Proviso Students Return to Classrooms Following Weeks-Long Teachers Strike

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After a two-week teachers strike ended with a tentative agreement last week, thousands of students are returning to classrooms in the Proviso Township High School District 209 Monday.

Students had been on spring break for the last week, but before that had missed two weeks of classes during the strike.

Hundreds of teachers hit the picket lines on March 4, calling for better pay and smaller class sizes in what ultimately became a tense battle at times.

Then on Wednesday, a tentative agreement was reached between teachers and administrators.

“We are pleased to reach an agreement that prioritizes our students, parents, and communities,” Proviso Teachers Union President Maggie Riley said in a statement Wednesday night. “Our membership will be voting on the tentative agreement next week.”

The details of the agreement weren’t immediately shared, but it is a three-year contract, according to District 209 School Board President Rodney Alexander.

“The Board, District administrators and teachers look forward to continuing to work together to maintain and enhance the quality of education and fiscal stability of District 209 for the benefit of our students, staff and community,” Alexander said in a statement.

District officials say the agreement involves a raise and semi-annual bonuses.

So what happens next for students?

The district said graduating seniors will have no change to their remaining schedule this year and senior proms and graduation ceremonies will go on as scheduled.

But for ninth through eleventh grade students, 10 days will need to be made up. The final day of school is set for June 15.

The school district is home to three high schools located in Maywood, Hillside and Forest Park, serving over 4,000 students in 10 suburbs.

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