A Message from the Superintendent

Superintendent Peter Bang-Knudsen
Dear BISD Community, 

From The Seattle Times to The Kitsap Sunnews stories from across the regionhighlight the challenge of housing affordability. I have heard first-hand accounts from BISD staff members who can’t afford to live in the community they serve, and have learned of families forced to move off-island due to rising rents or lack of housing inventory in their price range. 

There is strong reason to believe that the housing issue is negatively impacting BISD’s enrollment — our enrollment numbers were lower than expected this year and we believe next school year, our numbers will continue to decline. I have learned from my superintendent colleagues that school districts located in more expensive real estate markets (such as Seattle Public Schools) are experiencing declining enrollment, while districts in more affordable areas are experiencing enrollment booms (such as Enumclaw School District).  

Housing affordability is a big problem and one that will take a community-wide effort to solve. To help engage the community in well-rounded conversations regarding the housing issue, I am working to create a coalition with other on-island governmental agencies whose workforce would benefit from additional affordable Bainbridge housing opportunities, as well as include representatives from the City of Bainbridge Island, interested non-profits and real estate experts. 

As BISD superintendent, I am committed to advocating in favor of housing affordability, and I am committed to share how the current lack of housing is hurting our students, staff and district. If you have a story you would like to share, please email me. 

As a longtime resident (and Bainbridge High School graduate), I have experienced first-hand what makes our community special. My hope is that our community grows in diversity, inclusiveness and accessibility. I believe housing affordability is one element to this vision.  
Peter Bang-Knudsen