June 24, 2023

Early Learning Community Brief

Travis Ballstadt

The ReOpening Schools Safely and Educating Youth (ROSSEY) project is a partnership between the Yakima School District (YSD) and the University of Washington. Together, we’re hoping to learn if providing health education and COVID-19 testing through the YSD to families and students can help students return to school safely and increase families’ physical and mental well-being. 

The Early Learning (EL) study is happening at the same time as the larger ROSSEY study in all YSD elementary schools. Families enrolled in the EL study will receive health education materials this summer. Here is what we’ve learned so far about our EL participating families!


There are 49 students and 49 parents who are helping us understand their concerns about COVID-19 testing, vaccinations, and returning to school.

Early Learning Students

Of the 49 students, 53% are male and over half (53%) of students speak both English and Spanish. Eighty-two percent of students are Hispanic, 14% are White and 3% Black, American Indian, Alaska Native or from another ethnicity.


Most parents (45%) speak both English and Spanish. Thirty-nine percent of parents have a high school diploma and 15% have a college or graduate degree.


Healthy Behaviors

YSD Early Learning students are doing their part to stay healthy and lower the spread of COVID-19 in their community.

86 percent of students frequently wash their hands with soap or sanitizer. 27 percent of students cover their cough or sneeze. 85 percent of students had been tested for covid 19. 17 percent of students practice social distancing. 63 percent of students avoid large gatherings. 14 percent of students wear masks around others.


What we heard from parents:

  • 49% of parents believe their families will be safer by getting the COVID-19 vaccine.
  • 43% of parents believe it is important for their kids to get a COVID-19 vaccine.
  • 45% of parents believe the vaccine does a good job to prevent COVID-19.


ascoe, K.M., Ayala-Flores, J., Bishop, S., Duran, M., Zheng, Z., Perez, G., Segal, N., Garza, L., Linde, S., Ibarra, G., Ramirez, M., Garrison, M., Shaw, P., Drain, P., Chuan, Z., Ko, L.K. (2023). ROSSEY Early Learning Baseline. Seattle: Health Promotion Research Center

We appreciate the partnership and the support of the Community Advisory Board and the Yakima School District on this project!

This research was, in part, funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) agreement number 1 OT2 HD107544-01. The views and conclusions contained in this document are those of the authors and should not be interpreted as representing the official policies, either expressed or implied, of the NIH.

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