Watch our Special Video Message from the Blakely Staff
Watch our Special Video Message from the Blakely Staff
This Week at Blakely
4/27- 5/1

Dear Blakely Community,

Happy Monday! It is hard to believe that we are in our last week of April, and have been out of our school building for almost 7 weeks. The reality of our situation continues to sink it, and I find myself holding a few emotions in tension with one another: weary and hopeful; overwhelmed and grateful; in despair and joyful. Nothing about this is easy, and I want to reiterate the message that it is okay to feel like you don’t have it all together, all of the time. Also, it is perfectly normal, and even expected that you and your children are likely experiencing a variety of emotions. 

One thing that continually helps me to feel better is to think of, and stay connected with our community. We will be having a Zoom PTO meeting this Thursday at 4:00 pm! PTO will share a link and I hope to see you there. We also have a Zoom staff meeting each week, and even seeing one another through the screen makes things seem hopeful and brings a smile to my face. We share a lot of laughter, as well as happy and sad tears through the computer screen these days!

At this point in the year, I am essentially working within three different categories: 1) Our Continuous Learning journey for the remainder of this year, 2) How we end our school year in a way that is meaningful and special for our students and, 3) Planning for next year. I thought it would be helpful to give you a brief glimpse into some of the current and ongoing work in each of these areas. 

Our Blakely staff is continuing to tirelessly work on our Continuous Learning plan by refining assigned content, leveraging our platforms in a more meaningful way, and discovering the best ways to use Zoom as an instructional and communication tool with students and families. As I mentioned last week, we have begun to monitor participation in assigned tasks in order to make sure we are meeting the needs of our students and offering support when and where needed. We have also received guidance from OSPI regarding end of the year grading, and will discuss this as a K-6 BISD team in order to make decisions grounded in our core values and common sense. I will update you as soon as I have additional information, likely in the next few weeks. 

One of the hardest parts of this situation is not being able to end the school year together in our building. Our staff continues to think creatively about ways in which we can encourage our students, help them feel connected to their classroom and our Blakely community, and have our school year come to a close in the most special and meaningful way possible while at a distance. We have several different ideas (many that we want to keep as a surprise), but are also open to suggestions. Please feel free to pass along any feedback or ideas you may have about this!

Lastly, we are in the throes of our typical planning for next year, even though we don’t quite know what next year will look like. It really is hard to make predictions in a time of so much uncertainty, but at this point we are proceeding with our staffing and hiring process as usual. We are thinking through class placement procedures, but waiting a bit longer than usual as we want to see how things progress over the next few weeks. Regardless of when we come back, we know that our main focus will be supporting our students where they are at emotionally, socially, behaviorally and academically. We may need to look at new systems to address how we transition back into school, but we will remain focused on students first and will engage with all of you (our community) in this process. Here is an interesting read about what school could look like next Fall: Fall 2020

Joke of the Week Do you want to hear a joke about pizza? Nevermind, too cheesy! A big thank you to Annabelle Osborne for a great joke!

This week also marks the recognition of the hard work of our Blakely volunteers; in school before our building closure and now as you work side-by-side to support your child(ren). We are so very grateful for each of you and all that you do to make Blakely a special community. Happy Volunteer Appreciation week. We truly could not be the school that we are without your dedication and support! A million thanks!!

Here is my video for the week, enjoy!

Sending you all my continued wishes for a week of connection, joy, sanity (ha!), and health.

Take good care,
Video Message from Mr. Ande

Dear Families,

All of us at Blakely are thinking of you and we are certainly missing your child at school. During this time away, I will be posting a daily lesson with a suggested social, emotional, behavioral practice activity, on my website:

These skills are for everyone (kids and adults) and can be used anytime and anywhere. I hope you have fun with each skill and find opportunities together to practice the skill throughout the day. Here are the skills that I'll be sharing more about this week:
The first thing we'll work on is using a 5-point scale to recognize our current level of stress.  Lately, there have been so many unexpected changes and we have all had to make adjustments to our lives very quickly. When this happens, we often don’t stop to truly recognize how we are feeling. When we don’t take this time to notice how we are feeling both emotionally and physically, we are less likely to give our body what it needs. The 5-point scale gives children a way to communicate their current level of functioning. Before identifying the number that represents the current level of stress, lead you child through a brief body scan. A short version that I recorded is available, in my YouTube debut (5 minutes): 

Please feel free to reach out to us throughout this time away from school. I sincerely hope you and your family stay safe and healthy during this time away from school.  

Krista Sodt, MSW
School Social Work
Blakely Elementary
Office: 206.780.2076 Text: 360.525.3594 Email:

Mr. Ande answers all (or at least most) of your questions

Join us on Thursday, April 30, at 4:00 for our first PTO meeting in the age of social distancing. We'll be conducting the meeting via Zoom (details below), so you'll have to provide your own refreshments. But we will have a few PTO updates as well as a briefing and Q&A session with Mr. Ande. If you'd like to submit your questions beforehand, you can do just that using this handy Google Form: Hope you see you there!

Meeting ID: 915 6927 2786
Password: 549746 
Terra Claiborne
Teresa Ball

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 Terra Claiborne and Teresa Ball
Name: Terra Claiborne
Position:  First Grade Teacher
What is something families might not know about you?  
I have lived and taught in Egypt and Chile.
What do you enjoy doing when you are not working?
Reading, hiking, snowshoeing, anything outdoors.
What do you love about working at Blakely?
I love the people! The students, teachers, parents, support staff, everyone. It is the best community. When we chose to live on Bainbridge I made sure that we were next to Blakely so I could not just teach here, but live in the community. Every day at Blakely is a great day!

Name: Teresa Ball
Position: 2nd Grade Teacher
What is something families might not know about you?
I once built a life sized anti-Barbie box for a college art project. I had to be in it for two hours at the student union on campus!
What do you enjoy doing when you are not working?
I love gardening. I love cooking and baking. I love art. I love to read!
What do you love about working at Blakely?
My friends. My Blakely peeps are the best. They provide me support when I need it. I know I can always count on them. And, they are the most fun and funny people around. I am so lucky!


If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to call or email:
Reese Ande
Kyanne Hawkins
Office Manager
(206) 780-2060

If you need a chromebook or an ipad please contact Kyanne Hawkins via email.

Monday - Thursday
Ordway Elementary
11am to 12;30pm

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