Graduation, Summer Meals, and the Reopening of Our Schools

Arrowleaf Balsamroot
Dear Methow Valley Students and Parents,

As we rapidly approach the end of the 2019-20 school year, I hope each of you are healthy and well. Working together in the face of a worldwide pandemic, we have been faced with many challenges. These challenges have been daunting, to say the least, challenging employers, employees, families and youth alike… exposing the significant inequities that exist within our community. However, based upon the many stories that have been shared with members of our staff, there have been a number of “bright spots” that have emerged during this difficult period of time, reflecting the grace, humility, generosity, integrity, compassion, and resilience that defines our community.

As a superintendent and parent, I’m frequently reminded of these attributes. They are highlighted within the stories told, actions observed and personal interactions involving local businesses, nonprofits, civic-minded community members, school district staff, parents, and our students… Your children, “the pride of our community.”

Speaking of your children, “the “pride of our community,” I want to pass along an invitation to each of you, followed by a couple of announcements, making sure you are aware of some of the opportunities and work that lies ahead…

Celebrating the MVSD Graduating Class of 2020: An Invitation

The MVSD has worked closely with its graduating seniors, parents, local businesses, media, law enforcement and public health officials to create a meaningful and memorable event in honor of the MVSD Graduating Class of 2020, and we wish to invite your participation!

What Does Participation Look Like?

MVSD Graduation Ceremony
Serving as a significant milestone moment in the lives of our graduates, the 2020 MVSD Commencement Ceremony will take place at Liberty Bell at 6:30 pm on Friday, June 5th. While the ceremony is limited to graduates and their immediate family members (per social distancing requirements), we encourage you to join us along the parade route and/or observe a live broadcast of the ceremony via Facebook Live.

MVSD Parade of Graduates
The ceremony will be preceded by the “Parade of Graduates.” Beginning at 4:30 pm, MVSD graduates will parade through the town of Twisp by car, traveling along Glover Street, then head north to Winthrop to do the same before arriving at LBHS for the ceremony. Out of respect for the health, wellness and safety of one another, and in recognition of our local health and law enforcement officials who are supporting this event, we ask that those who attend the Parade of Graduates demonstrate proper social distancing measures during the event.

Questions about MVSD’s graduation ceremony or parade of graduates should be directed to LBHS Principal, Crosby Carpenter at: ccarpenter@methow.org.

Summer Meals Program

During the past two months, the exceptional MVSD Food Services team, working in partnership with The Cove (Sponsors of the Friday Food Bag program) has prepared, packaged and delivered approximately 4,000 meals per week.

Delivered by our dedicated bus drivers and staff to students at 227 bus stops and four drop zones each weekday, this has served as a critical service in support of youth and families throughout the Methow Valley.

Given the anticipated need, the MVSD plans to expand its Summer Meals Program. Beginning Monday, June 22 and continuing through Friday, August 21, the MVSD will prepare and deliver meal bags (breakfast and lunch) to youth ages 0-18, free of charge. Previously located at the Twisp Park, we will be expanding service by delivering to three drop zones (Carlton – Fire Station, Twisp – TwispWorks, and Winthrop – Red Barn), Monday through Friday (with the exception of Friday, July 3) between 12:00 – 1:00 pm.

For families wishing to receive a Friday Food Bag, services will resume on July 2nd.

Questions about the Summer Meals Program should be directed to Bud Hover, MVSD Director of Operations at: bhover@methow.org

Reopening MVSD Schools 2020-21 Workgroup

As we conclude the 2019-20 school year, many of us are beginning to direct our attention to the “re-opening” of our schools in the fall. As the Superintendent of the MVSD, I’d like to state with confidence that we’ll be in a position to safely open our schools in the fall, no different than previous school years.

Unfortunately, it remains unclear at this time. That being said, what I can share with you is that we will be putting together a “Reopen MVSD Schools 2020-21 Workgroup.” Parallelling the work of OSPI’s “Reopening WA Schools 2020-21 Workgroup,” we intend to:

  • Review the recommendations developed by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) which has created a statewide Reopening Washington Schools 2020-21 Workgroup, intended to provide initial guidance to districts across the state, including its timeline. If you’re interested in learning more about OSPI’s Reopening Washington Schools 2020-21 Workgroup, I encourage you to watch State Superintendent Chris Reykdal’s recent FB post: https://www.facebook.com/waOSPI/videos/2574888762773503/
  • Closely examine the research and recommendations published by The Centers for Disease Control in its detailed, delayed road map for reopening schools and child care facilities.
  • Examine best practices that have emerged within other school districts throughout the state and across the country.
    Solicit feedback from students, parents, staff, early learning providers, and community partners.
  • Seek further guidance and direction from state and local health officials in preparation for next year.
  • Recommend and communicate a flexible plan for reopening MVSD schools in advance of the 2020-21 school year.

A survey will be posted to our website following the end of the school year, providing all interested stakeholders with an opportunity to provide feedback as to what has worked well, areas needing improvement, and other areas for consideration as we look toward the 2020-21 school year.

If you are interested in being considered for participation in the Reopening MVSD Schools 2020-21 Workgroup, please send an email to Superintendent, Tom Venable at: tvenable@methow.org no later than June 18th. The Workgroup is tentatively scheduled to meet in mid-to-late July.

Thank you,

Tom Venable
Superintendent, Methow Valley School District

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MVSD is now open for hybrid and in-person instruction for all grades K-12.