Galt Joint Union Elementary School District (GJUESD) board meeting on July 24 included reports from both Business Director Lois Yount and Director of Educational Service Donna Mayo-Whitlock.

Yount reported on the bond projects currently in progress at Marengo Ranch with renovations continuing to the façade of the buildings.

Also ongoing, Yount reported that work continues at Greer Elementary with the renovations to five classrooms and the modernizations of restrooms in Building C.

Greer and all campuses have already received upgrades in security cameras, fencing, paving and new telephone systems.

Yount also reported on her and her staff’s work on the district’s budget.

Yount prepared a budget power point that emphasized the budget shortfalls and also some good news for the district. The state is allowing for some pension relief to aid struggling districts with their portion of retirement contributions for CalSTRS and CalPERS.

Galt will also receive a Special Education Early Intervention Preschool Grant Program. Yount said the the district would receive between $538,500 to $816,725 for 91 qualifying students.

The board directed staff to increase their capital reserves to 9 percent to better prepare for economic uncertainties. Superintendent Dr. Karen Schauer said this was a wise move.

“The state minimum requirement is 3 percent, but fiscal experts recommend a higher reserve level in preparation for a future recession,” Schauer said. “The policy will be further refined and brought back to the board for the August regular board meeting.”

Mayo-Whitlock reviewed the self-evaluation for Fairsite preschool for the past school year of 2018 through 2019. She reported that literacy development has met with success by pairing parents and teachers into teams, providing coaching supports and conducting trimester assessments.

Staff participated in weekly personal learning meetings by using the Sacramento County Office of Education’s (SCOE) quality rating system. Fairsite teachers also perform classroom self-evaluations to keep students on track.

Second Step curriculum was adopted for social emotional development, and staff also received professional development opportunities.

Parents were a big part of the evaluations by providing their concerns and desires for their children’s education by filling out parent surveys, participation in Parent Listening Circles and meeting with staff. Checklists were developed to chart progress and needed improvement.