Galesburg strike doesn’t stop Costa Catholic Academy

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While Galesburg teachers remain on strike, other Galesburg students are going back to school on schedule.

That's the case at Costa Catholic Academy on Thursday.

It's back to the books for sixth graders.

These Galesburg students are going back to school on time.

"We're ready to start," said Principal Steve Eisemann. "We're here."

It's business as usual at Costa.  A public school strike won't stop these studies.

"It doesn't matter how old they are," said Development Director Susan Day. "They can't wait to see their families, their teachers and inside of the classroom."

Costa teachers and staffers are working hard to make the first day a positive experience.  Nearly 250 students go to school here.

Even so, longtime District 205 administrator Eisemann can't help but think about his former colleagues.

"It's never an easy time," he said. "Both sides have my thoughts. It's tough, and it's always a difficult situation."

While classes at Costa continue, there are some adjustments.  The Catholic school normally gets its food from District 205.  In the short term,  parents are stepping up with sack lunches and sandwiches.

Some shared special services and bus transportation are on hold during the strike as well.

While these youngsters enjoy the first day of classes, their Galesburg friends must wait.  That uncertainty takes a toll on the entire community.

"I think it's hard on everybody," Day said. "It's hard on both sides. I totally empathize with what they're going through."

They're concentrating on classes at Costa while Galesburg must collaborate on a settlement.

"The healing process is difficult, even when an agreement is reaches," Eisemann concluded.