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Monday Classes Canceled in Two Metro-East Districts

By AP/KWMU

St. Louis, MO – There were no classes for students in two Metro-East school districts today (Monday, Nov. 24).

About 500 students at the Columbia, Ill. Middle School started Thanksgiving break early and be off at least all week because a fire on Saturday damaged the old gymnasium. That gym doubled as the school's cafeteria.

No one was hurt, but school leaders are looking for a place for students to finish the school year.

Columbia Volunteer Fire Department Chief Mike Roediger says, so far, nothing leads him to believe the blaze was intentional. At least 100 firefighters from six different departments helped put the fire out.

In Smithton, Ill., teachers are on strike after rejecting a contract proposal last week. That strike affects about 330 kindergarten through 8th graders.

The proposal would have given teachers raises of less than 2% and capped the district's contributions to health benefits.

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