PHILADELPHIA -- The Philadelphia archdiocesan Catholic education secretariat announced Sept. 13 that its 17 high schools would close Sept. 14 and not reopen until a settlement was reached with teachers on strike since Sept. 6.
The high schools opened Sept. 7 and were staffed by administrators and nonunion employees. The first few days of school were primarily devoted to orientation sessions.
In a letter to parents, school officials said continued reduced staffing could jeopardize student safety. They said missed days will be made up when the school year resumes and parents would then receive adjusted school calendars.
Both sides in the dispute met Sept. 8, 9 and 11 but were unable to reach an agreement, though the education secretariat's announcement reported "some progress in the negotiations."
A statement from the archdiocesan communications' office said the Secretariat for Catholic Education was "making every effort to minimize disruption to the academic year and bring a speedy resolution to the strike. We are anxious for our teachers to return to the classroom as soon as possible."