Foundation now accepting 2022-23 Grant Requests

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

The nonprofit Olympia School District Education Foundation is now accepting Grant Requests from staff who work directly with students for the 2022-23 school year. Please note the following changes submitted by the Foundation, most of which are meant to make the application process more efficient:

  1. All Grant Requests must be made using a Google Form, which can be found on the Foundation website at; we will no longer accept requests made in Word.
  2. Applicants no longer need to select a category unless they are applying for:
    • A Browsers Bookshop grant for a classroom or school library. Browsers generously provides 10 grants, each in the amount of $500, for the procurement of books. Books must be purchased through Browsers, which offers a 20 percent discount for educators.
    • An SEL/Mental Health Grant (see below).
  3. SEL/Mental Health Grants (formerly Mental Health Initiative Grants) will support counselors, social workers, behavior technicians and restorative justice centers by funding materials and the development of programs that specifically address social/emotional learning and mental health.

To be considered during the first of four application periods during the school year:

  • Grant Requests must be submitted by 5 p.m. Friday, Sept. 23. Applicants will be notified by no later than Oct. 18 of the status of their request. (Key dates for all application periods are posted on the website.)
  • You must have submitted a complete Post-Grant Report for any previous grants awarded.

The Foundation encourages requests earlier in the school year to help ensure all monies can be spent before the end of the fiscal year, Aug. 31, 2023.

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

2021-22 timesheets due by September 5, 2022

Sticky notes in different colors

The Payroll office wants to remind all employees to submit all timesheets from the 2021-22 school year by September 5, 5022.

Timesheets submitted after the deadline could be subject to an audit finding, so it’s important to submit them by September 5.

Thanks for your cooperation.

Certificated and Admin educators: Save the date for Whole Child Institute August 17-18

Graphic of six OSD outcomes with OSD name in the center
Creating opportunities and shaping success for all students

Update August 16, 2022: This event has been canceled.

Purpose: Provide logistics about the 2022 Whole Child Institute taking place on Wednesday (8/17) & Thursday (8/18) from 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. in-person and virtually as an optional professional development experience for Certificated and Admin Educators.

To:  Certificated and Admin Educators
From:  Dr. Hannah Gbenro, Char Franz, Paula Perryman, and Sheralyn Weimer

Thank you for your commitment to equity in the interest of our students, families and community. Please consider joining us for the Second Annual Whole Child Institute (WCI). At WCI, Olympia School District (OSD) Educators will have an opportunity to collaborate with each other through activities that focus on culturally responsive practices, community building, student empowerment and partnering to plan forward for making a difference together in the new school year.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

When is it? Where is it? Who is coming?

  • *August 17 – 18, 2022 from 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
  • Capital High School
  • Certificated and Admin Educators

*Lunch will be provided

How can I be compensated for engaging in learning through WCI?
As Certificated Educators, you can use your Olympia Educator Association (OEA) Professional Development Hours for engaging in professional growth through WCI.

What is the focus of WCI 2022? What does Whole Child mean?
Our goal is to ensure students are healthy, safe, supported, engaged and academically challenged; this is a foundational commitment woven within our OSD Student Outcomes. Our Whole Child strategy supports students, so they’ll be successful in school and in life. Whole Child practices from our Boardroom to our classrooms and within our day-to-day work are more relevant today than ever before; each step we take toward breathing life into a Whole Child system is what our students need and what they deserve. With culturally responsive social-emotional learning, inclusivity and anti-racism at the heart of our efforts to intentionally meet the opportunities of our students, a Whole Child approach is a natural fit.

What will WCI be like? Will there be breakout sessions?
WCI will involve Breakout Sessions and Workshops. This will support collaboration and opportunities for leadership.

Breakout Sessions

  • Content Collaboration Groups: These Breakout Sessions involve collaboration with job-alike Educators. Our educators reported feeling like they want training and materials that can help them hit the ground running as early as the first day of school. These groups are led and created by content leaders to support the vertical and horizontal alignment of high-quality practices rooted in equity, data-informed and student-centered approach. These groups will run on August 17 from 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
  • (Update August 1, 2022) Current Content Collaboration groups include: K-12 School Counselors, K-12 Music, Elementary Family Liaisons, 4th-12th grade Comprehensive Sexual Health Education.
  • More Content Collaboration Groups will be defined as Educators register for WCI.
  • Whole Child Breakout Sessions: These workshops invite educators from different roles to grow their practices to ensure that our students and their families receive high-quality and equity-focused practices.

Workshops during WCI will include professional development customized for you. With a focus on practices for furthering the Whole Child, Whole Educator and Whole Community approach within your role.

How can I get involved?

You are talented, and we need you! Please consider presenting a workshop at WCI 2022 by filling out a workshop proposal on this form.

Workshop proposals will be reviewed by a panel of OSD Educators based on alignment to (a) focus of WCI 2022 and (b) State and National best practices within the given content area/focus. Workshops will be 90-minutes long, interactive experiences.

Workshops can be submitted through Wednesday, August 10 and presenters will be notified by August 12 if they have been accepted. We apologize for the quick turnaround, and we look forward to enhanced communication opportunities next year.

When filling out the form, we will ask for:

  1. Workshop Title
  2. Workshop Description
  3. Your First and Last Name
  4. Brief Professional Biography

[For your information] The form provides the following information to potential presenters – Technology & Resources Available. Room Set-Up and Participant Access to Technology.

Who do I contact with questions?
Please complete this form and a member of the T&L Team will respond within 24-hours.

How do I register? When will I learn more?
More information will come through an email toward the beginning of the Week of August 8 about:

  • More details on the Content Collaboration Groups we’re officially hosting and specific breakout sessions
  • Registration information (e.g., PD Enroller, Dietary Restrictions information for lunch, etc.,) and clock hours

T&L Team Vision: To Partner with stakeholders in the interest of furthering our Student Outcomes through the lens of equity.

T&L Team 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.

In remembrance: Karen Charnes

Pink rhodendrun flowers on a bush

Update September 11, 2022:
A Celebration of Life will be held from 5–8 p.m. Friday, September 30, 2022 at Octapas Cafe, 610 Water St. SW Olympia, Washington 98501.
View Obituary

It is with sadness that we share the passing of Karen Charnes. Karen battled a rare brain cancer for several years before her passing on July 28, 2022 in South Dakota.

Karen began working for our district in 2017. She first served as a substitute paraeducator at Boston Harbor Elementary before becoming the Records Retention Manager at the Knox Administrative Center. The Business Office remembers Karen for her kindness and constant cheerful nature, even in the face of adversity.

Employees are welcome to send a card or note to her sons, c/o Katie Anderson in the Business Office. Feel free to drop off a card or note at the Knox 111 Administrative Center or send to Knox, Attention Katie Anderson, via the district courier.

Our hearts go out to Karen’s family and friends.

Flags lowered to half-staff through August 5, 2022

Pursuant to a White House notification, Governor Inslee directed on August 3, 2022 that Washington State and United States flags at all state agencies, including schools and support buildings, be lowered to half-staff in honor and remembrance of U.S. Representative Jackie Walorski from Indiana.

Flags will remain at half-staff until first thing Friday morning, August 5, 2022.

American flag at half staff with blue sky and puffy white clouds in the background

Scenic photos of the week

Mt. Rainier in evening light silhouetted by trees
“Mt. Rainier in Evening Light,” taken from Overlook Point Park in Tumwater, by Simona McEwen, Early Intervention Specialist, McKenny Elementary School

Today we celebrate the beauty of Mt. Rainier in two photos submitted by OSD employees.

OSD employees are encouraged to email the Communications department a photo of their artwork portraying nature (e.g., landscapes, sunrises or sunsets, an interesting cloud formation, a close-up of a flower) for consideration in this staff blog. Your image can be something you captured on canvas, in a photograph, on a textile, in a pencil, charcoal or pastel drawing, with wire — the possibilities are endless!


  • Nature/scenic images only (no people or pets please).
  • Attach a photo of your original art in jpeg or png format to an email and send to The higher the resolution, the better.
  • Photos must be in-focus and cropped so the art is visible.
  • Include your name, title, work location, and if applicable, where the image was taken (you can name the city, for example, or provide even more specific details (e.g. sunset taken from Long Beach, WA). This information will be included with each image published.

Depending on the number of images submitted, we will print one or more in each issue of the staff blog. Photos submitted during the 2021-22 school year will continue to be published over the summer of 2022.

We are now accepting new photos to begin sharing later this month and continue throughout the 2022-23 school year. We can’t wait to see what our employees have to share this year!

Mt. Rainier taken during the day while flying around the mountain
“Mt. Rainier,” taken while flying around the mountain, by Matthew Murdock, Maintenance Electrician, Support Service Center

Summer hours: Drive-thru COVID-19 testing at ESD 113

Capital Region ESD 113 wording and logo that shows Capitol building and trees

Olympia School District 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 this summer from 7:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. weekdays at ESD 113, 6005 Tyee Dr. S.W. in Tumwater.

For more information, visit the ESD 113 website