New version of Return to Work Safety Plan posted on website

Read the latest version (Version 4.6) of the OSD COVID-19 Pandemic Return to Work Safety Plan. The most current version of the plan is posted on both the staff Intranet and on the district website. Be sure to bookmark the link above for easy access. For those who prefer to visit the webpages where it is posted, the plan is shared in the following locations:

The latest change to the plan is on pages 13-16. Pages have been updated to reflect the most current COVID-19 flowcharts from Thurston County Public Health and Social Services.

Please remember to follow all safety and health protocols outlined in the plan.

Congratulations to this week’s Everyday Hero; submit yours before winter break

Everyday Heroes Logo with the words: Celebrating OSD Employees

Recognition of outstanding OSD colleagues continues with a new Everyday Hero this week. Everyday 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 is our newest honoree:

Everyday Hero
Jeff Munsen, Bus Driver, Transportation Department

I want to highlight a very special moment that happened for  some of our in-person English Learner students on their bus ride to a school. Students were glowing that their bus driver, Jeff Munsen, asked each student their name upon climbing the steps of the bus.

Here is what students were exclaiming about and proud of when sharing this with their families and teachers: “He told us he wanted to say our name right because it was important to do that. He kept practicing until he got it right. Then he remembered!”  Seems like a simple concept, right? But in the lives of many of our English Learners, their self-identity and value shifts a bit when some people struggle to say their name accurately — if they even try. Because of this, sometimes they give the child a nickname, or just say, “Oh, that’s too hard!”, and then say the name how it might sound in English. Since names are our most basic building blocks of our identity, Jeff Munsen made the effort to acknowledge and show value in students’ names. He took the time to learn the name, and respectfully welcome each student aboard by addressing each student by their given name.

Thank you,  Jeff Munsen. It seems so simple of a moment for some, but this simple act of respect and cultural responsiveness  made an impact on the social-emotional levels of these students that day, and most likely, for a very long time.
Submitted by Heather Randolph, EL Coordinator

How to nominate an Everyday Hero

  • Email the Communications and Community Relations Department (communications@osd.wednet.edu) 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.

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

graphs and paper

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).

Grackle Slides now creates accessible PDFs

Grackle Docs logo

Grackle Slides now allows for users to export an accessible PDF version of their presentation from directly within Slides, rather than requiring the user to export to PowerPoint beforehand. With this functionality enabled, Grackle Slides is now as powerful as the Grackle Docs tool in that it acts as both an accessibility checker and PDF exporter. This greatly simplifies the process of creating accessible Slides presentations.

Users of Google Slides can install Grackle Slides by opening a Slides document, going to the Add-ons menu,  selecting “Get add-ons,” searching for Grackle Slides and selecting the “+” button. Grackle Slides will be registered through your OSD account.

A quick-start guide to using Google Slides and Grackle to create accessible content is available on the district’s Website Accessibility Resources page.  If you have any questions or tips regarding Grackle Slides, or accessibility in general, please reach out to Robert Hardy, the district’s website accessibility specialist.

Streamlining communications with families

iPhone mail icon showing 20 unread emails.

With families now receiving more messaging than ever before, from teachers, building principals and district staff, providing a consistent and familiar experience is vital. By posting newsletters and other applicable correspondence directly to your school website as on-page content, district staff can ensure their communications are available to all in a convenient, aesthetically pleasing and accessible way.

While traditionally newsletters have been produced in PDF format, posting this content directly to the web provides a multitude of benefits:

  • Translatable – On-page content is translatable using Google Translate, meaning a wider swath of our community can access it.
  • Responsive – On-page content works well on both mobile and desktop computers, meaning users won’t have to zoom in to read the text. This is increasingly important as the majority of readers are accessing content on their phones.
  • Accessible – On-page content, or HTML, is natively accessible, ensuring users of assistive technologies are able to perceive and enjoy our content.
  • Ease of use – Not only is the reader’s experience more familiar, but producing on-page content is easier than producing PDFs. Most content can be written in either Word or Google Docs and then simply copied and pasted onto a page. The Communications and Community Relations Department has put together a blog post demonstrating what content is included when copying and pasting between the different publishing tools.
  • Searchable – By posting newsletters directly to a teacher or school webpage, district staff create a comprehensive source of information. Rather than digging through old emails, families can navigate to the newsletter section of your page and catch up on any news they may have missed.

With email fatigue surely on the rise, providing a simplified and predictable avenue of messaging is important for our families. If you are interested in attending an upcoming SchoolMessenger Teacher Webpage training, follow the link below for our next training via PDEnroller, or reach out to the OSD Communications Department with any questions you may have.

OSD Teacher Webpage Training
Thursday, November 19, 2020
5-7 p.m. via Zoom
Sign up via PDEnroller

See the latest OSD Office Directory

Below you will find a viewable Google Sheet with the current OSD Office Directory. You can print this document off as a single page, front/back piece.*

To print just follow these simple instructions:

  • Open the One-Page OSD Office Directory.
  • Select the print icon, or go to ‘File’ and ‘Print’.
  • This takes you to ‘Print Settings. In the top right-hand corner of the page select the pull-down menu that reads ‘Current Sheet’ and change that to ‘Workbook’.
  • Select ‘Next’ in the top right-hand corner of the page.
  • The print dialogue box will open on your computer.
  • Interested in printing on a single sheet of paper? Select ‘Two-Sided Print’ in your print settings. You will want to print with a ‘Long Edge Binding’ so that the directory prints in portrait layout.
  • Select ‘Print’.

This is a “live document” which is maintained by the OSD Communications and Community Relations Department. Should there be any changes needed, please let us know at communications@osd.wednet.edu. We will get these updates/change requests made and they will be available immediately to anyone accessing this document.

We hope this is a useful tool to all employees!

*Please note that only OSD employees will have the ability to access/print this document.

Open Enrollment is October 26 through November 23, 2020

Stethoscope with heart-shaped center design

The following is information from the OSD Payroll department:

This year has been hard enough, so the Payroll department is streamlining Open Enrollment communications!

Open Enrollment 2021: October 26 – November 23, 2020
The district is partnering with NW Benefit Advisors to bring you everything you need to know for a fun-filled Open Enrollment season. You can access all materials for the voluntary benefits through NW Benefit Advisors and there will also be links to SEBB benefits. All you have to do is ‘Opt-in’ so you receive your invitation to the site. It’s that easy!

2021 Open Enrollment – Virtual, Easy, Streamlined Communications. To opt-in to receive the latest information simply Text ‘Olysd’ to 52855. That’s it! The first 200 employees to register will be entered into a raffle.

For more information about Open Enrollment, visit the staff Intranet Payroll department Benefits page.

2020-21 Credit Card MOU

Each October staff fill out their annual employee agreement regarding credit card use. If you have a district-issued credit card, we need you to read and sign this agreement. This year the User Agreement of District-Issued Procurement Card has been updated slightly.  With the changing work environment the Washington State Auditor’s Office recommended changes to the Credit Card MOU the district uses. Beginning October 1, Skyward will prompt you to complete the 2020-21 SY MOU. This is a requirement to use district procurement cards.

Changes include:

  • Updated Reminder about Ship To Address for online orders.
  • E-Commerce Ordering Requirements.
  • Recording Credit Card information.

The following attestations have been added to the MOU. Acknowledgement of all items on the MOU is required to use a district procurement card.

  • I am mindful that all purchases must be shipped to an Olympia School District entity. Therefore shipments should never be made to a personal address.
  • I am mindful that orders from the following E-Commerce vendors must be completed via Skyward. Current vendors are: Staples, Office Depot, Dell, Grainger, Amazon, KCDA, Home Depot Pro, Really Good Stuff, Waxie, Childcraft, Frey, Sax, School Specialty and SportsTime.
  • At no point will I record credit card information via email, handwritten note, etc., to be used at a later time (e.g., credit card number, expiration date or CVV). (This wording comes from the credit card company, not the Auditor).

We understand that you may have questions or concerns about the new attestations or any of the others listed on the complete form. Please email help-business@osd.wednet.edu with any questions or concerns so that we may answer you directly.

Also remember, the Skyward form process is helpful because we can eliminate paper processing for the employee. However, the Skyward form system is less intuitive than other systems; after you fill out the attestations, remember to scroll down to look for the “submit” button and you will be hitting “submit” in two different places.

View the complete form (Note: this linked form is for review only and is not interactive; you must fill out the survey online in Skyward).

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