Dear Methow Valley Students, Parents and Community Members,
In advance of communicating the changes to the MVSD 2020-21 School Calendar, I want to begin by thanking each of you for the unparalleled flexibility, resiliency, and grit that you have displayed throughout this fall. Working in partnership with our staff, your calm, centered approach in the face of uncertainty has enabled us to successfully open our schools, maintain a safe and secure environment for our learners and staff, and rekindle the innate curiosity that resides within each of our students. How do we know? Their bright eyes and big smiles…
So, where have we been?
The long and winding road… As you might recall, the MVSD was originally scheduled to begin on Monday August 31st. However, faced with the herculean challenge of safely reopening our schools during a pandemic, we delayed the start of the school to Tuesday, September 8th, providing staff with much needed time to plan and prepare for the safe reopening of our schools. Then, just prior to the newly established start date, we found ourselves faced with additional challenges – wildfires, smoke, hazardous air quality, and power outages. This resulted in further delay and a loss of four instructional days.
So, where are we headed? And, how will we get there?
Mindful of the lost instructional time, our administrative team, staff, and labor leaders have been exploring possible solutions for addressing the missed instructional time. In brief, our goal has been to create a “win-win-win” situation that benefits students, parents, and staff, placing a high value on the following:
- quality teaching and learning
- in-person instructional time (particularly for Cohort B who would be adversely impacted by the Friday Professional Development Day schedule)
- continuity and consistency of scheduling for students, parents, and staff
- on-going opportunities for staff to engage in job-embedded professional development at key points throughout the year input provided by members of the MVSD “Return to Learn” Workgroup and MVSD Calendar Committee
Using these guidelines, the following changes to the MVSD 2020-21 School Calendar were proposed and unanimously adopted by the MVSD School Board of Directors:
- Friday, October 30th becomes an in-person school day, operating on an early release/fall conference schedule.
- Friday, January 22nd becomes an in-person school day, operating on a regular school day schedule. (Semester Break will occur on Friday, January 29th.)
- Friday, March 26th becomes an in-person school day, operating on a regular school day schedule.
- Friday, May 7th, a scheduled “make up day” previously built into the calendar becomes an in-person school day, operating on a regular school day schedule.
We will be posting an updated calendar on the district website shortly. We’ll also make hardcopies available at your student’s school office. If you have specific questions or concerns regarding the updated calendar, please direct them to Superintendent, Tom Venable at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for your continued support of our students, staff, schools, and community!
Superintendent, Methow Valley School District