Please inventory technology equipment before leaving for summer

Hands using keybaord to communicate to accompany article about worksheets that direct staff to learn how to create accessible documents.

The following is a message from the Technology department to all employees:

The Technology department requests that you take a moment to conduct an inventory of your technology equipment. Please go to the district portal. There, you should see a message at the top center of the page, “Inventory Your Technology.” Click the “Yes, I’ll do it now” button to begin.

Please only inventory items that are specific to you, such as:

  • Your desk phone
  • Your computer/laptop
  • Your monitors
  • Your chromebook and/or iPad

Do not inventory classroom technology, such as your projector, document camera, classroom phone, or student-use computers, chromebooks and iPads.

Please contact the Technology Helpdesk at helpdesk@osd.wednet.edu or Ext. 6172 if you have any questions or concerns. Thank you!

High school students encouraged to apply by July 31 for ‘Compassion 2020’ program

Hand holds up a world globe to represent opportunity for students to travel to a different countryThe Association of Washington Generals (AWG) is accepting applications from high school students for the Compassion 2020 program. Please share this information with any students who might be interested!

All eligible high school students in Washington for 2019-20 school year are welcome to apply online. Applications are due by July 31, 2019.

Compassion 2020 is a statewide program that will give a select group of high school students the life-changing experience of traveling to Dharamsala, India as “Compassion Scholars” with a distinguished delegation from Washington State to meet the Dalai Lama. Following the trip, the Compassion Scholars will take on personal projects with support from the AWG aimed at inspiring compassion in their communities.

The program is open to eligible high school students who are motivated to inspire compassion in their communities, develop their leadership skills and learn about new cultures. Up to five students will be selected to participate in the Compassion 2020 delegation, with all airfare and lodging expenses sponsored by the Association of Washington Generals. Students will be selected based on the thoughtfulness and thoroughness of their responses to the application essay questions and the strength of their character references.

We urge you to share this information with high school students in your community who are interested in personal development and promoting compassion. For more information about Compassion 2020, please visit the Association of Washington Generals website. If you have additional questions, please feel free to email info@wagenerals.org or call (360) 786-7700.

Elementary furniture sales at Knox June 27 and July 3

Young child writing on a piece of paper on a deskThe district is selling good quality elementary-size furniture from three elementary schools that are undergoing a remodel and complete change of furniture. Items available include desks, chairs, file cabinets and bookshelves.  By law, the district must first offer the items to public school districts and private schools serving K-12 students. Those sales are happening in advance of the two public sales.

The public sales, also open to employees, are scheduled from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thursday, June 27 and again on Wednesday, July 3.  The sales will take place at Madison Elementary School, 1225 Legion Way S.E. in Olympia. Because the sales are in the parking lot between Madison Elementary and the Knox Administrative Building, please park on the street and walk into the parking lot.

The district can help load items into shoppers’ vehicles; however, we are unable to deliver any items. Shoppers need to have a vehicle to take items purchased at the sale.

Please note: Each sale day has a new set of furniture.

Unfortunately, we are not able to provide a list of furniture that will be available, as sales to public schools will happen right up to the end of the day on June 26 and July 2.

Please contact surplussales@osd.wednet.edu if you have questions.

Learn more about National Board Certification at summer jump starts

Numerous computers in what appears to be a computer lab or professional development classBelow is a message from Stacy Brown to those interested in National Board certification:

Are you curious about National Board certification? Have you already committed to pursuing certification but are looking for support? Are you up for renewal of your certification?

Becoming (and renewing) a National Board Certified Teacher is an excellent way to improve any and all facets of your teaching. It is a reflective process that fulfills professional development in many areas. It even allows you to keep and renew your Teaching Certificate without worrying about clock hours, and don’t forget we still have a very nice state stipend for NBCTs!

If you are beginning or continuing your National Board journey, we encourage you to attend a Jump Start event this summer.

Washington Jump Start Events will be held:

  • June 25-28 in Pasco
  • July 29-Aug 1 in Vancouver
  • Aug 5-8 in Auburn

Oregon Jump Start Events will be held:

  • July 16-19 in Salem
  • July 22-25 in Medford
  • Aug 5-8 in Bend

AND we invite you to come to our cohort informational meeting here in the fall.

WHEN: 7:15 a.m., Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2019
WHERE: Olympia High School Choir Room

We facilitate cohorts to support candidates working toward certification, as well as those working toward renewal. This will be a 30-minute informational meeting. We will introduce our trained facilitators, talk about what kind of support we offer in our cohort and explain how the National Board process works. Our cohort is open to both Olympia School District and out-of-district educators.

Review the tentative schedule for cohort meetings. You will receive notification soon with a live link and information on how to register.

Please contact us with any questions you may have:

We look forward to meeting you!

Look for SEBB information in your mail

The first edition of the School Employees Benefits Board (SEBB) Program newsletter, “Intercom,” was mailed to school employees on Monday, June 17.

Read the full issue.

Intercom includes important information to help school employees prepare for the transition to SEBB Program benefits and the first annual open enrollment this fall, October 1 through November 15, 2019.

Check out the SEBB Program webpages for more information, including FAQs and fact sheets.

First page of new iNTERCOM newsletter from SEBB

Please fill out short survey on voluntary benefits offered to employees

With SEBB on the horizon, the district has an opportunity to evaluate the voluntary benefits offered to employees. Your input will help shape our decision, and we would appreciate it if you would click on the link below and answer the survey questions.  This is a short survey and will only take you 3 minutes to complete.  We look forward to hearing what you have to say.

Take the survey

Accessibility Tip of the Week: Make documents POUR

Tea being pouredThis week Robert Hardy, our district website accessibility specialist, shares about making documents POUR. 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 considering the accessibility of a document or piece of content, it can be easy to focus on the technical details. Are the alt tags included? Is this form fillable? What is lost in this approach is the understanding of the end user and how they will interact with the content.

The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) provide a framework for document review that is less technically focused, and instead focuses on the experience of the end user. This framework can be helpful when considering the life cycle of a document and deciding upon the best route toward accessibility compliance.

The framework is called POUR. Documents must be:

  • Perceivable – Can the document be easily perceived? Are there contrast issues, or is text locked in an image?
  • Operable – Are interactive elements set up in a way that enables interaction? For most text documents, this is not a concern, but it does arise when creating forms or designing websites. Interactive elements must be operable with both a keyboard and a mouse.
  • Understandable – Is the language as clear and concise as possible? Consider the intent of your message and remove additional clutter.
  • Robust – Can the content be accessed across a wide range of devices? PDFs are a robust document solution for desktop and mobile devices. The SchoolMessenger and Schoology platforms have also been designed to be robust.

Taken together, these principles provide a non-technical framework with which to consider your content.

For additional accessibility tips, consider attending an upcoming accessibility workshop. A complete list of summer workshops is available in the Summer 2019 Professional Development Catalog. In the meantime, if you have questions or tips regarding accessibility, please reach out to Robert Hardy, the school district’s website accessibility specialist, at extension 6105.