Kelly Wiest to Teach at American School of Bombay

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. ~Mark Twain

Kelly WiestIt’s with great excitement that we’d like to inform you Kelly Wiest will be setting sail following the conclusion of the 2017-18 school year. She has accepted an international teaching position at the American School of Bombay (ASB) located in Mumbai, India, beginning in the 2018-19 school year!

A member of the MVES, IB – PYP World School staff, Kelly has been teaching in the Methow Valley for almost 15 years. During her 15-year teaching career, Kelly has served as a reading specialist and taught a variety of grade levels. When asked what excites her most, Kelly responded by stating, “This opportunity is exciting for so many reasons. I can’t wait to experience meeting new people and experiencing a culture in another part of the world with my son. I want to go to festivals I’ve never heard of, eat new food, see temples, learn more about yoga, and gain a more global perspective. I am also really excited to stretch myself professionally.”

When asked what she’ll miss most, she said, “What I think I’ll miss most is the peace and beauty of this amazing valley and the people who call the Methow Valley home. I’ve lived here almost 20 years now. It is a truly special place.”

ASB is an elementary school serving approximately 400 students ages, 3-year-olds to Grade 5. The teaching staff includes members from the United States, Australia, New Zealand, India, Canada, and the UK. As a PYP school, ASB embeds learning with an authentic approach to an inquiry where students pursue the answers and solutions to real questions and challenges. This framework serves as a commitment to progressive thinking about education, the embedding of Reggio Emilia philosophy in their instructional practice, and a focus on using ongoing authentic assessment to guide next steps with students.

Please join us as we congratulate Kelly Wiest!

Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland Florida – We Care

Caring heart paintingIt’s likely you’ve heard about the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida yesterday. Our hearts go out to all of the students, staff, families and community who are suffering as a result of this tragic event.

Such incidents remind all of us of the important work we do to ensure our schools remain a safe place where students can thrive.

In recent months, we’ve invested a significant portion of our Technology and Safety Levy funds to maintain School Messenger, initiate Safe Schools Alert, install security cameras on our buses and throughout our school campus, and install an electronic card lock system at MVES and LBHS, allowing us to lockdown our buildings with a push of a button. In addition, we are in the process of initiating the installation of ADA accessible entry/exit ways and equipping all of our buses with emergency bus kits.

More specifically, in response to the recent escalation of school shootings, our Emergency Operations Planning Committee will be facilitating Active Shooter training for all students, staff, and parents. The plan includes:

February/March:

  • Building Walk-Throughs/Threat Assessment
  • Safe Schools – Active Shooter training for all staff and students in LANCE protocol
  • All student and staff training using Active Shooter table top exercises

April/May:

  • Coordinated Active Shooter exercises with first responders
  • Active Shooter Training for Parents

For those not familiar with the LANCE protocol, Mike Dingle, NC ESD Crisis Co-op manager, former State Trooper, and certified ALICE trainer has assembled a collection of best practices that he refers to as LANCE, which stands for:

 LOCKDOWN or OUT
 ALERT (Internal Notification)
 NOTIFY (External Notification – First Responders)
 COMMIT (Fight)
 EVACUATE (Run and Hide)

The order of the action items is adjustable knowing each event is different and will require our students and staff to think critically and act in support of their own safety and the safety of others.

We look forward to providing opportunities for our parents to learn more about the protocol and their role in such an event.

For those seeking support as you think about how you talk with your child about school shootings, violence, and/or other threats, we’ve included a link you may find helpful: National Association of School Psychologists.

Please hug your child…

Sincerely,
Tom

LBHS Senior, Mackenzie Woodworth Wins Poetry Out Loud Eastern Washington Regional Finals, Advances to State Championship

Mackenzie Woodworth - Poetry Out Loud CompetitionMackenzie Woodworth, a Liberty Bell High School senior, will represent the Methow Valley at the Washington State Poetry Out Loud Championships in Tacoma in March.

Mackenzie won the sixth annual Poetry Out Loud competition for Liberty Bell High School and Independent Learning Center students at The Merc Playhouse in December, reciting “I Go Back to May 1937? by Sharon Olds and “Memory as a Hearing Aid” by Tony Hoagland. She then won the Eastern Regional Championships in Spokane on February 1.

For the past five years, the Methow Valley has sponsored a robust Poetry Out Loud competition. Poetry Out Loud (POL) is a national memorization and recitation contest that helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about literary history and contemporary life. Each December, local high school students compete for slots at local, regional, and state POL competitions.

Created in 2006 by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, Poetry Out Loud gives students an opportunity to work with recitation coaches such as Thome George and Rod Molzahn, who help students select poems from the anthology of allowed poems, provide them with structure for memorization, and coach them on performance skills such as projection, pacing, emphasis, and movement. If funding allows, the poetry coaches continue to tutor students throughout the duration of the competitions, as long as students are advancing to the next level.

Beginning with Tom Zbyszewski in 2013, five times a Liberty Bell student has won one of two top slots at the regional competition and advanced to the state event; regional winners after Zbyszewski were Liam Daily (2014), Claire Waichler (2015), Lilly Cooley (2016), Mia Stratman (2017), and now Mackenzie Woodworth (2018).

The winner of the state competition will advance to the Poetry Out Loud National Finals in Washington, D.C., along with state winners from around the country and US Territories.

Marshall County High School, Kentucky – You’re in Our Thoughts and Prayers

Children raising their hands to show they careToday, during our Professional Development Day, our staff will participate in a moment of silence at 12:30 pm in honor of the victims, their families, and the survivors of the recent school shooting that took place at Marshall County High School in Kentucky. Knowing all of us hurt, we invite you to do the same, wherever you may be today.

If you are not yet aware, a school shooting took place on Tuesday, January 23 at Marshall County High School, killing two student and injuring 18 others. A 15 year-old student was arrested at the scene of the event.

This is the 11th school shooting this year (since January 1, 2018) that has taken place on a school campus in the United States… With the increasing number of shootings taking place on school campuses and elsewhere, it’s important that we are vigilant in our efforts to ensure the safety of our students, staff and community. Katherine W. Schweit, a former FBI official and co-author of a study examining 160 active shooting incidents in the United States recently stated, “We have become numb to these kind of shootings and I think it will continue.”

As part of the MVSD’s Project Safe and Secure, our Emergency Operations Committee, consisting of MVSD Staff, Okanogan County Sheriff’s Office, Twisp Police Department, Fire District 6, Washington State Parks Department, Aero Methow, and Room One have been meeting regularly to ensure we are prepared to respond to a variety of threats (physical, social-emotional, and social-media) to the safety of our children.

Thanks to the generous support of our community, we invested a portion of our Technology and Safety Levy funds to complete the installation of security cameras on our buses and throughout our school campus. In addition, we’ve installed a new electronic card lock system, allowing us to lockdown our buildings with a push of a button.

Moving forward, we will continue our regular schedule of monthly drills, install ADA accessible entry/exit ways, and install emergency bus kits. In addition, we’ll be engaging all students and staff in training specific to an Intruder or Active Shooter event. This will include:

  • Safe Schools online training for all staff in LANCE
  • Building walk-throughs/threat assessment
  • All student and staff training and through table top exercises and coordinated Active Shooter exercises with our first responders
  • Parent training opportunities

For those not familiar with the LANCE protocol, Mike Dingle, NC ESD Crisis Co-op manager, former State Trooper, and certified ALICE trainer has assembled a collection of best practices that he refers to as LANCE which stands for:

  • Lockdown or Out
  • Alert (Internal Notification)
  • Notify (External Notification – First Responders)
  • Commit (Fight)
  • Evacuate (Run and Hide)

The order of the action items isn’t in a set order, rather adjustable knowing each event is different and requires our students and staff to think critically and use their best judgment in support of their safety and the safety of others.

We look forward to providing opportunities for our parents to learn alongside of us.

For those seeking support as you think about how you talk with your child about school shootings, violence, and/or other threats, here’s a link you may find helpful: http://nasponline.org

Please hug your child…

Sincerely,
Tom

MVSD to Launch 2018-19 District Calendar Committee – Invites Parent and Student Representation

District CalendarWith an interest in including student and parent input into the development of the 2018-19 MVSD School Calendar, the MVSD is inviting parents and students who wish to be considered for participation on the 2018-19 District Calendar Committee to submit their application online or in hard copy to the district office no later than Friday, February 2, 2018 at 4:30 p.m.

learn more

Once established, the committee will work together to solicit input and feedback into the development of two calendar options (inclusive of start/end dates, holidays, professional development days and other key events) to be voted upon by staff (as defined by the current MVEA contract). The calendar option receiving the most votes will be recommended to the superintendent and school board for final approval (with a target date of Wednesday, March 28, 2018).

If you have any questions about the work of the committee, the process, or timelines, please contact Tom Venable, MVSD Superintendent at tvenable@methow.org or (509) 996-9205.

MVSD School Board Unanimously Approve Gary Marchbank to Serve as MVSD Board Chair

Gary MarchbankKicking off the New Year, members of the MVSD School Board of Directors unanimously approved the nomination of Gary Marchbank to serve as the MVSD Board Chair.

As the MVSD Board Chair, Gary Marchbank will continue to work closely with members of the board, superintendent, staff, and community to help the district fulfill its mission and vision – Working in partnership with our families and community, to develop curious, creative, compassionate, competent, action-oriented, citizens prepared to change the world.

Gary’s nomination and unanimous approval by the board is a clear reflection of the sincere gratitude for his long-standing service to the community, commitment to equity and excellence for all students, strong support for innovative and personalized approaches to teaching and learning, and above all else, our deep level of admiration for the many qualities displayed by Gary that we wish to see in our own children.

Following his acceptance of the nomination, Board Chair Marchbank stated,

“Knowing any member of this team is capable of leading, I’m humbled and honored to serve alongside a top-notch team in support of a school district that is focused on opening doors for all students.

The Methow Valley School District Board of Directors is a cohesive and dedicated team of five elected officials, committed to creating a system of exceptional teaching and learning where every student can shine.

Please join us as we celebrate the selection of Gary Marchbank to serve as the MVSD Board Chair!

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Mid-Winter Break: Friday, February 16 through Tuesday, February 20, 2018 - MVSD Schools and District Office Closed