OSDEF is accepting grant applications; deadline is July 14 for fall grants

Official OSDEF logoThe Olympia School District Education Foundation (OSDEF) is accepting grant applications for the 2017-18 school year. Although applications may be submitted at any time of the year, if funds are needed for Fall 2017, an application must be sent to the OSDEF by July 14, 2017. Grants approved in August will be funded in September.

Grant requests will be evaluated based on commitment to the OSDEF mission: to provide programs and services to students and partners with teachers to enhance educational success and promote learning for all students of the Olympia School District.

Grant categories, guidelines and applications are available online on the OSDEF website. Questions may be directed to Bev Sperry in the OSDEF office. She can be reached by email at bsperry@osd.wednet.edu or at the office phone, (360) 596-6110. Bev is available during the summer months.

OSPI opioid abuse awareness campaign

Graphic of prescription pills with red circle and line through Opioid Abuse


The state Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI), along with other state agencies and partners, launched an opioid abuse awareness campaign last month and has been sharing valuable information on its website. The six-week education campaign is designed to prevent opioid misuse and abuse.

This is a great opportunity to raise awareness and create open lines of communication with communities, parents and students about prescription drugs. Opioid abuse is a state and national epidemic, and there has continued to be one death per day or more of opioid-related deaths each year since before 2015 — more than the number of deaths from car crashes, and it is preventable.

In 1736 Benjamin Franklin stated “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” This axiom accurately reflects this campaign’s goals. Let’s help by learning how to start communicating this serious problem.

The following are some resources shared by OSPI on this important topic:

  • Learn about what medications contain opioids, understand the definition of medicine abuse and what can be done about it, learn how to prevent and reverse overdose, and understand how to find a “take back site” to turn in old or unused medications. Start Talking Now is a project of the Washington Healthy Youth Coalition. Visit the Start Talking Now website.
  • Learn more about  prescription drug abuse prevention at Athena through the Department of Social and Health Services, Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery.

Understanding travel authorization and travel reimbursement

Business Manager Justin Lanting has shared the following information to communicate about Travel Authorization and Travel Reimbursement.

Note: Travel authorization is only required for travel outside of Thurston County.

Travel Authorization is done on a Treeno Form (PDF) before embarking on a trip, while Travel Reimbursement is completed in Skyward Employee Access prior (meal per-diem) or after having returned from the trip.

It is important that employees know that travel authorization does not produce payment of any type. Completing the travel expense reimbursement in Skyward and having it approved by all necessary supervisors is the only way to receive cash disbursement.

Payments are processed weekly and are deposited on Fridays.  If the reimbursement is fully approved on Monday, payment is issued on the Friday of the same week. Employees with approved reimbursements receive an email on Tuesday prior to the Friday funding.

There are a variety of resources on the Business Services Forms Web page that assist employees in understanding travel authorization and reimbursement. The following documents can be accessed after signing into the Forms page:

  • Travel Request Form
  • How to Submit an Electronic Travel Request Authorization
  • In-District Travel Log for Itinerant Staff
  • How to Complete a Travel Log and Submit a Travel Expense Reimbursement
  • Travel Procedures
  • How to Submit a Travel Expense Reimbursement
  • Mileage Chart
  • Mileage and Per Diem Rates
  • CHS Mileage Chart for Sports Travel
  • OHS Mileage Chart for Sports Travel

OSDEF reopens grant applications

OSDEF logoThe Olympia School District Education Foundation (OSDEF) has reopened grant applications for the remainder of this school year, including applications for programs/events this spring, summer and fall of 2017.

Grant categories, guidelines and applications are available online on the OSDEF website. Limited funds are available.

Questions may be sent to the Foundation at info@osdef.org or by contacting Bev Sperry in the OSDEF office at (360) 596-6110.

It’s here! The 2017-18 district calendar

2017-2018 Calendar

Click image to enlarge

The 2017-18 Olympia School District calendar has been approved by the Olympia School Board and is posted online.

Please note the 50-minute early release every Wednesday for all grades. This time is set aside for teachers to collaborate on learning and receive professional development. There are also some half days scheduled during school conferences, and these half days are also noted on the calendar.

The calendar was created after extensive input from employees and parents, including more than 3,000 responses to an online survey on this topic.

Superintendent Cvitanich wins 2017 Crystal Apple Award

Superintendent Dick Cvitanich and wife Diane with Crystal Apple award in LeavenworthSuperintendent Dick Cvitanich has been named the 2017 Crystal Apple award winner by the Washington School Public Relations Association (WSPRA).

Cvitanich received the award, along with a standing ovation, at an awards banquet on April 27 at the WSPRA annual conference in Leavenworth. His wife, Diane, as well as several members of the district’s Communications and Community Relations department, joined him at the recognition ceremony.

A Crystal Apple award winner is someone who has given tirelessly of themselves to enhance positive stakeholder perceptions of K-12 public schools and/or has empowered school public relations professionals to be their best. The award goes to an individual who does not currently serve in a formal role of school public relations.

Superintendent Cvitanich with WSPRA past president at Crystal Apple award presentation“Olympia School District Superintendent Dick Cvitanich has spent the past 42 years supporting K-12 public education, including serving as a mentor to other school superintendents, a cheerleader for school public relations, and an advocate for statewide legislation in support of students and staff,” according to the award nomination.

The nomination continues, “His teaching and administrative career, which comes to a close with his retirement this June, empowered school district colleagues and communities across the state ranging from Sequim, Silverdale, and Shaw Island, to Vashon, Highline, Puyallup and Olympia.”

In his acceptance remarks, Cvitanich recounted how communications has changed over the past four decades. He also thanked public relations employees statewide for their work in telling the story of public education.

Olympia School Board meeting highlights

Screenshot of district Web page featuring highlights from school board meetingsThe Olympia School Board regularly recognizes students, staff and community members for a wide variety of accomplishments and recognitions. Highlights from school board meetings, including photos, are featured on the district website. Visit the Olympia School Board Meeting Highlights page.

Many of these highlights are also featured on the district’s social media pages, including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Be sure to like or follow the district on the various social media platforms to get news as it happens!