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Tentative deal between Seattle teachers, district reached in strike; officials ‘hope’ for Thursday start

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SEATTLE – After an all-night negotiating session, Seattle Public Schools and teachers have reached a tentative deal to send kids back to school.

The Seattle Education Association (SEA) announced the news on their Facebook page early Tuesday morning.

Seattle Public Schools officials confirmed the tentative agreement in a press conference. Details of the tentative deal were not immediately available. Questions about pay, equity, testing and recess were all on the table.

The SEA board and representatives will review the agreement Tuesday afternoon and decide whether or not to recommend its approval to the teachers. If they recommend the proposal, the strike will be suspended until the full union can vote sometime over the weekend.

Officials said they hoped to get school up and running for the district's 53,000 students by Thursday.

"Thursday is our hope," Stacy Howard of Seattle Public Schools said, mentioning that transportation logistics were the main obstacle to overcome before kids could go to school.

The school calendar may need to be looked at once classes resume, officials said, with a possible shortened winter break put into effect to make up for days missed in the strike.

Striking teachers in Seattle are eagerly awaiting the details of a tentative contract agreement.

Jeanne Bastasch, a gym teacher at Greenwood Elementary, says she's nervous to know what was agreed upon and that she will "believe it when I see it."

Sean Harvey, a K-5 librarian picketing outside Loyal Heights Elementary, says he hasn't heard any details but that he has faith in the bargaining team.

Heather Dachary and her two kids joined the picket line at Greenwood, saying she wants her children back in school but also wants it done fairly.

Teachers and others continued to march in support of the teachers around 10 a.m. Tuesday.

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray praised news of a tentative deal, saying he was glad both parties were able to come to an agreement. Drop-in activities would continue operating until school was officially back in session, Murray said.

This week, Seattle Parks and Recreation is offering drop-in activities for up to 3,000 kids at the City’s 21 community centers. Parents or guardians can still register online or in person at a community center.  Click HERE for a full list of community center programs. All registration is first come, first served.

This story is breaking and will be updated soon.