Free sports physicals offered Saturday, June 8

OHS and CHS football players are at the line of scrimmage as OHS center prepares to hike the ballThe district emailed the following information about free sports physicals on May 31 to families of OSD students in grades 6-11. The information is also included in a news article on the district and all school websites, as well as on district social media. Please continue to share the following opportunity with anyone interested at your schools or support buildings:

Free sports physicals will be offered on Saturday, June 8 for middle and high school students planning to participate in athletic programs during the 2019-20 school year.

The free sports physicals, open to Olympia School District students who will be enrolled in grades 7-12 in the 2019-20 school year, will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Capital High School, 2707 Conger Ave. N.W. in Olympia.

The event is a partnership between the school district, Olympia Orthopedic Associates and local health care providers. Note: the free sports physical examinations do not replace recommended “well-child” checks conducted by family health care providers.

Medical history forms may be picked up at the Capital or Olympia high school athletic offices, or downloaded from the Olympia School District website. Please bring completed and signed copies of both the Athletic Physical Examination form and the Athletic Physical History form on June 8. The forms are available on the district website in English and Spanish.

Accessibility Tip of the Week: Be mindful of images containing text

Princeton open house flyer. All event details, including location, attendees and time are included within the image.This week Robert Hardy, our district website accessibility specialist, shares about being mindful of images containing text. 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.

When producing content for the web, it is important to be mindful of images containing text, such as event flyers. These images can present a challenge for accessibility, as the text contained within them is not ‘true text’, but is actually part of a rendered image. This practice effectively locks away much of the content for those who rely on assistive technology such as screen magnifiers or screen readers.

To test if your content is locked away in an image, try selecting the text with your mouse or keyboard. If you cannot select it, it is locked away and must be presented in an alternative format.

For shorter content, adding the text to the alternative text tag for the image should be sufficient. Steps on creating these tags are included on the Website Accessibility Resources page.

While this may work well for short pieces of content, longer documents, such as the flyer below, require more space than an alternative text tag would allow. In these cases, the relevant content should be placed in the copy alongside the image.

This practice not only improves the accessibility of your document, but also has the added benefit of improving the likelihood of your content appearing in search engines such as Google. Search engines are, after all, advanced screen readers!

As always, if you have any accessibility tips or questions, please reach out to Robert Hardy (6105).

Committee seeks input on school start times

SurveyA Citizens Advisory Committee invites OSD students, families, employees and community members to complete an online survey about potential changes to start and end times in the Olympia School District.

This survey is the work of a Citizens Advisory Committee tasked by the Olympia School Board with researching and developing recommendations to the board regarding school year calendar/school start times. The earliest any potential changes would take effect is the 2020-21 school year.

Please fill out a brief online survey, which includes a link to a video created by students about the committee’s work and a link to research about school start times.

The deadline to complete the survey is 5 p.m. on Tuesday, June 11, 2019.

Take the survey

Ice Cream Social this Thursday and other retiree celebrations around the district

Guests gathered at a table at the 2018 OSD Ice Cream Social

OSD Ice Cream Social 2018

Mark your calendars for the Olympia School District’s Ice Cream Social this Thursday, May 23.

This annual event honors district retirees, celebrates advocates of the year and recognizes the Olympia Education Association Teacher of the Year. All staff are welcome to attend.

The event is scheduled from 4-5:30 p.m. in the Capital High School Commons, 2707 Conger Ave. N.W., Olympia. Ice cream will be served at 4 p.m. with the awards ceremony to follow.

Other retiree celebrations open to all employees around the district include (continue to check back as other celebrations are added):

  • Assistant Superintendent Nancy Faaren: Tuesday, June 4, 4:30-6 p.m., Knox Administrative Center. Please wear red shoes!
  • Lincoln Elementary Speech and Language Therapist Daniel McCartan and District Music and Band Coordinator Dan Lundberg: Friday, June 14, 9-9:30 a.m., Lincoln Elementary School.

Join us for the screening of “LIKE”

LIKE movie posterAs part of the Olympia School District’s commitment to providing awareness and education around digital health and well-being, the district is excited to provide an opportunity for OSD families and staff to watch “LIKE”, a film that explores the impact of social media on our lives and the effects of technology on the brain.

This IndieFlix Original documentary encourages viewers to consider the goals of social media platforms: connection, sharing and caring. Is this tool used in a healthy way? What is the best way to self-regulate our use of this tool?

Screenings of the Like movie begin at 6 p.m. and are open to OSD families and staff at no cost. Students in grades 5-12 are welcome to join their parents at this screening. The film is approximately 50 minutes long and will be followed by an opportunity for a short discussion.

When: May 22, 28, 29
Where: Olympia High School Lecture Hall

When: June 10, 11, 13
Where: Capital High School Auditorium

We hope to see you there!

New online form available for reporting work-related injuries

person working on a laptopIt is the Olympia School District’s goal to reduce and eliminate all work-related injuries, but in the unfortunate event that an employee is injured and needs to report an on-the-job injury, there is now a more direct process available.

In partnership with the ESD 113 Workers’ Compensation Trust, the Olympia School District is implementing an online Employee Incident Reporting Form that makes reporting a work-related injury simple.

Instead of filling out the large injury packet, an employee may report an injury directly to the ESD 113 Employee Incident Report webpage or from the OSD staff intranet:

  1. Log in to the Olympia School District staff intranet.
  2. Click the “Departments” page.
  3. Click the “Safety and Risk” page.
  4. Click the “Employee Incident Report” link.
  5. Follow the step through the form and click submit.

That’s it! Quick, easy and direct. By using this format, the ESD and the district will be able to provide better service to the injured worker. This will help speed up the reporting process and reduce the amount of time it takes for the injured worker to report their injury.

In addition to this online format, we will continue to have paper forms available to all employees at the site where they work.

School Employees Benefits Board (SEBB) Program begins January 1, 2020

Person riding bike with information in post about health changes coming to employee benefits (SEbb)School Employee Benefits Board (SEBB) insurance will begin January 1, 2020 with open enrollment October 1 – November 15, 2019. The SEBB Program is a statewide insurance benefit program for school employees.  The Legislature established the SEBB Program to ensure all certificated and classified school employees and their families have access to affordable, high-quality health care. To find out more information regarding SEBB, please visit their website at or click one of the links below:

Seats still available for next teacher webpage training May 30 at Knox

Computers in a classroom setting with students typingThe Communications and Community Relations department has scheduled a training for teachers interested in creating a teacher webpage on their school’s website in SchoolMessenger.

The teacher webpage training will be held on Thursday, May 30 from 4-6 p.m. in Room 201B at the Knox Administrative Center, 1113 Legion Way S.E., Olympia. Registration closes on Monday, May 27.

Those who already have teacher webpages created and need a refresher in editing the pages are also welcome to attend. Note: This is not a Schoology training. Please bring your district-issued laptop. Desktop computers and Chromebooks will also be available.

Sign up for the class in pdEnroller.

If you are new to creating a teacher webpage and have not already watched the 1.5 hour Website Accessibility Webinar, you will need to do so prior to the training. The webinar is located in SafeSchools under the “Policy” section. SafeSchools can be accessed through the OSD Portal.

Teachers who take this two-hour training on how to create a teacher webpage and watch the 1.5 hour Website Accessibility webinar may use Technology Professional Development hours for 2018-19, General Staff Development hours for 2018-19, or Curriculum Rate at the 2018-19 school year rate. Time slips will be provided at the end of the training.

Please note, staff may only be paid once for the 1.5 hour Website Accessibility Webinar. Also, teachers who have already taken the 2-hour Teacher Webpage Training and want to take it again as a refresher may use Technology PD or Staff PD, but not Curriculum Rate, for reimbursement.

For additional information, please contact the Communications and Community Relations department at (360) 596-6103.

Reminder: Celebration of Life for Nancy Spohn is 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 23

Pink flowers on a bushCelebration of Life for Nancy Spohn
February 24, 1954 – March 24, 2019

A Celebration of Life for Nancy Spohn is scheduled at 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 23. Spohn, a long-time kindergarten teacher at Pioneer Elementary School, passed away on March 24, 2019.

The event will be held in the Pioneer Elementary School gym, 1655 Carlyon Ave. S.E., Olympia. The gathering will celebrate memories of Nancy and the many lives she has touched over the 30 years she taught kindergarten at Pioneer.

Accessibility Tip of the Week: Copying and pasting accessible content

A person typng on a laptop

This week Robert Hardy, our district website accessibility specialist, shares about copying and pasting accessible content into web tools such as SchoolMessenger and Schoology. 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.

Rather than typing directly into our web tools, many of us create web content using Microsoft Word or Google Docs. This workflow simplifies editing the content, but some formatting can be lost when migrating the content to the web. This is a particular concern in regards to accessibility. Will the accessibility work performed within Microsoft Word or Google Docs carry over to SchoolMessenger or Schoology?

Thankfully, much of the formatting is preserved. The Communications Department has performed some tests to see which elements are preserved across each system. We tested for four elements:

  • Heading styles: Will the heading styles applied in Microsoft Word or Google Docs carry over with the text?
  • Lists: Will correct list formatting carry over when copying and pasting?
  • Images and their alternative text: Will images carry over when copied and pasted as part of a document? Will the alternative text that’s been applied within the document also carry over?
  • Tables and table headings: Will true tables be preserved? Will the table row and column header styles also carry over?

Here are the results:

Pasting into Schoology

From Microsoft Word

  • Heading styles carried over.
  • List styles were broken.
  • Images don’t carry over, meaning the image alt tag also doesn’t.
  • Table carries over, but row and column heading styles are lost.

From Google Docs

  • Heading styles carried over.
  • List styles carried over.
  • Image alt tag carried over.
  • Table carries over, but like Word, table headings are lost.

Pasting into SchoolMessenger (teacher pages)

From Microsoft Word

Note: When pasting into SchoolMessenger from Microsoft Word, the user is presented with the option to clean the formatting. In these tests, the formatting was cleaned.

  • Heading styles carried over.
  • List styles carried over without formatting issues.
  • Image doesn’t carry over, but the alt tag does. A broken image icon with the correct alt tag is displayed.
  • Table carries over, but row and column heading styles are lost.

From Google Docs

  • Heading styles carried over.
  • List tagging carried over, but formatting is messy (large spacing).
  • Image carries over with alt tag.
  • Table carried over, but row and column heading styles are lost.

While these tests provide a foundational understanding of what formatting is preserved, content creators should verify these results are consistent on their own systems. The Website Accessibility Resources page has tips on applying accessible formatting across a range of software services, including Schoology and SchoolMessenger.

As always, if you have questions or tips regarding accessibility, please reach out to Robert Hardy  at extension 6105.