This Week at Blakely
10/12 - 10/16

Hello Blakely Families,

I feel like the theme of my newsletter is largely the same every week-focusing on being grateful and finding joy, and updating you on the latest news of potential reopening. I guess during this time of constant change the consistency of this newsletter can be seen as a win then, right? Ha! 

This week, I continue to be grateful for joyful, smiling students in our virtual classrooms, and for the creative and incredibly hard working Blakely staff! I would also like to give a huge shout out to our Blakely families for partnering alongside us as we navigate how to best support each of our Blakely students! 

Hopefully you had a chance to virtually attend the School Board meeting last Thursday. If not, here is a video recording of the meeting for your reference. Dr. Gib Morrow from the Kitsap Public Health District joined the meeting in order to provide his insights and answer questions related to COVID-19. Dr. Morrow shared that current trends show a rise in COVID-19 cases, and our Superintendent, Dr. Bang Knudsen also shared a few logistical challenges that BISD is facing in order to be ready for our reopening in the Hybrid Model. As a result, the timeline for reopening has been pushed back, and this is now our current plan of action:

Review the Kitsap Public Health Data on Oct. 19. If the numbers look to be improving, and BISD logistics are in order, we would bring back our hybrid students on the following tentative schedule:
  • Grades K-1: Nov. 9
  • Grades 2-4: Nov. 23
  • Grades 5-6: Dec. 7
  • Grades 7-8: January or second semester
  • Grades 9-12: Second semester
If the data and the logistics are not looking good on Oct. 19, we will review those components every three weeks. (So in this case, it would be Nov. 2.)
NOTE: Once the criteria are met for return, we will need three weeks of lead time to bring students back. 
In the meantime, we will continue to focus on supporting our students in the Continuous Learning Model. This week marks our 7th week of the 2020-21 school year, and I can’t say enough how proud I am of our students, staff and families. This isn’t the school year that any of us had hoped for, we are finding our way in our current reality. Above all, our goal continues to be for our students to feel safe, supported, engaged, and happy!
Enjoy your week,

Dear Families,
This week I would like to share one of my favorite resources for helping children manage strong feelings. Dr. John Gottman is the author of the book, Raising An Emotionally Intelligent Child The Heart of Parenting. It’s a wonderful resource, if you have the time to dive in. In the book, Dr. Gottman talks about the ways that parents can provide ‘emotion coaching’ to help their children identify and manage difficult emotions. Emotion coaching is a parenting skill that helps children learn to understand and manage their feelings. The steps to emotion coaching are:

  1. Be aware of emotions, your own and your child’s. (Consider printing and posting a feelings wheel to help with naming and identifying feelings). Be a feelings detective, noticing how they feel as they arise and understand that they are a natural part of life. Notice patterns in how your child expresses their emotions.
  2. Look at emotional moments as an opportunity to connect. This doesn’t need to be every time that your child has strong emotions, but the times when you have a moment to teach and coach them through. Sometimes you will be able to provide guidance before they escalate to misbehavior.
  3. Listen to your child, and respect their feelings. This can be difficult at times, when their feelings seem out of proportion to problems, overwhelming, or inconvenient. Try to have empathy and know that they are doing the best they can based on their own development and capacity to cope in the moment. Show respect by taking your child’s emotions seriously, without judging the feeling. All feelings are acceptable, but not all behaviors.
  4. Name emotions. Try to help them recognize what those feelings ‘feel like’. At school we work on learning more about how we feel things in our bodies (How can you tell you feel happy? What does your body feel like when you are angry?) Putting feelings into words, and feeling understood by an important grown up both can reduce stress and build resilience.
  5. Find good solutions. Correct children’s actions, not their feelings. When children struggle with behavior, coach them to understand the feeling and explain why their behavior was inappropriate. Teach alternatives. Be on the lookout for success, positive management and good choices and share what you notice with your child.
I hope you give these steps a try and find them useful. As always, please don’t hesitate to reach out if there are any ways that I can support your child to have success at school.

Article adapted from:

Conference Sign Ups

Please sign up for fall conferences via Family Access starting tomorrow at 3pm.    There is no school October 28th-30th for Parent Teacher Conferences.  
Please contact the office if you need any help at (206) 842-4752 or Conferences will be held virtually via Zoom.

In preparation for bringing hybrid students to school, BISD has created a Return to Learn Handbook.

The handbook includes a high-level overview of the many ways BISD has modified operational practices to keep students and staff as safe as possible during in-person learning. 
The handbook includes:

13 - Sign Up for Conferences starting at 3pm via Family Access
14 - PTO Zoom Happy Hour Meeting 5:00pm (look for link in your email) with School Board Vice President and Parent, Christina Hulet
16 - Materials Pick Up / Drop off 7:30am to 3:00pm
19- Device Insurance Deadline
23- Materials Pick Up / Drop off 7:30am to 3:00pm
28-30 - Conferences/ No School
Blakely Numbers:
Main Office
(206) 842-4752
Kyanne Hawkins
Office Manager
Robin Thomas
(206) 780-2046
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