2015-16 Methow Valley Schools Budget Highlights

MVS Budget ProcessSimilar in approach to last year, the Methow Valley School District has facilitated a transparent and inclusive budget development process and a disciplined approach to investing its limited resources in an effort to establish a balanced budget. This is within a challenging economic and political climate… At present, the Methow Valley School District, along with every other school district in the state of Washington, continues to find itself challenged by the state’s inadequate funding of basic education and timely completion of the state budget process.

Fortunately, we have a supportive community that values education as reflected by the successful passage of our local levies and through the generous donation of time, energy, and talents supplied by our parents and community.

Based upon the information we have at present, coupled with the support we continue to receive from our community, we have established a 2015-16 preliminary budget that strategically invests our limited resources into each of six strategic areas of focus described in our district’s strategic vision. Below, we’ve highlighted our “planned investments” and “priorities requiring additional funding” for your review.

Process:

As a first step in our effort to establish a balanced budget, we asked our students, staff, parents, and community to provide us with ideas in the form of “enhancements” and “cost-saving ideas” that align with the district’s strategic vision. This process resulted in 107 submissions, mostly in the form of enhancements.

Using the feedback generated through the Budget Development Process, we worked with our staff to prioritize the list of enhancements and cost-saving ideas. Then, we organized the prioritized list using the six strategic areas of focus described in our district’s strategic vision. This resulted in the establishment of a list of budget priorities for the 2015-16 school year.

Assumptions:

In addition to establishing a list of priorities, we identified a set of assumptions that serve as a framework for establishing a balanced budget. They include:

  • Stable enrollment
  • Full funding of mandatory increases in staff salary (anticipated COLA), benefits, insurance costs, and pensions
  • Adequate funding allocated toward the ongoing maintenance, operations and improvements made to our facilities
  • Compliance with our district’s minimum ending fund balance policy

2015-16 Budget Priorities

A System of Exceptional Teaching and Learning:

We ensure high quality teaching and learning in every classroom, resulting in the development of future-ready learners inspired to contribute to a better world.

2015-16 Planned Investments:

  • Maintain High Quality Professional Development – IB Workshops and Unit Planning, Robotics and Engineering Workshops, Restorative Justice and Positive Behavioral Intervention Systems, Literacy, and Mathematics…
  • Initiate International Baccalaureate and Highly Capable Learner Program Coordination
  • Expand Curriculum, Assessment, and Technology Coordination
  • Initiate a Director of Operations and Capital Projects
  • Expand Methow Valley Elementary Reading Specialist Services
  • Maintain Methow Valley Elementary Counseling Services
  • Maintain Youth and Family Social Services
  • Initiate a Methow Valley School District Mental Healthcare Provider in partnership with Okanogan Behavior Healthcare
  • Expand Liberty Bell Band and Choir
  • Expand Methow Valley Elementary Music Program
  • Expand Liberty Bell and Methow Valley Elementary Spanish Program
  • Expand District-wide Support Systems: Initiate secretarial support for Special Education Services, REACH Program, Transportation, Food Services, Custodial/Maintenance, Capital Projects, and Athletics

Priorities requiring additional funding:

  • Initiate a mathematics curriculum adoption process
  • Expand student, staff, and parent access to high quality reading resources

Innovation and Flexibility:

We promote the development of innovative and personalized programs of study designed to meet the individual needs of every learner.

2015-16 Planned Investments:

  • Maintain the Independent Learning Center partnership with Big Picture Learning
  • Expand the Robotics program at Liberty Bell Junior/Senior High School
  • Expand the Careers in Construction and Welding Academy in partnership with TwispWorks
  • Expand the district’s partnership with Classroom in Bloom, Methow Arts, and Room One
  • Initiate the purchase of a 10 passenger van to promote increased efficiency and flexibility for student travel within the regular school day and for extra-curricular events involving small groups

Priorities requiring additional funding:

  • Initiate an Internship Coordinator to promote real-world learning experiences for students attending Liberty Bell and the Independent Learning Center
  • Initiate a Methow Valley Elementary and Liberty Bell “STEAM” Program – An integration of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics
  • Initiate Fire and EMT coursework in partnership with the local fire department

Learner Profile:

We promote the positive attributes, attitudes, and skills associated with responsible citizens who are inspired to contribute to their communities, locally and globally.

2015-16 Planned Investments:

  • Promote district-wide clarity of behavioral expectations and consistency in our approach using a “Positive Behavioral Intervention System” and the Learner Profile
  • Initiate Playworks training for playground supervisors focused on creating a safe and positive playground environment for all students

Equity and Excellence for All:

We believe every student can achieve at high levels and benefits from access to a free and appropriate public education.

2015-16 Planned Investments:

  • Initiate the elimination of supply fees at Methow Valley Elementary and Liberty Bell

Priorities requiring additional funding:

  • Initiate a K-6 Healthy Snack Program
  • Initiate a Summer School Program
  • Expand Cub Club to a 5 days per week after school program
  • Expand nursing services to proactively attend to health-related issues that surface within the school community
  • Expand funding in support of athletics and extra-curricular activities

Family and Community Engagement:

When families and community participate in the education of our youth, students achieve at higher levels. We promote continuous, two-way communication and active engagement in the learning process through a strong partnership between the home, school, and community.

2015-16 Planned Investments:

  • Initiate a Parent Advisory Committee to the Superintendent
  • Initiate a Student Advisory Committee to the Superintendent

Early Childhood Education:

We invest in early childhood education given its long-term academic, social-emotional, and economic benefits to our students and our community.

2015-16 Planned Investments:

  • Maintain full-day kindergarten program 5 days per week

Priorities requiring additional funding:

  • Initiate the hiring of an Early Childhood Education Coordinator
  • Expand early learning options for all children in the Methow Valley

Methow Valley Schools Welcome New Activities Director, Chase Rost

Welcome to Methow Valley Schools Chase Rost will be joining the Methow Valley School District after having served as the Activities Director for the Bickleton School District during the past two years. As the Activities Director, he displayed exceptional leadership qualities and a focus on the development of coaches and student-athletes. In fact, his visible display of leadership and support of athletics and activities was acknowledged by his peers who nominated him to serve as the Greater Columbia Gorge 1B League President.

Originally from Oconto Falls, Wisconsin, Chase received a BS in Exercise Management, then migrated to Washington where he received his Masters Degree in Athletic Administration. He was a multi-sport athlete in high school, but specialized in areas of track and cross-country at the college level. Chase is excited to be a part of an outstanding school district that emphasizes the development of the whole person and through extra-curricular activities and athletics. When not serving as an Activities Director, Chase enjoys a variety of outdoor activities including skiing, hiking and surfing. This summer, his plans include taking a road trip to the East Coast and Backpacking in Wyoming’s Wind River Mountains.

Please join us in welcoming Chase Rost!

Methow Valley Schools to Launch Search Process for the Director of Operations and Capital Projects

Operations Management PositionMethow Valley Schools will be restructuring how we manage our transportation department, food services department, and custodial/maintenance departments within our organization. The district’s decision to restructure is based upon a set of beliefs. These include the belief that:

  • Every department within our organization impacts student learning. This includes the interactions that take place between our students when traveling on the bus to-and-from school, students receiving healthy nutritious meals, and having access to safe and clean facilities that facilitate teaching and learning.
  • Improving the quality of our services provided to students in families begins with strong leadership and support for all staff. Thus, it requires us to strategically invest existing resources into the professional growth and development of every staff member.
  • We invest in the on-going maintenance of our community-owned facilities. With the successful passage of our recent Capital Projects and Transportation Vehicle Fund levies, both require careful management and close supervision.

More specifically, Methow Valley Schools will be establishing a new position titled, Director of Operations and Capital Projects. This position will provide direct leadership and support to the Transportation Department, Food Services Department, and Custodial/Maintenance Department and lead the management of our many levy-funded projects.

We will be posting the position and a detailed job description to our website no later than the end of June. If you believe you are well-qualified to fill this position, we encourage you to apply.