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  • Yakima School Board Votes to Select Trevor Greene as the Next Superintendent

    March 1, 2019 - The Yakima School Board has unanimously named Trevor Greene as superintendent of the Yakima School District, pending contract negotiation. Mr. Greene will replace Dr. Jack Irion who will retire at the end of this school year.
    Click the post title above for more info.

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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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Character Word of the Month

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YSD Stories

  • 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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  • A Shout Out to the Sisters

    Posted by Al Fischer on 12/14/2018

    As the saying goes, it takes a village to educate our kids, and our national system of education comprises a wealth of public and private schools, both secular and religious, serving students K-12 and beyond.  Our public school students enter Jesuit universities. Our religious high school alumni go to state colleges. Educators, in whichever school they teach, strive to educate students for college and career success.  We all work together. I am writing this piece to honor a specific group of educators because last month a treasured teacher died. She was my Aunt Donna, and she was a School Sister of Notre Dame...


    To see the rest of this story, please go to:  https://corelaboratewa.org/a-shout-out-to-the-sisters/


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  • Corelaborate: Channeling Mr. Rogers

    Posted by Al Fischer on 9/26/2018

    I started this school year with a master teacher whispering in my ear.  We all have teachers we remember for their lasting impact on us. We find ourselves emulating their voice, channeling their spirit. I was recently inspired by a documentary about Fred Rogers which brought up all sorts of old associations for me.  I am currently speaking with a softer voice, smiling more, and being very honest with my students. Hoping to demonstrate just how masterful a teacher he was and how he continues to inspire me, I organized this post based on Charlotte Danielson’s ENHANCING PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE: A FRAMEWORK FOR TEACHING.  Specifically, I am focusing on Domain 2: The Classroom Environment.

    My front door

    My front door

    Component 2a: Creating an Environment of Respect and Rapport

    Mr. Rogers was always a model of respect.  He never talked down to kids. He treated kids as people who could understand things – they just had to have things properly explained.  He talked about divorce, death, art, music… all kinds of deep and important subjects. If a student wants to talk to me about a divorce or death in their family, I don’t shy away from the topic, though I may ask their permission to involve the counsellor.  Also, if a kid isn’t understanding something, I try not to blame them and instead question how I can better explain things. Finally, in a previous post I wrote about how I respond to questions about my being a man who has a husband.


    My aquarium

    Component 2b: Establishing a Culture for Learning

    The content of the show was always worthwhile.  He approached his material in two chief ways: directly with guest speakers and “field trips,” and indirectly through incorporating relevant topics into the story lines for his Neighborhood of Make-Believe.  I make sure the materials I use are of high quality, whether they be folk songs or songs we make up ourselves. I always approach material from as many directions as I can think of, catering to visual, auditory and kinesthetic learning needs.

    My comfy shoes





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