Buses will be rolling and students will fill sidewalks and walking paths as teachers return to classrooms Thursday, Sept. 8 in the Kent School District.
“We are happy to announce Kent Education Association (KEA) and Kent School District (KSD) reached a tentative agreement on a contract shortly before 3 a.m. this morning,” according to a Sept. 7 KSD statement. “KSD and KEA agreed to keep details of the tentative agreement confidential until KEA membership has ratified the contract (Wednesday evening vote). The contract will then go before the Kent School District Board of Directors for formal approval.”
District leaders were pleased to reach a contract agreement as the strike reached its ninth day on Wednesday. The district has 42 schools and academies, about 2,000 teachers and 24,000 students.
“We are thankful for both bargaining teams and their hard work to resolve the differences and come to an agreement,” according to the district statement. “It was an incredible effort by both teams. The contract will be posted on the district website on our Labor Partners page after the process is completed.”
The district said the entire KSD staff is eager to welcome students on the first day of school, initially scheduled for Aug. 25 prior to the strike.
“Kent School District cares deeply for our students, families, staff and community,” according to the district statement. “Now is the time to come together and continue our focus on students and our core values of equity, excellence and community. KSD is focused on rebuilding relationships and trust. We remain committed to a fresh start, centered on our mission to educate students. We restate our commitment to direct our collective energies to what we value most — serving our students and their success.”
District updates as school starts:
• All kindergarten students will start school on Tuesday, Sept. 13
• Meals for students are available for pickup at various locations Wednesday, Sept. 8
• Nine days of school will need to be rescheduled during the school year. A revised calendar will be sent to parents when finalized.
• The graduation dates for Kentwood, Kentlake, Kentridge, Kent-Meridian high schools and iGrad will remain on Saturday, June 17 as scheduled. The Outreach Program (TOP), Kent Virtual Academy (KVA), and Kent Laboratory Academy (KLA) may be rescheduled.