Two thumbs up for two new Everyday Heroes this week

Everyday Heroes Logo with the words: Celebrating OSD Employees

Recognition of outstanding OSD colleagues continues with two new Everyday Heroes this week. Everyday 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 are our newest honorees:

Everyday Heroes
Kristi Bonds, Teacher Librarian, and Jody Chipman, Administrative Assistant, Capital High School

Kristi Bonds and Jody Chipman, our Teacher Librarian and Administrative Assistant, are the best at supporting our students and staff each day with a warm smile and welcoming attitude when providing them with books and even supplies. Since September, Kristi and Jody have been extremely helpful at setting up book checkouts for students. Kristi has even set up her chair and book cart outside on Wednesdays so families can drive by and pick up a bag full of books so carefully packaged just like a Christmas present!

Kristi has also had students do book reviews and posts them online for students to encourage them to want to check out more books. Additionally, Kristi and her OHS colleague, Stacy Udo have created some great schoolwide lessons to help educate youth on the many facets of how the media influences us in the world today!

I can’t thank you, Kristi and Jody enough for being here every single day for students to get what they need with a warm and welcoming attitude. 
Submitted by Michelle Anderson, Assistant Principal/Construction Manager, Capital HS

Everyday Heroes
OSD Custodial Staff

I want to thank you for all of the hard work you have been doing since the beginning of the pandemic. This has been an unusual and stressful time for many. Your solid commitment to your schools, students and staff have helped to create a safer and less stressful environment at the schools

I appreciate that you are willing to learn so much in such a short time with new disinfecting procedures/equipment. You put yourself out there on the front lines to clean and prepare the schools so that others doing critical work (like nurses, police and teachers) can continue to do so.

Thank you!
Submitted by Wendy Couture, Custodial and Safety Supervisor, Support Service Center

How to nominate an Everyday Hero

  • Email the Communications and Community Relations Department ( 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.

Grackle Slides now creates accessible PDFs

Grackle Docs logo

Grackle Slides now allows for users to export an accessible PDF version of their presentation from directly within Slides, rather than requiring the user to export to PowerPoint beforehand. With this functionality enabled, Grackle Slides is now as powerful as the Grackle Docs tool in that it acts as both an accessibility checker and PDF exporter. This greatly simplifies the process of creating accessible Slides presentations.

Users of Google Slides can install Grackle Slides by opening a Slides document, going to the Add-ons menu,  selecting “Get add-ons,” searching for Grackle Slides and selecting the “+” button. Grackle Slides will be registered through your OSD account.

A quick-start guide to using Google Slides and Grackle to create accessible content is available on the district’s Website Accessibility Resources page.  If you have any questions or tips regarding Grackle Slides, or accessibility in general, please reach out to Robert Hardy, the district’s website accessibility specialist.

Newly updated webpage features expanded youth and family resources

Child Nutrition Services worker brings grab-and-go meal to a waiting car in a school parking lot as part of the meal distribution program. Worker also gives a treat to a dog in the front seat of the car.

Do you know of families, students or colleagues looking for information about support groups, crisis lines, help with meals or bills, social and emotional wellness, or tips for taming toddler temper tantrums? You can find all that and much more at our newly updated Resources for Youth and Families webpage.   

The webpage provides one-stop-shopping for almost any community or district resource that a student, family, staff or community member might need. Information is grouped by topic: Community Resources, Parenting Resources and Supports, District Resources for New Families, and Social-Emotional Learning (SEL).

“In order to prepare students for career, college and citizenship, schools need to establish partnerships with families and the community,” said Kris Norelius, district social emotional learning program specialist. “The hope is that easy access to relevant resources will streamline the process of finding solutions and help students and families feel supported.”

The webpage is designed to be comprehensive enough so a staff member can offer a parenting resource to a struggling family, a community member can gain an understanding of social-emotional learning, a parent can find mental health support for their child or a family can find out how to get help with a utility bill.

“There are many resources out there but it is often overwhelming finding what we need,” Norelius said. “Families often don’t know where to start. Teachers are sometimes in the position of offering support to families. We wanted to provide enough information in one place so people can access help on their own if they choose to do so. If they need support in the process, district social workers and school counselors are here to help.”