Students Back in Class in Dallas

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DALLAS TOWNSHIP -- The five-week strike by teachers in the Dallas School District came to an end Monday morning but there is still no new contract in that district in Luzerne County.

Students returned to class for the first time since the middle of November. Teachers had been working under terms of their old contract for a year and a half.

Things changed November 14 when the teachers went on strike. Nearly 3,000 students had to find something else to do.

"I've been helping babysit my friend's siblings and overall just taking care of the house while my dad was at work," said sophomore Anna Williams.

Education stopped when teachers hit the picket line. Diversions started.

"I helped my mom around the house, made sure the dogs weren't barking while she was working, playing Minecraft and talking with my friends," said eighth-grader Samantha Lancaster.

Video games and the rest will now have to wait until after school.

"I think our kids came back energetic. One student remarked like it's the second first day of school," said Dallas Superintendent Thomas Duffy.

Superintendent Duffy knows there are challenges returning after a five-week break. He says there will be no tests on Monday, and no special projects due. They might have to refine and change the order in some units of study.

While many of the students we spoke with are happy to be back to school, there was a glitch for several. More than a dozen wound up in the office because they forgot their locker combinations during the strike.

Ninth-grader Xander Shaner had that fear.

"I don't remember anything, especially the combination for my locker. I don't remember that," Shaner said.

Superintendent Duffy added that Dallas students are "resilient" and he's confident things will return to normal quickly.

The revised school calendar could be released before the end of the day. That's when we'll know if students will be here next week, during what would have been their Christmas break.

Also, there is still no new contract. According to the superintendent, no new talks are scheduled. The teachers said they will strike again in February if no deal is reached.


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