Dear Methow Valley Students, Parents, and Community Members,
We need your help! In an effort to coordinate and fine tune our staffing assignments, instructional resources, digital devices, internet services, childcare services, meal services, and other related services in advance of the beginning of the school year, we are asking you to complete the MVSD “Return to Learn” Questionnaire, which is also available in hardcopy at the district office.
We are asking every family to complete the questionnaire in support of our planning process no later than Friday, August 14th.
To assist you in your efforts to make an informed decision, that you believe will best meet the needs of your child(ren), we ask that you read some of the more recent “Frequently Asked Questions” listed below. While not exhaustive, they reflect some of the many questions we’ve been fielding from students, parents, and community members.
• View/download “Plan de reabrir las Escuelas MVSD 2020-21” (PDF 1.8MB)
Updated Frequently Asked Questions
Will the school year begin on time as scheduled?
Yes. The 2020-21 school year is scheduled to begin on Monday, August 31st.
It’s my understanding that Governor Inslee held a press release today where he shared a set of metrics developed by the WA State Department of Health, providing guidance to school districts and local public health officials. Is that true?
Yes. Governor Inslee announced the updated guidelines school districts and local public health officials are strongly encouraged to use when giving consideration to the reopening (fully or partially) or closing of schools using a set of metrics – thresholds (positive COVID 19 cases per 100,000).
The thresholds for the gradual reopen of schools are consistent with what we had predicted and align with the current MVSD Learning Options available to students who attend the MVSD at this time.
So, what does all this mean for our schools in the fall?
In brief, it suggests that while a full reopening of our schools is not yet possible due to the state required six feet social distancing mandate, all three learning options (A-C) remain viable options for parents of students who attend the MVSD (assuming the number of positive COVID 19 cases in the Methow Valley remains low).
It sounds like decision-making is being left to school districts and local public health officials… What, if any further guidance has the MVSD received from our local public health officials knowing Okanogan County currently appears to be a hotspot for positive COVID 19 cases?
- Our local public health officials have stated that based upon the numbers, the Methow Valley, unlike other parts of the county, appears to be doing a good job of adhering to the guidelines and mandates associated with social distancing, facial coverings, proper hygiene, and cohorting/bubbling…
- Assuming it can maintain low numbers of positive cases, it seems reasonable that the MVSD is in a position to open its doors for some in-person instruction (Hybrid Model) in the fall.
- Providing students and families with flexible options makes good sense in the face of a fluid situation.
- It’s not a matter of “if” but “when” you have a positive case within your schools… Your planning efforts associated with screening, testing, isolation, and outbreaks suggest you’re prepared to respond and adjust as needed.
The MVSD has described three options: A-C. I’m somewhat confused… Does the MVSD plan on telling me what my option will be or do I get to choose the option that works best for my student and family?
Assuming the number of positive COVID 19 cases in the Methow Valley remains low, we anticipate all three options (A-C) will be available to parents to select from in support of their child(ren)’s learning.
Can you remind me what the options are that I can select from?
We’re happy to do so. They include:
OPTION A: A K-12 A/B hybrid model involving a minimum of two days of high quality, small group, in-person instruction aligned with three days of teacher-directed distance learning. Distance learning will be supported by a comprehensive, yet customizable curriculum intended to supplement in-person instruction.
- At MVE, students in grades K-6 will receive high quality, small group, in-person instruction from a certificated teacher a minimum of two days per week, aligned with three days of MVE teacher-directed distance learning (assignments, projects, and online resources).
- At Liberty Bell, students in grades 7-12 will participate in 4 classes per semester for a total of 8 classes (inclusive of elective coursework) per year. This includes high quality, small group, in-person instruction from a certificated teacher a minimum of two days per week, aligned with three days of MVE teacher-directed distance learning (assignments, projects, internships, and online resources).
- At the ILC, students will pursue an individualized program of study, inclusive of coursework, student-initiated projects, and community-based internships with the support of a certificated advisor. Students, parents, and staff will receive training and support to implement the online resources.
Option B: A K-12 100% remote learning program facilitated by MVSD staff using OSPI-approved online learning platform (Accelerate in grades K-5, Edgenuity in grades 6-12), Google Classroom, and other online resources, enhanced with teacher-directed instruction, assignments, feedback, and supplemental resources.
- Grades K-5
- Students of families in grades K-5 who choose to participate in a 100% remote learning in the place of in-person instruction (Option A) will do so with the support of an MVSD certificated teacher serving as an Online Learning Coordinator for a minimum of one semester.
- In the event that it’s determined that our schools need to close and pivot to 100% remote learning for all students in grades K-5, they will receive daily instruction, regular assignments, and feedback from their MVSD teacher through the use of Accelerate Academy and/or other online resources.
- The online curriculum will be supplemented with other teacher-directed assignments, student projects, and content-based (literacy and mathematics) online resources intended to enhance student learning. Students, parents, and staff will receive training and technical support to successfully implement an online learning program.
- Grades 6-12
- Students of families in grades 6-12 who choose to participate in a 100% remote learning in the place of in-person instruction will do so with the support of an MVSD certificated teacher serving as an Online Learning Coordinator for a minimum of one semester.
- In the event it’s determined that our schools need to close and pivot to 100% remote learning for all students in grades 6-12, they will receive daily instruction, regular assignments, and feedback from MVSD teachers through the use of Edgenuity, Google Classroom, and other online resources.
- The curriculum will be supplemented with teacher-directed assignments, student projects, community-based internships, and content-based online resources intended to enhance student learning. Students, parents, and staff will receive training and technical support to successfully implement an online learning program.
OPTION C: A K-8 homeschool parent partnership program (REACH) that is designed to support homeschooling students and parents. Working with a certificated MVSD teacher, each student and their parent(s) will develop an individualized learning plan, select from a list of OSPI-approved instructional resources, and receive ongoing monitoring and support.
What if I select to participate in the 100% remote learning option? Am I required to do so for the full year?
Parents who choose for their child to participate in the 100% remote learning option will be assigned an MVSD Online Coordinator. As such, it will be expected that the student and parent commit to participating in a 100% remote learning option for one semester.
At the end of the first semester, the student and parent can choose another option (assuming other options are available at that time) or choose to continue participating in a 100% remote learning for the remainder of the year.
What safety measures will be put in place to ensure the health and wellness of all students and staff when attending school?
- The MVSD is committed to working within the guidelines and mandates set forth by the CDC, WA DOH, local public health officials, OSPI, and the Governor’s Office.
- The MVSD has established a partnership with Family Health Centers (FHC), ensuring all students have access to healthcare services.
- The MVSD, working in partnership with FHC, has expanded our school nursing services to full time.
- The MVSD will ensure all students and staff have access to rapid testing on-site, facilitated by the school nurse.
What if I have more than one child enrolled in the MVSD and we are participating in the hybrid model? Can they attend school on the same day?
• The MVSD will do everything possible to place siblings in the same cohort, ensuring they attend on the same day.
Can I request a M/T or Th/F Hybrid Schedule?
We will provide parents who elect to have their child(ren) participate in Option A: Hybrid Model with an opportunity to indicate their preference as it relates to the days their child(ren) attend school. We will do our best to accommodate parent requests. However, there are no guarantees.
Can I request that my child be placed in a cohort that is consistent with my neighborhood cohort/bubble?
Similar to any school year, our first priority is to create balanced classes that include consideration involving a variety of factors.
Unlike any other year, we will provide parents with the opportunity to share what and with whom they “quaranteam” with outside of the school day. However, there are no guarantees that we will be able to accommodate your request.
Will student attendance be required?
Can I expect my student to receive daily instruction and regular feedback from their teacher?
Will students be assigned work they are required to complete?
Will there be grades?
Will there be opportunities for students to access academic tutoring, mentorship, and/or other individualized support?
Yes. The district will be exploring the possibility of developing a network of academic and social-emotional support groups (learning pods, small group enrichment activities, internships, community in-service projects, etc.) that students can access when not receiving in-person instruction.
What if my child qualifies for Special Education services, English Language services, and/or 504 accommodations?
The MVSD staff plans to work closely with the parents of every student who qualifies for related services to successfully access the general education curriculum and/or goals outlined in the student’s individual learning plan.
Will the LBHS schedule provide my student with the same number of credits and elective courses as the previous 8-period, block schedule?
Has the school district considered an outdoor education model?
- LBHS will be offering two new Outdoor Education and Recreation courses.
- The MVSD has rented 8 large tents to serve as outdoor classroom spaces if and when in-person instruction can occur.
- The MVSD, with the support of the Winthrop Kiwanis Club is constructing several outdoor hand washing stations to be placed throughout our school campus.
- Classroom teachers at all grade levels will be encouraged to educate outdoors whenever possible.
My family doesn’t have a digital device and/or Internet connection. Will there be assistance available?
- As part of the district’s commitment to a “free and appropriate public education,” the district, using it’s technology levy funding is preparing to checkout digital devices to every student.
- Using COVID 19 relief funding, the district will be working with families who do not currently have access to the internet to ensure access wherever possible.
- We are also exploring a variety of possibilities that include: partnering with cellular providers to provide temporary towers, using schools buses to serve as hotspots, etc.
Will there be childcare services available?
Yes. Similar to last spring the district will continue to provide on-site childcare services to essential workers (medical providers, first responders, grocery store employees, and MVSD, Little Star, and Head Start staff).
On days when my student doesn’t attend school, will there be meal services?
Yes. We will share more detailed information as we approach the beginning of the school year.
Who can I contact if I have further questions?
We encourage you to direct your questions to the following individuals
- MVE Principal, Paul Gutzler
- LBHS Principal, Crosby Carpenter
- ILC Principal, Sara Mounsey
- MVSD Superintendent, Tom Venable