Remember to take the Panorama staff survey by 8 p.m. tonight, November 30

graphic for fall Panorama survey with details in the story

All employees are encouraged to take the Panorama fall survey by 8 p.m. tonight, Tuesday, November 30. Direct links to the staff survey are posted at the top of the OSD staff portal. There is one link for instructional staff and another for non-instructional staff.

Responses to the survey are confidential. The district is partnering with a third-party vendor to support us in administering these surveys.

Thank you, in advance, for participating!

Remember to take the Panorama fall survey by November 30

Graphic showing OSD logo and words Panorama Fall Survey for Students, Staff and Families

All employees are encouraged to take the Panorama fall survey by 8 p.m. on Tuesday, November 30. Direct links to the staff survey are posted at the top of the OSD staff portal. There is one link for instructional staff and another for non-instructional staff.

Responses to the survey are confidential. The district is partnering with a third-party vendor to support us in administering these surveys.

Thank you, in advance, for participating!

November is Native American Heritage Month

November is Native American Heritage Month and serves as an opportunity to engage with resources that support the full appreciation of rich histories alongside diverse cultural backgrounds our students, families and staff who are Native American, Alaskan Native and/or Native Hawaiian offer to our Olympia community.

Below are three resources to support meaning making among students and/or adults around Native Culture, in the interest of respect for all people and cultures. 

Learn about the Panorama Fall Survey

What: Panorama Fall Survey is a survey that our students, families and staff members will take to gauge our overall well-being. Some of the items we explore include:

  • Do our students feel a strong sense of belonging?
  • Do our families feel like they are heard?
  • Do our staff feel supported?

The data that we receive from our Panorama survey will inform much of our decision-making.


  1. Using Panorama makes the well-being of students, families and staff the fundamental value in all decision-making and actions.
  2. The Panorama climate survey (in Fall and in Spring) is the bare minimum of hearing from our students and our families to inform our decision-making. While we need to make sure we have multiple ways of hearing from and partnering with our students and families, the climate survey is one of the unique opportunities we can potentially hear from all of our students and families.


Panorama Fall Survey: November 15 – November 30
Panorama Spring Survey: April 18 – May 2

(Please check with your school when they will host the Panorama Fall Survey)   


  • Students will take the Panorama survey in class (as designated by each school).
  • Staff and families will be provided a Panorama survey link to complete through multiple communication tools including emails, newsletters, blog posts, etc.

Additional Information regarding Accessibility:

  • Surveys are provided in multiple languages including English, Spanish and Vietnamese.

K-1 Highly Capable Services referrals due October 29

OSD Student Outcomes poster listing six student outcomes as referenced in the link in the post


The information in this blog post is being shared by the Teaching & Learning team with all staff, considering:

  • many staff live in our community and might know a student in kindergarten or first grade who should be recommended for Highly Capable Services.
  • our emphasis on increasing access to Highly Capable Services in alignment with Student Outcomes #2 and #4 and the commitments of our Board in our Recovery Plan.

Eligibility Reflection Questions

Do you know a student in kindergarten or 1st grade who:

  • Thinks up unusual ways to solve difficult problems?
  • Generates and comprehends complex and abstract ideas?
  • Exhibits feelings and opinions from multiple perspectives?
  • Thinks logically and wants things to make sense?
  • Prefers the company of intellectual peers?
  • Is an expert who abstracts beyond the field?

If you answered “yes” to any of the questions above, please consider referring the student for identification for Highly Capable Services.

Referral Process & Timeline

Referrals may come from community members, teachers, other staff, parents/guardians and students. The referral window for students in kindergarten and first grade to be considered for Highly Capable Services is open now and will close at 5 p.m. on Friday, October 29, 2021.

  • Curious what the steps for identification and timeline look like for this process? Details can be found here.
  • To learn more about OSD’s highly capable services, go to Olympia School District’s Highly Capable Services webpage, where you will find information regarding identification and services, as well as links to the referral form.
  • Physical copies of the referral form are available and can be picked up at the front desk of the Knox Administrative Center located at 111 Bethel St. N.E. in Olympia. 

Who to Contact

If you have questions, please contact members of the Teaching & Learning team through our general email address:

Related Blog Posts from the T&L team

Indigenous Peoples Day is October 11

Indigenous Peoples Day image courtesy of the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission

On October 11, some people celebrate Columbus Day, while others celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day. It is extremely important to understand that Columbus Day, like Thanksgiving, when traditionally recognized in the mainstream United States does not fully represent contentment, good times or thankfulness for all Americans. 

In fact, oftentimes the oppression and adversities experienced by Indigenous during both the “discovery” of America, and the arrival of Pilgrims have been left out of American history or ignored. Because of this, many cities in the United States are moving toward celebrating Indigenous Peoples Day and replacing Columbus Day. Olympia is one of the many cities that celebrates Indigenous Peoples Day (Resource: Related Olympian Article).

As a system, we are actively planning for aligned efforts that will support an updated curriculum in Social Studies and an inclusive vision for learning aligned with the OSPI Washington State Learning Standards (WSLSs) for Social Studies (2018) and C3 Framework

It is very healthy to inquire and push back on traditions and systems that might need re-examining, as we continue to grow as a system. Just because we have engaged in practices a certain way for years, does not mean it is the most appropriate way. To help us in this journey, we have the Olympia School District (OSD) Race & Decision-Making Tool that can support reflection as we seek to provide inclusive decision-making structures and opportunities. Within our committees, teams and schools, we each serve as leaders — each educator within OSD is invited to consider where the OSD Race & Decision-Making Tool might fit within your leadership toolkit.

Related Resources for Use with Students

Educating students on different cultures and holidays, including religious holidays, in alignment with the WSLSs for a given subject area is perfectly fine and encouraged. Below are some resources “for use with adults” that can support considerations as each of us is careful not to offend, show bias or proselytize. In addition to delving into one of the resources below, we encourage educators to ask questions, seek to understand and model life-long learning with colleagues and students. 

Related Resources for Use with Adults

The texts below are available within our Gale Professional Growth e-Library. View a video overview for accessing Gale e-Library through Schoology (4 minutes), or access information about the Gale e-Library. In order of publication year:

Removing Labels, Grades K12: 40 Techniques to Disrupt Negative Expectations About Students and Schools (2021)

Early learning grants available through Olympia Tumwater Foundation

Applications are due by October 15 for early learning grants from the Olympia Tumwater Foundation.

Individual grants vary in size from approximately $300 to $3,000. Applications will be evaluated based on the following goals of the grant program:

  • To stimulate student creativity and motivation to learn.
  • To enhance the current learning environment.
  • To leave a lasting impact on as many students as possible.

Information and applications are available on the Scholarships & Grants webpage at

Learn about this fall’s Healthy Youth Survey

Three high school students look at notebooks while standing outdoors on campus

The Healthy Youth Survey (HYS) is a collaborative effort of the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, the Department of Health, the Department of Social and Health Service’s Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery, and Liquor and Cannabis Board.

The Healthy Youth Survey provides important survey results about the health of adolescents in Washington. County prevention coordinators, community mobilization coalitions, community public health and safety networks, and others use this information to guide policy and programs that serve youth.

Who: 6th, 8th, 10th, and 12th grade students whose schools opted to do the Panorama Survey across Washington will take the Healthy Youth Survey.
When: October 11 – 29, 2021 
Other Details: Students will complete the survey online in their schools on one of the days between October 11 and October 29.

For more information in multiple languages, including frequently asked questions, click on one of the PDFs below that contains information posted on the Healthy Youth Survey website:

More questions? Please connect with your school’s assessment coordinator.

Learn how employees can access phone interpreting services to communicate with families

Hand holding an I-phone with blank screen

Language Link is a phone interpretation service available to all OSD Staff Members to use when communicating with families who communicate in a target language other than English and/or are multilingual.

Accessing Language Link

Calling Language Link allows for an interpreter to join in your conversation to bridge your communication with families who speak a target language other than English.

Information about how to access this service by phone, including unique codes to enter for each school and/or support building, are posted on the staff intranet. Be sure to log in to Google to access the Telephone Interpretation Service webpage on the staff intranet.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can we use Language Link to support an in-person conversation with a family or community member?

Yes! Follow the easy steps posted on the Telephone Interpretation Service page on the staff intranet.

Is there someone on campus who knows about Language Link?

In September, the Teaching & Learning (T&L) Team will partner with Family Liaisons (elementary schools) and Counselors (secondary schools) on training. At that point, educators in these roles can serve as on-site supports.  

Who to Contact

If educators have questions specific to Language Line, please contact:

Instructional coaches join OSD ready to partner with teachers

Classroom photo of teaching presenting information on a white board and two students looking on from their seats

Olympia School District recently launched a new Instructional Coaching Model to provide K-12 teachers with ongoing, job embedded professional development in support of student success. This updated approach to Instructional Coaching is grounded in our Board’s Recovery Plan. OSD’s instructional coaching team includes six full-time elementary coaches, four secondary coaches, and four K-12 coaches who support specific programs. The team is connected to Teaching and Learning.  The vision is that eventually every school will have an instructional coach so that every teacher will have access to a coach.

What do Instructional Coaches do?

Coaches partner with educators to engage, equip and empower teachers to incorporate research-based instructional practices into their teaching. They serve as co-learners, reflective partners and consulting partners while honoring teacher-directed interests and goal setting. Coaches collaborate with teachers in 1:1, small group and large group settings in support of classroom management, content, instruction, and assessment for learning and equity.  

Who are the Instructional Coaches?

Elementary Instructional Coaches include:

  • Carolyn Balderston (LP Brown)
  • Angela Leonard (Garfield)
  • Ashley Patrick (Hansen)
  • Chelsey Schneidemann (McLane)
  • Jennifer Cronquist (Roosevelt)
  • Melissa Hayes (Madison)

Secondary Instructional Coaches include:

  • Casey Church (Math)
  • Malia Lee (Humanities)
  • Katie Savinski (Humanities)
  • Paula Perryman (Career & Technical Education)

K-12 Instructional Coaches include:

  • Carmen Kardokus (Science)
  • Rachel Diane Brock (Intervention & Extension)
  • Kris Norelius (Social Emotional Learning)
  • Susan Williams (Professional Growth & New Teacher Induction)

For an overview of instructional coaching see “Coaching — Not Just for Athletes” in Instructional Coaching in Action: An Integrated Approach That Transforms Thinking, Practice, and Schools found in the Gale Professional Growth e-Library.