The largest school district in the Yakima Valley, the Yakima School District will see kids back in the classroom in March of this year. All students will be back in a hybrid model as the Yakima health district has recommended. Public schools have been closed because of the pandemic but students have been in the classroom at Riverside Christian School since September 1 of last year. The private school is following all the COVID-19 restrictions including masking and social distancing.

Riverside Christian School Vice Principal Amy Bradford says the school welcomed 107 new students this year. She says that's the largest increase in enrollment the school has ever seen. With the COVID-19 restrictions in place in Washington State she says current enrollment is at 351 students with a maximum of 360 under COVID-19 guidelines. Bradford says many of the students come from public schools, many of which remain closed. She says many parents who have enrolled kids at Riverside Christian want kids back in the classroom to learn and interact with other students. She says many parents are tired of online learning. She says that's the main reason parents are giving for switching from public to private schools.
Bradford says there have been no large outbreaks of the COVID-19 virus at Riverside Christian because they continue to require masks. The school also creates space between desks and the school limits students to 16 per class.
Other private schools in the valley are also experiencing major growth as parents look for an alternative to online learning.
Riverside Christian School is located at 721 Keys road in Yakima.