Classes resume Thursday in Arlington Heights Elementary District 25, but the district's teachers will start the year without a contract.
The district and the Arlington Teachers Association, which represents more than 400 teachers and support staff in the district, have yet to reach an agreement on a new deal, according to a message posted on the district website by both parties. The teachers' previous contract expired Aug. 15.
"Arlington Heights District 25 and the Arlington Teachers Association have been working diligently since March negotiating a new agreement. While many strides have been made, some difficult issues still need to be resolved. We are moving toward mediation in order to work toward a fair agreement as soon as possible," the note said.
School board President David Page would not comment on what issues remain unsettled.
Association President Peter Reckard did not respond to requests for comment on the negotiations.
Page said both parties have agreed that any statement to the public would be made jointly, such as the note on the website.
Teachers will continue to work under the terms of the previous contract, Page said, and a strike is not expected. The two sides are expected to meet again in a few weeks with an additional mediator.
Page noted that an agreement on the last contract was not by the beginning of the school year in 2010, but that both sides were able to reach a resolution and backdate the contract accordingly.
"School will start as normal. The teachers are excited and ready to go, and everything is functioning just as it always has," Page said.
District 25 has nine schools with an enrollment of more than 5,000 elementary and middle school students.