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A Message from Superintendent Peter Bang-Knudsen

Equity, Anti-Racism, Inclusion & Justice Goal:
Bainbridge Island School District will ensure our students feel honored, welcomed, respected, and connected. We are committed to embracing and honoring our island's diversity and creating a vibrant and inclusive community. We will engage our community in becoming an anti-racist organization ensuring equitable access to learning, opportunities, and resources for all students.
 
- BISD District Improvement Plan, Adopted August 2020
 

Dear BISD Community,

 

About a month ago, the Bainbridge Island School District Board of Directors approved our updated District Improvement Plan (DIP). The plan consists of three focus areas: Teaching & Learning; Equity, Anti-Racism, Inclusion & Justice; Health, Well-Being & Safety. 

I want to highlight the Equity, Anti-Racism, Inclusion & Justice goal (outlined above) because we have a lot of work to do in this area. At last night’s school board meeting, I shared that in addition to the acts of violence and injustice against Black-Americans in cities across the country, Bainbridge Island is not immune to hate-filled acts. Earlier this week, stickers of a known white supremacist group were posted on utility poles along Winslow Way. This is frightening and deeply concerning for all of us, but especially for people of color. There is no place for hate in our community, and I stand in solidarity with our Bainbridge neighbors.  

In addition, over the past couple of months, BISD alumni, families and current students have shared their stories of being the target of  acts of discrimination and microaggressions in our schools. The similarities of their experiences were heartbreaking— and it didn’t matter if it happened 15 years ago or last semester — they all expressed the feelings of being excluded, unwelcomed and hurt. Individually and collectively, we need to engage in our equity work. BISD must take action in becoming an anti-racist organization, and creating an inclusive community where all students feel safe, are honored and see their identities represented. 

While BISD is responsible for creating our inclusive school communities, we need the greater Bainbridge Island community to join us on this journey to accomplish real systemic change. Can we count on you to be an ally for our students?

In partnership,
 
Peter Bang-Knudsen
Superintendent