April 2024

Spotlight on Success header 


Superintendent’s Message


Hello Olympia School District families and community,


Patrick Murphy headshot

By now, most of you have probably heard that all of our schools will be staying open next year. For more than a year, many people throughout our community have engaged in the incredibly challenging process of considering school closures/consolidation. Some served on committees; many others communicated with the school board and district leadership through emails, public comment, community cafes, phone calls and one-on-one meetings. While voicing their feelings about neighborhood schools, many simultaneously supported the collective good of the district by supporting the four-year Educational Programs and Operations Replacement Levy and petitioning the Legislature to better fund our district. I do believe that all members of our community, wherever they stood on the proposal, at their core, want the same thing; to provide the absolute best education and support for our students.


While financial challenges can be daunting, we know that they also present opportunities for creativity, innovation and community collaboration. Not surprisingly, in a community like Olympia that greatly values public education, we are creating and refining ways to optimize resources while preserving the quality of education that our students deserve. Your feedback, ideas and engagement have always been invaluable in creating a stronger, more responsive Olympia School District. While budget reductions and a redistribution of duties will allow us to move forward in the near future, we still need everyone’s collective energy to seek out new revenue streams as enrollment continues to be monitored.


Looking ahead, I am optimistic about the future of our school district. Together, we have and will continue to overcome challenges, embrace opportunities and build a brighter tomorrow for all our students.




Patrick Murphy Signature
Patrick Murphy



2024 Countdown to Kindergarten brings ear-to-ear smiles


2024 Countdown to Kindergarten brings ear-to-ear smiles

The Olympia School District Class of 2037 packed the house at Capital High School over the weekend for our annual Countdown to Kindergarten event. This family-focused event introduces incoming kindergarteners (and their families) to our district elementary schools and the many departments supporting schools and families behind the scenes.


Families had opportunities to meet their school principal and front office staff, tour a school bus, and collect stamps on their Countdown to Kindergarten passports at the various activity booths and tables. At the end of the event kiddos got to hand in their stamped passports for fun prizes.


We want to thank all the families who joined us for such a fun morning. A big shout-out to all of our volunteers, community groups, elementary education staff and district office staff/departments. It truly takes a village!


If you were unable to attend Countdown and would like information about enrolling in Kindergarten for the 2024-25 school year, give us a call at (360) 596-6113 or visit our enrollment page!




STREAM Night at LP Brown ES fills hearts and minds


STREAM Night at LP Brown ES fills hearts and minds

The LP Brown Elementary ‘Eagles’ hosted their second annual Science, Technology, Reading, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STREAM) Night last week. The school community came together for an evening filled with laughter, learning and hands-on activities that encouraged attendees to explore the wonders of STREAM. Each element sparked different types of curiosity and encouraged attendees to further investigate as they roamed through the various stations that were set up throughout the school.


“STREAM teaches important life skills like critical thinking and problem-solving, and this year, we hosted over 11 engaging activities that catered to all ages and interests,” said Dean of Students, Callie Jones who coordinated the event. The focus of this event was incorporating new and innovative ways to continue to build connections for the LP Brown students and community. “I am thankful for the partnerships that made this event so positive, and prioritized care for each guest,” said Jones.


Community members and families arrived early to enjoy a free taco bar dinner served by the OSD Child Nutrition Services department and funded by the Washington Education Association. Many families took advantage of the Intercity Transit partnership that provided trip planners with pictures that helped navigate how to better use public transportation to come and go from the school. This gave families the ability to attend the event with confidence and peace of mind. “Extra staff was brought in to staff the routes, and the Intercity Community Liaison was in the community to lend a hand with transfers and route questions our families may have had. They even provided a late bus so families didn’t have to hurry; they could stay for the entire event and know they had a ride home,” explained Jones.


Once dinner wrapped up families spread out throughout the building visiting various stations and activities that unleashed creativity through art and problem-solving challenges. There was something for everyone to enjoy. At the Hands On Children's Museum station families explored wind tunnels that simulate the force of an object in flight. Bricks 4 Kids gave guests the opportunity to program Lego robots using Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) fundamentals. Puget Sound Estuarium offered an opportunity to explore the microscopic world by looking at slides of microorganisms and water samples. Timberland Regional Library helped families sign-up for a free library card and there were even opportunities to win prizes. South Sound Reading Foundation provided every child a free book. This was a difficult decision for lots of kiddos as there were SO MANY book options!


School employees and community members from LP Brown spent the evening working stations with various games and crafts, lending a hand wherever needed. “You could feel the excitement shared by every staff, community member, and student volunteer that joined us for the event,” said Jones.


The Capital High School Theatre Club was one of the high school groups in attendance, bringing a sense of connection between older and younger students in our system. The CHS students didn’t come empty-handed though, they brought with them their puppeteering kits! Elementary students loved crafting their very own puppets using creative thinking and fine motor skills. Families made a puppet friend of socks, paper bags, toilet paper rolls, paper, glue and markers.


The Olympia Robotics Federation (ORF) Robotics Club was a popular stop as well. Students had to use critical thinking, logic and motor skills to code, program and drive Lego robots.


At the Olympia High School Aerospace Club station, club members helped kids explore, create and launch mini stomp-rockets. For the finale guests assembled on the playground and watched the OHS Aerospace Club test launch one of their team rockets. It was exactly the kind of finale a special evening like this deserved. “The night was a tremendous success attended by nearly 400 guests. It was so great to see our students learning through play and hands-on learning with their families. I am so incredibly thankful to all of the organizations that showed up to support our students,” expressed LPBES Principal Sean Shaughnessy.


Thank you to the staff, community partners, volunteers, and high school students who made this event a memorable learning experience that boosted community outreach and sparked the imagination through the power of STREAM.




Public School Volunteer Week is April 17-21


THANK YOU to all our Olympia School District volunteers!

Public School Volunteer Week was celebrated throughout the Olympia School District Monday, April 17 through Friday, April 21.


We are fortunate to have more than 3,700 parents, students and community members investing their time, energy and joy in our schools.


Volunteers fill numerous roles across our district, including; tutoring, mentoring, chaperoning field trips and assisting in the classroom. They also play a crucial role in supporting the success of not only our students but our teachers as well.


This year volunteers have given more than 28,360 hours of their time in our schools. Check out these snapshots of some of the wonderful people who dedicate their time.




Spring Olympia Education Foundation Parenting Series

Spring Olympia Education Foundation Parenting Series

The Olympia Education Foundation is proud to present the final Parent Education Series of the 2023-24 school year. The spring parent education series is open to all families at no cost! Child care is available on site at no cost (children must be able to use the restroom on their own).


Please Note: Your students do not need to be enrolled at the host schools to attend the presentation.


Tuesday, April 30 from 6-7:30 p.m. (Presentation in Spanish only)
Roosevelt Elementary Library (1417 San Francisco St. N.E.)


How to give your middle and high school students more support?

Would you like to know how to give your middle or high school student more support? Families and students in grades 6-12 will hear from Jessica Martinez, a mental health therapist who works with youth, adults, families and couples.


Please Note: This presentation will be given entirely in Spanish. If you have questions, please contact Nancy Swanson at [email protected].


Cuándo: de 6 pm. a 7:30 pm. Martes, 30 de abril de 2024
Dónde: Escuela Primaria Roosevelt (1417 San Francisco Ave. N.E.)
Costo: Gratis
Quién: Todas las familias del Distrito


Escolar de Olympia son bienvenidas. Jessica hará su presentación en español.


  • Jessica compartirá formas en las que puede ayudar a su estudiante y responderá sus preguntas sobre la crianza de un adolescents.

  • Habrá comida y bebidas.

  • Cuidado de niños gratuito disponible en el lugar. (Los niños deben poder usar el baño solos).

  • ¿Preguntas? Contacte a Nancy Swanson: [email protected].


Wednesday, May 1 from 7-8:30 p.m.
Jefferson Middle School Library (2200 Conger Ave. N.W.)


Screens, for middle and high school students and families in grades 6-12

Join a conversation with parenting coach Emily McMason on how to navigate the online world so that kids can learn, grow and thrive with media as part of their lives. How much time is too much? How can I set limits without kids melting down? What kind of content is right for their ages? Join the conversation on how to navigate the online world so that kids can learn, grow and thrive with media as part of their lives. Emily McMason offers parenting pixie dust with personal and parent coaching through her private practice, Evolving Parents.



Wednesday, May 8, 2024 from 6-7:30 p.m.

Madison Elementary Library (1225 Legion Way SE)


Resilience, for grades K-5 families

Emily McMason will help you understand what it is. Why it is an important part of childhood and beyond. How we help our kids build it and rebuild it again and again.


For more information visit the Olympia Education Foundation Family and Student Resources page.



Aerospace Club at Washington Middle School is OUT OF THIS WORLD!


Aerospace Club at Washington Middle School is OUT OF THIS WORLD!

The Washington Middle School Aerospace Club is climbing to new heights with a little help and guidance from the Olympia High School Aerospace Club.


Club members from OHS act as mentors to the younger Bulldog club members. They help guide them through the process of building a rocket (from scratch) and bringing it through the testing phases as they prepare for their final launch where they will submit their team results to the American Rocketry Challenge.


As you'll see from the photos and videos (linked below) these are no ordinary rockets. Why don't we let these small geniuses tell you all about it...enjoy!




Coming Soon: Olympia School District ‘Night at the Rainiers’


Coming Soon: Olympia School District ‘Night at the Rainiers’

Save the date and join us for OSD ‘Night at the Rainiers’ on Wednesday, June 5, 2024, at Cheney Stadium as the Tacoma Rainiers take on the Reno Aces (RNO). This year the first pitch will be tossed out by Garfield Elementary School Behavior Tech Denise Pigue at 6:05 p.m.



This is always a great night of food, fun and baseball at the historic Cheney Stadium. Arrive early to see some of our OSD mascots and hear the Washington Middle School choir perform the National Anthem.


  • Group Express Ticket: ($15.50) includes a reserved seat and a ballpark meal (hotdog, snack, bottle of water)

  • Group Double Play Ticket: ($25.50) includes a reserved seat, ballpark meal (hotdog, snack, bottle of water), and limited edition Rainiers hat


If you would like to sit with other family/friends, please purchase all tickets in one transaction to guarantee your seats together. If you purchase tickets separately there is no guarantee that you will be seated with family/friends.


For ADA Accessible seats, please contact [email protected].



Here’s the scoop … of ice cream! Join us at this year’s Ice Cream Social


Here’s the scoop … of ice cream! Join us at this year’s Ice Cream Social

Save the date and come celebrate Olympia School District retirees and the recipients of the Laurie Dolan School Advocate of the Year awards. Our annual Ice Cream Social will be held on Thursday, May 30, 2024, from 4-5:30 p.m. at Olympia High School, 1302 North St. S.E.


During the event, the Olympia School Board will honor dedicated staff members who are retiring this year. An ‘Advocate of the Year’ from each of our schools will also be recognized and the Olympia Education Association will recognize its ‘Teacher of the Year.’


Join us as we celebrate these amazing individuals while enjoying ice cream with all your favorite toppings. OSD staff and families are encouraged to attend and support our retirees and advocates. We hope to see you all at OHS at 4 p.m. on Thursday, May 30!




2024 High School Graduation details


2024 High School Graduation details

Below you will find the graduation date, time and location information for the Transition Academy, Avanti HS, Capital HS, Olympia Regional Learning Academy (ORLA) and Olympia HS.


The Olympia School District will be live-streaming all of these graduations on the OSD Facebook page. Follow our page to receive notifications anytime we start streaming live content so you can watch your favorite graduate walk across the stage and receive their diploma!


  • Transition Academy: June 7 @ 6 p.m. (Capital HS Performing Arts Center)

  • Avanti HS: June 8 from 12-3 p.m. (Avanti HS)

  • Olympia Regional Learning Academy: June 12 @ 6 p.m. (Indian Summer C.C.)

  • Olympia HS: June 13 @ 7 p.m. (St. Martin's University)

  • Capital HS: June 14 @ 7 p.m. (St. Martin's University)



Olympia HS teams heading to NASA HUNCH Competition!


Olympia HS teams heading to NASA HUNCH Competition!


Question: What does HUNCH stand for?

Answer: High School Students United with NASA to Create Hardware (HUNCH)


Did you know that Olympia High School recently had two NASA HUNCH teams selected as National Finalists? These remarkable students visited the Johnson Space Center in Houston this month to present to NASA engineers and astronauts.


The NASA HUNCH mission is to empower and inspire students through a Project Based Learning program where high school students learn 21st-century skills and have the opportunity to launch their careers through participation in the design and fabrication of real-world valued products for NASA.


Check out this student video submitted to NASA by one of our OHS teams as it was going through the review process. For even more insight follow the link below to see our featured video on the HUNCH teams from OHS and how their projects came together.






Snow make-up day: May 24, 2024 (School In Session)


Snow make-up day: May 24, 2024 (School In Session)

The snow make-up day listed on the district calendar for May 24, 2024, will be a regular school day for students.


This date was earmarked as a school day should there be a weather-related school cancellation prior to that date. Schools were closed on Friday, January 12, 2024, due to icy roads and inclement weather. We look forward to seeing all our students on Friday, May 24!




Save the date for the 2024-25 free sports physicals clinic


Save the date for the 2024-25 free sports physicals clinic 

Free sports physicals will be offered on Saturday, June 1, 2024, for Olympia School District middle and high school students planning on participating in athletic programs during the 2024-25 school year.


These sports physicals are open to all OSD students who will be enrolled in grades 7-12 for the 2024-25 school year. A new physical examination is required to be on file with your student's school every year for all student-athletes.


Free Sports Physicals

Saturday, June 1, 2024

Capital High School Gymnasium (2707 Conger Ave. N.W.)


Please bring completed and signed copies of the Athletic Physical Examination Form with you on Saturday, June 1, 2024. Students can also pick up printed forms at the front offices of their school.


The event is in partnership with Olympia Orthopedic Associates and local healthcare providers.


Please Note: The free sports physical examinations do not replace the recommended “well-child” checks conducted by family health care providers.




Upcoming Events



  • May 1: 50-Minute Early Release

  • May 2: Joint Work Session with Olympia School Board & Olympia City Council at Olympia City Hall (6:30 p.m.)

  • May 6-10: Teacher Appreciation Week

  • May 8: 50-Minute Early Release

  • May 9: OSD Board Meeting (in-person and online via Zoom) at 6 p.m.

  • May 15: 50-Minute Early Release

  • May 22: 50-Minute Early Release

  • May 23: OSD Special Recognition 5:30 p.m.; Board Meeting (in-person and online via Zoom) at 6:30 p.m.

  • May 24: School in Session: Snow Make-up Day

  • May 27: No School (Memorial Day)

  • May 29: 50-Minute Early Release

  • May 30: Ice Cream Social at Olympia High School from 4 - 5:30 p.m.



  • June 5: 50-Minute Early Release

  • June 5: OSD Night at the Rainiers at 6:05 p.m.

  • June 6: OSD Board Work Session (in-person and online via Zoom) at 6 p.m.

  • June 7: Half Day - Elementary (Grading)

  • June 7: Transition Academy Graduation at Capital High School PAC (6 p.m.)

  • June 8: Avanti High School Graduation at Avanti HS (12-3 p.m.)

  • June 12: 50-Minute Early Release

  • June 12: ORLA Graduation at Indian Summer C.C. (6 p.m.)

  • June 13: Olympia High School Graduation at St. Martin’s University (7 p.m.)

  • June 14: Capital High School Graduation at St. Martin’s University (7 p.m.)

  • June 18: Last Day of School (Half Day) Have a great summer!



OSD Notice of Nondiscrimination

The Olympia School District will provide equal educational opportunity and treatment for all students in all aspects of the academic and activities program without discrimination based on race, religion, creed, color, national origin, age, honorably discharged veteran or military status, sex, sexual orientation, gender expression or identity, marital status, the presence of any sensory, mental or physical disability, or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability. The district will provide equal access to school facilities to the Boy Scouts of America and all other designated youth groups listed in Title 36 of the United States Code as a patriotic society. District programs will be free from sexual harassment. Auxiliary aids and services will be provided upon request to individuals with disabilities.


The Olympia School District offers many Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs/courses in the following areas: Skilled and Technical Sciences/STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics); Agriculture/Natural Resources; Business Marketing; Family and Consumer Sciences; and Health Sciences. For more information about CTE course offerings and admissions criteria, contact Paula Perryman, Director of College and Career Readiness, 111 Bethel St. N.E., Olympia, WA 98506, (360) 596-6102. Lack of English language proficiency will not be a barrier to admission and participation in CTE programs.


The following people have been designated to handle inquiries regarding the nondiscrimination policies, reports of alleged sexual harassment, concerns about compliance, and/or grievance procedures:


James Whitehead, Title IX Officer

Knox 111 Administrative Center, 111 Bethel St. N.E., Olympia, WA 98506

(360) 596-8545

[email protected]


Autumn Lara, Executive Director of Elementary Education

Knox 111 Administrative Center, 111 Bethel St. N.E., Olympia, WA 98506

(360) 596-8534

[email protected]


Ken Turcotte, Section 504 and ADA Coordinator (Students)

Knox 111 Administrative Center, 111 Bethel St. N.E., Olympia, WA 98506

(360) 596-7530

[email protected]


Starla Hoff, ADA Coordinator (Staff)

Knox 111 Administrative Center, 111 Bethel St. N.E., Olympia, WA 98506

(360) 596-6185

[email protected]


Scott Niemann, Affirmative Action Officer and Civil Rights Compliance Coordinator

Knox 111 Administrative Center, 111 Bethel St. N.E., Olympia, WA 98506

(360) 596-6185

[email protected]


Paula Perryman, Director of College and Career Readiness

Knox 111 Administrative Center, 111 Bethel St. N.E., Olympia, WA 98506


[email protected]


All six individuals may also be contacted at 111 Bethel St. N.E., Olympia, WA, 98506.