Later School Start times

On February 21, 2019, the Anacortes School Board unanimously approved of moving to a later school start time for secondary students. This change takes effect with the 2019-2020 school year. 

What are the new start times (2019-2020 school year)? 


Start Time

End Time

Early-Release Wednesday Half Day Dismissal Time  

Fidalgo Elementary

9:05 AM

3:35 PM

 2:35 PM 12:05 PM 

Mount Erie Elementary (no change)

9:00 AM

3:30 PM

 2:30 PM 12:00 PM 

Island View Elementary (no change)

9:05 AM

3:35 PM

 2:35 PM 12:05 PM

Whitney Early Childhood Center (no change)

9:10 AM

3:40 PM

 2:40 PM 12:10 PM

Anacortes Middle School

8:00 AM

2:40 PM

 1:40 PM 11:15 AM

Anacortes High School

8:05 AM

2:45 PM

 1:45 PM 11:20 AM 

Cap Sante High School

8:05 AM

2:35 PM

 N/A 11:20 AM

Nationwide and across Washington state, a number of school districts are moving to later start times for their middle and high schools. The main reason, based on brain and sleep research, is the development of the teenage brain. 

In 2017, a parent group, supported by 200 parents, asked the superintendent and school board to consider moving high school and middle school start times to 8:30 or later. They had researched area schools that had made the move and had looked at nationwide data on teenage sleep patterns. Dr. Wenzel met with the group to discuss the idea and committed to continuing the research via a feasibility study and to engage the community in a discussion around later start times.


In 2014 the American Academy of Pediatrics released a report recommending secondary schools start later to better align with teenage sleep patterns. As a result, many districts around the nation moved to later start times for their middle and high schools. 

Research shows that teenagers require 9.25 hours of sleep for optimal health and that mental wellness directly correlates to optimal sleep. In addition, studies have shown 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.


  • Increased daily attendance

  • Reduction of tardiness rates

  • Improved grades

  • Higher graduation rates

  • Lower rates of depression/suicidal thought

  • Lower rates of car accidents

  • Fewer referrals for disciplinary action

  • Improved standardized test scores

  • Fewer students visiting student health care centers

In researching and conversing with other schools, the big takeaway is to not start before 8:00 a.m. and to avoid ending after 4:00 p.m. Before school care and after school activities are also factors that will be considered when building the schedule.


We have switched to early-release Wednesdays with the 2019-20 school year. 

On these days, while staff are meeting in their Professional Learning Communities (PLCs), we will provide study areas or possible tutorial support for students until after-school athletics and activities can start at the middle and high school.


Additional Research - 30 minute shift
Synthesis of Community Feedback Meetings - January 2019
Presentation - Community Feedback Meetings- January 2019

Survey Responses - November 2018
Survey Responses - Parents, Students and Staff- May 2018

District Feasibility Study
American Academy of Pediatrics


Please contact the Superintendent's Office at (360) 503-1211 or with any questions or concerns you may have.

Website by SchoolMessenger Presence. © 2021 Intrado Corporation. All rights reserved.