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Eagle Point votes to close schools May 7, 8

The Eagle Point School District board voted late Wednesday to close its schools on May 7 and 8 to give the district time to prepare for a looming teachers' strike.

Eagle Point Education Association officials announced that the employees would begin the strike on Tuesday.

All classes and school activities except for sporting events will be canceled on Monday and Tuesday next week.

The board declared that on Monday teachers are required to hand in their school keys and lesson plans for the coming weeks.

The district will announce plans for reopening the school buildings in the coming days, Jackson County School District No. 9 Superintendent Cynda Rickert said in a news release.

These plans will be posted on the district website, www.eaglepnt.k12.or.us.

District officials said that senior presentations will take place on May 11 and that graduation will be held as scheduled on June 8.

In addition, the board gave the district the authority to take strike-preparation steps.

The district will not allow picketing on school grounds. Picketing employees also will not be allowed to block district driveways and parking lots.

The district will use the coming days to establish a plan on how to pay employees and substitutes hired by the district.

The district will provide security for the school during the strike and will require written approval in advance for any signs or banners on district property.

Rickert said the district's bargaining team will meet with union officials on Monday in the hopes of reaching a last-minute agreement on a new contract.

Reach reporter Chris Conrad at 541-776-4471 or email cconrad@mailtribune.com.