Season’s Greetings and Happy Holidays Methow Valley

Dear Methow Valley Students, Parents, Staff, and Community Members,

Season’s greetings and happy holidays! It’s been quite a year… During the past year, we’ve found ourselves confronted by a global pandemic, civil unrest, divisive elections, an economic crisis, the closure of our schools, and the anguish associated with the prolonged separation from our family members, close friends, and one another.

I’m confident none of us could have anticipated what we would find ourselves faced with during 2020. The physical, mental, and emotional toll that each of us has experienced is real. And, while many of these challenges will undoubtedly await our return in the new year, please know that as your Superintendent, speaking on behalf the entire Methow Valley School District Board of Directors, administrative team, and staff, I have all the confidence in the world that our schools and community will not only endure, but we will thrive.

MVE Teacher in holiday outfitAs a community, we come together when faced with adversity. We act with integrity, empathy, kindness, and love. We are resilient, nimble, and flexible. We are true to our beliefs and values, remaining focused on the many bright spots that have emerged during this difficult period of time. And, in the case of our schools, we keep every student at the forefront of all that we do.

Looking Forward to the New Year

As we prepare for the next round of challenges associated the increasing number of COVID-19 cases within our county, coupled with a time traditionally associated with travel, indoor gatherings, travel, and illness, members of our team have been consulting with local public health officials and researching best practices in preparation for what awaits us.

Using the information gathered, we are again, asking for your support by committing to the following actions:

  • Continue to implement the key mitigating strategies (wearing a mask, social distancing, and hand washing)when engaged in casual gatherings with friends and relatives and/or when travelling.
  • Replace old traditions with new family-oriented traditions that limit gatherings, travel, and exposure during this challenging period of time.
  • Attend school remotely during the first week following our return from breaks (Winter Break, Mid-Winter Break, Spring Break) “if” your student and/or immediate family members have been engaged in gatherings and/or travel resulting in possible exposure to COVID-19.

COVID-19 Student and Staff Testing

Additionally, in support our efforts to keep our schools and community COVID-19 free, we will be offering the following services the week of January 11 – 15:

  • Staff Testing: The MVSD staff will continue to participate in regular, bi-weekly COVID testing.
  • Student Testing: The MVSD will be hosting yet another opportunity for students to participate in free, voluntary MVSD COVID screening. The next COVID-19 screening session involving students is scheduled to take place the week of January 11th,2021. Screenings are scheduled to occur on Tuesday, January 12th and Thursday, January 14th.
  • Consent/Opt-Out Form: We are requesting all parents/guardians complete the Consent/Opt-Out Form for each student that attends the MVSD no later than Monday, January 11th, 2021. Please note, if we do not receive a consent/opt-out form from you, your student will not be able to participate.
  • Information about the school district’s COVID-19 protocol including student and staff screening procedures can be found on our website’s COVID Updates page. Please direct any further questions you may have about community, staff, and/or student testing to MVSD School Nurse, Adriana Vanbianchi at: avanbianchi@methow.org

    Covid-19 Community-wide Testing

    Free community-wide COVID-19 drive-through testing will take place on Tuesday, December 29 from 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. at Liberty Bell High School. All are welcome.

    If possible, please pre-register prior to the test. On-site registration will also be available. Parents need to sign a consent form for children under the age of 18.

    Please visit the Okanogan County Health Department website for more information.

    Thank you for doing your part to keep our schools and community safe, healthy, and open. We look forward to seeing you upon your return to school Monday, January 4, 2021!

    Happy Holidays,
    Tom Venable
    Superintendent, Methow Valley School District