School employees, community members and members of the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Board of Education listen to a presentation on Voznesenka and Kachemak Selo schools during a Monday, Sept. 9, 2019 meeting of the school board at Homer High School in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)

School employees, community members and members of the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Board of Education listen to a presentation on Voznesenka and Kachemak Selo schools during a Monday, Sept. 9, 2019 meeting of the school board at Homer High School in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)

Teacher striked averted at last minute

Schools open on 2-hour delay

Update, 4:35 a.m.

District officials are now saying that schools will be open Tuesday, with a two-hour delay, after the school district and two employee associations reached a tentative agreement in the early morning hours.

Read the full statement below:

At 1:37 AM, the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District (KPBSD), the Kenai Peninsula Education Association (KPEA) and the Kenai Peninsula Education Support Association (KPESA) reached a Tentative Agreement, for a three-year contract for the time period of July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2021.

• All 42 KPBSD schools will open with a two-hour delay start on Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2019. Student absences will be excused—simply call the school. Sports and after-school activities will take place on a normal Tuesday schedule.

“After months of hard work and strained emotions the bargaining teams came together tonight in the spirit of compromise,” said Superintendent John O’Brien. “Together we can all now focus on our core mission: educating the children of the Kenai. I look forward to working together with our staff and this community to advocate for public education on behalf of our students. Together we will continue to innovate and lead our state with the high quality of education we provide to our students.”

“Working together, we were able to find a creative solution with the District that will keep kids in class and educators working,” said Anne McCabe, President of KPESA. “This process has drawn on for nearly two years and I’m pleased that we’ve reached a tentative agreement that values our educators and the students they work with every day.”

“This tentative agreement represents a big step forward for everyone working to improve the lives of Kenai Peninsula students,” said David Brighton, KPEA President. “I’m proud of the work we’ve done, and I’m pleased that we are able to find a compromise with the District.”

“I am extremely pleased that both negotiating teams have reached an agreement and the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District can get back to doing what it does best: educating our students through the many quality programs and activities it has put in place and preparing them for their future,” said Penny Vadla, Board of Education President. “We, as a board, are looking forward to a bright future.”

Details will be posted on the KPBSD Collective Bargaining webpage and the KPEA-KPESA.org later in the day on Tuesday.

Original story

Educators across the peninsula are gearing up to strike Tuesday morning, and unless an agreement can be made Monday night, teachers, parents and students should plan for schools to be closed beginning tomorrow.

Monday evening, the Board of Education will meet in executive session to discuss employee contract negotiations.

A Sunday night letter from the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District asks parents and guardians to prepare for a work stoppage starting Tuesday morning.

If the strike occurs Tuesday morning, it will continue until a tentative agreement is reached between the district and two employee associations, Kenai Peninsula Education Association and the Kenai Peninsula Education Support Association. The district will alert parents and the public when an agreement is reached, and schools are reopened, Sunday’s letter said.

Before schools close Monday, make sure students take home any personal belongings they may want, including any medications from the school nurse.

Teachers should make arrangements for any classroom pets or plants.

During a strike, every school in the district will close, including Connections Homeschool, charter and alternative schools, and distance delivery programs. School closures include all before and after-school activities, sports, community school activities, pools, and any rentals or usage of school facilities, including Boys and Girls Clubs activities in every district school or facility. Only individuals approved by the superintendent will have access schools and facilities.

Make up of any canceled high school sports and extracurricular activities are subject to the rules of KPSAA, affiliate region boards, and ASAA. Some may or may not be able to be made up.

Days and staff work days that are missed due to a strike must be made up, and will be added to the end of the 2019-2020 school year calendar in May.

The annual Caring for the Kenai Teacher In-Service day, scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 16, has already been cancelled in light of the looming strike, a Monday press release from Caring for the Kenai said.

Daily updates will be issued about by the district in the event of a strike.

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