Information about paraeducator certificate training

The Olympia Paraeducator Association (OPA) and District have built a plan for the state-required paraeducator training for the 2019-20 school year.

It is important to note that this requirement applies to any classified staff members who assist with instruction in the classroom setting including all paraeducators. This year, employees in these positions are required to complete 14 hours of the Fundamental Course of Study (FCS) program. This program will involve four in-person Saturdays and evening options for members. The first training session will be in January 2020.

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

PdEnroller Sessions Standards

Training Location
Capital Region ESD 113
6005 Tyee Dr SW Tumwater WA 98512

  • WEA Evening Trainings – TBD
  • FCS01, Introduction to Cultural Identity and Diversity (4 hours)
  • FCS02, Methods of Educational and Instructional Support (4 hours)
  • FCS04, Using and Collecting Data (1 hour)
  • FCS10, Positive and Safe Learning Environment (3 hours)
  • FCS11, Communication Basics (2 hours)

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 200 people; therefore, please register as soon as possible.


Upon completion of the 14 hours of training you will be issued a stipend of $335.

WEA is planning to offer additional options for completing the 14 hours of training, and we will keep you updated as the year progresses. 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.

If you have specific questions, please talk with your immediate supervisor or reach out to me via the contact information below.


Joshua Boe
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
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Employee Assistance Program provides support to employees and dependents

Listing of EAP services as described in articlePersonal issues, planning for life events or simply managing daily life can affect an employee’s work, health and family.

“GuidanceResources” provides support, resources and information for personal and work-life issues. The program is company-sponsored, confidential and provided at no cost to employees and their dependents.

Services provided include:

  • Confidential counseling.
  • Financial information and resources.
  • Legal support and resources.
  • Work-life solutions.
  • Free online will preparation.
  • Help for new parents.

Learn more by viewing the OSD GuidanceResources information flier.

Update to Annual Notifications packet mailed to employees

Sticky notes in different colorsRecently, the Olympia School District’s Annual Notifications packet was mailed to all active OSD employees. The cover letter provided a list of district contacts designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies, reports of alleged sexual harassment, concerns about compliance, and/or grievance procedures.  Please note the additional contact information below:

Autumn Lara, Executive Director of Elementary Education
Knox Administrative Center, 111 Bethel St. NE, Olympia, WA 98506
(360) 596-8534

You may view the updated cover letter here.

Employee Recognition Award winners to be honored at May 6 board meeting

Congratulations to each of the 2019 Olympia School District Employee Recognition Award winners, who will be honored at the May 6 school board meeting.

This annual awards program is designed to recognize employees from throughout the district in several categories. All employees districtwide were invited to send in nominations, and a screening committee reviewed the entries and selected the winners.

The school board will recognize the winners at the start of the board meeting on Monday, May 6, 6:30 p.m at the Olympia Regional Learning Academy. 

The Innovator
“Changes Making a Difference” – Any staff member who demonstrates innovative strategies that significantly improve the district mission.”
Candi Koch, Behavior Technician, McLane Elementary School

The Champion of Differences
“Celebrates Diversity” – Any staff member who, by their actions, celebrates the values and differences of individual groups.
Inger Owen, Assistant Director of Programs and Special Projects, K-12 Teaching and Learning

The Unsung Hero
“Goes the Extra Mile” – Any staff member who continually gets results with little or no fanfare.
Connie Harper, Career Center Specialist, Olympia High School
Daniel McCartan, Speech and Language Therapist, Lincoln Elementary School
Paul Sierra, HVAC Technician, Support Services Center – Maintenance

The Coach
“Supports Others” – Any staff member who plays a unique role in enabling others to excel.
Tania Albert, English Teacher, Olympia High School

The Dream Team
“Above and Beyond” – Any group of staff members working together to help students succeed in or out of the classroom.
Capital High School Special Education Team
District English Language Learner Program Team

Deadline extended to April 19 for annual Employee Recognition Awards


CHS employee Jill Johnson poses with Principal Curtis Cleveringa. Johnson holds a wooden plaque engraved with her "The Unsung Hero" award.

Capital High School employee Jill Johnson, winner of last year’s (2017-18) “The Unsung Hero” Employee Recognition Award, with Principal Curtis Cleveringa.

The deadline for the annual OSD Employee Recognition Awards nominations has been extended to 4 p.m. this Friday, April 19.

Do you know someone who champions differences? Goes the extra mile? Enables others to excel? Consider nominating them for one of the five categories listed in the electronic form. You may nominate up to three individuals (one per form), for all available awards.

We will be honoring the winners of the Employee Recognition Awards at the May 6 Olympia School Board meeting.  This annual tradition has become a great way to honor the hard work of those around you.If you have questions, please call the Communications and Community Relations Department at (360) 596-6103.

Nominations due April 15 for Employee Recognition Awards

CHS employee Jill Johnson poses with Principal Curtis Cleveringa. Johnson holds a wooden plaque engraved with her "The Unsung Hero" award.

Capital High School employee Jill Johnson, winner of the 2017-18 “The Unsung Hero” Employee Recognition Award, with Principal Curtis Cleveringa.

It is that time of year again! We are ready to recognize our employees who make the Olympia School District a special place.

Please consider nominating any of your colleagues for an Olympia School District Employee Recognition Award. We are asking that nominations be submitted by Monday, April 15 so that we can officially honor the winners at the May 6, 2019 Olympia School Board meeting. The meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. at the Knox Administrative Center, 1113 Legion Way S.E., Olympia. This annual tradition has become a great way to honor the hard work of those around you!

Fill out and submit the online nomination form, which is sent to the Communications and Community Relations Department. If you have questions, please call the Communications and Community Relations Department at (360) 596-6103.

Nominations must be received by the Communications and Community Relations Department on or before 4 p.m. on Monday, April 15.

Thank you!

Board recognizes Teachers of the Year and National Board Certified Teachers

The Olympia School Board recognized this year’s Elementary and Secondary Teachers of the Year, the new National Board Certified Teachers (NBCT), as well as those who have renewed their NBCT certification during the March 11 school board meeting.

Teachers of the Year

Three OSD Teachers of the Year pose after being honored by school board

The board recognized:

Olympia School District Elementary Teacher of the Year: Devin Alexander, reading intervention specialist at LP Brown Elementary School. Alexander has worked at LP Brown Elementary since 2006.

Olympia School District Secondary Teachers of the Year: Lorraine Manning and Marion Sheridan, Special Education Life Skills teachers at Olympia High School. Manning joined the district in 1996 and has worked at both Olympia and Capital high schools. Sheridan started in 1998 and has worked at Olympia High School ever since.

National Board Certified Teachers

School board poses for photo with new and renewed National Board Certified TeachersThe NBCT recognition began with two OSD educators providing an overview of the process to become certified and to renew certification. Erica Kinsel, an Olympia High School teacher, a Regional NBCT facilitator and a facilitator of the Olympia NBCT cohort teamed with Cindy Johnson, a Pioneer Elementary School teacher who is currently going through the NBCT renewal process.

The school board recognized:

  • New NBCTs: Emily Hamilton of McLane Elementary School, Amy Hill of Pioneer Elementary School (on leave this year) and Marisa Castello of Olympia High School.
  • Renewals: Tania Albert, Kelly Boyer and Kristen Soderberg of Olympia High School; Charleen Hayes and Trisha Douay of LP Brown Elementary School; Melissa Johnston-Cota of Capital High School; and Candyce Burroughs and Jodi Boe of Washington Middle School.

Congratulations to all of this year’s honorees!