BI busy making school changes for next year
As Bainbridge Island’s 2021-2022 school year draws to a close, student art is flourishing; the district prepares for next year by implementing changes that affect the calendar, high school class hours, improved facilities, and use of transportation resources; and COVID-19 cases are rising again.
Superintendent Peter Bang Knudsen said the students are making great progress and “we have amazing student artists and art teachers”.
Two students were named 6th District Congressional Art Laureates. Angelina Kollodge took first place with her photo “Fierce Silence” and Maddie Coodro placed third with her photo “Desert Beauty”. The photos will be exhibited in Washington, DC and at Olympia.
The council has approved the 2022-23 calendar which will add the Juneteeth holiday and three potential snow catch days, which could mean pupils will attend school until the week of June 26. BISD will create a plan for graduating seniors to meet through the requirements of school days that are excused after graduation.
Secondary school principals Kristina Rodgers of BHS and Tricia Corsetti of Eagle Harbor have announced that district changes will be made to next year’s daily schedule to meet an anticipated need for more staffing between BHS, EHHS and Woodward Middle School.
“As part of the decision-making process, the district has taken a close look at the neighboring district’s bell schedules, both in greater Kitsap and in schools in King County. While we recognize that no schedule can perfectly meet everyone’s desired needs or preferences, the following schedule accommodates our Monday early release schedule, a commitment to having counseling time for all 5 years to 12 across the district, as well as a schedule that allows students off-campus programs to continue to access their afternoon classes in our buildings.
Teachers and administrators will strive to modify parts of their teaching and pace their lessons to accommodate this new model. Part of that change will be bell-to-bell instruction conversations in a shorter daily timeframe, alongside homework expectations and creating a healthy balance for everyone, officials said.
The high school’s daily bell schedule for next year will include three 85-minute classes on Mondays and Tuesdays and six 55-minute class periods Wednesday through Friday.
Some physical changes will be made to the BHS turf and track, which need to be redone. On the recommendation of Dane Fenwick, District Manager of Facilities and Operations, the council awarded a contract worth nearly $1.154 million to Coast to Coast Turf to carry out the work. The Seattle-based contractor has completed more than 150 field installations over the past four years for nearby school districts and multiple college campuses.
Fenwick, also received board approval to enter into an agreement with Kitsap North, South and Central School Districts for charter bus service in an effort to reduce cancellations and transport parents to events. sponsored by the school.
“Due to the shortage of bus drivers both locally and nationally, many local school districts have requested charter services to provide transportation to extracurricular and extracurricular activities during the school year 2021/2022.
“The lifting of statewide COVID restrictions, coupled with stiff competition for private charter services, has left BISD and other local districts with very few options to meet program needs. when staff levels are too low to function properly,” Fenwick said. “Cooperation and coordination with other local districts to assist each other in providing transportation services on behalf of all school districts that enter into these agreements is a strategy that will reduce the need for parent transportation or cancellation of ‘events in our district.’
Meanwhile, the number of COVID-19 cases is rising, and Bang-Knudsen said the district is starting to see cases in nearly every BI school. “The district is working closely with the Kitsap County Health Department. If we determine there is a group in a classroom, we will work with the Department of Health to implement short-term mitigation strategies.
Any additional mitigation measures are only required if an outbreak is suspected in a particular classroom. If this happens, additional measures will be put in place for a period of time to prevent further cases. For the rest of the neighborhood, masks remain optional, social distancing is encouraged but not required, etc.
The next school board meeting is scheduled for May 26 at 5:45 p.m. and will be held in person in the board room and will be streamed/recorded via Zoom.