Please complete 2021-22 budget survey by May 7

Graphic of a survey form with a checkmark

Each spring as the district plans the next school year’s budget, students, staff, parents/guardians and community members are asked to share their priorities for how the district should spend its local and state resources.

This year, we ask that participants complete several short sections of an online budget survey to help us plan for the 2021-22 school year. The deadline to complete the survey is 11:59 p.m. on Friday May 7, 2021.

After some initial baseline questions, participants are asked to prioritize items that could be funded with new state and federal money that has been set aside for school districts to help students recover from the pandemic. This one-time funding is designated specifically to help students with their learning acceleration and emotional well-being recovery.

Additionally, the online survey asks participants to prioritize budget items that are typically funded every year and to identify improvements. 

Please submit one survey per person.

Take the survey

Community Budget Town Hall April 27 6-7:30 p.m.

In addition to the online survey, the community is invited to provide feedback during an online budget town hall from 6-7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 27.

Participants may access the forum online or by phone:

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 832 0850 2399

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OSDEF strategic priorities survey deadline extended to April 30

OSDEF Logo with image of stick figures of an adult and children and the name of the Foundation beneath

The Olympia School District Education Foundation (OSDEF) is eager for feedback from OSD employees via a short survey that will help determine its priorities for the next three years. Take the survey here; it closes Friday, April 30.

This particular survey is for OSD employees only. A variety of other stakeholders, including students and families, will also be consulted throughout the process.

Questions about the survey or OSDEF’s strategic planning process? Contact OSDEF Executive Director Katy Johansson at

Nominations due May 10 for annual Employee Recognition Awards

Black microphone with blue lighting in the background

Nominations are open for the Olympia School District Employee Recognition Awards for the 2020-21 School Year.

All nominations are due by 4 p.m. on Monday, May 10, 2021. Winners will be honored at the May 27 Olympia School Board meeting. Please fill out and submit the online nomination form. A screening committee will review the nominations.

Please consider nominating your colleagues for an Olympia School District Employee Recognition Award. There are five categories:

  • The Innovator “Changes Making a Difference” – Any staff member who demonstrates innovative strategies that significantly improve the district mission.
  • The Champion of Differences “Celebrates Diversity” – Any staff member who, by their actions, celebrates the values and differences of individual groups.
  • The Unsung Hero “Goes the Extra Mile” – Any staff member who continually gets results with little or no fanfare.
  • The Coach “Supports Others” – Any staff member who plays a unique role in enabling others to excel.
  • The Dream Team “Above and Beyond” – Any group of staff members working together to help students succeed in or out of the classroom.

Submit a nomination form

Blood donors needed

Woman holds a small fabric puffy red heart in her hands

Bloodworks Northwest has asked our district to share that there is a critical need for blood donors. Jenni McCoy, senior donor recruitment representative for Thurston, Mason, Lewis and Grays Harbor counties, reported Bloodworks Northwest has less than a 24-hour supply of blood on hand. This shortage has left the community’s blood supply at emergency levels, meaning there is not enough locally-supplied blood to meet patient needs.

She also wants to remind everyone that there is no delay to donate blood after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.

For more information, visit the Bloodworks Northwest website at

Creating Accessible Content workshop offered May 10

Numerous computers in what appears to be a computer lab or professional development class Interested in sharing online content with the community? The Communications and Community Relations Department is offering additional Zoom workshops on creating accessible content in Word, Docs, PowerPoint, Slides, SchoolMessenger and Schoology. Attendees will learn the role of accessibility within document creation and how to incorporate it into an efficient workflow. The next workshop is Monday, May 10 from 4-5 p.m

If you plan to attend the training, please register via PdEnroller. Have other accessibility questions or tips? Feel free to reach out to Robert Hardy, the district’s website accessibility specialist.

Flags lowered to half-staff through April 20

Flags lowered to half-staff outside of Knox building

Gov. Jay Inslee directs that Washington State and United States flags at all state agencies, including schools and support buildings, be lowered to half-staff immediately in honor of the victims “who tragically lost their lives on April 15, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana.”

Flags should remain at half-staff until close of business or sunset on Tuesday, April 20.

Public School Volunteer Week is April 19-23

Graphic showing hands raised with the phraise Olympia School District Thanks You! The side of the graphic notes Public School Volunteer Week Aril 19-23 2021

Public School Volunteer Week is being celebrated throughout the Olympia School District Monday, April 19 through Friday, April 23, 2021.

Superintendent Patrick Murphy read a proclamation during the March 25 Olympia School Board meeting recognizing April 19-23 as Public School Volunteer Week. The local recognition coincides with both the state and national Public School Volunteer Week.

Murphy also presented OSD Volunteer Coordinator Steve Desselle with a copy of the proclamation on behalf of all volunteers throughout the district and thanked him for his work. More than 4,000 parents, students and community members traditionally give their time each year as volunteers in our schools. This year, during the COVID-19 Pandemic, there are 900 registered volunteers.

The proclamation states in part that volunteers “are an integral part of student learning, play an important role in the education of students and provide a valuable partnership link with our community.” It also states that volunteers “inspire success in students while nurturing and challenging them to extend beyond their reach.”

Thank you, volunteers, for all you do for our schools!

April 21 is deadline to submit OSDEF strategic priorities survey

OSDEF Logo with image of stick figures of an adult and children and the name of the Foundation beneath

The Olympia School District Education Foundation (OSDEF) is seeking feedback from OSD employees via a short survey that will help determine OSDEF’s priorities for the next three years. OSDEF exists to support students and educators; your input is critical to OSDEF’s work! Take the survey here; it closes Wednesday, April 21.

This particular survey is for OSD employees only. A variety of other stakeholders, including students and families, will also be consulted throughout the process.

Questions about the survey or OSDEF’s strategic planning process? Contact OSDEF Executive Director Katy Johansson at

New records management supervisor launches first monthly blog post

This is the first in a series of monthly articles planned by new OSD Records Management Supervisor David LaGarde. David can be reached at Ext. 8570 or Welcome David!

MISSed Information Tip

What is FERPA?

Family Educational Rights to Privacy Act

FERPA is a Federal law that is administered by the Family Policy Compliance Office (Office) in the U.S. Department of Education (Department). 20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99.

FERPA applies to all educational agencies and institutions (e.g., schools) that receive funding under any program administered by the U.S. Department of Education.

Parochial and private schools at the elementary and secondary levels generally do not receive such funding and are, therefore, not subject to FERPA. Private postsecondary schools, however, generally do receive such funding and are subject to FERPA. Additionally, general information that a school official obtains through personal knowledge or observation, or heard orally from others, is not protected under FERPA. Olympia School District receives federal funding, and all grades and schools in our district are subject to FERPA.

FERPA is intended to protect a student’s right to privacy with regard to personally identifiable information (Pii) contained within educational records. Such records may not be released without the student or parent/legal guardian consent when a student is under the age of 18 years of age.  Such records include but are not limited to grades, transcripts, class lists, student schedules, health records, and student discipline records.

School employees usually have the best intentions when it comes to protecting student information.  There are occasions when violations occur and it was done without the knowledge that the employee did anything wrong.  Restricted information such as grades, GPA, or personally identifiable information (Pii) such as Social Security numbers should never be sent through email. Take care not to forward or reply to emails which are sent to you containing sensitive data without removing such data prior to transmission. Here is one such example:

Example:  Group email from teachers to multiple students

The Blind Carbon Copy  (BCC) feature is a frequently misunderstood and often misused function of an email system.

BCC sends a single email to a group without the recipient email addresses being visible. It is easy to forget to use the BCC field or to misuse this technology which can quickly lead to a teacher or school employee inadvertently sharing protected information among multiple students.

For example, there could be a case in which a teacher sends an email to students who are in danger of failing the class.  For ease of distribution, the teacher creates one email and sends it to a list of students who are failing.  Without realizing, the teacher has disclosed the list of failing students to everyone on the list by using Carbon Copy (CC).  If the teacher used the BCC feature, the students would never know who else received the email.  This is a simple error, but would be a violation under FERPA.

Note: If staff have questions about FERPA Personally Identifiable Information in regards to student records, please contact Chief Information Officer Marc Elliott at Ext. 6172 or