April 2020

April 2020

April 18, 2020

Dear ORLA families,

I want to thank you for your ongoing commitment to ORLA as we navigate these unprecedented times. There have been so many questions about schedules, classes, and grading that I thought another building communication was necessary. We are working hard to streamline the process and make it easier to navigate remote distance learning at ORLA. Since we are navigating uncharted territory, my ask is that before you withdraw and/or ask to drop classes that you wait a little longer and let us find our footing.  

Lastly, we wanted to collect your tips for families new to homeschooling and distance learning (click the link). We know each of you has devised a system that works for you and your family.  Both our veteran and new to homeschooling families have created ways to streamline their remote learning.  We are hoping you will share your experiences to help ORLA families as well as OSD families with this new normal.  We will compile your responses and share them on our website. 


Celeste Waltermeyer 

K-6 Elementary Changes

We are making changes to our K-6 hConnect program to make it more streamlined.  All K-6 students will receive an email from Mrs. Stoddard or Ms. Havens with the zoom link for book club and a menu of activities that will cover most of the classes offered at ORLA.  Each week students will complete an activity and send it to their Advisor (teacher who sends out monthly progress).  This new process will help streamline the emails to families and the workload for students. To make this process more efficient we did move 22 k-6 students to other advisors so on Monday please double check who your student’s advisor is in skyward. In Skyward you will continue to see the classes that you are enrolled in as there are a couple of classes that will continue and not be part of the K-6 menu board.  These classes are Chinese, 3D printing, field trip classes, buddies classes, 5/6 ELA with Stoddard, and math 6. Please email Celeste with additional questions. [email protected] 

Frequently Asked Questions/Concerns:

1. “HELP the emails are overwhelming! Do we have to respond to all the emails?

We hear your concerns. Right now other than emailing there is no other way to communicate the classroom assignments, progress, and participating check-ins that we need to communicate.  We are working towards streamlining the emails. At this time any student in grades 6-12 should be checking their email, google classroom and/or Schoology every day and responding to their teachers at least 1 time a week. Middle and High School students need to continue on in the classes they’ve signed up for. For parents with K-6 students, the emails should be more streamlined.  We are asking that you participate in the K-2 or 3-6 Book Club and complete the menu items and respond at least 1 time a week to your advisor. See the changes to elementary above. 

2. “HELP there are too many platforms for myself and students to check/use!” 

Again, we hear your concerns.  Currently, teachers are using Schoology or Google Classroom as their web-based classroom for assignments, assessments, to turn in work etc. For some students/teachers, they have been using one or both platforms all year.  For others this is new. I have faith that in a week or two we will all get into a rhythm and it will become easier.  Additionally, we are working on a building document to share regarding which platform each teacher is using. An idea we heard from a parent was that she used a spreadsheet to keep track of what platforms each teacher was using and if the teacher was using Zoom for each of her children.

3. We love ORLA but we want to withdraw to homeschool until next year.

We are hoping you will stay and participate.  Our teachers are excited to work with you and see you in this new platform. Please consider giving the teachers a chance to show how amazing this new learning can be. If staying is too much please contact Krista Johnson at [email protected] and she can help you with the withdrawal process.

4. We want to still participate but want to drop classes since we are doing them at home.  Can we do that?  

We are hoping you will stay and participate.  Our teachers are excited to work with you and see you in this new platform. Please consider giving the teachers a chance to show how amazing this new learning can be. If staying in the class is too much please contact Krista Johnson at [email protected] and she can help you with the withdrawal process. If you have a high school student please also include Kristy Grinnell into the email at [email protected]

5.  I have high school questions and I am confused about final grades? 

As a school, we are providing letter grades in all high school classes. If your student wants to utilize the Pass/No Credit option please email to notify Kristy Grinnell at [email protected].  Kristy will also be able to answer all high school-related questions. 

6. What if my student is being impacted and has barriers due to COVID-19 circumstances? 

There are options available to all K-12 students.  Please contact Celeste Waltermeyer or Kristy Grinnell for more information.

7.  What if my student needs mental health support?

Our wonderful counselor Peggy Olsen is available for phone and zoom meetings. She also is a great resource to contact for community resources. Peggy can be reached at [email protected]

8.  My family could use financial assistance. Can the school help?

The school admin team does have access to additional funds to help families through the Olympia Education Foundations Principal Checkbook. These funds can be used to assist families with rent, utilities, food, and other needed items. Additionally, the admin team has $50 food vouchers for Ralph’s or Bayview Thriftway. If you are in need of assistance please contact Celeste Waltermeyer at [email protected]

Updated building schedules and additional resources

ORLA Interim Schedule (schedule by content areas/grades)

Distance Learning schedule by teacher (teachers will have this completed by 4/21)  

Weekly Activity Template for Middle and High School Students

Who to contact with questions

Celeste Waltermeyer, Administrator   [email protected] 

  • Building and program questions and concerns

  • Financial assistance for families

  • Staff concerns

Kristy Grinnell, Asst Administrator   [email protected] 

  • Graduation

  • iConnect

  • High school schedules/Running Start   

  • Building and program concerns and questions

Krista Johnson, Program Manager  [email protected] 

  • Withdrawing of students

  • ALE questions

  • Monthly progress questions

Peggy Olsen, Counselor  [email protected] 

  • Student mental health support

  • Family resource needs

  • 504 referrals and accommodations

Lacie Williams/Cheryl Baker, Office staff    [email protected]  or [email protected]

  • Withdrawing of students

  • Informational questions related to programs

  • Refunds

Patricia Coon  [email protected]

  • Pictures 

  • Informational questions related to programs