January is School Board Recognition Month

school board

Every January school districts across the state and nation honor their board of directors during School Board Recognition Month.

The Olympia School District will recognize its school board with a special program near the start of the meeting on Tuesday, January 22. The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. at LP Brown Elementary School, 2000 26th Ave. N.W., Olympia.

During the program, Superintendent Patrick Murphy will read a proclamation by Gov. Jay Inslee designating January as School Board Recognition Month in Washington State. This marks the 24th year of the annual observance initiated by the National School Boards Association in 1995.

The proclamation reads in part that school directors “are directly accountable to the citizens in their districts and regions, serving as a vital link between members of the community and their schools.”

The one-page proclamation also states that directors “play a crucial role in promoting student learning and achievement by creating a vision, establishing policies and budgets, and setting clear standards of accountability for all involved.”

Schools around the district have also posted messages of thanks on their reader boards.

Thank you school board!

Read Gov. Inslee’s proclamation

Capital HS presents “The Importance of Being Earnest”

Capital Productions poster giving dates, times and cost of the upcoming production The Importance of being Earnest, by Oscar Wilde.Capital Productions proudly presents The Importance of Being Earnest, by Oscar Wilde.

Set in 1895 England, this Victorian classic takes the audience on a hilarious ride through the manners of old British society. John Worthing (Cameron Sandison) is set on marrying Gwendolyn Fairfax (Ana Stan). The only problem is that she thinks his name is “Earnest.” When John’s friend Algernon (Brandon Ciampi) also decides to use the name “Earnest” to win over John’s ward, Cecily Cardew (Eleanor Dahman), confusion and conflict ensue.

This play serves as Oscar Wilde’s commentary of the elite society of his time through witty dialogue and outlandish characters.

  • Dates: January 17, 18, 19, 24, 25, and 26.
  • Time: 7:30 p.m.
  • Location: Performing Arts Auditorium at Capital High School, 2707 Conger Ave. N.W, Olympia.
  • Cost: $8 for students and senior citizens; $10 for general admission.

Tickets can be purchased online or at the door. Call the box office at (360) 596-8053 for more information.

For more information, contact Kristina Cummins at Ext. 8043.

Olympia Garden Club seeks applicants for educator grant worth up to $500

Three pots of sprouting hyacinth bulbs

The Olympia Garden Club is offering a grant of up to $500 to elementary, middle or high school teachers interested in enhancing their horticultural or environmental science curriculum. Grants will be awarded after applications are reviewed.

Who should apply?

  • Elementary or middle school teachers
  • High school horticulture teachers (ecology, dendrology, floriculture, landscape design/management, environmental science or related subject)

The grant must be used to enhance your horticultural or environmental science curriculum.

Application deadline is Friday, March 29, 2019.

Download and fill out grant application

A reminder to be cautious of phishing scams

Person holds cell phone to emphasize need to avoid fraudulent callers participating in phishing scamsWe have received several reports of employees being contacted at their schools by phishing scams. Phishing is the fraudulent attempt to obtain sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, credit card details and money, often for malicious reasons, by someone disguising as a trustworthy entity. Common phishing scams include people impersonating as representatives of the Internal Revenue Service, law enforcement or the courts.

One of the most recent scams in Thurston county involves people calling you personally or on your school phone to accuse you of missing jury duty. These callers inevitably demand money to resolve “outstanding debts” or “legal issues” and often demand payment on reloadable gift cards, other prepaid credit cards, or wire transfers. Sometimes, they direct the person who answers the phone to a nearby store or bank to get and send money. A reminder that these are fraudulent calls. Hang up on these fraudulent callers.

Phishing scams can come in all forms, including phone calls, emails, letters and more. If you are ever unsure about the credibility of a call or other communication, you may always contact local law enforcement. You can also block future calls from a particular number on your mobile devices.

For calls of people impersonating the IRS, you may also report the scam to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration website. The website includes a list of scam alerts at the top of the Home page and a link to report fraudulent calls.

Flags lowered to half-staff in memory of former U.S. President George H.W. Bush

Flags at half mast outside the Knox Administrative Building in OlympiaActing Governor Duane Davidson has directed that all Washington state and United States flags at all state agencies, including schools and support buildings, be lowered to half-staff in memory of former United States President George H.W. Bush.

Bush passed away on November 30, 2018.

Flags will remain at half-staff until close of business or sunset on Monday, December 31, 2018.

Board seeks input on proposed student dress code policy and procedure

DSC_0033The Olympia School Board is seeking input from OSD students, families, employees and community members about a proposed districtwide student dress code policy and procedure.

While individual schools have rules around student dress code, currently there is no districtwide policy or procedure.

Written comments about the proposed policy and procedure may be submitted through Friday, January 4 on a brief online feedback form. The form includes a complete version of both the policy and procedure.

The school board held a first reading of the newly proposed student dress code policy and procedure on November 19, 2018. Board members plan to review input received between now and January 4 before they hold a second reading of the policy and procedure at the January 22, 2019 board meeting. That meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. at LP Brown Elementary School, 2000 26th Ave. N.W. in Olympia.

Any policy that comes before the school board requires a minimum of two readings (reviews) by the board before it can be considered for approval. Board action may follow the second reading on Tuesday, January 22.

In addition to the online feedback form, comments about any policies before the school board may be emailed to boardpolicyreview@osd.wednet.edu. Links to the proposed student dress code Policy 3224 and procedure 3224P are included on the district website Board Policy Review webpage.

School board to vote on student outcomes at December 10 meeting

Teacher sitting in a small group circle with students shares lesson informationAfter more than six months of extensive community input, the school board is ready to consider approving a set of student outcomes that will drive the more specific goals of the district’s new Strategic Plan.

The board is scheduled to vote at its next meeting on December 10 on six proposed student outcomes, also referred to as targets or key focus areas for Olympia School District students. The board meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. at the Knox Administrative Center, 1113 Legion Way S.E. in Olympia.

The following is the latest version of the proposed student outcomes. The board edited the wording twice during October based on comments received at nearly 50 focus groups and via an online survey:

Our students will:

Outcome 1: Be compassionate and kind.

Outcome 2: Have the academic and life skills to pursue their individual career, civic and educational goals.

Outcome 3: Advocate for the social, physical and mental wellness of themselves and others and be hopeful about the future.

Outcome 4: Have the skills, knowledge and courage to identify and confront personal, systemic and societal bias.

Outcome 5: Discover their passions, be curious and love learning.

Outcome 6: Be critical thinkers who contribute to and collaborate with our local, global and natural world.

The process that led to the development of the proposed student outcomes began last May when the district invited more than 130 people representing a cross-section of the community — students, staff, family members and community members to a two-day Educational Summit at the Hotel RL in Olympia.

In addition to 40 middle and high school students, who made up the largest represented group in the room, there were teachers, principals, custodians, bus drivers and other support staff; parents, grandparents and other family members; and community members representing businesses, organizations, service clubs and more. Responses to a pre-Summit online survey also helped to inform the two-day event.

The district followed up the Educational Summit by inviting community members at large to share thoughts about the student outcomes via an online feedback form. Additionally, Superintendent Patrick Murphy, other district leaders and at least one of the school board members shared the outcomes and sought feedback in person at 49 focus groups. The focus groups included meeting with staff and parent groups at each of the district’s 19 schools, as well as with a variety of community organizations and service clubs.

Using the student outcomes as the target, plans are to have specific metrics and an action plan developed by the end of this school year. The metrics and action plan will help inform school and district improvement plans. Community input will continue to be sought as part of the yearlong process.

Olympia School District’s last 5-year Strategic Plan expired in June 2018.