Dear Sakai Families,

I hope you enjoyed a restful weekend. After last week, I think we all deserved a calm moment amongst family. Students in the 5th and 6th grade are old enough to have likely heard about the events that took place last week at the Capitol, however, their ability to process and make sense of them will vary. If you are looking for a place to start, these articles from NPR and the National Association of School Psychologist have helpful tips. As always, myself and our counselor, Beth Hebert, are here to support you and your child.

I am so proud of our staff for their work toward a safe and smooth transition to the Hybrid Learning Model. This Thursday our School Board will meet to vote on moving forward or not. Before that, I will be hosting a family webinar aimed at some important points for our Hybrid reopening for when we do. It will be from 4:45 to 5:45, ending on time for you to watch the Board meeting. I will be discussing procedures you’ll need to know as we get started such as the pick-up/drop-off and student check-in. If you have questions you would like clarity on related to Sakai’s Hybrid plan please submit them here by Wednesday at 4:00. It will be recorded and shared in case you can’t make it. The webinar link will be sent to families later this week.

Student check-in cards are being sent in the mail. Please keep an eye out for them. Your student will need this as part of their daily check-in procedure.

Last week I introduced our site-specific Sakai Handbook for families and students. I highly encourage you to read through this and discuss it with your student. Added to this handbook are the safety videos that were sent to you last week in the district newsletter, as well as, this video reinforcing our drop-off and pick-up plan. I am asking teachers to have students watch these in preparation for returning to campus to help answer any questions they may have and provide them with more knowledge of what’s being implemented to keep them safe. 

When students do come back, we will be passing out Chromebook protective sleeves for them to use for transporting their device. They will also be given a bag of supplies to have on hand. Teachers would really appreciate your student bringing basic supplies to school such as glue sticks, colored pencils, pencils, scissors, and markers. Also, students were provided with a handheld whiteboard that will be important in class. We will have supplies on hand for students that need them, however, any supply that gets used needs to be cleaned thoroughly between uses. This all said, a backpack will be needed to carry all of these items to and from school each day. If your student is in need of a backpack, please reach out to Beth Hebert.

Finally, you may have watched this video from our Superintendent, Dr. Bang-Knudsen, discussing some important points related to our reopening. If you haven’t, I urge you to do so. I would also like to echo his words that in order for us to be successful for our kids, we all need to do our part. We are a strong community and I know we believe our students are worth it.

Thank you for your partnership! Have a wonderful week.

From the School Counselor:

I hope you all had a restful Holiday break.  I am amazed that we are at the midpoint of the year and ending the first semester of the school year.  

In COHO Time, prior to the Holiday break students spent some time doing fun team building activities.  Last week when we returned from the break, students had the opportunity to share and connect with each other about their holiday vacation and students revisited expectations like the 4 R’s (Reasonable, Respectful, Reliable and Responsible) in preparation for the second half of the school year.  Similar to a new year's resolution, students thought about or made one word intentions for the coming year.  Some classes created posters or slides with these words.  This coming Friday in COHO time classes will have time to plan and work on goals for the upcoming conferences.

On the morning Broadcast we have shared many mini lessons and videos about kindness and positively building up the communities that we are part of.  Because there are so many things going on that we do not have control over, it is nice to focus on what we do have control over.  We do have control over our thoughts and how we react to what is happening around us.  We also have control to intentionally spread kindness and positivity either in action or in thought.  On Mindful Monday on the Broadcast this week students were introduced to the concept of sending positive thoughts to people around them. 

I have shared calendars from Action for Happiness in the past.  Here is their calendar and message for January:
Happier January
How can we start this new year happier? Things have certainly not been easy over the last year, and we are still in difficult and uncertain times. The best way to try to handle our difficult emotions and experiences is by focusing on what we can control. This month, we're encouraging everyone to focus on small steps to try to boost happiness - for ourselves and others around us - to spread kindness and hopefully inspire others to do the same.  Action for Happiness
This week, we are starting a weekly Mindfulness Strategies session on Zoom on Fridays.  I will be hosting this group with Karen Knezevich, one of our special service teachers.  Please call or email if you have questions or think your student would be interested in joining.

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 via email, phone or a 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.   I look forward to partnering with you to help your students have a successful school year. 

Beth Hebert
Sakai School Counselor
In-Person Orientation Tours Next Week
30-minute tours, January 19th, and January 20th from 10-11 AM and 3-5 PM each day.

Last week, Sign up Genius invitation emails were sent to all 5th grade and new 6th grade guardians. We have heard reports that this message ended up in many people’s junk mail. 

If you are interested in signing your child up for an orientation tour please use the correct sign up according to your student’s last name. 

This tour is designed for students only. If it is not possible for your student to take a tour without a parent present, please contact Mr. Tebo to discuss your situation.

Students with the last name A-K:
Students with the last name L-Z:

Specific details about the tour, our safety measures, and how you will drop your student off are found on Sign up Genius. We are looking forward to welcoming your student to see their future learning spaces. 
Student check-in cards are being sent in the mail.
Please keep an eye out for them. Your student will need this as part of their daily check-in procedure. 
Thursday, January 21st and Friday, January 22nd are Parent/Teacher conference days.   

There is no school for students on conference days.

Conferences are an important time to further that home to school, and school to home connection that is so valuable in education. It's a time for students to be recognized for their efforts, and a time for students to re-establish their goals and their dedication toward reaching those goals.  Parents and teachers work together to support the student. In so doing, parents and teachers show the caring and teamwork that is a crucial connection in a student's education.  Teachers are looking forward to conferencing with all of you.  If you have not yet heard from your student's teacher about signing up for a conference, you will soon.  When you do, please act quickly to sign up for the conference time that works best for you. 
All conferences will be held virtually via zoom meetings.
Your student's report card will be available for viewing in Family Access on Tuesday, the 19th, after 4:00 pm.
2020/21 Sakai Yearbook Cover Art Contest
Here is an opportunity to show off your creativity and artistic talents!  
When you hear the word Sakai, what comes to your mind? Design an artwork to be displayed on the cover of this year’s Sakai Yearbook. You’ll need to create a cover illustration that depicts Sakai spirit, school themes, or shows our school’s heritage.
Use the medium of your choice: colored pencils, pens, paint, or pastels.
Your illustration must be on an 8 ½” x 11” sheet of white paper, VERTICAL ORIENTATION.  Do NOT include any words, only artwork.

DUE DATE is January 22, 2021
Please drop off your entries in the office.  You can also scan your artwork and email it to Ms. White in the office ( All entries will be displayed anonymously in the school and/or in your google classroom, for voting by students.  The top 25 most creative ways of showing Sakai spirit or heritage will be in the yearbook.  Your original artwork will be returned after voting.

Below is the student artwork on the cover of last year's yearbook.
Sakai spirit wear will be available for sale very soon!
The online store will offer a selection of sweatshirt, t-shirts, and long sleeve shirts. Look for more information during the week of Monday, January 18-Sunday, January 31. Thank you to fellow parent and graphic designer, Honora Gerbeck, for designing our shirts this year. 
Student Device Insurance is available to families for enrollment through the month of January.
Families have the option of purchasing device insurance for BISD's “take home devices” (Chromebooks, iPads, etc.).  This insurance is optional but highly recommended.  The insurance policy is between the parent/guardian and the Worth Ave. Group. The deadline to purchase insurance is January 31, 2021.
Information regarding device insurance can be found on the district website

The February 2021 Special Election will include two BISD renewal ballot measures which would replace two expiring levies.
Click on the links below to read the FAQs:
Enrichment & Operations Levy
Technology Levy

BISD is one of a handful of school districts in Washington to be selected to participate in a COVID-19 testing pilot program
— a partnership between the Department of Health and the Gates Foundation. This is a state-funded pilot for voluntary COVID-19 screening and testing that will help contain the virus, protect our communities, open up opportunities for in-person learning, and keep students and teachers healthy and safe. 

The testing helps BISD add a layer of COVID-19 prevention as we transition from remote learning to in-person learning.  A few important things to know: 
  1. Testing takes place during school days at the District Office, 8489 Madison Ave. N, between Ordway Elementary and the Aquatic Center.
  2. Testing is available for any BISD student who is exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19. 
    Student Scheduling
  3. Reservations for the test are required. We will be unable to accommodate unscheduled individuals.
  4. There is no cost for the test. Your health insurance may be billed, but by law, the insurance company may not charge any co-pay, deductible, or out-of-pocket expense for the test. The Department of Health will cover the cost of the test if you do not have health insurance.
  5. The test is a self-administered cheek-swab test that is similar to brushing your teeth.
  6. BISD staff and community volunteers oversee the testing site and provide you with the test, instructions and monitor the process.
  7. Test results will be available 36-48 hours after the test (or 24 hours after the test arrives at the lab).
Martin Luther King Jr. Walk

Please join us and the Multicultural council of BISD to celebrate the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. by participating in the 2021 virtual walk. The event is free and registration is requested. For more information please visit the Multicultural Advisory Council page on the BISD website.

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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MLK Holiday
January 18th 
No School

Winter Conferences

21st - 22nd 
No School