South Sound Reading Foundation ‘Teacher Resource Day’ is Saturday, February 11

Teacher Resource Day flyer shows three educator books and lists info for the resource day as shared in the post

Teachers, prospective teachers and homeschool parents are welcome to visit the South Sound Reading Foundation (SSRF) office in Lacey to peruse its Teacher Resource Corner for free materials on the second Saturday of each month between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. The next “Teacher Resource Day” is Saturday, February 11, 2023.

The Foundation has a variety of pre-k to high school supplemental curriculum material. Shelves are stocked with workbooks, reading guides and specific subject interest books for everything from biology to U.S. history Everything is free, and SSRF is constantly restocking, so educators are encouraged to make repeat visits.

SSRF is located at 200 Sleater-Kinney Rd. N.E., Olympia WA 98506.

Black Lives Matter at School Week of Action February 6-10

Image of Knox Administrative Center screened in the background with lettering in the foreground stating Black LIves Matter at School Week of Action February 6-10, 2023

The Olympia School Board has proclaimed February 6-10 as Black Lives Matter at School Week of Action.

Board President Darcy Huffman read the two-page proclamation at the January 26, 2023 board meeting.

The school board proclamation states in part that “our students have the right to be educated within a village committed to nurturing their courage and skills to confront personal, systemic and societal bias, while recognizing the many types of privilege that exist within our society.”

The proclamation goes on to state that “students have the right to engage in reflection and honest conversations in school communities on issues of social justice, equity, the intersectionality of oppression and the legacy of institutionalized racism and oppression that has plagued the United States since its founding.”

The Black Lives Matter at School campaign first began in Seattle in 2016 and has since spread across the nation.

Kudos 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 is our newest honoree:

Everyday Hero
Monica Cuaresma, Student Support Program Manager, Student Support

Monica, you can solve any problem! I do not know what I would do without you! No matter how busy things get you are always kind, respectful and calm. There are not enough adjectives to describe how awesome you are! Thank you for all you do for myself and the nurse group on a daily basis. You are an OSD treasure for sure.
Submitted by Joy Fulling, RN, MPH, Student Support

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.

Olympia Garden Club Educational Grant application due by March 24

A person's hands are shown planting a green seedling in dirt

The Olympia Garden Club offers grants to Thurston County teachers who incorporate projects promoting gardening, horticulture or environmental science.

Grant applications are due by Friday, March 24, 2023. Applicants should describe how this grant would be used to enhance the horticultural or environmental science curriculum. Please list the cost of materials/supplies/services you want to purchase with grant funds. Student involvement in grant preparation is encouraged.

Apply for the Olympia Garden Club grant

OSD Educators of Color Network 2022-23

Building a community for Educators of Color in the Olympia School District.

Certificated staff and paraeducators of color are invited to join in on the conversation.

Save the Dates: 
Thursday, February 16, 2023, 4 pm – 6 pm, Knox Room 202
Thursday, March 2, 2023, 4 pm – 6 pm, Knox Room 270
Thursday, March 16, 2023, 4 pm – 6 pm, Knox Room 270
Thursday, April 20, 2023, 4 pm – 6 pm, Knox Room 202
Thursday, May 4, 2023, 4 pm – 6 pm, Knox Room 270
Thursday, May 18, 2023, 4 pm – 6 pm, Knox Room 103
Thursday, June 1, 2023, 4 pm – 6 pm, Knox Room 270
Thursday, June 15, 2023, 4 pm – 6 pm, Knox Room 202
Juneteenth Celebration, Time TBD, Location TBD

If you wish to attend, please register via pdEnroller, Event ID # 152750.

Certificated staff may use staff development hours or receive curriculum rate of pay for all sessions.

Paraeducators may use staff development hours or receive payment via time slip for all sessions.

We hope to see you there.

Scenic photo of the week

An eagle sits on a branch of a pine tree in Olympia.
“Watchful Eye,” taken in Olympia, WA, by Caitlin Wood, Jefferson Middle School Teacher, Special Education

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!

Please remember, you can be a novice or a professional. You can submit photos taken with your phone or a fancy camera. The goal is for as many employees as possible to participate!

Guidelines:

  • 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 communications@osd.wednet.edu. 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.

OEA Mid-Year Open House February 22

Wednesday, February 22
Knox Administrative Center
2:30 – 4:30 p.m.

Olympia Education Association (OEA) staff members are invited to attend an OEA “Mid-Year Open House” on Wednesday, February 22, 2023, from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. in the Knox Administrative Center boardroom. Attendees are welcome to drop in at any point during the two hours the Open House takes place. Light refreshments will be provided.

The event will give OEA staff an opportunity to meet with district departments. This will be a great opportunity for new teachers who could not attend the new employee orientation, or anyone who needs a refresher.

Key topics will include curriculum, OEA collective bargaining agreement (CBA), executive board, tech support, IEP online, teacher overloads, reimbursement requests, and electronic time reporting system (ETRS).

Representatives from the following departments will be available:

  • Olympia Education Association (OEA)
  • Human Resources
  • Teaching & Learning
  • Technology
  • Student Information Systems (SIS)
  • Payroll
  • Business Office
  • Student Support
  • Communications and Community Relations

New protocol established for public comment at board meetings

Group photo of Olympia School Board standing in front of a wall of student artwork

The Olympia School Board has revised its protocol for hearing public comment at regular board meetings.

Effective in January 2023, OSD students, speaking on any topic, and members of the public wishing to speak to the school board regarding an item on the meeting agenda, will be given priority to address the board during “Public Comment: Items related to the agenda” at the beginning of each regular board meeting prior to the meeting’s reports.

Public comments on topics not included on the meeting’s agenda will be welcome during “Public Comment: Other” scheduled at the end of the meeting after individual board member comments and student representative reports.

Depending on the number of people speaking, each speaker on the public comment list will have up to three (3) minutes to speak.

Effective February 8, 2023, if more than 20 people sign up to speak, the board may shorten the amount of time to comment. The board president will review comment topics and determine a speaking order which may, depending on the number of speakers, include all speakers during the first “Public Comment: Items related to the agenda” time.

Board President Darcy Huffman said this protocol gives the board the opportunity to:

  • Increase efficiency by focusing on agenda items, allowing us to conduct board and district business in a timely, fair, respectful and responsible manner.
  • Prioritize student voice.
  • Respect staff in attendance who are there to present an agenda item.
  • Consider our student representatives’ time commitment.
  • Hear and value all community voices without time limits or interruptions.

To review the Audience Participation Policy, visit OSD Board Policy 1430.

Effective February 8, 2023, the superintendent’s office will accept sign-ups for the public comment list from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. the day before the regular board meeting, which is usually scheduled the second and fourth Thursdays of each month unless noted otherwise (holiday). Sign-ups to comment in-person or via Zoom will only be accepted through this sign-up process.

The final list of public comment participants will be posted by 5 p.m. the day before the meeting in BoardDocs on the specific meeting page in the “Opening” category under the Public Comment section.

Note:

  • Only the person who plans to speak to the board may request a spot on the list to speak. You cannot request a spot or speak at the board meeting on behalf of someone else.
  • If complete information is not provided, you will not be included on the list to speak. The Superintendent’s Office will not follow up to obtain correct information or tell you where you are on the list.
  • Public comments are not accepted during a board work session.
  • To request disability accommodations, please call the board clerk three days before the meeting date at (360) 596-6114. Persons with speech or hearing disabilities may call via Washington Relay at 711 or 800-833-6388.

Scenic photo of the week

“Green Curtain,” taken in the Waimea Valley on the island of Oahu, by Rachel McKaughan, Secondary Science Teacher, ORLA

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!

Please remember, you can be a novice or a professional. You can submit photos taken with your phone or a fancy camera. The goal is for as many employees as possible to participate!

Guidelines:

  • 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 communications@osd.wednet.edu. 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.

Congratulations to this week’s 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 is our newest honoree:

Everyday Hero
Gladys Larson – Paraeducator, Thurgood Marshall Middle School

Gladys Larson (or ‘OG’ as she is the longest-tenured TMMS employee) is a constant advocate for our students with disabilities and those who work with them. OG is a constant. Wonder where those cookies came from? OG. Curious about the unannounced spread in the break room? OG. Who’s that reading a test to students in her spare time? OG. Who’s maintaining commemoration gardens for those who made a difference at the school? OG. The little things add up and she does them (for both students and staff) all the time. She brings a perspective built on experience, IEP knowledge and genuine interest in finding ways we can improve how we serve kiddos on a daily basis. OG helps us make light of heavy situations and have fun in the process. If something needs doing, she does it, and never takes or seeks credit. Here are just a few of the “extras” OG takes on:

  • Stocks the faculty room with goodies
  • Acts as a voice for the students
  • Does the laundry for Physical Education
  • Checks on accommodations in GenEd classes daily
  • Provides accommodations in GenEd classes daily
  • Covers lunch breaks
  • Acts as a shoulder to cry on
  • Is always a partner to lean on

We could write a list that goes on forever. Instead, we’ll just shout it out. OG, you’re the best!
Submitted by the Thurgood Marshall Multidisciplinary Team

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.