Free drive-through COVID-19 testing

Woman and boy, both masked inside the front seat of a car, demonstrating what it would look like to participate in the ESD drive-through testing site.

Students and staff who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or have been exposed to someone with the virus may be tested for free at a drive-through COVID-19 testing site at the Capital Region Education Service District 113 (ESD 113).

The testing site is open from 8 a.m. until 12 noon weekdays at ESD 113, 6005 Tyee Dr. S.W. in Tumwater.

Note: At this time, the free drive-through testing is open only to school and ESD staff and enrolled students. It is not available to family members, or the general community. The test is recommended for ages 4 and up. If you are under the age of 18, a parent or guardian must accompany you to the test.

Pre-register online
Participants are encouraged to pre-register online before arriving at the testing site. Parents/guardians who pre-register their student online will also be asked to fill out a permission slip that allows test results to be shared with their student’s school district. This form is available at ESD 113’s website and at the testing site.

Early learning grants available through Olympia Tumwater Foundation

Applications are due by October 15 for early learning grants from the Olympia Tumwater Foundation.

Individual grants vary in size from approximately $300 to $3,000. Applications will be evaluated based on the following goals of the grant program:

  • To stimulate student creativity and motivation to learn.
  • To enhance the current learning environment.
  • To leave a lasting impact on as many students as possible.

Information and applications are available on the Scholarships & Grants webpage at

Not seeing students in SecURLY Classroom? Learn how to get your students reconnected

SecURLy Classroom works as an extension in Chrome on student Chromebooks. If students have not restarted their Chromebooks recently, the extension may stop functioning. There are two ways to reconnect the extension.

Option 1: Restart the Chromebook (recommended)

Restarting the Chromebook will also reconnect SecURLy Classroom. Doing this often is recommended for needed updates on the Chromebooks and is a habit that most students have not developed. 

It is suggested that teachers built Chromebook restarts into their classroom routines. It could be the entry task every week on Monday, for example.

Option 2: Restart the Extension

  1. Students find the extension in their Chrome browser. This may be pinned or may be found by clicking on the puzzle piece icon in the upper left corner of their browser.
SecURLy Classroom extension in the extension toolbar in Chrome

2. If the extension needs to be reconnected, you will see a red ! on it

The image shows Extensions in Chrome, including one titled "Securly Classroom" which for purposes of this example has a red exclamation point just to the left of the title indicating the extension needs to be reconnected as explained in the post.

3. Have the students click on the extension icon. This will reset the connection and they will once again be visible in SecURLy Classroom.

For more information or assistance, please reach out to the Instructional Technology Coach team (

Accessibility Tip of the Week: Creating Accessible Content

Blank canvas hung on wall

As a teacher in the Olympia School District, you will have heard a lot about accessibility. Here is a summary of what accessibility is, how it pertains to you, and how you can ensure greater access for everyone in our community!

What is accessibility?

Accessibility means creating digital content that can be understood by our entire community, including those with visual, auditory, cognitive, or motor disabilities. In general, this means we want to create content that works with assistive technology, such as screen readers or screen magnifiers.

What does this mean for OSD staff?

Put simply, all content posted to the web, be it SchoolMessenger or Schoology, must be accessible. While this may initially sound daunting, the workflow for creating accessible content is relatively straightforward.

Creating Accessible Content

There are many aspects to creating accessible content, but there are two elements that come into play most frequently:


True headings consist of section titles, which enable users of assistive technology, such as screen readers, to skim through a document. While section titles may be created visually using bolding, larger font sizes or underlining, these do not provide a programmatic accompaniment to the text.

In most software, creating a true heading is as simple as highlighting a piece of text and selecting the appropriate heading style. Guides for each piece of software can be found on the district’s Website Accessibility Resources page.

Alternative Text

A screen reader operates by synthesizing text into speech. When it encounters an image, it requires a description of the image to read to the user. This description is called alternative text. Good alternative text describes both the content and the function of an image, ensuring the meaning of the image is conveyed to all users.

Alternative text can easily be added in most  software programs – steps can be found on the district’s Website Accessibility Resources page.

Publishing Content

Once content includes true headings and alternative text, the author should consider how they intend to publish their content. There are two options, either posting the content directly to a page, or including the document as an attached PDF.

On-page content

Content published directly onto a webpage, either in Schoology or on a SchoolMessenger teacher page, is natively quite accessible. Content written in Google Docs can easily be copied onto one of these platforms. Content from Microsoft Word will require the images to be added back in and alternative text to be added.

Attached PDFs

If an attachment is preferred, the document should be saved as a PDF and then posted to the web. Accessible PDFs can be created using either Word or Google Docs. Word users can simply go to File > Save As > and change their file format to PDF. Google Docs users will need to use Grackle to create an accessible PDF. Detailed steps for both software suites can be found in the blog post Exporting to PDF, or on the district’s Website Accessibility Resources page.


For video content to be accessible, all meaningful audio must be captioned. By utilizing YouTube’s speech recognition software, staff are able to create captioned video content for our community.

Videos should be uploaded to YouTube, and then the automatic captions should be edited for accuracy, punctuation and timing. More information on increasing the accuracy of automatically generated captions can be found in this captioning guide.


Creating accessible documents not only ensures more of our community can enjoy our content, but it also often results in efficiency increases. If you have questions about creating accessible content, please feel free to reach out to the Communications Department.

Learn about this fall’s Healthy Youth Survey

Three high school students look at notebooks while standing outdoors on campus

The Healthy Youth Survey (HYS) is a collaborative effort of the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, the Department of Health, the Department of Social and Health Service’s Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery, and Liquor and Cannabis Board.

The Healthy Youth Survey provides important survey results about the health of adolescents in Washington. County prevention coordinators, community mobilization coalitions, community public health and safety networks, and others use this information to guide policy and programs that serve youth.

Who: 6th, 8th, 10th, and 12th grade students whose schools opted to do the Panorama Survey across Washington will take the Healthy Youth Survey.
When: October 11 – 29, 2021 
Other Details: Students will complete the survey online in their schools on one of the days between October 11 and October 29.

For more information in multiple languages, including frequently asked questions, click on one of the PDFs below that contains information posted on the Healthy Youth Survey website:

More questions? Please connect with your school’s assessment coordinator.

Read and sign district credit card agreement in Skyward starting October 1

Close up of person with a laptop computer and a charge card

Do you have a district-issued credit card? Do you travel as part of your job? Do you manage credit cards for your program or school? Do you occasionally check out a procurement/credit card? If so, please read further.

Each October staff fill out their annual employee agreement regarding credit card use. If you use a district-issued credit card, we need you to read and sign this agreement. This year the Acceptable Use Agreement of District-Issued Procurement Card has been updated slightly.  With the changing work environment the Washington State Auditor’s Office recommended changes to the agreement that the district uses. Beginning October 1, Skyward will prompt you to complete the 2021-22 SY MOU. This is a requirement to use district procurement cards (credit cards).

Changes include:

  • Technology purchases over $40 per item
  • Food and Fuel Purchases
  • Providing an itemized receipt to credit card custodians
  • Failure to follow guidelines may result in termination of credit card privilege

The following attestations have been added to the agreement. Acknowledgement of all items is required to use a district procurement card. New or updated attestations, bold/underline indicates new wording:

  • I will not use the card for technology purchases over $40 per item and I will ensure that digital downloaded content will be saved to a district device. (Contact the Technology Department with any questions)
  • I will not use the card for gas purchases if I am claiming mileage. Fuel purchases CANNOT be charged on travel or building/department credit cards. (Employees are “reimbursed” for fuel via claiming mileage OR when a district vehicle is in use, the vehicle includes a credit card for associated fuel purchases. Purchasing fuel with the credit card for a pre-approved rental car is OK.)
  • I will ensure food/meal purchases are completed in compliance with the district’s Group Meal Policy, including per-diem amounts.
  • I understand I am responsible for providing original, itemized receipts for all charges against this card promptly after purchase.
  • I understand that failure to adhere to the above district guidelines may result in termination of the district-issued procurement card privilege.

We understand that you may have questions or concerns about the new wording above or any of the others listed on the complete form. Please email so that we may answer you directly.

Also remember, the Skyward form process is helpful because we can eliminate paper processing for the employee. However, the Skyward form system is less intuitive than other systems; after you fill out the attestations (double check that all check-boxes are checked), remember to scroll down to look for the “submit” button and click “submit” in two different places.

Learn how employees can access phone interpreting services to communicate with families

Hand holding an I-phone with blank screen

Language Link is a phone interpretation service available to all OSD Staff Members to use when communicating with families who communicate in a target language other than English and/or are multilingual.

Accessing Language Link

Calling Language Link allows for an interpreter to join in your conversation to bridge your communication with families who speak a target language other than English.

Information about how to access this service by phone, including unique codes to enter for each school and/or support building, are posted on the staff intranet. Be sure to log in to Google to access the Telephone Interpretation Service webpage on the staff intranet.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can we use Language Link to support an in-person conversation with a family or community member?

Yes! Follow the easy steps posted on the Telephone Interpretation Service page on the staff intranet.

Is there someone on campus who knows about Language Link?

In September, the Teaching & Learning (T&L) Team will partner with Family Liaisons (elementary schools) and Counselors (secondary schools) on training. At that point, educators in these roles can serve as on-site supports.  

Who to Contact

If educators have questions specific to Language Line, please contact:

OSDEF Teaching and Learning Grant applications due this Friday, September 24

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

Applications are due this Friday, September 24 for Teaching and Learning Grants offered by the Olympia School District Education Foundation (OSDEF). This is the first of four opportunities during the 2021-22 school year for OSD employees to apply for the Teaching and Learning grants.

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.

Please Note: If you received a grant in 2020-21 and wish to apply for another in 2021-22, your request cannot be considered until you have submitted a Post-Grant Report for your 2020-21 project.

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

Instructional coaches join OSD ready to partner with teachers

Classroom photo of teaching presenting information on a white board and two students looking on from their seats

Olympia School District recently launched a new Instructional Coaching Model to provide K-12 teachers with ongoing, job embedded professional development in support of student success. This updated approach to Instructional Coaching is grounded in our Board’s Recovery Plan. OSD’s instructional coaching team includes six full-time elementary coaches, four secondary coaches, and four K-12 coaches who support specific programs. The team is connected to Teaching and Learning.  The vision is that eventually every school will have an instructional coach so that every teacher will have access to a coach.

What do Instructional Coaches do?

Coaches partner with educators to engage, equip and empower teachers to incorporate research-based instructional practices into their teaching. They serve as co-learners, reflective partners and consulting partners while honoring teacher-directed interests and goal setting. Coaches collaborate with teachers in 1:1, small group and large group settings in support of classroom management, content, instruction, and assessment for learning and equity.  

Who are the Instructional Coaches?

Elementary Instructional Coaches include:

  • Carolyn Balderston (LP Brown)
  • Angela Leonard (Garfield)
  • Ashley Patrick (Hansen)
  • Chelsey Schneidemann (McLane)
  • Jennifer Cronquist (Roosevelt)
  • Melissa Hayes (Madison)

Secondary Instructional Coaches include:

  • Casey Church (Math)
  • Malia Lee (Humanities)
  • Katie Savinski (Humanities)
  • Paula Perryman (Career & Technical Education)

K-12 Instructional Coaches include:

  • Carmen Kardokus (Science)
  • Rachel Diane Brock (Intervention & Extension)
  • Kris Norelius (Social Emotional Learning)
  • Susan Williams (Professional Growth & New Teacher Induction)

For an overview of instructional coaching see “Coaching — Not Just for Athletes” in Instructional Coaching in Action: An Integrated Approach That Transforms Thinking, Practice, and Schools found in the Gale Professional Growth e-Library.

Learn about Deferred Compensation Program for supplemental retirement savings

Laptop computer with blank screen on table with pencil holder, plant, stack of books and coffee mug

The following information is shared by the district Payroll Office

The Washington State Deferred Compensation Program (DCP) is a supplemental retirement savings program administered by the Department of Retirement Systems (DRS). 

Why save with DCP?

  • You can save with as little as $30 per month
  • Your contributions are tax-deferred so if you save $100 per month, your paycheck is only reduced by $85
  • You don’t need to know anything about investing – if you complete the Quick Enrollment form, a professional team will invest for you
  • Getting started late?  That’s okay!  You can save as much as $1,625 per month, or even more if you are age 50 or older

To learn more about DCP, visit the DCP website at or watch the DCP webinar video.