Superintendent Karen Schauer addressed the Galt Joint Union Elementary School District (GJUESD) Trustees on new information for re-opening schools at the Sept. 23 video meeting. Schauer said the information just came out from Sacramento County.

“The district can serve approximately 25% of high needs students in small cohort groups,” Schauer said. “We’re seeing this because of improving COVID-19 conditions in Sacramento County. We’ll be moving toward providing small-group services – to opening all schools with precautions when we move into Tier II. That means we could look at opening in mid-October, even without a waiver.”

Schauer said the district does have testing and tracing capabilities through the county health department.

“I don’t see us ready to open on Oct. 13,” Schauer said. “I do see us working together to get small groups at all our schools.”

Schauer said the district would be sending out a survey to parents and employees on Friday, Sept. 25 to get input on what their needs are and also their preferences should campuses open up. Both parents and employees can also give their ideas on what might work for them.

The district is working with the city to possibly provide childcare at each campus once students return. Schauer said the summer camps the city held were very successful without campers or employees testing positive for COVID-19.

“So we’re moving toward students back on campus,” Schauer said, “but not every student on campus every day.”

Trustee Wesley Cagle commented on the report.

“I’m frustrated,” Cagle said. “We’re lagging at getting this waiver going. We have a lot of parents wanting their kids back to campus. I know my kids are ready to get back to school. My friends are asking when they will get back to school. It seems like the same message every time.”

Trustee John Gordon addressed Cagle’s concerns.

“The county has to be eligible and have other things in place,” Gordon said. “Do you see any other Sacramento County schools back on campus?”

Director of Educational Services Donna Mayo Whitlock said the county will send out a team to help the district understand the protocols should anyone at any school test positive. That will include “tracing”, which will require anyone testing positive to hand in a written form on who they’ve been in contact with, if they were wearing protective gear and how close they came to any individual.

Schauer said other districts have produced checklists for both employees and parents on what should be done each day before heading to school. It will also give guidance for who should be contacted and what the next steps are.