MVSD to Host Eighth Annual Poetry Out Loud Competition

Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words. ~ Robert Frost

Poetry Out LoudThe eighth annual Poetry Out Loud competition for Liberty Bell High School and Independent Learning Center students will be at 6 p.m. Wednesday, December 11, 2019 at The Merc Playhouse in Twisp. Admission is by donation.

For the past seven years, the Methow Valley has sponsored a robust Poetry Out Loud competition through a collaboration between Methow Arts, the Public School Funding Alliance, and the Methow Valley School District.

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 Mackenzie Woodworth (2018).

The winner of the local competition will advance to the Eastern Washington Regional Poetry Out Loud contest in Spokane, and have a chance to make it to the state championship. The Washington state champion will advance to the Poetry Out Loud National Finals in Washington, D.C.

Methow Valley Elementary Codes One Hour at a Time: Students, Parents, and Staff Invited to Participate

MVE kids codingOn the evening of Thursday, December 12, from 5:45 – 7:15 pm in the Methow Valley Elementary library, students, parents, and staff are invited to participate in an “Hour of Code.” By doing so, participants will be joining dozens of schools located throughout North Central Washington who are taking part in an “Hour of Code” during the month of December to raise awareness about the investment being made by school districts in computer science education.

There are many reasons why school districts across the nation are making Computer Science (CS) education a priority for students and families. For some, the need for CS education is a reflection of the economic opportunity and the development of essential workforce skills. That certainly rings true in North Central Washington, where CS skills can be seen in our energy production, agriculture, manufacturing, or data center operations, just to name a few, but there are many more reasons for schools to offer CS education.

CS education incorporates technology with computational thinking, collaboration, critical thinking, and problem solving skills. CS education can be meaningfully integrated into traditional primary disciplines like language arts, mathematics and science to enhance student development. It can also promote systems thinking, or the ability to understand and intervene in complex systems. And finally, CS education offers students another way to express themselves creatively and students learn that they can have a voice through the creation of new technologies, robotics, or other applications.

If you have questions about this event, please contact Drew Simmons, MVSD Director of Technology Integration and Information Systems at dsimmons@methow.org or Catie Barber, MVE Integration Media Specialist at cbarber@methow.org.

Please plan on joining us!

MVSD to Establish After-School Activities Bus

MVSD Bus Drive and BusWorking within the Strategic Area of Focus titled, “Equity and Excellence for All,” the MVSD continues to make positive steps forward in its efforts to eliminate the barriers and obstacles faced by our students and families.

Last week, a team of building administrators, secretaries, and representatives from the MVSD Department of Transportation met, reviewed bus routes, ridership rates, staffing capacity, and student needs.

Balancing the safety of our students and drivers with the desire to ensure all students are able to access the many enriching after-school activities taking place throughout our community, they identified a solution. It was recommended that we establish an “After-School Activities Route.”

Once implemented, this route will support students traveling to enriching activities, work or otherwise. Further, it will reduce the likelihood of overcrowding on our regular routes.

A big thanks to all involved… We look forward to sharing more about a timeline for implementing the new route soon.

Happy Thanksgiving!

“We must find time to stop and thank the people who make a difference in our lives.” ~ John F. Kennedy

Happy Thanksgiving ArtOn behalf of the MVSD Board of Directors and staff, we wish to express our sincere gratitude and appreciation to our students, parents, and community members for your exceptional support of our schools.

Community-based mentors, parent volunteers, enriching after-school activities, the successful passage of our school levies… Thank you for making a difference in the lives of our youth in the Methow Valley!

Please note:
All schools will be operating on an Early Release schedule Wednesday, November 27th.
All schools and the district office will be closed on Thursday, November 28th and Friday, November 29th.

We hope you enjoy time spent with close friends and family members during the Thanksgiving holiday.

Scientists Wanted At Liberty Bell!

Working scientists, engineers, retirees, science majors, and others are invited to participate in the volunteer “Be A Scientist” program at Liberty Bell Junior-Senior High School, where you will serve as STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) role models for 7th graders. Your mentorship will support students as they design, carry out, and report on their own scientific investigations.

YOU can inspire the next generation of scientists! tools-of-science-illustration

You will provide guidance to a group of 4-6 seventh graders in their science class once per week over 6 weeks in January and February, helping these students frame a testable question, design an appropriate experiment, analyze their data, and present their results. Each student will choose an independent scientific question to explore. Volunteers make a commitment to visit the classroom for one 90-minute class per week for a total of six visits, either on Wednesday mornings or Thursday mornings starting early January.

We will provide a training session in December that will prepare you for working with middle school students, including guidance on developing manageable yet engaging scientific investigations. This program will follow a detailed week-by-week plan, and volunteers will receive clear information about weekly goals and in-class activities in order to be successful in their mentorship roles.

This project is made possible with the generous support of the Methow Valley Public School Funding Alliance.

We can promise that you will have fun and discover that our 7th graders are inquisitive and enthusiastic!

Want to sign up? Questions or want more information? Email junior high science teacher Matt Hinckley at mhinckley@methow.org.

Help Build A Resilient Methow: Attend the Community Climate Action Workshop on Tuesday, November 19th

The Liberty Bell Climate Action Group invites you to participate in an important workshop to address climate change impacts in the Methow Valley. For the past year a group of concerned community leaders in the Methow, including Liberty Bell students, have joined together to convene a Climate Action Task Force. The Task Force, which comprises the health, economic, infrastructure, natural systems, and agriculture sectors of our valley, has been evaluating impacts from the changing climate in our valley – and finding potential solutions.

For the last several years, the Methow watershed has experienced changes in seasonal water availability and an increase and severity of wildfires. In four of the last five years, the region endured record-breaking wildfires, followed by intense thunderstorms and mudslides that destroyed additional homes and roads. Adding to injury, several seasons of prolonged smoke exposure has forced children, elderly and sensitive population to stay indoors, wear respirators, or leave the valley altogether.

Regional scientific projections indicate that by 2040, there will be additional significant changes to the snowpack and water availability and increased wildfire risks, potentially resulting in devastating impacts to the Valley’s residents, the local economy, and quality of life.

Methow Valley Community Climate Action Plan WorkshopIdentifying and prioritizing potential climate impacts and solutions is the first step to developing a Methow Climate Action Plan. Now we need your help to ensure we have identified all potential impacts and start the process of determining what impacts are the most urgent and important to the Methow Valley community. The Task Force invites you to join us on Tuesday, November 19th to start the process of developing a Methow Climate Action Plan.

We will be joined for a short presentation by Dr. Amy Snover, Director of the UW Climate Impacts Group at the University of Washington as well as community leaders, elected officials, business owners and more. Dr. Snover’s presentation begins promptly at 6 p.m., so we request that attendees please arrive by 5:45 p.m. Following the presentation will be opportunities to help the Task Force identify additional impacts and potential solutions, as well as prioritize them.

Pizza, refreshments and childcare will be available at this free event. We would appreciate an RSVP to help us account for childcare and food, so please register at Eventbrite if you plan to attend the workshop.

We believe your perspective is incredibly important to create and implement a just and effective local Climate Action Plan. We invite Methow Valley students, teachers, parents and interested community members to add your voice to the future of this valley, its residents, and all who come to enjoy this most special part of Washington.

Thank you so much. We I hope to see you there!

Lena Nelson
Liberty Bell Jr-Sr HS Student and Climate Action Group Member

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Winter Break • All Schools and the District Office Closed Monday, December 23 through Friday, January 3rd, 2020