• Welcome to the Zillah School District!

  • Welcome to the Zillah School District!

  • Welcome to the Zillah School District!

  • Welcome to the Zillah School District!

  • Welcome to the Zillah School District!

  • Welcome to the Zillah School District!

  • Welcome to the Zillah School District!

  • Welcome to the Zillah School District!

Copyright 2018 - Custom text here


picture of ZSD Leopard gear


The Zillah online store has launched!

We are happy to announce that we've partnered with BSN Sports and built an online store front to support our community.

In the store, you'll find brands you know and designs you'll love. You can customize your gear with names, numbers, or relationships like Mom and Dad. There's no minimum order, quick shipping and best of all, the proceeds hep us support essential programs at our school.


Look for the online shopping icon on the right-hand side of our web page or go to https://sideline.bsnsports.com/schools/washington/zillah/zillah-high-school to place an online order.

Zillah Intermediate School Invites you to:

Picture illustrating STEM Family Night

Open to all students and families

Para toda la familia

Tuesday November 6th

El Martes, 6 de Noviembre

6:00 - 8:00 pm in the Gymnasium


Families conducting various STEM activities





Educational Service District 105

33 S. Second Avenue, Yakima, WA  98902



DATE:            October 11, 2018


TO:                  Yakima County and Kittitas County media


RE:                 Eight south central Washington schools among annual recipients of the statewide “School of Distinction Award” for 2018


CONTACT:    David Goehner, ESD 105 Public Information Officer

     (509) 454-3131, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Eight of south central Washington’s schools are among 91 being honored statewide with the 2018 School of Distinction award – recognizing the top 5 percent of Washington’s schools that have had the most outstanding levels of student improvement over the past five years in reading and math as well as graduation rates.


Sunnyside High School emerged as a fourth-time winner of the 12th annual award, having now received it for all four years since 2015.  The school is one of 11 throughout the state that was named a School of Distinction for a fourth time this year, and is the only high school in South Central Washington to receive one of the awards for 2018.


Four of this year’s local honorees have become three-time recipients of School of Distinction award:

  • East Valley’s East Valley Central Middle School and East Valley Elementary School have both extended their streaks of winning the award to three years, going back to 2016.
  • Zillah Middle School is another third-time winner, having previously received the award in 2015 and 2016.
  • The other three-time recipient from our region for 2018 is Cle Elum-Roslyn’s Walter Strom Middle School, which won the award during the second year of the School of Distinction program in 2008, and did so again last year.

These four area schools are among 28 in the state that are getting the School of Distinction title this year for a third time.


Two other schools from our area are repeat winners of the School of Distinction award.  Zillah Intermediate School and Highland’s Tieton Intermediate School are both back-to-back recipients of the award for 2017 and 2018.  Statewide, 25 schools became second-time School of Distinction recipients this year.   


Granger Middle School is the sole first-time School of Distinction recipient among South Central Washington’s schools for 2018.  Another 20 schools statewide also received the award for the first time this year.


The School of Distinction Award goes to the top 5 percent of Washington schools that have attained the most outstanding levels of sustained improvement in English language arts, math, and graduation rates among their students over the past five years.  Levels of student achievement are calculated from state testing scores, including the Smarter Balanced Assessment.



To be eligible for the School of Distinction Award, a school must perform at or above the state median in English language arts and math throughout grades 3-5 for elementary schools, and throughout grades 6-8 for middle schools.  Measurements for high schools were determined based on 4-year and 5-year adjusted cohort graduation rates. 


Each area school will be formally honored by Educational Service District 105 with a plaque and banner during special assemblies that will be scheduled beginning in late November. 


The 12th annual School of Distinction awards have been presented since 2007 to recognize the highest improving schools in the state of Washington.  The program was originated by Washington’s Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, and is now presented by a group of six organizations: the Center for Educational Effectiveness, the Association of Educational Service Districts, the Association of Washington School Principals, the Washington Association of School Administrators, the Washington State School Directors’ Association, and the Washington State Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.


For more information on the Center for Educational Effectiveness’ School of Distinction program, go to:  http://www.effectiveness.org/2018-school-of-distinction/.


                                                                                # # #



  • For clarification, the “School of Distinction Award” is an award that recognizes a school’s level of student academic improvement over the past five years in reading and math.  The methodology for this award is not designed to necessarily reflect schools that may be among the state’s highest overall in terms of general academic achievement.
  • ESD 105 will notify you of the dates of the individual school award celebrations involving the formal presentation of their School of Distinction banners as they become scheduled during late November and December.



About ESD 105:

ESD 105 supports 25 public school districts and 23 state-approved private and tribal schools in South Central Washington.  The agency serves the expressed needs of those schools in coordinating and conducting cooperative programs to benefit the approximately 66,000 K-12 students who are served in Kittitas and Yakima counties and portions of Grant and Klickitat counties.  As one of nine ESDs in the state, ESD 105 carries out liaison activities between local school districts, the Washington State Office of Public Instruction, and the State Board of Education.




Our district is participating in the Washington State 2018 Healthy Youth Survey during fall 2018.

The Healthy Youth survey includes questions related to physical activity and diet, unintentional and intentional injury, substance use, risk and protective factors, access to school-based services, and sexual behaviors, abuse and orientation.  Survey results are used by schools, communities and state agencies to plan programs to support our youth and reduce their risks.

Participation in the survey is voluntary and the students' answers are anonymous.

Please read the Parent and Student Notification Letter for more information about the Healthy Youth Survey.

ZSD Safety Committee


Safety Committee Meetings


Safety Committee Notes



Washington State Requirements and Guidance for Education of Homeless Children and Youth

The McKinney-Vento Education of Homeless Children and Youth Assistance Act is a federal law that ensures immediate enrollment and educational stability for homeless children and youth. McKinney-Vento provides federal funding to states for the purpose of supporting district programs that serve homeless students.

Defining Homeless

The McKinney-Vento Act defines homeless children as "individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence." The act provides examples of children who would fall under this definition:

  • Children and youth sharing housing due to loss of housing, economic hardship or a similar reason
  • Children and youth living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camp grounds due to lack of alternative accommodations
  • Children and youth living in emergency or transitional shelters
  • Children and youth abandoned in hospitals
  • Children and youth whose primary nighttime residence is not ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation (e.g. park benches, etc)
  • Children and youth living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations
  • Migratory children and youth living in any of the above situations

Policy 3115-Homeless Students - Enrollment Rights and Service
Procedure 3115P - Homeless Students - Enrollment Rights and Service
The Most Frequently Asked Questions
National Center for Homeless Education

Sonia Ruggles – Zillah School District Homeless Liaison
213 Fourth Avenue, Zillah WA  98953
(509) 829-5911
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


March 26, 2018

Dear Parents, Students, Staff and Community,

At the February School Board meeting a group of parents presented their concerns about an incident which started on social media regarding threats to the school, students and staff. Lack of parental notification about this event, any investigation being conducted and the results of the investigation were of primary importance to them. In statements to the Board, parents felt the information provided to them was not adequate; it was not timely nor was detailed enough for them to make decisions about their children's safety in our school buildings or to help alleviate their children's fears about possible events at their school.
The very next day when parents of Zillah School District were concerned about possible events taking place at Zillah's schools a tragedy occurred in another school in America. This brought an even greater sense of urgency and concern to the Zillah community and especially to the parents who attended the School Board meeting seeking answers to "How are you keeping our children safe?", and "What are you going to do to make sure this does not happen here?"
Our Zillah School Board Goals state: The Zillah School District will continue to plan and implement strategies that lead to improvement of student and staff safety and security, and ... continue to improve the security of school campuses and school district property.
We as the Zillah Board of Directors, and the Zillah School District Administration view the safety of our students and staff as a top priority. Our goals and actions confirm this belief.
As a school district we are bound by the laws of school governance. This includes; The Revised Code of Washington, (RCW) and Washington Administrative Codes (WAC) which are the rules of law in Washington State. The Zillah School District Policies and Procedures are written and reviewed by the state legislature, Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, Washington State School Director's Association, the Washington Education Association, and attorneys who work together to provide legal guidance to each and every school in Washington State. These policies and procedures must adhere to state and federal law. As a Board of Directors we adopt these policies and procedures to ensure ALL students rights are protected as afforded by law; and the administration of these laws are clear and precise so the operation of the school ensures legal protection of those rights.

Policy 4314 and Procedure 4314P - Notification of Threats of Violence or Bodily Harm.
"Students and school employees who are subjects of a threat of violence or harm will be notified of the threats in a timely manner ... Timing and details of the notice will be as extensive as permitted by the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), other legal limitations and the circumstance."

Evaluation of our policies and procedures is an ongoing endeavor. Reviews of our notification procedures enhance the relationship between all of our school partners, (students, staff, parents and community) and benefit all families within ZSD.
A request was made to have a public meeting to address safety within ZSD. Following below, are the many opportunities for parents, staff and community to gather in discussion regarding the safety of their children while they are at school.
During the meeting Mr. Burge, Zillah School District Superintendent, brought up the scheduled parent meeting, April 24, 2018 at 6:00pm in the high school PAC auditorium. Twice yearly, fall and spring Zillah School District holds a parent informational meeting open to the public, where school safety is always an agenda item.
Zillah School District formed a Safety Committee in September of 2013. This was in direct response to parents, like yourselves who were concerned about school safety in light of the school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary. As a result of this committee's work ZSD proposed a Safety and Technology Levy. The community voted to support this levy. Funds collected from this levy have been used to:

• Zillah School District and the Zillah Police Department have partnered to hire a district SRO (School Resource Officer), who is a Zillah Police Department employee, to visit each of the four ZSD campus' each day. His duties are to;

  1. Establish and maintain a working rapport with the school administrator and school staff.
  2. Act as a resource person in the area of law enforcement education.
  3. Conduct criminal investigations of violations of the law on school district property or property immediately surrounding the school district property.
  4. Maintain the peace on school district property. And many others.

• Re-keyed each school to better control access to each building. (Actual keycard access is included in the new High School design)
• Replaced exterior doors with more secure ones. Limited access from exterior doors to any building except by admission from inside the building.
• Installed electronic door locking systems at all main entrances in buildings.
• Installed interior classroom door locks which can be used by a classroom teacher, aid, parent, or student in the event individual classrooms need to be locked from the inside.
• Emergency communication systems. Intercom, telephone and fire alarm upgrades.
• Id badges for all staff to be worn at all times. Custodians, bus drivers, kitchen and lunchroom staff, as well as all visitors.
• Updated and added multiple security camera's at each building. This enables law enforcement and staff to view the cameras from off campus to gather real time video of events at the schools.
• Fencing and gates to inhibit entry to school campus except through one controlled entry.
• Built controlled entry access at ZMS.
• Have provided ALICE Training (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evaluate) to elementary students for the past three years. This training helps children to develop a better understanding of what needs to be done if they ever encounter a "dangerous someone."
• Member of ESD 105 School Safety Operations & Coordination Center (started in fall of 2017)

In addition to the Safety and Technology Levy the Zillah School District proposed and passed a bond for improvements to Zillah High School. The design of the new and updated space will ensure one access point into the building. The main two buildings will be connected and outside access will be limited. The entire campus will be fenced and gated.
Each and every one of our school buildings has been reviewed and evaluated by the Zillah Chief of Police and our regional safety expert, Randy Town to determine what needed to be done from a student safety perspective and also from a first responder's perspective. We also have to be mindful of the men and women who, in the case of a security/safety breach need access to our facilities, plus provide as much real time data as possible for assessment.

Along with all of the physical safety measures implemented at each school building there has been training provided to all staff and students on what to do in the event of a security breach. The Zillah School District hosted a valley wide active shooter drill. All state and local law enforcement, emergency management and emergency medical agencies were involved. From this drill all agencies sat down after the drill to assess the procedure. Valuable information was shared on what went right and what had to be fixed.
Since that drill on May 2, 2013, the district has developed an active shooter plan at each of the buildings, and training for the students and staff at each building; being mindful of the age appropriate level of education. All students have participated in such drills over the course of these last several years. The district provides student education in each of the buildings in their Character Education Programs and Advisories. What to do in the event of an emergency, and where to go in the event a potential situation at their school.
Again, we encourage you to participate in our spring Parents Meeting on April 24, 2018 at 6:00pm. This meeting is a district wide meeting so anyone is welcome. A significant portion of the meeting is directed to the issue of school safety. Agenda's of the meeting will be available a week prior to the meeting.

All of us appreciate your time and efforts on behalf of your children and as a direct result all persons who walk onto any one of our campuses. We hope to see you at the parent meeting so this discussion can continue.

Sandra Adams
Zillah School Board of Directors, Chair


Certified Employee of the Year - Betty Collins Classified Employee of the Year - Melinda Derrey
Certified Employee of the Year - Betty Collins Classified Employee of the Year - Melinda Derrey
ZHS Student of the Year - Kalen Johnson State Champion Wrestler - Olyvia Smith
ZHS Student of the Year - Kalen Johnon State Champion Wrestler - Olyvia Smith