Galt Joint Union High School District (GJUHSD) Trustees heard presentations from Director of Special Education Teri Brown, Director of Transition Partnership Program Tracie Cross and Director of Curriculum Sean Duncan on math course changes at the regular meeting at City Hall on Jan. 16.
Duncan spoke on the successes and challenges of Galt District students concerning math. He included an overview on the big changes made by the State of California over the past 10 years. Since 2010 the state has adopted common core strategies, additional math foundations, a new assessment test and required instructor training for all the changes. Galt schools also took on some big changes with a math placement test for all incoming freshmen, the new block scheduling and the addition of Integrated Math I A&B.
“We’re being recognized as a district making positive changes,” Duncan said. “Twenty-six percent of our juniors have already met the three-year math requirements. Sixty-one percent will meet requirements this year, assuming they pass the courses. Eleven percent will meet requirements by passing one math course in their senior year.”
Duncan said math testing results are improving with over 30 percent of students meeting or exceeding standards from Liberty Ranch in the 2018-19 testing period, while Galt High had 24.5 percent of their students meet or exceed standards for the same time period. Only juniors take state testing.
The changes Duncan asked the trustees to approve were to add a new course to follow after Integrated Math I titled Applied Mathematics. This course will be for students who only made a “D” in Integrated Math I, instead of having them repeat the same course.
“Administrators met with math teachers to develop intervention strategies for students in danger of failing,” Duncan said. “Our plans are more frequent parent contacts by phone calls, email or conferences, more immediate interventions with after school tutoring and weekly progress reports, and monthly intervention meetings.”
The challenges for the district concerning math was discussed by Superintendent William Spalding, the trustees and Duncan. Trustee President Dan Denier asked how smaller feeder schools do, compared to the largest district, Galt Joint Union Elementary School District.
Duncan said the smaller feeder schools do come in better prepared.
“But smaller schools have fewer students being tested,” Duncan said. “So one student testing high makes a big difference.”
Spalding also commented.
“We do have challenges,” Spalding said. “We have laid a lot of groundwork meeting once a month with the district (elementary). This is the first time the two districts have worked so closely together.”
The Board of Trustees approved two new members of the Measure E Oversight Committee with Sheree Clay and Gale Webber filling two empty seats.
The trustees also approved the already signed contract with Swinerton for the repairs and restoration of the Ag building at Liberty Ranch. The board had authorized Superintendent Spalding to sign the final contract at the Dec. 2, 2019 meeting.
Director of Maintenance and Operations Kevin Clemons opened a discussion of the two additional classrooms planned for the Galt High wood shop and Ag buildings. The lowest bid came in at $400,000 over the estimated cost of construction and preparations for the two rooms. The Ag department was awarded over $1 million for the additional classrooms. The district is required to meet that amount to cover the total cost.