By Leigh Armstrong

With cutbacks in ferry service this fall and winter, Skagway School extracurricular activities may face reductions. Skagway will see three ferries a week from Dec. 15 to Jan. 19. After that, Skagway will only have one ferry a week until Feb. 29. 

In addition, the Alaska Marine Highway System is implementing dynamic pricing, which increases the price for ferry tickets as the ships get fuller, putting adding pressure on student travel.

When the ferry service is at its lowest, the school will be in the middle of the season for multiple extracurricular activities. 

Basketball, wrestling and drama, debate and forensics will all be in the middle of their seasons, which typically require players to travel throughout Southeast Alaska to compete. 

Skagway School has been preparing for the reduced level of ferry service though, with early drafts of the school budget focused on attending the minimum amount of games or competitions needed to qualify students for state finals. That has required the school to budget for air travel when needed. 

Additionally, teams have started to fundraise to help cover the cost of travel and make it possible for students to attend more events. For example, the drama, debate and forensics team will perform in town to help raise money. 

Activity directors from Southeast Alaska schools are scheduled to meet on Sept. 28-29 at Mt. Edgecumbe High School in Sitka, and will plan schedule for events, according to the Alaska School Activities Association (ASAA).

While the activity directors will set the schedule for most events, the Jake Sims Wrestling Tournament in Skagway, which typically occurs in February, does not fall under ASAA jurisdiction because it is sponsored by the wrestling club and is not an official school event. The Jake Sims tournament may be moved to another date, to accommodate the reduced ferry schedule.

Skagway School has plans to host a drama, debate and forensics event or a basketball tournament this winter. 

The schedule for fall extracurricular events is expected after the ASAA meeting.