ASD Weekly Community Bulletin

News and Events from the Anacortes School District

On the Calendar

Feb 27: No Late Start at all schools; K-5 Early Release (conference planning)

Feb 28: K-5 Early Release (conferences)

The schedule is not yet determined to make up our snow days. We will notify families and staff as soon as the new schedule is finalized.

School board approves later start times for teens

After a year of research, outreach and surveys, the Anacortes School Board unanimously approved later school start times for students in middle and high school. Beginning in the 2019-2020 school year, students at AMS will start school at 8 a.m. and students at AHS and Cap Sante will start at 8:05. Most elementary start times remain the same, except Fidalgo Elementary, which will shift to a 9 a.m. start time.

Five years ago, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended that middle and high school start no earlier than 8:30 a.m., declaring chronic sleep loss among teens one of the most “easily fixable” public health issues facing Americans. One year later, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued the same recommendation.

The APA recommends secondary schools start later to better align with teenage brain patterns. Studies show that the biological “waking” clock shifts during preteen years resulting in later tiredness (11:00 p.m.) and therefore later “awake” time in the morning. A recent University of Washington study found that a one-hour later start in Seattle schools led to increased sleep, better attendance and improved grades.

A parent group petitioned the district in 2017 to consider the shift to a later start for secondary schools. The district conducted a feasibility study, held outreach meetings, surveyed parents, staff, and students and reviewed operational logistics in considering the shift to a later start. An initial survey showed more than 70 percent of respondents favored the change.

After careful consideration, the district determined that it could make a 30-minute shift in start times work, while remaining cost neutral. A follow-up survey showed 72 percent in favor of a 30-minute shift.

Research suggests that shifting schedules later -- even if it leads to a start time earlier than 8:30 a.m. -- benefits students:

  • University of California neuroscientist Matthew Walker, a national sleep expert, responded to a district inquiry by noting that even 30 minutes of extra “sleep opportunity” leads to positive results for teens

  • A Singapore study of a 45-minute later start found decreased anxiety and depression among students

  • Survey results in Unionville-Chadds Ford School, a Pennsylvania district that implemented a 25-minute delay to 8 a.m., found most secondary students were going to bed at the same time, but gaining – on average – 15 to 30 minutes of sleep. Students reported feeling more alert and less sleepy during class.

“With every decision we make, we ask ‘What is best for kids?’,” said board president Bobbilyn Hogge. “This was a very difficult decision, but ultimately we believe it is what’s best for our students.”

In discussing the issue, the board noted the mental health impacts of increased sleep.

“We’re talking a lot about depression and anxiety among our teens,” said boardmember Erin Rieger, a nurse practitioner. “Sleep matters, and anything we can do to increase the amount of sleep is a win for our students.”

The district recently heard concerns from its transportation staff that the later start would mean a reduction in hours for bus drivers. The district plans to work with drivers to alleviate losses through the possibility of other work assignments. ASD will also work with families at Fidalgo to provide before-school options.

Superintendent Mark Wenzel said the district is committed to studying the impacts as we move forward.

“We carefully weighed all options with this proposal,” said Superintendent Wenzel. “I believe this is the right move to make for our students, and I expect to see positive outcomes as we move forward.”

Frequently asked questions, research, and feedback can be found on the district’s website:

Questions? Contact the Superintendent's Office at (360) 503-1211 or

Challenge Program Important Dates


More information about the Challenge Program can be found here.

Tuesday, February 26th, 2019 6:00-8:00 pm

Informational meeting for parents/ guardians of prospective Challenge students.

Friday, March 8th, 2019

Challenge Referral Forms Due for All Children to be Evaluated for the Program (form link at the end of newsletter)

March 18th-22nd, 2019

2019 District Sponsored Challenge Testing

Questions? Contact Carrie King - (360) 503-1212 or

Big picture

Student Art Show - March 1-20

March 1st -March 20th

Depot Arts Center • 611 “R” Avenue

Artist Reception: Friday, March 1st 6:00-8:30 pm

Gallery is open for viewing on the following dates:

  • Saturday, March 2nd 10-4 pm
  • Tuesday, March 5th 1-5 pm
  • Wednesday, March 6th 10-4:30 pm
  • Thursday, March 7th 10-5 pm
  • Friday, March 8th 12-5 pm
  • Tuesday, March 12th 1-5 pm
  • Wednesday, March 13th 10-4:30 pm
  • Thursday, March 14th 10-5 pm
  • Friday, March 15th 12-5 pm
  • Tuesday, March 19th 1-5 pm
  • Wednesday, March 20th 10-4:30 pm

Nominations open for Brodniak Cultural Education Award

Nominations are now being accepted for the Walter A. Brodniak Award for Cultural Education.

The Brodniak Award was created to foster growth of the cultural arts in the school district. Brodniak, Anacortes School District Superintendent from 1973 to 1977, was a staunch believer in the powerful contributions that arts make to our community. Each year, the award is given to a student, faculty member, administrator, school director, community member or organization that has made an outstanding contribution to the cultural arts in the Anacortes School District in the past year.

Nominations are due by 5 p.m. Friday, April 19, 2019. Please use the online form ( to submit your nomination. A selection committee will review the nominations and make a recommendation to the School Board. The recipient will be recognized at the May 16, 2019 board meeting.

If you have questions, please contact the Superintendent’s Office at (360) 503-1211 or

Food to Go Annual Fundraiser

Food to Go Annual Fundraiser

Thursday, March 14 - 5:30-8:30 p.m.

Majestic Inn & Spa Ballroom


Tickets are $95/ each, or a table of 8 for $760 - available online at

Positive Parenting Classes - March

Positive Parenting Classes

These Brigid Collins “Triple P” Parenting Classes are for parents of children ages 0-8 years old.

Classes provide parents with ideas and strategies to raise happy and confident kids, manage misbehavior, set rules and routines, encourage desirable behavior and for parent self-care.

When: Thursdays, March 7 – 28, 6 – 7:30 p.m. Where: Whitney School in library, 1200 M Ave, Anacortes. Cost*: $40/person or $50/per couple (parents or guardians of shared child/ren)

*Scholarships available based on need. Must be requested in advance.

Instructor: Kari Pendray, Parenting Skills Coach, Brigid Collins Family Support Center Class

Registration: Call (360) 299-4204 or online at Limited free onsite childcare (ages 2-8). Childcare requires advance registration.

Email Nicole Mortimer to reserve childcare:

Parenting classes are made possible by a partnership with the Anacortes School District & Island Hospital and funded in part by United Way of Skagit County.


The Anacortes School District and The Skagit River Poetry Foundation present a showing of the movie Deaf Jam with a Student Poetry Slam Thursday, April 25 at 6:30 at the Anacortes High School Library. High School and College students are welcome to attend and read their poetry. Admission is free.

Deaf Jam is an inspirational documentary about students at a New York City high school for the deaf performing their poetry using ASL signing. Dialogue combines both audio and subtitles. See the trailer, here

Students wishing to read their work need to sign up at 6:00 on the day of the performance in the AHS library. The slam will not be judged but there will be prizes for each poet. The slam will begin at 6:30 with the 70-minute film to follow after.

Both the slam and the film will be open to the public and all students.

Please contact Molly McNulty or Steven Dolmatz at:



As a courtesy, the Anacortes School District posts information here for non-school related community events and information that benefits students. The district does not necessarily endorse or sponsor any of these activities.

American Red Cross Babysitter Training - March 11

Anacortes Community Theater Classes

Anacortes Food to Go - This is a weekend backpack food program for Anacortes students. If you are in need, please contact Food to Go - (360) 708-3037 or

Anacortes Lacrosse Club: Calling all new and returning lacrosse players! Registration for the Anacortes Lacrosse Club’s Spring 2019 season is now open! We have teams for boys and girls in grades 1-8. We will also have a 4-week clinic for players in grades K-2. No experience necessary. Come join us as we grow the “fastest game on two feet” here in Anacortes! Contact with questions and register here:

Anacortes Little League registration is open for the Rookie and T-Ball divisions through March 17. The new adaptive baseball Challenger division will remain open for registration until April 11. Please visit our website at for more info.

Anacortes Little League Challenger Division

Announcing the inaugural season of the Challenger Division for 2019! The Little League Challenger Division is an adaptive baseball program for individuals with physical and intellectual challenges. This is the first year that Anacortes will offer this program and we can’t wait to share our love of baseball with this fantastic group of kids! This team is open to children age 4 to 18: or up to age 22 if still enrolled in high school. For more information, please email or register online at

Registration is currently open for the 2019 Dallas Kloke Sunset Loop 10-mile Relay Run. The run scheduled for Saturday, March 9 at 9:00 a.m. is open to all ages. For more information or to find out how to register for the run please visit our webpage at:

Anacortes Public Library - Pizza and Pages - Feb 26 and March 26

APL Family Fort Njght - March 2

APL Loves Books

Boys & Girls Club Member Info

Spring Break registration for Boys & Girls Clubs of Skagit County

Clubs in Anacortes, Concrete, Mount Vernon, and Sedro-Woolley will be open for Spring Break, April 1-5, 2019. Current members can register online at from now until March 15. New members are encouraged to contact their local Club about membership. Registration is required for participation and the cost is $160 per member for the week. More information can be found at Waiting listings may apply.

Anacortes Club

Spring Break Hours: 7am to 6pm

Contact: Andrew Flores

360-419-3723 x13

Chess Club - After School at Mt Erie

Chess Club - After School at Fidalgo

Chuckanut Bay Rugby - Try Rugby Day - Feb 23

CrossFit Anacortes

Dogs on Call - Volunteer Opportunity - We need YOU and YOUR PET to help kids in need with Dogs on Call! If you are interested, click on the flyer!

Fidalgo DanceWorks - STARS - Dance for Youth and Teens with Special Needs

First Tee Link Program

Learn life skills, the 9 core values, how to play golf and have fun with The First Tee at the Swinomish Golf links. Youth 7 - 18 are welcome and you can join at any time. Check out our flyer and visit our website:

Friends of Skagit Beaches Lecture Series

Foster Care Family Recruitment

Girl Scouts in Anacortes

Guardstart - Junior Lifeguarding Program

Healthy Students Healthy Communities Newsletter

Anacortes Cinema and Island View PTA invite you ALL to a special screening of HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON: THE HIDDEN WORLD on Saturday, February 23rd at 10am. Tickets are just $10 for admission, a small popcorn, and a small drink.

Saturday, February 23rd at 10:00 am
(Doors open at 9:30 am)
Anacortes Cinemas

Students must be accompanied by an adult. (This is not a drop-off event.) BRING YOUR FRIENDS! This event is open to ALL! Buy your tickets in advance online at:

Morrison Gymnastics Academy

Flip on in and check out Morrison Gymnastics Academy. Where kindness, teamwork, and determination follow children into adulthood. Don’t just do it; do it right!

Mt Baker Ski Bus

Join us for the MTE Movie showing of "How to Train Your Dragon 3: the Hidden World" at 10:30 am on Saturday February 23rd. Special PTA pricing of $10 /ticket includes popcorn and a drink! Your ticket purchase also earns the PTA about $1.25 which goes towards PTA supported programs. Doors open at 10 am, show starts promptly at 10:30 am.

Ticket purchase available ONLINE only at We are limited to 150 seats for this showing, so purchase your ticket early to guarantee a seat. Tickets will only be sold at the theater on the day of the movie if any are leftover.

Follow MTE PTA on Facebook for updates

Park Aide Employment/ Volunteer Opportunities

Riverstone Climbing Gym

Secret Harbor - Foster Parent Info

Serenity Ball - March 9

Skagit Financial People Project Volunteer Educator Workshop

Skagit Parent to Parent February Newsletter

Skagit Kid Insider

Exciting News! Skagit Valley College Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP) will have Full Day (6 ½ hour) classes, 4 days a week next school year 2018-2019. This is a free preschool for 3-5 year olds. Breakfast, lunch, and snack provided. Parent Activities and Educational opportunities. For more information or enrollment, call 360-679-5348.

Here is a copy of our application:…/EfXQIaAr4CxHnUXCkhN314YB…

Strengthening Families Program - Jan 15-Feb 26

Tulip Ambassador Candidate Packet

This School District does not sponsor, endorse, or recommend any of the organizations, services or activities described in this information. This information is provided solely for the convenience of our students and parents to assist in their review of the safety and suitability of such organizations, services and activities. All School Districts shall be held harmless from any cause of action, claim or petition filed in any court or administrative tribunal arising out of the distribution of these materials including attorney’s fees and judgments or awards.

Anacortes School District

Anacortes students rise to their fullest potential, embrace the future, and make a difference.

Nondiscrimination: The Anacortes School District does not discriminate in any programs or activities on the basis of sex, race, creed, religion, color, national origin, age, veteran or military status, sexual orientation, gender expression or identity, disability, or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups. The following employees have been designated to handle questions and complaints of alleged discrimination:

K.C. Knudson, Civil Rights Compliance/ RCW Coordinator, (360) 503-1214,

Fran McCarthy, Section 504/ ADA Coordinator, (360) 503-1216,

Connie Sheridan, Title IX Coordinator, (360) 503-1221,

Written complaints to: 2200 M Avenue, Anacortes, WA 98221