(If you have any issues with the formatting of this newsletter, or viewing the photos, please view it on our website)

February 14, 2017


Madison students show appreciation with ‘Valentines for Veterans’

Madison Elementary Lion Cubs have a big heart, especially when it comes to honoring our veterans! Students made Valentine’s Day cards again this year as part of Congressman Denny Heck’s fifth annual “Valentines for Veterans” drive.

During this annual event, local students are encouraged to decorate cards thanking local veterans for their service to our country. Congressman Heck and his office collect the cards and deliver them to veteran’s organizations on Valentine’s Day. In a press release dated January 24, Heck said, “Nobody deserves a handmade note of gratitude more than our veterans, and each year I’m touched by the heartfelt valentines that students produce.”

The creative and talented students at Madison were honored to design colorful, custom cards with hand-written notes to thank our veterans for their service. Way to go Lion Cubs!


Learn All About Kindergarten Day a whopping success

The Olympia School District held its annual “Learn All About Kindergarten” informational event this past Saturday at Capital High School. Attendance was exceptional!

Among other things, families learned about kindergarten program options, riding the bus, how to register for kindergarten and how to use the district’s Family Access student information system to stay updated on everything from grades to lunch accounts. The school district’s Transportation department also had school buses on site for parents to learn about bus safety and rules, and to see the inside of the bus.

Thanks to all of the families that attended, it was wonderful getting a chance to meet you. We look forward to seeing you all this fall!

Visit our Facebook Page to see a photo gallery from Kindergarten Day!


The Olympia School District Players Present “Annie”

The Olympia School District Players are proud to present “Annie” as the 2017 Olympia School District Player’s annual musical.

The play benefits the Olympia School District Education Foundation (OSDEF). A perennial favorite, these family-friendly musical productions draw approximately 2,500 attendees during the five performances each year.

We encourage everyone to attend this fun and entertaining show! The cast includes staff and students from around our district. Performances will be held February 23 to 26 at Olympia High School’s Performing Arts Center.



Students showcase technology learning at annual Tech Fair

This past weekend we hosted our Annual Technology Fair in the Capital High School commons.

School booths were open from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., showcasing a variety of ways that students and teachers use digital tools to support the learning process.

Visitors were also invited to watch student technology challenge presentations from 1-3 p.m. Each school had an opportunity to enter a student team in a technology challenge to be revealed the morning of the Tech Fair. Teams worked collaboratively on the challenge from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and presented to the audience in the afternoon.

It was a great turnout, thanks to all of the students, families and community members who swung by to learn how our kids are putting technology to use in their classrooms!

Visit our Facebook Page to see a photo gallery from the Tech Fair!



Jefferson MS students become playwrights, performers and set designers

Seventh-grade students in Jefferson Middle School’s REACH program recently took the stage in their first ever student-penned production, “Legends.”

Students wrote the play after they spent a semester exploring myths, legends and folklore from around the world. “Legends” is a two-act production that adapts the literary classics “How Arthur Became King” and “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” to the stage. Half of the class wrote the script using the original stories and notes from their studies, while the other half built the sets.

“This semester’s play was an astounding success on so many levels,” said Jonathan Moore, teacher and coordinator of the REACH program. He said students incorporated complex technology into the production this year “from sound effects, to music, to special lighting,” and that “students pulled it off like true professionals.” He added “the amount of work they put into the production was extremely evident when they performed for the community on opening night.”

REACH is an advanced humanities class offered exclusively at Jefferson Middle School. REACH combines English/language arts, social studies, theater, speech, debate and technology. Academically talented students in sixth through eighth grade can take part in REACH and have the opportunity to explore history and literature at a much deeper level.

The program isn’t just about learning in a traditional classroom environment. It is about exploring the world through hands-on learning experiences. The REACH program is student-driven and participants are responsible for taking their learning to the next level through research projects, speeches, debates and theatrical productions. Nearly 140 students are enrolled in the REACH program this school year.

“REACH was really fun this semester,” said seventh grader Casey Perez. “The play was my favorite part. We got to incorporate our own humor and style into the script, and I think that made it really awesome,” he added.

“Legends” debuted in January in The Little Jaguar Theater at Jefferson Middle School with more than 300 people attending performances.



Nominations due by February 15 for district Teacher of the Year

The Olympia School District is accepting nominations through tomorrow, Wednesday, February 15, for one or more staff members to be honored as OSD Teacher of the Year.

The program recognizes the work of teachers who have made a positive difference in their profession. Any Washington public school teacher who has a current certificate and works directly with students for at least 50 percent of his/her time is eligible to be nominated.

Please complete the online nomination form and submit by 4 p.m. on Wednesday, February 15. A committee will review the applications and select the individual(s) to be recognized. The individual(s) chosen will be eligible to be considered for the regional Teacher of the Year selection process. The winner at that level advances to the state Teacher of the Year selection process.



Construction on “Mini-Buildings” is underway

Construction is underway on the first two of five elementary school classroom “mini-buildings” approved by voters in the February 2016 school bond election.

Work began this month on the 10-classroom, two-story mini-buildings at Hansen and Pioneer elementary schools. The Centennial and Roosevelt elementary school mini-building projects are scheduled to begin construction in April, followed by McLane Elementary in May.

The Hansen and Pioneer elementary school mini-buildings are scheduled to be completed in September. The other three mini-buildings are planned for completion in December. Classes will continue during mini-building construction at all five sites.

For more information about school bond projects, visit the district website “School Improvement Bond Project Updates” Web page.



Superintendent Search Update

Northwest Leadership Associates, the consulting firm assisting the Olympia School District in its search for a new superintendent, has posted an online job announcement for individuals interested in applying for the leadership position.

The deadline to apply for the Olympia School District superintendent position is March 7, 2017. The individual selected will replace Dick Cvitanich, who retires effective June 30, 2017.

Thank you to everyone who responded to the online superintendent search survey and attended the series of 18 staff, student and community focus groups to gather input on qualities and characteristics desired in the next superintendent. Input was used to help develop the job announcement.

Next opportunity for community input
The school board is expected to review job applicants and select finalists by mid-March. Finalists will be invited to tour the district and meet with employees, students, community members and the school board.

The district has set aside March 20-23 for the daylong finalist interviews; however, the schedule could change depending on the number of finalists selected by the Olympia School Board.

Each finalist will visit the district for an entire day and will meet with various groups at the same time each day.

The community is invited to meet candidates between 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. March 20-23 at the Olympia Regional Learning Academy, 2400 15th Ave. S.E., Olympia.



Updated 2016-17 School Year Calendar

The Olympia School District has extended the 2016-17 school year calendar in order to make up three school days that were missed this year due to inclement weather.

The revised final day of school will be Friday, June 23, with all schools operating on a half-day schedule on June 23. The calendar may be revised again if there are any additional school closure days.

You can view the updated school year calendar here. Any additional changes will be posted to the district website.



Learn about the role of a school board director at March 8 meeting

Learn about the role of a school board director and get information about the three board seats open in the November 2017 General Election during a community meeting on March 8.

People interested in vying for a seat on the school board, as well as those who want to learn more about the role, are encouraged to attend the meeting. The event is scheduled from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Knox Administrative Center, 1113 Legion Way S.E. in Olympia.

Superintendent Dick Cvitanich will share opening remarks, followed by guest speaker Tim Garchow, executive director of the Washington State School Directors Association.

Garchow will explain about the role and responsibilities of a school board member. His presentation will be followed by remarks from two veteran Olympia School Board directors: Eileen Thomson, who serves as board president this year, and Vice President Frank Wilson.

There will be three Olympia School Board director seats on the November 7, 2017 election ballot:

People interested in vying for a seat on the board may mail, drop off in person, or submit their application online to the Thurston County Auditor’s Office Elections Division.

The Elections Division will begin accepting candidate filings by mail on May 1, and they must arrive at the elections office no later than May 19. Candidates may also fill out and submit an application online during candidate filing week May 15-19.

For more information about filing for an open seat on the school board, visit the Thurston County Auditor’s Office Elections Division website.

Candidates must be at least 18 years old, reside in the district for which they are filing and be a registered voter at the time of filing. There are some judicial exceptions; for more information, contact Thurston County Auditor’s Office Elections Division at (360) 756-5408.

A primary election will be held on August 1, 2017, followed by a general election on November 7.

Maps of the district’s five director districts will be on display during the March 8 community meeting. Copies of the maps, including an interactive map in which community members can type in their address to find their director district, are also available on the school district website.