By Carrie Pitzer
The stalemate on site location took another twist Monday night for Clearwater-Orchard as one site ended talks until after the first of the year and the other site formally requested the Unified Board intervene.
That came after much discussion regarding practice rotation, which officially became part of the equation last month.
The administration, athletic director and head coaches created a schedule that would rotate practices and allow the Orchard students to be home earlier, which has long been a key issue with the site location.
While the Orchard Board said little about the schedule other than thank yous for the effort in its creation, the Clearwater Board had questions concerning practice length, times, costs involved, busing arrangements and CDLs.
Superintendent Dale Martin agreed to look at the practice rotation further and attempt to answer the questions.
Clearwater Principal Mike Sanne told the boards that the practice rotation at present “isn’t perfect by any means” but was worth looking at, especially in comparing the costs of this plan as compared to the costs of splitting the district apart.
“If time at home has truly been the issue for the Orchard kids, this addresses some of that. Compromise is never easy, never fun . . . but I think you have to look at these things as open minded as you can,” he said.
Following the practice rotation conversation, the Clearwater board tabled all site location discussion until a feasibility study with Ewing is completed, which is expected to be in January.
“With our motion that we passed, the Clearwater board tables all discussion on site location until after the feasibility study, so that’s where we’re at. We feel like there’s no need for further discussions until after the feasibility study,” Clearwater Board President Amy Thiele said.
Orchard originally set a May deadline to reach an acceptable agreement on site location. When that did not occur at last month special meeting, the boards put the item on the June agenda.
Orchard President Candice Hoke formally put the May deadline to rest and stated,“We would like to rescind our original May deadline in hopes we continue to have progress.”
Shortly after the Orchard board unanimously agreed to rescind, Thiele reminded the board that site location discussion was now over until after the study.
Hoke asked if they could continue discussing practice rotation, and Thiele agreed but said it would not discuss site location — only practices.
Hoke then read the following statement: “We’re at the point where we feel progress is not being made on the site location issue. . . A decision is long overdue, and we feel we are moving in the opposite direction,” she said. “This is the reason the Orchard board would like to make a formal request to the Unified Board for a decision on site location naming either a permanent site or a rotation for the high school and middle school that is agreeable for both sites.”
The Unified Board will meet Monday, June 13, at Clearwater.
The Boards then went into executive session to discuss the vacant boys basketball position. Despite being advertised with various open teaching positions as well as currently being advertised in local media, the position has not been filled.
Sanne said he has received one application.
The boards met privately to discuss the position and specific individuals
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