Schools in the Methow Valley School District have recently been recognized for their high graduation rates, post-secondary readiness, and gap-closing measures.
Methow Valley Elementary
The Washington State Board of Education recently recognized Methow Valley Elementary (MVE) for its success in closing the achievement gap associated with historically low performing student groups. Upon receiving the news, MVE Principal, Paul Gutzler stated, “While student performance on a standardized test do not tell the whole story, I’m pleased to know the collaborative efforts of our students, staff, and parents are being recognized. This recognition is a strong reflection of the district’s commitment to “Equity and Excellence for All.”
Not to be outdone, Liberty Bell Jr.-Sr. High School was also recognized by the Washington State Board of Education for the high percentage of MVSD students who graduate on-time and continued efforts to monitor and maintain the “on-track” status of it’s 9th grade students – a key indicator of high school graduation used by school districts in the State of Washington.
Similar to the comments shared by MVE Principal, Paul Gutzler, Liberty Bell Principal, Crosby Carpenter was quick to note, “Much like Paul, I don’t put much weight or emphasis on standardized test scores. However, I’m pleased as well to see our schools being recognized… It is well deserved. It’s a reflection of the value this community places upon the education of its youth.” He went on to state, “Our work is about opening doors for all students. It’s about ensuring every student is able to pursue their hopes, dreams, and aspirations, whatever they may be, in preparation for a meaningful and productive life during high school and beyond.”
U.S. News and World Report High School Rankings
We should also mention that Liberty Bell has once again been recognized as a top performing school by U.S. News and World Report. Schools across the state and nation were assessed using six scoring criteria. Liberty Bell received top honors within the North Central region of Washington, 25th in the State of Washington using the College Readiness Index, 46th overall out of 698 high schools in the State of Washington, and 2,735 out of nearly 18,000 ranked high schools across the country. It should be noted that the overall ranking might have been higher if graduation rates (one of the six scoring criteria) hadn’t been left out of Liberty Bell’s total score.
Independent Learning Center
While not recognized in the same fashion given it’s unique design, students at the Independent Learning Center (ILC) continue to shine! Boasting an on-time graduation rate of over 90% (compared to a 48% statewide on-time graduation rate for students who attend an alternative high school), post-secondary plans for this year’s senior class include two students who have been accepted to four-year universities and two who have been accepted to highly regarded technical programs, one as an auto mechanic and the other as a veterinarian technician. When asked about this year’s graduating class of seniors, ILC Principal, Sara Mounsey stated, “Our recognition is reflected in the success of every student.”
Once considered an “alternative,” the ILC is now referred to as another option for students to choose in grades 9 – 12. Employing a “competency-based” approach to teaching and learning, the ILC provides students with an individualized approach driven by student interests. Supported by school advisors, community partners, and mentors, the ILC prepares students to continue their post-secondary education and/or pursue meaningful employment opportunities following their graduation from high school.
Recognized by its peers for its success, the ILC also serves as a rural Big Picture Learning host school supporting a rapidly growing network of “competency-based” programs of study endorsed by the Washington State Board of Education.
As stated on the Washington State Board of Education’s website, “Washington schools are inspiring. With these awards we recognize the outstanding efforts of our schools and their positive impact on students,” said Washington State Board of Education Chair, Peter Maier. “The State Board, OSPI, and the Educational Opportunity Gap Oversight and Accountability Committee are excited to celebrate the diverse educational communities that support Washington’s ever-changing K-12 student population. Thank you to our state’s schools and educators for your dedication to students!”
Please join us as we congratulate our students, parents, staff, and community for their collaborative efforts to make the Methow Valley a great place to live and raise youth!