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October 4, 2016

Superintendent’s Message

Greetings staff and community members,

Our school year is off to a terrific start, and I have been enjoying opportunities to meet with students, staff and families at many school events. I appreciate the hard work of teachers and staff in preparing for our school curriculum nights and the commitment of parents; your attendance at these events sends a very strong message to your child that school is important. I thank you for joining us for those evenings.

October is Disability History Month in our nation and school district. It celebrates the American dream and promise of equal access, equal opportunity and equal respect for all, which is firmly rooted in the Americans with Disabilities Act signed into law in l990. I am extremely proud of our work to support and honor our students and staff with disabilities. These individuals add skills and perspectives that help us grow as human beings, school district and community.

Our charge is to work with all of our students through the Strategic Plan and our vision of “Creating opportunities and shaping success for all students.” All means all in every way. Again, I am proud of our students and collective commitment in this area, but as a community and nation we must improve. For example, people identified with disabilities are typically unemployed at a rate that is twice that of people without disabilities. This figure is unacceptable given the opportunity and personal satisfaction meaningful work offers to all of us.

Please join me in celebrating Disability History Month, but let's also remain focused upon the future and “shaping success for all students.” All means all.




Dick Cvitanich

Avanti High named a School of Distinction

Avanti High School joins an elite group of less than 100 schools statewide that have been named a School of Distinction for being among the top 5 percent of highest improving schools.

This is the fourth time in six years that the school has received a School of Distinction Award from The Center for Educational Effectiveness (CEE).

The CEE award is based on a review of five years of school information. This year, the organization examined the sustained improvement of reading and math scores at the elementary and middle school levels, and 4- and 5-year graduation rates at the high school level.

“Achieving this award requires continued, intentional effort from leaders and staff members,” said Marilyn McGuire, CEE vice president for school and district improvement. “It is truly an award that recognizes the accomplishments of a dedicated and focused group of adults doing their best work for their students.”

The School of Distinction awards were created in 2007 to recognize the highest improving schools in Washington state. Across the state, 94 schools received the award this year.

“This recognition represents the hard work and dedication of the entire Avanti community,” said Principal Michael Velasquez. “Our staff consistently makes a positive and transformative difference in the lives of students, and the award also reflects the commitment, resiliency and perseverance of our students and their families. It is an honor to be the recipient of the 2016 School of Distinction.”

Avanti High will be presented with a 2016 School of Distinction banner and certificate to display in the school building.

OSD Career & College Fair

This districtwide event is a great opportunity for students and parents to explore post-high school options. More than 100 college, university, military, technical school and career industry vendors will be on hand so students can explore their future career and educational options. Join us on Tuesday, October 18, 4:30-7 p.m., Capital High School, 2707 Conger Ave N.W., Olympia 98502.

Volunteer applications must be updated annually

Volunteers make a major difference in the lives of children. We appreciate your support and hope that you will consider volunteering in our schools. Each year volunteers must complete an ONLINE Volunteer Application or a Paper Volunteer Application.

Our students and staff appreciate everything our volunteers do to help us reach our goal of academic success for all children. Please be sure to renew your application so you can join us again this school year! For more information, please visit our Volunteer Web page.

Mail-in and online voter registration ends October 10

The deadline to register by mail or online to vote in the November 8, 2016 General Election is October 10. All registrations, as well as any changes to existing voter information for those already registered in Washington state, must be postmarked by this date.

The Olympia School District does not have any measures or candidates on this election ballot; however, the district regularly reminds voters of upcoming elections and registration deadlines. Learn more about how to register to vote.

October is International Walk to School Month

Olympia School District Superintendent Dick Cvitanich has proclaimed the month of October as “International Walk to School Month.”

When safe walking is available, we encourage kids to walk to school to improve their health, increase readiness to learn, learn about pedestrian safety, and walk together with children, parents and community leaders to increase the awareness of the benefits of walking to school. See the full list of school specific events.

Free parent education workshops begin October 18

The Olympia School District will host a series of free parent education workshops this year led by Candyce Lund Bollinger, a local parent educator for the past 35 years.

Bollinger will present the following workshops from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Olympia Regional Learning Academy (ORLA), 2400 15th Ave. S.E, Olympia:.

Elementary Parent Workshops (grades K-5):

Middle/High School Parent Workshops (grades 6-12):

No registration is required for the workshops. Child care will not be provided.

Bollinger has been a parent educator at South Puget Sound Community College for 35 years and has done private parenting services for 30 years. She has done numerous workshops over the years throughout Thurston and Mason counties, including workshops in Olympia, Tumwater and North Thurston school districts. She is the mother of four children and has two grandchildren.

Annual OSDEF breakfast a record breaking event

Earlier this week nearly 300 caring community members and district staff attended the Olympia School District Education Foundation’s Principal’s Emergency Checkbook Fund Breakfast. The featured speaker, Joe Ingoglia, Director of Organizational Development at Boys & Girls Club of America, as well as several district staff shared inspiring stories on the incredible difference the Olympia School District Education Foundation makes to our students.

The Principal’s Emergency Checkbook Fund fills an important resource gap for principals and educators. Each school in the district is provided with funds to help quickly meet emergent needs for students, with a minimal amount of paperwork. The PECF resources remove common barriers for low-income students maximizing their potential.

While totals have yet to be finalized, this year’s breakfast not only had a record number of attendees, but with sponsorships raised nearly $60,000 for the Principal’s Emergency Checkbook Fund.

We are truly lucky to have such amazing community support available to our students!

Keep contact information updated in district information system

The Olympia School District uses an automated notification system to provide families with school-related emergency alerts, unexcused absence notifications and general school-related announcements via phone, email and /or SMS (text message).

The phone numbers and emails parents and guardians provide when they enroll their children, and update anytime thereafter, are the numbers/emails contacted by the district through its SchoolMessenger Automated Notification System.

It is important that parents/guardians keep their contact information up-to-date, especially phone numbers and email addresses. Please remember to include an email address with your child’s enrollment information, as often the district sends parents and guardians email communication only pertaining to general information announcements.

Parents and guardians may control how they receive non-emergency automated messages and may opt out of these messages altogether. Options are available on the Family Access “Skylert” Web page.

View the guide on the district website Parent Resources page for managing communication preferences.