State payroll tax and long-term care policy online workshops set August 24 and 26

Cluster of wooden Scrabble-like tiles that spell out LEARN

Attend an online workshop to learn the facts about the new state payroll tax and an overview of the long-term care Trustmark policy.

The next in a series of online workshops will be held this week on Tuesday, August 24 from 2-3 p.m., and on Thursday, August 26, from 9-10 a.m.

Zoom meeting information is included on a NW Benefits online workshop flyer posted on the staff intranet. Be sure to log in to Google to access the staff intranet from the staff portal or the district Home page.

First round of OSDEF Teaching and Learning Grant requests due by September 24

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’s 2021-22 grants cycle is now open! Grant requests will be accepted and reviewed four different times throughout the year. The first application period closes at 5 p.m. Friday, September 24.

Requests can be made in any amount up to $2,000 this year (except Browsers Books grants, which are eligible for up to $500). Grant request forms, guidelines, due dates, a scoring guide and examples of grants awarded by the Foundation last year are all available at

Any OSD employee who works directly with OSD students may apply. Please select only one category. Grant requests should be submitted electronically via Funding is available until it runs out.

Questions? Contact OSDEF Executive Director Katy Johansson at or (360) 596-6110.

COVID-19 staff vaccination information and vaccine locations in Thurston County

The following is a copy of a message emailed to all OSD staff on August 18, 2021 explaining Gov. Jay Inslee’s directive requiring all K-12 school district employees to get a COVID-19 vaccination or a medical or religious exemption by October 18, 2021 as a condition of employment.

If you are looking for a COVID-19 vaccine locally, visit the Thurston County Public Health and Social Services website for a list of dates, times and locations.

Message emailed to OSD employees on August 18, 2021:

Hello Olympia School District employees,

Today Gov. Jay Inslee announced a new directive legally requiring all K–12 school district employees to get a COVID-19 vaccination or a medical or religious exemption by October 18, 2021 as a condition of employment.

Gov. Inslee also expanded a statewide mask mandate to all individuals, regardless of vaccination status, indoors in public settings. This mandate takes effect Monday, August 23, 2021.

The Governor’s directive means that all Olympia School District employees, contractors, volunteers and others working in school facilities will be required to be fully vaccinated by October 18, 2021.

Some of the key elements of today’s proclamation are:

  • Olympia School District and our Board of Directors do not have local control over this matter. We are legally required to follow the Governor’s directive.
  • Employees may request an exemption if they cannot meet the requirement due to a medical or religious reason. A religious exemption will not require medical consultation or proof of an organized religious affiliation. It will be an attestation and signature from the employee related to a religious belief, practice or observance, according to information shared today by the state Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI). We will provide more information about this process as soon as we have more details.
  • There is not an option to undergo regular testing for COVID-19 instead of receiving a vaccination or exemption.
  • Employees who are vaccinated will need to provide proof of vaccination. Attestation is not an allowable substitute for vaccination. We will provide more information about this soon.
  • The information employees provide regarding vaccination will be a confidential record.
  • Vaccination is a condition of employment in the proclamation. If you do not provide proof of full vaccination or obtain a medical or religious exemption by October 18, 2021, you will be separated from employment via non-disciplinary dismissal due to no longer meeting the qualifications of your position.
  • This proclamation does not include vaccine requirements for students. It also does not replace the current requirement for all students, staff and visitors to wear face coverings in schools and on school buses.

Our district’s goal of safely providing full-time in-person learning for students in the 2021-22 school year remains the same. This announcement will not delay our return to school buildings this fall, and unvaccinated employees should continue to come to work while in the process of becoming fully vaccinated.

For more information on today’s announcement, visit the OSPI website for a list of Frequently Asked Questions.

Congrats to our newest Everyday Heroes

Everyday Heroes Logo with the words: Celebrating OSD Employees

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
Audrey Perry, Science Teacher, Washington MS and Kaitlin Bishopp, Counselor, Reeves MS

Secondary Summer School was more important than ever this year. Because of COVID, we had an unusual number of secondary students who needed a little help completing their required credits.  

Audrey Perry was selected as the Secondary Summer School Coordinator and Kaitlin Bishopp stepped in as the Registrar. Neither Audrey nor Kaitlin had experience with summer school. However, I would never have guessed that based on the quality of work they produced. Both of them were incredibly organized and thorough which made it very easy for us to support them. All told, they helped 379 students expand their learning (more than the past two years combined)!  

Additionally, both Audrey and Kaitlin are kind and considerate individuals who were a pleasure to work with all summer.  

Great job and thank you, Audrey and Kaitlin!
Submitted by Carrie Blackwell, Student Information System Supervisor

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.

2020-21 timesheets due by September 3

Sticky notes in different colors

The Payroll office wants to remind all employees to submit all timesheets from the 2020-21 school year by September 3, 2021.

Timesheets submitted after the deadline could be subject to an audit finding, so it’s important to submit them by September 3.

Thanks for your cooperation!

Disregard latest email from unauthorized vendor titled ‘TRS Retirement Reviews’

From time to time, outside unauthorized vendors send emails to OSD employees offering services or requesting appointments be scheduled. The latest email, sent this morning to some employees, is titled “TRS Retirement Reviews.” The sender is PAC APPOINTMENT, and the emails asks staff in “Olympia County Schools” to request a retirement review.

Please disregard this request as it is not from an authorized OSD vendor. Our Technology department has since blocked this vendor from sending to district emails.

Registration underway for social media, teacher webpage and web editor trainings

Person typing on a laptop computer

Registration is open for staff interested in participating in the OSD Social Media Workshop and/or the Teacher Webpage and Web Editor Training.

OSD Social Media Workshop

Is your school officially represented on social media? If not, let’s fix that!

In the ever-changing world of social media, it can be daunting when considering what social media platforms to choose to best reach your families. Don’t be dismayed, it’s really quite simple and unquestionably worth your time and effort.

Give us an hour of your time and come sit down as we delve into the following “Social Media Tips” when managing a school or district-related social media account:

  • Why do we need to promote our school? We’re doing fine!
  • Getting approval from your administrator
  • How to select the social media platform to best reach your audience
  • Setting up your accounts (using district email)
  • Checking student permissions (when publishing students names/photos)
  • How to best promote your new social media account
  • Frequency of posting: Creating a social media calendar
  • Creating engagement: Like, Follow and Share
  • How to produce consistent, easily digestible and accessible content
  • The “How-To’s” of video production and posting
  • How to properly add and edit closed captions to your video content
  • Finding your “voice” and “tone”

Our hope is that by the time this workshop wraps up you will feel much more comfortable opening up a social media account that represents your school community. This includes accounts for a school, athletic team, club, program or classroom. You will be amazed at the number of families you reach that were not previously reached through your school website (or teacher page), robocalls, newsletters, email and flyers.

With a consistent posting schedule, your engagement will soar. You will have a brand new way to communicate with students, families and our community which prioritizes content pushed out through social media. There are so many great stories to tell throughout our district, don’t be afraid of using this unique outlet to bring yours to the forefront!

Details with the necessary Zoom information are available in PDEnroller (linked above). Please sign up for this training in PDEnroller prior to its start so everything is properly set up for each user. Should you need additional information, contact Conor Schober at

Teacher Webpage and Web Editor Training

This training is for Olympia School District teachers and web editors interested in creating, editing and curating content for a teacher website or department webpage.

Details with the necessary Zoom information are in PDEnroller (linked above). Please sign up for this training in PDEnroller prior to its start so everything is properly set up for each user. Each of these virtual training opportunities is approved for Clock Hours and is eligible for TechPD. Should you need additional information, contact Conor Schober at

Submit travel expense reimbursements by August 31

person working on a laptop

The following message is from the district Business Office:

Historical OSD procedures, and updates adopted in 2016, require that Travel Expense Reimbursement submittals be submitted within 60 days post travel. Our district must meet these guidelines to ensure that budget managers know how much budget capacity they have remaining because payments of past activity are being taken out of accounts within a predictable time period.

In alignment with our travel procedures; we will require travel expense reimbursement be submitted within 60 days post travel.  This will require prompt submissions of expense reimbursement (in Skyward) for travel expenditures incurred.

In addition to the 60 days post travel provision; law requires expenditures for travel be posted in the same fiscal year they are incurred. Therefore, expenditures for the month of June through August 2021 must be submitted in Skyward by August 31, 2021 to be posted to the 20-21 fiscal year.