By Adrienne Fawcett
Despite the throng of picketing teachers and dozen or so reporters on the sidewalk out front, it seemed like any other morning drop-off at Lake Forest High School today. Bill Geraghty was there to guide cars through the driveway, busses seemed full, and many students arrived dressed in plaid for the kick-off of Spirit Week, hoping to get the message across that they want Homecoming to take place next weekend as scheduled.
The District 115 Board of Education and the Lake Forest Teachers Association plan to meet at 9 a.m. today to continue negotiating contracts for the teaching staff, which numbers about 140 teachers.
Meanwhile, students face a day of “alternative educational programming” led by 70 certified substitute teachers, 50 volunteers and 20 teaching assistants and aids.
Principal Jay Hoffman was out front when I dropped my daughter off this morning, as was Superintendent Michael Simeck and D-115 attorney Michael Hernandez. The picket line seemed fuller, and the picketers slightly louder. Turning into the school’s front driveway, I saw LFEA spokesman Chuck Gress talking in front of a pack of TV cameras.
The teachers won’t get paid for strike days that take place while school is in session and attendance is taken. Whether they’ll get paid for last week’s three strike days, when the building was open but school was not in session, is up for negotiation, Superintendent Simeck told me after the Sunday parent meeting. He also said two teachers have crossed the picket line.
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