Dixon School Board leaders suggest a 'cooling off' period - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

Dixon School Board leaders suggest a 'cooling off' period

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Negotiators in Dixon are looking for every way possible to get students back in seats Monday morning, even if it doesn't mean a contract for teachers.

It's the million dollar question.  Will Dixon students head back to the classroom Monday morning just in time to for ISAT testing?  For more than a week now, teachers and students have been everywhere but school.

After 11 hours of talks between the Dixon School Board members and the Dixon Education Association Friday, both parties resumed their talks at noon on Sunday. Still in their meetings come 10 p.m., school board leaders released a proposal they hope will get students back to their desks on Monday.

School district leaders worry, if students spend any more time out of the classroom, they will be in jeopardy of not being able to complete the ISAT test. The Sate Board of Education has informed the Dixon School District that if the exams are not completed within their designated time frame, March 11th through the 22nd, the district could stand to loose it's recognition status, and up to $280,000 in state aid.

To get students back in school, Board leaders are proposing a three week cooling off period.

The DEA has not yet responded to this proposal. They would have to accept the deal before students can return to their classrooms.

And it was Wednesday's Q and A forum when parents started a sign-up sheet, offering to join striking teachers with a picket of their own. Earlier today, they put that into action, carrying signs and marching alongside those who educate their children.  

Later, parent's got the chance to question Superintendent Juenger face to face, as he took time away from negotiations to explain the district's situation. "We're receiving less dollars, a million dollars from the federal government.  We're not going to receive $105,000 because of sequestration," Juenger explains.

Parents and teachers took the opportunity to sound off about what they see as shortcomings in the district.  First by index cards which Juenger addressed, then with face to face communication.

Teachers say a lack of textbooks makes it hard to give each student equal opportunities.

But they also question the district's transparency.  A Facebook page, created by District Administrators to keep the public informed on the negotiations was taken down after exchanges became heated.

Then there are the students.  Out of school for more than a week now, all they want is to be back with friends and classmates and to feel some sense of normalcy.

Continue to stick with 13 news as we bring you up to date coverage of the Dixon strikes. We'll bring you the latest on Monday.

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