Final SEBB Open House November 14 and SEBB enrollment deadline November 15

Following is an important message from Payroll regarding SEBB enrollment and the final Supplemental Benefits/SEBB open house tonight, November 14 from 4-7 p.m.:

You only have one more day to complete your 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.

Supplemental Benefits/SEBB Open House November 14

The school district’s Payroll department will host the final NW Benefit Advisors at the Knox 111 Administrative Center tonight, Thursday, November 14 from 4-7 p.m. Barbara Dickson will be at Knox 111 to help Olympia School District employees decipher supplement plans and their benefits to employees. Amy McGuire will also be on hand to answer SEBB questions.

Only 15 days remaining for SEBB Open Enrollment

Stethoscope with heart-shaped center designIf you are one of the 600 not enrolled in your benefits, you only have 15 more days left to complete your enrollment.

If you are enrolling your dependents, please see the information below about the dependent verification. If you have already competed your dependent verification, make sure to sign back into SEBB My Account and make sure they have been accepted. You can review this under “manage dependents.”

Clarifications on verifying your dependents

If you are enrolling dependents under your SEBB Program coverage, you must provide proof of their eligibility with documentation that shows they are your legal dependents. This is called dependent verification. It is required in most cases, even if you have previously verified your dependents’ eligibility.

Submit verification documents by November 15, 2019

You must submit valid verification documents for any dependents you wish to enroll by 11:59 p.m. on November 15, 2019 — the last day of the SEBB Program’s first annual open enrollment. A list of valid dependent verification documents is available on the SEBB dependent verification webpage. Your dependents’ eligibility must be approved before they can be enrolled under your coverage.

Additional documentation needed to verify a spouse or state-registered domestic partner

When submitting a marriage certificate or certificate/card of state-registered domestic partnership or legal union, you must also submit evidence that the marriage or partnership is still valid. This evidence can be a document such as a utility bill dated within the last two months showing both your and your partner’s name. Be sure to black out any financial information. When verifying a state-registered domestic partner, you must also submit a SEBB Declaration of Tax Status form.

Troubleshooting issues uploading verification documents

Some employees have reported issues uploading their dependent verification documents in SEBB My Account. Here are some helpful tips to upload your documents successfully:

  • Google Chrome is the preferred web browser. If you are having issues while using Firefox or Internet Explorer, try uploading your dependent verification documents while using Chrome.
  • Documents larger than 4 MB will not load. This could be caused by uploading two documents that total 4 MB at the same time. Try uploading one file at a time, or loading smaller-sized files.

You can also provide documents to your payroll or benefits office in person. These are due to payroll by November 8, 2019.

A new Everyday Hero! Drum roll please…

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 is our newest honoree:

Everyday Hero
Amy Long, Paraeducator, McLane Elementary School

We at McLane are so extremely lucky to have Amy Long on our staff. She began her journey here as a parent, a PTSO member and a huge contributor of all things creative. Over the years she has made many posters, decorations, communication boards and, most recently, a large tree in our main hall to collect “Owl Feathers” (our schoolwide reinforcer of PBIS) for an all school reward. Her talents are amazing, her dedication to the students and staff is immeasurable, and her energy that radiates all around the school is incredible.

Thank you, Amy, for all you do and for being awesome!  I appreciate you!
Submitted by Candi Koch, Behavior Technician, McLane Elementary School

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.

United Way giving campaign runs November 1-29

United Way campaign poster with information contained in the articleOlympia School District’s annual United Way giving campaign runs from today, Friday, November 1 through Friday, November 29. This year all pledges should be submitted online.

United Way is a national organization that provides a multitude of services to thousands of people right here in the Olympia community, including many of the students and families served by the school district.

Donations through the United Way support a variety of organizations. In past years, United Way has supported organizations such as the Thurston Food Bank, Garden-Raised Bounty (GRuB), Boys & Girls Club of Thurston County and the Olympia School District Education Foundation. United Way also supports the Reading Buddy Program on an annual basis.

Additional details about the United Way of Thurston County can be found on their website.

If you have any questions or need more information, please feel free to contact Mike Leonard at MLeonard@unitedway-thurston.org.

All online pledge forms need to be completed no later than November 29.

View the online pledge form

Levy 2020: School board approves replacement levy proposal

Two elementary students coloring picture in classThe Olympia School Board has unanimously agreed to place an Educational Programs and Operations Replacement Levy proposal before voters on the February 11, 2020 Special Election ballot.

The proposed levy is not a new tax. The measure on the February 2020 ballot would replace an expiring four-year educational programs levy approved by voters in February 2016.

School levies are the only locally approved ballot measures that directly pay for classroom and educational needs of students not funded by the state.

Levy funds would be used to continue to provide education to students with disabilities and provide classroom and districtwide support staff not funded through state basic education such as paraeducators, school nurses, social and mental health supports and security staff. Funds would also support middle and high school athletic and extracurricular activities, transportation outside of the basic school day, preschool programs for students with special needs, visual and performing arts programs, staff professional development, and maintenance and operations not funded through state basic education.

“This renewal levy continues the district’s efforts, as outlined in our Strategic Plan, to prepare students for success now and into the future,” said School Board President Joellen Wilhelm. It creates opportunities for our students to build knowledge and skills to meet their individual goals.”

The levy would raise an estimated $133.6 million over four years (2021-24), or an average of $33.4 million per year. The proposed $2.50 maximum tax rate for the Educational Programs and Operations Replacement Levy in each of the upcoming four years is one cent more than in 2020.

The estimated levy rate depends on the final dollar amount of assessed value of property within the school district. State law limits school districts to collect a maximum of $2.50 per $1,000 of assessed valuation for Educational Programs and Operations levies; the rate may be lower than $2.50 per $1,000 of assessed valuation but it cannot be more than $2.50.

Using the projected rate of $2.50 per $1,000 of assessed valuation, the owner of a $250,000 home would pay about $52 a month, or $625 per year, for the replacement levy.

The proposed replacement levy tax, combined with the Olympia School District voter-approved school construction bonds and the technology and safety levy, would keep overall tax rates below 2020 levels. The total projected tax rate over the four years would be between $4.84 and $5.05 per $1,000 of assessed valuation, which is less than the $5.15 tax rate in 2020.

For more specifics on the replacement levy proposal, including a list of frequently asked questions, visit the Levy 2020 webpage on the Olympia School District website.

Registration underway for Winter Accessibility Workshops

Workshop sign

Contained within the new Winter 2019 Professional Development Catalog are even more accessibility workshops for Olympia School District staff. Learn how to incorporate accessibility into your document workflow and efficiently create accessible content to post online. Staff are also welcome to bring their existing documents and brainstorm on how to create accessible versions for the web.

This winter’s workshops include:

Beyond workshops, the Olympia School District’s Accessibility Specialist, Robert Hardy (6105), wants to help you! Please reach out with any accessibility questions, or to schedule a time to meet one-on-one.