Education Support Professionals Week is March 13-17

Two education support professionals post and smile for the camera at McLane Elementary School

The Olympia School District is joining the state in recognizing Education Support Professionals Week March 13-17, 2023.

Superintendent Patrick Murphy read a proclamation during the February 23 Olympia School Board meeting recognizing March 13-17, 2023 as Education Support Professionals Week. He also recognized members of the district’s employee bargaining units who joined the meeting on Zoom.

More than 700 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 is posted in every school and support building from March 13-17, 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 Board proclamation.

ESD 113 offers educators of color online focus groups

Capital Region ESD 113, through the College Spark Leaders Grant Program and the Beginning Educator Support Program (BEST) Consortium, has made it a priority to learn about opportunities and challenges for educators of color. ESD 113 offers the following educators of color online focus groups:

Friday, March 10;  3 – 4:30 pm; Zoom link
Saturday, March 11; 10 – 11:30 am; Zoom link
Monday, March 13; 11 – 12:30 pm; Zoom link

Attention paraeducators: FCS trainings scheduled in March and April

Computers in a classroom setting with students typing

Attention Paraeducators!

The Paraeducator Certificate Program offers statewide standards-based training for all paraeducators, and supports a career growth ladder for those who wish to advance their career as a paraeducator or pursue a teaching profession. School districts are required to provide 28 hours of training on the Fundamental Course of Study (12 units) during the 2022-23 school year.

Are you in need of fulfilling any of the 12 Fundamental Courses of Study (FCS) requirements? Additional FCS training has been scheduled and is now ready for registration. You can find the links to the pdEnroller registration pages below:

For questions regarding the FCS training, please contact the presenter/contact for each training module listed in pdEnroller.

To see which courses you have already completed, you can view your Prof Development tab in Employee Access in Skyward.  For tracking questions, please contact Laura Emmil at, for elementary paraeducators, or Aja Dale at for secondary paraeducators.

For additional details, you may view the OSD Guide to Paraeducators’ Fundamental Course of Study (22-23).

Paraeducators: 12 Fundamental Courses of Study (FCS) requirements

A mirrored image of colored pencil points on a table

Attention Paraeducators!

Are you in need of fulfilling any of the 12 Fundamental Courses of Study (FCS) requirements? To see which courses you still need you can view your credits tab in Employee Access in Skyward and/or check in with your Human Resources representative. For elementary paraeducators, contact Laura Emmil at, for secondary paraeducators, contact Aja Dale at

The first day of FCS training will be on-site at Knox on March 2 for two separate course offerings:

The remaining FCS training dates and courses will be communicated in upcoming Educator Connections, so stay tuned!

OSD Educators of Color Network 2022-23

Building a community for Educators of Color (certificated staff and paraeducators) in the Olympia School District.

Save the Dates: 
Thursday, February 16, 2023, 4 pm – 6 pm, Knox Room 202
Thursday, March 2, 2023, 4 pm – 6 pm, Knox Room 270
Thursday, March 16, 2023, 4 pm – 6 pm, Knox Room 270
Thursday, April 20, 2023, 4 pm – 6 pm, Knox Room 202
Thursday, May 4, 2023, 4 pm – 6 pm, Knox Room 270
Thursday, May 18, 2023, 4 pm – 6 pm, Knox Room 103
Thursday, June 1, 2023, 4 pm – 6 pm, Knox Room 270
Thursday, June 15, 2023, 4 pm – 6 pm, Knox Room 202
Juneteenth Celebration, Time TBD, Location TBD

If you wish to attend, please register via pdEnroller, Event ID # 152750.

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 for all sessions.

We hope to see you there.

Certificated Teachers/ESAs: February 17 is deadline for early retirement and/or resignation incentive

Olympia School District Certificated Teachers/ESAs:

The Olympia School District and the Olympia Education Association offer 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 2022-23 school year.

The district is offering two paid days (submitted via timesheet in June through ETRS) 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 17, 2023.

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 through ETRS for the two incentive days. On the timesheet, write “Early Notice Incentive” and for a 1.0 FTE record 6 hours for each day — a total of 12 hours. If you are less than 1.0 FTE your hours submitted will be prorated based on your FTE. 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 submitted through ETRS 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 17, 2023, you will not be eligible for the two incentive days.

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

FCS stipend to appear in November paycheck for paras eligible

The OPA Leadership and District received information from OSPI that the reimbursement to the District for those paras who completed the FCS 14 hours during the 2021-2022 school year has been delayed. Therefore, those eligible for the stipend will be paid in their November paycheck. We apologize for any inconvenience.


OSD and OPA Leadership 

Employee Assistance Program provides support to employees and dependents

White ceramic teacup sits on railing with mountains and lake in the distance

Personal issues, planning for life events or simply managing daily life can affect an employee’s work, health and family.

First Choice Health provides 24/7 support, resources and information for personal and work-life issues. Services include support for anxiety and depression, couples/relationship/parenting, crisis support, alcohol/drug problems, grief and loss, domestic violence, and more.

Learn more by viewing the Employee Assistance Program flyer

OSD Community Resources Webpage

Additionally, community agencies are available to assist youth and families.

A compilation of resources and information, including a list of local and national crisis hotlines, support groups, counseling resources and more are posted on the district website.

Paraeducators: Note change in due date for asynchronous FCS training

Laptop computer on a desk with stack of books and pencils

There has been a change to the due date for the asynchronous FCS training through the ESD 113.  The current system that provides the training will be going through an update beginning in July and the old system will no longer be available. 

The new due date for the asynchronous FCS training will now be June 30, 2022.

As a reminder, please send a copy of your completed clock hour forms to April Pigue for tracking/attendance purposes no later than July 31, 2022.  Please keep the original form for your records. In order to be eligible for the stipend, you must have completed 14 hours of FCS during the 2021-22 school year.

Registration links to the courses can be found on the OSD Paraeducator Certificate Program FAQ found here.