Columbus students return to the classroom after approval of the new teachers' contract
Columbus City Schools welcomed students back to in-person learning on Monday, one week after the start of a teachers' strike.
Students and teachers were in the classroom after the school board on Monday morning ratified the new three-year labor deal approved by the teachers' union on Sunday.
The sounds of school buses replaced the chants of picketing teachers Monday outside Weinland Park Elementary School.
Parents at the school expressed relief that the teachers' strike is over and that their kids can get on with the fall term.
Among them was Sherrika Swann, who was there trying to enroll her daughter Journey into kindergarten.
"She's very excited. She really doesn't understand because she's only five. So she's just excited to get into school and make new friends and learn. So I'm trying to keep her steady without all the chaos so she won't, you know, get off track so she can learn properly," Swann said.
The new contract gives teachers 4% pay raises each of the new three years and guarantees all schools will be climate controlled during that time.
It also states music, arts and gym teachers will never serve in more than two buildings, and places tighter limits on class sizes.
Jalisa Searcy has two kids in the district and was also dropping her 4th and 5th graders at Weinland Park Elementary School. She said it's a relief a deal is in place so that kids can go to school in person.
"I mean, it's a blessing that they are back in school, for real. That's where they need to be, because a lot of different things has been going on throughout the summer, you know what I'm saying? I believe it's gonna be a good school year," she said.