Celebration of life for former Reeves MS teacher set this Sunday, March 3

Field of colorful flowers against blue skyA Celebration of Life for former Reeves Middle School teacher Patrick McCabe, who passed away on February 19, will be held this Sunday, March 3 at Reeves.

The Celebration of Life is scheduled from 2-4 p.m. beginning in the gym, followed by a gathering in the cafeteria.

McCabe taught in the Alki program. His wife, Beth Land, continues to teach at Reeves Middle School.

To read more about Patrick McCabe’s life, visit the Funeral Alternatives website.

Tickets available for OSD Night at the Tacoma Rainiers on May 9

Logo for Tacoma RainiersMark your calendars for our annual OSD Night at the Tacoma Rainiers on Thursday, May 9. Come watch the Tacoma Rainiers take on the Reno Aces.

Gates open at 5:30 p.m. Superintendent Patrick Murphy will throw out the ceremonial first pitch at 6:45 p.m. followed by a performance of the national anthem by the Washington Middle School Choir. The game starts at 7:05 p.m.

To purchase tickets, please visit www.wertacoma.com/OSDNight and enter promo code OSD19. Group Express tickets are $14 per person and include a reserved seat, hot dog, chips and bottled water. The Double Play tickets are $19 per person and include a reserved seat, hot dog, chips, bottled water and a limited edition Rainiers hat.

All students, families, staff and the Olympia School District community are invited to join us for this fun-filled event.

Hope to see you there!

Olympia HS Theatre Arts Department presents “#Nothing” starting March 1

OHS Theatre Poster promoting #Nothing production starting March 1. Details in accompanying storyOlympia High School’s Theatre Arts Department presents #Nothing, an original adaption of William Shakespeare’s beloved romantic comedy, Much Ado About Nothing.

Performances will be held in the school’s Performing Arts Center (PAC) at 7:30 p.m. on March 1, 7, 8 and 9. There will also be a 5 p.m. performance on March 2. Tickets are $5 and will be available at the door.

In this production, Don Pedro and his conquering army have returned to Messina after a long war, bringing celebration and revelry to the estate of Leonato. A wedding appears to be in the future between Hero, Leonato’s daughter, and Count Claudio, one of Don Pedro’s soldiers. Don John, the estranged and newly-reconciled brother to Don Pedro, is set on mischief. Weaving through this drama is the merry war of words between Benedick, one of the returned soldiers, and Beatrice, Leonato’s niece.

The adaption by the Olympia Theatre Arts Department takes place in a high school classroom. The characters are played by students who are reading the play and studying Shakespeare in class. The characters of this performance will learn about themselves, their relationships with each other and perhaps a little about Shakespeare along the way. This treatment of the script is inspired by the play Shakespeare’s R&J by Joe Calarco and hopes to prove the relevancy of depth of meaning behind Shakespeare’s works.

For more information, contact the Olympia High School main office at (360) 596-7000.

Accessibility Tip of the Week: Working with tables in Microsoft Word

This week Robert Hardy, our district website accessibility specialist, shares about working with tables in Microsoft Word. Please call Robert with any accessibility questions at Ext. 6105. He is more than happy to talk by phone or schedule a time to meet with you.

One way to make your content more accessible, is to include tables alongside graphs or charts. Including a table not only enhances the accessibility of the document, it also allows data to be easily extracted for future use.

When adding a table, it is important to take a few steps to ensure the table is accessible.

Use True Tables

Be sure to use true tables within your documents, rather than tables built using the tab key. To add a table in Microsoft Word, go to Insert > Table and select your table size.

Mark table row and column headers

When reading a table, users will glance up or to the left to see column or row headers. These titles allow a reader to comprehend relationships within the data.

Unfortunately, unless table row and column headers are programmatically defined, they are inaccessible for a screen reader user. Thankfully, marking them correctly is relatively straightforward.

To mark a column or row title in Microsoft Word or PowerPoint:

  1. Select the table.
  2. Go to the Table Design ribbon.
  3. Ensure Header Row and First Column are selected appropriately. Header Row signifies a row of column titles, while First Column denotes row titles.

"3 tables. The first table has no shading, and the text "Table with no headers" is written beneath it. The second table has the top row shaded in. The text "Table with header row" appears below it. The third table has the top row and first column shaded. The text "Table with header row and column" appears below.

If your table spreads over multiple pages, you will also want to ensure Repeat Header Rows is selected under the Table Layout ribbon.

Avoid blank or merged cells

If you are converting your final document to PDF, it is recommended to avoid blank or merged cells in your table. Blank or merged cells can confuse Adobe Acrobat, creating tables that are misleading or downright inaccessible. Populate blank cells with meaningful data, or with a placeholder such as inserting three hyphens in the cell. If your table has merged cells, usually contained within a header row, consider if the table can be broken into two simple tables.

For tips on working with tables in other software suites, please refer to the district’s Website Accessibility Resources page. If you have additional questions or tips, please reach out to Robert Hardy at extension 6105.

Do you know people interested in serving on the school board? Invite them to March 13 community meeting

schoolboard2019Learn about the role of a school board director and get information about the three Olympia School Board seats up for election in the November 2019 General Election during a community meeting on Wednesday, March 13.

People interested in vying for a seat on the school board, as well as those who want to learn more about the role, are encouraged to attend the meeting from 6-7:30 p.m. in the Knox Administrative Center Board Room, 1113 Legion Way S.E. in Olympia.

Superintendent Patrick Murphy will share opening remarks, followed by guest speaker Colleen Miller, director of leadership development with the Washington State School Directors Association. Miller will explain about the role and responsibilities of a school board member. Her presentation will be followed by remarks by Olympia School Board Vice President Scott Clifthorne and former veteran school board member Eileen Thomson.

There will be three Olympia School Board director seats on the November 5, 2019 General Election ballot:

  • Director District #1, currently held by Frank Wilson; 4-year term.
  • Director District #2, currently held by Joellen Wilhelm; 4-year term.
  • Director District #4, currently held by Hilary Seidel; 4-year term.

People interested in vying for a seat on the board may mail, drop off in person or submit their application online to the Thurston County Auditor’s Office Elections Division. The Elections Division will begin accepting candidate filings by mail on April 29, 2019 and they must arrive at the elections office no later than May 17. Candidates may also fill out and submit an application online during candidate filing week May 13-17, 2019.

For more information about filing for an open seat on the school board, visit the Thurston County Auditor’s Office Elections Division website. Candidates must be at least 18 years old, reside in the district for which they are filing and be a registered voter at the time of filing. There are some judicial exceptions; for more information, contact Thurston County Auditor’s Office Elections Division at (360) 786-5408.

A Primary Election will be held on August 6, 2019, followed by the General Election on November 5, 2019.

Maps of the district’s five director districts will be on display during the March 13 community meeting. Copies of the maps, including an interactive map in which community members can type in their address to find their director district, are also available on the school district website.

Learn about the 2019-20 budget outlook at community meetings Feb. 27 and March 7

52487965_2293437957384124_5654503687054163968_oCome learn about the Olympia School District budget outlook and budget development process for the 2019-20 school year during two community budget forums — one on February 27 and the other on March 7.

The first budget forum will be held on Wednesday, February 27 from 6-8 p.m. in Room 303 at the Knox Administrative Center, 1113 Legion Way S.E., Olympia.

The second budget forum is scheduled on Thursday, March 7 from 6-8 p.m. in the Jefferson Middle School library, 2200 Conger Ave N.W., Olympia.

The same budget information will be presented at both meetings, which are open to staff and the community.

Upcoming events to share with families

Pen points at calendar to show importance of keeping a date, in this case deadline for Open Enrollment is Sept. 28This time of year is always full of school events and activities. Below is a summary of many of those events scheduled this week and into early March.

We want staff to be aware of these dates, some of which were rescheduled from the days when schools were closed due to snow, in the event families ask for information.

Each item links to information posted on the district website.

  • Optional Middle School Program Nights: Tuesday, February 26 at Jefferson Middle School and Thursday, February 28 at Reeves Middle School, both starting at 6:30 p.m. Read more on the district website.
  • Countdown to Kindergarten: Saturday, March 2, 10-11:30 a.m., Capital High School. Read more on the district website. Note that kindergarten registration for the 2019-20 school year begins on Monday, March 4.
  • OSD Health Care Career Fair, Saturday, March 2, 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Olympia High School Commons. Read more on the district website.
  • Committee to study calendar and school start times: Tuesday, March 5, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Knox Administrative Center Board Room. Anyone interested in serving on the committee is encouraged to attend this first committee meeting on March 5 or contact Olympia School Board Vice President and committee facilitator Scott Clifthorne. Please email Clifthorne at an OSD email set-up for this committee work at CAC-SchoolYear@osd.wednet.edu. Read more on the district website.
  • Screenagers: Growing Up in the Digital Age: Thursday, March 7, 5:30 p.m., Olympia High School Performing Arts Center. Read more on the district website.
  • Building Blocks for Success (events promoting kindergarten readiness for families with children ages 4-5)March 4, March 25, and April 15, 6-7:30 p.m., Garfield Elementary School. Read more on the district website.

Oly Bear preschool registration is March 11-19 for OSD employees

children-cute-drawing-159823Oly Bear Preschool registration for the 2019-20 school year opens for all OSD employees on Monday, March 11 and continues through Tuesday, March 19. This unique program, located at Olympia High School, provides preschool-aged children the opportunity to have daily interaction with high school buddies that are enrolled in the Early Childhood Education classes.

  • Our AM class is for 3 1/2 and 4 ½ year olds.  Class times are 8:15-11 a.m. The monthly fee is $185.
  • The PM class is for 4 and 5 year olds.  Class times are 11:45 a.m. – 2:45 p.m. The monthly fee is $195.00.

Both AM and PM classes are held Monday through Thursday (4 days a week).

All children must be fully potty trained and turn three years old by March 1 to enroll.

If you would like to enroll your child in our preschool program, please fill out the attached form and return it with a $25 non-refundable registration fee to hold your child’s place. The form and fee need to be returned to the preschool between March 11 and March 19, prior to our Open House. Open House will be held on Wednesday, March 20 from 6-7 p.m. in Room 311 at Olympia High School.

Open House is when registration opens up to all community members.  At this point, we begin our wait list. Spaces fill quickly! During this time you may pick up  other registration materials, meet the teachers and see the classrooms.

Please email or contact the preschool if you have any questions.

Apply for OSDEF Teaching and Learning Grants

OSDEF Logo with image of stick figures of an adult and children and the name of the Foundation beneathThe Olympia School District Education Foundation (OSDEF) continues to accept grant requests for this school year.

The application and grant guidelines are available online. Visit the OSDEF website grants page for the application and further information.

Applications are processed each month of the school year. To be eligible to be considered for the next month, an application must be submitted to the OSDEF office no later than the 15th of each month. Applications received after the 15th will be considered two months out.

Grant money up to $1,500 is available to all teachers and staff members within the Olympia School District. Last year nearly $50,000 was awarded in support of special classroom projects, before- and after-school activities, tutoring and homework clubs, music, equipment, books and more. If you have questions, visit the OSDEF website, contact the Foundation at (360) 596-6110 or email Bev Sperry at bsperry@osd.wednet.edu.

Register by March 4 for Retirement Planning Seminar on March 7

Open notebook with words "My Plan" at the top and person preparing to write with a penThinking about retirement?

If you are within five years of retirement, you will want to attend this annual Retirement Planning Seminar to learn about your retirement plans (Plan 2 or Plan 3), medical/dental options, sick leave buyout (VEBA), social security options and how to use a retirement planner.

Register by March 4 for the seminar, sponsored by the Thurston County School Retirees Association. The seminar will be held from 4-6:45 p.m. on Thursday, March 7 at the New Market Skills Center, 7299 New Market St. S.W. in Tumwater.

To register, contact Ronald Crawford at ronaldwcrawford1@comcast.net or (360) 236-9305. Registration fee is $10 (pay at the door, and spouse is free).