Lake Forest High School teachers are heading back to their classrooms after negotiations went into the early morning hours Wednesday.
School board and teachers union negotiators were able to reach a tentative agreement over a four-year contract to end the teachers' strike. Teachers were on the picket lines for five days - the first strike in the high school's history.
"It was a long process, and unfortunately it took us this long to get to this point and some of this unpleasantness could have been avoided if things had taken a different turn," said Chuck Gress, spokesman for the Lake Forest Education Association.
According to Gress, teachers haven’t seen the specifics of the contract yet, but their lead negotiator told him it’s a fair agreement. He said teachers are very excited to be back in the classroom, and many of them were already up early making lesson plans, Gress said.
Lake Forest High School students attended class this week while teachers were on the picket lines. Subsitute teachers and administrators led the instruction Monday and Tuesday.
Union Board President Sharon Golan said, in a brief statement, they’re pleased to have everyone back.
"We would like to announce that we were able to reach a tentative agreement with the Union," states Board President Sharon Golan. "We are pleased that our teachers and students will be back in the classroom in the morning."
Both sides still have to officially approve the final contract.