August 2023

Spotlight on Success header


Superintendent’s Message


Hello Olympia School District families,


Patrick Murphy headshot

It has been 1,266 days since our schools first closed due to COVID-19. While we have made significant strides in our recovery, we are still feeling the impacts, and will for many more years to come. That being said, something feels different this year as we ramp up for the start of school. Yes, we continue to follow the guidance of our county health officials, but a greater emphasis this year is being placed on those more long-established duties of our school district; ensuring academic growth and achievement for all of our students.

The research is clear that those who attain higher levels of education have greater life outcomes related to health, life expectancy, earnings and more. The bottom line is the more education one has, the happier one tends to be. That is powerful. I believe that education is the world’s most important work, and we’ve done it well in Olympia for a long time. By most traditional measurements, the Olympia School District is the highest performing in our region and among the highest performing in the state. That is a reflection of not just our amazing students and supportive families, but a testament to the dedication and skillfulness of our staff.

While Olympia performs very well relative to others in the state, we, like other school districts, find ourselves challenged year after year with painful, historical disproportionalities. Demographic factors like race, disability and income level are way too predictive of academic outcomes. Disciplinary rates and exclusions, which directly correlate with academics, are likewise all too predictable based on the same factors.

It is in this light that we invited Dr. Adeyemi Stembridge to our District Leadership Team Institute earlier this month. Some of our staff have had the privilege of working with him directly at their schools to improve practice. His two bestselling books, Brilliant Teaching, and Culturally Responsive Education in the Classroom, speak to the difference between equality and equity. In an interview with Education Week, he said:

“Equality is an input-focused measure meaning opportunities are determined to be fair based on everyone having the same resources at the starting line. Equity, however, is output-focused meaning fairness is determined by patterns of performance at the finish line. We will know we’ve accomplished equity when students’ backgrounds are no longer reliably predictive of school achievement.”

That type of “predictability” must be disrupted. He went on to say that if educators can be more responsive to the assets and needs of their students, then that will result in more rigorous and engaging learning opportunities for all. Our students are capable of great things. Having high expectations sends a message of respect and caring. We show our compassion and kindness by creating inclusive, culturally responsive schools, classrooms and spaces. That is and always has been our most important work.

As you read through this district newsletter, which has a variety of articles featuring students, staff and programs, please take note of an article inviting OSD community members and school staff to apply to serve this fall on a “School Facility Efficiency Review Committee.” I encourage you to consider joining us for this important work, which is also outlined on our district website. The deadline to apply is Monday, September 11, 2023, and the committee will hold its first of eight meetings two weeks later.

We are so excited to launch this new school year.  I wish you all the very best.



Patrick Murphy Signature
Patrick Murphy



ParentSquare Communication Platform Now Available


ParentSquare Communication Platform Now Available

As many of you are probably aware our district has officially launched the ParentSquare communications platform for the 2023-24 school year. ParentSquare replaced the SchoolMessenger ‘Communicate’ platform which was previously used to send communications (robocalls, email and texts) to families and staff.


OSD staff and families have all received the initial ParentSquare invitation email to activate their accounts. You can also register by visiting the ParentSquare website and selecting ‘Register’ on the right-hand sign. Simply use a primary phone number or email address associated with your Skyward account and this will get the registration process started. You can download the ParentSquare app via Google Play or the AppStore.

You will receive district communications via robocall, email and text regardless of whether or not you register for ParentSquare. The benefit to registering in ParentSquare is the access you will have to historical communications, the ability to edit and update your communication preferences and family contact information, and access to additional communication features.

ParentSquare is used for mass communications (district information and urgent alerts), and there are also features available for classroom communication for teachers who choose to participate (e.g., one-to-one, group messaging and parent-teacher conference scheduling), and automated school service communications (e.g., attendance and lunch balances). This transition will not impact any of our district/school websites.

ParentSquare has a familiar design, similar to a social media feed. Families will only receive notifications that are relevant to their students. In addition to district and schoolwide messaging, teachers and staff will have access to two-way messaging with real-time translation. Staff have the ability to send and receive messages in English; families can receive and send information in their preferred languages. From an equity perspective, we believe ParentSquare will allow us to better engage with our multilingual families.

Please Note: ParentSquare is replacing the Remind messaging platform. It is not replacing Schoology.

Should any of our families or school building administrators have questions regarding ParentSquare, please contact the Communications and Community Relations department at (360) 596-6103, or you can email us at [email protected]. Teachers, your contact is OSD Technology TOSA Jamie Sproul at [email protected].

We look forward to working together to streamline communications and improve family engagement!



Avanti HS re-opens the doors to its new/old home!


Avanti HS re-opens the doors to its new/old home!

Avanti students and staff will begin the 2023-24 school year in the newly renovated Avanti High School. Over the course of the last 12 months, the building located at 1113 Legion Way has undergone major renovations as the final large-scale construction project of the 2016 voter-approved bond measure.


The building was designed by noted Olympia architect Joseph Wohleb, who designed more than 100 buildings throughout Olympia. Avanti was constructed at the same time as the current Lincoln Elementary School, both in Wohleb’s signature Mission Revival style. Avanti’s building was the largest and most ornate of the buildings erected in Olympia and included many of his signature features, such as stucco, ornamentation, marbled glass windows and tiled parapet.


The beautiful structure has been a part of the district since its construction in 1924. It has been the home of many different schools and programs in our district. Upon its completion, it served as the Washington School replacing the first Washington School that was located on the site of the Armory Building Creative Campus. In the late 1960s, the school moved to a new building. The site was then converted in 1970 to house the OSD administrative offices. Nicknamed “Old Washington,” the building was renamed in 1987 to the Esther R. Knox Administrative Center.


Avanti High School moved to the lower level of the Knox Administrative Center in November of 1997. The building had various upgrades over the years but each had a goal to maintain the historical charm and authenticity that highlighted the personality of the building.


“This project is a long time in the making, the staff are excited, our students and families are curious to see what's been done, and our entire community looks forward to celebrating the building's centennial celebration in 2024," said Avanti Principal Mike Velasquez.


When families, staff and students approach the Legion Way entrance they’re greeted with the signature facade. Avanti High School is spelled out in gold letters that hang above double doors that lead to the first-floor hall. To the right of the entry is the information counter and front office where familiar faces will greet AHS students and guests.


As you explore the first two floors you will see nostalgic beauty in the tall ceilings, ornate moldings and period light fixtures. Elegant white framed windows line the hall looking into an expanded library on the second floor, which invites you to grab a book and settle into the new furniture. The space was reimagined as a gathering space, where students can come together like a “commons,” hold gallery exhibits and perform. The ideas are vast, much like the space that was originally a kindergarten classroom in the “Old Washington” school.


The first and second-floor classrooms sparkle with new lighting, flooring, furniture and state-of-the-art technology. Students will not lack space to display their artistic creations as illuminated glass cases are located in nearly every hallway.


Additionally, air is circulated throughout the classrooms and down the hallway corridors by a Dedicated Outdoor Air System (DOAS) unit. Kitchen spaces are fully renovated with modern appliances. The large dedicated lunch space is ready to serve a full student body. Priority was given to safety, security and ADA accessibility, including the installation of a new lift in the cafeteria for better access to the Annex building. Life safety additions of fire sprinklers, alarms and security were added throughout.


The OSD Transition Academy and Project Search programs will also be housed in the newly renovated building. The new permanent home can be found on the ground floor in a space that provides supports to incorporate life skills within a welcoming family environment.


Great care was taken to make the functionality of each renovated space a benefit to the students and staff. “The process which staff went through with the architects was really cool, collaborative and innovative in terms of thinking about the physical space and environment as a foundational aspect of education,” said Avanti CTE/Science Teacher Quasar Surprise.


A new Farm to Table room, for example, features five stoves. Surprise describes the new space as follows:


“The new space makes it possible to offer a Sustainability CTE program that incorporates Sustainable Agriculture, Natural Resources, Plant Biology, Food Sciences and Tend Gather Grow (a traditional foods course based on work from GRuB and its partners). The Farm to Table classroom helps to make that a reality. The renovation gives room for the expansion of my traditional AgLab (complete with fish tanks for aquaculture learning, indoor plant growing, and all kinds of equipment for outdoor learning) and has it connected to the 'Table' side. We can use it for CTE classes like Food Sciences and Tend Gather Grow.”.


From the Eastside entrance of the building, you will enter through the theater vestibule that mixes the old with the new including newly hung grand red curtains that grace the stage, along with updated electrical and lighting systems. The completed area of the third-floor space has a fully remodeled Bio Chemistry Science room with a view of the State Capitol.


The Annex building that students and staff called home for the last year also received a major upgrade to the weight room, which is fully stocked with modern equipment. The art and shop space has been opened up to provide students with space to reach new levels of creativity. “The staff are excited, our students and families are curious to see what's been done, and our entire community looks forward to celebrating the building's centennial celebration in 2024,” said Velasquez.


Next week students will enter their new school and fill the classrooms and halls once again with conversation, laughter and creativity. We can’t wait to view the display cases in the hallways filled with just a sampling of the remarkable artistic creations that Avanti students consistently produce. Welcome Home Boxers!




Olympia School District: Back to School Resources


Olympia School District: Back to School Resources

We are looking forward to welcoming our students and families back to school. Here you will find helpful information and links that will make it easier for you to get the 2023-24 school year off to a great start!


The first day of school for students for the 2023-24 school year is:


  • Grades 1-12 begin Wednesday, September 6, 2023 (Note: There is no early release on Wednesday, September 6)

  • Kindergarten and Preschool begin on Monday, September 11, 2023


2023-24 School Year Calendar

The 2023-24 school year calendar is available to download and print from the district website. You can also access the district calendar on all school homepages.


School Offices Reopen to the Public


  • Middle and High School front offices opened August 21, 2023

  • Elementary School front offices opened on August 28, 2023
    School Supply Lists


The 2023-24 elementary and middle school supply lists are included on each school’s supply list page. If your school link is not included please check your school webpage for updates.


Child Nutrition Services

The Olympia School District Child Nutrition Services program features wholesome, nutritious, low-cost breakfasts and lunches. Please visit our Child Nutrition Services page for menus, payment information, free and reduced-price meal applications, nutritional guidance and more.


OSD Meal Prices for the 2023-2024 School Year


Grades K-5

Breakfast: $2.00

Lunch: $3.10


Grades 6-12

Breakfast: $2.00

Lunch: $3.35



Breakfast: $3.00

Lunch $4.75


Milk A la carte



Free & Reduced-Price Meal

Applications are available online in Skyward Family Access. They are also posted on the district website (English, Spanish, Vietnamese) to download, fill out and return to your child's school.


Approved free/reduced meal applications on file from the 2022-23 school year in OSD will expire on October 15, 2023. To continue receiving free/reduced-price meals beyond October 15, 2023, families need to submit a new application.


Students who attend LP Brown, Garfield and Hansen elementary schools, and Jefferson Middle School, qualify to take part in the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) program. Breakfast and lunch will be served at no cost to all students at these four schools.


While families at these schools are not required to fill out a free and reduced-price application, they are asked to fill out a “Consent to Share Program Eligibility” form and a “Family Income Survey” form. These forms are posted on the district website.



The Olympia School District Transportation webpage can be used to look up bus stop and route information, find emergency schedule information and other information related to transportation. Register your students to ride the bus in the 2023-24 school year using the online registration form.



Do you plan to volunteer within the OSD during the 2023-24 school year? Each year volunteers must complete an ONLINE or Paper Volunteer Application. For details about volunteering and access to the application visit our Volunteer page.



Register to Vote for the November 7 General Election


Register to Vote for the November 7 General Election

Thurston County residents interested in voting in the November 7, 2023 General Election may register to vote online by October 30, 2023, and in person through Election Day.


  • October 30, 2023: The last day to register to vote or update your current registration by any means (other than in person). The information must be received by an election official by this day.

  • November 7, 2023: You may register to vote or update your current registration in person only up to 8 p.m. on Election Day at any county Auditor's Office, voting center or any other designated location.


It's easy and secure to register online, by mail with a paper form, or at a county elections office. Check your registration at


Qualifications for Registering to Vote

To register to vote in the state of Washington, you must be:


  • A citizen of the United States

  • A legal resident of Washington state for at least 30 days prior to election day

  • At least 18 years old

  • If you are 16 or 17, you can sign up as a Future Voter and be automatically registered to vote when you qualify

  • Not disqualified from voting due to a court order

  • Not currently serving a sentence of total confinement in prison under the jurisdiction of the Department of Corrections for a Washington felony conviction

  • Not currently incarcerated for a federal or out-of-state felony conviction


Olympia School Board Candidates

There are three Olympia School Board seats up for election in the November 7, 2023 General Election. Candidates for each seat are listed below in alphabetical order:


  • District 1: The two candidates on the ballot for the District 1 position are Maria Flores and Talauna Reed. The seat is currently held by Director Maria Flores.

  • District 2: The two candidates on the ballot for the District 2 position are Frank Durocher and Jess Tourtellotte-Palumbo. The seat is currently held by Director Talauna Reed, who was appointed to the position in October 2022. Reed recently moved to District 1.

  • District 4: The two candidates on the ballot for the District 4 position are Leslie Van Leishout and Hilary Seidel. The seat is currently held by Director Hilary Seidel.


Voters’ pamphlets will be mailed between October 12 and 14, and election ballots will be mailed on October 18, according to the election schedule posted on the Thurston County Auditor’s Office Elections Division website.



Local high school quartet took to the stage and screen this summer


Local high school quartet took to the stage and screen this summer

A string quartet of local high school musicians took to the stage and the screen this summer as they joined “The FABBA Show”, an ABBA tribute band making a stop in Olympia to perform during their world tour. The show featured its trademark flashy stage production, elaborate costumes and natural ability to get people on their feet.


Olympia High School violinist Carol Gao, Olympia Regional Learning Academy (ORLA) violist Michelle Hegewald, Capital High School cellist Andy Gorrel along with Alluzai Villanueva, a violinist from a neighboring district, were featured on “New Day Northwest” on KING 5. The musicians, who play chamber music together as part of Student Orchestras of Greater Olympia (SOGO), played along with a recording of “Honey Honey.”. “It was quite a privilege and a really great opportunity, I’d never been on TV before,” said Gorrel.


Taking part in the Olympia performance was a milestone for the four SOGO musicians. “At first, I didn’t really know that this show was a big thing,” Hegewald said. Gao added, “I just thought we were going to play at a small private event because that’s what we usually do as a quartet. I didn’t realize until later that it was a big tribute band and that they were really popular and doing a big concert. That really amazed me.”.


The producers of The FABBA Show found the high schoolers while searching for a talented ensemble who could hold their own with a rock band in front of an audience. "We have hired SOGO string quartets for our shows for several years and they always play at a very high level," said The FABBA Show producer, Andy Nagle. They once again found what they were looking for in the four local teens.


Gao has been playing the violin since she was four years old. She is a member of the OHS Orchestra and SOGO. She has competed twice at solo and ensemble festivals as a solo and was rated superior on both occasions. "I enjoy playing in orchestras and quartets because of being with my friends and the music." After high school, Gao plans to attend college, and medical school and become a practicing physician.


Hegewald has been playing the viola for seven years. She attends ORLA and performs with the OHS Orchestra. She was awarded first alternate last year at a WIAA/WMEA Solo and Ensemble festival. “Playing viola is good for letting out emotions, being dramatic and being in the moment.” The ORLA student plans to attend Running Start this fall and aspires to become a music teacher. Hegewald was excited to play some of the music her mom plays around the house. “My favorite ABBA song is Dancing Queen,” Hegewald said.


Gorrel has been playing cello for five years. He also plays electric bass. He is a member of SOGO and will play with the CHS Orchestra in the fall. He has consistently scored superior ratings at solo and ensemble competitions. "Playing in quartets is nice because you can look at the other players and stay in time. It's a fun team."


Villanueva has been playing the violin for seven years. “I watched a video of Hillary Hahn playing violin and felt motivated to one day become a musician like her.” In addition to playing with SOGO for the past five years, she is a member of the North Thurston High Orchestra. She has competed with a duet, quartet and chamber orchestra in solo and ensemble festivals, which all received superior ratings. The sophomore plans to pursue a degree in Music in college and someday become an orchestra conductor.


Concertgoers at the Washington Center had front-row seats as the ensemble rocked the stage as they performed “Honey, Honey” and “Slipping Through My Fingers” along with the authentic ABBA tribute show. We are excited to see what is in store for these incredibly talented students.



Apply to serve on the School Facility Efficiency Review Committee


Apply to serve on the School Facility Efficiency Review Committee

 The Olympia School District recently conducted a re-examination of its future enrollment expectations, and new forecasting suggests that the district will decline in enrollment in the years to come. As it strives to maintain its high level of service to children and families, the school board is seeking advice from its constituents regarding this challenge.


The district is seeking community members and school staff interested in serving on a School Facility Efficiency Review Committee. One OSD community member and one OSD staff member associated with each school in the district will be selected to serve on this Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC). Additionally, several student representatives, district staff and community members will also be appointed to serve.


  • Apply to serve on the School Facility Efficiency Review Committee (English, Spanish, Vietnamese).

  • The deadline to submit the application is 11 p.m. on Monday, September 11, 2023. A screening committee will review applicants and notify those selected to serve.

  • Those not selected for this committee will be offered other opportunities to provide feedback.


Proposed Meeting Dates

The committee is scheduled to meet eight times on the following dates:


  • Monday, September 25

  • Monday, October 2

  • Monday, October 9

  • Thursday, October 19

  • Monday, October 23

  • Wednesday, October 25

  • Monday, October 30

  • Wednesday, November 1


Each meeting will be held in person from 5:30 - 8 p.m. in the Knox 111 Administrative Center boardroom, 111 Bethel St., N.E., Olympia, 98506. Light refreshments will be served.


Citizens Advisory Committee Charter

A charter approved by the school board on August 24, 2023, outlines the following committee responsibilities:


  • To study the comprehensive enrollment forecast, housing trends, staff allocations generated by the state funding formula and building capacities/conditions.

  • To dialogue with other members of the CAC about the diverse perspectives and needs of individual school communities, but remain focused on the needs of the district as a whole.

  • To provide a variety of recommendations on school size and configuration to the board that would help the district achieve financial sustainability without reducing services or programs.


The committee facilitator is Shannon Bingham, of Western Demographics, Inc. based in Washington state and Colorado. Learn more about Bingham.


More information about the School Facility Efficiency Review Committee is available on the school district website School Facility Efficiency Review webpage. The webpage includes links to resources, including the committee charter and other related reports and information.


Committee membership will be posted on the School Facility Efficiency Review webpage once individuals are selected. The screening committee expects to announce membership on September 18, 2023.



2023-24 student representatives take their seats on the Board


2023-24 student representatives take their seats on the Board

The Olympia School Board welcomed two student representatives for the 2023-24 school year at the June 22, 2023 board meeting. The board also bid farewell to students who served this past year and announced two additional student representative seats are still open for the 2023-24 school year.


Student representatives serve a one-year term on the board through mid-June each year (Board Policy 1250). The students serve in an advisory capacity at board meetings and may cast non-binding, advisory votes on motions before the board. They contribute to the discussion by providing student insight and are encouraged to comment about policies, procedures and decisions that affect students. They are also the voice of the schools they represent.


Directors welcomed back Olympia High School senior Christine Zhang who will serve a second term. “Last year was a great experience as I stepped into my position, learning the ropes, and figuring out where I fit into the work,” said Zhang. “I love being able to talk to different community members across the district and hear about their perspectives and experiences. I am learning a lot about the district from an equity and policy lens. I have also loved the array of district staff and students I have been able to meet with and work with in the past year.”.


Joining Zhang on the board this year is Meredith Morgan, a Capital High School senior. She hit the ground running shortly after taking her seat on the board. She and Zhang take part in the Citizen Advisory Committee: Board Policy Review. Morgan is part of a team that is working on the 3000 policy series, which has a student focus. The teams complete a review and update of all related policies. Morgan hopes these reviews and changes will continue to create more opportunities for students.


“I am really looking forward to expanding the work that was started last year around student equity,” said Morgan. Both student reps look to add opportunities for youth to take part in advisory boards of high school and middle school students. “We want to broaden the voices of students being heard. Not all students have the same interests or backgrounds, and it’s important we as a student population share those differences. What impacts each student can be very different,” said Morgan. This extension to the groundwork laid last year can create a positive lasting impact on all students moving forward.


Morgan brings with her a background and passion for legislation and advocating, she speaks with knowledge and an awareness to the community around her. “My parents have always encouraged me to push my boundaries and I admire them, they are always inspiring me to try new things,” said Morgan. “In the work I have done I have learned that the most important piece of making a difference in your community is the relationships you build with those around you.” Morgan shared.


Both student board members have a passion for policy and making change. “We did a lot of great work during the legislative session. Two bills that we created - a computer science education bill and a social and emotional health bill will both be presented in the next legislative session which my team and I will be working on with a local senator and testifying for. We hope to continue our legislative work and add a few new priorities to our list.” said Zhang.


Two additional representative seats are open for the 2023-24 school year. Applications will open this fall for Olympia Regional Learning Academy (ORLA) and Avanti High School.


Eligibility Requirements

Student representatives must be:


  • Entering their junior or senior year at the time of selection and in good academic standing, and maintain good academic standing throughout their term. Selected students should also have a history of leadership and involvement in extracurricular and civic activities;

  • Willing to communicate with fellow students about the activities of the board and to gather input about issues facing the board;

  • Willing to commit the necessary time to attend meetings and perform the duties and responsibilities of a student representative. Board meetings are generally scheduled two evenings each month (2nd and 4th Thursday from 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.), one monthly work session (1st Thursday from 6 – 8 p.m.), a summer retreat in the month of August (1/2 day); and a winter retreat in the month of January (1/2 day)

  • The student representative is preferred to be a resident of the district.



OSD Summer School 2023: A glimpse inside


OSD Summer School 2023: A glimpse inside

Nearly 240 students in grades 1-5 and 8-12 participated in summer school during the months of July and early August. Elementary summer programs were housed at Garfield and Roosevelt elementary schools and served students from throughout the district. Students in grades 8-12 had the opportunity to take classes online and attend in-person at Olympia Regional Learning Academy (ORLA).


Both elementary buildings shared a similar and fitting “Beach Bash” theme. Teachers decorated their classrooms with inflatable pools, and doors were embellished with colorful name tags in the shapes of pineapples, sunshine and beach umbrellas. The program was “simply refreshing,” said Callie Jones, who served as the summer principal at Garfield Elementary. “Our office manager, Stacie Benedict, greeted students and families at the front door with warmth and kindness.” Across town at Roosevelt, bubbles and inflatable palm trees ushered students into the building along with a “good morning” greeting from office professional Ellen Mahoney and summer principal Tosha Vay.


“We kept our days fun, engaging and simple. Our academic focus was math and reading for first, second and third grades, and a more intentional focus on math for fourth grade,” said Jones. Elementary summer school used the OSD Bridges Intervention kits and the recently piloted University of Florida Literacy Institute (UFLI) curriculum daily. “Students were assessed at the start of our program to pinpoint specific needs in both academic areas. Instruction was tailored to meet those needs. By the end of our three-week program students showed significant growth,” shared Vay.


“Teachers utilized the beach theme to integrate science into their reading lessons. They incorporated project-based learning opportunities by having students select and read about marine mammals or other marine life, and then asked students to create either a slideshow or diorama to show what they learned,” described Vay.


Both summer administrators raved about the stellar “best of the best” summer staff and volunteers. “They quickly created communities where students felt safe and valued,” said Jones. Community partnerships with the South Sound Reading Foundation gave elementary students access to books to take home. Delta Dental also visited with their "Tooth Fairy Experience.” Students in first and second grade were visited by the tooth fairy who taught them about the importance of good oral hygiene and provided dental hygiene kits and a storybook to each student.


At the secondary level students participated in the summer school program at Olympia Regional Learning Center (ORLA). Incoming freshmen through continuing seniors completed courses through the Edgenuity online platform. “Students had over 25 high school level classes to choose from in the areas of English, math, science, social studies, physical education and health, as well as several electives,” explained principal Denise Freund. The five-week program offered students the opportunity to complete courses for the purposes of credit retrieval, grade replacement and initial credit.


A skilled and dedicated staff of teachers and paraeducators worked with students from all four Olympia School District high schools remotely and in-person. “Attending in-person was only required to complete tests, but many chose to attend in-person daily to take advantage of the supportive work environment created by our staff,” said Freund. “It was inspiring to witness the work ethic and motivation that so many students demonstrated this summer to complete one, two, or even three courses. It’s definitely not an easy task to prioritize school work during summer vacation, however, this group of students found success in doing so,” Freund said with pride. More than 230 courses were completed during the five-week summer session.


Each program celebrated everyone's hard work and a successful summer school experience. Thank you to the fabulous summer staff, students and families who made the programs a huge success.





OSD Summer Construction Projects: A recap


OSD Summer Construction Projects: A recap

The summer has been a busy and productive time thanks to the Olympia School District Support Service Center and Capital Planning and Construction departments. As the days grew longer and warmer, our dedicated teams have been hard at work ensuring that our facilities remain top-notch for our students, staff and community. Here are some of the projects and updates:


Centennial Elementary School

The CES Traffic Garden was installed by the Child Care Action Council’s Safe Kids Thurston County program, with help from Intercity Transit's Walk N Roll program and the Olympia School District, and funding from the Rotary Club of Olympia Capital Centennial.


A traffic garden is a safe and fun place for youth to learn and practice bicycle and pedestrian safety skills in an environment away from vehicles. The miniature streetscape includes an intersection, stop signs, crosswalks and a roundabout. The traffic garden is located on Centennial Elementary School’s playground and will be used during PE class to teach bicycle and pedestrian safety skills. The traffic garden is also open to the community during non-school hours.


Reeves Middle School

The Reeves field renovation and minor repairs to the track included updates to the athletic field grass with sod replacement and drainage improvements. Protective barrier fences may remain in place through September 2023 to allow the sod to fully establish.


Thurgood Marshall Middle School

Thurgood Marshall Middle School is the fifth Olympia School District building to have completed a solar panel project. The middle school joins Olympia High School, Olympia Regional Learning Academy, Roosevelt Elementary and Washington Middle School utilizing natural and efficient sustainability.


For this project, the district partnered with Olympia Community Solar and Puget Sound Solar. A project team was formed in early 2022 to begin the development.


Community solar projects such as Thurgood Marshall expand solar access to those without access to traditional residential solar for people who don’t own their home, have an unsuitable roof or property for solar or face financial barriers to incorporating solar. A group of community members participate in a single solar project and share its benefits. As an integral community resource for families in Olympia, Thurgood Marshall Middle School is ideal for hosting a community solar array.


With the support of the community, 306 solar panels were installed on the Southwest facing school roof. This area was selected because of its excellent solar exposure. This roof portion faces the school’s playfields and bus parking areas and will be visible to students as they arrive at school each day, during outside time, and at the end of the day when they board their bus.


This project will create learning opportunities about renewable energy for students and aligns with OSD Student Outcome 6. One of the indicators in Outcome 6 states that our students will ‘Advocate for and contribute to local, regional or global improvement by utilizing natural resources in an efficient, sustainable way.’


The 150 kW system will be capable of producing 149,000 kilowatt-hours a year. This will reduce the school’s energy bill, contribute to sustainable infrastructure in Olympia, and create learning opportunities for Thurgood Marshall students on renewable energy.



Additional Projects:


  • Capital High School: B-Pod bathroom conversion to all-gender access

  • McKenny Elementary School: Playshed sprinkler system replacement

  • Fire Alarm Panel Upgrades: Hansen Elementary, Lincoln Elementary, LP Brown Elementary, Madison Elementary and Jefferson Middle School



Upcoming Events




  • September 4: Labor Day

  • September 6: First Day of School grades 1-12 (No Early Release)

  • September 11: First Day of Preschool and Kindergarten

  • September 13: 50-Minute Early Release

  • September 14: OSD Board Meeting (in-person and online via Zoom) at 6:30 p.m.

  • September 17: Constitution and Citizenship Day

  • September 20: 50-Minute Early Release

  • September 21: OSD Special Board Meeting (in-person and online via Zoom) at 6:30 p.m.

  • September 27: 50-Minute Early Release

  • September 28: OSD Board Meeting (in-person and online via Zoom) at 6:30 p.m.



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.