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

Paraeducators: February FCS training is full

Paraeducators please note: The February session for the Fundamental Course of Study (FCS) through ESD 113 is full.  If you were on the waitlist, the ESD will be contacting you via email with the option to be transferred to the May session.

If you have not registered, you may sign up for the May training. Spots are reserved on a first-come-first-serve basis. The July training dates are yet to be determined.

Register for the May training by clicking the link below:

ESD 113 Fundamental Course of Study Training
May 1/8/15/22, 11am-2pm
Registration Link

ESD shares information about fraudulent unemployment claim activity statewide

With the reinstatement of the additional, weekly unemployment benefit of $300, the Employment Security Department (ESD) has notified us that new fraudulent claims are being reported around the state. The ESD has asked us to share the following information regarding fraudulent unemployment claim activity.

If you have been the victim of recent unemployment fraud:
If you have been the victim of new unemployment fraud, you will need to file a fraud report with the ESD. In addition, please also notify Human Resources by emailing Cassie Lewis at

To help prevent any potential fraud, you may create a SAW account with the State of Washington. View instructions for creating a SAW account. If you have been the victim of fraud in another state, you will need to contact that specific state. You may also want to create a SAW account in order to prevent a fraudulent Washington claim.

If you were a victim of unemployment fraud in 2020:

If you were a victim of unemployment fraud with the ESD in 2020 and receive a tax form 1099 from the ESD, you should contact the ESD directly. Because the ESD issued the 1099 form, they must be the one to correct the error. The ESD can be reached by email ( or phone (866-697-4831). Email contact is preferred.

View more information

Weather-related delays and closures

Olympia Capitol building with snow-covered hillside and trees

The following is a reprint of an email shared with all OSD employees on Thursday, February 11.

Please retain this information for weather-related delays and closures. Hopefully this will be a useful reference document to make weather-related decisions clearer for everyone.


Contractual language and past practice allow for modified schedules due to emergency conditions in which employees may, with the approval of their supervisor: 1) work regularly scheduled time on site, if safety permits, 2) arrange with a supervisor to complete their work remotely, 3) use vacation leave or emergency leave if permitted by bargaining agreement, or 4) if applicable, arrange with a supervisor to make up the time missed in regular-time status.


Contractual language and past practice allow for early release provisions due to emergency conditions in which employees may, with the approval of their supervisor, leave early and 1) work regularly scheduled time on site, if safety permits, 2) arrange with a supervisor to complete their work remotely, 3) use vacation leave or emergency leave if permitted by bargaining agreement, or 4) if applicable, arrange with a supervisor to make up the time missed in regular-time status.


For staff who work a typical school schedule, as well as year-round and other employees, contractual language and past practice allow for closure due to emergency conditions in which employees may, with the approval of their supervisor: 1) work regularly scheduled time on site, if safety permits, 2) arrange with a supervisor to complete their work remotely, 3) use vacation leave or emergency leave if permitted by bargaining agreement, or 4) if applicable, arrange with a supervisor to make up the time missed in regular-time status.

Thank you for your dedication to the Olympia School District. We appreciate your efforts and hope that you remain safe during inclement weather conditions.

State-required paraeducator training set for 2020-21 school year

Below is a reprint of information emailed to all OSD paraeducators on February 5, 2021.

The Olympia Paraeducator Association (OPA) and District have built a plan for the state-required paraeducator training for the 2020-2021 school year.

It is important to note that this requirement applies to any K-12 paraeducator staff members who assist with instruction in the classroom setting (excludes preschool and bus monitors).  This year, employees in these positions are required to complete these 14 hours of the Fundamental Course of Study (FCS) program. The first training session will be in February 2021.

The following are the FCS modules to be completed this year and when the courses will be offered:

PdEnroller Sessions
February 22-25, 4:30 pm-7:30 pm
Registration Link
May 1/8/15/22, 11 am-2 pm
Registration Link
July Training – TBD   Training Location
All training will be held via Zoom.  You will receive a link once you have registered.

FCS05, District Orientation of Roles & Responsibilities
FCS06, Equity
FCS07, Behavior Management Strategies (including de-escalation techniques)
FCS08, Child & Adolescent Development
FCS09, Emergency & Health Safety
FCS12, Communication Challenges

Please Note: You MUST register via the links above.  You will not be able to access the classes by searching in pdEnroller.  Each session is capped at 110 people; therefore, please register as soon as possible.

Included in the registration, there will be 2 hours of asynchronous training (FCS03 – Technology Basics) that must be completed on your own time. More information will be given during the zoom training session.  The asynchronous portion of the training is due by July 31, 2021.

Upon completion of the 14 hours of training you will be issued a stipend in September 2021.

2019-20 School Year Make-Up Opportunities and New 2020-21 Hires ONLY
Those paraeducators who were required to take the 14 hours during the 2019-20 school year that missed some or all of that training and new hires, WEA is planning to offer additional options for making-up the last year’s 14 hours of training.  WEA and the District will keep you apprised of any upcoming training dates. Please prioritize these training dates and times, as make-up opportunities will be difficult to schedule at times that are convenient for all employees due to the wide variety of schedules.

WEA Sessions
February 16th, 8:30am-4pm WEA Registration
February 27th, 8:30am-4pm WEA Registration

FCS 01, Introduction to Cultural Identity and Diversity
FCS 06, Equity

WEA Sessions
February 13th, 8am-12pm & 1pm-5pm WEA Registration
February 20th, 9am-5pm WEA Registration
February 27th, 9am-1pm OR 1pm-5pm *Please note this is for FCS 11/12 only WEA Registration

FCS 02, Methods of Educational and Instructional Support
FCS 11, Communication Basics
FCS 12, Communication Challenges 

More WEA training dates to follow.  Please watch for additional communication

If you have specific questions, please reach out via the contact information below.


Mario Mejia OPA President
Scott Niemann Executive Director of Human Resources

The following are links with pertinent information regarding new paraeducator training requirements:

Overview of the Paraeducator Certificate Program
Paraeducator Board Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
OSD Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Certificated staff: Early retirement/resignation incentive

The Olympia School District and the Olympia Education Association offers employees an early retirement and/or resignation incentive. Since we are always anxious to post and find the best qualified candidates for openings, we are hoping to hear from you early if you are planning to retire or resign at the end of this 2020-21 school year.

The district is offering two paid days (fill out a timesheet in June) at the end of the school year for any OEA member who provides a letter of retirement or resignation to the Human Resources Department on or before February 19, 2021.

If you have already provided the Human Resources department a letter of resignation or retirement, you have done what you need to do in order to receive the two incentive days. Remember: in June you must submit a timesheet for the two incentive days. On the timesheet, write “Early Notice Incentive” and record 6 hours for each day — a total of 12 hours. This incentive time is intended to be paid time so you can “tie up loose ends, pack and check out of your building.” The timesheet must be turned in by June 30 of this year to receive the early incentive payment.

If you submit your letter of resignation or retirement after February 19, 2021, you will not be eligible for the two incentive days.

Congratulations OSD Classified School Employees of the Year

OSD Classified School Employee of the Year Nadine Owen

Congratulations to Marshall Middle School Paraeducator Nadine Owen and OSD Child Nutrition Services Supervisor Paul Flock for being named this year’s Classified School Employees of the Year. The annual award recognizes employees who consistently demonstrate outstanding work performance, professional leadership and collaboration.

Both Owen and Flock learned of their recognitions last week during surprise announcements accompanied by applause from their colleagues. Both will be recognized at the next Board of Directors meeting at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 10 on Zoom. The Zoom meeting link will be posted on the district website.

Owen has been a paraeducator at Marshall for the past five years, and Flock has been the supervisor in Child Nutrition Services for 31 years. Both were selected for this honor following a nomination process that included many outstanding submissions from throughout the district.

Paul Flock holds a flower bouquet and is joined by Superintendent Patrick Murphy and Board President Hilary Seidel
OSD Classified School Employee of the Year Paul Flock (center) with Superintendent Patrick Murphy and Board President Hilary Seidel.

Save the date: PD opportunities to support Educators of Color

The following is a message shared by the Human Resources department:

Photo by Pixabay on

Calling All Educators of Color: Do you consider yourself an educator of color? Would you like to build a community with other educators of color within the Olympia SD? The Olympia School District will be holding four professional development opportunities specifically designed to support educators of color. Topics covered will center around the OSD Student Outcomes.

*Certificated staff may use staff development hours or receive curriculum rate of pay for all sessions.

*Paraeducators may use staff development hours or receive payment via time slip at their regular hourly rate for all sessions.

Save the Dates:
November 16, 2020: 4-6 pm

January 25, 2021: 4-6 p.m.
March 22, 2021: 4-6 p.m.
May 17, 2021: 4-6 p.m.

June 14, 2021: 4-6 p.m.

All meetings will be held via Zoom.  The last date is reserved for an end of year celebration.  More information to follow.

If you wish to attend and/or are interested in clock hours, please register via pdEnroller, Event ID #109472.

Click here to register: pdEnroller – OSD Educators of Color Network 2020-2021

Please note: Registration opens on November 1 at 4 p.m.

2020 OSD Notification Packet

The Annual OSD Notification Packet is designed to help you understand your rights and responsibilities as an Olympia School District employee.

In the past, this document has been mailed to all Olympia School District employees at their home address. This year, in an effort to reduce paper usage, this notification was emailed yesterday to all employees and is being shared in this employee blog.

Please feel free to contact the Human Resources Office with any questions you may have at (360) 596-6185.

View the Annual Notification Packet