School board approves Technology and Safety Replacement Levy election February 8, 2022

Elementary teacher presents lesson on interactive board with image projected while student raises hand to answer a question.

The Olympia School Board has unanimously agreed to place a Technology and Safety Replacement Levy proposal before voters on the February 8, 2022 Special Election ballot.

The proposed replacement levy is not a new tax. It would replace an expiring four-year technology and safety levy approved by voters in February 2018. The levy would raise an estimated $52.4 million over four years (2023-2026).

“This replacement levy proposal reflects a continuation of our strategic planning efforts to make technology accessible to all students and prepare them for success now and into the future,” said School Board President Scott Clifthorne. “It also proposes investments to enhance safety and security at every school site.”

View more information about the replacement levy on the Technology and Safety Replacement Levy Election 2022 webpage. The page includes links to frequently asked questions, proposed levy projects, the levy resolution approved by the school board on November 4, 2021, survey results, levy planning committee members, and details about cost/tax rate.

Tired voice? Distracted students? Your classroom audio system can help!

Elementary classroom image of teacher walking through room of students working on a project

It’s not just about volume. It’s about clarity. Using your enhanced audio system helps ensure that your clear message reaches every seat in your space, with less strain on your voice.

You know from experience. Masks interfere with your ability to communicate with your students. There is a major difference in the quality of your voice when wearing a mask. Your enhanced audio system will improve both the quality and volume of your voice. Masks aside, 15-22% of our students have some hearing impairment.  Your enhanced audio system can help!…but only if you use it.

Benefits

  • Teachers have less vocal strain/no need to use “teacher voice”
  • When students hear better, they learn better
  • Less need to repeat instruction
  • Students are more involved and less disruptive

Tips and Tricks

  • Use every day to form a habit
  • 4-6 inches below chin
  • Charge nightly
  • Speak at conversational level
  • If you can hear yourself, it’s too loud
  • Test with different masks
  • Invite a colleague in to help evaluate

Please ignore automated email sent by Riverside DataManager

Last spring we emailed all employees to ask that you ignore an automated email from a vendor, Riverside DataManager. The automated email was sent in error by the vendor and asked employees to enter a password to access “DataManager.” Some employees recently notified OSD Technology that they received a similar email from the same vendor. Technology reports this, too, was an automated email sent in error. This is not a phishing or scam email, but you are not required to create a password.  There is no follow-up by employees required.

Please take Technology and Safety Levy staff input survey; deadline is October 12

The Olympia School District is interested in getting feedback from employees regarding the use of technology in our district. Survey responses will be reviewed as the district plans for a request to voters to consider the renewal of its 4-year technology and safety levy, which expires in 2022. The deadline to complete this survey is 5 p.m. on Tuesday, October 12, 2021. We appreciate your feedback.

The employee survey link below is also posted in the OSD Staff Portal. Please also note that students in grades 5-12, and all OSD families, will be emailed a direct invite today to take the Technology and Safety Levy Input Survey. The student survey link will also be posted in the OSD Student Portal.

Please take Technology and Safety Levy Staff Input Survey

Not seeing students in SecURLY Classroom? Learn how to get your students reconnected

SecURLy Classroom works as an extension in Chrome on student Chromebooks. If students have not restarted their Chromebooks recently, the extension may stop functioning. There are two ways to reconnect the extension.

Option 1: Restart the Chromebook (recommended)

Restarting the Chromebook will also reconnect SecURLy Classroom. Doing this often is recommended for needed updates on the Chromebooks and is a habit that most students have not developed. 

It is suggested that teachers built Chromebook restarts into their classroom routines. It could be the entry task every week on Monday, for example.

Option 2: Restart the Extension

  1. Students find the extension in their Chrome browser. This may be pinned or may be found by clicking on the puzzle piece icon in the upper left corner of their browser.
SecURLy Classroom extension in the extension toolbar in Chrome

2. If the extension needs to be reconnected, you will see a red ! on it

The image shows Extensions in Chrome, including one titled "Securly Classroom" which for purposes of this example has a red exclamation point just to the left of the title indicating the extension needs to be reconnected as explained in the post.

3. Have the students click on the extension icon. This will reset the connection and they will once again be visible in SecURLy Classroom.

For more information or assistance, please reach out to the Instructional Technology Coach team (knox-it-tosas@osd.wednet.edu)

Tech PD offered in May and June

Numerous computers in what appears to be a computer lab or professional development class

Looking for Tech PD as the year winds to a close? Hours for the 2020-21 academic year must be completed by July 31, and the Tech TOSAs are offering a number of synchronous and asynchronous professional development opportunities. See this schedule of current workshops. You may also see offerings in pdEnroller by selecting the region “Olympia” and searching for “TPD”. 


Stay tuned for asynchronous summer Tech PD offerings to be announced at the beginning of June!

Schoology for secondary hybrid groupings

In preparation for hybrid learning at the secondary level, many of you have reached out with questions about steps to take in Schoology. Secondary teachers will NOT get new courses in Skyward and Schoology for hybrid. Students in the A, B and full distance groups will be in the same class on Skyward and Schoology, with a designation for attendance purposes. 

As you transition to hybrid, grading groups in Schoology may be useful for posting differentiated information and resources for A, B and full distance cohorts. We recommend using grading groups to share folders, information, links, and/or discussions, assessments or assignments for the hybrid cohorts. Material assigned to a specific grading group in Schoology will only be visible to that grading group. 

For information and video tutorials on creating and using grading groups in Schoology, please visit the OSD Teacher Techbox, which is linked in the OSD Portal.

Adobe discontinues support of Flash Player; content will stop running Jan. 12

The following is information provided by the Technology Department

Adobe has stopped supporting the Flash Player product, and on January 12 will block Flash content from running. This means that, if you are using a website which still relies on Flash, it will at some point soon stop functioning. It is recommended that you look for alternative resources to flash products. 

Learn more about this from Adobe


Expect phone and file server interruptions on Nov. 11 due to technology maintenance

A bank of wires for a data server and a hand with a tool adjusting technology equipment

The Technology Department will perform essential infrastructure maintenance work starting at 12 noon next Wednesday, Nov. 11 (Veterans Day – no school). This work will bring down the phone system (including Rainbow) and the Edison file server. It will also create potential hiccups with wireless service throughout the duration of the work.

Internet access should be normal, aside from possible wireless hiccups. The Technology Department expects to complete the work on Wednesday evening and will notify staff once the maintenance is complete and services are restored.