Dear BISD Community,

As the calendar turns to spring, our attention turns to planning for the 2021-22 school year. Like me, you may be wondering, “What will next school year be like?” 

With COVID rates in a downward trend (as compared to earlier this school year) and with more and more people getting vaccinated, BISD is committed to bringing students back full-time in the fall. However, it’s imperative to know that full-time school in the fall will not be exactly like full-time school before the pandemic. We will continue operating within the parameters necessary to hold school in the midst of a pandemic.

  • Last week the CDC adjusted its social distancing guidance for schools to three-feet in some settings but not all settings. Six-feet of distancing is still required in middle and high school settings if the community is experiencing a high COVID transmission rate. (A high rate is considered more than 100 cases per 100,000 people over the past seven days.) 

    In addition, six-feet is required:
    - Between adults in the school building and between adults and students
    - In common areas such as hallways and auditoriums
    - While eating and drinking 
    - While participating in activities with increased exhalation (singing, band practice, exercise, etc.)

    These scenarios will all need to be factored in as we plan for full-time, in-person learning. For example, how can we provide spaces for students to eat lunch while remaining six-feet apart? Our lunchrooms and eating areas weren’t created to meet those specifications; we will need to be creative in our planning.

  • Yesterday, Governor Inslee announced that our state’s school guidelines will align with the new CDC social distancing guidelines. At last night’s school board meeting, we discussed the reasons why BISD won’t be implementing the three-foot rule until the fall. (You can view a recording of the meeting here. The discussion begins around the 19:36 mark.)

    In a nutshell, the main reasons we aren’t able to pivot and bring students back full-time this spring involve:
    - Lunch challenges (as stated above)
    - Transportation challenges — we would need at least six additional drivers and it takes up to eight weeks to train and license new drivers
    - The secondary schedule is based on the hybrid AM/PM model and altering the schedule would mean students would have to shift classes mid-semester

  • COVID-19 mitigation strategies will continue during the 2021-22 school year. These include mask-wearing, daily attestation practices and increased ventilation, cleaning and hand hygiene.

  • Remaining nimble is key! We need to be flexible with our planning as unknown challenges remain (such as variants or a spike in the number of cases). We need to be able to quickly pivot from in-person to remote learning if necessary.
Soon after Spring Break, BISD will ask families to commit to a learning model (in-person learning or 100% online learning). The decision you make for your student(s) drives our staffing plan. Your commitment this spring helps assure we are able to appropriately staff both the in-person and online learning models for the 2021-22 school year. 

Please continue to fight the good fight against COVID-19 — not only for your family's benefit but also for the community's interest as a whole. Continue practicing COVID mitigation strategies — wearing masks, social distancing, limiting group interactions, etc. In addition, if you choose to travel over spring break, please follow the Governor’s request and abide by the CDC's COVID-19 Travel Advisory Guidance

Thank you for your continued support and understanding as we navigate the challenges brought on by the pandemic. It’s been a long road and there is still a lot of work to be done, but I’m feeling hopeful that things are improving. 

Peter Bang-Knudsen
BISD Superintendent

Are you passionate about the role of public education? Would you like to make a difference in the lives of Bainbridge Island students? Do you live in the central-east area of the island?

If you’ve answered “yes” to the questions above, then Bainbridge Island School District encourages you to apply to fill the vacancy* for the School Board Director representing District 2. School Board Directors provide the district with leadership, strategic direction and help shape the district’s educational programs.

To be eligible to hold the office of school director, you must meet the following qualifications:

  • Be a citizen of the United States
  • Be a qualified voter of Bainbridge Island School District
  • Live in Bainbridge Island School District Director District #2
  • Neither the director nor his/her dependents are employed by the district. However, if a person is employed by the district under contract as a classified or certificated employee before his/her spouse becomes a director, the contract can be renewed for further employment.
Download application materials here. Applications are due by Thursday, April 1, 2021 by noon. Questions? Contact Lani Chaffee at or 206-780-1052. 

*Last night's School Board Meeting was the final meeting for Director Mike Spence.

Mike has served as a member of the School Board since 2009 and has been a stellar guide and champion of the district. His keen intellect and sense of humor will be missed!  
New commons

Raise your hands if you're thinking about the 2021-22 school year!

Many of our schools have recently held incoming parent nights. If you missed the meetings, you can access the recordings below. 
If you have any questions, please reach out to the principals or office managers at our schools


The recent tragedies both locally and nationally have brought up many questions and an array of emotions. Here are some helpful resources to help you navigate challenging conversations with your child.

COVID Data Dashboard

BISD is committed to sharing information to help track the prevalence of COVID-19 in the BISD community. 

We use the most up-to-date data we have available but numbers may change as additional data is received. The chart only tracks those who are in isolation or quarantined because they have been identified as COVID-positive or a close contact to a COVID-positive case. Numbers in this dashboard do not include people asked to stay home because they have a COVID-19 symptom.
The data will be updated weekly (typically on Thursdays) but there will not be an update during the week of April 5th due to spring break.
To access the dashboard, please visit

COVID-19 Data Dashboard
COVID-19 vaccines are now available for some students and caregivers.
  • Youth 16 years or older with Down syndrome, a developmental disability, intellectual
    disability, or are deaf/hard of hearing, blind/low-vision, or deafblind AND that disability or an
    underlying condition increases their risk for severe outcomes are eligible to be vaccinated now in Phase 1B Tier 2.

  • Parents of children with an underlying health condition or disability that puts the child at high-risk for severe COVID-19 illness are now eligible to receive the vaccine. 

    Learn more about eligibilities and how to schedule a vaccine appointment here. 

Reminder: BISD continues to offer free weekly Meal Kits for any youth 18 and younger.  
BISD's Meal Kit program continues to serve tasty and healthy meals. With options for meat-eaters, vegetarians, gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan, there is something for all diets! Kits are picked up weekly (on Fridays).   View the menu offerings here.  Please place your order here.
Bainbridge Island Rotary and Helpline House partnered to deliver lunches to youth in need during the school breaks. This began with Winter Break and continues for Spring Break (April 5 to 9) and Summer. 

For Spring Break, lunch bags with a week’s worth of lunches will be distributed at Helpline House on April 8th & 9th between noon and 4 p.m. For those unable to pick up a bag, arrangements can be made to deliver them to you. 

To order a special lunch bag or delivery please email
Include the following information:
     1.  Your name and email
     2.  If you need delivery, please include the address where the lunch bag needs to be delivered. 
     3.  Do you have a food allergy, please list.
  You may also just show up to pick up standard lunches.

Arts & Humanities Bainbridge Island presents POETRY VIBES: VOICES OF OUR YOUTH  

We know you've got something to say, and we'd love to hear it! So come and share your poetry or rap with us. Get submission details here.
Accepting submissions from March 30- April 23.  


27: Community Tour of new facilities at BHS
2: BHS Tours & course information for high school students not currently enrolled in BISD. Sign-up here
5-9: Spring Break (No School)
15: School Board Meeting @ 5:45 p.m.
29: School Board Meeting @ 5:45 p.m.
13: School Board Meeting @ 5:45 p.m.
27: School Board Meeting @ 5:45 p.m.
31: Memorial Day (No School)

Follow us on  Facebook and Instagram to stay-up-to date with BISD happenings like this post showcasing Sakai's annual Salmon Release.
Facebook Instagram
The recording of the meeting is available here. 
become a substitute
BISD is offering COVID-19 tests for students and staff. Learn more here. NOTE: The testing site will not be open during spring break. 

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