The half-hour later school start coming in the next school year will have an unintended impact on middle and high school students from Guemes Island.
The Anacortes School District is moving school hours a half-hour later next year as a push to allow kids to get more sleep in the morning. But the later release times (2:40 p.m. at the middle school, 2:35 p.m. at Cap Sante High School and 2:45 p.m. at Anacortes High School) mean that the bus schedule no longer lines up with the ferry schedule.
The district will send one bus on the ferry across the Guemes Channel as usual, but it will be later in the day. As an alternative, students can catch a bus ride to the ferry terminal for the usual 3:15 p.m. ferry, but will have to ride passenger only because the bus won’t cross then. They will then need to walk home or be picked up from the terminal.
To get a bus ride all the way home on the Guemes side will mean waiting about 45 minutes and catching the bus at Island View Elementary that goes across on the 4 p.m. ferry.
The district looked at the logistics of transportation across the district in general, but didn’t discover the Guemes Island scheduling issue until recently, district Superintendent Mark Wenzel said.
The problem is that if the bus crossed on the 3:15 p.m. ferry, as it does now, it would be late returning to pick up students at the elementary schools.
This year, the buses carry about 10-12 secondary students and 10-13 elementary students on average from the island each day. Those numbers should stay fairly consistent next year, he said.
For some students, it will come down to a choice between a walk or a wait.
“We’re pleased we are going to be able to accommodate those students, it just means a slight shift in schedule for those who would like home delivery,” he said.
District representatives will be available to answer questions at 5:30 p.m. Monday, June 17, at the Guemes Island Community Church. Call 360-503-1211 or email email@example.com to RSVP.