As the Anacortes School District works toward more in-person learning, it took time to thank its school bus drivers last week for the services they are providing to the community and the challenges they will face in the coming weeks.

The transportation staff is working hard to make sure everything is ready for more students to ride, Superintendent Justin Irish said at the board meeting last week.

The board supported a proclamation at its meeting recognizing this week (Oct. 19-23) as National School Bus Safety Week.

Although the board passed something during the summer that would allow the district to cut back on transportation staff if needed to meet budget constraints, the district has been able to keep everyone so far, Irish said.

The staff is transporting a limited number of students to and from school, as well as dropping off food for those in need, he said.

This year’s National School Bus Safety Week theme is “Red Lights Mean Stop!” It’s a reminder to everyone that drivers must stop for buses with red lights flashing and/or stop paddles extended, according to the proclamation.

Students in kindergarten to fifth grade will return to Anacortes school buildings in November, and transportation is available to any enrolled student who needs it, according to the district.

Masks will be required on buses, and precautions will be taken to keep students safe, Irish said.

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