Don’t dial 9 for an outside line; use 2 to get through

Three phone receivers, all of different colors, laying on a tabletop

The next time you pick up a district phone to dial an outside phone line, no matter what the area code, NEVER DIAL 9 before the number. Rather, ALWAYS dial 2, the area code, and the number. This applies to all area codes, including 360, as well as any 800 numbers.

Note: In an emergency, dialing 911 (three digits) is still the appropriate and preferred method.

Some background:

When the district switched long distance carriers a little over a year ago, we moved away from the state’s managed long distance SCAN system, which forced us to dial a “2” when dialing a long distance number along with a department code for billing.  With the new system we get billed directly from CenturyLink, saving us money and removing the need for the additional dial code.

While the new system is definitely more convenient, it has given rise to a new problem, accidental 911 calls are becoming more and more prevalent as folks are getting used to dialing 9 for an outside line followed by 1-area code-number.  It is very easy in the rush of dialing to double tap the “1” key, and that’s all it takes!  No matter how quickly you realize your mistake, you have placed a call to 911, and if you do not stay on the line to explain that it was an accident the police department will call back to make sure there is not an actual emergency.

Even without the SCAN system, “2” is still an option for dialing an out of district number.  In fact, when you use “2” as the prefix you only need to follow with the area code and number, no need for a “1” at all! This means one less number to dial, and it completely eliminates the chance of accidentally dialing 911!  For this reason we are asking all district staff to use 2 as the default prefix when making outbound calls.

So please, pass it on to coworkers, friends, families, anyone dialing out on our phones; Don’t dial 9 for an outside line, use 2 to get through!

Read about the latest OSD Everyday Hero and nominate one of your own!

Everyday Heroes Logo with the words: Celebrating OSD EmployeesWe invite all employees districtwide to let us know about a colleague in any school or department who has done something deserving of encouragement and praise.

Here is the latest honoree!

Everyday Hero 
Theresa Jones, Support Service Center Groundskeeper
“Thank you Theresa Jones for the awesome job you have done on sprucing up our grounds here at Transportation.  Your hard work has shown amazing results, and we “Thank You” for that.”
Submitted by: OSD Transportation Staff

Nominate an Everyday Hero

The process is simple:

  • Email the Communications and Community Relations Department ( a few sentences, and no more than 200 words, about why the person deserves recognition. It’s easiest to write as if speaking directly to the colleague, such as “Thank you for helping with…” or “I really appreciated when you…”
  • Write Everyday Heroes in the subject heading of the email.
  • Include your first and last name as the person submitting the comments.
  • Include the first and last name of the OSD employee you are recognizing.
  • Include the job title and work location (school or department) of the person you are recognizing.

All submissions will be posted in this blog and archived each week.

We can’t wait to hear about all of our Everyday Heroes, because we know that every day our bus drivers, child nutrition staff, custodial employees, teachers, paraeducators, school and district office staff, and others are doing amazing work on behalf of students.

OSD staff and students star in Hello Dolly; show runs Thursday-Sunday

Poster for Hello Dolly including show dates and times and sponsorsTickets are on sale for Hello Dolly, this year’s annual musical presented by the OSD Players — a group of staff and students from throughout the school district.

This year’s production will run this Thursday, February 22 through Sunday, February 25 at the Olympia High School Performing Arts Center. The performance is a fundraiser for the Olympia School District Education Foundation, which uses the funds to make grants to the school district, schools and educators.

There will be five shows, all at the Olympia High School Performing Arts Center (1302 North St. SE, Olympia). Performance dates and times are as follows:

  • Thursday, February 22; 7 p.m.
  • Friday, February 23; 7 p.m.
  • Saturday, February 24; 2 p.m.
  • Saturday, February 24; 7 p.m.
  • Sunday, February 25; 2 p.m.

General admission tickets are $10 for Thursday’s performance; $12 for all other performances. Reserved seating for all performances is $15. Tickets available at the door or in advance at

New Professional Development Catalog features offerings for certificated staff

Front cover of new OSD Professional Development Catalog for Certificated Staff

The following is a message from Lauri Klancke, executive director of Teaching and Learning, about a new quarterly catalog featuring certificated offerings:

We are pleased to announce the very first edition of your quarterly Professional Development Catalog.

The goal has been to develop a catalog where our certificated teachers can access information related to all professional development offerings from the district on a quarterly basis. All departments that hold professional development offerings have been asked to participate in this catalog so you, the audience, have one place to look at all offerings each quarter. This isn’t dialed in perfectly yet, but we will continue to work with all departments and encourage them to participate.

Catalogs will be produced as follows:

Spring:   March – May classes
Summer:  June – August classes
Fall:  September – November classes
Winter:  December – February classes

The catalog is housed on the OSD Intranet in two places: under Staff Development and also on the Teaching and Learning landing page. Olympia School District employees may access the staff Intranet by logging in at the top of the district website Home page.

Please take a moment to look through the catalog. We want this to be a helpful resource you turn to regularly, so feedback will be appreciated!

We know that many factors contribute to a student’s academic success, but research suggests that the biggest school-related factor is directly related to the teacher. A teacher is estimated to have two to three times the impact of any other school factors, and teacher quality has a lasting effect on student learning. With this in mind, we continue to invest in you and your journey in helping all students learn. Thank you for all you do to support our Olympia School District students.

Nearing retirement? Register for March 3 DRS retirement seminar

Open notebook with words "My Plan" at the top and person preparing to write with a pen
The Department of Retirement Systems will be hosting a retirement seminar on Saturday, March 3 in Centralia for plan members who are nearing retirement. Please select the Retirement Planning Seminars link for more information about upcoming seminars and how to register.
It’s important that you have a basic understanding of your retirement plan before you attend a seminar. If you would like to learn more about your plan and how it works, please review your plan handbook which can be found on the DRS website – Members page. Employees are also invited to view the DRS webinar schedule and selection of videos available online.

Safety Tip of the Week: Proper keyboarding tips

Keyboard close-up with red and white "Caution" cone resting on the keyboard

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

Good keyboarding posture is just a few steps away. Follow these tips to reduce potential for injury:

  • Feet and Legs
    Sit up straight with your feet flat on the floor. Avoid tucking your legs beneath you or extending them forward. Stretch often.
  • Arms
    Adjust your chair and keyboard height so your elbows are at a 90-degree angle and your arms are close to your sides. Your arms should hang in a relaxed manner. If your shoulders hunched forward you may need to raise your chair height or lower your keyboard.
  • Wrists and Hands
    Keep wrists straight and fingers curved over the keys, with thumbs hanging near the spacebar. Your wrists should be above and parallel to the keyboard. Avoid the temptation to rest your wrists on the wrist pad. Use the wrist pad for times between typing and resting.
  • Head
    Keep your eyes focused on the copy you are typing. If you find yourself turning your head back and forth from copy to screen, work on improving your touch typing skills. Adjust the position of the copy so you can see it without tilting your head excessively. Holding your head in one position can cause stress to your neck.

There are three types of low force used while working on the computer which when repeated over long periods can be hazardous to your physical health such as carpal tunnel, sprains and strains. These types or forces are defined as:

  • Dynamic force is force exerted through repetitive movements, such as pressing hard on keys or clicking the mouse button.
  • Static force is for holding the mouse or cradling the phone while typing.
  • Contact force is a low force that results from resting your wrists on the edge of your desk as you type.

Paraeducator ‘Alternative Route Programs’ seminar materials posted on staff intranet

Materials shared during a recent OSD “Alternative Route Programs Seminar” for paraeducators, including an audio recording of the seminar, is available on the district website staff Intranet.

To view the seminar materials, including program and contact information, log onto the staff Intranet from the district website Home page. Click Departments, Human Resources and then Paraeducator Staff Information. All information is organized by presenting schools.

If you have any questions, you may contact the presenting schools listed, or call the Olympia School District Human Resources office at (360) 596-6185.


Remember to vote in the February 13 Special Election

Red, white and blue VOTE logo with starsThe Olympia School District has one measure on the February 13, 2018 Special Election ballot: a proposed four-year technology and safety replacement levy.

The Thurston County Auditor’s Office Elections Division has mailed election ballots to registered voters. To be counted, ballots must be postmarked or dropped in postage-free ballot drop boxes by 8 p.m. on Election Day, Tuesday, February 13.

Ballot drop boxes are open 24 hours a day and close promptly at 8 p.m. on Election Day. For a list of ballot drop box locations, visit the Thurston County Elections Division website.

The replacement levy would raise an estimated $35.4 million over four years (2019-2022) to help pay for increased student access to technology, as well as safety projects districtwide.

The proposed levy is not a new tax. The measure would replace an expiring four-year technology and safety levy approved by voters in 2014 and adds safety and technology resources.

To learn more specifics about the levy, visit a technology and safety replacement levy election information page on the Olympia School District website. An informational video about the proposed levy may also be viewed on the district website or any of the 19 school websites.