Dear Sakai Families,

I hope you and your family had a fun, safe and relaxing Spring Break!

Spring is here, and most of the cherry trees at Sakai are in full bloom. Each year our school celebrates “Cherry Blossom Festival”, or Hanami. Celebrating Cherry Blossom Festival would usually mean students eating lunch under the trees and enjoying a cherry flavored popsicle dessert. Like all things this year, Sakai’s honoring of this tradition will endure but look a little different. Students will visit the trees with their class this week and learn about their history and the festival on the broadcast. Students will also be given a cherry flavored individually wrapped lollipop to have at home.

Hanami starts at Sakai when the largest tree finally blooms, which should be any day now. This tree was a gift to our high school from six Japanese American graduates in the class of 1934. With the help of many community members, it was transported to Sakai about 18 years ago when the high school was remodeled and was in danger of being cut down. Because of this, it is a yearly reminder of the strength of our community when we work together. 

At the heart of the Cherry Blossom Festival is a moment with family (and friends, normally) to celebrate Spring and the beauty of nature. It’s also a time of reflection. It seems crazy to say, but we are headed into the homestretch of this year with just over a few months to go. This year has been many things, but it was never easy. I am so immensely proud of our staff and students for their perseverance and grit. And, grateful to you for your partnership along the way. Like the effort of moving our beloved cherry tree to Sakai, it has taken the work of our whole community. 
I hope you have a wonderful week, Sakai! Happy Hanami!

From the School Counselor

Here comes the Sun!!  I love this time of year, when everything starts to bloom and we are able to spend more time being active outside. I hope you all had a restful and nice Spring break last week.  The Action for Happiness Calendar is about being Active in April.  I will share that here:
Keeping active is a great way to boost our mental wellbeing. So this month we're encouraging everyone to get moving and get outdoors as much as possible. Whatever your circumstances or physical limitations, you can find your own ways to be a bit more active. We don't need to run marathons - there are simple things we can all do to take care of our bodies, like unplugging from technology, reconnecting with nature and getting more sleep!
In COHO Time since our last update students spent a couple weeks on important Executive Function skills.  Executive Function skills help to plan, focus attention, remember instructions and manage multiple tasks with success.  The first lesson in our two part series focused on Time Management and Task Initiation.  Time management is the ability to estimate how much time you have and how long a certain activity may take and learning how to work within the time limit and deadlines.  Task Initiation is the ability to plan and know when something needs to be done and get started, not leaving things to the last minute. 

In the book Executive Function Skills in Children and Adolescents by Peg Dawson and Richard Guare, they discuss using scripts to help students plan.  Using an activity they need to accomplish, we had our students try a script developed by Ylvisaker and Feeney (2002).

Step 1:  “What do you want to accomplish? What will it look like when you’re done?”
Step 2:  “This might be hard because…”
Step 3:  “We need a plan.  First we’ll do this, then this and so on.”
Step 4:  “Do it”
Step 5:  “Review it.  How did it work out?  How could we make it better?”

In the second lesson of this series we focused on Planning and Prioritizing.  These skills help students know how to decide what is important to focus on and what is not as important.  Students worked in groups with different scenarios to create a plan to reach the goal or complete a certain task. 

The lesson before break reviewed the important themes of our Unity Day lesson.  Kamala Harris said, “Our unity is our strength and diversity is our power”.  Listed below are the important themes to take away from the Unity day lesson.
  • The importance of being an upstander when a person or group is being mistreated
  • Being an upstander can be lonely and often requires courage
  • Our individual actions have a ripple effect on our neighbors and community.
These themes go hand in hand with the four kindness expectations we have for behavior at Sakai.  We will not bully others, We will try to help students who are bullied.  We will try to include students who are left out.  If we know that somebody is being bullied, we will tell an adult at school and an adult at home.  

Watch the newsletter for more information about what is going on in Coho Time and ask your student about their experience in Coho Time.  Remember, the school counselor is available to students in the building every day.  If students want to check in they can come to the office, let their teacher know or use the Check In form available on the Counselor Corner.  Parents and teachers may also request a check in with their student. Feel free to call the school counselor anytime if you have questions about Coho Time or if you would like to check in about your student.

Beth Hebert
Sakai School Counselor
On Monday, April 26th, we will be conducting Hearing & Vision screens for 5th graders who are newly enrolled to the district.  We usually screen all 5th graders but are unable to screen all of them this year due to the Online and Hybrid schedules. If you have concerns about your 5th grader’s hearing or vision and would like to request a screening, please contact the Sakai Health room at (206) 780-6507.

Vision Test: The vision test consists of the use of the SPOT Vision Screener.

Hearing Test: The hearing test consists of a routine screening with an audiometer.

Parents will be notified if the school health screening results indicate that a healthcare provider follow-up is recommended. If you do not want your child screened please let us know as soon as possible.

We welcome any questions you may have regarding this process or your child’s screening results. Please feel free to contact the Sakai Health Room at (206) 780-6507.

Thank you,
Jonna Mathis, LPN
Sakai Health Room Nurse
Sakai PTO is purchasing a 2020-2021 yearbook for every student this year.
To help offset the cost of the yearbooks a $10.00 donation is greatly appreciated.
Please make checks payable to Sakai PTO.
Donation envelopes were sent home with students.
Extra envelopes are available in the office.
This month the following students were honored for outstanding spirit: 
Rex Cantwell
Lucy Chang
Finn Harrigan
Haven Rudnick
Walter Sturtevant
These students received a certificate for a pizza lunch.  Thank you to That’s a Some Pizza and Westside Pizza for providing free pizza for our student incentive program.  The nominations are made in reference to Sakai’s Four R’s:  Responsible, Respectful, Reasonable, Reliable.
Families who apply and qualify for free or reduced priced meals for the stud(ents) in their household will receive "Pandemic EBT Benefits" for the entire school year.  
This can mean nearly $1,000 in funds loaded on an EBT card for each student in a qualified household over the school year. 
If a family has a change in income, even temporarily, and they believe they might qualify for free or reduced price meals, they can complete an application, online via Skyward Family Access or by completing a paper form from the district's Food Service website.
For questions or assistance, please email or call food services at 206.780.1844.
For community activities of interest to students and families, click the button below.
Community Events
Nondiscrimination statement: Bainbridge Island School District School District does not discriminate in any programs or activities on the basis of sex, race, creed, religion, color, national origin, age, veteran or military status, sexual orientation, gender expression, gender identity, disability, or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups. For questions, please contact Civil Rights Coordinator, Erin Murphy at
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APRIL 21, 22 & 23 - TALENT SHOW AUDITIONS 3:45 - 5:45 PM