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Parents express patience while waiting for first day of classes at Wilkes Elementary

Bainbridge Island students piled into classrooms on Wednesday, Aug. 29 and began yet another school year.

Well, not all island students.

Captain Charles Wilkes Elementary School postponed its first day of classes until Tuesday, Sept. 4.

The school had been under construction throughout last year and over the summer. The original Wilkes building was torn down while its replacement was erected next to it. School officials expected the building to be ready in time for the district's first day of classes on Aug. 29. They delayed its opening, however, when it became clear that certain safety requirements such as fencing and playground preparation were not going to be ready in time.

Parents of Wilkes’ students expressed patience and understanding of the delay.

“Most everyone in the Wilkes community I have spoken with are all very understanding about the late start,” said parent Ariel Montgomery. “We are looking forward to next Tuesday and the new school year. I am relieved that our school has decided to give everyone a little more time to really be prepared for our kid’s return.”

Fellow Wilkes parent Carrie Defoe agreed.

“It is very unfortunate that all was not ready in time for the Aug. 29th start date,” Defoe said. “I know that so many people worked tremendously hard to meet that deadline.  However, we have all had to deal with construction and know that often the deadlines need to be extended.”

“We are disappointed and have had to rearrange plans, especially parents who work full time or out of the home,” she added. “However, the kids will start on Tuesday in a building that is safe and ready to be used by all.”

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