Teachers have signed a new three-year contract with the River Forest School District 90 Board of Education that includes longer class hours and pay increases.
Included in the contract is a major change that switches the start times at Lincoln and Willard elementary schools, which will begin 40 minutes earlier.
Teachers will also be paid more based on the increased hours.
The board approved the contract Feb. 22 after the River Forest Education Association approved the contract a week earlier, with a vote of 82 percent in favor and 18 percent against.
Jim Weiss, the school board’s personnel committee chairman, said he was pleased to see the longer school hours included in the contract.
“That was something we had made a high priority – to add a little more time in the day,” he said.
Along with the elimination of the 3 p.m. early-dismissal on Thursdays, the school day next year at Lincoln and Willard will be from 8:20 a.m. to 3:10 p.m., Monday through Friday.
The previous elementary school hours had been 9:00 a.m. to 3:15 p.m.
Additionally, Roosevelt Middle School will run from 8:30 a.m. to 3:20 p.m. next year, having previously been 8:29 a.m. to 3:15 p.m.
Teacher pay will increase 1.5 percent during the 2011-2012 school year, matching the consumer price index, said Weiss. During the following two years after that, salary increases will again be tied to CPI, with a minimum 2.7 percent increase and ceiling of five percent.
“These salary increases are well within the parameters of our financial projections,” said District 90 Director of Finance and Facilities Anthony Cozzi.
The school board is also in the process of finding a replacement to outgoing Superintendent Thomas Hagerman, who announced last month he was.
Weiss said the process had reached the interview stage, and was still on schedule for an April 5th announcement of a new District 90 superintendent.