Parents have complained about a lack of communication from the district since teachers' strike-authorization vote on Tuesday. The district acknowledged the "uncertainty" but said it is planning for classes to start on Sept. 5.
After a week of silence, parents received their first official communications from Seattle Public schools about a potential strike on Friday morning.
A message signed by the “Office of Public Affairs” told parents that the Seattle Education Association and the district continued their negotiations.
“We continue to actively negotiate and have every reason to believe that the team will reach a tentative agreement this weekend,” the update stated. “We are optimistic that we will come to a positive solution for our students, staff and families and begin school on time.” The district also spread the message through a phone call.
The union voted to authorize a strike Tuesday, but if a deal is reached before the start of school on Sept. 5, classes will start as scheduled. Earlier in the week, some parents said they were confused and disappointed by the lack of communications from the district.
The district acknowledged that feeling. “We realize that uncertainty causes stress for families and students,” the Friday message stated, adding that the district is planning for a disruption, though it doesn’t expect one to occur. If there are no further communications, the message stated, it means “families should plan for the first day of school to be Wed., Sept. 5” or the following Monday, Sept. 10, for kindergarten students. The district promised to notify parents of a strike. If there is a strike, the district promised to keep parents in the know.
Read the full email below:
We are writing to update you on negotiations with Seattle Education Association (SEA), our educators’ union. We continue to actively negotiate and have every reason to believe that the team will reach a tentative agreement this weekend. We are optimistic that we will come to a positive solution for our students, staff and families and begin school on time.
We realize that uncertainty causes stress for families and students. While we anticipate opening school on time, during any negotiation the district plans for multiple scenarios, including a disruption to the school calendar. This includes working with the City of Seattle, our community partners and others to identify resources and supports for families. These will be shared and families will be able to find them on the district’s homepage if a strike appears likely.
If families don’t hear from the district, it means that negotiations are continuing to progress well and 1st through 12th grade and their families should plan for the first day of school to be Wed., Sept. 5 or Mon., Sept. 10 for kindergarten students.
We encourage you to check your email and the district website for updates. If an educator strike is called, we will notify you by email, text, phone, website, social media and local broadcast news.
Office of Public Affairs