Complete the TranGO Transportation Survey!

Trango logoAs we all look forward to emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic, TranGO is conducting a transportation needs survey to identify changes they should make to their service. Your input is needed!

Limited internet access? Call TranGO at (509) 429-5823 to complete your survey over the phone or request a paper version with prepaid postage.

Complete the TranGO Survey →

MVSD Board of Directors Unanimously Approves 2021-22 School Calendar

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.

2021-22 MVSD District Calendar - FinalAs 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.

Sincerely,
Tom Venable
Superintendent, Methow Valley School District

View 2021-2022
Calendar →

Spring Break During a Pandemic: We plan on traveling… Can it be done safely?

Tent camping by a lake

My family is planning on driving to Moab, Utah. We will be camping in remote sites. Another family will be accompanying us, but traveling in a separate car. All adults have been vaccinated, but our children have not been vaccinated. We plan to bring all of our food from home. We will need to stop for gas. Utah requires all individuals to wear masks in public places. Do our children need to spend the first week attending school remotely following their return?

 


 
Dear Methow Valley Students, Parents, and Community Members,

Looking to scratch that itch? No, not the one on your back… Rather, that itch to travel and/or gather during Spring Break?

If you are like me, Spring Break has traditionally been a period of time associated with travel and/or gatherings with relatives and friends. Yet, during a global pandemic, can this be done safely? If so, how? What do the CDC guidelines suggest? If we do travel, will my student need to attend school remotely during the first week following our return?

With these questions weighing on the minds of many, we’ve consulted MVSD School Nurse, Adri Vanbianchi. We encourage you to listen to her answers in our new podcast: Spring Break During a Pandemic.

Cheers,
Tom Venable
Superintendent, Methow Valley School District
 


Podcast icon

LISTEN NOW: Spring Break During a Pandemic

School Nurse Adriana Vanbianchi answers questions families may have about traveling/gathering during Spring Break.

Parent University Presents: “Parenting to Embrace Diversity, Equity and Inclusion”

Parent University presents Monique MarshallJoin Monique Marshall for the fifth installment of our virtual Parent University series, Parenting to Embrace Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, on Wednesday, April 21 at 5:30 p.m.

Monique is an educator who has been working with children, their families, and other educators in independent schools for thirty years. With a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Skidmore College and a master’s degree from Bank Street Graduate School in New York City, Monique has been dedicated to diversity, equity, and inclusion work for as long as she can remember.

What does it mean to raise inclusive children? Our children live in a multicultural and non-binary world. Adult fears and lack of tools in our toolboxes often stop us from broaching the “taboo topics” of race, gender identity, sexuality, socioeconomic status, and class with our young children. The best medicine for “unlearning” racism and other “isms” is to start young so that there is less “baggage” to unpack as we get older.

Come learn how to raise the next generation to be more culturally competent and confident than many adults are. Monique will invite us to think about how we were brought up and offer a healthy and more holistic approach to raising our children. This interactive workshop is designed to invite dialogue and offer a framework for equity and inclusion work at home and in school. 

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 is being offered as a virtual parent education series. All sessions are free to Bush parents/guardians and the greater Seattle and Methow parent/guardian communities.

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

The ILC, Redefining How We Measure Success, One Student at a Time

ILC CampusThe Independent Learning Center (ILC) is a high school located in the Methow Valley.
Affiliated with Big Picture Learning, endorsed by the Washington State Board of Education, serving students in grades 9-12 using a “mastery-based” approach continues to take a lead role within the Methow Valley and throughout the State of Washington, redefining how we measure student success, one student at a time.

Referred to as a “trampoline that provides a launchpad for every student”, the ILC is a school that:

  • Transitioned from a traditional approach associated with content-driven classrooms to a human-centered approach.
  • Encourages students to “leave to learn”.
  • Blurs the lines between education and the real world.
  • Empowers every student to act with purpose and passion.

Want to Learn More?
Somewhat recently, Sara Mounsey, ILC Principal and Advisor participated in an interview hosted by Education Evolution where she is asked to describe student-driven learning taking place and the role of the ILC staff in supporting each and every student’s pathway forward.

Listen on Apple Podcasts →

MVSD, DNR, and Fire Adapted Methow Valley Work Together to Promote a Safe and Healthy School Campus

Prescribed burn staff and equipmentThe Methow Valley School District, assisted by the Washington Department of Natural Resources crew, is scheduled to burn 20 pine slash piles on the school district’s campus during Spring Break, between April 5th and 9th, as the final step to reduce the risk of wildfire spread on the forested parts of the campus.

The slash piles are located on two steep slopes that prohibit chipper access and crews being able to safely move the piles. Since pine slash can attract and support the spread of pine bark beetles in the area, it must be removed before summer heat. It has been determined that hand piling and implementing a permitted burn is the safe, effective, and logistically feasible slash disposal method.

As with all prescribed burns, this small burn will comply with strict regulations, and the crew will burn during optimum weather to minimize smoke in the community. However, small amounts of passing smoke are inevitable and may be observed at times between April 5th & 9th. MVSD, DNR, and Fire Adapted Methow Valley recognize the potential impact upon individuals who are sensitive to smoke. With this in mind, we are providing advance notification, allowing people ample time to prepare before the pile burn. Further, we wish to direct individuals to resources designed to prepare and protect them from the adverse impact of smoke.

Helpful “smoke-ready” resources and information can be found online at “EPA Smoke Ready” and on our community’s local “Clean Air Methow” website.

Our best defense against harmful smoke from wildfires and prescribed burns is to be both smoke-ready and wildfire-prepared.

Thank you for your support!