Employee Assistance Program provides support to employees and dependents

White ceramic teacup sits on railing with mountains and lake in the distance

Personal issues, planning for life events or simply managing daily life can affect an employee’s work, health and family.

First Choice Health provides 24/7 support, resources and information for personal and work-life issues. Services include support for anxiety and depression, couples/relationship/parenting, crisis support, alcohol/drug problems, grief and loss, domestic violence, and more.

Learn more by viewing the Employee Assistance Program flyer

OSD Community Resources Webpage

Additionally, community agencies are available to assist youth and families.

A compilation of resources and information, including a list of local and national crisis hotlines, support groups, counseling resources and more are posted on the district website.

Virtual VEBA Fairs planned in October

The following information is shared by the district Payroll Office

As a way to help employees better understand their VEBA benefit, there are several Virtual VEBA Fairs planned in October. These will be live sessions, and participants can listen to a quick overview of the VEBA Plan followed by a Q&A session.

For more information, see the VEBA Plan Benefits Guide.

Knox 111 Administrative Center is open to employees from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Photo of the front entry at the Knox Administrative Center

The Knox 111 Administrative Center is open to district employees, and the community, between the hours of 8 a.m and 4:30 p.m. Exterior doors are locked outside of these hours, with entry limited to Knox employees only. If you need to visit a district office, please plan to arrive after 8 a.m. or before 4:30 p.m., or contact the department for assistance via email or phone.

During working hours, please enter the building through the upstairs reception area, 111 Bethel St. Staff who have technology business only may enter on the building’s first-floor entry door off Tullis Street N.E.

Once inside the building, please swipe your district access card on the readers mounted just inside the upstairs reception area or just inside the door leading to the Technology department. All employees must also swipe their access card when leaving the building for the day.

If you have forgotten your access card, you will be asked to sign in at the kiosk in the reception area. Please sign in as a staff member and wear the sticker, which includes your photo, that is printed as part of the computer sign-in process. You will also be issued a temporary access card by the district receptionist.

Reminder to show your supervisor proof of COVID-19 vaccination

Medical worker in gown and blue gloves prepares to vaccinate an individual in the arm

The following is a copy of a message emailed to all OSD staff on August 30, 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 30, 2021:

As a condition of employment, all OSD employees must provide valid proof of full vaccination for COVID-19, or a valid religious or medical exemption, by October 18, 2021.

In order to meet this requirement, you must have received your second dose of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine, or the single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, by October 4, 2021.

Following is the process to verify your vaccination status with your supervisor, or request an exemption from Human Resources:

Verify Vaccination Status
Show your supervisor a valid proof of vaccination for COVID-19 as outlined in the Washington State Department of Health Visual Guide to Official Washington State Proof of COVID-19 Vaccination. Due to the confidential nature of this information, please do not email this information to your supervisor; rather, show it to them in person. The district will not retain copies of this documentation.

Religious Exemption
To request a religious exemption, complete the form provided by OSPI, which we have posted on the Human Resources Section of the Forms page on the staff intranet. Download the form, fill out, and make a copy for yourself. To avoid sending sensitive documents electronically, and due to the confidential nature of this information, either send the hard copy via the district mail courier to the Human Resources Department, Attention Danielle Enger, or drop off in person at the Knox 111 Administrative Center in a sealed envelope marked Human Resources, Attention Danielle Enger.

Medical Exemption/Accommodation
To request a medical exemption/accommodation, please complete the form posted on the Human Resources Section of the Forms page on the staff intranet. Download the form, fill out, and make a copy for yourself. To avoid sending sensitive documents electronically, and due to the confidential nature of this information, either send the hard copy via the district mail courier to the Human Resources Department, Attention Danielle Enger, or drop off in person at the Knox 111 Administrative Center in a sealed envelope marked Human Resources, Attention Danielle Enger.

OSD Office and Schools/Resources Directory is posted on staff intranet

Front of Knox 111 Administrative Office Building with tree in the foreground

Linked below you will find a viewable Google Sheet which includes both the current OSD Office Directory and the OSD Schools & Resources Directory. There are two tabs in this Google Sheet that you can toggle to/from in the bottom left-hand corner of your browser.

This document can be printed off as a single page, front/back piece.*

To print just follow these simple instructions:

  • Open the One-Page OSD Office Directory.
  • Select the print icon, or go to ‘File’ and ‘Print’.
  • This takes you to ‘Print Settings. In the top right-hand corner of the page select the pull-down menu that reads ‘Current Sheet’ and change that to ‘Workbook’.
  • Select ‘Next’ in the top right-hand corner of the page.
  • The print dialogue box will open on your computer.
  • Interested in printing on a single sheet of paper? Select ‘Two-Sided Print’ in your print settings. You will want to print with a ‘Long Edge Binding’ so that the directory prints in portrait layout.
  • Select ‘Print’.

This is a “live document,” posted on the staff intranet, that is maintained by the OSD Communications and Community Relations Department. Should there be any changes needed, please let us know at communications@osd.wednet.edu. We will get these updates/change requests made and they will be available immediately to anyone accessing this document.

We hope this is a useful tool for all employees!

*Please note that only OSD employees have the ability to access/print this document.

Congratulations to our newest Everyday Hero

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 Hero
Mathew Murdock, Electrician, Support Service Center

I would like to nominate Matthew Murdock, electrician for Support Service Center Maintenance. As an electrician, he will take the time to teach me of any electrical needs my building has that I, as a head custodian, can deal with.
Submitted by Timothy Nelson Jr., Head Custodian, Roosevelt Elementary School

How to nominate an Everyday Hero

  • Email the Communications and Community Relations Department (communications@osd.wednet.edu) 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.

Teaching & Learning team restructure

Line of sharp colored pencils with reflection

This is the first in a series of blog posts, submitted by the Teaching & Learning (T&L) Team, about the T&L Team restructure that is taking place.

Timely Information

The best way to get support from someone related to any of the services, programs or content areas under the umbrella of the T&L Team — as listed in this blog post — is to email: Knox-K12TeachLearn@osd.wednet.edu.

Future updates will contain information about updated website structures and communications as part of a multi-tiered system of support for internal communications from the T&L Team.


This restructure is grounded in expectations from House Bill 1368 -– COVID -– Federal Funding (2021) Sec 12, which created a new section of Chapter 43.70 RCW, setting forth certain requirements for the appropriation of federal funds, including that school districts submit an Academic and Student Well-Being Recovery Plan to OSPI by June 1, 2021, to address student needs resulting from school building closures and extended time in remote learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This state law included specific requirements for school districts’ Academic and Student Well-Being Plans, as defined by the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction.

In response to these expectations, the district Instructional Leadership Team (ILT) learned from stakeholders across our schools and community during the 2020-21 school year to inform the development of a multiyear vision for a Recovery Plan passed by our OSD Board at the end of May 2021.

Dr. Hannah Gbenro, who started on July 1 with Olympia School District (OSD), has been charged with partnering to lead significant Recovery Plan efforts. Along these lines, as our Chief Academic Officer (CAO), Dr. Gbenro has re-structured the T&L Team, is consistently learning from stakeholders to establish updated systems of support, and is committed to the multiyear vision for recovery (Recovery Plan) in the interest of student success.

Key Updates

The T&L Team is working to update website content to provide clarity and supports aligned with the information in this blog post. In the meantime, the team wants to ensure some key pieces are communicated.

  1. Based on lessons learned in spring — through site visits, reading previous surveys, listening to focus groups, learning from committee meetings — the T&L Team will take a
    • Departmentalized approach. This means all services, programs, and content areas that traditionally fall under “Teaching and Learning” will take an integrated approach. The formal title to this strategy is the “human-centered design” approach, where the end-users (students, educators, families) are prioritized at the center of all action-planning and decision-making.
    • Data-informed and results-driven approach. This means looking at data from across our system, holding up against research and external expectations, and prioritizing the rights of stakeholders within these considerations.
  2. T&L Team Members recently engaged in visioning efforts to identify a Mission & Vision that would best support partnership for the success of the multiyear journey toward realizing our OSD Recovery Plan. While the T&L Team is working on updated website information where this information will be accessible over time, below is the Mission & Vision for moving forward:
    • Vision: To partner with stakeholders in the interest of furthering our Student Outcomes through the lens of equity.
    • Mission: With equity at the forefront, our T&L Team mission is to equip, empower, and collaborate with stakeholders for increased individual and collective potential for the benefit of the Whole Child, Whole Educator, & Whole Community. 
  3. The services, programs, and content areas that now fall under the Teaching & Learning Team include:
    • Curriculum & Instruction across all content & programs spanning K – 12 (Math, English Language Arts, Social Studies, Science, Social Emotional Learning, Health Education, Music Education, Physical Education, Sexual Health Education, STEM, World Languages, Visual Arts)
    • Title/LAP Intervention Services
    • English Learner Services & Migrant Education Services;
    • Implementation of Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS)
    • Professional Growth
    • Assessment, Data, & Research
    • Career & Technical Education (CTE) Programming
    • College & Career Readiness (CCR) Services
    • Indian Education & Tribal Relations
    • Student Mentoring Programming
    • Highly Capable Services
    • Instructional Coaching Services
    • Family & Community Partnerships
    • School Improvement Planning (SIP) and District Improvement Planning (DIP) Processes

Stay tuned for future blog updates about the T&L Team restructuring, in support of the Recovery Plan and partnering with stakeholders to further our Whole Child focused Student Outcomes.

Fundamental Course of Study Training opportunities

Person typing on a laptop computer

As most of you know, all paras in the Olympia School District (except preschool paras and bus monitors) are required to take 28 hours of training for the Fundamental Course of Study (FCS). The ESD 113 is providing some upcoming training opportunities for Olympia School District paraeducators. During the 2021-22 school year, 14 hours of training is required – 11 hours will be via Zoom, and 3 hours will be asynchronous courses.

Please note that space is limited for the Zoom sessions to 30 people per training, so sign up as soon as possible to reserve your spot. Asynchronous training can be completed on your own time, but due no later than July 31, 2022.

If you are unsure what training you need please email April Pigue at apigue@osd.wednet.edu before you sign up for any of the training.

You MUST use the registration links listed below. These are for OSD use only. You will be unable to use the “search” function in pdEnroller.

PdEnroller Sessions

September 27-30
Mon-Wed, 4:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Thursday 4:30 pm – 6:30 pm
Registration Link

November 29-December 2
Mon-Wed, 4:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Thursday 4:30 pm – 6:30 pm
Registration Link

October 4-7
Mon-Wed, 4:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Thursday 4:30 pm – 6:30 pm

Registration Link

December 6-9
Mon-Wed, 4:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Thursday, 4:30 pm – 6:30 pm

Registration Link

Training Location All training will be held via Zoom.  You will receive a link once you have registered.

Standards (First 14 hours) – New Hire to OSD

FCS01, Introduction to Cultural Identity & Diversity
FCS02, Methods of Educational & Instructional Support
FCS04, Using & Collecting Data
FCS11, Communication Basics

Please note: FCS 10 (Positive & Safe Learning Environment) will be asynchronous.
Registration Link

STandards (second 14 hours) – 2nd year with OSD

FCS05, District Orientation of Roles & Responsibilities
FCS06, Equity
FCS07, Behavior Management Strategies (including de-escalation techniques)
FCS08, Child & Adolescent Development
FCS09, Emergency & Health Safety

Please note: FCS 03 (Technology Basics) & FCS12 (Communication Challenges) will be asynchronous.
FCS 03 – Registration Link
FCS 12 – Registration Link

More dates will be added as they are scheduled.  For additional information regarding the FCS training in the Olympia School District, please view the OSD Paraeduator Certificate Program FAQ.

2020-21 Stipend Payment Update

The District recently received information from OSPI that the reimbursement to the District for those paras who completed the FCS 14 hours during the 2020-2021 school year has been delayed. Therefore, those eligible for the stipend will be paid in their October paycheck. We apologize for any inconvenience.