Happy Valentine’s Day Valley!

Our students will be spending the Valentine’s Day at home as our staff deepen their love of all things teaching and learning! For the rest of this month, we plan to continue to do some outreach into our community in a variety of ways. It is the perfect month to spread the love of our community, our kids, our history, and our plans moving forward!

I am happy to report that my outreach sessions of Coffee & Conversation and Appetizers and Alliances are well attended. I met this morning with four community members and two delightful kids to discuss what is happening within the district as well as the symbiotic relationship with Restore the Roar. My next opportunity to meet with the community will be next Tuesday the 15th at R & D’s in Nashville from 5:00-6:15 pm. 

Our community engagement will continue on Monday as the School Board hosts four candidates who have applied to fill the vacancy following Mr. Brian Green’s resignation. Mr. Grant D’Agostino, Mrs. Kelly Dunham, Mrs. Christina Langworthy, and Mr. Jeff Zank will be participating in interviews with our board of education to determine a new trustee who will serve until December 31, 2022. This meeting will be streamed, and public comment will be availed to people physically present at the central office building. See our website for the agenda and link for the meeting.

We are working on a project to find class officers from each graduating class back to 1995.  Once we have a complete database of those officers, Restore the Roar has committed to helping us get current contact information for that group. Once we get in touch with them, we want to transition their class funds to accounts managed by them and clean up our fiduciary accounts. If you are an officer or are aware of officers from classes 1995-2020, please write to kzank@mvs.k12.mi.us so we can include the names in our officer database. Different classes have different amounts of funds so there may be an opportunity to pool the funds for a big donation to the school district or to have seed money for class reunions, or to gift to our current classes who struggled to raise funds during the pandemic. 

Finally, keep an eye out for an invitation to a community-wide online Town Hall. This is phase 2 of our ongoing outreach to hold meaningful conversations with our community about how we will spend our ESSER III funds. Back in January, we did two rounds of surveys asking all stakeholders to identify and then strive for consensus on the ranking of allowable expenditures for the long-term and short-term benefit to Maple Valley. We plan to leverage these funds as much as possible as matching funds for other grants we have earned from the Department of Justice for student safety and E-rate technology grants (pending) to keep our district current in these critical areas. We are also planning to evaluate and select curriculum and plan professional development for our staff. Hiring is being planned to allow for more small group interventions and student learning programming to address the challenges of the pandemic. All of these areas received strong support in our surveys, and now we plan to hold a virtual meeting with small break-out rooms hosted by our staff in charge of the given areas to explain our evolving plans and seek input from the community. We hope to have a wide cross-section of all staff, students, parents, and community members to give us input and feedback on the evolution of our plans moving forward.  

As numbers continue to drop, we are EAGERLY looking forward to how we can continually improve the experiences of our students and community in Maple Valley. 

It is a great day to spread the love in the Valley!

Dr. Bertolini