NATRONA HEIGHTS, Pa. (KDKA/AP) – Teachers in the Highlands School District are returning to their classrooms nearly a week after they went out on strike.

The teachers’ union in the Highlands School District walked off the job on April 13 after a bargaining session failed to reach a new contract. But the strike ended Tuesday because the state says the educators can’t remain off their jobs if the strike would extend the school year beyond June 15.

Teachers and other union staff members rallied outside the school board Monday night.

“There was a brief meeting Friday night to establish some ground rules going forward and both sides are working with the mediator…to come up with new dates,” PSEA Region Advocacy Coordinator Matt Edgell said.

The district has 190 teachers and serves the municipalities of Brackenridge, Tarentum and Harrison Township.

The sides have been bargaining since January 2015.

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