After a closed session of the Feb. 26 meeting at City Hall, Galt Joint Union Elementary School District (GJUESD), Board President Grace Malson announced that by end of this school year up to eight temporary or intern teachers will be released. The vote to approve the motion was unanimous.

Malson also announced that three assistant principals would be released and reassigned as teachers by the end of the 2020-21 school year.

A motion was made by Thomas Silva to approve the 2019-20 Comprehensive School Safety Plans for Lake Canyon Elementary, Marengo Ranch Elementary, River Oaks Elementary, Valley Oaks Elementary, Vernon E. Greer Elementary and Robert L. McCaffrey Middle School, seconded by John Gordon and unanimously carried.

Lois Yount, business director, reported on the Governor’s Budget, which included foresights in enrollment. She said the Governor’s report stated California economy is stable but to expect slowing growth. There will be special education funding based on preschoolers with disabilities.

Yount restated the district’s declining enrollment and the need to increase the reserve level. She said the district would need to reduce the 2020-21 budget by a minimum of $400,000.

Board and staff discussed absenteeism in the schools after Trustee Wesley Cagle asked if there was a correlation between chronic absenteeism and suspension. Claudia Del Toro-Anguiano said it wasn’t clear, but homelessness might have “triggered” some of the chronic absenteeism and suspensions.

Educational Service Director Donna Mayo-Whitlock said students on independent study agreements still count when it comes to chronic absentee rates.

Mayo-Whitlock reported on the new Fairsite School Readiness Center Maker Space and its grand opening on Jan. 14 of this year. It was covered by Good Day Sacramento.

Jennifer Collier, extended learning supervisor, reported on GJUESD Arts Education Plan. She indicated GJUESD worked with the Sacramento County Office of Education and the Sacramento Metropolitan Art Consortium to develop, design and establish the first GJUESD Arts Education Plan. She said focus areas included partnerships with the community. She hosted littleBits Snap and a Gap STEAM club for girls 10 to 12 last fall. The partnerships led to significant donations of littleBits kits to the district, which is a University of California Davis initiative.