BISD getting back to its traditions

With things going on despite COVID-19 this year, traditions are returning in the Bainbridge Island School District.

Schools superintendent Peter Bang-Knudsen said at a recent school board meeting that students and staff were enjoying bringing back some of the old traditions and events that were historically done before the pandemic.

The first play, “All Together Now,” was performed in the new theater at Bainbridge High School, and a turkey dinner was served by the school principals in all the BISD school cafeterias. Students in Cliffard Lemieux’s fifth-grade class at Sakai Intermediate School sent letters to the BI police department, thanking them for their service and for keeping everyone safe, and a Wall of Honor thanking service members on Veterans Day was set up at Ordway Elementary School.

“Lots of fun things are happening around the school district,” Bang-Knudsen said.

Also, the district has adopted masking changes in accordance with state Department of Health and Kitsap Public Health District guidelines. Students at Woodward Middle School and Bainbridge High School are no longer required to wear masks outdoors on BISD campuses, and the district is looking to extend that option to students in grades K-6 in January. Band students in grades 5-12 no longer need to wear masks while using brass or woodwind instruments as long as they are using bell covers and masking when not playing the instrument.

The superintendent also encouraged the community to do all it can to support staff. “They really deserve it, and they are doing incredible work for our kids,” he said.

The district continues to fill shortages of kitchen staff, playground supervisors and substitute teachers, which has led to staff filling in for one another, and that effort kept schools open on the Friday after Veterans Day.