Congratulations OSD Teachers of the Year!

The Olympia School District has selected two educators to be honored as this year’s Elementary and Secondary Teacher of the Year.

DSC_0120

OSD Elementary Teacher of the Year Nancy Hooper (center)

This year’s OSD Elementary Teacher of the Year is Nancy Hooper, a third-grade teacher at McKenny Elementary School.

Melissa Charette, a Developmental Learning Center (DLC) teacher at Washington Middle School, is this year’s OSD Secondary Teacher of the Year.

Hooper and Charette received engraved plaques and standing ovations at the Olympia School Board meeting on March 27.

DSC_0114

OSD Secondary Teacher of the Year Melissa Charette (second from left)

The two educators were selected for the award from among 32 employee names submitted during a nomination process open in February to employees, students and the community. A selection committee made up of district staff, a community member and a school board member assumed the difficult task of reviewing the nominations of these outstanding individuals. The committee eventually decided on an elementary and a secondary OSD Teacher of the Year.

Superintendent Dick Cvitanich and School Board President Eileen Thomson announced the winners and presented them with flowers in front of their colleagues during school staff meetings in April.

Both Hooper and Charette have the opportunity to participate in the regional Teacher of the Year award process. Winners selected at the regional level are then considered for the state Teacher of the Year honor.

Any Washington public school teacher who has a current certificate and works directly with students for at least 50 percent of his/her time is eligible for the Washington State Teacher of the Year recognition program.

Learn about state retirement plans at upcoming seminars and in newly posted article on state website

 

Flier announcing DRS retirement seminars showing listing of topics covered

Click image to enlarge

The Washington State Department of Retirement Systems (DRS) has scheduled several upcoming seminars to share information with employees about state retirement plans.

A general overview is scheduled on April 19 in the Olympia School District Knox Administrative Center Board Room. The meeting is set from 4:15-5:15 p.m.

SERS/TRS Plans 2 and 3, as well as the Washington State Deferred Compensation Program, will be discussed.

DRS has also scheduled a benefit summit on April 25 and a retirement seminar (pre-retirement) on June 24.

There is no charge or registration for these DRS seminars.

For further information, including times, locations and registration information for all three seminars, click the adjacent flier.

Newly published DRS information about when to retire

When it comes to retirement planning, the DRS said it is often asked by teachers and other school employees in Plans 2 and 3 about the best month to retire. The most common question is whether it is better to retire at the end of June or in September.

For some insight into this question, the DRS has posted a new article on its website.

Superintendent search update: job announcement posted

Image of Northwest Leadership Associates position announcement for OSD Superintendent.

Click to open full position announcement

Northwest Leadership Associates, the consulting firm assisting the Olympia School District in its search for a new superintendent, has posted an online job announcement for individuals interested in applying for the leadership position. Dates have also been set for daylong interviews with finalists, including an opportunity for community input.

The deadline to apply for the Olympia School District superintendent position is March 7, 2017. The individual selected will replace Dick Cvitanich, who retires effective June 30, 2017.

Thank you to everyone who responded to the online superintendent search survey and attended the series of 18 staff, student and community focus groups to gather input on qualities and characteristics desired in the next superintendent. Input was used to help develop the job announcement.

Next opportunity for staff input

The school board is expected to review job applicants and select finalists by mid-March. Finalists will be invited to tour the district and meet with employees, students, community members and the school board.

The district has set aside March 20-23 for the daylong finalist interviews; however, the schedule could change depending on the number of finalists selected by the Olympia School Board.

Each finalist will visit the district for an entire day and will meet with various groups at the same time each day.

District employees are invited to meet candidates between 4:30 and 5:30 p.m. March 20-23 at Olympia Regional Learning Academy (ORLA), 2400 15th Ave. S.E., Olympia. 

See the online position announcement

Employees rally to support United Way of Thurston County

untitledOlympia School District employees generously donated more than $13,000 to the United Way of Thurston County during this year’s annual campaign. Funds raised support programs across Thurston County that help children and youth learn and succeed, promote financial stability for families and individuals and improve people’s health.

Many of the programs funded by this campaign have a direct impact on students and families in our schools. Donations help fund local nonprofit agencies such as Community Youth Services, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Garden-Raised Bounty (GRuB), Pizza Klatch, the YWCA, the South Sound Reading Foundation and many more.

Without funding from the United Way (made possible in part by all of us), many of these organizations would not be operating. Soon, OSD employees who donated at least $12 each month for 12 months will be receiving the Seahawks color-inspired Live United T-shirts. Wear them with pride; knowing the value of your generosity is making a huge difference in our community. Thank you all, and remember to Live United!

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 2016-17 school year.

The district is offering two paid days (fill out a time slip 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 15, 2017.

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 time slip for the two incentive days. On the time slip, 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.” Time slips 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 15, 2017, you will not be eligible for the two incentive days.

As always, thank you for your dedication to the Olympia School District.

Sincerely,

Scott Niemann
Executive Director of Human Resources

Reminders about use of sick leave, vacation and leave without pay

Below is a message from Scott Niemann, executive director of Human Resources, regarding the use of sick leave, vacation, and leave without pay. This guidance is intended for our employee groups to clarify our bargaining agreements (CBAs) and district interpretation of current language.

Some district employees believed that they may use vacation benefits when they exhausted their sick leave benefits. This is not correct. Employees’ attendance is required, and regular attendance is an essential function of your job.

  • An employee may use accrued sick leave for:
    • his/her own personal health condition.
    • to care for a child with a health condition that requires treatment or supervision, or
    • to care for a spouse, registered domestic partner, parent, parent-in-law or grandparent with a serious or emergency health condition.
  • An employee may use vacation when it is approved in advance by the employee’s supervisor. Employees should check their CBA for the number of days in advance that approval must be made. If this is not stated in the CBA, employees should check with their supervisor for guidance.
  • An employee may not use vacation when he/she has exhausted their accrued sick leave unless the employee has been approved for FMLA, is on an approved extended medical leave or has pre-approved vacation time.
  • If an employee exhausts his or her sick leave, the employee will not be granted leave without pay. In general, leave without pay is not an acceptable practice in this district.

Thank you for your daily commitment to students and the community.

Procedures for weather-related school delays and closures

Please retain this information, provided by the district’s Human Resources department, for future weather-related delays and closures. Hopefully this will be a useful reference document to make weather-related decisions clearer for everyone.
Late start
Contractual language and past practice allows for modified schedules due to emergency conditions in which employees may, with the approval of their supervisor, 1) take a salary deduction for the time missed, 2) work regularly scheduled time if safety permits, 3) use vacation leave, 4) arrange with a supervisor to complete their work at an alternate location, or 5) arrange with a supervisor to make up the time missed in regular-time status. Safety permitting, employees should report to work per their regular schedules. Teachers should be at the work site at least 30 minutes prior to students arriving.
Early Release
Contractual language and past practice allows for early release provisions due to emergency conditions in which employees may, with the approval of their supervisor, leave early and 1) take a salary deduction for the time missed, 2) work regularly scheduled time if safety permits, 3) use vacation leave, 4) arrange with a supervisor to complete their work at an alternate location, or 5) arrange with a supervisor to make up the time missed in regular-time status.
Closure
Because contracted staff who work a typical school schedule will make up their time when student days have been rescheduled, there is no need for them to take leave at this time. For year-round and other employees who provide non-student related services, contractual language and past practice allows for closure due to emergency conditions in which employees may, with the approval of their supervisor, 1) take a salary deduction for the time missed, 2) work regularly scheduled time if safety permits, 3) use vacation leave, 4) arrange with a supervisor to complete their work at an alternate location, or 5) 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.