District plans to launch new district website tomorrow evening, October 12

A reminder to all employees that the new OSD website is expected to launch on Thursday, October 12, 2017. The new site will feature pages both for the public to view, as well as a staff intranet visible to employees logged into the site.

Information formerly in Staff Resources, as well as forms and other staff-related content, will be available on the new intranet pages.

Information on the current OSD WebManager district and school sites will no longer be updated or visible to the public after October 12, 2017. After the switchover, the content on the WebManager sites will be available for one year to OSD employees who need to view or copy information. Employees will only be able to access the former WebManager site from inside the OSD network. The Communications department will email all staff on Friday, October 13 with a list of URLs to the WebManager sites.

An additional training date has been scheduled for certificated staff  interested in having a teacher webpage on the new site. Please note that the date was changed from the original announcement so that it did not conflict with conference week in October.

Teachers are invited to sign up for the next website training on November 1. The SchoolMessenger Presence website training is from 4-6 p.m. in Room 303 at the Knox Administrative Center, 1113 Legion Way S.E., Olympia.

To sign up for the class, please email communications@osd.wednet.edu.

OSD wireless update

Close up of laptop and wireless mouse

Below is a message from Dave Baird in the Technology Department:

Dear Staff,

We made some changes over the summer in our wireless infrastructure and, despite our best intentions, we failed to get the word out regarding what was changed. Here is a brief synopsis of our current WiFi networks and their intended function:

  • OSD-Public – This network has no password requirements and has internet only access filtered at the most basic elementary school student level. Because it is wide open it is inherently insecure, and we found many users switching to this network, intentionally or not, and then experiencing problems connecting to other district resources. This network is intended for use by the general public and is now only available before and after school hours at each building.

  • OSD-WiFi – This network is set up for non-district owned devices used by staff and students. This network requires a login, making it much more secure. Staff and students should use their district username and password when joining this network. Access to  the appropriate district resources is then allowed based on the user’s group memberships (Staff, Student, Admin, Tech, etc.)

  • NOSD-Devices – A network for devices (iPads, tablets, e-readers, etc) owned by the district. This network is restricted to known hardware MAC addresses.  Any device added to this network whose MAC address is not on the known list will not be allowed use the network.

  • OSD-WiFi-Chrome – Wireless network restricted to district-owned Chromebooks.

  • OSD-Chromebook – A deprecated network used by Chromebooks that haven’t received an updated configuration to switch to OSD-WiFi-Chrome. This will go away at the end of the year.

  • OSD_2012 – This network is for district-owned laptops. Any device that users need to login to in order to use. We are starting to see other devices connecting to this network and will soon be implementing an access list similar to the one for NOSD-devices.

These networks all have specific intended uses and rules in place. Using devices on networks other than their intended one can cause unexpected results and the inability to reach desired resources. While we are striving to make joining the right network as easy and automatic as possible, it is important to be aware of which network is appropriate in each case, and to make sure devices are on the proper network when in use to avoid these problems.

Safety Tip of the Week: Preventing back pain and injury at work

Woman sitting at computer desk with hands holding waistline as if having pain in back

This week, Wendy Couture, the district’s safety and risk reduction manager, shares information about preventing back pain and injury at work.

Heavy lifting, repetitive motion and sitting at a desk all day can cause back pain. Get the facts about back pain and how to prevent it.

Whether it’s dull and achy or sharp and stabbing, back pain can make it hard to concentrate. Many different occupations can place demands on your back. Including routine office work can cause or worsen back pain. It’s important to understand what may cause back pain at work and what you can do to prevent it.

Common causes of back pain at work according to the Mayo Clinic.

  • Exerting too much force on your back — such as by lifting or moving heavy objects — can cause injury.
  • Repeating certain movements, especially those that involve twisting or rotating your spine, can injure your back.
  • An inactive job or a desk job can contribute to back pain, especially if you have poor posture or sit all day in a chair with inadequate back support.

Back pain and lifestyle factors

Of course, factors such as aging, obesity and poor physical condition also can contribute to back pain.

Start by making a healthy eating plan. Make sure you get enough calcium and vitamin D. These nutrients can help prevent osteoporosis, a condition that causes your bones to become weak and brittle and may lead to back pain.

Combine aerobic exercise, such as swimming or walking, with exercises that strengthen and stretch your back muscles and abdomen. Exercises that increase your balance and strength can also decrease your risk of falling and injuring your back. Consider tai chi, yoga and weight-bearing exercises that challenge your balance.

For most healthy adults, the Department of Health and Human Services recommends at least 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes a week of vigorous aerobic activity — preferably spread throughout the week — and strength training exercises at least twice a week.

Preventing back pain

You can take steps to avoid and prevent back pain. For example the Mayo Clinic recommends the following:

  • Pay attention to posture.When standing, balance your weight evenly on your feet. Don’t slouch. To promote good posture when sitting, choose a chair that supports your spinal curves. Adjust the height of your chair so that your feet rest flat on the floor or on a footrest and your thighs are parallel to the floor. Remove your wallet or cellphone from your back pocket when sitting to prevent putting extra pressure on your buttocks or lower back.
  • Lift properly.When lifting and carrying a heavy object, lift with your legs and tighten your core muscles. Hold the object close to your body. Maintain the natural curve of your back. Don’t twist when lifting. If an object is too heavy to lift safely, ask someone to help you.
  • Modify repetitive tasks.Use lifting devices, when available, to help you lift loads. Try to alternate physically demanding tasks with less demanding ones. If you work at a computer, make sure that your monitor, keyboard, mouse and chair are positioned properly. If you frequently talk on the phone and type or write at the same time, place your phone on speaker or use a headset. Avoid unnecessary bending, twisting and reaching. Limit the time you spend carrying heavy briefcases, purses and bags. Consider using a rolling suitcase.
  • Listen to your body.If you must sit for a prolonged period, change your position often. Periodically walk around and gently stretch your muscles to relieve tension.

Back pain can make everyday tasks difficult. Taking some simple steps to take care of your back will make your days more enjoyable.

District offers flu shot clinics

 

Doctor holds sign stating Flu Shots HereThe Olympia School District is committed to helping keep students, staff, parents/guardians and community members healthy throughout the flu season. The district has partnered again this year with the Seattle Visiting Nurse Association (SVNA) to provide flu shot clinics.

The clinics are open to all OSD staff, students, families (children must be four years of age or older) and community members. Please note that students under 18 will need a Patient Consent Form signed by a parent/legal guardian.

Students under 18 without insurance coverage will be offered the shot at no cost. Adults without coverage must pay $30 by cash or check.

Clinic dates and locations:

  • Tuesday, Oct. 24, Olympia High School, 2:45-6 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Oct. 25, Capital High School, 2:45-6 p.m.

For more information, please contact Jeff Carpenter, director of health, fitness, athletics at 360-596-8544 or jcarpent@osd.wednet.edu.

Flags lowered to half-staff in honor of victims of Oct. 1 attack in Las Vegas

Flags at half-staff in front of Knox Administrative Center buildingPursuant to the Presidential Proclamation issued this morning, October 2, Gov. Inslee directs that Washington state and United States flags at all state agency facilities, including schools and support buildings, be lowered to half-staff in honor of the victims of the October 1 attack in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Flags will remain at half-staff from today through close of business this Friday, October 6, 2017.

District plans to launch new website on Oct. 12, including staff intranet

A reminder to all employees that the new OSD website is expected to launch on October 12, 2017. The new site will feature pages both for the public to view, as well as a staff intranet visible to employees logged into the site. Information formerly in Staff Resources, as well as forms and other staff-related content, will be available on the intranet.

Information on the current OSD WebManager sites, including all schools, will no longer be updated or visible to the public after October 12, 2017. The content on the old site will be available for one year to OSD employees who need to retrieve information.

An additional training date has been scheduled for certificated staff  interested in having a teacher webpage on the new site. Teachers are invited to sign up for the next website training on Thursday, October 26, 2017. The SchoolMessenger Presence website training is from 4-6 p.m. in the Computer Lab (Room 308) at the Knox Administrative Center, 1113 Legion Way S.E., Olympia.

To sign up for the class, please email communications@osd.wednet.edu.

Applications due Oct. 20 for elementary teacher mini-grants

Information about $200 mini-grants for elementary teachersThe Thurston County School Retirees’ Association is accepting applications for its $200 elementary teacher mini-grant program for the 2017-18 school year.

The deadline to apply for the elementary mini-grants is October 20, 2017. The grants are designed to provide an opportunity for elementary school teachers to enhance the education of their students.

The application is available on the Thurston County Retirees’ Association website.

For additional information, contact Jo Edwards at fastwalker1000@comcast.net. Thurston County School Retirees’ Association is a chapter of the Washington State School Retirees’ Association.