Nominate a colleague for an OSD Employee Recognition Award

WMS Principal Paul Anders presents "The Unsung Hero" award last year to school custodian Scott Swinkels

Washington Middle School Principal Paul Anders presents “The Unsung Hero” award last year to school custodian Scott Swinkels

Please consider nominating any of your colleagues for an Olympia School District Employee Recognition Award. We are asking that nominations be submitted by April 25 so that we can officially honor the winners at the May 22, 2017 Olympia School Board study session.

This annual tradition has become a great way to honor the hard work of those around you!

Categories for awards include:

  • The Instructor (Excels in Teaching)
  • The Innovator (Changes Making a Difference)
  • The Unsung Hero (Goes the Extra Mile)
  • The Bridge Builder (Reaches out to the Community)
  • The Champion of Differences (Celebrates Diversity)
  • The Coach (Supports Others)
  • The Dream Team (Above and Beyond)

Click here to fill out and submit the electronic nomination form, which will be delivered to the Communications and Community Relations Department. If you have questions, please call the Communications and Community Relations Department at (360) 596-6103.

Nominations must be received by the Communications and Community Relations Department on or before 5 p.m. on Tuesday, April 25.

Save the date for the Annual Ice Cream Social

Employees gather for the 2016 Annual Ice Cream Social

Employees gather at the 2016 Annual Ice Cream Social

Mark your calendars! The Olympia School District Annual Ice Cream Social is on Thursday, May 25.  The social takes place in the Capital High School Commons beginning at 4 p.m.

During the event, our school board will honor dedicated staff members who are retiring this year.  The Olympia Education Association will also recognize our Advocates of the year and honor one of our faculty members with the Teacher of the Year Award.

Staff and families are welcome to attend. We hope to see you all there!

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Tech Tip: Be aware of Google Drive Phishing Scam

This week’s Tech Tip, submitted by Chief Information Officer Marc Elliott, addresses how to recognize a Google Drive Phishing Scam.

In the ongoing saga of different types of phishing scams, the most recent to be aware of is a serious one as it leverages Google Drive against the victim, and we are a Google district. It tries to fool the victim into accessing a fake online document to gain access to the individual’s email account.

In this phishing scam, the victim will receive an email with a link to a document (not an attachment) that looks like it’s in Google Drive/Microsoft OneDrive/Dropbox/etc. More than likely, the email will come from a legitimate sender (someone you know) as their account has already been compromised. The idea being that you would automatically trust this sender, and any links or attachments the email might contain.

When the victim attempts to access the online document, they are presented with a log-in screen that either looks like a Google Drive access screen, or a generic log-in screen for different types of cloud storage solutions. While they look legitimate, they are fake log-in screens designed to collect your username and password, thus providing the hacker access to your email to perpetuate the scam and open additional services in your name.



Awareness is important to recognize these more sophisticated forms of phishing attacks. First and foremost, determine if you are expecting a document from the person sending it to you. If not, exercise some caution before following the link and/or opening an attachment.

Second, if you follow the link to the document and end up at a sign-in page, before entering any credentials, look at the URL/address bar at the top of your browser. The address should indicate that the connection is secure (https) and that it clearly is going to the correct service (Google, Onedrive, etc).


Third, it’s almost a dead giveaway of a phishing scam when you see a  log-in screen that allows/encourages you to choose the email system provider. As with Google Drive, it’s specific that you should be using a Google account to log in, not your choice of email systems.

Remember, if you have any doubts about the authenticity of the email you have received, take a minute and contact the sender to verify. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of the cure!


Safety Tip of the Week: Chemicals and the Globally Harmonized System

Safety First Logo image

This week Wendy Couture, the district’s safety and risk reduction manager, provides information about chemicals and the Globally Harmonized System.

A Safety Data Sheet (SDS), formerly called a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS), communicates hazard information about chemical products to employees. These safety sheets are provided to the district by the vendor or producer of the chemical and are an integral part of the chemical management plan for the district. It is important every person understands and knows how to read an SDS in the event of an exposure to a particular chemical.

Washington state has enacted the Globally Harmonized System (GHS), which is an internationally adopted system for the classification and labeling of hazardous chemicals. This system includes established criteria for classifying hazards and for further rating the hazards according to their risks. The GHS provides common language and symbols for each hazard class and each category within a class.

There are 16 standard sections on every SDS. If you see a SDS or MSDS that does not identify the following 16 sections, then a new safety data sheet needs to be received from the vendor.

The sections are as follows:

Section 1 – Identification identifies the chemical, as well as the recommended uses, and provides contact information for the supplier.

Section 2Hazard(s) identification includes the hazards of the chemical and appropriate warning information associated with those hazards.

Section 3Composition/information on ingredients identifies ingredient(s) contained in the product including impurities and stabilizing additives. This section includes information on substances, mixtures and all chemicals where a trade secret is claimed.

Section 4First-aid measures describes initial care that should be given by untrained responders to an individual who has been exposed to the chemical.

Section 5Firefighting measures includes recommendations for fighting a fire caused by the chemical, including extinguishing techniques, equipment and hazards from fire.

Section 6Accidental release measures provides recommendations on response to spills, leaks or releases, including containment and cleanup practices to prevent or minimize exposure.

Section 7 – Handling and storage provides guidance on safe handling practices and conditions for safe storage of chemicals, including other chemicals which may be incompatible.

Section 8 – Exposure controls/personal protection indicates exposure limits, engineering controls and personal protective equipment measures that can be used to minimize exposure.

Section 9 – Physical and chemical properties identifies physical and chemical properties associated with the substance or mixture.

Section 10 – Stability and reactivity describes the reactivity hazards of the chemical and the chemical stability information. This section is broken into 3 parts: reactivity, chemical stability and other.

Section 11 – Toxicological information identifies toxicological and health effects information. This includes routes of exposure, related symptoms, acute and chronic effects and numerical measures of toxicity.

Section 12 – Ecological information provides information to evaluate the environmental impact of the chemical if it were released to the environment.

Section 13 – Disposal considerations provides guidance on proper disposal, recycling or reclamation of the chemical(s) or its container, and safe handling practices to minimize exposure.

Section 14 – Transport information includes guidance on classification information for shipping and transporting of hazardous chemical(s) by road, air, rail or sea.

Section 15 – Regulatory information identifies the safety, health and environmental regulations specific for the product that is not indicated anywhere else on the SDS.

Section 16 – Other information indicates when the SDS was prepared or when the last known revision was made. The SDS may also state where the changes have been made to the previous version. You may wish to contact the supplier for an explanation of the changes. Other useful information also may be included here.

Click here to view an example of an SDS for acetone. Acetone is a common chemical (think fingernail polish remover).

Understanding chemicals and their safe use and storage is important for continued safety at school and at home. SDSs are easily available online but, in addition, the district maintains binders in different locations for all staff. By the beginning of the new school year 2017-18, all of the districts SDSs will be available online at “Safe Schools.”

Jefferson MS teacher Jana Dean is featured in free webinar Thursday, April 13

Jana DeanJefferson Middle School math and science teacher Jana Dean will be featured in a free webinar on Thursday, April 13. Dean will share what she has learned about:

  • Why Singapore scores so high in math achievement
  • The Dutch roots of the most progressive math pedagogy in the world
  • What public schools in the U.S. have in common with public schools in South Africa

Join Dean in the 7 p.m. webinar as she recounts traveling last year to Hamburg, Germany to attend the 13th International Congress of Math Educators.

Register for the Webinar

The webinar is hosted by the Center for Strengthening the Teaching Profession.

Last fall, Dean was named a finalist for the 2016 Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching. Read more about that honor in an article posted on the district website.

It’s showtime! Consider attending an upcoming school drama production

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Students are busy putting the final touches on several upcoming school drama productions. You won’t want to miss these! Also, be sure to check the district calendar for other upcoming theater productions and music performances.

Capital High School presents Grease, the popular rock musical. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. April 20-22 and April 27-29. For ticket information, contact the Box Office at (360) 596-8053.

Reeves Middle School choir students present Once Upon a Mattress, a musical rendition of the Princess and the Pea, including singing and dancing. Students take the stage at 7:30 p.m. on April 17, 19 and 20. There is no charge to attend the performances, which are held in the school gymnasium.

Remember, students love to see district employees at school and extracurricular activities!

OSD Night at the Tacoma Rainiers is this Saturday, April 15


Join us for the annual Olympia School District Night at the Tacoma Rainiers this Saturday, April 15!

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.

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.”

Purchase tickets here – Promo Code is OSDNIGHT

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’: OSD Night at the Tacoma Rainiers is Saturday, April 15; Roosevelt Elementary celebrates STEAM night; school board selects new superintendent; Olympia High senior leaves legacy of equity and compassion; two educators selected as OSD Teachers of the Year … and much more!

Open the latest Spotlight on Success newsletter

Educators invited to register for summer STEM teacher workshops

NNRI & FCD Summer WorkshopsThe Northwest Natural Resources Institute and the Franklin Conservation District are excited to announce their 2017 summer STEM teacher workshop schedule.

Workshops are offered in Olympia on July 10 and 11, as well as in other Washington cities throughout July and August. Earn STEM Washington state approved clock hours at no charge. Space is limited.

Click on the attached image of the 2017 STEM teacher workshop schedule to learn more about the offerings and how to register.