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It was a much different atmosphere Monday night as the Orchard Advisory board met for its first regular meeting simply as Orchard Public School.
Orchard and Clearwater regularly met jointly as Clearwater-Orchard Public School and occasionally met separately as boards. However, the April meeting marked the last time the boards were to meet jointly. Clearwater’s board will meet in its first meeting as Clearwater Public School on Monday, May 8.
Situated in the Orchard business room on Monday, there were just nine audience members, including two media and two Unified board members.
For about 35 minutes, the advisory Board members casually discussed the various agenda items, including staffing, extra duty assignments and future plans with other districts.
Nate Schwager, board secretary, said he’s not ready to officially form a committee to explore future plans, but he expressed interest in attending this week’s meeting with the other districts to hear the conversations. The meeting will be Wednesday, May 3, at 8 p.m. at ESU 8 in downtown Neligh.
“My opinion is we have to send somebody. If we don’t, we send the message that we’re not interested and take that off the table immediately before we even know what’s going on,” Schwager said. “I don’t think it hurts anything to go down there and listen and come back and have a discussion.”
The Nebraska Unified Board, Ewing, Neligh-Oakdale and Clearwater will attend as formal members appointed to the committee.
Another local school, Elgin Public, has also been thrown into the conversation by several board members from the school mentioned above.
Elgin Public officials said board members were invited to attend the meeting. However, the board does not at this time have a committee for such requests and does not plan to attend Wednesday’s meeting.
Schwager said he’s had conversations with various communities members and has “a feeling where things are” but wants to remain open to all conversations.
“I’m not going to sit there and say we’re going to build a new school, but I will listen and go from there,” Schwager said.