UPDATE • Classes start two hours late

Classes resumed in the Reynolds School District Tuesday after the district and its teachers' union reached a tentative contract agreement last week.

Students returned to classes a two-hour late start on Tuesday after being out for a week during the strike, according to district spokeswoman Andrea Watson.

Details of the new contract will not be available until it has been ratified by teachers and the School Board.

Reynolds teachers and the board began negotiations more than a year ago. The previous contract expired last July, but teachers have been working under its terms this school year.

The final mediation session between the Reynolds Education Association and the School Board started at noon on Friday and concluded just after 6 a.m. on Saturday. The REA posted a statement at 6:16 a.m. also saying that a tentative agreement had been reached and that school would restart Tuesday. A ratification vote may be held on Wednesday, the union stated.

'We are thrilled that we have a tentative agreement with the teachers union,' said Reynolds Superintendent Dr. Joyce Henstrand in a press release. 'Schools will be re-opened on Tuesday, May 29, with a two-hour late start, no AM kindergarten to allow for teachers to check in to the building and prepare classrooms for students.'

In a separate press release, REA President Joyce Rosenau stated: "We are proud of the courage our members showed during the five days of our strike. We will remember this experience for many years."

"… We knew what we were doing was important, but to have it affirmed by so many helped us get through the days of heavy rain and the days we wanted to be back in our schools."

The REA press release says that the time and location of the union's ratification vote has yet to be determined, but it likely will be on Wednesday. The release also states that the Reynolds School Board has a regular business meeting scheduled June 13, but may try to conduct a ratification vote at its May 30 work session or an ad hoc public meeting.

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