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Lake Forest High School, Negotiations Both Resume This Morning

LFHS resumed Monday morning with a mandatory attendance day, negotiations resume as well

Lake Forest High School was a bustle of activity earlier this morning, with rows of yellow school busses, crowds of students walking in every direction — and a long line of teachers picketing on the sidewalk in front. 

LFHS resumed with a "mandatory student attendance day" this morning — with busses running and lunch being served — with a full day of programming for all students. While students will not be following their traditional class schedule, a LFHS newsletter to the parents noted that: "After extensive development by our administration and over 50 student leaders vetted the plan with our administration and concluded it would be great. We also reviewed our schedule and offerings with community leaders. They were very excited about the plans and programs." 

Related: read Patch's ongoing strike coverage here.

The school noted that the programming would be different for each class, with freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors following separate schedules. The school normally has around 140 teachers in the building. Today, there are 70 certified teachers (meaning not the current faculty of LFHS), over 50 volunteers assisting those teachers, 20 teaching assistants, multiple teacher's aids and the full staff of special education professionals. 

At the time of publication, LFHS did not know how many normal full-time teachers had crossed the picket line for class, but did confirm that two teachers crossed the picket-line last week. 

The newsletter noted that the Board decided to resume mandatory attendance as opposed to waiting for the strike to end (as the Chicago Public Schools are doing during their ongoing strike) because "community feedback on this issue has been emphatic - our parents expect us to open school."

The newsletter also noted that "We are trying to do what no one has ever done before. Simply put: we're working very hard to provide meaningful experiences and instruction for your children and will do it as long as we feel that it is worthwhile and meaningful for your student." 

While the school noted in a press release last week that teachers are invited back to class on Monday — but will not be penalized if they do not cross the picket line, nor will they face consequences if they do cross it — there was still a bevy of teachers marching in front of the school this morning. Their numbers have also grown, with teachers from neighboring districts, such as Highland Park, New Trier, Sherwood, Stevenson and Chicago, marching along side them in support. 

"They asked me to come march in Lake Forest this morning," noted Margaret Tower, Chicago Public School Teacher. "They supported us on Saturday, and so today Chicago is asking us to join them."

The Board has not yet responded to questions concerning how many teachers arrived to teach class this morning. 

The Board and the LFEA resumed negotiations at 9 a.m. this morning. 

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One Opinion September 18, 2012 at 06:21 PM
There will be openings on the Boards come April, and there should always be a balance with Board members... both users and non-users. Candidates should apply now! "Lake Forest and Lake Bluff School Board Positions Open" per the Patch and Gazebo News, and only open-minded hard-working community members should apply (in my opinion.) Like it or not, WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER :)
One Opinion September 18, 2012 at 06:26 PM
While the program was not "business as usual" I am happy that our Administration is thinking outside of the usual box. APPLAUSE! I hope it is true that the striking teachers will not be paid for these days with school being "in session." THANK YOU to the few teachers who are there... where they need to be. THOSE teachers I will continue to fully support.
LFLBpet September 19, 2012 at 01:22 AM
I agree, LB Taxpayer! Yes, a joke yesterday and a joke today. Shame on both sides. Everyone is blaming the teachers, but how well do you really know your BOE??? They are very sneaky. They spin the truth, they spin numbers, they are not receptive to anything that is not the status quo. They have all been part of the system for way to long. In short - they are difficult to deal with. They look down their noses and think they are better and smarter than everyone. I invite all of you to attend board meetings and watch. It can not be easy to deal with them. We need a fresh, new board. People who have not been part of the board for 2 decades. Enough, already. Don't they have somewhere to be?
LFLBpet September 19, 2012 at 01:26 AM
You all need to look at the BOE instead of always blaming the teachers. Granted, I'm not exactly thrilled with the teachers right now, either. But the BOE can be a very difficult bunch. The BOE plays games. They spin the truth and manipulate numbers. They are pompous. Unless you've ever had to deal with them or ask them for anything, you don't know what they're like. They are the ones that need replacing. Many have been there for WAY TOO LONG.
One Opinion September 19, 2012 at 02:30 AM
i can't wait to read about the thousands of community volunteers yet to apply for the April BOE openings... those who think they have the time and ambition to do a better job. I also hope the Causus conducts open-door meetings during their interviews so we can all come and question them/those who want to volunteer for a 4-year term! Those who have been so very critical of the BOE, hope to see you all there! I'll be there if they will allow that. We need representatives that reflect the community as a whole, the entire taxed body, and not just parents. I'm a parent and a taxpayer. Thank you BOE. You are doing your best.

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