While public schools across Yakima County plan to resume school online only in the fall, Yakima’s largest private schools will stick with plans for in-person learning.
The Yakima Health District recommended late Wednesday that all local schools begin fall classes remotely, with the exception of potential group instruction of fewer than five students per classroom for high-needs students. This could include those with language barriers or disabilities, for example, and would be at the discretion of the school district. The announcement came after the state put Yakima County on its “high risk” list earlier in the day and recommended schools remain remote.
Almost all local school districts have announced plans for online learning, with the exception of Sunnyside, Wapato, Naches Valley and Mt. Adams school district, which are awaiting local school board decisions. Officials from Naches Valley and Mt. Adams said remote learning was highly likely.
Private La Salle High School and St. Joseph Marquette Catholic School plan to meet with students in person this fall.
Both schools previously outlined detailed safety measures planned for in-person learning, and administrators from each school said Thursday morning that those plans hold.
La Salle students will return to campus on Aug. 20. St. Joseph Marquette students will return to school Sept. 1.
La Salle President Tim McGree said the school will be proceeding “with an abundance of caution.”
“Our intention is (to) monitor continuously and adjust if necessary,” he said.
St. Joseph Marquette Principal Gregg Pleger said the school would consult its school committee this evening and send out a survey to families to see if they are still interested in returning to campus after the state and local recommendations. The school has a remote option for families, and a “robust” health and safety plan that goes above the health guidelines outlined by the state and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Most local district administrators gave a timeline of how long families and staff should expect to continue remote learning, at a minimum. Here’s a breakdown by district:
Students in Yakima School District will be learning remotely for at least the first 18 weeks of the school year.
West Valley, East Valley, Highland and Granger school districts plan to do remote learning through Oct. 30.
Selah School District has plans for remote learning through the first trimester, or around Dec. 4, unless conditions change.
Grandview students can expect to study remotely for the first 60 days of school.
Zillah School District plans to be remote through Oct. 8.
Union Gap students will be remote through Oct. 23.
Toppenish administrators have said remote learning will continue until in-person schooling is considered safe by the CDC, while Mabton School District will have more information available on its remote learning plans on Tuesday.
Check district websites for additional details.