Tag Archives: Bainbridge Island School District

School district responds to continued Spanish Immersion criticism

The Bainbridge Island School District and Bainbridge Schools Foundation each responded this week to continued criticism of the Spanish Immersion Pilot Project at Commodore Options School.

As we reported last month, some Bainbridge parents questioned the process used to create and fund the pilot (known as El Velero this year). Calls for greater transparency continued at a Feb. 28 world language forum, while other parents spoke in support of the program.

Following the forum, a well-circulated letter from parent Kim Paulson accused the district of colluding with the Schools Foundation to funnel private donations to the program:

Instead of being open about their intentions and avoiding backlash, BISD created SI with a lack of communication, financial transparency, and due process. The school district and foundation should be held accountable for these shortcomings and work to earn the public trust once more.

School board President Mike Spence and Supt. Faith Chapel offered this detailed and direct rebuttal to Paulson’s letter Tuesday:

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Riding with the Bainbridge mountain bike team

The Bainbridge High mountain bike team pedals through the Grand Forest on Mar. 21. Photo: Larry Steagall.

A few weeks ago, when I looked into doing a story on Bainbridge High School’s newly-formed mountain bike team, its coach, Gordon Black, was quick to suggest I come to a Wednesday practice and bring my bike along.

I immediately cast that idea to the side. I’d have a City Council meeting at around the same time, and I couldn’t show up muddy and sweaty to a place as decorous and dignified as Bainbridge City Hall. But then a fight broke out during a recent council meeting, and I figured ‘what the heck. If the politicians can practice hand-to-hand combat, why can’t the reporters show up covered in mud?’

I mountain bike fairly regularly, but not at this team’s pace. I’m also not accustomed to the rollicking, narrow pathways they take in Grand Forest Park. There were plenty of sharp turns, steep slopes, crisscrossing tree roots and muddy patches that can instantly rob a bike of all its hard-fought momentum.

I showed up to the practice with a mountain bike a guy at an island bike shop once playfully ridiculed as a “Mad Max” bike. It’s made from mostly scavenged, bartered and donated bits and pieces. Its best part – the front shocks – were yanked from some ivy behind a church in Bremerton. Nothing really syncs up well thanks to the mismatched components and my own happy-go-lucky approach to bike assembly.

Black yelled for me to shift to an easier gear on our first hill. “You’ve got to shift, Tristan! You’re going to kill yourself!” Little did he know that steep-slope shifting on the Mad Max leads only to chain derailment.

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Bainbridge school levy measures passing; Rolfes and Inslee headed for re-election

The two Bainbridge school levy measures were passing by healthy margins on Tuesday night.

Early returns showed the technology levy passing with 54.65 percent of the vote, and the operations levy lid lift passing with 60.64 percent.

Bainbridge’s Jay Inslee appears headed for another term in Congress. He was besting his Republican challenger, James Watkins, with 56 percent of the vote.

Rep. Christine Rolfes was beating fellow islander James Olsen to retain her state House seat. She had 55 percent to Olsen’s 44.8 percent.

Longtime Bainbridge attorney was in a tight battle with Supreme Court Justice Richard Sanders on Tuesday night. Wiggins had 49.15 percent, Sanders had 50.85 percent.

See more Kitsap Sun election coverage HERE.

Read my story about the school measures below.

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School board selects new member

The Bainbridge school board selected a member of the school district’s budget advisory committee to replace Dave Pollock, who resigned from the board earlier this month.

Tim Kinkead, a business consultant with children in two Bainbridge schools, was chosen on Tuesday out of the five applicants who applied for Pollock’s spot.

Kinkead has served the last two years on the district’s budget advisory committee. He has children enrolled at Blakely Elementary School and Sakai Intermediate School.

Once he is sworn in on Sept. 9, Kinkead will serve out the last year of Pollock’s four-year term.

Pollock resigned due to work demands and because he no longer has school-age children.

As a business consultant for more than 20 years, Kinkead has overseen information technology and supply chain operations for large corporations. He has also worked for educational research and reform foundations.

District spokeswoman Pam Keyes said Kinkead’s background in technology, business administration and finance, and his knowledge of the district’s financial challenges, will be of great benefit to the district.

Bainbridge school district hires new administrators

The Bainbridge school district hired a new assistant superintendent and instructional support services director this week.

Peter Bang-Knudsen, who was named the new assistant superintendent, grew up on Bainbridge and graduated from Bainbridge High School.

Read the district’s press release below.

Bainbridge Island School District welcomes two new administrators to continue the support of students and staff sustained by departing personnel.

Peter Bang-Knudsen Jr. was hired as the Assistant Superintendent of Administrative Services, replacing Bruce Colley. Betsy Minor Reid will be the Executive Director, Instructional Support Services, taking over responsibilities from Dr. Clayton Mork.

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Bainbridge schools: a design, a resignation and two levies

As expected, the Bainbridge school board gave the green light to two ballot measures aimed at bolstering the district’s technology and operations funds.

The board on Thursday unanimously approved resolutions for a $5.275 million technology levy and a $825,000 operations levy lid lift.

Read more about the November ballot measures HERE.

Also on Thursday, longtime school board member Dave Pollock announced he’d be resigning as of Aug. 26.

Pollock, who was first elected in 2003, said work demands and the fact that he no longer has school-age children factored in to his decision.

The district is asking for applicants to replace Pollock until the next election.

For more information, see my story HERE.

And in the final bit of school news, the district unveiled a design for the new Wilkes Elementary School, which should break ground during the spring of next year.

Design illustrations and models by Mahlum Architects showed a one-story building with a lot of windows and four courtyards.

One of the overall aims of the building is “transparency and links to the outdoors,” said the project’s lead designer.

That’s a model of the school above. See another image and read more info about the design HERE.

School district ponders nearly $1 million bond surplus

The Bainbridge school district is in the happy position of deciding what to do with $876,000 in surplus money from the 2006 construction bond.

The district could essentially give the money back in the form of slightly lower taxes or it could put it toward last year’s $42 million bond. A third option (which appears to be favored by district staff) would be to put the money toward equipment purchases.

A meeting to gather public input is being planned.

Read more HERE.

Bainbridge schools facing $1 million in cuts

The Bainbridge school board will begin a new round of budget cuts on Thursday to offset an estimated $1 million in losses for upcoming school year.

School administrators say they’ll almost certainly cut staff and reduce programs.

This latest round of cuts is compounded by a 10 percent reduction spread over the last two years.

School administrators are planning a 10-minute discussion on what they’re calling a “fiscal emergency” at Thursday’s board meeting (5:30 p.m. at the Bainbridge High School library).

For a roundup of school cuts across the county, read Marietta Nelson’s story HERE.

Have breakfast with Ed Viesturs

Photo: edviesturs.com

High altitude mountaineer and Bainbridge resident Ed Viesturs will be the featured speaker at a breakfast fundraiser for Bainbridge schools on Friday.

Viesturs, who summited Everest several times and was the first American to climb the world’s 14 tallest peaks without an oxygen tank, will discuss how he has overcome mountain climbing challenges.

The event is free, but organizers are asking attendees to bring their checkbooks. Proceeds from the event will help bridge the funding gap for the 2010-2011 school year.

Viestur’s two recent autographed books will be available for purchase at the event. A percentage of profits will be donated to the Bainbridge Schools Foundation.

The event begins at 7 a.m. at Woodward Middle School.

Reserve a seat online at bainbridgeschoolsfoundation.org.

Click below to see Viesturs’ recent appearance on the Colbert Report.

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Bainbridge school levy passes with ease

The school operations levy was passing with an overwhelming 72.88 percent on Tuesday night.

“We are thrilled,” Superintendent Faith Chapel said. “We have had a number of levy measures in the past that have been approved at similar levels, but we weren’t sure what to expect following on the heels of a bond measure in November. We are deeply, deeply appreciative of the support we have from our community.”

Chapel said she was “grateful and absolutely thrilled at the results” throughout the county.

Similar levies were passing in Bremerton (63 percent), Central Kitsap (62 percent) and North Kitsap (72 percent).

Read more about the four Kitsap school levies here.