Applications due Oct. 20 for elementary teacher mini-grants

Information about $200 mini-grants for elementary teachersThe Thurston County School Retirees’ Association is accepting applications for its $200 elementary teacher mini-grant program for the 2017-18 school year.

The deadline to apply for the elementary mini-grants is October 20, 2017. The grants are designed to provide an opportunity for elementary school teachers to enhance the education of their students.

The application is available on the Thurston County Retirees’ Association website.

For additional information, contact Jo Edwards at fastwalker1000@comcast.net. Thurston County School Retirees’ Association is a chapter of the Washington State School Retirees’ Association.

Remember to nominate OSD Classified School Employee of the Year by Oct. 5

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 Thursday, October 5, 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 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.

October is Walk to School Month and Disability History Month

Eileen Thomson reads a proclamation for Walk to School Month in OctoberOlympia School Board President Eileen Thomson read a proclamation at the September 25 school board meeting designating October 2017 as Walk to School Month in the Olympia School District.

Read the full proclamation and visit the school district website to learn about related Walk to School 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.

Safety Tip of the Week: Seat belts save lives

This week, Wendy Couture, the district’s safety and risk reduction manager, shares information about how seat belts save lives.

Do you snap in your seat belt as soon as you get in a vehicle?

It’s been proven time and again that a seat belt can and will save a life in an accident. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 15,000 lives are saved each year in the United States because drivers and their passengers were wearing seat belts when they were in accidents.

Seat Belt Safety: 5-Way Protection

  • Keeps the occupants of the vehicle inside. People thrown from a vehicle are four times more likely to be killed than those who remain inside.
  • Restrains the strongest parts of the body. Restraints are designed to contact your body at the strongest parts. For an older child and adult, these parts are the hips and shoulders.
  • Spreads out force from the collision. Lap-and-shoulder belts spread the force of the crash over a wide area of the body putting less stress on any one single area.  A shoulder strap also helps keep your head and upper body away from the dashboard, steering wheel, and other hard interior parts of the automobile if you stop suddenly or on impact.
  • Helps the body slow down. The quick change in speed is what causes injury and seat belts help extend the time it takes for your body to slow down.
  • Protects your brain and spinal cord. A seat belt is designed to protect these two critical areas.

Seat Belt Safety: Buckle Up Correctly

  1. Adjusting your seat belt properly is important: The strap that goes across your lap should fit snugly over your hips and upper thigh area.
  2. Shoulder belts should rest securely across your chest and shoulders. Don’t let the strap fall across your neck or face and never place the strap under your arms or behind your back as this may cause serious injury.

Wearing a seat belt when you are driving a district vehicle is important not only for your personal safety. If a driver is in a van with students and everyone including the students are wearing their seat belts, in the event of an accident there is a reduced liability to the district. Wearing a seat belt is a critical preventative measure.

Staff may earn clock hours for attendance at parenting workshops

Parent educator Candyce Lund Bollinger poses for the cameraThe Olympia School District is pleased to offer free parent education workshops with Candyce Lund Bollinger during the 2017-18 school year. Workshops will be offered on a variety of topics, each geared to elementary or middle and high school parents.

Staff may earn clock hours for attendance at the two-hour workshops, which are offered on a variety of dates throughout the year (minimum of three hours of attendance to qualify for clock hours).

Each workshop is held from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Olympia Regional Learning Academy. OSD staff will learn skills to help students succeed in the classroom.

Register for the workshops in pdEenroller, #48997.

Bollinger is a parent educator and private parenting counselor in Washington State and has been practicing for more than 35 years. She provides classes and consultations for schools, colleges, civic groups, private organizations and has a private practice.  She is the mother of four children and has two grandchildren.

Nominations sought for OSD 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 Thursday, October 5, 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 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.

School board sets 2017-18 goals

The Olympia School Board has set the following goals for the 2017-18 school year:

1. By September 15, 2017, engage the services of WSSDA to provide the School District with a review of its board policies as a preliminary step in the work of completing a full policy and procedure update by June 2018.

2. By November 1, 2017, develop a mentoring plan for new board members to be implemented soon after the election of new members. The purpose of the plan is to orient the new directors to the work of the school board, as well as to form a new, collaborative, inclusive team.

3. By June 2018, with the engagement of the local community, create a new Strategic Plan for the purpose of managing the future work of the district. That work will include establishing agreement among Olympia School District stakeholders around shared core beliefs and student outcomes, setting priorities, focusing resources, strengthening operations, and ensuring that all staff are working toward common goals.

The 2018-2023 Strategic Plan must include and embed:

  • The continued development of a district vision for equity and the organizational development required to enact the vision;
  • Attention to the social/emotional aspect of student mental health;
  • Initial steps based on recommendations from the 2017 Early Learning Report;
  • Actionable goals/objectives to close the achievement/opportunity gaps.