Students at Vancouver Public Schools will begin classes Wednesday after days of teacher contract negotiations and strikes.
Hundreds of district teachers, counselors and other education professionals ratified the new contract Tuesday morning at Skyview High School.
Close to 93 percent voted in favor of the contract, according to the Vancouver Education Association.
In a news release, District superintendent Steve Webb said the contract “achieves the district’s goal of providing fair and competitive compensations” for teachers.
“In the second and third years of the contract, however, we anticipate the need for significant belt-tightening measures,” Webb said.
He says the contract impacts the district’s ability to generate local levy revenue.
According to Vancouver Public Schools, the contract includes 31 early release days throughout the school year.
All schools will be scheduled to release students 40 minutes early on Mondays unless the days fall on a holiday or during a school break.
The first early-release day will be Sept. 10.
The increased number of early-release days allows more time for teachers “to engage in professional learning and collaboration to improve student achievement,” the district says.
In other districts, contracts have settled including Camas, Ridgefield and Hockinson. Students were back in classrooms Tuesday morning.
"We're very happy for the teachers, and we're happy to have school starting finally so we're not in school in July," said Amy Clayburn, mother of a Hockinson High School student.
"I just wanted school to start," said Ethan Clayburn, freshman at Hockinson High School.
Three other districts–Evergreen, Longview and Washougal–were closed Tuesday and will remain closed on Wednesday.
As of Tuesday evening, Battle Ground will be closed Wednesday and Thursday.
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