Learn about the OSD Educational Programs and Operations Replacement Levy

Middle school classroom photoThe Olympia School Board has unanimously agreed to place an Educational Programs and Operations Replacement Levy proposal before voters on the February 11, 2020 Special Election ballot.

The proposed levy is not a new tax. The measure on the February 2020 ballot would replace an expiring four-year educational programs levy approved by voters in February 2016.

School levies are the only locally approved ballot measures that directly pay for classroom and educational needs of students not funded by the state.

Levy funds would provide classroom and districtwide support staff not funded through state basic education such as paraeducators, school nurses, social and mental health supports and security staff. Funds would also provide enhanced education to students with disabilities and support middle and high school athletic and extracurricular activities, transportation outside of the basic school day, visual and performing arts programs, staff professional development, and maintenance and operations not funded through state basic education.

“This renewal levy continues the district’s efforts, as outlined in our Strategic Plan, to prepare students for success now and into the future,” said School Board President Joellen Wilhelm. It creates opportunities for our students to build knowledge and skills to meet their individual goals.”

The levy would raise an estimated $133.6 million over four years (2021-24), or an average of $33.4 million per year. The proposed $2.50 maximum tax rate for the Educational Programs and Operations Replacement Levy in each of the upcoming four years is one cent more than in 2020.

The estimated levy rate depends on the final dollar amount of assessed value of property within the school district. State law limits school districts to collect a maximum of $2.50 per $1,000 of assessed valuation for Educational Programs and Operations levies; the rate may be lower than $2.50 per $1,000 of assessed valuation but it cannot be more than $2.50.

Using the projected rate of $2.50 per $1,000 of assessed valuation, the owner of a $250,000 home would pay about $52 a month, or $625 per year, for the replacement levy.

The proposed replacement levy tax, combined with the Olympia School District voter-approved school construction bonds and the technology and safety levy, would keep overall tax rates below 2020 levels. The total projected tax rate over the four years would be between $4.84 and $5.05 per $1,000 of assessed valuation, which is less than the $5.15 tax rate in 2020.

For more specifics on the replacement levy proposal, including a list of frequently asked questions, visit the Levy 2020 webpage on the Olympia School District website.

Schools announce winter holiday concerts

Three students play violinsStaff are invited to enjoy winter holiday concerts scheduled throughout the Olympia School District. Concerts already held will be removed daily from the following concert schedule:

Olympia Regional Learning Academy Winter Concert
Dec. 10, at Olympia Regional Learning Academy 2:15 p.m.

Centennial ES Band & Strings Concert
Dec. 10 at Centennial ES; 2:30 p.m.

Reeves MS Choir Concert
Dec. 10 at Olympia HS; 6 p.m.

Washington MS Winter Choir Concert
Dec. 10 at Olympia HS; 7:30 p.m.

Roosevelt ES Choir Concert
Dec. 11 at Roosevelt ES; 2 p.m.

Garfield ES 4th and 5th Grade Strings, Band, Choral Winter Extravaganza
Dec. 11 at Garfield ES; 7 p.m.

Olympia HS Festival Concert I
Dec. 12 at Olympia HS; 7:30 p.m.

Jefferson MS Band Winter Concert
Dec. 12 at Jefferson MS; 7:30 p.m.

Marshall MS Winter Band Concert
Dec. 12 at Marshall MS; 7:30 p.m.

McKenny ES Winter Concert
Dec. 13 at McKenny ES; 2 p.m.

Pioneer ES Music Concert 4th and 5th Grades
Dec. 16 at Pioneer ES; 2:15 p.m.

Marshall MS Winter Concert
Dec. 16 at Capital HS; 6 p.m.

Olympia HS Festival Concert II
Dec. 16 at Olympia HS; 7:30 p.m.

LP Brown ES 4th and 5th Instrumental Concert
Dec. 17 at LP Brown ES; 2 p.m.

Pioneer ES Music Concert K-3
Dec. 17 at Pioneer ES; 2:15 p.m.

Hansen ES Winter Concert
Dec. 17 at Hansen ES; 6:30 p.m.

Capital HS Winter Music Concert I
Dec. 17 at Capital HS; 7 p.m.

Jefferson MS Winter Orchestra Concert
Dec. 18 at Capital HS; 7 p.m.

Olympia HS Festival Concert
Dec. 18 at Olympia HS; 7:30 p.m.

Marshall MS Orchestra Concert
Dec. 18 at Marshall MS; 7:30 p.m.

Lincoln ES Band and Orchestra Concert
Dec. 19 at Lincoln ES; 1:45 p.m.

Madison ES Winter Music Concert
Dec. 19 at Madison ES; 2 p.m.

Capital HS Winter Music Concert II
Dec. 19 at Capital HS; 7 p.m.

Washington MS Afternoon Assembly
Dec. 20 at Washington MS; 2 p.m.

Capital HS Music Department Concert Assembly
Dec. 20 at Capital HS; 9:30 a.m.

McLane ES Winter Concert
Dec. 20 at McLane ES; 2 p.m.

Jefferson MS Choir Concert
Jan. 14 at Capital HS; 7 p.m.

Flags lowered to half-staff for National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day

Flags lowered to half-staffGov. Inslee directs that Washington state and United States flags at all state agency facilities, including schools and support facilities, be lowered to half-staff on Saturday, December 7 for National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.

National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day was created by Congress in 1994 in honor of those Americans killed or injured as a result of the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.

The Governor’s Office has no objection to agencies lowering the flags at the close of business on Friday, December 6. Flags should remain at half-staff until close of business or sunset on Saturday, December 7, or first thing Monday morning, December 9.

Hats off to our newest Everyday Hero; let us know who we should feature next!

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
Karen Pena, Head Custodian at Lincoln Options

As a staff, we at Lincoln Options nominate Karen Pena for the Everyday Hero Award. Karen consistently goes above and beyond her duties as a custodian. She not only keeps Lincoln clean, safe and beautiful, but she decorates the cafeteria making it welcoming to students, staff and families. Additionally, Karen actively participates is school festival and events, developing strong connections with both the adult and student community at Lincoln. Karen manages “surplus” in a very proactive way, moving unneeded furniture quickly out of the building and making special effort to search for the furniture that is needed. She helps everywhere and everyone with a warm smile and big heart! Karen is friendly and willing to take on any task. We are grateful to have her at Lincoln.
Submitted by Lincoln Options Staff

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.

OSD Players announces auditions December 9 and 10 for ‘Music Man’

The 25th Annual OSD Players production this year is the family favorite Music Man. Auditions are December 9 and 10 from 6:30-9 pm at Reeves Middle School. Rehearsals start January 6 at Reeves Middle School.

With:  Thurston County Boys and Girls Club (this year’s sponsor) to support students from Olympia, Tumwater, North Thurston and more!

When:  Play dates are February 27 through March 1 at Olympia High School.

Who:  Olympia School District employees, their families and OSD player alumni.

WHAT ELSE:?  OSD Players are asking for help putting together this production.  Attached is a Google Form to fill out and let them know if you are able to help. Want to help but not be on stage?  Opportunities are available to help with props, costumes, set building, scenic painting, the play program and more. 

Learn more and sign up to help

Flags lowered to half-staff today, November 20

Flags lowered to half-staffGov. Jay Inslee is deeply saddened by the death of Michael Knapp, Interim Police Chief for Lynden, Washington, and directs that Washington state and United States flags at all state agency facilities, including schools and support buildings, be lowered to half-staff in his memory on Wednesday, November 20, 2019.

Knapp, 79, passed away on November 6, 2019, from injuries sustained when he was struck by a truck. A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. on November 20 at Christ the King Church in Bellingham.

Flags should remain at half-staff until close of business or sunset on November 20.