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.

Safety Tip of the Week: Winter Safety

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

Throughout this newsletter there is information to heighten your winter safety awareness and help you prepare for the dark winter months ahead. You’ll find things like: driving tips, an emergency supply checklist, and some slip, trip and fall reminders.

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 your home. Our district Communications staff contacts the Public Schools Emergency System to alert all media outlets in the event of any closures or late starts as soon as we are aware of a change to school schedule. Check the OSD website, 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.

Winter’s cold grip is here. 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 and ruin more than your day.

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 $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 run-off that has frozen overnight. Melting snow may look like water, but it can be an icy hazard.
  • Make sure to use the building wipe-off mats to get water and snow from your boots as you enter a building.

Be Safe!

Applications open for CenturyLink Teachers and Technology Grant Program

The CenturyLink Teachers and Technology Grant Program is a competitive grant open to PreK-12 public and private school teachers in CenturyLink’s residential service areas. The program, funded by the CenturyLink Clarke M. Williams Foundation, is designed to help teachers innovatively implement technology in their classrooms to increase student achievement.

Awards and Eligibility

The CenturyLink Clarke M. Williams Foundation will consider requests of up to $5,000 submitted by full-time classroom teachers employed by a public or private school in a CenturyLink residential service area. Schools do not have to be a CenturyLink customer to apply but must be located in a CenturyLink service area where CenturyLink provides residential phone service.

Previous applicants may apply on an annual basis. For more information or to apply, go to www.centurylink.com/teachersandtechnology

Reminder: Whenever a teacher applies for a technology-based or associated grant, the district Technology Department needs to review the grant before it is submitted. Additionally, whenever technology is involved in a grant application, the purchasing and asset tagging needs to go through Technology.

Application Deadline and Notification
  • Applications will be accepted from October 1, 2017 through January 12, 2018.
  • The review process will be completed and grants presented April 1 – May 15, 2018.

District plans to launch new district website tomorrow evening, October 12

A reminder to all employees that the new OSD website is expected to launch on Thursday, October 12, 2017. The new site will feature pages both for the public to view, as well as a staff intranet visible to employees logged into the site.

Information formerly in Staff Resources, as well as forms and other staff-related content, will be available on the new intranet pages.

Information on the current OSD WebManager district and school sites will no longer be updated or visible to the public after October 12, 2017. After the switchover, the content on the WebManager sites will be available for one year to OSD employees who need to view or copy information. Employees will only be able to access the former WebManager site from inside the OSD network. The Communications department will email all staff on Friday, October 13 with a list of URLs to the WebManager sites.

An additional training date has been scheduled for certificated staff  interested in having a teacher webpage on the new site. Please note that the date was changed from the original announcement so that it did not conflict with conference week in October.

Teachers are invited to sign up for the next website training on November 1. The SchoolMessenger Presence website training is 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.

OSD wireless update

Close up of laptop and wireless mouse

Below is a message from Dave Baird in the Technology Department:

Dear Staff,

We made some changes over the summer in our wireless infrastructure and, despite our best intentions, we failed to get the word out regarding what was changed. Here is a brief synopsis of our current WiFi networks and their intended function:

  • OSD-Public – This network has no password requirements and has internet only access filtered at the most basic elementary school student level. Because it is wide open it is inherently insecure, and we found many users switching to this network, intentionally or not, and then experiencing problems connecting to other district resources. This network is intended for use by the general public and is now only available before and after school hours at each building.

  • OSD-WiFi – This network is set up for non-district owned devices used by staff and students. This network requires a login, making it much more secure. Staff and students should use their district username and password when joining this network. Access to  the appropriate district resources is then allowed based on the user’s group memberships (Staff, Student, Admin, Tech, etc.)

  • NOSD-Devices – A network for devices (iPads, tablets, e-readers, etc) owned by the district. This network is restricted to known hardware MAC addresses.  Any device added to this network whose MAC address is not on the known list will not be allowed use the network.

  • OSD-WiFi-Chrome – Wireless network restricted to district-owned Chromebooks.

  • OSD-Chromebook – A deprecated network used by Chromebooks that haven’t received an updated configuration to switch to OSD-WiFi-Chrome. This will go away at the end of the year.

  • OSD_2012 – This network is for district-owned laptops. Any device that users need to login to in order to use. We are starting to see other devices connecting to this network and will soon be implementing an access list similar to the one for NOSD-devices.

These networks all have specific intended uses and rules in place. Using devices on networks other than their intended one can cause unexpected results and the inability to reach desired resources. While we are striving to make joining the right network as easy and automatic as possible, it is important to be aware of which network is appropriate in each case, and to make sure devices are on the proper network when in use to avoid these problems.