Nominations open for district Teacher of the Year

The Olympia School District is accepting nominations for one or more staff members to be honored as OSD Teacher of the Year.

The program recognizes the work of teachers who have made a positive difference in their profession. Any Washington public school teacher who has a current certificate and works directly with students for at least 50 percent of his/her time is eligible to be nominated.

Please complete this online nomination form and submit by 4 pm. on Wednesday, February 15, 2017.

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 Teacher of the Year selection process. The winner at that level advances to the state Teacher of the Year selection process.

Fill out and submit the online nomination form by February 15, 2017

Safety Tip of the Week

This week Wendy Couture, the district’s safety and risk reduction manager, provides information about the benefits of educators making healthy eating choices.

Nutrition Tips for Busy Educators

Teaching is a mentally complex and challenging job. In the course of a school day, a teacher makes hundreds of decisions and responds quickly to the myriad of unexpected events that life in the classroom may take. If you are a teacher, you have a high-energy job, therefore it’s essential to prime yourself with the right fuel.

But in the busy life of a teacher, who has time to think about healthy eating?Unfortunately, the less we think about what we eat, the worse our diets can get. We don’t want to fall into the trap of defaulting to snacking on “convenience foods” that may be high in sugar and saturated fats and low in nutrients needed to sustain energy levels.

Consider your nutrition to reduce your potential for low energy throughout the school day:

  1. Don’t forget to feed your brain! The brain consumes calories, too, about 600 per day on average. Food choices that support cardiovascular health are also good for the brain and may increase cognitive function.
  2. Reduce the consumption of foods with added sugar, which includes many prepared foods and snacks.
  3. Here is a good reference to check out: 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
  4. Seeds, nuts, olive oil and avocados are ready sources of monounsaturated fats, while fish such as salmon and albacore tuna contain polyunsaturated fats, including omega-3 fatty acids which help support brain function. Fats increase the feeling of satiety and help to keep hunger pangs at bay.
  5. Instead of relying heavily on red and processed meats, you can add more healthy sources of protein by planning meals to include seafood, poultry, eggs and legumes like beans, peas, nuts and seeds.

Start the day off with healthy choices

Instead of processed cereals, consider nutrient-dense foods like a veggie loaded omelet with a cup of coffee or tea to provide fuel to keep the brain firing all the way to lunch. Then when recharging at lunch time, consider a palm-sized portion of protein such as chicken or fish, along with a colorful salad topped with an olive oil-based dressing. This can keep you going strong all day. Don’t forget you may need snacks to carry you over, so reach for that fresh fruit or nuts to help level your blood sugar and keep you feeling energized.

Staff invited to free workshop February 22

All staff districtwide are invited to attend a free workshop on February 22 on “The Impact of Hearing Loss on School-Age Children.”

The Impact of Hearing Loss on School-Age Children

Knox Administrative Center 
Wednesday, February 22: 4-6 PM

This workshop will cover numerous aspects regarding the education for a deaf and hard-of-hearing child.  Audiology, appropriate accommodations, social/emotional support, American Sign Language, speech and English language support, curriculum and assessment will be discussed.  There will be several presenters, each with many years experience with deaf and hard-of-hearing students.  Come and bring any questions you may have.

Open the latest issue of 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. In this edition of ‘Spotlight on Success’: Marshall Middle School celebrates MLK Day with ‘Day of Service’; LP Brown students travel the world through geography enrichment program; OSD teams dominate FIRST Tech Challenge and qualify for State; Capital and Olympia high school students excel at FBLA Conference; and much more!

Open the latest Spotlight on Success newsletter

February 2 is last day to complete superintendent search online survey


Reminder: Thursday, February 2, is the last day to fill out and submit an Olympia School District superintendent search online survey. Tomorrow is also the final day of a series of 18 focus groups held throughout the district to gather input from staff, students and community members.

Parents, students, employees and community members throughout the district are invited to complete a superintendent search survey. The brief survey will assist the Olympia School Board and the superintendent search firm in developing a leadership profile and position description that will guide the board’s selection of the next superintendent.

The survey, developed by the superintendent search firm, asks questions about the district’s strengths and challenges, as well as professional qualifications and personal qualities desired for the next superintendent.

Respondents are asked at the end of the survey to identify the group that best represents their role and/or relationship to the district (such as parent, student or community member); however, no names are requested to keep the responses anonymous.

Survey responses are submitted online directly to Northwest Leadership Associates, the superintendent search firm selected by the school board to assist with the search process.

Copies of the survey are available in school offices and support buildings for those unable to complete online. The district will forward surveys turned in at schools and support sites to the search firm.

Take the online survey by Thursday, February 2

Photo: The school district and CIELO co-hosted a superintendent search focus group meeting earlier this week for Spanish-speaking families. The event was held at CIELO in Olympia.

February Wellness newsletter: Let’s talk hearts!

February Wellness Newsletter front page Happy Face = Healthy Heart

Click to enlarge image

Don’t miss this month’s issue of the “Wellness is a Way of Life!” newsletter. The newsletter is provided by the Child Nutrition department as a wellness resource for all employees.

The February newsletter includes articles about heart health and the health benefits associated with having a positive, happy mood.

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

Save the date for OSD Night at the Tacoma Rainiers


Saturday, April 15 is the third annual Olympia School District Night at the Tacoma Rainiers. The Rainiers will take on the Albuquerque Isotopes beginning at 5:05 p.m. at Cheney Stadium in Tacoma.

All students, families, teachers, staff and the Olympia School District community are invited to join us for this fun-filled district event. Invite your friends and neighbors to join us and show support for the Rainiers and our schools. Last year we sold more than 200 tickets. Let’s see if we can surpass that this year!

Be sure to arrive on time to watch Superintendent Dick Cvitanich throw out the ceremonial first pitch. Then stick around after the game for “Kids Run the Bases.”

Ticket purchase information will be available soon. We hope to see you there!