DENVER (CBS4)– Thousands of teachers joined the Denver Public Schools teachers strike on Monday morning, picketing outside of schools instead of going to the classroom. Some students also joined their teachers on the picket lines.

(credit: CBS)

WATCH: Students Dance, Shout Inside East High School On Day 1 Of Teacher Strike

(credit: CBS)

This is the first time in 25 years teachers in Colorado’s largest school district have gone on strike.

(credit: CBS)

DPS has promised parents and students they will try to keep schools open and running during the strike. Last week, DPS Superintendent Susana Cordova said that due to the strike, early childhood education classes would be cancelled.

(credit: CBS)

The district is using administration staff and substitutes to keep the schools open.

(credit: CBS)

Teachers are planning to leave the picket lines to rally at the state Capitol at 2 p.m. on Monday. Denver Public Schools is also scheduled to discuss the strike at 11:30 a.m.

Members of the Denver Classroom Teachers Association voted Jan. 22 to strike. The State of Colorado announced it would not intervene on Feb. 6. That cleared the way for teachers to begin striking Monday.

The two sides disagree on pay increases and bonuses for teachers in high-poverty schools and other schools that the district considers a priority. Teachers want lower bonuses to free up money for better overall salaries. The district says the bonuses are key to boosting the academic performance of poor and minority students.

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