out when the building is unattended.

Whether classroom decorations are used to celebrate a holiday, promote a learning concept or showcase an achievement, it is critical to keep safety in mind so the classroom learning environment is enhanced and does not become hazardous.