Reopening Schools

Reopening Schools Fall 2020

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SSD Regular Board Meeting Update - Nov. 30, 2020

Because there may be some confusion about what took place, we wanted to give you a recap of last night's SSD School Board Meeting. Superintendent McKay gave two recommendations to the school board. The first was to follow the Yakima Health District's recommendation to postpone the start of hybrid learning for Sunnyside High School students until further notice. The second recommendation was to return all students currently attending in hybrid learning to online learning. 

The board first took a vote on accepting Superintendent McKay's recommendation to return all students to online learning. The vote was 2-2, which means the motion did not pass. Students in elementary and middle school will continue attending in-person at this time.

The board then took a vote to postpone the high school's shift to hybrid learning, and that motion passed with a vote of 4-0. Our high school students will not be starting hybrid learning as planned on Dec. 14.

At this time, there are only four voting members of the school board because the fifth member, Dylan Gardner, resigned his position at the Nov. 18 meeting. We will be releasing information about filling the open position in the next few days. 

Before we close, we also want to state, without question of a doubt, that we are proud of the work SSD employees are doing and we have been amazed and inspired by the shifts in practice, supports, and accommodations that have been accomplished in such a short time. As Superintendent McKay said last night, we are a district that comes through hard things stronger than ever, and this is something we will come through as well. Let's stay united in our focus on students, work together as hard as possible to keep our learning environments safe for students and staff, and support each other no matter our department, position, or school building.

SSD Special Board Meeting Update - Nov. 19, 2020

The Sunnyside School District Board of Directors held a special school board meeting last night to discuss the recommendation of the Yakima Health District to pause the launch of high school hybrid learning and listen to student, staff, and community member concerns. Our Sunnyside High School students are not scheduled to return to school until Dec. 14, so it is the determination of the Board of Directors that we will continue with planning for the launch, and re-evaluate as the date draws near. The Board continues to review information that is received from the Washington Health Department, the Yakima Health District, and OSPI. These documents are added to the Reopening Schools webpage as they come available.

At this time there are no changes to elementary hybrid learning, or the launch of middle school hybrid learning on Nov. 23. Our middle schools, Harrison and Sierra Vista, will continue to communicate with middle school families regarding the start of school.  

All high school sports opportunities are required to take place outside, and athletes have received updated information from their coaches regarding practices, times and locations. 

The recommendation from the Yakima Health District comes as the number of COVID-19 cases across all populations continues to rise, and in particular a 42% increase in COVID-19 cases among high school aged students over the past two months. 


According to Dr. Teresa Everson, Health Officer with Yakima Health District, the most important way families can help keep schools open for our younger learners, is to ensure all health screenings are taking place. Checking students every day for COVID-19 symptoms, keeping them home when symptoms are present, and getting tested for the virus, allows schools and the health district to trace cases quickly and stop the spread. She also commended schools across Yakima County for their incredible success in conducting in-person learning so far and for taking all necessary precautions to ensure safe learning environments for students and staff. 


We know that our high school aged students have busy lives with school, work, and family obligations. Please remind them of the importance of wearing masks, social distancing, and frequent hand washing or use of sanitizer. 

Important Documents 

Below are links to documents used in the planning for SSD Hybrid Learning.
Below is all the information currently available regarding our plans to bring students back to school for in-person learning. Information will be continually updated, so please check back often. If you have a question about something that is not listed here, please reach out to or by telephone to 509-836-8703.
Required Practices for Reopening Schools

Positive Case Protocol

Contact Tracing

Entering Schools

Non Class Time page

School Safety

Cleaning and Sanitation

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