Opinion

Partnerships key to success of Bremerton schools

SUPT. SAYS

As I indicated in last week’s edition of the Patriot, I will be retiring from the Bremerton School District after 32 years of service in public education in the State of Washington. As I also said in the article last week, I am very proud of the work we have done in Bremerton and honored by the support our schools receive from the community. Consequently, I would like to spend some time in this week’s edition to share just some of the partnerships that we have with community organizations. Please note that this is an incomplete list; if I forget some partners, I apologize.

The BSD of course has noteworthy partnerships with our early childhood community, which have brought us great acclaim at the national level, including the National School Board Association’s Magna Award. Over the past five years, we have also had very close partnerships with Olympic College. As part of this higher education partnership, we screen our juniors for college readiness and have partnered with our neighboring districts in the college in one of the few statewide Transitional Math partnerships that has been awarded. We cross-credit courses at the high school with the college and West Sound Technical Skills Center so that students can receive both high school and college credit for quality work. Olympic College has recently assigned some of their nursing students to assist at both Naval Avenue Early Learning Center and West Hills Elementary with health screenings and education as part of their nursing preparation experience. Area school districts partner together in many ventures, including West Sound Technical Skills Center, which serves students in eight of our neighboring school districts.

Our business community is kind to us. Weekly we receive generous donations from businesses and individuals to support our students’ learning. The Bremerton Rotary is an active partner in providing dictionaries to all third graders, as well as a new kindergarten reading initiative. The Bremerton Lions is looking into assisting us with building a family fitness trail at the Naval Avenue Early Learning Center for year-round family use. West Hills has a recently publicized science partnership shared with Olympic College. Puget Sound Naval Shipyard staff are actively involved in tutoring students in math and science at the Naval Avenue Early Learning Center and West Hills Elementary schools. Naval Avenue has received a grant from Thrive By Five for parent education. We have a healthy and expanding partnership with the Boys and Girls Club, as well as a longstanding relationship with the YMCA for before and after school childcare. We have strong partnerships with Kitsap Community Resources to provide several of our Head Start/ECEAP programs districtwide.

We partner with the Kitsap Health District for immunizations for students and with the Bremerton Parks and Recreation Department for Rec-Jam. We annually contract with the Bremerton Police Department for a school resource officer and have periodic joint meetings between the Bremerton School District Board of Directors and the Bremerton City Council members. We are entering into discussions with Kitsap Community Resources, Bremerton Parks and Recreation, as well as the city of Bremerton to discuss shared facility uses that serve the community as a whole. We receive great support from the Bremerton Schools Foundation, which provides scholarships for graduating students and mini-grants for educators. We are blessed to work in such a caring, supportive community.

Bette Hyde is superintendent of Bremerton School District.

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