Dear Methow Valley Students, Parents, Staff, and Community Members,
The MVSD Board of Directors unanimously approved the 2021-22 School Calendar proposed by the MVSD Calendar Committee on Thursday, March 25th, during its regular board meeting.
As the Superintendent of the Methow Valley School District, having served on numerous calendar committees throughout the course of my 28 years of service as a public educator, I’ve never witnessed a group that felt they had created the perfect calendar. I suppose if one existed, everyone would be doing the same thing. Given the diverse range of interests expressed with each and every community, ours included, I’m guessing it’s unlikely. That being said, what is important is that we remain clear as to the “through line” used to drive the development of a school calendar, beginning with the district’s vision, beliefs, and values.
With this in mind, coupled with the assumption we’ll be in a position to fully reopen our schools in the fall, the MVSD 2021-22 Calendar Committee, a committee comprised of key stakeholders that includes staff, parents, educational partners, and community members worked tirelessly to develop a structure designed with the district’s vision, beliefs, and values at the forefront of their work.
The committee used following sources of information to inform their work:
- Themes that emerged during last year’s “Dream Big” event
- Identified Challenges (gaps in service) and “Bright Spots” in learning that have surfaced during the pandemic
- Feedback received from students, parents, staff, and community members
Using this information, the newly adopted MVSD 2021-22 School Calendar is designed to achieve the following:
- Improve the quality of instruction by providing staff with ongoing opportunities to regularly assess and evaluate student learning, enabling staff to make real-time adjustments to instruction within each week
- Unhinge learning from seat-time by promoting real-world learning opportunities through engagement in student-initiated projects, participation in community-based internships, and student exhibitions of learning
- Increase opportunities for all students to engage in enriching clubs and extracurricular activities at no cost to families
- Increase opportunities for students to receive personalized academic tutoring and other essential support services, inclusive of counseling and mental health care services
- Create consistent professional development and collaborative planning opportunities for all staff at no additional cost to the district
- Exceed the minimum basic educational requirements for instruction hours provided annually
Key changes to the school calendar include:
- Pre-Labor Day start date
- Reduction of Professional Days from six to three days
- Inclusion of a weekly Wednesday Early Release schedule
- Expanded Thanksgiving Break and Mid-Winter Break
Expanded Services Associated with the Newly Adopted School Calendar:
The MVSD recognizes access to high quality, low-cost to no-cost childcare and enrichment activities remains a crisis for many communities. Building upon its efforts to address this need, the MVSD is committed to:
- Maintaining childcare for elementary-age students, Cub Club programs, and transportation services after school (Monday through Friday, 3:10 – 5:00 pm) at no cost in support of students and families.
- Expanding childcare, Cub Club activities, and transportation services during the weekly Early Release schedule at no cost in support of students and families.
- Examining the feasibility of launching week-long camps designed to provide elementary-age students with the opportunity to engage in enriching, high interest learning opportunities at no cost to low-cost for families of elementary-age students during Mid-Winter Break and Spring Break.
Thank you to all who participated on the committee and those who provided feedback and input into the process.
Superintendent, Methow Valley School District