Tag Archives: Bainbridge Island School District

Eagle Harbor High student leads Commodore students in anti-bullying effort

After struggling with being bullied in elementary and middle school, Eagle Harbor High School junior Otis Doxtater created a program that helps students learn tolerance, unity and kindness.

Otis’ efforts inspired many students Tuesday when he led the Commodore K-12 Options School student body and employees in an anti-bullying program.

Prior to a morning assembly, Otis visited classrooms with a strip of orange paper for each student. The students wrote what made them special on one side of the paper and on the other described what things they would do to stop bullying. The classrooms then created a chain of orange links, which later were connected with the rest of the school’s classes during a silent lunchroom procession.

Otis is known to many island residents for holding an anti-bullying sign near the Bainbridge McDonald’s restaurant on High School Road, off State Route 305. With “Stop Bullying” on one side and “Love and Equality” on the other, the signs elicited support and people wanting to talk to him about bullying.

“At Eagle Harbor High School everyone knows everyone and people are very accepting,” Otis said in a news release published by the Bainbridge Island School District. “I really found the right fit here. Now I want to help others feel they can talk freely about bullying prevention and know their actions can make a difference.”

Otis’ efforts coincide with the eighth annual National Unity Day on Wednesday (Oct. 22), which encourages schools, businesses and communities to come together against bullying and unite by wearing orange with a message of support, hope and unity.

Bainbridge school district today will honor three retiring employees

Contributed photo / BISD Cami Dombkowski retires after 24 years with the BISD.
Contributed photo / BISD
Cami Dombkowski retires after 24 years with the BISD.
Contributed photo / BISD Bob Houk retires after 28 years with the Bainbridge school district.
Contributed photo / BISD
Bob Houk retires after 28 years with the Bainbridge school district.
Contributed photo / BISD BISD Kathy Roberts retires after 30 years in public education, including her last 13 years with BISD.
Contributed photo / BISD
BISD Kathy Roberts retires after 30 years in public education, including her last 13 years with BISD.

Combined, Bainbridge Island School District employees Cami Dombkowski, Bob Houk and Kathy Roberts worked 82 years in public education and today from 3:30 to 5 p.m. the district will honor and recognize the well-known trio with a reception in the Bainbridge High School Commons.

The three will retire from the BISD Friday.

Dombkowski, human resources and transportation director, retires after serving the school district since 1990.


Houk, lead custodian, came to the district in 1986.


Roberts, administrative assistant to Superintendent Faith Chapel, started working for the district in 2001, after spending 17 years with Everett Public Schools.

Bainbridge selling old math textbooks

Want an old math textbook?

The Bainbridge Island School District will be unloading all its old kindergarten through eighth grade math books to families of district students from 9 a.m. to noon Thursday, July 10, at the Commodore Options School, located at 9530 N.E. High School Road.

Books – which are at least four years old and could be as old as 10 – will be on sale from 50 cents to $1, district accounting specialist Julie Gray said.

The need to purge the old math textbooks followed the Bainbridge School Board’s adoption of a new K-8 math curriculum. In the June 26 board meeting, a consent agenda item was passed to dispose of surplus district property.

After the July 10 sale to district families, the books will be available for purchase to other school districts on July 14-15, Gray said. The remaining books will then be shipped to the state’s surplus facility in Olympia, the Washington State Department of Enterprise Services, likely sometime in the fall, Gray added.

For more information about the math textbook sale, contact Gray at 206-780-1063 or through email at jgray@bisd303.org.

Roberts to retire from Bainbridge school district in August

After working 13 years for the Bainbridge Island School District, Kathy Roberts will be retiring at the end of August to close her 30-year career in K-12 public education.

Roberts, administrative assistant to Superintendent Faith Chapel, worked 17 years for Everett Public Schools prior to being hired by Bainbridge.

“It’s hard to leave my second family who are the staff, students and administrators of the Bainbridge Island School District,” Roberts said after Thursday’s School Board meeting.

O’Neill named interim Bainbridge High principal

Following Bainbridge High Principal Jake Haley accepting a principal position at Costa Mesa High School in California, Bainbridge Island School District named Mary Alice O’Neill as the school’s interim principal for the 2014-15 school year. She will start July 1.

O’Neill was the associate principal at BHS from 1999 to 2001 and Woodward Middle’s principal from 2001 to 2009. She currently works as a teacher on special assignment.

“I’m excited to fill this important role,” O’Neill said in a news release. “I believe we have one of the finest high schools in the state. I’m looking forward to working with the amazing students, the talented and caring staff, as well as the supportive parent community.”

O’Neill has worked as an educator for more than 30 years in Kitsap County, California and Kuwait. She holds a bachelor of arts and masters of education from the College of William and Mary in Virginia.

“We’re thrilled to have Mary Alice rejoin the district in this critical role,” Superintendent Faith Chapel said. “She is a skilled and experienced principal and understands the needs of our district.”

Haley will work through the end of the school year before starting his new job in California July 1.

Last month, Amii Pratt was named the new associate principal at Sakai Intermediate School. The half-time administrative position – which was cut in 2011 – is being reinstated as a result of the district’s increased enrollment and changes in administrative roles and responsibilities. She’ll start her new job July 1.

“Amii has excelled in a number of instructional and leadership roles in the district, and she is highly regarded by those who have worked with her,” Chapel said.

Pratt brings 11 years of educational experience to this new position. She taught first and second grades at Wilkes and Ordway Elementary Schools and second grade at Ogden Elementary in Vancouver, Wash. She also served as a K-5 English Language Learner coordinator in Vancouver for two years.

Currently, Pratt is a K-5 English language arts teacher on special assignment and is a principal intern at Blakely Elementary. She has designed and led professional development sessions and co-facilitated the Teacher Evaluation Committee for the Bainbridge Island School District.

She graduated in 2001 from Oregon State University with a bachelor’s degree in science and a year later earned a master’s degree in teaching from OSU. In 2008, she achieved her National Board Certification, a rigorous and advanced teaching credential. This year, she received her Initial Principal and Program Administrator Certificate from the University of Washington’s Danforth Educational Leadership Program.

Contributed photo Amii Pratt recently was named the new associate principal at Sakai Intermediate School.
Contributed photo
Amii Pratt recently was named the new associate principal at Sakai Intermediate School.

UPDATE: Bainbridge High principal to take reins of California school

Contributed photo “This has been one of the most challenging and difficult decisions that I've had to make in my professional career,” says Jake Haley, who could officially become Costa Mesa High School's new principal on Tuesday.
Contributed photo
“This has been one of the most challenging and difficult decisions that I’ve had to make in my professional career,” says Jake Haley, who could officially become Costa Mesa High School’s new principal on Tuesday.

***Story updated 11 p.m. May 13 to reflect Newport-Mesa Unified School District’s Board of Education voting 7-0 on Tuesday night for Jake Haley to be Costa Mesa High School’s new principal.


Being closer to family who live in California will likely take Bainbridge High School Principal Jake Haley back to the Golden State, where he worked from 2005 to 2010.

Haley was named officially the new principal of Costa Mesa High School after the Newport-Mesa Unified School District’s Board of Education voted 7-0 for his hiring at Tuesday’s meeting. Haley will start July 1.

Haley would replace Phil D’Agostino, who left in March to become the district’s director of student services, the Daily Pilot website reported.

“His background is in educational leadership, mathematics, special education and athletics,” the Newport-Mesa Unified School District news release stated of Haley. “He expresses a passion and commitment to instructional leadership, a desire to meet the individual needs of students and staff, and, exhibits the ability to build relationships balanced with a sense of humor.”

Costa Mesa High School ranked 131st in California and 650th nationally in U.S. News & World Report’s best high school rankings in its recently released 8th annual list of more than 19,400 public high schools in 50 states and the District of Columbia. Costa Mesa, a seventh through 12th grade school, has a total enrollment of 1,693 students.

Haley’s roots run deep on Bainbridge Island. He entered Wilkes Elementary as a kindergartener and attended BISD schools until he graduated from high school in 1993. He was Bainbridge High’s student body vice president his junior year and student body president the following year.

After earning an undergraduate degree from Whitworth University, Haley was hired as a BHS math teacher in 1997, a position he kept through the 2005 school year. During those years, he also served as the Spartans’ assistant football and assistant boys basketball coach.

“This has been one of the most challenging and difficult decisions that I’ve had to make in my professional career,” said Haley, who will continue to work as the BHS principal through the end of the school year. “For 28 years, Bainbridge has been my home as I’ve evolved as a student, teacher, coach and principal. I will deeply miss the students and staff of Bainbridge High School who have enriched my life in countless ways.”

Haley left Bainbridge in 2005 to become the head football coach for El Toro High School in Lake Forest, Calif. He guided the Chargers to a pair of 5-6 records his first two seasons, a 6-6 mark in 2007 and a 2-8 campaign in 2008, according to MaxPreps.com.

He then was hired as an associate principal for Laguna Hills High School in Orange County, where he worked during the 2009-10 school year. Haley returned to Bainbridge in 2010 when he was hired as Bainbridge High’s associate principal. Last July, he was named the school’s new principal.

U.S. News & World Report ranked Bainbridge the sixth best high school in Washington and 276th best nationally. Last year, BHS was ranked seventh in the state and 274th nationally.

“Jake is an outstanding educator who has made significant contributions to our district as a student leader, teacher and administrator,” Bainbridge Superintendent Faith Chapel said. “He will be greatly missed by everyone who has worked with him.”

Chapel said the Bainbridge Island School District will start making decisions on replacing Haley in the next few days and will announce those plans through the district’s Listserv email service.

Magazine ranks BHS 6th in state, 276th nationally

U.S. News & World Report ranked Bainbridge High School the sixth best high school in the state and 276th best nationally in its recently released eighth annual rankings of more than 19,400 public high schools in 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Last year, BHS was ranked seventh in the state and 274th nationally in the magazine’s “Best High Schools Rankings.”

Only 133 Washington state schools made the magazine’s 2014 list. Eligibility for the list required school’s garnering a national gold or silver medal; Bainbridge won a gold medal.

Kirkland’s International Community School was ranked the top school in the state, followed by Bellevue’s Community School, Bellevue High, Newport (Bellevue) High and Interlake (Bellevue) High.

Des Moines’ Aviation High, Seattle’s Roosevelt High, Seattle’s Garfield High and Winthrop’s Liberty Bell Junior/Senior High rounded out the state’s top 10.

Dallas’ School for the Talented and Gifted in Dallas, Texas, earned the top honors nationally, followed by BASIS Scottsdale in Arizona and Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science and Technology in Lawrenceville, Ga.

Kirkland’s International Community School was ranked the highest nationally in the state at No. 13.

According to information the magazine posted online, Bainbridge High has a 67 percent participation rate in Advanced Placement course work. Out of its total enrollment of 1,309, 50 percent of the student body is made up of males, and it has a total minority enrollment of 11 percent.

UPDATED: Four Bainbridge schools earn Washington achievemen​t award

***Story updated to include quotes from Wilkes and Blakely elementary schools, 2 p.m. April 17.

Make it five straight years — that’s how many times Bainbridge High School has earned a Washington Achievement Award for Overall Excellence.

In addition to overall excellence, BHS also was noted for its reading growth.

“This is a team effort,” Bainbridge High Principal Jake Haley wrote in an email sent out on the district’s email Listserv account. “I’d like to recognize first and foremost our amazing students, the amazing staff at BHS, equally dedicated district staff, who provide the infrastructure that allows us to do our work in the buildings, and many, many supportive and involved parents and family/community members! It truly takes everyone!”

BHS wasn’t the only Bainbridge Island school recognized for the state honor.

Blakely and Wilkes elementary schools also received “Overall Excellence” awards. In addition, Blakely receive praise for its high progress, reading growth and math growth.

“Staff, students and parents all deserve recognition as we celebrate this achievement for the second consecutive year,” Blakely Principal Reese Ande wrote in a Listserv email. “The passion, dedication and desire to always be improving is a cornerstone of our community.”

Also through Listserv, Wilkes Principal Sheryl Belt added: “We had earned this award twice in recent years for high literacy achievement, so we’re really excited to be recognized for math achievement as well with this award.”

Eagle Harbor High also special recognition for its reading and math growth.

Using three years of data, the awards are given to the top 5 percent of all the state’s elementary, middle, high and comprehensive schools and participating schools that meet the highest performing designation according to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act Flexibility Waiver.

Statewide assessment data for the three previous years determines the Washington Achievement Award based on analyzed data from the Accountability Index and criteria from the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Flexibility Waiver.

Final Healthy Youth Summit set for Saturday

The community is encouraged to attend the third and final Healthy Youth Summit. It will be held from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday in the Bainbridge High Commons.

Co-facilitators will be Doug Nathan and Carolyn Milander, a 2012 BHS graduate.

“The day’s focus will be action: what action are you as an individual or an individual organization willing to take to make Bainbridge Island a healthier place for youth to thrive and grow,” Milander said.

National presenter Clay Roberts will lead the group in an inspirational talk titled “Take a Moment, Make a Difference.” Roberts efforts have been featured on NBC’s “Today” show and he has spoken at more than 700 events around the world.

Participants will later collaborate with other audience members who share their passion for self-selected themes that emerged from the first two summits, as they try to answer, “How can we turn our vision for healthy youth into practice?”

Bainbridge Youth Services, Raising Resilience, Rotary Club of Bainbridge Island and the Bainbridge Island School District are partnering for the summits.

District to purchase new buses

BAINBRIDGE ISLAND – Two new 70-passenger buses will arrive in time for the 2014-15 school year and another will arrive the following school year after the Bainbridge Island School District announced it received a $90,000 state grant to purchase the buses at Thursday’s school board meeting.

Cami Dombkowski, the district’s human resources director, told the board that she was initially expecting to receive a grant of about $40,000 from the state. Dombkowski said the state wanted to get all of the district’s buses that were from 1988 or older off the road, including a 1978 bus.

Dombkowski said the district will use the grant to help buy two $144,000 buses this year. Bainbridge Island School District has 30 buses total in its fleet. After the purchase of the new buses, the oldest bus that will remain in the fleet will be a 90-passenger bus built in 1985 that the district will continue to use for long trips.

Bainbridge Island School District announces uptick in enrollment

More students than expected showed up for the first day of school Wednesday on Bainbridge.

Bainbridge Island School District announced a preliminary first-day head count of 3,700 students, amounting to 115 full-time equivalent students more than expected. Administrators had projected enrollment to dip by about 25 FTE.

Here is the email district spokeswoman Pam Keyes sent to parents Thursday:

Welcome back to a new, exciting school year!

The Bainbridge Island School District is delighted to report preliminary,
first-day enrollment of 3700 students – a number that is 115 FTE (full-time
equivalent) students higher than anticipated. We want to add a special
welcome to the many new families who enrolled students during these past
few weeks. It is wonderful to see so many new faces in each of our schools.

The enrollment increase is distributed across all grade levels, K-12. While
numbers tend to fluctuate during the first few days and weeks of every
school year, there has clearly been the need to add staffing and additional
class sections.   The district has added two elementary classes and high
school sections in English, Math, Science, Health and World Languages.

While changes in the number of high school sections will affect some
individual student schedules, BHS Principal Jake Haley noted that “reducing
and balancing class size will support the district’s goal to provide
students with the best possible learning environment.” The district will
continue to carefully monitor enrollment and class size to see if
additional adjustments are needed.

Best regards to all!

Bainbridge school district posts configuration survey

blog.school.configThe Bainbridge Island School District is seeking input on school configuration with an online survey. The district held a series of well-attended public meetings in May on the topic of a potential grade reconfiguration and school closure. The survey is intended to solicit opinions from the broader community.

A School Configuration Committee was convened last fall to examine reconfiguration as a way of cutting costs and maintaining educational programs in the face of declining enrollment and tightening budgets. The committee, which includes district staff, community members and school board representatives, recently decided to hold off on making a recommendation until 2014. 

Materials from the committee’s study sessions and the public meetings are available on the district website.