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Ferndale School District bus (March 8, 2017). Photo: My Ferndale News

School zone traffic enforcement can be expected as many students return to Ferndale schools next week

FERNDALE, Wash. — Some Ferndale School District middle and high school students may be heading back to their schools for in-person classes next week for the first time in nearly a year according to the Ferndale School District. While planning remains underway and the Ferndale School Board will take up the topic at this evening’s regular board meeting, it appears those students who have opted for hybrid learning (a combination of remote learning and in-person instruction) will begin the in-person part beginning Monday, February 1st.

The school district adopted a 6-stage process for returning to 100% in-class curriculums. According to  the District’s stage status page the process is currently at Stage 3 and preparations are underway to advance to Stage 4. In Stage 4, students whose families have opted for the hybrid model will attend in-person instruction 2 days a week and participate in remote learning 3 days a week.

Some elementary school students have been participating in hybrid classes since October 2020. Next week could be the first time for most middle and high school students who have opted for hybrid education.

District officials say they are still working out the details and it may be Friday before final instructions and procedures for students and staff are announced.

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As a result, drivers can expect much heavier than normal traffic around Ferndale schools in the morning and again as schools are dismissed in the afternoon. Drivers should also expect school buses making stops along their routes.

Speed reduction in school zones will be enforced along with the requirement to stop when school buses display their stop signs and alternately flashing red lights. Failing to stop for a school bus can put yourself and children at risk as well as result in a fine of $430.

Basics of when to stop for school buses (per the Washington State Patrol):

  • You must ALWAYS stop if you are traveling in the same direction as the school bus.
  • On a two-lane road, traffic in both directions need to stop.
  • If there are three or more lanes, or a divided roadway, you are not required to stop if you’re traveling in the opposite direction of the bus.
  • Even if you are not required to stop, you still need to proceed with caution.

When asked what Ferndale Police were planning given this news, City of Ferndale Communications Office Riley Sweeney replied via email, “With classes resuming, the Ferndale Police Department will out in force helping drivers remember to take it slow in our school zones, stop for school buses and watch for pedestrians.”

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