THREE RIVERS — The Three Rivers Independent School District Board of Trustees voted to work with BCFS in administering the district’s prekindergarten program, ending a partnership with the Pawnee Independent School District.

The program will serve prekindergarten students who are 3 and 4 years old.

“We decided to break away (from the previous agreement) with Pawnee ISD and partner directly with BCFS,” Interim Superintendent Les Dragon said. “We also have an understanding that if the numbers (of potential students) are not there, we will look at other avenues. I will give everything I have to make this work.”

BCFS, a nonprofit agency, helps to administer a number of social programs, including early childhood education and serving special needs children.

The decision came about a month after Pawnee ISD Superintendent Michelle Hartmann spoke at the TRISD board meeting and had asked the district to consider continuing the partnership.

At the April 15 Three Rivers school board meeting, Hartmann said while she would like to continue that partnership, she would support whatever decision TRISD made.

School board member Dianne Dye said a focus on education is crucial for the success of the children.

“We need to make sure we’re getting them ready for kindergarten and not just providing day care,” Dye said.

Board President Karl Arnst said it’s important to make sure everyone benefits from the TRISD and BCFS partnership.

“It needs to a 100 percent win-win for both,” he said.

The board unanimously approved the partnership.

In other action:

• The board approved a preliminary 2019-2020 school calendar. One of the features of the calendar is that the break for the Live Oak County Fair and spring break will be back-to-back in 2020, giving students and staff nearly two straight weeks off, Dragon noted.

The calendar is still subject to change if state testing dates are moved, and should be finalized this summer.

“If we have to change it, we can amend it before next school years begins,” Arnst said.

• Approved a five-year lease with Freddie Gomez for property that is used to keep livestock raised by children for junior livestock shows.

Gomez had sought a long-term lease of at least 10 years, saying that he has had to make improvements, haul in water and even install an electrical line to the site. Gomez had asked the district to consider selling the land to him, but Arnst said that would involve a bid process and someone else might buy the land.

Arnst said he believed it was in the district’s best interest to keep ownership of the land, and to continue leasing it to Gomez. The 7.3 acres are located in a flood zone.

Jeff Osborne is the editor of The Progress. He can be reached at 361-786-3022 or theprogress@mysoutex.com.