Archive for Uncategorized

The MVSD Welcomes Sean Fitzpatrick, MVSD’s Newly Appointed Mental Health Care Counselor

Sean FitzpatrickWorking in partnership with Okanogan County Behavioral Health Care Services, the MVSD has appointed Sean Fitzpatrick to serve as the district’s full-time, on-site Mental Health Care Counselor.

A highly regarded and experienced Mental Health Care Professional, Sean graduated from the College of the Holy Cross with a Bachelor’s degree in Religion and Economics, and a Master’s degree in Counseling from Northwestern University. He has a National Certified Counselor certificate, and he is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in WA State.

Sean has nearly a decade of experience supporting youth and families in various settings. More recently he has spent the last few years working as a crisis counselor throughout Okanogan County. When asked about his new role, Sean stated, “I’m very excited to turn my energy towards the health and development of young people in the Methow Valley in collaboration with the schools.”

Sean moved to the Methow in 2018, where he lives just off the ski trail with his fiancé and dog. With passions for biking, hiking, and skiing in the mountains, and for developing a strong and healthy community, Sean is happily at home in the Methow.

Please join us as we welcome Sean Fitzpatrick!

Monday, January 18, 2021 • All MVSD Schools and the District Office will be Closed in Observance of Martin Luther King Day

Martin Luther King Jr quote

“The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically.

Intelligence plus character —
that is the goal of true education.”
~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

Parent University Presents Digital Safety with Jo Langford

Dear Methow Valley Parents & Guardians,

Please consider joining us for the next virtual Parent University event on Wednesday, February 3, at 5:30 p.m., featuring Jo Langford.

In this age of remote schooling and nonstop developments in educational technology, now more than ever, it is important for families to educate themselves on digital safety. Please join us on Wednesday, February 3 for Parent University: Digital Safety with Jo Langford for an overview of t/ween behavior in this digital age.

Jo Langford, M.A. is a dad, a Master’s-level therapist, author, and sex educator for tweens, teens and parents, in Seattle, Washington. For the last twenty years, Jo has worked in the intersection of adolescence, sexuality, technology and behavior. Jo speaks internationally using information, education and humor to help parents and professionals increase their knowledge and self-confidence as a proactive defense against the unfortunate consequences that sometimes accompany teen sexuality, behavior and development.

Due to online platform capacity, advance registration is required, but there is no cost associated with your ticket. Learn more about the program and register to reserve your ticket.

Parent University Yearlong Virtual Series

This year, instead of a full-day conference on the Bush campus, Parent University will be offered quarterly as a virtual parent education series. All sessions are free to Bush parents/guardians and the greater Seattle and Methow parent/guardian communities.

Missed the first event? On November 4, we kicked off our virtual Parent University series with an empowering and timely discussion with author Eric Liu, who spoke about the importance of raising civic-minded children and the power of character, community, and the collective. Listen to the Nov 4th recording.

Questions? Need help registering? Contact Events and Community Engagement Manager Amelia Kramer at: parentu@bush.edu

Sincerely,
Tom Venable
Superintendent, Methow Valley School District

Tuesday, January 12, 2021: Winter Storm Warning – Possible Changes to Regular Schedule, Stay Tuned…

Dear Methow Valley Students, Parents, and Community Members,

Snowy morning sunriseLooking at current weather forecasts I want to alert you to the real possibility of a change in our regular operating schedule, inclusive of Learning Pods, Clubs, and Activities on Tuesday, January 12 and Wednesday, January 13.

Current weather forecasts are calling for significant amounts of wet, heavy snowfall ranging anywhere from 5 – 15 inches, beginning Monday evening and continuing throughout much of the day on Tuesday. Further, this may be followed by a wintery mix beginning Tuesday afternoon and continuing into Wednesday, creating potentially hazardous driving conditions.

Similar to the Past
No different than previous weather-related events, we will be working with county and state road crews to assess the situation, determine what if any changes (delays, closure, Emergency Bus Routes) we may need to make to our regular operating schedule, and notify you of any changes no later than 6:00 am.

New
If it is determined that the conditions are unsafe and we need to close our schools for “in-person” instruction, we will plan to operate “remotely” in grades preschool through 12th grade. All after school clubs and activities would be cancelled.

MVE – Remote Learning (Snow Day/Remote Day)
10:30 K/1 Class Meeting
11:00 2nd/3rd Class Meeting
11:30 4th/5th Class Meeting
12:00 6th Class Meeting
  1:00-1:30 Office Hours

LB – Modified “Fully Remote Snow Day”
10:24 Advisory
11:00 1st
11:50 2nd
12:30 Lunch
  1:10 3rd
  2:00 4th
  2:40-3:20 Office Hours

ILC – Full Remote “Snow Day”
10:30 Advisory
11:30 Lunch
12:15 Math
  1:45 Seminar

Additionally, if we do not attend school in-person on Tuesday, January 12th, the student COVID testing currently scheduled will be rescheduled for next Tuesday, January 19.

If this situation should unfold, resulting in the decision to operate on “remote” learning day schedule, you can expect to receive more detailed information from your child’s school as to what the day will look like for your student.

Be safe,
Tom Venable
Superintendent, Methow Valley School District

Happy New Year Methow Valley

The Methow Valley: A Community that Prioritizes What Matters Most… It’s Youth

Methow Valley Winter FireworksDear Methow Valley Students, Parents, and Community Members,

I hope each of you have thoroughly enjoyed a joyful holiday season. Eagerly awaiting the return of students, I am looking forward to a New Year filled with peace, love, joy, and wonder!

In preparation of our safe return to school and a smooth transition into the New Year, I’d like to:

  • Acknowledge the continued implementation of the key strategies (wearing masks, social distancing, hand washing, ventilation systems, testing…) that have enabled us to open our schools and remain open.
  • Request students attend school remotely during the first week following Winter Break “if” your student and/or immediate family members have been engaged in gatherings and/or travel resulting in possible exposure to COVID-19.
  • Remind you of the upcoming student COVID-19 testing schedule and ask that you complete the Consent/Opt-Out Form no later than Monday, January 11th.

Each of these actions are essential to the safe function of our schools. Inconvenient, fatiguing, taxing… Yes, to all of the above. However, as one of a small handful of schools open for in-person instruction across all grade levels Pre-k through 12th, I encourage each of us to not lose sight of what we’ve accomplished, maintain perspective as we look forward, and remain focused on the many “bright spots” set to emerge as we embrace the New Year.

Working together as students, teachers, parents, and community members, an entire community committed to the success of its youth, we are successfully navigating an unprecedented era, making history in the moment. And, during this unparalleled period of time, we are developing loving, resilient, empathetic, competent, selfless, civic-minded, action-oriented individuals in the process – attributes and attitudes that cannot be measured on a standardized test, but undoubtedly, will be tested repeatedly throughout their lives.

Somewhat recently, a parent shared an insightful essay that resonated with me. It was written by a retired New York Superintendent, Teresa Thayer Snyder. Shortly thereafter, I shared it with our staff. Given our collective efforts, I thought I’d pass it along to you…

Happy New Year,
Tom Venable
Superintendent, Methow Valley School District

Children of the Pandemic

I am writing today about the children of this pandemic. After a lifetime of working among the young, I feel compelled to address the concerns that are being expressed by so many of my peers about the deficits the children will demonstrate when they finally return to school. My goodness, what a disconcerting thing to be concerned about in the face of a pandemic which is affecting millions of people around the country and the world. It speaks to one of my biggest fears for the children when they return. In our determination to “catch them up,” I fear that we will lose who they are and what they have learned during this unprecedented era. What on earth are we trying to catch them up on? The models no longer apply, the benchmarks are no longer valid, the trend analyses have been interrupted. We must not forget that those arbitrary measures were established by people, not ordained by God. We can make those invalid measures as obsolete as a crank up telephone! They simply do not apply.

When the children return to school, they will have returned with a new history that we will need to help them identify and make sense of. When the children return to school, we will need to listen to them. Let their stories be told. They have endured a year that has no parallel in modern times. There is no assessment that applies to who they are or what they have learned. Remember, their brains did not go into hibernation during this year. Their brains may not have been focused on traditional school material, but they did not stop either. Their brains may have been focused on where their next meal is coming from, or how to care for a younger sibling, or how to deal with missing grandma, or how it feels to have to surrender a beloved pet, or how to deal with death. Our job is to welcome them back and help them write that history.

I sincerely plead with my colleagues, to surrender the artificial constructs that measure achievement and greet the children where they are, not where we think they “should be.” Greet them with art supplies and writing materials, and music and dance and so many other avenues to help them express what has happened to them in their lives during this horrific year. Greet them with stories and books that will help them make sense of an upside-down world. They missed you. They did not miss the test prep. They did not miss the worksheets. They did not miss the reading groups. They did not miss the homework. They missed you.

Resist the pressure from whatever ‘powers that be’ who are in a hurry to “fix” kids and make up for the “lost” time. The time was not lost, it was invested in surviving an historic period of time in their lives—in our lives. The children do not need to be fixed. They are not broken. They need to be heard. They need to be given as many tools as we can provide to nurture resilience and help them adjust to a post pandemic world.

Being a teacher is an essential connection between what is and what can be. Please, let what can be demonstrate that our children have so much to share about the world they live in and in helping them make sense of what, for all of us has been unimaginable. This will help them– and us– achieve a lot more than can be measured by any assessment tool ever devised. Peace to all who work with the children!

~ Teresa Thayer Snyder (Retired New York Superintendent)

Free, Community-wide COVID-19 Testing Returns to the Methow Valley

Community Covid-19 Testing Dec 29thWhen? Tuesday December 29, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Where? Liberty Bell High School

Who? All are welcome.

How? Testing will be drive-thru in the school parking lot. Look for Aero Methow and LifeLine Ambulance vehicles and personnel on site.

Pre-registration is encouraged:
https://forms.gle/UMVVBjjf8f9GBeut8
(On-site registration is also available.)

Details at: https://okanogancountycovid19.org/

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Monday, January 18, 2021: All MVSD Schools and the District Office will be Closed in Observance of Martin Luther King Day.