The Valley School staff participated in a number of problem-solving activities last winter and spring based on needs identified through the 2015-16 school year.
This analyzation process is part of our continuous improvement philosophy to best serve student needs with the resources available. As a result of this work, students and parents will see new class configurations and locations when school starts on August 30.
Starting off, we will offer two first grade teachers and classrooms and two fourth grade teachers and classrooms to support higher-than-usual student enrollment in those grades. Additionally, in the middle school, we will split both the eighth grade class and the sixth grade class into two sections to create overall smaller classroom sizes during core subjects.
Creating space for the additional classes has kept our facilities team and teachers busy this summer. The kindergarten classrooms will be in Portable #7, which has been recently refurbished. The building has adjoining inside doors, bathrooms and sinks in two rooms, and allows two groups to easily come together at any time.
The additional first grade class will be in Room 173 where the kindergarten class was previously located. The second fourth grade classroom will be located in Room 123, near the office foyer of the school. All other classroom locations remain the same.
Another area of change will be within the Master Schedule. The following groups will share recesses and encore times: kindergarten and first grade; second and third grade; fourth and fifth grade. This adjustment allows us to offer all of our encore classes (P.E., art and music) in a consistent five-day rotation. It also allows for overall smaller recess groups with more age appropriate interactions.
The staff at Valley School is looking forward to the many positive possibilities created by these changes in the coming school year.
Valley School District is pleased to welcome several new teachers this school year. Larger class sizes and several open positions resulting from staff leaving the district have prompted a flurry of hiring since early June.
Larger class sizes have necessitated adding an additional classroom in first and fourth grades.
Veteran teachers Julie Sautter and Sandy Wayenberg will each lead first grade classes. Sautter, daughter of long-time Valley teacher Leslie Kristiansen, came back to the Chewelah valley recently from Newport, Oregon. Since Julie has been back, she has served as a certificated substitute in most grade levels in the Chewelah and Valley school districts.
Stepping in for Mrs. Bellevue, who was granted a one-year leave of absence, is Sandy Wayenberg. She has been a substitute teacher in the Deer Park school district while raising her two children, who are recent graduates from high school and college.
Recent EWU graduate Laci Park will bring lots of enthusiasm to third grade as she advances into a teaching position vacated by Kallie Tilla. Laci is very eager to start her career at Valley School, having completed her student teaching in first grade at Deer Park Elementary.
Twenty five-year teaching veteran Karon Axtell will fill the new fourth grade position. A northeast Montana native, Karon has a variety of experience in positions and grade levels throughout districts in northeast Washington and New Mexico.
Misty Larson was recently hired for a second grade teaching position held by Anna Pitt, who moved out of district. Through an innovative agreement with Whitworth University, she will complete her student teaching in the classroom alongside a long-term substitute teacher and, upon completion of her certification mid-year, she will become the second grade teacher. Misty previously served as the lead preschool teacher at Valley Early Learning Center and has worked in both Valley and Chewelah school districts in various positions for the past seven years.
The new Paideia High School science and math teacher, Pete Whittekiend, also has local roots, growing up in Elk and attending Riverside High School. He completed his degree in education with an emphasis on math and social studies at Eastern Washington University, and received a master’s degree through Lesley University in Massachusetts. Pete taught math, geography and other courses at Selkirk School District until 2014, and worked for K12, Inc. in assessment and research.
Rebecca Dulaney is joining the CVA teaching staff full time after serving as a CVA substitute teacher last year. For the past 10 years she taught at the St. Mary of the RosaryPreschool in Chewelah, as well as substituted in the Chewelah and Valley school districts.
Also joining the CVA staff is Jason Harrison, who has served at both Valley School and CVA as a substitute teacher in past years.
Jason grew up in the area and attended Valley School and Jenkins High School. He has a varied background in environmental studies, outdoor education, wildlife and marine biology and other natural sciences.
Returning to CVA in a new position titled Technical Support Representative, Linda Farrington will assist students, families and staff with technology processes and issues.
Linda worked as a para-educator in the CVA special education department last year, and has previous experience in CVA, both as a classified staff member and as a CVA parent.
Don’t forget, the Valley School District’s first day is Tuesday, Aug. 30.
-Submitted by Valley Schools