Geneva board, teachers go back to table
By Denise Linke For The Beacon-News November 7, 2012 10:44AM
Spreading word of strike
If Geneva teachers do call a strike, the School District intends to contact students’ families through e-mails, the 304Connects system and by posting the information on its website, www.geneva304.org.
Updated: November 8, 2012 6:30PM
GENEVA – Contract negotiations between the Geneva School Board and the Geneva Education Association will continue on the eve of the teachers union’s strike date.
The two sides did not reach an accord after eight hours of federal mediation that stretched into Tuesday night, but did agree to resume negotiations Thursday, School Board President Mark Grosso said.
“We had some positive conversations, but we did not reach a settlement,” said GEA President Carol Young. “We are closer (to a settlement) than we were. I hope we will reach an agreement on Thursday.”
Failure to settle the contract Thursday will not guarantee that teachers will strike on Friday, Young said.
“We have not set a strike date. Friday is just the first day we are legally allowed to strike,” she said. “GEA teachers do not want to go on strike. We’re very hopeful that we can come together with the board and avoid having to strike.”
Meanwhile, district officials are fine-tuning a strike plan in case teachers do walk out Friday or at some point in the future.
All schools will remain open except for Geneva Middle School North, which will send its students to neighboring Geneva Middle School South for the duration of any strike. Each open school will have a designated entrance students and parents can use to avoid picketing teachers, according to a district press release issued Wednesday.
If there is a strike, community groups will present programs to elementary and middle school students, while other activities will include math games, writing, computer lab activities, physical education and arts and crafts in the elementary schools, and physical education, art projects, math- and word-related games and strategy games at the middle school, the district said.
Geneva High School students who come to school will be able to exercise in the gyms, study in the library and computer lab and read in designated classrooms.
“Mid-Valley Special Education classes will be held, the Geneva Park District preschool program (Friendship Station) will continue to operate, and high school students enrolled in classes at the Fox Valley Career Center will be expected to attend classes at the center,” the district said.