LEWISBURG —Tri-County North Local Schools Board of Education approved an amendment to extend their agreement with Good Samaritan Hospital (Premier Health) through March 17, 2023, during a board meeting on Monday, Jan. 22.
Superintendent Bill Derringer explained, when the news broke Good Samaritan Hospital would be closing, the school was notified due to their existing relationship — however, Premier Health still intends to honor their agreement with the district and agreed to a five-year extension.
“All of you who turned on the news last week saw that Good Samaritan Hospital is going to shut their doors. Why is that going to impact us? We have had a contract with Samaritan North for 10 years. Our stadium is named Good Samaritan Field. I did receive an email from someone with Good Samaritan Hospital. It is ironic, on this agenda our contract is actually up and in that contract we had two five-year extensions planned. That contract could have gone 20 years,” Derringer said.
“In my report I state that I think it is a no-brainer for us. What we get from that contract is a tremendous benefit to Tri-County North. They give us $10,000 a year to use for athletic facility upgrades and all we have to do is write a plan and present it to us, but that is not the big thing. The biggest thing they provide us is that they provide us with an athletic trainer. The only change that is proposed in the contract is that the only contract says we would have a trainer from 2:15-6:15 p.m., but we never stuck to that.
“Now they’ve eliminated those restrictions and basically said they would cover all the high school events. If we had to get a trainer that the school was paying for, we would be looking at $40,000-50,000 and we don’t have to do that, because they provide that. In exchange for that we give them sponsorship and naming rights.”
He added, Premier Health is stating their services to Tri-County North will not change with the closing of Good Samaritan Hospital.
Derringer also addressed the four calamity days which had been used so far this school year, and what the district’s plans for future snow days might entail.
“I know there has been a lot of talk about this out in the community. We have missed three days due to inclement weather and one day that almost every other school took off. A couple Fridays ago we listened to a forecast that we were going to get freezing rain and ice coming in at 11 a.m. to noon, so we all cancelled our schools. So, I’m standing outside looking to the west and there is not a bit of ice or sleet,” he said.
“It came in around 2-2:30 p.m. On our One Call I made a comment that we did consider a two hour early release, but did not want to put the buses on the road if it started at noon. I thought it might be in the middle of the ice storm. In hindsight, Brookville looked very smart when they two hour early-released. You do the best you can. Over the years, we’ve done a pretty decent job with coming to school when you can. I’ll apologize for this time, but we did not go out by ourselves, we went out as a group.
“As of right now, we’ve missed four days. We do have one more calamity day, before we have to make the days up. Hopefully we don’t have any more calamity days, but it is still January. We have all of February and half of March. If we have to make up days, I’ll be coming back to you, asking you to approve that. As of right now, I would look at the last couple days of the month of May. Those would be my first choice, because there are still three days left at the end of May after we’re scheduled to let out for the year.”
In other business:
It was reported the Tri-County North fourth grade trip will be changing locations this year, from Woodland Altars to Wilderness Ridge at PVM Retreat in Camden. The trip will be held from March 31 through April 8.
Joe Finkbine, K-5 Principal, explained, “Woodland Altars was where we had gone several years prior to me arriving in the elementary. My first year there, the camp closed midway through the year, so we got into Camp Kern. Woodland Altars then re-opened under new ownership and was going to allow us to go later in the year, because we were going to Camp Kern in March and the teachers felt like it was a better trip when it wasn’t so cold.
“We went back to Woodland Altars this past year. It was the first time they had run a camp just for us, as far as the fourth grade aged kids. It was good camp for the kids, but it wasn’t real well planned-out on their part. So, we chose to go back there, because we have a relationship with them and they were willing to tweak it again. I called to reserve it and the lady who was in charge of it last year had left that piece.
“I talked with the new ownership and booked in our date. After that, we put that through the board and had it approved, a gentleman came to our Preble County Administrators meeting at the ESC from what is now known as Wilderness Ridge at PVM Retreat. They are under new ownership and want to make an effort to bring Preble County into there. They did a nice presentation — they have added several new buildings and talked about housing and things that they could do.
“I came back and talked with our fourth grade teachers as something we should consider. It is not a three-hour bus ride for us to get there, it is only 35-40 minutes down the road. I feel very confident as to what [Wilderness Ridge] would be doing for camp. I really feel like it is a good opportunity for us to not travel far, but get as good — or better — quality camp.”
The board approved the change.
The Village of Lewisburg’s new mayor, Marsha Jones attended the board of education meeting to ask for the school’s participation in the Bicentennial Celebration, which is being celebrated monthly in 2018, until September when a three-day celebration will be held. She noted, they will be celebrating and creating history and believes it would be an educational opportunity.
“I would like to say, on behalf of the school, congratulations on becoming the mayor. It is not very often that we have changes in the mayor of our village. We are very supportive on working with the community,” Superintendent Bill Derringer said.
“There are numerous examples of how well we work together as a school and a community, one that sticks out is just last week when we were having trouble with our buses and I made one phone call and it got cleared up for us. Again, that is just one example.”
Tri-County North Board of Education will be meeting again on Monday, Feb. 26, at 7:30 p.m. in the TCN Lecture Room.
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH