FINAL ADDRESS BEFORE DECISIONS — Superintendent Kevin McKay informed the public of General and Sub-Advisory groups’ work as well as answering questions before he attended the School Board Meeting at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, July 27.

SUNNYSIDE — While the General Advisory talks have centered around health concerns and how to finetune a hybrid model that would work best for Sunnyside students, ultimately the Sunnyside School Board will have to consider all options before agreeing on a plan to reopen Sunnyside School District – before the July 25 school board meeting at 7:30 p.m., Superintendent Kevin McKay hosted a Facebook Live event for public address.

McKay informed the up to 356 viewers of the discussions the General and Sub-Advisory groups have done since the last Facebook Live (June 29) and answered concerns from the public.

McKay stressed that while the hybrid model A – with bi-weekly rotation – was the model parents and teachers preferred, there still needs to be plans in place for the remote Continuous Learning 2.0 model and the model for face-to-face full time.

With some school districts in Western Washington opting to go fully remote for the beginning of the school year, Sunnyside School District has a plan in place if that’s what the school board decides for the district.

“Online needs to be considered fully, simply because of the COVID exposure in our valley,” McKay emphasized.

McKay expanded and wants parents to expect a shift in the Continuous Learning 2.0 model that will look different from the emergency online learning from last year.

“When we got into the emergency, parents had to navigate through a large number of systems…we have narrowed that down to a very small number of systems that parents are able to see consistency amongst the schools,” McKay explained.

Along with a more consistent navigation, McKay stated that grading will be more like traditional grading and attendance will be taken instead of students just checking in. He also added students will be held accountable for their attendance and grades.

There will also be classes for teachers and parents. McKay confirmed that bilingual classes have been part of the planning that district teams have been working on all summer.

“Part of our plan is to provide parents the ability to get a better understanding what their role in education is for their children but also to help them navigate the systems they are using.”

After the summation of the findings from the advisory meetings, the school board will then analyze data and deliberate.

McKay was confident that, “Any decision that is made by the board, they will take into consideration what each employee union is saying.”

Elizabeth Sustaita can be contacted at 509-837-4500, ext. 114 or email

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