Safe Start to School
  • August 5, 2020

    Dear Yakima School District Families,

    The Yakima School District will be in Stage A of our reopening plan for the first semester of the 2020-21 school year. Stage A is fully remote/distance learning.

    Many people have been working diligently to prepare for the 2020-21 school year. Yakima School District (YSD) teams have prepared several options based on the priorities that we received staff, families, community organizations, and in accordance with the guidance that we received from the Yakima County Health Department plus the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI).  You can view all of these options/models in our reopening plan at www.YSD7.org/reopeningplan

    During this COVID-19 pandemic, our August 26 “return to learning” will be quite different, just like most things these days. Although currently on a positive trend, the health status of our area is not near a status that supports in-person learning. The health and safety of our students and staff remain our top priorities; however, we are just as committed to providing a quality education. With safety, security, and learning in mind, I am sharing an update on our plans to deliver learning this fall. 

    The school year will begin on August 26, 2020, with students engaging in STAGE A of YSD’s reopening plan. This is an upgraded fully-remote/distance learning model that is greatly enhanced from the approach that we used in the spring of 2020 when we closed urgently. We are scheduled to remain in STAGE A for one school semester or 18 weeks. We will continuously re-evaluate with the hope that we can move to some in-person learning sooner. Note that the “Stages” in YSD’s reopening plan are not the same as the “Phases” in the Governor’s reopening plan.

    Distance Learning: Teachers will work with their classes and students virtually. Your student is already enrolled in this model. In this model, when the health department says we can return to in-person learning, we will move to the appropriate stage of our reopening plan as quickly as possible. This will likely not happen before January.

    100% Online School: Another option for your student is a fully online school where the pace of work is up to the student, with guidance from a teacher. When YSD is approved to return to in-person learning, these students will remain 100% online. 6-12 graders can transfer to this school, called Yakima Online. Their classwork will be done at their pace through an online product called Edgenuity with support from a YSD teacher.  Kindergarteners through 5th graders can also participate in 100% online school and use the Edgenuity product but they will remain enrolled at their boundary elementary school.  Preschoolers will have a special online platform and their own learning devices for remote learning as well. The minimum commitment to 100% online schools is one semester (18 weeks). If you would like for your student to learn via the 100% online school, please go to www.YSD7.org/reopen for more details.

    As conditions with the virus progress, we will continue to keep you informed of any changes to the learning and teaching process.  Thank you for your patience and unity as we move forward in this unprecedented time together.

    Over the next few weeks, please look for information from your child’s school regarding learning schedules, meal distribution, laptop checkout, Internet access, and more

    Information is continuously being updated to our Reopening Information website at www.YSD7.org/reopen

    Sincerely,

    Trevor Greene, Superintendent

    Yakima School District



Frequently Asked Questions

  • Why aren’t my taxes lower if kids aren’t attending school in person? Isn’t the district saving money on things like transportation and food?

    Posted by Kirsten Fitterer on 9/4/2020

    COVID-19 has forced school districts to reimagine education and shift from traditional, in-person instruction to remote only instruction, except for small and specific groups of students. 

    With this shift comes new and unbudgeted expenses, such as the need to purchase more computer hardware and software to support remote learning, as well as the need to buy required PPE for staff for the eventual transition to a hybrid instruction schedule. 

    At the same time, school districts are facing a loss in state funding because of declines in enrollment, with families choosing other options for educating their children.

    Facility costs such as water and power, as well as staff costs don’t go away just because students aren’t in the building. Teachers, while instructing remotely, are still working and school districts must honor labor contracts and continue to pay employees.

    Even though some positions such as bus drivers may not be needed during remote instruction (our bus drivers are assisting with meal distribution), school districts must still pay their share of unemployment claims from laid off staff. This is another unforeseen and unbudgeted expense. 

    Comments (-1)
  • Why are childcare centers/daycares still open? How are these different than schools?

    Posted by Kirsten Fitterer on 8/18/2020

    The science around children and COVID indicate that very young children, those typically in child care, are less likely to become infected.

    Child care facilities provide an essential service for parents who must work. If centers are closed, there’s concern children may be left with grandparents or other individuals who are at higher risk for serious illness.

    Washington State Department of Children, Youth, and Families has established guidance that child care facilities must follow. The guidance is aimed at reducing the risk of COVID-19 transmission at child center facilities and includes:

    o   small groups that do not interact and staff that do not move between groups (maximum of 22 individuals). Many child care providers choose to have smaller group sizes, which allows for more physical distancing.

    o   daily health screenings

    o   physical distancing as much as possible

    o   increased hygiene practices

    o   modified pickup/drop off, including keeping parents out of the program space

    o   staggering outside play schedules

    o   increased cleaning

    Child care settings are in a position to implement additional precautionary practices which would be difficult to implement more broadly in a school setting such as daily individual health screenings, staggered drop-off and pick up schedules, staggered outdoor play schedules and increased cleaning protocols.

    Reduced risk of infection, small group sizes and increased preventative measures make disease transmission in child care settings less likely than in less flexible settings such as schools.

    Comments (-1)
  • Please tell me more about the new K-5 100% Online option.

    Posted by Kirsten Fitterer on 8/11/2020 7:00:00 PM

    Please click this link to learn more about the K-5 100% Online option (Edgenuity).

    Comments (-1)
  • What about preschool?

    Posted by Kirsten Fitterer on 8/11/2020

    Please click this link to view Frequently Asked Questions for YSD's Early Learning preschool.

     

    Comments (-1)
  • How do I ask questions?

    Posted by Kirsten Fitterer on 7/28/2020

    Let's Talk! is an always-on communication channel and we welcome your questions, comments, concerns, suggestions, and compliments at any time. To access the Let's Talk platform:

    Online: www.YSD7.org/letstalk

    Email: yakimaschools.wa@k12-lets-talk.com

    Phone: (509) 581-5250

     

    Comments (-1)
  • How will Highly Capable students be supported in distance learning?

    Posted by Kirsten Fitterer on 7/28/2020

    Highly capable services will continue in a hybrid or remote setting. Teachers will differentiate their teaching and will provide additional enrichment opportunities for highly capable students using the Guaranteed and Viable Curriculum at the student's particular grade level. At the elementary level, students will continue to receive Student Learning Plans. Teachers will work with the parents and students to develop a Student Learning Plan that will outline the student learning goals for the year. At the secondary level, students will have access to differentiated instruction, acceleration, and advanced programs. For all students K-12, academic progress will be monitored and reported at the end of the year.

    Comments (-1)
  • Will there be opportunities to support parents in learning how to better support their child’s online learning from home?

    Posted by Kirsten Fitterer on 7/28/2020

    Yes, we are planning opportunities for parents to engage in web-based, self-paced home language tutorials on the major tools our teachers will be using. We are also conducting a parent needs survey in order to understand how we can best serve parents as they support their students from home. Schools are also developing ways to engage parents in assignment distribution, due dates, reading materials, and direct discussions with teachers and other staff. 

    Comments (-1)
  • How will schools/teachers support students who need personalized one-on-one attention?

    Posted by Kirsten Fitterer on 7/28/2020

    We recognize that remote learning cannot fully meet the needs of some students with unique needs, and we are evaluating the ways in which we will be able to provide face-to-face or remote, one-on-one and small group support for these identified scholars. 

    Comments (-1)
  • My student has a 1:1 paraeducator in their IEP; how will that be provided in a distance learning setting?

    Posted by Kirsten Fitterer on 7/28/2020

    IEP teams will need to convene to determine how and when that support will be provided to students based on the student's individual needs. In many cases, the support can be provided via one on one remote sessions with the scholar to help access assignments and provide support in independent work. It may also include support from a paraeducator during live class sessions. We are committed to collaborating with families to implement individualized education programs (IEPs) to the maximum extent possible and ensure students with IEPs receive the services they need to be successful in the remote environment. 

    Comments (-1)
  • How will kids on IEPs be supported?

    Posted by Kirsten Fitterer on 7/28/2020

    We are committed to collaborating with families to implement individualized education programs (IEPs) to the maximum extent possible during the pandemic while maintaining the health and safety of scholars, families, and staff. Following state guidance, special education services will align with the general education full remote service model with student-specific decisions made in collaboration with families to address IEP services and support needs and to ensure access to general education settings and instruction. Student progress towards IEP goals will be closely monitored to allow IEP teams to meet and adjust services and supports if the data indicates the student is not making progress.

    Comments (-1)
  • Current Status STAGE A