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Wadena-Deer Creek teacher contract settled; block schedule will end

The Wadena-Deer Creek School Board and the district's teachers union, Education Minnesota -- Wadena-Deer Creek Teachers, reached an agreement on a two-year contract (2009-2011) on Friday, Jan. 15, the district administration office said.

Both sides worked together to reach this settlement, which was approved by both the teachers union and the school board. The school board conducted a special board meeting at 6 p.m. on Friday to ratify the contract.

The contract includes a hard freeze in year one, with a soft freeze in year two. The contract also includes financial support to create a seven-period day and to do away with the block system in the high school, which had been in place since 1971. This change will allow for more flexibility in scheduling and is intended to result in more teaching time with students. The high school will begin seven-period days at the start of the 2010-11 school year.

The contract ratification means the district will not be subject to more than $29,000 in fines for missing the Jan. 15 deadline.

Teacher contract negotiations began nearly a year ago as teacher union reps and school board members worked together to come to consensus. On Tuesday, Jan. 12, teachers and school board negotiators met with a Bureau of Mediation Services mediator to review scheduling options for the high school.