Emmanuel Cervates Tinoco (second from right) is presented with an Apple iMac laptop computer from Derivi Castellanos Architects for his yearlong achievements.

Galt Joint Union Elementary School District (GJUESD) Trustees and staff honored standout teachers at their May 22 meeting, along with a hardworking student. Emmanuel Cervates Tinoco was presented an Apple iMac laptop computer from Derivi Castellanos Architects, a gift for his yearlong achievements.

Karen Albert is loved by her McCaffrey students of media and was honored with the Sacramento Educational Cable Consortium’s SEVA 2019 Hinderstein Award.

SEVA works to put equipment and training in the hands of teachers and students, and Albert demonstrated how media in the hands of students can be magic. Educational videos produced in these programs are shared with the community via the educational cable channels and the Student Educational Video Awards.

Galt teacher Leah Wheeler heads a team of teachers who promote Next Generation Science through a five-year grant. With just one more year left on the grant, her team has worked to ensure that hands-on science will remain a staple for Galt students by teaching teachers to incorporate science with language and math, and providing them with science curriculum.

Over the past five years, Wheeler and her 31 fellow teachers have brought student learning outdoors to the Cosumnes Nature Preserve, thanks to a partnership with the Bureau of Land Management and the coordinator of the preserve, John Durand. Wildlife studies, river canoeing and nature walks, with an eye on how nature works are just some of the activities Galt students have enjoyed.

“Over 75 percent of all Galt students have had the opportunity to learn at the preserve,” Wheeler said.

Galt’s elementary district is just one of nine districts in the state to receive the grant. Wheeler and her Galt team have led educational summits to bring teachers statewide the exposure to best practices through outdoor science learning. The California Science Teachers Association asked Wheeler and team to write an article for their June publication. Contributors of the article are Wheeler, Durand, Lisa Hegdahl, Neika Estey, Anya Pierre, Kitty Setberg, Lynn Byerly, Elaine Trull and Sher Raquel.

Wheeler and her team were chosen to host the upcoming Floodplains Ecology Summer Institute.

The GJUESD board approved an updated Cosumnes River Preserve agreement involving regional, state and federal partners, including the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, The California Department of Water Resources, the California State Lands Commission, Ducks Unlimited, GJUESD, Natural Resources Conservation Service, County of Sacramento, Sacramento Valley Conservancy and The Nature Conservancy.

With Durand’s retirement, the district’s partnership will transition with a restructure of the service learning coordinator position. Durand will coordinate efforts with key district teachers, academic coaches, Next Generation Science Standards project director and district leaders to ensure more outdoor learning for Galt students.

Karen Schauer, superintendent, reviewed a public statement released from the Central Valley Foundation. She was pleased to announce that GJUESD was awarded for Year-1 of a proposed five-year grant. Additional yearly grant awards are contingent on the school district’s successful implementation of proposal goals and required reports.

Donna Whitlock, director of educational services, provided the board with an overview of the first year of a proposed five-year grant for strengthening and expanding pre-kindergarten services for English learners.

The grant results in new or expanded pre-kindergarten services through additional jobs, resources and expanded learning opportunities for children, parents and staff.

The Pre-K and English Learner Grant gave the district $567,904 to be used for the 2019-20 school year.