ST. JOHNSVILLE - An agreement between the St. Johnsville and Oppenheim-Ephratah central school districts will allow students from the two districts to participate together on winter sports teams this season.
The winter sports deal follows a similar agreement reached prior to the fall season that allowed Oppenheim-Ephratah students to participate in the St. Johnsville soccer program at no charge. Due to that agreement, 25 Oppenheim-Ephratah students participated this year in St. Johnsville soccer.
The boards of education of the two districts late last month approved an agreement for winter sports that will allow Oppenheim-Ephratah students to participate in St. Johnsville boys and girls modified, junior varsity and varsity basketball at no cost to Oppenheim-Ephratah or its students. The deal also specifies that St. Johnsville girls, at no cost, can participate on the Oppenheim-Ephratah modified, junior varsity and varsity volleyball team. The St. Johnsville cheerleading squad also will be open to Oppenheim-Ephratah students free of charge.
Just as with the fall season, under the winter agreement, the host district will pay all costs to administer the program, and provide all staff, uniforms and facilities.
"The soccer program is going extremely well and I'm happy to see that our students will continue competing together this winter," Oppenheim-Ephratah Superintendent Dan M. Russom said in a news release.
Russom said in the release that the two districts evaluated the success of the soccer program, and decided to continue the agreement into the winter. A deal is possible for spring sports as well, officials said in the release.
"It's an agreement that benefits students in both districts," St. Johnsville Superintendent Laura Campione said in the release. "We're looking forward to continued success in our winter sports."
The two districts shared sports programs and divided the cost until last year when a merger proposition between the two districts was defeated by Oppenheim-Ephratah voters. If Oppenheim-Ephratah residents petition the state Department of Education, a revote on the merger could take place in December.
St. Johnsville residents would not need to vote again, as a majority of voters already approved the merger proposal last December.