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Friday, December 14 , 2018, 12:38 am | Fair 49º


Committee Takes Initial Look at Relocating Orcutt School

A committee of Orcutt Union School District stakeholders is taking a preliminary look at whether officials should consider moving the district’s K-8 Casmalia campus into larger facilities at Olga Reed Elementary in Los Alamos.

Joe Dana, district director of charter programs, emphasized Monday that officials aren’t even close to a decision phase.

He sent a letter this week to notify parents at both campuses of the initial discussions and research.

The idea came from some teachers at the Oak-8 campus in Casmalia, which is one of two schools in the district’s Orcutt Academy Charter program.

While visiting similar charter campuses out of the area, teachers thought students could use more space for hands-on activities than what is available on the grounds of the three-classroom rural school outside Santa Maria, Dana said.

“This study committee is just kind of looking at it,” he said. “It’s important that parents at least be in the loop on this. We try to let people know if there’s anything that we’re talking about that might impact them. It’s a board of trustees decision, ultimately.”

The earliest any campus relocation could occur would be in August 2014.

Dana and Casmalia teachers brought up the idea last week with the school’s PTSA executive board and a district study committee, and received enough encouraging feedback to move the preliminary discussion forward.

Olga Reed entered the conversation as a possibility because the rural campus has enough open classrooms to house Oak-8 students and teachers, access to a gym, a cafeteria, a library, an expansive playground a track and more.

Dana said the Casmalia campus doesn’t even have a grass playing field.

“We’re always looking at how can we do our job better,” he said. “We’re not able to add anything to the Casmalia campus. The idea is from teachers who are just saying ‘Why don’t we look at the possibility of going to a different space?’”

If the study committee deems the idea viable, the district would seek more input from parents before eventually bringing the item before the board of trustees for possible approval.

In the meantime, Dana encouraged any parent with questions to contact him via email at [email protected] or by calling 805.938.8934.

Noozhawk staff writer Gina Potthoff can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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