Congratulations to our newest Everyday Hero

Everyday Heroes Logo with the words: Celebrating OSD EmployeesEveryday 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
Nancy Swanson, Bilingual Family Engagement Specialist, Roosevelt Elementary School

One of my students was selected by her peers and was being awarded for being “Compassionate and Kind” at a recognition assembly at our school (Hansen Elementary). This student lives with her Grandparents and they speak Vietnamese. I wanted to reach out to them to let them know they could attend; but, I didn’t know how to communicate that to them as I didn’t want the student to know she was receiving the award and I didn’t have an email for them, only a phone number.

Our secretary gave me Nancy’s information and I emailed her (on short notice the day before the assembly) to see how I could reach out. She responded promptly and clarified options with me. By the morning, she replied and said that someone called her grandparents and the message was delivered.

Seeing her grandparents at the recognition assembly was very touching. They were so excited to see her and enjoy this recognition with her as she is an amazing person. I am so grateful for Nancy’s prompt response and her ability to contact the right people to help us connect with families. I was so grateful to see them there and am grateful for this resource.

Submitted by Melissa Cleveringa, Teacher, Hansen Elementary School

How to nominate an Everyday Hero

  • Email the Communications and Community Relations Department ( 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.

October is Walk to School Month

Garfield Elementary Principal and Students who participated in WalkNRollThe Olympia School District has proclaimed October 2019 as Walk to School Month.

Superintendent Patrick Murphy read the proclamation during the September 23  school board meeting. It states in part that in October, “children, parents and community leaders from around the world will join together for Walk to School events to increase awareness about the health and environmental benefits of walking and biking to school.”

The proclamation also states that “parents, school employees and community leaders can make a lasting impression among our community’s youth by modeling fun, safe and healthy behavior by accompanying students on Walk to School events.” The Olympia City Council approved a similar Walk to School Month proclamation on September 24.

When safe walking is available, students are encouraged to walk or ride bikes to school to improve their health, increase readiness to learn and learn about pedestrian safety.

Several schools have committed this year to participate in Intercity Transit’s Walk N Roll to School Days. Hansen Elementary kicked off the first Walk N Roll event on September 11. Students at Pioneer, Garfield, Centennial, McKenny and Roosevelt will join Hansen on October 9 to walk to school on National Walk to School Day, followed by walks each month throughout the school year.

National Walk to School Day is a global event celebrated every October with more than 40 countries walking and biking to school on the same day.

We also want to remind motorists to slow down and observe the speed limit when driving in and around our schools. Thank you!

Student Outcome posters available to post in classrooms and support buildings

OSD Student Outcomes Poster listing six outcomes detailed on district website linked from article

During the school district’s Welcome Back event in early September, the Communications and Community Relations department handed out 11 x 17 posters outlining the board-approved Student Outcomes.

Extra copies of the poster are available for employees who did not receive one already to post in their classroom or other workspace. If interested in receiving a poster (please note supplies are limited), email

To see the Student Outcome Indicators for each of the outcomes listed in the corresponding photo, and to learn more about the Strategic Planning process, visit the district website Strategic Planning webpage.

Register for social media workshop October 17

Graphic titled Olympia School District SoIs 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 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!

Please note that the workshop will be held at the new district office: Knox 111 Administrative Center, 111 Bethel Street NE, Olympia, WA 98506. The workshop will be held Thursday, October 17 from 4-5 p.m. and will be in the Computer Lab, Room 268.

Register for this workshop in pdEnroller.

Capital High School Theatre presents ‘Radium Girls’

Radium Girls theatre production poster including title of play, dates, time and cost, all included in article“Radium Girls,” presented by Capital High School Theatre, takes the stage this month.

In the early 1900s, radium is the new “miracle” material, used as a glow-in-the-dark paint for wartime watches. Painting these watch dials was the ideal job until the workers became ill.

Watch the story of Grace and her coworkers unfold as they struggle for workplace safety. This play by D.W. Gregory explores the complexities of fighting for workplace safety and a corporate leader’s desire to keep his company alive.

Performances will be held October 10, 11, 12, 17, 18 and 19. All performances begin at 7 p.m. and will be held in the Performing Arts Auditorium at Capital High School, 2707 Conger Ave. N.W.

Tickets are $10 for general admission and $8 for students and seniors. Questions? Contact the box office at (360) 596-8053.

Flags at half-staff for National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service

Flag-at-Half-Staff-saved for webActing Governor Habib directs that Washington State and United States flags at all state agencies, including schools and support buildings, be lowered to half-staff on Sunday, October 6, 2019, in honor of the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service.

The Governor’s Office noted that flags could be lowered to half-staff at the close of business on Friday, October 4, 2019 and remain at half-staff until close of business or sunset on October 6 or first thing Monday morning, October 7.

Now accepting OSD Classified School Employee of the Year nominations

CSEY winner from 2018

Todd Thornton, one of three Classified School Employees of the Year honored in 2018

The Olympia School District is accepting nominations for one or more staff members to be honored as OSD Classified School Employee of the Year.

The program recognizes the work of classified staff members who have made a positive difference in their profession. All school and support building employees who are categorized as “Classified” staff are eligible for nomination. Nominees should be employees who consistently demonstrate outstanding work performance, professional leadership and collaboration.

Please include in your written nomination specifics of how well the staff member meets the following state Classified School Employee of the Year criteria:

  • The educator (classified employee) has the respect and admiration of their community.
  • The educator (classified employee) collaborates with colleagues, students and families to create a school culture of respect and success.
  • The educator (classified employee) is a leader who makes connections between their daily work and student success.

Please complete this online nomination form and submit by 4 p.m on Friday, October 11, 2019. A committee will review the applications and select the individual(s) to be recognized.

The individual(s) chosen will be eligible to compete for the regional Classified School Employee of the Year selection process. The winner at that level advances to the state Classified School Employee of the Year selection process.

Submit your nomination