Cub Club Explores the Beauty Found in Nature

Keep your love of nature, for that is the true way to understand art more and more. ~ Vincent Van Gogh

Cub Club Nature Club ArtWhat do you get when you combine the garden with art? Nature Club! When asked about the concept, local artist, Bruce Morrison stated, “What could be a better source of inspiration than the explosion of colors that unfolds within a garden during the fall.”

Last year, nearly two-thirds of our elementary students participated in one or more Cub Club activities!

Sponsored by the Public School Funding Alliance, coordinated by Katharine Bill, MVSD’s Family and Community Engagement Coordinator, Cub Club provides Methow Valley Elementary students in grades 1-6 with access to high-interest, engaging enrichment after-school activities that range from no-cost to low-cost for families. After-school transportation is provided to the Community Center in Twisp and Red Barn in Winthrop.

We are forever grateful to our many community partners, some of which include: Methow Arts, The Merc Theater, Classroom in Bloom, Methow Nordic, The Winthrop Ice and Sports Rink, Methow Valley Fly Fishers, Methow Recycles, Methow Valley Riding Unlimited, Methow Valley Youth Soccer, and the many community volunteers that generously donate their time, energy, and passions to make enriching after-school activities possible.

If you wish to learn more about the schedule of enriching activities and/or you’re interested in helping with any of these clubs, or you have another club idea you’d like to initiate, please contact Katharine Bill, MVSD Family and Community Engagement Coordinator at or (509) 341-4210.

Classroom in Bloom and MVES Students Buzzing with Excitement

I think, at a child’s birth, if a mother could ask a fairy godmother to endow it with the most useful gift, that gift should be curiosity.
~ Eleanor Roosevelt

Classroom in BloomThe attached photo recently taken in Mrs. Duguay’s 5th grade classroom captures Kim Bondi, Executive Director of Classroom, Emily Post, Educational Program Coordinator, and a group of students as they examine mason bees as part of a unit of study that integrates our school garden into their scientific studies.

Classroom in Bloom is a community garden, built to inspire Methow Valley children to live a healthy lifestyle, make healthy choices, and eat healthy food. Our Farm-to-Cafeteria program teaches about sustainable food systems that support our agricultural community, providing experiential, inquiry-based learning opportunities and a place-based sense of wonder. Our school garden produces thousands of pounds of produce, donated to the school cafeterias, the summer lunch program, and the Cove food bank.

Some of the many enriching programs of study associated with Classroom in Bloom include:

  • Elementary School garden curriculum
  • Garden Club after school program
  • Locals Lunch program
  • Harvest of the month program in school cafeterias
  • Kids summer day camps
  • Adult DirtWorks education programs
  • High school internship program
  • High school senior project mentorship
  • Expanded planting area
  • Worm composting and education
  • Winter culinary kitchen program
  • Approximately 2,000 pounds of produce annually

Thank you Public School Funding Alliance and Classroom in Bloom for your tireless efforts to ignite the innate curiosity and sense of wonder that exists within each and everyone of us!

Inquiring and Analyzing, Developing Ideas, Creating, and Evaluating… Liberty Bell Jazz Band Students Learning to Compose, Produce, and Perform through Music!

Jazz Band Student Composing MusicThursday, we caught members of the Liberty Bell Jazz Band applying the “Design Cycle” through music.

Using software funded by the district’s Technology Levy and instruments supported by a grant from the Winthrop Music Association, LB Music Teacher, Matt Armbrust has been teaching students how to compose and produce music in preparation for upcoming performances.

Working within the Design Cycle, a recursive process defined by inquiry, analysis, development, production, and evaluation, students develop the habits of mind associated with critical thinking, research process, communication, and self-management skills that support their learning across a variety of subject areas… Better yet, students are able to initiate meaningful action with their learning – In this case, developing, producing, and performing sweet sounds to the enjoyment of their audience.

Thank you Winthrop Music Association and Methow Valley Citizens for your generous support of our students, schools, and growing music program!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Dear Methow Valley Students, Parents, and Community Members,

As we rapidly approach Thanksgiving Break – a moment of pause, reflection, and gratitude – I wish to express my sincere gratitude and appreciation for the love, care, compassion, and tireless support of our schools and the students we serve, displayed by each of you.

Speaking with confidence, on behalf of the entire Methow Valley School District Board of Directors and staff, we are so grateful to be a part of a community that cares so deeply for its youth…

Cultivating Gratitude, Appreciation, and Happiness

Did you know expressing gratitude and appreciation is commonly associated with greater levels of happiness?

The Harvard Medical School published a body of research associated with the concept of gratitude. In there concluding remarks, they state: “The research (and common sense) suggests that one aspect of the Thanksgiving season can actually lift the spirits, and it’s built right into the holiday — expressing gratitude.”

Woman feeling gratitude The word gratitude is derived from the Latin word gratia, which means grace, graciousness, or gratefulness (depending on the context). In some ways gratitude encompasses all of these meanings. Gratitude is a thankful appreciation for what an individual receives, whether tangible or intangible. With gratitude, people acknowledge the goodness in their lives. In the process, people usually recognize that the source of that goodness lies at least partially outside themselves. As a result, gratitude also helps people connect to something larger than themselves as individuals — whether to other people, nature, or a higher power.

In positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.

While there are strategies that can be used to express gratitude, one way to cultivate gratitude includes:

Writing Thank You Notes – You can make yourself happier and nurture your relationship with another person by writing a thank-you letter expressing your enjoyment and appreciation of that person’s impact on your life. Send it, or better yet, deliver and read it in person if possible. Make a habit of sending at least one gratitude letter a month. Once in a while, write one to yourself.

Cultivating a Climate of Gratitude, Appreciation, and Happiness… An Invitation to You!

Equipped with this research, I’d like to invite each of you to join us in an effort to “cultivate a climate of gratitude, appreciation, and happiness” directed at one another, our educational partners, parent volunteers, and/or Methow Valley School District staff members who are making a positive difference in the lives of our students, families, and community.

How can I help cultivate a sense of gratitude, appreciation, and happiness throughout our community?

Submit a letter of gratitude (no more than 6 sentences), recognizing others for their positive contributions, to be published in the upcoming fall edition of the MV Pride.

The deadline for submitting your letter of gratitude is Friday, December 7th. Letters can be directed to Tom Venable at:

Haven’t done it before? Give it a try… Done it before? Keep doing it! You’ll feel better and so will others!

Happy Thanksgiving,

Tom Venable
Superintendent, Methow Valley School District

Liberty Bell Girls Soccer Team Place 4th at WIAA 2B State Soccer Championship!

2018 LB Girls Soccer ChampsLed by the experience of the of the veteran players and coaching staff, the youthful and tenacious Liberty Bell Girls Soccer team concluded their highly successful season this weekend, placing 4th at the WIAA 2B State Soccer Championship held at Sunset Stadium in Sumner, Washington.

Prior to the beginning of the season, it was anticipated by many that the LB Lions Girls Soccer team was entering a “rebuilding” year. So, how does a team who is described as one that is rebuilding finish 4th in State? When asked, one player stated, “We learned to trust in one another. We play together as a team.”

Faced with multiple challenges – player injuries and playing on artificial turf, the LB Girls Soccer team struggled to find the back of the net, losing 4-1 to St. George’s of Spokane in the semi-finals and 3-0 to Adna in the consolation game.

Despite the two losses, spirits and attitude remained high among the coaches, players, parents, and LB fans throughout the tournament. The sportsmanship displayed on and off the field by our team, coaching staff, parents, and fans was evident, with a parent from another school stating, “LB is a class act all the way around!”

Congratulations LB Lions Girls Soccer team… We’re so proud of you!

Liberty Bell Girls Soccer Team Headed to the Final Four!

2018 Girls Soccer Team Playing on our home pitch in front of a festive crowd, the undefeated Liberty Bell Girls Soccer team advanced to the final four of the WIAA 2B State Championship tonight, defeating Onalaska 2 – 0.

Following the game, one spectator was overheard stating, “This was supposed to be a rebuilding year… If this is a rebuilding year, I hope we’re always rebuilding!”

Congratulations to the Liberty Bell Girls Soccer team and coaching staff. You make us proud!


Happy Holidays Methow Valley! All Schools & the District Office will be Closed to the Public Monday, December 24th, 2018 through Friday, January 4th, 2019