Take the Educational Summit survey by 4 p.m. Monday, May 21

Sign with white letters that read "Survey" with a checkbox checked next to the wordsOlympia School District’s 5-year Strategic Plan expires at the end of 2018. Later this month, nearly 150 people representing a cross-section of the community — students, staff, family members and community members — will come together for an intensive two-day Educational Summit. This Summit will mark the beginning of our exciting work to develop an educational road map for the next five years and beyond.

While not everyone can be in the room for this two-day Summit, we value everyone’s input.  We invite you to share your voice by taking the time to answer the OSD Educational Summit Survey. Input will be shared with those at the Summit.

Please complete this online survey and submit by 4 p.m. on Monday, May 21. Thank you for your time completing this survey.

Complete the survey now! (English)

Completa la encuesta ahora! (Español)

Don’t miss the Annual Ice Cream Social on Thursday, May 24!

Staff and guests smile and eat ice cream at table during annual ice cream socialAll staff are welcome to attend the Olympia School District’s Annual Ice Cream Social to help honor district retirees and celebrate advocates of the year and the Teacher of the Year selected by the Olympia Education Association.

The event is scheduled from 4-5:30 p.m. Thursday, May 24 in the Olympia High School Commons, 1302 North St., Olympia.

Ice cream will be served at 4 p.m. with an awards ceremony to follow.

Flags lowered to half-staff May 18-22

Flags at half mast outside the Knox Administrative Building in OlympiaPursuant to a Presidential Proclamation, Gov. Jay Inslee has directed that Washington State and United States flags at all state agencies, including schools and district support buildings, be lowered to half-staff May 18-22 in solemn respect for those affected by the shooting at Santa Fe High School in Texas.

Flags will remain at half-staff until close of business or sunset on Tuesday, May 22.

As a reminder, we post all flag lowering announcements on the district website and social media.

Congratulations to this week’s Everyday Hero … tell us about your hero today!

Everyday Heroes Logo with the words: Celebrating OSD EmployeesThank you to all who continue to submit names of employees districtwide who have done something deserving of encouragement and praise. Remember to 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 latest honoree:

Everyday Hero
Michelle Maurer, paraeducator, Garfield Elementary
“​Our heartfelt gratitude to our dedicated Paraeducator Michelle Maurer at Garfield Elementary — a constant on our Kindergarten Team for over 17 years. Michelle daily teaches the High level Small Group Reading students (achieving First-Grade level reading by May). She also supervises playground and lunch duties and works on Intervention.  Michelle provides structure, stability and high expectations for our students. Her smile and compassion brighten our days!”
Submitted by Tara Otonicar-Mock

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.

Learn about Washington State Deferred Compensation Program

pink piggy bank surrounded by coins on a tableDid you know you can save even more for retirement with Deferred Compensation program (DCP)?

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 $18,500 per year, or even more if you are age 50 or older.

You can learn more about DCP by visiting the DCP website at www.drs.wa.gov/DCP.

Ready to get started?

Complete the DCP Quick Enrollment Form, provide a copy to your payroll office and mail the form to DCP.

If you have funds in another tax-deferred account that you would like to roll into your DCP account, complete and mail in the Rollover-in Request Form.

Questions?

For more information, email the school district Payroll department at help-payroll@osd.wednet.edu.

Safety Tip of the Week: Remember safety when using coffee makers

This week, Wendy Couture, the district’s safety and risk reduction manager, shares information about coffee maker safety.

Coffee cup being filled by glass coffee pot decanter filled with black coffeeBrookhaven National Laboratory Fire Safety Engineering Group reports that there have been several coffee pot “meltdowns” over the years. All were due to the coffee maker being left plugged in, the coffee evaporating out, and the over-temperature sensor failing to limit the hotplate’s temperature. Fortunately, none of these meltdowns has resulted in significant fires. It is important that if we have a coffee maker in our workspace that we check it often.

Here is a summary of rules for safe electric coffee maker operation:

  1. Electric coffee makers should be UL listed. If it is an older pot, check the
    Consumer Product Safety Commission website to see if it has a recall. When purchasing a new coffeemaker, choose a model with an automatic shutoff feature. It is very important for the safety of students and staff that all coffee makers have this shutoff feature to reduce the potential for fire, injury and property loss.
  2. Place the coffee maker on a noncombustible surface, and keep combustibles away from it (ex. draper, paper towels).
  3. Ensure coffee makers are turned off at the end of the work day (even those with automatic shutoffs). Assigning a person to unplug it from the electrical outlet is the best method of ensuring that it is off. Use of timers is not a guaranteed safety improvement. It is important to know that timers can turn equipment on after-hours, they do not adjust for holidays, and they are affected by power outages.
  4. Now is a good time to check the GFCI receptacle to ensure it works. If coffee makers cause the circuit breaker to trip, disconnect power loads on the circuit immediately. Have the power circuits examined by the maintenance department prior to using again.
  5. Many staff enjoy a cup of coffee periodically throughout the day. We need to all take responsibility for using this convenient piece of equipment by making sure it is in good working order and has the safety features identified above. In addition, it is a good work practice to unplug your coffee maker during the weekends and over holidays to reduce the potential for a fire hazard.

Congratulations 2018 Employee Recognition Award winners!

Crowded OHS Commons, full of staff from around the district to congratulate 2017 Employee Recognition Award winners.

A scene from last year’s OSD Employee Recognition Awards night at Olympia High School. This year’s winners will be honored at the Monday, May 7, 2018 Olympia School Board meeting. All staff are invited to attend and support the winners!

Congratulations to each of the 2018 Olympia School District Employee Recognition Award winners, who will be honored at the May 7 Olympia School Board meeting.

This annual awards program is designed to recognize employees from throughout the district in several categories. All employees districtwide were invited to send in nominations, and a screening committee reviewed the entries and selected the winners.

The school board will recognize the winners at the start of the board meeting on Monday, May 7, 6:30 p.m. at Olympia Regional Learning Academy (ORLA), 2400 15th Ave. S.E., Olympia.

This year’s award winners include:

The Coach
“Supports Others” – Any staff member who plays a unique role in enabling others to excel.

  • Nikolai Gurda, Upper Elementary Teacher, Olympia Regional Learning Academy

The Champion of Differences
“Celebrates Diversity” – Any staff member who, by his or her actions, celebrates the values and differences of individual groups.

  • Maribeth Wheeler, 2/3 Teacher, Lincoln Elementary School
  • Leslie Gowell, McKinney-Vento Program Support Specialist, Knox Administrative Center

The Innovator
“Changes Making a Difference” – Any staff member who demonstrates innovative strategies that significantly improve the district mission.

  • Elizabeth “Beth” Wilson, 2/3 Teacher, Boston Harbor Elementary School

The Unsung Hero
“Goes the Extra Mile” – Any staff member who continually gets results with little or no fanfare.

  • Sean Mullin, Paraeducator, Special Education, Pioneer Elementary School
  • Jill Johnson, ELL Teacher, Capital High School

The Dream Team
“Above and Beyond” – Any group of staff members working together to help students succeed in or out of the classroom.

  • Madison Elementary School Multidisciplinary Team: Omar Flores, Denise Hammer, Karen Froelicher, and Kristin Sundsten