United Way annual giving campaign is November 1-22


Olympia School District’s annual United Way giving campaign kicks off on Wednesday, November 1 and continues through November 22.

New this year is the ability to donate online; therefore, the district will not be sending paper pledge forms to schools.  Please note there is an option on the online pledge form to check whether you would like your donation to be “ongoing” and continue past this school year. If you only intend to donate for this school year, make sure you “uncheck” the box.

In commemoration of the 25th year of Day of Caring in Thurston County, the United Way is running a special “25 for 12” campaign. Anyone who donates $25 or more a month for 12 months will receive a “Live United” T-shirt with the Olympia School District logo.

United Way is a national organization that provides a multitude of services to thousands of people right here in the Olympia community, including many of the students and families served by the school district.

Donations through the United Way support a variety of organizations, including the Thurston County Food Bank, Community Youth Services, TOGETHER, Pizza Klatch, CEILO, the Reading Buddy Program, Behavioral Health Resources and the Olympia School District Education Foundation.

Additional details about the United Way of Thurston County can be found on their
website and in this video. This year’s campaign timeline is concurrent with other local school district campaigns.

If you have any questions or need more information, please feel free to contact Kim
Doherty in the Communications and Community Relations Department at kdoherty@osd.wednet.edu or (360) 596-6108.

All online pledge forms need to be completed no later than November 22, the last day
of school before Thanksgiving break.

View the online pledge form

Learn how to create a teacher Web page at SchoolMessenger training November 1

Certificated staff interested in creating a teacher Web page on the new SchoolMessenger website are invited to attend the next two-hour class, where you will learn how to use the new tool to create content, post photos and more.

The SchoolMessenger website training is on Wednesday, November 1 from 4-6 p.m. in Room 303 at the Knox Administrative Center, 1113 Legion Way S.E., Olympia.

To sign up for the class, please email communications@osd.wednet.edu.

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,’ read a message from Superintendent Patrick Murphy, learn about the first Walk N Roll to school at Garfield and Pioneer elementary schools, read about Washington First Lady Trudi Inslee’s visit to the district, and much more!

Open the latest Spotlight on Success newsletter

Safety Tip of the Week: Use extra care when displaying seasonal decorations

This week, Wendy Couture, the district’s safety and risk reduction manager, shares information about exercising caution when displaying seasonal decorations.

Seasonal decoration safety

Decorating our workspaces and classrooms happens during many different times of the year for many different seasons. Decorations can increase student and staff enthusiasm and seasonal and holiday themes can harness excitement. Decorations must always be set up safe and not create a hazard.

Potential decorating hazards

Even well-intentioned decorations can pose a risk to students, staff and property if used incorrectly. The following potential hazards include:

  • Fires: Too much clutter on classroom or hallway walls and ceilings can spread fires more quickly.
  • Poisoning: Some decorations may be made with toxic substances and could be hazardous if young students were to unwittingly taste them.
  • Falls: Items that are improperly secured may fall and injure students.
  • Trips: A classroom cluttered with decorations has more trip hazards.
  • Cuts: Paper cuts are common from foil and paper decorations, while glass items could break into hazardous shards.

School decoration safety tips

To minimize the risks of classroom decorations but still enjoy a fun, colorful atmosphere, decorations should be put up carefully and safely.

Tips applicable to all types of decorations include:

  • Only use decorations in their intended fashion and read all display instructions before use.
  • Do not block fire alarms, emergency signs or exits with decorations.
  • Confine decorations to suitable spaces such as bulletin boards. Covering windows and ceilings with additional decorations increases the amount of combustible material in the classroom or office and increases fire risks.
  • Never hang decorations from light fixtures, sprinkler heads, or vents.
  • Choose decorations with flame resistant coatings.
  • Fasten flags, posters, papers and other decorations flat to the wall to minimize exposed edges that could cause cuts or increase fire risks.
  • Fasten all items securely for their weight to reduce the risk that they may loosen and fall.
  • When removing decorations, be sure to remove all strings, staples and other materials used to hold the decorations.
  • Store decorations safely and out of reach of students.
  • Do not allow students to climb on desks or other unsafe surfaces to help decorate.

Wildlife refuge hosts free field trip orientation workshop for educators

Billy Frank Jr. Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge flier

Click to enlarge the flier

Teachers interested in coordinating a field trip for students to the Billy Frank Jr. Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge are invited to a free field trip orientation workshop scheduled in December, February and March.

Learn about the history of the wildlife refuge, participate in indoor and outdoor educational activities, become familiar with the facilities and resources available for educational groups, and walk the Twin Barns Loop Trail.

Four clock hours are available for a $13 fee through Educational Service District 113 for those participating in the workshop.

To participate in the field trip orientation workshop, complete and submit a registration form

For more information, see the attached flier.

New websites are launched: How to find staff resources and more!

OSD Home page showing top half of pageWe are excited to announce the launch of our newly designed district and school websites.

As we mentioned in an email to all staff the day after our launch, we want to extend a special thank you to all who assisted the Communications and Community Relations department this past year as we moved forward with this transition. Thanks, also, to those who spent the past several decades working on the former WebManager site. While it was time for a change, we respect all of the hard work over many years!

Staff Intranet

One of the new features on our site is a staff Intranet. This is the new home for all forms and content designed for employees only. This information, formerly located in Staff Resources and on some department pages on our previous WebManager site, is not visible to our public. It includes documents and other content such as staff forms (e.g. bus route field trip requests),  the OSD staff directory and much more! This area is continuing to be updated and streamlined to make it as easy as possible for employees to find information. Employees must login to the SchoolMessenger site to see the staff Intranet.

Please watch this short video to learn how to sign into the staff Intranet.

OSD Portal

In addition to the employee forms and other content stored on the new staff Intranet, staff may also click on the new “OSD Portal” tab located near the top of the public district Home page to reach the single sign-on page of our OSD system. Once on this page, you will see in the left column a list of direct links to programs or services that require a login to access (e.g. IEP online, Homeroom, PD enroller, and AESOP Link Via Skyward).

Other improvements

Based on the surveys we did last fall of staff, students and community members, we made a number of other improvements to the site. You will see some of the most visited pages in the “Quick Links” bar just under the photo display on the Home page. With one click, our families can find information about bus routes, daily menus, Skyward, school registration, job openings, and more. Other frequently visited pages can also be found in the footer of the page under “Useful Links.”

Our new site also features “Announcements” adjacent to the rotating photo display on the district and all school sites. The announcements on the district page are geared for all families, while each school has their own site-specific announcements.

The “District News” articles and photos in the middle of the page feature all districtwide news. Under this section is a YouTube featured district video, as well as a mini-calendar. The mini-calendar items on the Home page of the district site feature district calendar events, such as school board meetings, while the calendar on each school page highlights events at that building.

As with our former website, we have social media icons, a search function, and the ability to translate pages.

Accessing former WebManager read-only sites

If you need to access our former WebManager website, which is no longer visible to the public, the information will be available to view for one year. The old sites are only available from inside the district network and are not available externally. You will get an error message if you try to access the pages from outside the district network.

Below are the URLs for the former WebManager district and school websites (view only):

Olympia School District: http://osd.old.osd.wednet.edu

Boston Harbor EShttp://bostonharbor.old.osd.wednet.edu
Centennial EShttp://centennial.old.osd.wednet.edu
Garfield EShttp://garfield.old.osd.wednet.edu
Hansen EShttp://hansen.old.osd.wednet.edu
Lincoln EShttp://lincoln.old.osd.wednet.edu
LP Brown EShttp://brown.old.osd.wednet.edu
Madison EShttp://madison.old.osd.wednet.edu
McKenny EShttp://mckenny.old.osd.wednet.edu
McLane EShttp://mclane.old.osd.wednet.edu
Pioneer EShttp://pioneer.old.osd.wednet.edu
Roosevelt EShttp://roosevelt.old.osd.wednet.edu

Jefferson MShttp://jefferson.old.osd.wednet.edu
Marshall MShttp://marshall.old.osd.wednet.edu
Reeves MShttp://reeves.old.osd.wednet.edu
Washington MShttp://washington.old.osd.wednet.edu

Avanti HShttp://avanti.old.osd.wednet.edu
Capital HShttp://capital.old.osd.wednet.edu
Olympia HShttp://olympia.old.osd.wednet.edu

Next SchoolMessenger Web page training is November 1

Certificated staff interested in creating a teacher Web page on the new SchoolMessenger website are invited to attend the next two-hour class, where you will learn how to use the new tool to create content, post photos and more.

The SchoolMessenger website training is on November 1 from 4-6 p.m. in Room 303 at the Knox Administrative Center, 1113 Legion Way S.E., Olympia.

To sign up for the class, please email communications@osd.wednet.edu

Learn how to make Google Docs accessible in Grackle trainings this month

Grackle Docs is a district-provided add-on in Google Docs that allows you to identify and fix issues of accessibility in your documents.  In this one-hour training, you will learn how to launch the Grackle add-on, run its accessibility checker, review the results, and remedy the issues to create a document or PDF that may be posted and shared with students and families.

The following sessions have been scheduled by the Technology department around the district, and additional sessions will be provided. Please register in advance on PDEnroller.
  • October 23: 3-4 p.m. Olympia High School
  • October 26: 3-4 p.m. Capital High School
  • October 30: 3:30-4:30 p.m. Washington Middle School

OSDEF payroll deduction form deadline is October 31

OSD-Logo-2014There are many ways for employees to give to non-profit organizations, including via individual initiative, through annual drives such as United Way, and through the Olympia School District Education Foundation automatic OSD payroll deduction option.

Employees who wish to sign up for the monthly OSDEF automatic payroll deduction may do so by downloading the form attached and returning a signed copy to the Knox Administrative Center Payroll Office. Forms may be sent through inter-district mail or dropped off in person.

The deadline to sign up for the OSDEF automatic payroll deduction is October 31, 2017. 

Download the OSDEF automatic payroll deduction form

For more information, email the Payroll Department at help-payroll@osd.wednet.edu.

OSDEF Automatic Payroll Authorization Form



Hands On Children’s Museum invites educators to explore museum

Educator Night Out information for Hands On Children's Museum event November 9Elementary teachers take note: The Hands On Children’s Museum is hosting a free Educator Night Out event on Thursday, November 9.

Educators are encouraged to explore the museum, enjoy refreshments, and get information about field trip opportunities, its mobile education program, and art and science workshops.

The free event for educators 21 and older is from 5:30-7:30 p.m. To register, call 360-956-0818 Ext. 103, or email reservations@hocm.org.