NEWTON, MASS. (WHDH) - The Newton School Committee voted Thursday to cancel February vacation so that students can make up the 10 school days they’ve missed as a result of the ongoing teachers strike.

News of the cancellation came as Gov. Maura Healey’s administration is getting involved to potentially force a contract, through it may not be necessary — with union representatives saying this is the closest both sides have been in months.

The committee says in addition to being in class through February vacation, it still has to find a way to make up six other days but legally can only keep students in class until June 30.

As teachers continued to rally Thursday, the Healey administration began taking legal steps to bring the strike to an end. The Department of Labor Relations wrote in a court filing it wants the judge to begin twice-daily status hearings on negotiations, which would be attended by the Secretary of Education to “speak to the harm caused to Newton students each day that Newton’s schools are closed.”

And, if an agreement isn’t reached by 5 p.m. Friday, they want the judge to move to binding arbitration, where the contract is decided by a state arbiter, potentially forcing an end to the strike.

In a statement, Sec. of Education Dr. Patrick Tutwiler said, in part, “Our students are suffering each day that Newton public schools are closed. Our focus is on keeping kids in school, making sure they receive a high-quality education and supporting our hardworking educators. We need our students back in the classroom now,” he said.

This is a developing news story; stay with 7NEWS on-air and online for the latest details.

(Copyright (c) 2024 Sunbeam Television. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Join our Newsletter for the latest news right to your inbox