Rockford Public Schools

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Nearly two weeks after a strike from the district’s bus drivers, paraprofessionals, and food service workers, a contract deal isn’t in close reach.

AFSCME represents the workers who protested what they call “dead end contract negotiations.” 

Ed Sadlowski, with the labor union, says the strike was successful in giving school employees a voice.

“It’s a new awareness and a new understanding about what needs to happen and how, and the very appropriate approach to when you’re encountered being provoked to strike, just how do it," he said.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Update, 3/16/17 12:30 pm: This morning, the district released Wednesday's student attendance totals for all grade levels.  The official average attendance across the district was 77%. That's down from 92% the previous Wednesday. 

School attendance was down in Rockford on the first day of a three-day strike by school support workers.

Elementary school attendance in Rockford Public Schools was at 81%. That's down 12% from last Wednesday. Some parents had a hard time getting their children to class without school bus service.

rps205.com

Hundreds of Rockford School District employees are picketing at schools throughout the city as a three-day strike gets underway.

Rockford Public Schools

About 900 Rockford Public Schools workers, including bus drivers, food sevice employees, and paraprofessionals begin a three-day strike Wednesday.  

During that time, schools will remain open.  However, there will be no buses to take students to school. The only students with bus service are those transported by Sunrise, a contractor unaffiliated with AFSCME Local 31, which is organizing the strike. 

Rockford-area teachers received several honors at this year’s Golden Apple awards. 

The Rockford Register Star reports two schools had teachers that won the award for the first time.  Jared Young of Belvidere North High School and Sarah Schaefer of Roosevelt Community Education Center were honored in such a way.  Linda Julian of Willowbrook Middle School also became the longest-tenured award winner, with 39 years of experience.  

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