As of right now, Rockford Public Schools' bus drivers, nutrition services, and paraprofessional labor unions are planning to strike beginning Wednesday, March 15, and this will undoubtedly leave many parents in a lurch. Here's what parents of RPS 205 students need to know ahead of the strike.

It goes without saying that the strike of these essential public school employees is going to cause more than a headache or two for local parents. Getting kids to and from schools is a major hurdle to get over for working parents, and the lack of paraprofessionals for special needs students is a major concern as well. We can all cross our fingers and toes and hope that an agreement can reached before Wednesday, but the truth is, it's not likely.

Schools will be opening an hour earlier to accommodate student drop offs for working parents, but RPS 205 warns that congestion will be a problem at drop off time. According to the Strike FAQs released by the district;

Staff will assist in directing traffic flow during these times. We are also encouraging parents to utilize the entire early drop-off window. Schools will open one hour early to help accommodate parents/guardians who are able to drop off their children before work. For example, parents who normally drop off elementary students for school at 7:45 a.m. may drop off students at 6:45 a.m. If your school has a late start time – for example, 8:30 a.m. – you may drop off students at 7:30 a.m. Middle and high school students may be dropped off at 7:30 a.m. Contact your building staff for school-specific plans.

 

As for how the district plans to deal with the lack of paraprofessionals and nutrition specialists the Strike FAQs say this:

 

Central office personnel will assist schools based on feedback from our building leaders. Administrators will be in constant contact with our building leaders to provide support wherever needed. Substitute teachers may also be hired to provide additional support.

 

For more information on the impending strike, read the entire Strike FAQs here or contact the Rockford Public Schools at 815-966