Don’t forget to complete staff survey by 8 p.m. tonight, Dec. 4

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If you haven’t done so already, we want to remind and encourage all employees districtwide to complete a survey to share their thoughts about the effectiveness of the current remote learning model. We also ask that you answer questions that relate to general topics such as school/work climate, and cultural awareness and action. Survey responses will be anonymous. Data gathered will be used to inform planning going forward during the Pandemic response and gather baseline data to use as we strive to improve all workplaces in Olympia.

The deadline to complete this staff survey is 8 p.m. tonight, Friday, December 4.

  • Certificated staff onlyClick to take the survey
  • All other OSD employeesClick to take the survey (Note: For employees who work in support buildings, when you see questions that reference “school,” please answer as they relate to your support building site).

Shift to hybrid learning surveys sent to grades 1-12

On November 20, the district emailed families of students in grades 1-12 requesting they complete a form in Skyward Family Access indicating their preference for hybrid or full-time distance learning once the district is able to shift to a hybrid learning model. The surveys are due by Friday, December 4.

Staff interested in seeing questions and background information shared with families on the form may see the information on the staff Intranet. Be sure to log in to Google to access the staff Intranet. The forms, which are formatted sightly different in the Skyward Family Access tool but contain the same information, are posted on the Surveys webpage in the Communications department folder.

Interested in working toward your National Board certification this year?

National Board Candidate Information Sessions info including times and dates listed in accompanying article

Click image to enlarge flyer

Hello teachers and counselors!

Are you considering working toward your National Board certification this school year? Unsure of where to start or what it will look like during remote learning? To learn more, please register to join one of two September webinars scheduled at 4 p.m. on September 10 and 29 on Zoom. The webinars are hosted by the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (View OSPI flyer)

Do you need to renew your certification? Starting this candidate cycle, National Board will be implementing a new, five-year Maintenance of Certification (MOC) process. If you are interested in attending WEA’s MOC Jump Start, please preregister here.

Looking for local National Board support throughout the school year? Usually, we facilitate a National Board cohort in Olympia but we know this upcoming school year is going to be unique. We aren’t sure what our National Board cohort will look like, but we hope to have enough interest to offer an opportunity for both new and renewal National Board candidates to come together to deepen their understanding of their own teaching with the guidance of trained facilitators. Please let one of us know asap if you are interested!

Teresa Bond,
Stacy Brown,
Anita Roedell,
Erica Kinsel,

Capital High math teacher Carol McKay wins prestigious national award

Carol McKay portrait photoCapital High School math teacher Carol McKay has been recognized nationally with the prestigious Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST).

McKay is one of only two award winners statewide selected from a field of five finalists named last fall. She represents Washington state as the math award winner, while a Lynwood middle school teacher is the science honoree. Nationwide, there are 107 winners honored this year.

The veteran educator is also the second Olympia School District teacher to win the national honor in the past five years. Reeves Middle School teacher Jana Dean received the award in the 2016-17 school year.

“It has always been my goal to help all students have opportunities to be successful mathematicians and to learn to love mathematics as I do,” McKay said. “The Presidential Award is an incredible honor. It recognizes the challenging yet rewarding work I do alongside my talented colleagues, with the support of district leadership. This award reinvigorates my desire for ongoing professional growth and teacher leader opportunities. I am thankful for the support and encouragement of my family in this profession.”

The Olympia School Board will honor McKay at its next regular meeting on Monday, August 24. The virtual meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. on Zoom, and the recognition will take place near the start of the meeting. Zoom meeting links will be posted on the district website the Friday before the board meeting.

Read more about Carol and this high honor

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EdCamp Oly set 9 a.m. to noon on Tuesday, July 21

Quasar Surprise, CTE and science teacher at Avanti High School, asked us to share the following:

What:  a discussion-based “unconference” in the EdCamp format. No keynote speakers, no PowerPoints, no homework. Learn more about EdCamps.

Who:  Secondary and Middle School paras and teachers in the Olympia area.  Others (administrators, TOSAs, etc.) welcome to attend but most participants will likely be teachers.

Where:  Register on PDEnroller — we will be using Zoom.

Why:  We know that educators are craving open dialogue in order to reflect on distance-learning from the past spring and start thinking about the fall (before we get overwhelmed!).  This EdCamp is for teachers by teachers with no agenda or set topics (we do have 2 anchor discussions planned: A Student Panel and Grading).  Bring an idea for a discussion room or just come with an open mind!

Check out our Landing Page for more details.

Spread the word and we hope to see you there!

IPGG grant applications open

close-up-of-text-on-table-248360The K-12 Teaching and Learning Department is pleased to announce the opening of  Individual Professional Growth Grants (IPGG) for the period of June 1, 2019 to August 31, 2020 (only courses completed during this time frame will be considered).

Grant Applications Closes: April 1, 2020 by 5 p.m.
Award Notifications:  June 1, 2020
Documentation of Personal Payment Due:  August 30, 2020 (final date for submission)

For IPGG applications to be considered applicants must:

Examples of Professional Development the IPGG Grants can fund:

  • Conference Registration Fees
  • Workshop Registration Fees
  • Tuition for Coursework
  • Fees for National Board Certification

Supports for writing the IPGG grant application:
IPGG Rubric: Rubric for Prompts and examples of Distinguished, Proficient, and Basic answers.

IPGG Application Writing Support Sessions
Stop by anytime between these hours and bring your laptop.

  • Thursday March 5 from 3 – 4:30 p.m.; Knox 111, Room 271
  • Monday March 23 from 3 – 4:30 p.m.; Knox 111, Room 271

The IPGG is only available to active members of the OEA bargaining unit.

For the complete IPGG grant information and to apply for the IPGG grant:
IPGG Application Packet

If you have further questions about the application process, please call or email Christa Hilinski at (360) 596-8545 or Anne Gallagher at  (360) 596-8544.

Spring Professional Development catalog outlines staff training opportunities

Numerous computers in what appears to be a computer lab or professional development classLearn about professional development opportunities happening within the Olympia School District in March, April and May in the newly released Professional Development Catalog Spring 2020.

Note: Employees must be signed in to OSD Intranet to view the catalog. To do so, go to the district website Home page. At the top of Home page, click the “Login” icon, then the red and white “Sign in with Google” icon. In the white menu bar of headings listed near the top of the page, click “Intranet.” Go to “Departments,” then “K-12 Teaching & Learning,” and you will find the spring professional development catalog link on the landing page.

Catalog offerings may be searched by department or within a monthly calendar listing. Each event description provides a link for registration.

Secondary teachers invited to apply for $250 mini-grants by January 13, 2020

Thurston County Secondary Mini Grant applicationThe Thurston County School Retirees’ Association is accepting applications for its annual $250 middle and high school teacher mini-grants.

The deadline to apply for the mini-grants is January 13, 2020. The grants are designed “to provide an opportunity for school employees to acquire materials or provide experiences for their students above and beyond what is paid for by district funds. The materials or experiences should supplement and enhance building or district goals.”

Thurston County School Retirees’ Association is a chapter of the Washington State School Retirees’ Association.

As a reminder, OSD staff interested in applying for grants should make sure their principal is aware of the request and that the request supports and does not supplant curriculum. If there are online elements to the grant request, please also be mindful of accessibility and confidentiality requirements.

Download the application
Learn more about the mini-grant program

Applications due Oct. 25 for elementary teacher mini-grants

Elementary School Mini Grant Information FlyerThe Thurston County School Retirees’ Association is accepting applications for its elementary teacher mini-grant program for the 2019-20 school year.

The deadline to apply for the elementary mini-grants is October 25, 2019. The grants are designed to provide an opportunity for elementary school teachers to enhance the education of their students.

For additional information, contact Jo Edwards at Thurston County School Retirees’ Association is a chapter of the Washington State School Retirees’ Association.

OSD staff interested in applying for grants should make sure their principal is aware of the request and that the request supports and does not supplant curriculum. If there are online elements to the grant request, please also be mindful of accessibility and confidentiality requirements.

Fill out the one page application, which is also available on the Thurston County School Retirees’ Association website.