Updates for YSD Parents & Guardians

Information and Tips for Success

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We're Listening! Take Our School Improvement Survey

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In order for us to continue to improve our school district and the schools within it, it is important for us to understand your perceptions about the job we are doing in providing a quality education for your children. The survey will take you only 1-2 minutes per child (please take one survey per child that you have in the Yakima School District). Your feedback is important and we want to know what you believe are our strengths and our opportunities for growth.

In previous years, we have asked you to complete this survey as one large survey. This year, we are splitting the survey into a series of six mini-surveys with fewer questions that take less time (approximately 1-2 minutes each) over the course of the school year.


The information that we receive will be reported back to each building. This feedback gives us valuable information to support our School Improvement Plans and all of our students.

We value your input as we strive to continue to improve our schools. Thank you for your feedback.

FAQ Regarding Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine for Children Ages 5-11

(As of 11/3/21 8 a.m.) In addition to FDA and CDC authorization, before children ages 5-11 can receive the vaccine in Washington, a Western States Scientific Safety Review workgroup must review the federal authorization process and conclude the vaccine is safe and effective for this age group in participating states. That review and authorization is expected to happen before the end of this week.

We’ve received questions about the recent authorization of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5-11. Here is some information on vaccination and vaccination availability for kids if families choose to get their children vaccinated.

  • The COVID vaccine is NOT a required vaccine for children attending the Yakima School District.

  • Parents or guardians that choose to get their children vaccinated should contact their child’s healthcare provider first and then try other locations. Locations offering COVID vaccines may be found here. It’s a good idea to check with the location to see if they have child vaccine doses before arriving. (https://vaccinelocator.doh.wa.gov/)

  • The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine for children 5 through 11 years old is administered as a two-dose series, 3 weeks apart, but is a lower dose (10 micrograms) than that used for individuals 12 years of age and older (30 micrograms).

  • Much like adults, children may also experience some side effects from the vaccine. These side effects are normal signs that your body is building protection and should go away within a few days.

  • More information on what to expect when getting vaccinated may be found here. (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/expect/after.html)

  • The American Academy of Pediatrics created a video to help families understand how the vaccine works. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YOlrNlvEiMw)

  • According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the vaccine’s safety was studied in approximately 3,100 children ages 5 through 11 who received the vaccine and no serious side effects have been detected in the ongoing study.

Visitors to school buildings limited but permitted starting November 1

Visitor/Volunteer Requirements

  1. All visitors/volunteers staying less than 30 minutes are not required (but are encouraged) to provide proof of vaccination. These visitors must be masked and maintain 6 feet social distancing.

  1. All visitors/volunteers staying longer than 30 minutes will be required to provide proof of vaccination. These visitors must be masked and maintain 6 feet social distancing.

  1. All volunteers must have a volunteer application on file with the Yakima School District. The volunteer application includes a background check. To pick one up, please go to the reception desk at Central Administration, 104 N 4th Ave, 7:30 am - 4:30 pm.

  1. Each school/building is responsible for the documentation of visitors/volunteers in their facility.

  1. Schools/buildings are expected to:

    1. Have a list of who was in the building, the date, and how long they were there.

    2. Verify visitor/volunteer (longer than 30 minutes) vaccination card/ photo of the vaccination card each time they enter.

COVID-19 Symptoms: What do we watch for?

Symptoms of COVID-19

Most people who get COVID-19 have mild symptoms, including a fever and cough. Adults and children have reported the following symptoms or a combination of symptoms, which may appear two to 14 days after exposure:

  • Fever of 100.4°F / 38°C or higher
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Chills
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle pain or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Other signs of new illness that are unrelated to a preexisting condition (such as seasonal allergies)

This list does not include all possible symptoms. To learn more about COVID-19 symptoms, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website (www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/symptoms)

More information about Yakima School District and COVID-19 can be found on our website at www.YSD7.org/covid19

Back-to-School Frequently Asked Questions (updated 8/25/21)

Q. When is the first day of school?

A. Today! August 25th. It is a half day.

Q. Are we returning in person?

A. Yes, the Yakima School District is in person.

Q. Will facial coverings be required for vaccinated and unvaccinated staff and students?

A. Yes. This is a legal requirement from the state that schools must follow. Local school districts do not have the ability to implement less restrictive requirements. More info.

Q. When do the school offices open for questions/paperwork?

A. Elementary 8-4:30, Middle and High School 7-3:30, District 7:30-4:30

Q. What if I need to enroll a student?

A. Please visit your student's school directly. Here is a list of addresses.

Q. Where are the school supply lists?

A. There are no school supply lists and thus no cost to parents/guardians this year as all supplies will be provided for all students by our schools and community partners as they are needed at school throughout the year.

Q. When will bus routes for the 2021-22 school year be updated.

A. The routes are posted. Check this web page for updates.

Q. Will parent/guardian communications be improved this year?

A. Yes! The Yakima School District is using ParentSquare as the all-in-one communications platform for messages from the teacher, school, and district. Parents/Guardians do not need to sign-up to receive messages. If parents/guardians want to engage with the classroom, school, or district via ParentSquare, sign up for conferences or to volunteer, sign forms, report an absence, etc., a sign-up is necessary (use your email or phone that the school has on file for you in Skyward). Go to www.YSD7.org/parentsquare to sign up or read more information.

For additional back-to-school questions, please use our Let's Talk platform at https://www.ysd7.org/contactus We are working to hit our goal of a same-day response!

Welcome to ParentSquare!

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The Yakima School District is now using the ParentSquare platform for the district, school, and classroom communications, primarily with email, text, and app notifications. ParentSquare automatically generates an account for each parent/guardian, using their email address and/or phone number (use the email and phone number that you have provided to your school and is in our Skyward Student Information System).

How To Sign Up

  • Tip! If your contact details aren't recognized, contact your school to get them added. After they update your information in their database, the new contact details will appear in ParentSquare after the next daily sync, and you will be able to create an account.

  • Tip! Use your email or the phone number that you have provided to your school and is in our Skyward Student Information System to set up your account otherwise ParentSquare will not be able to link your account to your student's information. Your email/phone number must match contact details in the school's database for this to work.

What Is ParentSquare

ParentSquare is a robust all-in-one communication platform that offers a whole host of tools that allow the district, school administrators, and teachers to more effectively communicate with families and students. Some features include:

  • Mass Notifications and Urgent Alerts with two-way communication
  • Mobile Application for administrators and parents
  • Attendance Notifications
  • Teacher and Classroom Communication
  • Direct Messaging and Chat with Two-Way Translation
  • Social and Website Share
  • Forms and Permission Slips
  • Parent-Teacher Conference Sign-Ups
  • Calendar and RSVP
  • Volunteering and Supply Sign-Up
  • StudentSquare (similar to Remind)
ParentSquare Overview for Parents

All persons 12 and older are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine

Everyone age 12 and older is eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccination. We want to be sure you have information on how to sign up for a free vaccine appointment, should you choose to have your student vaccinated. As a reminder, vaccination is not currently mandatory.

Local health officials have indicated that parental consent is required for youth (under 18) to get vaccinated. COVID-19 vaccines are free. If you have health insurance, you may be asked to provide that information. But if you do not have insurance, you will not be charged.

For more information about COVID-19 vaccine, visit your county’s Public Health website.


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Enhanced Safety & Risk Mitigation Measures

The health and safety of our staff and students is our number one priority. All of our decisions and protocols are fact-based and grounded in the latest data and science. No solution will be perfect, and modifications will likely be needed as we learn more and as guidance changes. With that said, by putting a number of different precautions in place, we can minimize risk and return to in-person learning. We'd like to share the numerous safety and risk mitigation measures that the Yakima School District has taken - going above and beyond what is required - to create an environment where our students and staff feel protected.

  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): The Yakima School District has extensive PPE for distribution across the district. PPE supplies have been acquired to support the specialized needs of classrooms, departments, and all staff/students.

  • Physical Distancing: When possible, physical distancing is in place at YSD schools.

  • Health Attestation: If attestations are necessary, information regarding health and/or vaccination attestations will be forthcoming.

  • Hand Sanitation: Additional hand sanitation stations have been set up around the district.

  • Enhanced Cleaning: We have hired additional custodial support and acquired new equipment and technologies to enhance our cleaning efforts throughout the district.

We Need Your Help

The Yakima School District has implemented protocols to reduce and eliminate the spread of COVID-19 at school - but we also need help from you. We are asking staff, parents, and students to participate in routine COVID-19 testing to help contain the virus, protect our communities, open up opportunities for in-person learning, and keep students and teachers healthy and safe.

We are still asking everybody in our community to mask up, wash their hands, avoid crowds, and watch out for symptoms. Each precaution we take is like an added layer of protection, and vaccination adds another protective layer. We will need to continue to use all of these layers together to dramatically decrease the risks.

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24/7 Technology Support

Please look online for answers to your technology questions. If you cannot find them, please contact our student account technical support line at (509) 573-7120 or studenthelpdesk@yakimaschools.org

Contact Us

The best way to get in line with your question is through our Let's Talk platform. It connects you directly with an expert that best knows the answer to your particular question. Let's Talk actually times us and sends us reminders if you have been waiting too long so that we can provide you with the best service possible.