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      Teachers will not be attending MAPS open houses

      Marquette area teachers have announced they will not be attending the school districts open house set for next Wednesday.

      The teachers voted to not attend the open house at a recent meeting of the Marquette Area Education Association. The teachers say since they have no contract they're working off the 2012-2013 contract which states teachers only attend open house following a "teacher day," also known as a day of work.

      The contract also says the date for open houses has to be worked out between the administrators and the school improvement teams. Teachers say that discussion never happened.

      "It isn't connected to contract negotiations, it's a terrible time because we've had so much strife over the last year, so much negativity," says MAPS teacher Erin LaValley. "I would hope that the public understands that, number one, we're just trying to do what we're supposed to do, and number two, I hope they know that when the first day of school comes we're ready. We're looking forward to it. We can't wait to meet all of our new little learners."

      MAPS Administration released the following statement:"We have heard from many concerned parents on whether MAPS would be holding its scheduled "Open Houses" next week. The open house is a valued experience for our students and families. These opportunities help in easing the first day jitters, allow students to get to know classrooms and building, and start the most important function of building relationships with teachers, principals and staff. We have outstanding teachers and staff that we understand may or may not participate. We acknowledge a lack of participation from teachers will detract from this invaluable experience. However, we are committed to doing everything we can to make the first day of school a positive experience."

      "Just as the Board puts our students first, we are hopeful that our teachers will reconsider and put their students first instead of using them as a bargaining tool," says MAPS Board President Rich Rossway. "If the union says it's not connected to contract negotiations, then I will take them at their word. We are just hopeful that our teachers will reconsider and do what is best for their students."

      Open house is still set for Wednesday, August 27. The first day of classes for the Marquette Area Public Schools is September 2.