Strongsville Teachers' Strike: One More Teacher Crosses Picket Line; Protesters Visit another Board Member
Lots going on in third week of work stoppage
A fourth Strongsville teacher has crossed the picket line and returned to the classroom.
Assistant Superintendent Cameron Ryba said a Strongsville High School teacher returned to the building Monday.
The other three teachers are at Strongsville High School, Albion Middle School and Kinsner Elementary. They have been working since the beginning of the strike.
This is the third week of a teachers' strike in Strongsville.
A group of protesters gathered outside Tri-C West on Wednesday, where School Board President David Frazee is an associate dean.
It was the second workplace visit this week by supporters of the Strongsville Education Association, which represents the striking teachers.
On Tuesday, about 40 people with signs stood outside the workplace of board member Carl Naso in Beachwood.
'Missing' Posters Up
Fliers declaring the Strongsville School Board members "missing" have turned up around town.
The posters say the board was last seen Feb. 21, at the last School Board meeting, and note that this week's board meeting, like a work session March 7, has been canceled.
"Why are they afraid to meet?" the poster says.
It urges residents to call the board and provides phone numbers.
Attendance Up; Subs Nearing 300
Attendance in the Strongsville schools is back up to more than 90 percent this week, Ryba said.
Ryba said district-wide attendance was 88 percent Monday, 90 percent Tuesday and 91 percent Wednesday.
Normal attendance is 93 to 94 percent, he said.
Also, the number of substitute teachers is in the buildings on Thursday was 285, according to Ryba.
Walkout at Center
Students at Center Middle School are reportedly planning a walkout in support of teachers at 11 a.m. Friday, the last day before spring break.
Center Principal Jennifer Pelko, in a letter to parents, urged families to talk to their kids about it.
"I understand them wanting to voice their opinions, but am very nervous about the potential for students to leave school and venture out to Pearl Road," Pelko wrote.
She said she plans to have extra parents at the school on Friday to help supervise.
SEA Questions Grades
The teachers' union is questioning the validity of the grades students will be given Friday, which marks the end of the third grading period.
A news release from the SEA says "inconsistent grading procedures have some questioning the validity and long term impact of grades that are not issued by highly-qualified classroom teachers."
The statement notes Pelko's letter to parents, which says grading "will not be perfect" and that she will be involved in deciding which quizzes and projects will count toward students' grades.
"It is not common practice for principals to review the individual grades of students, but Pelko confirmed that she will give completion grades for most work, may exempt tests where the scores were low, and will allow absent students to be exempt from missing work against the district’s own absence policy," the SEA says.
That indicates substitutes teachers in the classrooms are not qualified to assess students and issue grades, the SEA said.
For other stories on the teachers' strike, click here.
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