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If strike called, Geneva schools to be open

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The Geneva School District is asking parents to let officials know if they intend to send their children to school if the teachers union goes forward with a strike.

Parents are asked to call 630-463-3088 and provide their student’s name, grade and school, by 4 p.m. Monday.

Parents who would not send their children to school during a strike do not need to contact the district.

Updated: December 3, 2012 6:19AM

GENEVA — Geneva schools will remain open if teachers go forward with their threatened strike, the School District said Thursday.

School buildings will be open to students during the school day, but students will not be required or expected to attend, officials said.

Under the district’s strike plan, regular classes and most extracurricular activities will be cancelled, but school personnel will supervise activities for students in each of the elementary schools, one of the middle schools — Geneva Middle School South — for all middle school students, and at Geneva High School.

Buses will follow a regular schedule each day of a strike, and a limited lunch menu will be offered to students.

Parents picking up their children from Harrison Street Elementary School Thursday had mixed feelings about the strike plan.

“I think it’s a good plan,” said one dad. “A lot of parents have work schedules they can’t change, so they need some place safe for their children to go during the day. From the school board’s perspective, it shows that they’re going to continue operating the district even if the teachers aren’t there.”

One mom said she’d send her children to school during a strike as a political statement to both sides in the contract dispute.

“School is where children belong,” she said. “I want to show the district that children need to be in school being taught, not home doing nothing. I love all our teachers here, but now is not the right time for them to strike.”

Others said they feel fortunate that they can stay home with their children in case of a strike.

“I don’t see the point of sending my kids to school if the teachers aren’t going to be there,” one mother said. “There’s no reason to bring them here so that secretaries can do art projects with them when I can do that with them at home.”

The Geneva Education Association delivered a notice of intent to strike to the School Board on Oct. 26. The earliest day for the strike would be Nov. 9.

The School Board has called a special meeting for 7 p.m. Monday at its Coultrap Facility at 1113 Peyton St. to discuss the negotiations. The meeting is a closed executive session, but the agenda says action is possible following the session.

The next negotiating session between the district and the teachers union is scheduled for Tuesday.

Correspondent Denise Linke
contributed to this story.

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