Watch our Special Video Message from the Blakely Staff
Watch our Special Video Message from the Blakely Staff
This Week at Blakely
4/20- 4/24

Happy Monday, 

I hope everyone enjoyed their weekend. As much I love the sun it was nice to receive a bit of rain on Saturday to clear the air and water the gardens. Living on Bainbridge Island provides us the opportunity to play in the yard, ride a bike or go on a walk(Don’t forget to Social Distance:) I feel fortunate during these challenging times to be a member of this community. Thank You!

We all know that the current educational model will carry us through the end of the school year with hopes to start  fresh in the Fall. The weeks prior to break were learning opportunities for families and staff to figure out how to best live and work within our new reality. Now that we have returned from break it is important that we no longer think of distance learning as optional, but instead a requirement for learning.  Teachers will still provide some choice within the work for the week, but will also make required tasks for students to complete. This is not done in an effort to control, but instead to provide more clarity and structure to students and families. Participation is key and necessary in this process. Teachers will be asked to keep participation records starting on Monday, April 20th. I realize student engagement may be different for each family depending on their circumstances; please reach out to your child’s teacher if you are having difficulty supporting your child with their work at home. As you are trying to find balance in the work your families are expected to complete please do not forget about our specialist teachers. They are working very hard to develop and share engaging tasks. 

I think about all of the Blakely students daily and feel a sense of loss for them. Fourth grade especially, with the tradition of Outdoor Education, Field Day, Final Assemblies and many other traditions. I have started to reflect on ways to honor our Fourth Graders, as well as the rest of the school,  and promise to share ideas as they are developed. I know it will not be the same, but I believe there are still opportunities to celebrate and honor the achievements of our student body.

I do have one request from my Kindergarten students. I am in need of Jokes to be shared in my weekly newsletter. This has always been a tradition at the end of year assembly, but this seems like a fun alternative. Parents, please help your Kindergarten student write and send me a joke.

Stay Healthy,

Reese Ande

Video Message from Mr. Ande

Dear Families,

I have spent extra care these past few weeks managing my own feeling of stress and anxiety. It’s not easy for any of us, parenting while working from home, doing things in new ways, and thinking carefully about things that we used to do without a thought at all. This week I’m sharing 3 simple breath practices that I am using regularly, to help calm my nervous system.  Also, I have created a new website to post these strategies as well as social emotional learning resources and ideas:
I filmed a Screencastify video to show you around my website, but the site crashed and the Chrome plug in disappeared. It was a great opportunity to practice some breathing strategies. I know that I will have another opportunity to try, next week I’ll show you around!

“Self Care Toolbox”: 3 Breath practices for managing stress

Breathe naturally, and pay attention: Take 5 to 10 regular breaths, paying close attention to the sensations of the air moving in and out of your body. Notice how it feels moving in, the temperature and flow of air. Notice how it feels moving out, your belly or rib cage moving. Practice frequently, and remind yourself that paying attention to your breath is a way you are helping yourself stay calm and regulated.
Box breath: This technique works well when you are stressed and agitated. Take a slow breath in, counting to four. Hold that breath to a count of four. Breathe out slowly to a count of four. Wait to breathe in again to a count of four. I picture a box in my mind, in breath up the left side, hold across the top, out breath down the right side, hold across the bottom.  After a few box breaths the nervous system calms down, and the thinking brain can decide what to do next.
Sigh out loud: Take a long, slow, in breath and sigh when you let it go "ahhhhhhhhh".  I do this one with my hand on my heart. Take a moment to notice how you feel.

Please consider me a resource, and reach out to connect if there are ways that I can support your family during this time.

Please consider me a resource, if I can support your family during this time. I am available at, by text at 360-525-3594 or on my work number at 206-780-2076. I will be doing my best to follow my own self-care advice and to be available during regular school hours.

2020 Blakely Memory Book
Even though we’re not physically at school, the Blakely community is still strong. To celebrate our students, teachers, and staff, we’re going to be putting together a Memory Book for this school year… but we need your help!
Do you have any pics that you've snapped while volunteering or visiting school, chaperoning for field trips, or attending special school-related events?
Please send along any photos you've got to Memory Book chairs Matt & Lindsay Trego, via The pics don’t need to be cropped or touched up (Matt & Lindsay can handle that part); we just want to see a variety of kids (and teachers and staff) in action.
*The PTO is pleased to be able to offer all Memory Books free of charge this year, so no need to worry about placing an order. 
Meghan Berg
Susan Williams

Get to know our Blakely Staff....

Welcome to a new feature in our weekly email.  We thought it would be fun for families to get to know some of the incredible Blakely Staff.  This week meet Meghan Berg and Susan Williams.
Name: Meghan Berg
Position:  Kindergarten Teacher
What is something families might not know about you?  
I grew up in a small ski town in Colorado and had ski P.E. every year from kindergarten through 12th grade!
What do you enjoy doing when you are not working?
gardening, cooking, looking at cookbooks... trying to cook what's in the cook books:
What do you love about working at Blakely?
The community feel. I love walking into the doors and feeling like I am home. It is so incredibly special to get to know families for longer periods of time, as well as see kids grow up.

Name: Susan Williams
Position:  Kindergarten / 4th Grade Teacher
What is something families might not know about you?  
I used to play the cello but have (somewhat) traded it in for the ukelele. I drink English Breakfast tea instead of coffee (though lattes are a treat). I am a Seattle Aquarium beach naturalist in the summer...(so come find me on the beach!)
What do you enjoy doing when you are not working?
I love creating- whether it's artwork, baking, creative projects with my own kids. I love taking long walks around the island and stretching with yoga. I love playing games- I love toy stores! I love movies and trivia. I love time spent on area beaches- walking, checking out critters, learning new flora and fauna. Sitting on our porch in the sun and having a meal with friends and family. Oh and singing along with music is pretty awesome too :)
What do you love about working at Blakely?
The love and laughter shared by the community. It is always a positive and supportive staff to be in. The collective sense of humor in the building is the BEST!

Blakely Numbers

If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to call or email:
Reese Ande

Kyanne Hawkins
Office Manager
(206) 780-2060

Device Support
If you need a chromebook or an ipad please contact Kyanne Hawkins via email.
Nondiscrimination statementBainbridge 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