2019-20 Newsletters

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  • McKinley has an active Facebook page, where we are frequently posting pics and updates.  Please like and follow us there.  Search for McKinley Elementary School.  See you there!

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  • Our school leadership put their heads together this summer and discerned a new vision statement.  We realized that all of us are Mavericks in this school family: students, staff and parents.  We work to bring out the best in each other.  We hope all of our fellow Mavericks will step into this vision with us.  Have a great school year, Mavericks!!


    McKinley vision statement poster

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District Announcements

  • Strategic Planning Initiative

    The Yakima School District is working with Performance Fact, Inc. to develop a new strategic plan for the district.

    The process launched on September 16, 2019, with student voice sessions that engaged over 100 students.

    In addition to the student voice session, stakeholders will be engaged through the core planning team, the alignment team, school board sessions, and community forums. The process will conclude in early 2020.  

    We invite you to attend community forums to share your voice in the process.

    Community Forums will be held from 6:00 pm until 7:30 pm on:

    October 14 (Davis Commons)

    October 15 (IKE Commons)

    and November 18 (Washington Middle School)

    The same content will be presented at all three sessions. They are all open to the public. Refreshments will be served. Translation will be available. Activities for young children will be available.  School-aged students are encouraged to participate.

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  • Open House Schedule for 2019-20

    Do you want to know more about the school your child will be attending next school year? Download the Open House schedule

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YSD Stories

  • NOOOOOO! Yes.

    Posted by Al Fischer on 9/3/2019

    Jenny Trafalger is currently reluctant to resume being Miss T.  It has been a fabulous summer.  She travelled with her college roommate to Montreal, she hiked in the Adirondacks, she even spent some time at the beach.  Her time is about to not be quite her own anymore, and she is in pre-mourning.  She picks up her room key from the school office and opens the door for the first time in two months.  It smells clean, but all of the furniture is piled in the middle of the room.  She takes a breath and starts to put things in place.  

    Julio does not like change.  He was comfortable in 4th grade, had all of his friends around every weekday, was entrenched in a healthy routine, then summer came and it all went away. His home life is not structured. His parents each work two jobs, and his big sister is mostly in charge.  He has settled into a summer routine, though it took time to get there. He is stressed about going back to school again.  Who will be his teacher?  Which friends will be in his class?  Will the rules still be the same?  The doorbell rings… it’s his new teacher, making home visits and saying hello.  

    For the rest of this story, please go to https://www.corelaboratewa.org/blog/teacher-leaders/single/~board/corelaborate-al-fischer-board/post/noooooo-yes

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  • FREE School Supplies for Students at McKinley Elementary

    Posted by Amanda Voorhees on 8/28/2019

    On the evening of Monday, August 26, over 300 students came to McKinley Elementary School to receive their FREE school supplies.

    Volunteers from both Valley Life Church and Trinity Family Fellowship met the students with a smile and a high five, while assisting students in collecting their school supplies.

    The school’s Faith Based Partners donated all the school supplies given out during the event.  McKinley Elementary would like to thank Valley Life Church, Trinity Family Fellowship, Yakima Valley Community Church, and St. Paul’s Cathedral for their donations for this event.  The evening was a HUGE success because of the donations of time, resources, and dollars that were given by these community partners.

    What a positive start to the school year for the McKinley Families.

    The line for school supplies wrapped around the gym!                 Backpack were also included.

    Thank you to the volunteers from Valley Life Church.                Thank you to the volunteers from Trinity Family Fellowship.

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  • An Argument for Music Education

    Posted by Al Fischer, NBCT on 4/1/2019

    I represent the specialist teachers in our building on our Instructional Leadership Team.  As an avid reader, a lover of math, and a believer in their benefit in education, I generally have helpful input as we discuss our most recent ELA and math test results, the trajectory of our students’ progress, and the host of other academic data that ebbs and flows through our attention.  Being the music teacher, though, I rarely have much to share about my subject area and our progress through my curriculum. Is there a place for my corner of student education in this era of academic assessment? I intend to prove that there is here, and should be everywhere.

    I am not aware of any school district in this state that does not mandate music education for every single elementary student...

    To see the rest of this story, please click here.  Thanks!

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    Posted by Al Fischer on 2/3/2019

    Fewer Than Five bracelets

    I have a second-grade music student named Vicente.  His class comes to music only once or twice per week.  I have marked him absent eleven

    times so far this year and don’t even really remember what he looks like.  This past week his classmates all told me he moved.  When I sought to confirm this with the office, they told me, “No, he’s still enrolled.”  Which habit is this student building? How will it affect the rest of his life?

     Fewer Than Five door sign

    Our school is taking concrete steps to impact this situation across our student body.  Our principal, Amanda Voorhees, along with a former principal in our district, Stacey Drake, collaborated in creating our FEWER THAN FIVE program. Having attended Harvard Graduate School of Education School Turnaround Leaders, they committed to addressing the problem of chronic absenteeism in our schools.  According to Washington’s Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, “Many communities, school boards, and families are simply not aware of the negative impacts of absences on students’ education.” 

    ...To read the rest of the story, please to to: Al Fischer's FEWER THAN FIVE blog post


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  • Blog Post: The Arts Learning Standards for Music

    Posted by Al Fischer on 1/1/2019


    Capitol Theatre concert

    I lived and taught in Missouri for years.  I achieved my 99-Year Teacher’s Certificate(yes, it’s a thing).  I was fully familiar with the arts learning standards in Missouri.

    Then I moved to Washington.  

    I familiarized myself with the standards of a new state, recreated my schedule for when I wanted to teach which expectations- then Washington State adopted a new set of arts learning standards.  You will forgive me for having been a touch annoyed. Upon a good look at the new standards, though, I bought in fairly quickly.

    ...to see the rest of this story, go to:   Al Fischer blog post

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District Highlights

  • A Message from the Superintendent


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  • Yakima Public Schools See Growth in Graduation Rates

    In 2018, 79.5% of students graduated in four years. This is up from 72.5% in 2017, 73.5% in 2016, 65.3% in 2015 and 63.2% in 2014. The average graduation rate in Washington State in 2018 was 80.9%. Further, Davis High School and Eisenhower High School saw rates far above the state average of 80.9% in 2018 with 88.7% and 84.8% respectively.

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  • Wellness Resources

    Taking care of yourself both physically and mentally is important. Please click the title above for a list of local resources. We care about you!

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  • Equity in Education

    The Yakima School District recognizes and respects the uniqueness of each student, staff member and citizen within the community. Teaming together, the school community creates a learning environment that fosters fair treatment and access to educational resources and programs for all students. The American democratic system depends on equal access to the opportunities for and benefits of public education for all young people: our future leaders, voters, taxpayers, workers, parents and adult citizens (Click the Equity in Education title above for our full policy).

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Board Meetings

Next Meeting:


Character Word of the Month

  • Character - It's Who You Are!

    Character Education Word for September:

    Responsible - Being the primary cause of something and so able to be blamed or credited for it. Capable of being trusted.

    View all character words

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