Flags lowered to half-staff May 15

Governor Inslee directs that Washington state and United States flags at all state agency facilities be lowered to half-staff on Wednesday, May 15, 2019 in recognition of the annual Peace Officers Memorial Day.

Flags should remain at half-staff until close of business or sunset on May 15.

Join us at the annual Ice Cream Social May 23 at Capital HS

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 on 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. We hope to see you there!

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.

2019-20 school year calendar is posted on district website

2019-20 one page school year calendarThe Olympia School District Board of Directors has approved the school year calendar for the 2019-20 school year. This calendar includes districtwide holidays and events.

School-specific events are not included, so be sure to check school websites/calendars for specific school-related events and activities.

View our school year calendar webpage and our interactive Google calendar for details.

Download and print the one-page 2019-20 school year calendar.

Congratulations to our newest Everyday Hero

Everyday Heroes Logo with the words: Celebrating OSD EmployeesEveryday Heroes is a regular feature in this staff blog. 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
Austen Anderson, Kindergarten Teacher, Hansen Elementary School

We would like to recognize Kindergarten Teacher, Austen Anderson, at Hansen Elementary as an Everyday Hero!  Austen is an amazing teacher who achieves amazing results in his classroom no matter the challenge he is faced with. Austen has repeatedly volunteered to take on some of the greatest challenges that have come through our doors.

From the first month of school we are consistently amazed to see his entire class (of kindergartners) walk silently thru the halls. He is loved by his students and their parents, as well as our staff.  His reputation rightly is one of excellence!

Thank you, Austen, for your continued effort to make Hansen a place where students can learn to Be Safe,  Be Kind, and Be Free to Learn.
Submitted by Barbara Parker and Leilani Stewart, Administrative Assistants, Hansen Elementary School

How to nominate an Everyday Hero

  • Email the Communications and Community Relations Department (communications@osd.wednet.edu) 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 on a weekly basis and archived each week.


Accessibility Tip of the Week: Alt Tags – “Title” or “Description” Field?

This week Robert Hardy, our district website accessibility specialist, shares about choosing the correct field when adding alternative text to a document. 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 adding alternative text to a document within Google Docs or Microsoft Word, users are presented with both a Title and a Description field. This can create confusion for the author as they may unsure which field to populate.

Google Docs and Microsoft Word alternative text screens. Both screens have a Title and a Description field.For both Google Docs and Microsoft Word, the correct field is the Description field. Screen readers rarely access the Title field, rendering it largely useless.

Remember to consider both the content and the function of the image when deciding on alternative text. What information would be missing if the image was removed? Be sure to include that in the alternative text.

For more accessibility tips for Microsoft Word, Google Docs and other software suites, visit the district’s Website Accessibility Resources page.  If you have questions or tips regarding creating accessible documents, please reach out to Robert Hardy at extension 6105.

Applications being accepted for Americorps positions in 2019-20

Several Olympia School District schools will be hosting Americorps members in the 2019-20 school year.  Applications are currently being accepted for these positions.  If you know of any 18- to 25-year-olds interested in applying, please share the following Americorps information links, which describe the positions available next school year:

Department of Retirement Systems hosts two upcoming benefit events

Open notebook with words "My Plan" at the top and person preparing to write with a penThe Department of Retirement Systems’ Education & Outreach team will be hosting the following events in Thurston county:

Retirement Seminar on Friday 6/28/2019 or Sat 6/29/2019 (location information will be provided within two weeks of the event)

This event is designed for members who are within five years of retirement.  You will learn the steps you’ll need to take to retire and begin receiving your state retirement benefit.  You should understand the basics of your state retirement plan prior to attending (watch a video or attend a live webinar).  There will also be a high-level overview of Social Security, health care and VEBA.

Benefits Summit on Thursday 7/25/2019 (location information will be provided at the time of registration)

This event is designed for members who are in the early to middle stages of their careers (although all are welcome!).  It will cover the basics of your state retirement plan and Social Security to encourage retirement planning at all career stages.  You will learn how your benefit is calculated, when you’re eligible to retire, and how you can increase your benefit at retirement.  You will also get a deeper look at saving (DCP), investing & planning for retirement.

Please select the title of the event to register.  If you have questions about registration or if you would like to cancel a reservation, please email drs.register@drs.wa.gov.

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

Logo for Tacoma RainiersDon’t forget to get your tickets 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.

Teacher Appreciation Week is May 6-10

Superintendent Patrick Murphy hands OEA President Adam Brickell copy of Teacher Appreciation Week proclamationTeacher Appreciation Week is being celebrated throughout the Olympia School District Monday, May 6 through Friday, May 10.

Superintendent Patrick Murphy read a proclamation at the April 22 school board meeting designating the week as Teacher Appreciation Week. Murphy presented a copy of the proclamation to Olympia Education Association President Adam Brickell, who accepted it on behalf of teachers throughout the district.

The proclamation states in part that teachers serve in partnership with parents to ensure the appropriate education for all children; provide opportunities for students to develop basic skills for success in life and work, connect with the world around them, and experience the realization of high expectations and the fulfillment of steps toward achievable goals; and inspire students to think strategically and to integrate experience and knowledge to form reasoned judgments.

Copies of the proclamation will be posted in schools and support buildings throughout the district the week of May 6-10.

Employee Recognition Award winners to be honored at May 6 board meeting

Congratulations to each of the 2019 Olympia School District Employee Recognition Award winners, who will be honored at the May 6 school board meeting.

This annual awards program is designed to recognize employees from throughout the district in several categories. All employees districtwide were invited to send in nominations, and a screening committee reviewed the entries and selected the winners.

The school board will recognize the winners at the start of the board meeting on Monday, May 6, 6:30 p.m at the Olympia Regional Learning Academy. 

The Innovator
“Changes Making a Difference” – Any staff member who demonstrates innovative strategies that significantly improve the district mission.”
Candi Koch, Behavior Technician, McLane Elementary School

The Champion of Differences
“Celebrates Diversity” – Any staff member who, by their actions, celebrates the values and differences of individual groups.
Inger Owen, Assistant Director of Programs and Special Projects, K-12 Teaching and Learning

The Unsung Hero
“Goes the Extra Mile” – Any staff member who continually gets results with little or no fanfare.
Connie Harper, Career Center Specialist, Olympia High School
Daniel McCartan, Speech and Language Therapist, Lincoln Elementary School
Paul Sierra, HVAC Technician, Support Services Center – Maintenance

The Coach
“Supports Others” – Any staff member who plays a unique role in enabling others to excel.
Tania Albert, English Teacher, Olympia High School

The Dream Team
“Above and Beyond” – Any group of staff members working together to help students succeed in or out of the classroom.
Capital High School Special Education Team
District English Language Learner Program Team