Flags lowered to half-staff April 10

Flags at half-staff outside Avanti HS building

Gov. Jay Inslee directs that Washington State and United States flags at all state agencies, including schools and support buildings, be lowered to half-staff on Saturday, April 10, 2021 in memory of Bainbridge Island Police Officer Kurt Enget, 49.

Officer Enget died in the line of duty on April 10, 2020.

Flags should remain at half-staff until close of business or sunset on April 10 or first thing Monday morning, April 12.

A memorial service will be held at Gateway Fellowship in the city of Poulsbo on Saturday, April 10, 2021.

New version of Return to Work Safety Plan posted on website

Grouping of surgical blue masks

Read the latest version (Version 5.0) of the OSD COVID-19 Pandemic Return to Work Safety Plan. The most current version of the plan is posted on the staff Intranet and on the district website. Be sure to bookmark the link above for easy access. For those who prefer to visit the webpages where it is posted, the plan is shared in the following locations:

The latest update to the plan is:

  • Pages 13-14: These two pages have been updated to include the newest flowcharts from Thurston County Public Health and Social Services regarding information for employees and students who have been vaccinated. No other information has changed from the previous version of our Safety Plan.

Please remember to follow all safety and health protocols outlined in the plan.

Flags lowered to half-staff April 7

Pursuant to a message from the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, Gov. Jay Inslee directs that Washington State and United States flags at all state agencies, including schools and support buildings, remain at half-staff today, Wednesday, April 7, 2021, in honor and remembrance of Congressman Alcee Hastings, of Florida.

Flags should remain at half-staff until close of business or sunset today.

ESD 113 hosts free drive-through COVID-19 testing site

Adult driver and child, both wearing masks, sit in front seat of car to portray a drive-through COVID-19 testing site.

Staff and students 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, which opened in early March.

The testing site is open from 8 a.m. until 12 noon weekdays at the Capital Region Education Service District 113 (ESD 113), 6005 Tyee Dr. S.W. in Tumwater.

Note: At this time, the free testing is open only to school and ESD staff and enrolled students. It is not available to family members, or the general community.

Pre-register online

Participants are encouraged to pre-register online before arriving at the testing site. Parents/guardians who pre-register their student online will also be asked to fill out a permission slip that allows test results to be shared with their student’s school district. This form is available at Capital Region ESD 113’s website and at the testing site.

  • To pre-register visit the ESD 113 website and use your school specific registration link.
  • COVID-19 tests will be processed by the Curative lab. The lab will contact participants by email or text with test results in approximately 3 days.
  • Please do not report to work or in-person learning/activities if you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and awaiting your results.

Who can be tested?

  • The test is available to students and staff — both those learning remotely and those learning in person on school campuses.
  • The test used at the site is most effective in people who are being tested for COVID-19 within 14 days of the onset of symptoms. View COVID-19 symptoms on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.
  • The test is recommended for ages 4 and up. If you are under the age of 18, a parent or guardian must accompany you to the test.
  • The test is available regardless of citizenship/immigration status.
  • Participants do not need to have health insurance to be tested, and no one will receive a bill for their test. If you have health insurance and provide that information, the lab will bill your insurance for the cost of testing.
  • People who do not meet the above criteria but want to be tested for COVID-19 should contact their health care provider or one of the testing locations on the Thurston County Public Health and Social Services (PHSS) website.

What to expect at the testing site

  • Do not eat, drink, chew gum, use mouthwash or smoke once you have arrived at the site. Doing these activities within 20 minutes of your test could affect your results.
  • You must wear a face covering over your nose and mouth when visiting the site.
  • This is a self-swab testing site. The entire process takes about 10-20 minutes to complete.
  • This is an oral saliva test; participants should not experience any discomfort. Participants are given instructions on how to properly swab their mouths to administer the test under observation while in their vehicles.
  • Go to the ESD 113 website to review FAQs and watch a video on the testing process.
  • The site is a drive-through location only.

What happens if a student or staff member develops COVID-19 symptoms after their arrival at school?

  • Students will proceed to the Isolation Room. School staff will call a parent. The school health professional will offer the COVID-19 test for the student once the parent arrives and provides written permission.
  • Staff will notify their supervisor and leave campus (follow the flowchart protocols).

The free diagnostic testing is made possible as part of “Learn to Return” — a state-funded program in collaboration between the Gates Foundation, Washington State Department of Health, state Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, Curative, and the non-profit Health Commons Project. The program is designed to keep students and staff as safe and healthy as possible regardless of whether they are in remote or in-person learning.

Flags lowered to half-staff until March 29

Gov. Jay Inslee hereby directs that Washington State and United States flags at all state agency facilities, including schools and support buildings, be lowered to half-staff immediately, in honor of the victims “who tragically lost their lives on March 22, 2021, in Boulder, Colorado.”

Flags should remain at half-staff until close of business or sunset on Saturday, March 27, 2021 or first thing Monday morning, March 29, 2021.

Flags lowered to half-staff through Monday, March 22

Gov. Jay Inslee hereby directs that Washington State and United States flags at all state agencies, including schools and support buildings, be lowered to half-staff immediately “in remembrance of the victims who lost their lives in the senseless acts of violence perpetrated on March 16, 2021 in the Atlanta Metropolitan area.”

Flags should remain at half-staff until close of business or sunset on Monday, March 22, 2021.

Note: We publish all flag lowering notices on our district website as soon as they are issued, and we also include in the staff blog so that staff members are aware of why flags are at half-staff and can share information with families or students who may ask questions.

Register for OSD Social Media Workshop and Teacher Webpage/Web Editor training

Line up of computers in use on a work table

Registration is open for staff interested in participating in the OSD Social Media Workshop and/or Teacher Webpage and Web Editor Training. Staff may use Tech PD for these virtual training opportunities.

OSD Social Media Workshop
Wednesday, March 31 from 5-6 p.m.
Sign up in PDEnroller

Is your school officially represented on social media? If not, let’s fix that!

In the ever-changing world of social media, it can be daunting when considering what social media platforms to choose to best reach your families. Don’t be dismayed, it’s really quite simple and unquestionably worth your time and effort.

Give us an hour of your time and come sit down as we delve into the following “Social Media Tips” when managing a school or district-related social media account:

  • Why do we need to promote our school? We’re doing fine!
  • Getting approval from your Administrator
  • How to select the social media platform to best reach your audience
  • Setting up your accounts (using district email)
  • Checking student permissions (when publishing students names/photos)
  • How to best promote your new social media account
  • Frequency of posting: Creating a social media calendar
  • Creating engagement: Like, Follow and Share
  • How to produce consistent, easily digestible and accessible content
  • The “How-To’s” of video production and posting
  • How to properly add and edit closed captions to your video content
  • Finding your “voice” and “tone”

Our hope is that by the time this workshop wraps up you will feel much more comfortable opening up a social media account that represents your school community. This includes accounts for a school, athletic team, club, program or classroom. You will be amazed at the number of families you reach that were not previously reached through your school website (or teacher page), robocalls, newsletters, email and flyers.

With a consistent posting schedule, your engagement will soar. You will have a brand new way to communicate with students, families and our community which prioritizes content pushed out through social media. There are so many great stories to tell throughout our district, don’t be afraid of using this unique outlet to bring yours to the forefront!

Details with the necessary Zoom information are in PDEnroller. Please sign up for this training in PDEnroller prior to its start so everything is properly set up for each user. Should you need additional information, contact Conor Schober at cschober@osd.wednet.edu.

Teacher Webpage and Web Editor Training
Thursday, April 1 from 5-6:30 p.m
Sign up in PDEnroller

This training is for Olympia School District teachers and web editors interested in creating, editing and curating content for a teacher website or department webpage.

Details with the necessary Zoom information are in PDEnroller. Please sign up for this training in PDEnroller prior to its start so everything is properly set up for each user. Should you need additional information, contact Conor Schober at cschober@osd.wednet.edu.

Oly Bear preschool registration March 22-April 2 for OSD employees

Oly Bear Preschool registration is from March 22-April 2, 2021 for OSD employees and their families.

Details about the preschool, including ages served, tuition and more is on the OlyBear webpage on the Olympia High School website. For more information, contact Preschool Director Shelly Wilson at mlwilson@osd.wednet.edu or (360) 596-7021.

To register, download, fill out and return the Oly Bear registration form to Oly Bear preschool located at Olympia High School.

Education Support Professionals Week is March 8-12

Bus driver looks at camera while seated in driver's seat with front doors open at a school stop

The Olympia School District is joining the state in recognizing Education Support Professionals Week March 8-12.

Superintendent Patrick Murphy read a proclamation during the February 25 Olympia School Board meeting recognizing March 8-12, 2021 as Education Support Professionals Week. Copies of the proclamation will be sent to leaders of the district’s Education Support employee bargaining units, many of whom were in attendance on the Zoom meeting. They include:

Amy McGuire and Alicia Snyder

Mario Mejia

Brandi Sorem

Melvin Smith

Shandi Cardin
William Knight (Technology)
Paul Sierra (Maintenance)
Tim Walling (Grounds)
Mary Hiatt (Custodial)
Calvin Dawson (Custodial)
Tommy Gallegos (Transportation)
Sandra Keyt (Child Nutrition Services)

More than 800 education support professionals work with and help children throughout our district. They are involved in nearly every aspect of education, including maintaining school buildings and school grounds; providing administrative support; preparing and serving meals; providing safe transportation; keeping school facilities clean; assisting in the classroom; providing a secure environment; providing information technology and media services; and offering other specialized services.

The resolution states in part that “education support professionals are instrumental in fulfilling the state’s responsibility to educate all students.” The one-page resolution, which will be posted in every school and support building from March 8-12, also states that by supporting the learning environment, “education support professionals are crucial partners with teachers, parents, administrators and school boards.”

Please remember to thank an education support professional working in our schools.

Read the full Olympia School District proclamation

‘Get Ready’ vaccination information posted on OSPI website

Health care worker in white gown and blue gloves prepares to administer a vaccine into a woman's arm.

On January 29, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykdal and Kaiser Permanente announced “Get Ready,” a large-scale school vaccination plan to equitably and safely vaccinate Washington educators and school staff when eligible under the state’s vaccination protocols.

On March 2, 2021, President Biden announced that he expects all K–12 school employees to receive at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine before the end of March. To meet this directive, K–12 school employees were immediately moved to the currently eligible vaccination phase in Washington – Phase 1B, Tier 1.

Following the announcement from President Biden, school employees are now eligible across the country to be vaccinated. With this update, the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) and Kaiser Permanente have approval to launch the “Get Ready” program.

Information about the Get Ready plan is available on the OSPI website at the following links:

Other vaccination opportunities

Last week, in an email to all OSD staff, we also encouraged employees to view the State Department of Health vaccine locator tool to locate other vaccination opportunities. The providers are listed by county.