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The Times
  • Contract needed for sports merger

  • The members of the St. Johnsville Board of Education on Thursday discussed the possibility of a sports merger with Oppenheim-Ephratah Central School.

    During a recent meeting between the two districts, O-ECS board members and administrators approached St. Johnsville school board President David Christopher Mosher with the proposal.

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  • The members of the St. Johnsville Board of Education on Thursday discussed the possibility of a sports merger with Oppenheim-Ephratah Central School.
    During a recent meeting between the two districts, O-ECS board members and administrators approached St. Johnsville school board President David Christopher Mosher with the proposal.
    Mosher said if the board agrees in favor of the merger, it would not be set in stone.
    “If we decide on a sports merger it will not be long term,” he said during Thursday’s meeting. “Our district has been hoping for an actual merger between the schools, not a sports merger. If Oppenheim wants us in for the long haul they’re going have to choose all of us, not just our sports.”
    Mosher said if the sports merger occurs, it would only be for the 2012 - 2013 school year.
    “The last time we merged there was no communication between the districts. If we decide to do this there needs to be better communication and only one athletic director. Too many thing gets mixed up when more than one person is in charge,” said St. Johnsville Board of Education Vice President Patricia Christensen, adding the fall sports coaches and staff have already be hired.
    Mosher said since contracts have already been agreed upon, those hired for the fall sports season will remain as they were chosen.
    Board member Chad Eggleston had a concern regarding disciplinary conduct. “If one of our students misbehaves we can address the problem and resort to established disciplinary codes, but if an Oppenheim student misbehaves how are we supposed address the issue,” he asked.
    Mosher said those concerns would have to be worked out before the sports merger happens.
    The board of education ultimately agreed to a possible arrangement if the two districts can agree upon a written contract that states the expectations both districts have.
    Oppenheim-Ephratah Board of Education Vice President Ben Conte was in attendance for Thursday’s meeting. He said he agreed with a contract and said Oppenhiem should have no problem with an established written agreement between the two districts.
    Oppenheim-Ephratah and St. Johnsville fielded combined teams in several sports under the name St. JOE from 2009 to 2012, when the St. Johnsville Board of Education voted to discontinue the agreement.
    The two school systems were also involved in a merger study. In December 2011, voters in St. Johnsville approved the proposed merger, but voters in Oppenheim-Ephratah turned it down.
    Voters in both districts had to approve the merger for it to go forward.
    Oppenheim-Ephratah and St. Johnsville can still revisit a potential merger, but it would need to be approved by both boards of education and pass two public referendums to occur.
    The Oppenheim-Ephratah school board has also met with the Dolgeville school board about sharing interscholastic sports.

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