Centennial and McLane mini-building dedications set for September 4

McLane Elementary mini-building front view shows the building is ready for the Sept. 4 ribbon cutting ceremony

McLane Elementary mini-building

The newly constructed two-story classroom mini-buildings at Centennial and McLane elementary schools will open their doors for classes on the first day of school, September 5 and be the site of community dedication ceremonies the previous day.

The community is welcome to join students and staff, Superintendent Patrick Murphy, school board members, district staff, and the architect and contractor in a ribbon-cutting ceremony at both schools on Tuesday, September 4.

Centennial Elementary will host its dedication ceremony from 9-10 a.m., with McLane Elementary holding its ribbon-cutting at 5 p.m. Centennial Elementary is located at 2637 45th Ave. S.E., Olympia. McLane Elementary is located at 200 Delphi Road S.W., Olympia.

Guests are welcome to walk through the new classroom buildings following the ribbon cutting ceremonies.

The newly constructed mini-buildings are among five two-story classroom mini-buildings approved by voters as part of the 2016 school bond. Mini-buildings are also located at Pioneer, Hansen and Roosevelt elementary schools.

Each of the mini-buildings has eight classrooms, a music room, a commons/general classroom space for multiple uses, small learning areas between classrooms for small-group teaching and learning, a musical instrument storage area, and an administrative office and storage area. Each building also has a covered walkway connecting it to the main school building at each site, an elevator, two sets of stairs, and student and staff restrooms on each floor.

Exterior finishes and colors are designed to coordinate with the main one-story school buildings on the same campus.

Centennial Elementary Mini-Building shows that the building is nearly complete and ready for the dedication on Sept. 4

Centennial Elementary mini-building

Department of Retirement Systems offers webinars September 4-6

Woman is using a computer and has a notebook and pen at her sideThe Department of Retirement Systems’ Education & Outreach team will provide the following webinars September 4–6:
September 4
  • 11:30 a.m. – Plan 3 (PERS, SERS, TRS)
  • 1 p.m. – Getting ready for retirement (within two years)
  • 4 p.m. – Plan choice (PERS, SERS, TRS)
September 5
  • 11:30 a.m. – Plan 3 distributions (PERS, SERS, TRS)
  • 2:30 p.m. – Benefit payment options at retirement
  • 4 p.m. – Plan 2 (PERS, SERS, TRS)
September 6
  • 8:30 a.m. – Applying for retirement online (tutorial)
  • 10 a.m. – Washington State Deferred Compensation Program
  • 1:30 p.m. – Purchasing an additional benefit (PSC, annuities)
  • 3 p.m. – Investment basics

Please see the webinar schedule for the link to join the webinar, and to review the full schedule for additional webinars, dates and times.  It’s recommended that you log into the webinar 10-15 minutes in advance to test connection and sound. Please review how to join a DRS Webinar for tips on accessing the webinar, audio, and sending questions.  Please be aware the audio comes through your computer so you’ll need speakers or a headset.  The webinars are not recorded.

This is also a reminder that if you are newly hired for the first time into a PERS, SERS or TRS eligible position, you have an important decision to make about your retirement.  If you haven’t made your plan decision yet, we invite you to attend a live Plan Choice webinar on on Tuesday, September 4 at 4 p.m. (see webinar schedule for link to join).  If you are unable to attend the webinar, you can watch the online Plan Choice video at a time that’s more convenient for you.

Register to vote for November General Election

American flag clip art to accompany article on register to voteThurston County residents may register to vote online, by mail or in-person at the Thurston County Auditor’s Office for the November 6, 2018 General Election.

There are no Olympia School District candidates or measures on the November election ballot.

Following are voter registration deadlines for the upcoming General Election:

  • October 8, 2018: Deadline to register online to vote or to update existing voter registration information if registered to vote anywhere in Washington. Note: Online voter registration services across the state will be unavailable from Thursday, August 30 through Monday, September 3 as part of a Department of Licensing database upgrade. Online voter registration resumes on September 4. This is also the last day to register by mail. All submissions must be postmarked by this date.
  • October 29, 2018: Last day to register in person at the Thurston County Auditor’s Elections Division. The office is located at 2000 Lakeridge Dr. S.W., Bldg. 1 Rm 118, Olympia, WA 98501.

For additional voter registration information, visit the Thurston County Auditor’s Office Elections Division webpage

Outside vendor email offering to discuss retirement benefits is not from our school district

Recently you may have received an email stating that as an Olympia School District employee you are eligible to meet with a representative regarding retirement issues. This email offers advising services about state, federal and individual retirement benefit questions.

This email did not come from the Olympia School District, even though the subject heading on at least one email listed it as “Olympia School District Retirement Meetings.”

The Olympia School District does not endorse one retirement planner/firm over another. In addition, the district has not, and will not share information with a firm. Your email address is likely listed on our website, and we believe that the firm has searched our website for the purpose of solicitations.  The district has not submitted a list of employees and email addresses as part of a public disclosure request. Please contact Tonya Palmer, payroll supervisor, if you have questions or additional concerns at tpalmer@osd.wednet.edu.

Staff invited to welcome back events

Scrabble game pieces spell out Back to School on a piece of lined paper as a welcome message to the start of the new school yearThe district will be holding annual welcome back events for staff beginning the week of August 27.

The welcome back event for certificated instructional staff will be held on Wednesday, August 29 at Olympia High School. Muffins and coffee will be served at 8 a.m., followed by a one-hour presentation by Superintendent Patrick Murphy starting at 8:30 a.m.  Following this event, staff should go to their school sites.

A similar welcome back event will be held the following day, Thursday, August 30 for office professionals, unrepresented classified staff, paraeducators and LPNs. This event, also at Olympia High School, begins with coffee and muffins at 8 a.m. followed by a one-hour presentation by Superintendent Patrick Murphy at 8:30 a.m. Note: Staff who attend on this day who are not yet on contract will need to fill out a time slip for the one hour welcome back presentation. Those who wish to remain onsite for an additional hour to hear a safety training regarding armed intruders are welcome to do so, using 2018-19 professional development hours. Attendance is optional at both the welcome back and the safety training.

Transportation, maintenance, custodial and food service employees will receive the same welcome back information at crew meetings and other staff meeting opportunities.

National Weather Service issues Air Quality Alert for Western Washington

Washington Air Quality Advisory graphic outlines air quality conditions from good to hazardous and associated health advisories.As you may have heard in local media reports, the National Weather Service has issued an Air Quality Alert for Western Washington through 5 p.m. on Wednesday, August 22. The alert is due to thick smoke over British Columbia and east of the Cascades that has been pushed into Western Washington by north and northeast winds.

Air quality can change from day to day or even hour to hour, and it is important to stay informed of current air quality conditions, health warnings and alerts.

The Air Quality Index (AQI) is a color-coded tool for reporting daily air quality. It provides simple information on local air quality, the health concerns for different levels of air pollution and how you can protect your health when pollutants reach unhealthy levels. To see current air quality conditions, visit the Washington State Department of Ecology Air Quality Monitoring website. A simplified air quality index graphic, which provides health recommendations for the different color-coded air quality categories, is also available on the Washington State Department of Health website.

The Washington State Department of Health also offers detailed information on how residents can best deal with smoke impacts on their homes and communities. For more information, visit the agency’s website.

Other related websites include:


Congratulations to our newest Everyday Hero!

Everyday Heroes Logo with the words: Celebrating OSD Employees

As we start our new year, remember to submit names of employees districtwide who have done something deserving of encouragement and praise. Give a shout out to one of your colleagues at your school or support building and watch for it to appear in an upcoming Everyday Heroes blog post.

Here is our newest honoree:

Everyday Hero
Doug Bogden, Helpdesk Technician, Technology Department
“We want to recognize the newest member of the OSD Technology Helpdesk Team, Doug Bogden. Although new to this role, Doug has provided us excellent customer service from day one. We appreciate his patience and helpful demeanor each and every time we reach out for assistance. Doug is always pleasant (even if we are frustrated or confused) and helps to find a resolution to our technology-related challenges. When Doug doesn’t have an immediate answer he does some research to find the solution and always follows-up in a timely manner. It is very much appreciated. Thank you Doug!”
Submitted by the Communications and Community Relations Team: Diana Crawford, Kim Doherty, Susan Gifford, Robert Hardy and Conor Schober 

Benefits Open Enrollment begins August 27 for 2018-19 school year

Benefits Open Enrollment for the 2018-19 school year begins on August 27 and continues through September 28, 2018.

Employees may log on to http://digital.alight.com/wea to review coverage and make changes.

To view detailed benefit information by employee group, please visit the OSD Staff Intranet Payroll/Benefit page.

To access the page, go to https://osd.wednet.edu, then LOGIN, select “Sign in with Google,” Intranet, Departments, Payroll, 2018-19 Benefits.