By Carrie Pitzer
ORCHARD — The decision on whether Clearwater-Orchard and Ewing will co-op junior high sports yet this fall is expected to be answered on Monday.
Superintendent Dale Martin said the advisory boards for Clearwater and Orchard will meet on Monday, July 11, and have on the agenda a possible action item on the co-op.
“It’s on the advisory board agenda, so they will discuss what Ewing passed with a request to co-op all junior high sports, except football, this fall,” Martin said.
Martin said he is in favor of the districts working together and agrees that starting with junior high “makes sense” as compared to jumping into a high school sports co-op.
“It make sense when you have like-minded people, and it makes sense to share programs and work together as much as you can,” Martin said. “We all need partners. Clearwater and Orchard are partners, and in this case, a partnership would come from outside the district. I’m not opposed at all with working with Ewing.”
Ewing originally took action to co-op high school winter and spring sports with the Cyclones as of this year. On June 16, the Ewing Board of Education passed the co-op by a slim 4-2 margin, but the community protested the decision, with many saying it happened too fast.
Less than two weeks later, Ewing unanimously rescinded that motion and instead voted 6-0 to start with junior high sports.
Martin said he agrees that junior high is a good trial as to how the districts can work together. After all, should the Clearwater and Orchard boards move forward on Monday, there are many things to work out logistically from uniforms and coaches to practice schedules and game locations.
“If the advisory boards pass this, then the athletic directors and administrators will have to sit down and
hammer preliminary decisions out - what uniforms will they be wearing, scheduling and things like that,” Martin said. “We’ll work things out, and we may have to adjust that. It’ll take time, but I think things could be worked out between the schools.”
Typically, once a decision is made by a board of education, the logistics fall to the administrators to work out. They then report back to the board, but logistics are not considered board decisions.
Martin said, should the boards vote to co-op, the administrators would report to their boards by the August meeting with the details worked out.
“If this is the route Clearwater and Orchard choose to go, we’ll come up with a plan and something that works,” he said. “We may have to adjust things as we go, but I’m hopeful everything can be worked out. This is a good first step to working together.”
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