New Technology Family Resource Center webpage

Shallow view of Mac laptop

A new Technology Family Resource Center webpage has been added to the district website to help families find information about technology tools in one location.

Visit the new webpage to learn how to get Technology Helpdesk support, schedule a time to pick up a student Chromebook, access the student portal, learn about Schoology (learning management system) Parent Access, sign in to Skyward Family Access, use Remind, connect to the OSD Zoom account, and more.

Be sure to check back frequently for new updates to the page.

Visit the Technology Family Resource Center on the OSD website

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)

Friday, November 15 is final day to enroll in SEBB

Stethoscope with heart-shaped center designFollowing is an important message from Payroll regarding SEBB enrollment:

Employees have one more day to complete enrollment in SEBB for benefits that will begin on January 1, 2020. You must still enroll if you are wanting to waive benefits or you will be automatically enrolled into a benefit plan and have a tobacco surcharge.

If you want to verify your coverage, please log into SEBB My Account and select “Coverage Elections.”

If you are enrolling your dependents, please log into SEBB My Account and review them under “Manage Dependents” to confirm they are “Verified.” If they are not verified, please contact payroll at (360) 596-6190.

Register to vote for November General Election

Register 2 vote graphicThurston County residents may register to vote online, by mail or in-person at the Thurston County Auditor’s Office for the November 5, 2019 General Election.

There are three Olympia School Board seats on this election ballot. There are two candidates vying for the District 1 seat: Maria Flores and Heath Howerton.

There are two other board seats that will be on the November General Election ballot. The candidates for both of those seats are running unopposed. Justin McKaughan is vying for the District 2 seat that will be vacated by Director Joellen Wilhelm, and Hilary Seidel is running for re-election to the District 4 position, which she has held the past two years.

The last day to file a write-in candidacy with no filing fee is October 18, 2019. Military ballots will be mailed on September 20, and local ballots will be mailed October 16.

Following are voter registration deadlines for the upcoming General Election:

  • October 28, 2019: Deadline to register to vote online, by mail or by voter registration drive. Note: Online voter registration services across the state will be unavailable from Thursday, August 30 through Monday, September 3 as part of a Department of Licensing database upgrade. Online voter registration resumes on September 4.
  • November 5, 2019: You may register to vote in person and update your voter registration address up until 8 p.m. on Election Day November 5. In-person voter registration is done at the Thurston County Elections Division, 2000 Lakeridge Dr. S.W., Bldg. 1, Rm. 118 in Olympia.

To register to vote you must be:

  • A citizen of the United States.
  • Residing at your current address for a minimum of 30 days before Election Day.
  • A legal resident of Washington state.
  • At least 18 years old by Election Day.

For additional voter registration information, visit the Thurston County Auditor’s Office Elections Division webpage.

Teachers invited to trainings to learn how to create teacher webpage

Numerous computers in what appears to be a computer lab or professional development classThe Communications department is offering a training for teachers interested in creating a teacher webpage on their school’s website in SchoolMessenger. Those who already have teacher webpages created and need a refresher in editing the pages are also welcome to attend. Note: This is not a Schoology training.

The first Teacher Webpage Training is on Tuesday, September 17 from 4-6 p.m. at the Knox 111 Administrative Center, 111 Bethel St. N.E., Olympia. The training will be held in the computer lab, Room 268. Please bring your district-issued laptop. Chromebooks will also be available. Sign up for the class in pdEnroller. Registration closes on Friday, September 13.

If you are unable to attend the September 17 training, another training will be held on Tuesday, October 22 from 4-6 p.m. You may register for the October training on pdEnroller. Registration ends Friday, October 18.

If you are new to creating a teacher webpage and have not already watched the 1.5 hour Website Accessibility Webinar, you will need to do so prior to the training. The webinar is located in SafeSchools under the “Policy” section. Safe Schools can be accessed through the OSD Portal.

Teachers who take this two-hour training on how to create a teacher webpage and watch the 1.5 hour Website Accessibility webinar may use Technology Professional Development hours for 2019-20, General Staff Development hours for 2019-20, or Curriculum Rate at the 2019-20 school year rate.

Please note, staff may only be paid once for the 1.5 hour Website Accessibility Webinar. Also, teachers who have already taken the 2-hour Teacher Page Training and want to take it again as a refresher may use Technology PD or Staff PD, but not Curriculum Rate, for reimbursement.

For additional information, contact the Communications department at (360) 596-6103.

Flags lowered to half-staff September 11

Flags at half-staff in front of Knox Administrative Center in memory of Sen. John McCainGov. Inslee hereby directs that Washington state and United States flags at all state agencies, including schools and support buildings, be lowered to half-staff on Wednesday, September 11, 2019, for national Patriot Day, the annual memorial to the victims of the 2001 tragedy.

Flags should remain at half-staff until close of business or sunset on September 11.

Submit staff development into Skyward for compensation

During the 2018-19 school year the Olympia Education Association (OEA) and district piloted a new way to submit staff development into Skyward for compensation. This replaced the previous method of submitting a time slip. The following will be benefits to new process:

  • Real-time status of available staff development hours
  • Expedited payment of those hours

Therefore, beginning in the 2019-20 school year, all OEA Members will enter their Professional Staff Development into Skyward time off instead of completing paper time slips. This also includes any hours for Technology Professional Development. The district will be providing training for certificated staff to ensure they understand the process.

Trainings set to help teachers learn how to create webpages in SchoolMessenger

Person typing on a laptop computerThe Communications department is offering two teacher webpage trainings. These trainings are for teachers and department web contacts creating webpages and editing content in SchoolMessenger.

The first training is on Wednesday, February 20 from 4-6 p.m. in Knox 201B. Registration for the February 20 training closes on Friday, February 15. The Knox Administrative Center is located 1113 Legion Way S.E., Olympia.

The second teacher webpage training is offered March 28 from 4-6 p.m. in Knox 308. Registration for the March 28 event closes on March 25.

If you have not already watched the 1.5 hour Website Accessibility Webinar, you will need to do so prior to the training. The webinar is located in Safe Schools under the “Policy” section. Safe Schools can be accessed through the OSD Portal. Attendees will need to bring their district-issued laptop to the training.

Once in pdEnroller, enter “teacher webpage training” in the search bar. Select the training you wish to register for, select “register” and follow the prompts.

For additional information, contact the Communications department at (360) 596-6103.

Don’t miss “Mary Poppins” by OSD Players this weekend

Mary Poppins poster with information included in blog article including showtimes and ticket infoGet your tickets for “Mary Poppins,” this year’s annual musical presented by the OSD Players — a group of staff and students from throughout the school district.

This year’s production will run through Sunday, February 3 at the Olympia High School Performing Arts Center.

The performance is a fundraiser for the Olympia School District Education Foundation, which uses the funds to provide grants to the school district, schools and educators.

There will be four shows, all at the Olympia High School Performing Arts Center (1302 North St. SE, Olympia). Performance dates and times are as follows:

  • Friday, Feb. 1; 7 p.m.
  • Saturday, Feb. 2; 2 p.m.
  • Saturday, Feb. 2; 7 p.m.
  • Sunday, Feb. 3; 2 p.m.

General admission tickets are $12. Reserved seating for all performances is $15. Tickets may be purchased at the door or online on the OSDEF website  or at SeatYourself.

For more information or to request seating for those with special needs, please contact the OSDEF office at (360) 596-6110.

Congratulations to our newest Everyday Heroes. Kudos to you!

Everyday Heroes Logo with the words: Celebrating OSD EmployeesEveryday Heroes is a regular feature in this staff blog. Remember to submit names of employees districtwide who have done something deserving of encouragement and praise. Give a shout out to one of your colleagues at your school or support building and watch for it to appear in an upcoming Everyday Heroes blog post.

Here are our newest honorees:

Everyday Heroes
Several Support Service Center Employees

I would like to recognize several colleagues working out of our Support Services Center. Having had many opportunities to call upon their skill and support, I want to give a shout-out to: Jeff Smith, Darin Pfaff, Devin Guy, Ben Amidon, Ben Swick, Theresa Jones, Cory Greene, Rod Greene and Matthew Murdock. These individuals have been responsive to emergent needs at Garfield. Each time I have requested their help they arrive soon, ready to understand our needs and always come with a positive attitude. I personally appreciate their patience and ability to explain very technical problems in a way that I understand. They keep our school safe, looking good and ready for both students and staff. On behalf of the Garfield community, I want to thank these individuals for being an important part of our community.
Submitted by Brendon Chertok, principal at Garfield Elementary School

How to nominate an Everyday Hero

  • Email the Communications and Community Relations Department ( a few sentences, and no more than 200 words, about why the person deserves recognition. It’s easiest to write as if speaking directly to the colleague, such as “Thank you for helping with…” or “I really appreciated when you…”
  • Write Everyday Heroes in the subject heading of the email.
  • Include your first and last name as the person submitting the comments.
  • Include the first and last name of the OSD employee you are recognizing.
  • Include the job title and work location (school or department) of the person you are recognizing.

All submissions will be posted in this blog on a weekly basis and archived each week.

We can’t wait to hear about all of our Everyday Heroes, because we know that every day our teachers, bus drivers, child nutrition staff, custodial employees, paraeducators, school and district office staff, and others are doing amazing work on behalf of students.