New Transitional Kindergarten program starts in January

Three students build a city with blocks on the carpet in a classroom

Starting in January 2023, Olympia School District will offer a free full-day Transitional Kindergarten program. This new pilot program is designed to meet the needs of children who are going to kindergarten in Fall 2023, face barriers to kindergarten readiness, and are not enrolled in a regular early childhood program. Spaces are limited, so sign up now!

Visit our website for more info

Questions? Want to enroll your child? Call the Student Support Department at (360) 596-7539 or email earlylearning@osd.wednet.edu.

Scenic Photo of the Week

Sunset on the lake at Indian Summer Golf and Country Club
“Sunset at Indian Summer Golf and Country Club,” by Taelar Shelton, Sports Medicine Teacher and Golf Coach, Olympia High School

OSD employees are encouraged to email the Communications department a photo of their artwork portraying nature (e.g., landscapes, sunrises or sunsets, an interesting cloud formation, a close-up of a flower) for consideration in this staff blog. Your image can be something you captured on canvas, in a photograph, on a textile, in a pencil, charcoal or pastel drawing, with wire — the possibilities are endless!

Please remember, you can be a novice or a professional. You can submit photos taken with your phone or a fancy camera. The goal is for as many employees as possible to participate!

Guidelines:

  • Nature/scenic images only (no people or pets please).
  • Attach a photo of your original art in jpeg or png format to an email and send to communications@osd.wednet.edu. The higher the resolution, the better.
  • Photos must be in-focus and cropped so the art is visible.
  • Include your name, title, work location, and if applicable, where the image was taken (you can name the city, for example, or provide even more specific details (e.g. sunset taken from Long Beach, WA). This information will be included with each image published.

Depending on the number of images submitted, we will print one or more in each issue of the staff blog.

SEBB Annual Open Enrollment ends Monday, November 21

Sand timer showing sand running out

Time is running out … have you made your changes?

Make changes online through SEBB My Account until 11:59 p.m. on Monday, November 21, 2022.

  • If adding a dependent, submit copies of the required dependent verification documents through SEBB My Account or with your paper form.
  • If required, attest to premium surcharges online or use the 2023 Premium Surcharge Attestation.
  • Submit all required forms to your payroll or benefits office as required no later than November 21, 2022.

Medical Flexible Spending Arrangement (FSA), Limited Purpose FSA, and the Dependent Care Assistance Program (DCAP)

  • Visit the Navia Benefits Solutions website to enroll for 2023. You will be asked to log in or create an account through Secure Access Washington to enroll online, or you can download and complete Navia’s Open Enrollment.
  • Navia Benefits Solutions must receive your enrollment no later than November 21, 2022.
  • You must enroll in an FSA each year you want to participate. Enrollment does not automatically continue from year to year.
  • You cannot have both a Limited Purpose FSA and a Medical FSA, nor can you have a Medical FSA and be enrolled in a consumer-directed health plan (HDHP) with a health savings account (HSA).

Kaiser Permanente Washington Options (KPWA Options) Access PPO 1, 2, and 3 plans are closing. If you are currently enrolled in one of these, you will need to enroll in a new plan. If you do not enroll in a new plan during annual open enrollment, the SEBB Program will automatically enroll you in:

  • The new KPWA Options Summit PPO 1, 2, or 3 if you live or work in a county where one of these plans is offered.
  • UMP Achieve 1 if you do not live or work in a county where KPWA Options Summit 1, 2, or 3 is offered.

The Premera Peak Care Exclusive Provider Organization (EPO) plan is closing. The Premera Blue Cross HMO plan will replace the Premera Peak Care EPO plan.  If you are currently enrolled in Premera’s Peak Care EPO plan, you will be automatically enrolled in their HMO plan unless you chose a new plan.

If you have questions, contact Amy Griffin at agriffin@osd.wednet.edu or by phone at 360-596-6187. 

Capital High School presents ‘The Game’s Afoot’; Holmes for the Holidays

Silhouette image of Sherlock Holmes profile holding a magnifying glass

Capital High School Theatre presents Ken Ludwig’s “The Game’s Afoot.” After renowned actor, William Gillette, best known for playing Sherlock Holmes, is shot during a curtain speech; Holmes becomes more than a stage persona as he solves his own attempted murder.

A mix of 1930s farce and gripping mystery, The Game’s Afoot will keep you on the edge of your seat!

The Game’s Afoot shows at 7 p.m. on December 1, 2, 3, 8, 9 and 10 in Capital High School’s new Performing Arts Center located at 2707 Conger Ave. N.W., Olympia.

Tickets are $8 for students and senior citizens. or $10 for adults. and may be purchased online or at the door. 

Purchase tickets online

Olympia High Theatre Arts presents ‘Into the Woods’

The Olympia High School Theatre Arts Department presents “Into the Woods,” a classic American Musical Theatre written by Stephen Sondheim.

Performances will be held at 7 p.m. on November 10, 11, 12, 17 and 19. Additionally, a matinee understudy performance will be held at 1 p.m. on November 12.

Tickets are $10 for the general public, or $8 for seniors (65 and older) and students (18 and younger). Tickets are available online and at the door. More information about ‘Into the Woods’ is posted on the Olympia High School website.

Poster for Into the Woods performance at OHS; shows a child sitting in the forest surrounding by trees.

Scenic photos of the week

Two ducks swim in Olympia waters during a smoky sunset, with Capitol building in the background
“Smokey Ducks,” by Dave Eilers, Data Systems Developer Specialist, Technology Department

OSD employees are encouraged to email the Communications department a photo of their artwork portraying nature (e.g., landscapes, sunrises or sunsets, an interesting cloud formation, a close-up of a flower) for consideration in this staff blog. Your image can be something you captured on canvas, in a photograph, on a textile, in a pencil, charcoal or pastel drawing, with wire — the possibilities are endless!

Please remember, you can be a novice or a professional. You can submit photos taken with your phone or a fancy camera. The goal is for as many employees as possible to participate!

Guidelines:

  • Nature/scenic images only (no people or pets please).
  • Attach a photo of your original art in jpeg or png format to an email and send to communications@osd.wednet.edu. The higher the resolution, the better.
  • Photos must be in-focus and cropped so the art is visible.
  • Include your name, title, work location, and if applicable, where the image was taken (you can name the city, for example, or provide even more specific details (e.g. sunset taken from Long Beach, WA). This information will be included with each image published.

Depending on the number of images submitted, we will print one or more in each issue of the staff blog.

Close-up of a dragonfly on a piece of wheat grass
“Dragonfly in fall meadow,” Olympia, by Simona McEwen, Early Intervention Specialist, based out of McKenny Elementary School

Olympia High Annual Bearzaar is Saturday, November 19

The Annual Olympia High Bearzaar featuring 150 local craft vendors is scheduled on Saturday, November 19, 2022.

Admission is free between 9:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. or $5 for early admission between 8:15 and 9:30 a.m. Childcare is available for ages 2 and older.

Bearzaar is held at Olympia High School, 1302 North Street S.E., Olympia.

Olympia Education Foundation Grant Requests due November 18

Logo for Olympia Education Foundation showing OLYMPIA spelled out in colorful capital letters with a , and education foundation lowercase underneath

Need support for a project that your building does not have the budget for? Consider the Olympia Education Foundation, which is currently accepting Grant Requests in any amount up to $2,000. Application period 2 requests are due by 5 p.m. on Friday, November 18, 2022.

Making a request is easy!

  • Go to the Foundation website: www.olyedfoundation/grants.
  • Choose either “Teaching & Learning” OR “SEL/Mental Health Grants.”
  • Fill out the correct Google Form.

Please note SEL/Mental Health Grants (formerly Mental Health Initiative Grants) support counselors, social workers, behavior technicians, and restorative justice centers by funding materials and the development of programs that specifically address social/emotional learning and mental health.

Applicants will be notified of their Grant Request’s status prior to winter break.

Funding for Grant Requests is first come, first served. And grant funding cannot be rolled over to the next school year.

Questions? Contact Executive Director Katy Johansson at (360) 596-6110 or info@olyedfoundation.org.

Remember to vote in November 8 General Election

Hand inserting an election ballot into a ballot drop box with headline Reminder: Remember to Vote by 11/8

Ballots for the November 8, 2022 General Election have been sent to registered voters and must be mailed or dropped off in postage-free ballot drop boxes by Election Day to be counted.

While there are no Olympia School District measures or candidates on the November 8 election ballot, our district regularly shares election information with the community, including how to register to vote and a reminder to vote on Election Day.

Ballot drop boxes are open 24 hours a day during elections and will continue to accept ballots until 8 p.m. on Election Day. For a list of drop box locations in the Olympia School District, visit the Thurston County Auditor’s Office Elections Division website.

There is still one more opportunity to register to vote or update your current voter registration for the November 8 General Election:

  • November 8, 2022: Register to vote or update your current voter registration in person only until 8 p.m. on Election Day November 8, 2022 at any county Auditor’s Office, voting center or any other designated location. The Thurston County Auditor’s Office Elections Division is located at 2400 Evergreen Park Dr. S.W., Olympia, WA 98502.

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. (Note: Citizens may pre-register to vote at age 16 and will be automatically eligible to vote and sent a ballot during the first election after their 18th birthday).

For additional voter registration information, visit the Thurston County Auditor’s Office Elections Division webpage. You may also call (360) 786-5408 or email elections@co.thurston.wa.us. For more information about ballot items, read the Thurston County Official Local Voters’ Pamphlet.