Dear Methow Valley Families and Community Members,
The 2014-15 school year is well underway and as your superintendent, I’m pleased to report that we’re off to a fantastic start to the new school year!
In an attempt to connect us to where we’ve been and where we’re headed, it was sometime ago, in the late winter/early spring that you may recall receiving my “Report to the Community” [pdf], where I shared the “Six Strategic Areas of Focus” that emerged through my time spent listening and learning from each of you. In this report, I highlighted each of the areas of strategic focus and potential action items underneath each area.
At the same time, we initiated a inclusive and transparent budget development process. The district’s “Budget Development Process” allows students, parents, staff, and community alike to provide input in the form of budget enhancements and reductions.
Using the information gathered in response to my report to the community, researching best practices elsewhere, and through the budget development process, we prioritized and aligned our budget with the action items within each strategic area of focus. As a result, there are many action items that are now underway… Some of the many examples include, but are not limited to:
- The development of a comprehensive district-wide system of “Student and Family Support Services”
- Continued exploration of the International Baccalaureate framework by staff K-12
- A developing partnership between the Independent Learning Center and Jeff Petty, Executive Director for the Puget Sound Consortium of School Innovation and Regional Coordinator of Big Picture Schools with a focus on developing a personalized, real-world, project-based learning program that includes internship and mentorship opportunities
- The expansion of our “Careers in Construction Academy” through a partnership with Twispworks
- The expansion of our science course electives offered at Liberty Bell
- The elimination of all course fees at Liberty Bell, all supply fees at Methow Valley Elementary School, and some enrichment fees
- Investing in early childhood education and childcare given the long-term benefits for each student and our community
We look forward to sharing more about each area listed above and others that will be emerging this year in greater detail throughout the fall. However, one area of focus that we’d like to highlight at this time is our “Early Childhood Education and Childcare Initiative”.
Early Childhood Education and Childcare Initiative
In addition to the District’s effort to promote exceptional teaching and learning throughout our schools and ensure equity and excellence for all, the Methow Valley School District, in partnership with Little Star and Room One is launching it’s “Early Childhood Education and Childcare Initiative” with the goal of ensuring all children in the Methow Valley receive high quality, affordable early childhood education and childcare– one of our six strategic areas of focus. This is in direct response to the needs expressed by many parents and community members throughout the Methow Valley.
We are not alone, there are many other communities across the country that are attempting to make sense as to what this looks like in their community. Click here to view a brief video displaying just one of the many ways that other communities are investing in the development of their youngest learners.
In order for us to identify a set of strategies that moves the Methow Valley closer toward our goal of all children receiving high quality, affordable early childhood education and childcare, we are initiating a “Comprehensive Needs Assessment”. To learn more about the process, timelines, those facilitating this important work, and how you can participate, please click on the following links:
- Community Needs Assessment Overview – Committee Page [pdf]
- FAQ: Methow Valley Early Childhood Education & Childcare Initiative [pdf]
Working in partnership with our families and community, we develop: curious, creative, compassionate, competent, action-oriented citizens prepared to change the world!