New Greenhouse for Classroom in Bloom with help from Winthrop-Kiwanis Club

Food is Our Common Ground. A Universal Experience.
~ James Beard

Building a Classroom in Bloom GreenhouseOperating with the mindset of “build it and they will come, better yet have access to enriching, outdoor learning opportunities and healthy, nutritious meals cultivated by their own hands,” Classroom in Bloom (CiB) staff, board members, and members of the Winthrop-Kiwanis Club gathered together early this morning to launch the construction of the new greenhouse!

The 72′ x 24′ greenhouse will expand the growing season, learning opportunities, and food production used in MVSD’s meal services.

For those who are not yet familiar with Classroom in Bloom, they are a non-profit organization established to enrich education through school gardening for K-12 students in the Methow Valley School District of Okanogan County, WA. The centerpiece of their effort is a 1-acre student-led garden, soon to include a new greenhouse.

Through the garden CiB creates experiential, inquiry-based learning opportunities and teach ecosystem complexity and science education. They cultivate an understanding of sustainable food systems and foster a love of fresh and healthful foods. They believe that children love to eat the food they grow, and they make this a reality for our students.

As part of the curriculum, students help build soil, turn compost, save and sow seeds, pull weeds, prune trees, clean tools, harvest food and weigh and deliver fresh produce for our Farm to Cafeteria program.

These collaborative outdoor experiences on the farm build self-esteem, develop personal responsibility, foster community involvement, and connect each student’s personal health to nature and the environment. Teams collaborate to plant seeds, harvest crops, grow food for others in need, and share a meal based on a good day’s work.

Please join us as we thank Classroom in Bloom staff, their board of directors, Winthrop-Kiwanis, Public School Funding Alliance, Community Foundation of North Central Washington, MVSD Food Services Team, and the many donors throughout our community who make enriching learning experiences and access to healthy, nutritious, tasty meals for all students possible!

Who’s a Published Poet? Well, Six Kids and a Teacher from Okanogan County, Including Two Students from Liberty Bell…

Claudia Castro LunaWhen WA State Poet Laureate Claudia Castro Luna visited Okanogan County schools last fall, she invited students, teachers, and community members to submit poems to her for her interactive poetry project, which is a map of Washington State with poems attached that represent specific places across the state.

Six students and a teacher have been selected for inclusion in this online exhibit: Keeley Brooks and Travis Grialou from the Methow Valley School District #350, Diego Guzman and Jacob Monaco from the Brewster School District, Dean Busching, a teacher in the Brewster School District, and Joshua Looke and Jacob Stanley from the Okanogan School District 105. Congratulations, poets!

Check out the Okanogan County poets’ work on the Washington Poetic Routes map, and understand the meaning of place for some of our local students and teachers:

Supported by Methow Valley Citizens Council, MVSD Student Interns and Alumni Take Action on Climate Change

MVSD Students in Olympia - Climate Change
Displaying the attributes and attitudes commonly associated with “action-oriented” citizenship, several MVSD student interns and alumni have been deeply engaged in the topic of climate change. Supported by the Methow Valley Citizens Council, they have been actively involved in a variety of community-based initiatives and more recently, legislative advocacy efforts involving our representatives in Olympia.

In addition to their recent advocacy work in Olympia, they would like to invite each of you to learn more about climate change by attending a free screening of the critically acclaimed National Geographic film Paris to Pittsburgh on Tuesday, April 16th at Liberty Bell Jr./Sr. High School’s Auditorium.

Watch the trailer for the film here,

Honoring Excellence – Congratulations Don Haley and Max Thomas, MVSD’s 2019 Excellence Award Recipients!

Each year, school district employees across the North Central region of Washington State are encouraged to submit the names of colleagues (one certificated employee and one classified employee) they believe represent excellence in public education.

This year, the Methow Valley School District received more nominations than ever, each highlighting the exceptional dedication and commitment to service taking place throughout our schools in support of students and families. At the end of the day, two names rose to the top…

Don Haley, Methow Valley Elementary School 4th Grade Teacher
Don HaleyServing as a 4th grade teacher at Methow Valley Elementary School, Mr. Haley works collaboratively with students, staff, and parents to ensure every student is engaged, takes ownership for their learning, and develops the critical thinking, research, communication, and self-management skills necessary to graduate prepared to pursue the widest range of post-secondary college, career, and life opportunities possible.

When staff was asked why they nominated Mr. Haley to receive the MVSD Excellence Award, one staff member stated, “Don has such a kind and patient personality. He always has a smile on his face and it’s clear that he cares deeply for his students and their success. He is a wonderful colleague and a respected and loved teacher!”

Another staff member added, “Mr. Haley is just the best! He makes every day enjoyable. All staff and students get energized just being around him. He is a dedicated, caring teacher. He is also a supportive, eager to jump in and help a colleague. He is constantly asking if you need help or if he can do something for you. And he is hilarious! Just try not having a smile on your face after a conversation with him.”

Finally, two other staff members chimed in with one stating, “Mr. Haley is a wonderfully kind, dedicated educator who is loved by his students.” The other capped the conversation, stating, “And his choice of ties make everyone’s day!”

Max Thomas, Methow Valley School District Educational Support Professional
Max ThomasServing as a first-year Educational Support Professional who works with Methow Valley Elementary School’s kindergarten students, Mr. Thomas has quickly established himself as a caring, compassionate educator and highly respected staff member of the Methow Valley School District who is loved by all!

When staff was asked why they nominated Mr. Thomas to receive the MVSD Excellence Award, a staff member who works closely with Mr. Thomas stated, “I have watched Max use kind words, a smile, humor, gentleness, and positive attitude with our kindergartners. He is consistently respectful when talking to them. What more could we ask for when working with our youngest learners?”

Another staff member commented, “Max is enthusiastic in his quest to get to know each student and appreciate the unique talents of every child. His energy and love of learning foster an exciting, playful, and safe environment.”

Another staff member concluded, “He is kind, patient and flexible. He is positive and brings light and love to his work and his students.”

Congratulations Don Haley and Max Thomas, Methow Valley School District’s 2019 Excellence Awards Recipients – You make all of us proud!

Presenting the 2019-20 MVSD School Calendar!

District Calendar Using the feedback provided by students, staff, parents, and community members, the Methow Valley Calendar Committee submitted a proposed 2019-20 MVSD School Calendar to the superintendent and school board for final approval at Wednesday’s regular board meeting.

In advance of voting, members of the school board acknowledged the many complexities associated with the establishment of a school calendar.

Board Chair, Marchbank stated, “It’s an impossible task to create one calendar that pleases everyone. However, I must say that I’m pleased by the committee’s effort to prioritize teaching and learning, build in multiple opportunities for students, parents, and teachers to come together to set goals and discuss their progress, provide ongoing professional development opportunities for all staff… and develop a calendar that recognizes the County Fair as a rich part of our Valley’s history by providing a day off on the first Friday.” It received unanimous support and final approval from the school board.

A final draft of the calendar on display will be made available shortly following Spring Break, but we wanted make this information available to you sooner rather than later for those of you eager to make summer plans.


Download/view Draft 2019-20 District Calendar

Liberty Bell’s Knowledge Bowl Team Crowned State Champions!

Led by Coach Hubbard, the LBHS Knowledge Bowl Team capped an exceptional season by taking 1st place at the Washington State 2B Knowledge Bowl State Tournament.

Liberty Bell Knowledge Bowl State Champions-2019

What is Knowledge Bowl?
Washington State Knowledge Bowl is an academic competition for high school students in Washington State. Imported from Colorado, Olympic ESD 114 coordinated the state’s first Knowledge Bowl competition during the 1980-1981 school year in which forty-two teams from the region’s fifteen high schools competed.Within a few years, all ESDs in the state were coordinating regional competitions and the first state tournament was held in 1984.

Each of the nine ESDs (Educational Service Districts) in Washington State hold regional Knowledge Bowl competitions. Regional competitions are held between November and early March. Each ESD decides the format that will be used in their respective regions and how many regional competitions will be held.

The regional competitions that determine which teams will advance to the state-level tournament typically take place in February or early March. The number of teams each ESD region is allotted for the state tournament varies each year with the number of schools that compete at each division (based on Washington Interscholastic Activities Association classification) in each ESD region. The top 18 teams in Divisions 4A, 2A, 1A, and 2B, and the top 12 teams in Divisions 3A and 1B, advance to the state tournament.

Please join us as we congratulate Coach Leverette Hubbard and the LBHS Knowledge Bowl Team – 2019 2B State Champions!


Memorial Day: Monday, May 27, 2019 - All Schools and the District Office Will Be Closed to the Public