NewsRadio 920 WHJJ and the Associated Press

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Hundreds of teachers have skipped a back-to-school ceremony amid an impasse in contract talks.

WLNE-TV reports that hundreds of teachers did not participate in the optional convocation at the Providence Career and Technical Academy Monday. Many teachers and administrators did go.

The president of the Providence Teachers Union had urged members to prepare for the start of school instead of attending.

School begins Wednesday. Union officials say they don't expect the contract disputes to disrupt the school year.

The teachers' contract expires on Aug. 31. Union President Maribeth Calabro-Reynolds says the union and city officials have been negotiating for nine months, and undisclosed issues are holding up an agreement.

Superintendent Susan Lusi says it's unfortunate that the disagreement is being expressed in this way.