BI schools in need of many types of employees

Like most organizations nationwide, the Bainbridge Island School District is in need of employees.

“We’re hiring for nursing, athletic coaching, paraeducators, bus drivers and substitute teachers. Last year, our substitute pool was the key to keeping our schools open. We’re going to need to have that flexibility if staff need to take some time off because they’re sick,” superintendent Peter Bang-Knudsen said.

Bang-Knudsen emphasized the need for bus drivers. “This is a great job for people who are looking for flexible hours, before and after school. It’s a really good way to get to know kids. We can teach you all the skills that you need to become a bus driver.”

Nathan Fitzpatrick, director of Human Resources, presented a recruitment and retention update.

Fitzpatrick is charged with building a workforce that reflects the racial diversity of the student population and to create a diverse and inclusive educational environment where students see themselves reflected in the racial diversity of staff.

To accomplish that, the district is focusing on several recruitment and retention priorities. It hosted a webinar for staff and substitutes interested in pursuing a teaching certificate; is attending recruiting events in diverse communities like Tacoma and Seattle; and is prioritizing recruitment of substitute teachers who live on Bainbridge Island.

Retention efforts include utilizing an employee assistance program to provide mental health support for current employees, and partnering with New Teacher Induction through the BEST Grant to support new certificated staff.

To learn more about BISD jobs, go to

Teachers already in the district who are members of the BI Education Association approved a collective bargaining agreement with a 64 percent turnout and 100 percent approval of a three-year contract.

Key items included updating language to align with current practices and adjustments to a variety of sections including: parental and adoption leave, class coverage, staff professional development, evaluation procedures and school calendar.

The agreement restructures stipends in the extracurricular salary section. Also, the CTE and Technology professional development language previously in a letter of agreement was incorporated into the contract. And contract days were added to the Sakai and Commodore Options School counselor position.

Salary step placements were clarified, class size for theater was added and an agreement was created for planning time at the K-4 level, along with a new component that allows for possible trials of alternative schedules at that level.

The agreement also provides certificated instructional staff to receive the annual state inflationary adjustment factor used for pay, along with an additional 2 percent in the 2022-23 school year, plus 1.5 percent in 2023-24 and again in 2024-25.