Student volunteers who are in the program work with teachers to schedule and plan sessions. The UTLA strike is asking for the school district to increase wages for teachers, hire greater support staff and lower the average classroom size. Schools with teachers joining the strike have gathered students into auditoriums for the duration of the school day, according Teresa Hudock. Gloria Hernandez, a School of Visual Arts and Humanities teacher at Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools, worked with TIRP in the fall, but does not plan to participate in the program this semester. “The teachers who are not overwhelmed by what’s going on with the strike — we have to make sure we get ahold of them and that they get signed up in the midst of this,” Hudock said. “We have a way to leave them a message and say we know you’re on strike, but if you get your sign up in we’ll be ready for you when you get back.” “My teacher was super important in everything that we did in the classroom,” Gallagher said. “Effective communication and being able to rely on her was really important for us to do what we need to do. I can see that causing a lot of complications for the JEP volunteers.” The strike also affects the JEP service-learning program, which is sponsored by the Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences. JEP places approximately 2,000 students into local schools to mentor, teach and assist students each semester. But students will not be sent to LAUSD schools during the strike, according to Susan Harris, the JEP executive director. “It’s really difficult to sign up for TIRP when we don’t have a specific date to say they can come in,” Hernandez said. “I don’t know how far behind we’ll be. We don’t want to strike but [we’re] going to have to.” United Teachers Los Angeles, the union negotiating with LAUSD, rejected the district’s latest offer Friday. On Monday, nearly 32,000 LAUSD teachers took to the picket line. “If it’s resolved this week, we might not have any delay in our program at all,” Harris said. “It entirely depends on how long this goes on. If it goes on, we will try to plan other kinds of activities and we’ll send students to schools that aren’t unionized.” Nearly 32,000 teachers joined the strikes on Monday to demand higher wages, smaller classroom sizes and an increase in support staff in LAUSD public schools. (Photo courtesy of Inside the Issues Twitter Page) Despite challenges, TIRP remains optimistic about gaining enough LAUSD teachers to sign up. USC community programs working with the Los Angeles Unified School District may face a decrease in the number of participating public school teachers this semester due to the teachers’ strike that began Monday. Sherman said that interactions between TIRP and LAUSD teachers have been hopeful. JEP is able to send its students to non-LAUSD partners, including parochial and nonprofit organizations, if the strike persists for long period of time. As a part of the USC Center for Active Learning in International Studies, TIRP invites USC students to teach international relations lessons in classrooms registered by local teachers who sign up for the program. “I can definitely see [the strike] affecting students, not only the students in the classrooms but also the JEP volunteers,” said Kaela Gallagher, a freshman majoring in business administration who volunteered in the JEP House last semester. “I just had a principal cc me on an email to every single one of her department heads requiring all of them to sign up,” said Markus Sherman, CALIS office program coordinator. “Things are still moving on a normal pace but it’s definitely this kind of looming bubble right now.” Nearly 50 percent of the teachers that participate in TIRP are from LAUSD, according to CALIS Director Teresa Hudock. Some teachers participating in the School of International Relations’ Teaching International Relations Program and the Joint Educational Program do not plan on signing up this spring because the strike has no set end date.