In a board meeting on Aug. 11, the Galt Joint Union High School District board unanimously passed the revised 2022-23 budget.

Previously, the board presented a draft budget ahead of release of the state’s finalized budget. Following the state’s final version, revisions were made to the draft district budget. While the district is estimating large surpluses for this year and two years ahead, Douglas Crancer, chief business official, noted that a few potential costs were not included, such as salary negotiations, personnel costs, and other future staffing changes. The board approved the document 5-0.

A revised version of the Facilities Master Plan was also presented. The biggest priorities for the plan were to revisit past provisions, and catalog which had been completed and which are still awaiting action. An additional focus of this year’s plan is to outline only projects that should be completed in the next five to 10 years.

Priorities include modernization in the form of painting, updates to band and choir rooms, and new technology, as well as portable classroom replacements and Americans with Disabilities Act updates. The master plan also includes regular replacement of certain HVAC and fire alarm systems that must be taken care of roughly every 10-15 years to continue running smoothly without any major issues.

“The goal isn’t to get funding and make this happen in five years. This is a long-term, big-picture goal,” Crancer said of the Facilities Master Plan. “I do want to say that I believe all the recommendations are based on the high school input on what they want and need the most.”

Director of Educational Services Sean Duncan presented data that will be included in this year’s Local Control and Accountability Plan, highlighting that this year’s D and F rates have been down from the previous year. While Duncan said the numbers are not preferable, he noted they are an improvement following the COVID-19 pandemic’s effect on the district’s student success rates. The district has prioritized an ongoing effort to assist English learners in the district, and it will pursue a goal in future of coordinating with elementary schools to help these students succeed.

“This data is important,” Duncan emphasized. “This is the achievement of our students and making sure that we’re doing our due diligence in paying attention to how our students are proceeding and performing in the district.”

The board also outlined safety precautions and updates that are being prioritized throughout the district, including a schedule of various drills in both high schools to take place in the coming months, such as fire and shelter-in-place drills. An increased police presence has also been implemented on campuses, as well as updated radio systems that will allow educators to communicate between schools. Staff said this has the potential to greatly increase student and staff safety.

The board also unanimously approved an updated designation of authorized signers, which was necessary following staff changes over the course of the past year. In the event both Crancer and Superintendent Lisa Pettis are unavailable, these additional authorized signers will ensure business continues as needed. The board continued on to approve a list of authorized district representatives, who will be able to submit various data, forms and applications to the school facility programs in which the district participates.

The next high school board meeting will take place on Sept. 8.