With projected budget cuts of over $1.6 million and the choices of how learning will take place in the coming school year, the Galt Joint Union Elementary School District (GJUESD) Board held their teleconference meeting on May 21. The district sent out a parent survey on May 22 for feedback on what will work best for parents and students.

Karen Schauer, superintendent, said the board received comments from parents. Some said distance learning wasn’t working for their child. Many were concerned that students would have to wear masks while at school. Both teachers and parents voiced concerns about safety back in the classroom.

Schauer said there are six major concerns while deciding on the upcoming school year. If a vaccine becomes available, more options will be possible. If a second wave of COVID-19 occurs, which is expected, plans have to accommodate the issue. Reopening schools in the current climate means requiring physical distancing and restricting group gatherings. Special considerations will need to be made for students and staff who are at high risk for the virus. Multiple learning options will be considered and, with the major budget cuts, there will need to be redirection of resources, help from educational partners and additional service cuts.

The plan for June is to study the parent, teacher and student surveys.

In mid-June, the district will study the guidance given by Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE) and the county health officials.

By June 17, the district will draft and plan to share for feedback.

By June 24, they hope to have completed the re-opening plans.

The parent survey, which was sent out, included a long document called “A Blueprint for Back-to-School”, outlining all the considerations and alternatives.

According to Schauer, the board will consider on-campus learning only, a mixture of on-campus learning and distance learning and also an all-distance learning approach. Their decision will take parent preferences into strong consideration.