LEWISBURG — During the Tri-County North Board of Education’s meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 18, Superintendent Bill Derringer spoke to the board about the EdChoice Scholarship Program and the lack of support the program has seen from public schools.
“As far as the public school districts are concerned, I haven’t spoken with anyone who would be in favor of this. It is something that offers options for people, but how they’re going about it is very controversial. There has been tons of testimony in Columbus on what they should do on both sides. Tri-County North is effected by this, because our elementary school is on the EdChoice list,” he said.
He explained, students have the choice to enter private school instead. With EdChoice, the state funding that comes to the district will be taken from their foundation dollars and given to the parent in the form of a voucher so they can pay for their students private schooling.
Derringer added, they are still listening to testimonies at the state level and the legislature is on hold.
Derringer also reported on mental health counseling in the district. With the help of Preble County Mental Health & Recovery Board, the district is able to have a therapist five days a week. Now, at no additional cost, there is another individual able to come in part-time. Next year, the district will have two full-time mental health counselors in the district every day.
He also informed the board that Tri-County North has taken four snow days thus far, however, weather forecasts look good for preserving additional snow days moving forward. He did remind the board that if it is necessary to take a snow day, he is always going to recommend taking that route, despite how many the district might have already used.
“If the roads are bad and it is dangerous for our students and staff, then it doesn’t matter — we’re going to cancel and make them up whenever we need to,” he said.
In other business:
•K-4 Principal Joe Finkbine shared positive feedback from Montgomery County Educational Service Center (ESC) Staff following a recent visit. He also discussed upcoming events, including the family literacy night on March 3 and Captain America’s planned visit the very next day.
•5-8 Principal Joe Hoelzle informed the board that several events had to be rescheduled due to snow days, including Shelter in Place training, Valentine’s Day Dance, and Parent/Teacher Conferences. He also talked about the Science Fair scheduled March 25, where they’re actually having a “Shark Tank” presentation. The students will invent something and then sell that invention on Shark Tank.
•9-12 Principal Kristen Mills told council that PAWS (Panther’s Active with Service) Day will be May 8 and give citizens of Lewisburg the opportunity to request assistance from students.
•The board approved a resolution to adopt the Tri-County North Program of Study for grades 9-12 for the 2020-2021 school year.
•The board approved a resolution accepting donations from Twin Valley Rod and Gun Club in the amount of $800 and from Premier Health in the amount of $10,000.
•The board approved a resolution to authorize continued membership in the Ohio High School Athletic Association for the 2020-2021 School Year.
•The board approved resolutions to approve 2020-2021 Eighth Grade class field trip to Washington D.C and the 2020-2021 high school band trip to Disney World in Orlando, Florida.
Tri-County North Board of Education will hold its next regular meeting on Monday, March 16, at 7:30 p.m. in the Lecture Room at Tri-County North High School.
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH