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ORION, Ill. - The lead administrator for Orion schools believes the district needs to keep consolidation on its radar.

In previous years, Orion completed reorganization studies with Cambridge and Sherrard, but in both cases it never led to the formation of a Committee of 10 or a public vote.

"Our school district has been considering this topic for years," Superintendent David Deets said. "I just reiterated in my state-of-the-district report that this is a topic that needs to stay on our radar simply because of the economic challenges districts face."

This school year, Orion has entered into academic co-ops with AlWood and Cambridge and also co-ops some junior high athletics with Cambridge. Orion and Sherrard co-op high school soccer.

"I think we all acknowledge that we can only do so much with our present resources and size," Deets said. "All of us want to do as much as we can for our students."

No formal conversations have been scheduled with any of the districts regarding consolidation. Before reorganization talks begin, a feasibility study has to be completed and then a Committee of 10 has to be formed to prepare the consolidation proposal.

"The reality is it is a long process and much information has to be processed," Deets said. "There are a lot of issues on the radar, and they need to stay there. If we always keep the kids' best interests in mind, someday the solution will be very obvious to people."

A number of school districts to the south and west of Orion have consolidated, including Aledo and Westmer, Monmouth and Roseville, and Alexis, Warren and Yorkwood.

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