Dear Sakai Families,

Happy March! It’s hard to believe, but it’s the time of year when we start making plans for the upcoming school year. At Sakai, this means a time full of preparing students to transition. Each year half our student population changes as our 6th-graders move on to Woodward, and we welcome in a new 5th-grade cohort. Like all things this school year, transition events will look a bit different, but we are committed to ensuring all our students are well prepared for the next step in their educational journey.

With that sentiment in mind, I would like to extend a huge and heartfelt welcome to our 4th-grade families! We are excited and honored to have your students joining us next year. While we don’t know exactly what next year will look like, we do know our commitments to you and your children will remain the same as we’ve always had. Because of the intentional design of Sakai, we have always been able to focus on the unique needs of our 5th and 6th grader learners and next year will be no different in that regard.

At Sakai, students come together to form their learning cohort that will continue on through graduation. We do not take this significant event lightly. This cohort of 5th-grade students will be the BHS/EHHS graduating Class of 2029! We recognize that 5th and 6th-grade students have unique needs and are able to create a learning environment catered to those. We want all kids to be successful in this important transition, and dedicate our work to understanding student’s individual needs and providing for their healthy academic, social, and emotional development. As both a former 5th-grade teacher and current 4th-grade father, I feel so fortunate that Sakai exists to focus on this exciting and pivotal time for our kids.

For our 4th-grade families, we will be holding our Sakai Parent Information Night in two parts this year. First, we will be sending you an informational video about Sakai on March 15th. You can watch this when it’s convenient for you, and then please fill out the form that will accompany it with any questions you may have. I will be following this up with a live Webinar to answer questions you may have on March 23rd, at 5:00.

Families that have a 4th or 5th-grade student do have the opportunity to fill out a Parent Class Placement Input Form that describes how their child learns best. This optional form can provide us useful information when creating balanced classrooms. You have the choice to utilize either an electronic Google form or a paper form.  It is also available on our website. I encourage families to give us all pertinent information that will help set your child up for success when we decide on class placement later this June.

Have a wonderful week Sakai!

Drew Crandall

From the Sakai School Counselor

It is that time of the year to start thinking about student transitions. Each year half of our school population changes as 4th graders move into Sakai and 6th graders move up to middle school.  We have already begun planning for these transitions.  Here is a description of the many activities that go into planning for student success as they transition through the schools.

Incoming Fifth Graders

Newsletter sent home electronically to all 4th grade parents including information about Parent Information Night and the Parent Input form for class placement.

Incoming fifth grade Parent Information Night.  This year we will send a video presentation to all parents to watch on their own time and then host a follow up Webinar with a panel for questions and answers.

The School Counselor meets with all fourth grade teachers and elementary school counselors to collaborate regarding student needs.

Sakai Principal solicits direct input and information from all fourth grade teachers regarding all fourth grade students for placement.

The School Counselor will develop an informational presentation for 4th grade teachers to present to all fourth graders.  An opportunity will be given to 4th grade students at an alternate time for questions and answers.

Fourth graders will have the opportunity to tour Sakai later this Spring.

Information about Band at Sakai for next year will be shared when available.

Outgoing Sixth Grade

Parents will be invited to an Informational Presentation for Commodore Options - Odyssey for 7th graders.

Woodward will have a Parent Information night for the incoming parents of 7th graders.

Woodward will share a presentation with 6th grade students about elective choices and the registration process.

Online registration in the homeroom with Woodward assistance.

The sixth graders may have the opportunity this year to walk over to Woodward for a tour later this Spring.

Sakai School Counselors and Woodward School Counselors collaborate about student needs.

There is much planning involved in transitioning students in such a way that they have continued success as they move throughout the grades and in between schools.  Feel free to reach out to the Beth Hebert-Sakai School Counselor anytime if you have questions.  We look forward to meeting and working with our new Sakai families.

Beth Hebert
Sakai School Counselor

Incoming 4th Grade Parents Save the Date! 

WHAT: Incoming Parent Information Night  Video and Q&A Webinar

  • Monday, March 15th, informational video emailed to families
  • Tuesday, March 23rd, 5:00 - 6:00 pm, live Q & A webinar
WHERE: Links will be emailed to families once they are available

Parents are invited to join us to learn about Sakai - our school, schedule, curriculum and more!  We look forward to meeting you.

Remember to check the Sakai website for upcoming events, student activities, teacher websites. Just spend some time looking around. There is a wealth of information posted on the website.
Fact Sheet for Families of Incoming Fifth Graders 2020 - 2021

We look forward to having you and your child join the Sakai learning community!

Sakai is a positive, nurturing and engaging place. Daily learning includes social skill development as well as academics. Our goal is to provide a challenging curriculum which promotes both independent and collaborative thinking and the development of organization and planning skills.

We are proud of many things at Sakai, from our fantastic teachers to our focus on environmental stewardship, including releasing salmon every spring. Here are some more facts about Sakai:

  • Sakai is an intermediate school that serves fifth and sixth grade populations of our district. Next year anticipate having approximately 500 students.
  • Classrooms are arranged in four clusters located in the two floors at each end of the building (north and south). Each cluster houses a combination of 5th and 6th grade teams.
  • Average class size is expected to be about 26 students.
  • The core curriculum consists of math, science, social studies, and language arts.
  • Students have one period with a Specialist each day, which consists of a rotation between Music, PE and Art or Band, PE and Art.
  • The school day during hybrid learning begins at 8:05 a.m. and ends at 3:25 p.m.
  • Please visit our Sakai website to find out more about our school.

Important Dates

March 23 - Incoming Parent Information Night Q&A webinar at 5:00 pm.

May 14 – Parent Class Placement Input form due.
Classroom Placement Procedures for 5th and 6th Grade 
In an effort to assure a fair and consistent district-wide placement procedure, the following process has been adopted: The teaching staff will provide the building principal and counselor with the necessary information concerning all students considered for placement in the next year’s classrooms. The Sakai placement team receives information from current 4th and 5th grade teachers.  The principal has final responsibility for classroom assignments.   

Parents may provide additional information to assist the staff in meeting the needs of their child if they feel it is necessary.  Please be brief and specific.

Information will be submitted in writing using either the electronic Google Parent Input Form or a paper Parent Class Placement Input form.  Forms are also available in elementary school and Sakai offices or on the Sakai website. Please complete and return by May 14, 2021 for input consideration.

Requests will be stated in terms of child needs rather than teacher names. Requesting a particular teacher is not permitted.

Student placement is one of the most important things we do. A great deal of time and effort is put into this process to provide a placement where each child will succeed. Mr. Crandall, Sakai Principal, receives information from each 4th grade teacher about their students. In addition, Ms. Hebert, Sakai Counselor, meets with each 4th grade teacher and elementary counselors to also receive information about incoming students. Along with the parent input forms, the Sakai Placement Team (Principal, Associate Principal, Counselor, and Special Education Teachers) uses this information to determine the placement. We balance gender, learning styles and individual student needs when making our decisions. The majority of students are well equipped to adjust to any classroom placement.
A reminder that safety and efficiency are the two very important goals for student arrival and dismissal. A lot of time and care from school staff, district administration, and city officials have gone into creating processes and staffing to meet these goals. We need your help by following these procedures. Please watch this video and refer to the Sakai Specific Hybrid Procedures to reinforce our plan.

To ensure student safety, please do not park in the parking lot and ask your student to meet at your car. We are unable to staff crossing guards to stop the flow of traffic for students crossing from the sidewalk to the parking lot. Please use the established car pick-up lanes.

Also, please do not park at Coppertop and ask your student to meet you there. Parking spaces at Coppertop are for patrons of those businesses. If you wish to meet your student off-campus, have them follow the safer walking route to Island Church.

We appreciate your understanding and cooperation. 
The Sakai PTO board has an empty seat and we'd love to fill it with a committed parent with an eye on next year. If you have a 5th grade student at Sakai and you want to support students, faculty, and families at the school, this might be the volunteer opportunity for you. We would love to fill the seat with someone interested in learning how the PTO can still help meet Sakai's needs despite the pandemic. It's a challenge, but it's very rewarding, not a huge time commitment, and we can promise our eternal gratitude.  

Please email PTO President Charlie Costanzo at if you'd like to learn more. 

6th Grade Parents Save the Date! 

Woodward Incoming Parent Night Webinar

Monday, March 22nd, 6:30 - 7:30 pm
Link will be emailed to families once it is available

This will be an informational night for all 6th grade parents who will have students at Woodward next year.

If you would like to start receiving Woodward's newsletter, click on the "Sign Up" link at the bottom of their current newsletter. 
Now that BHS has started in-person learning, the campus will be closed to the public Monday through Thursday. However, students from Sakai will be exempted from this and still be allowed to access the BHS campus to safely walk to and from school if this is their path. Staff at BHS ask that our students wear a mask at all times on their campus, listen to adult directions, walk their bikes, and look out for construction vehicles. If students are walking with adults, BHS staff ask that they use the sidewalk and go around campus.
For community activities of interest to students and families, click the button below.
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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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