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Wilkes welcomes all to open house

Captain Charles Wilkes Elementary School opened its new buildings in September. With five months under its belt, the new $23.4 million school is opening its doors so islanders can see the new jewel of the Bainbridge Island School District.

“We are delighted to give our students and the community a school that reflects the Island’s long-standing commitment to education,” said Superintendent Faith Chapel. “Learning is the purpose, and we are very grateful to our community for providing a structure that so remarkably enhances the process.”

The open house is 1 to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 2, and residents can take self-guided tours through the building.

The school consists of four wings, designed to maximize the interaction between teachers and students. It incorporates natural light to brighten classrooms while teachers illuminate young minds.

Students give their new school glowing grades.

“The light and windows make me feel awesome,” said third-grader Hanna Harris. “I like how there are a lot of windows, ‘cause the sun can be on your back.”

The school also boasts outdoor learning spaces as well as a new gym, lunch room, stage and music room.

Teachers are impressed with the new facility, as well.

“As we focus on differentiation and what that means to student learning, the shared learning spaces, the outside space, the small group meeting rooms, all add flexibility and more effective grouping possibilities needed for that differentiated instruction,” said Ian Eisenhood, a third-grade teacher at Wilkes.

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