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Students return to class in Scranton School District

A tentative agreement with teachers in Scranton is not final yet, but it did mean a return to the classroom for students in the district on Monday.

SCRANTON, Pa. — Students have returned to the schools of the Scranton School District. After nearly three weeks at home, students are heading back to class following a teacher strike.

"I am excited to go back," said student Joseph Mendoza. "I'm excited to go back see my fellow students and my teachers."

The Scranton Federation of Teachers and the Scranton School board reached a tentative agreement Friday evening to get back to school.

"I am thrilled that we have reached an agreement after nearly three tough weeks at the table and on the picket lines. We worked hard to make sure that we did right by every student as well as their educators," said Rosemary Boland, president of Scranton Federation of Teachers, in a release.

The school board says it's excited to have children returning to the classroom too, but there are mixed reviews from students.

"This is like a bad time because we went on strike and then, for another four days, we're going to go on Thanksgiving break, so we're just going to be out of school, pretty much the whole month," Demarao Thomas said.

"I asked my sisters when they got in the car this morning. They didn't seem too thrilled. They gave me the typical, 'Yeah, well, OK. We're happy to be back,' but I wasn't too convinced," said Khalil Denby.

Some are worried about what the strike means for the rest of the year

"I'm kind of excited to go back. I'm a little bit worried about how they're going to do it from now on because of COVID and now the strike, and I heard that they're taking away snow days now. So I'm kind of worried about that, but other than that, I am excited to go back," Mendoza said.

The school board says an updated school calendar is being developed. The district administration will present a revised calendar to the school board at the meeting on November 30.

"I think it's a relief. Unfortunately, it seems to be a repeating thing. Maybe we should figure something out to get these teachers paid, you know, best for the students and the teachers and everyone else. So hopefully, I can figure something out that's sustainable," Denby added.

The teachers union will vote to finalize that deal on Tuesday.

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