Gabrielle Martin of Galt High School and Nina Mendez of Liberty Ranch High School were sworn in as student board members of the Galt Joint Union High School District at the district’s regular meeting on Thursday, Sept. 5. After Superintendent William Spalding administered the oath of office for the two newest members, trustees approved the 2018-19 unaudited actuals and heard progress updates on the Measure E projects and Multi-Tiered System of Support program (MTSS).

Beginning the meeting with the official oath of office, trustees then approved Resolution 1920-03, authorizing the student board members to make motions that may be acted upon by the Board of Trustees. Trustees had already passed a resolution authorizing the student representatives to vote last year. The student board members will not be able to make motions or vote on employer-employee relations.

With little fanfare, trustees unanimously approved a report from Chief Business Officer Corey Reihl about the unaudited actuals. Reihl reported that 83 percent of the roughly $30 million budget is dedicated to personnel costs and $24 million of the budget are restricted funds.

The district’s 2018-19 unrestricted general fund had an operating deficit of approximately $112,811, a little better that the expected $151,861 that was presented earlier this year.

The restricted general fund had an operating deficit of $119,151, as opposed to the expected $260,673 deficit.

The district maintains a $1.4 million (5 percent) economic uncertainty reserve. That reserve, combined with other components, leaves the district with a total of a $3.4 million ending fund balance.

External auditors will audit the records presented to trustees and are expected to render an opinion before the end of the year for the annual audit.

Lisa Pettis, the district’s director of educational options, presented an update on the district’s support program for students at-risk of not completing high school.

The Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) is designed as an early intervention indicator for students at risk due to lack of academic progress, behavior and attendance issues and mental health and medical concerns.

MTSS committee members meet weekly at each site to discuss students in the program, as well as to help identify additional students who may have been referred recently.

Pettis reported that for last school year there were 224 referrals district wide for MTSS. Most of those students were referred due to academic concerns and attendance; however, mental health, behavior and medical concerns also made it high on the list. Two referrals were due to pregnancy.

MTSS results from the 2018-19 school year saw only one student dropout, 39 improved and graduated, 15 students were placed at Estrellita Continuation High School, three students were transferred to adult education and 57 students have follow-ups for this school year.

Concluding that the program is working, Pettis also reported that chronic absenteeism is down 4 percent from 18.35 percent in the first semester of 2017-18 to 14.53 percent during the same time period in 2018-19.

Kevin Clemons, director of technology and project management, presented trustees with an update on the Measure E projects.

Measure E, which asked district area residents to grant a $36 million bond, was passed by the voters in 2016, and in two short years since issuance, six major projects have been completed. Those six projects are new athletic fields at both comprehensive high schools, phase 1 of core building modernization, removal of portables and a district wide technology upgrade.

Although some billing is outstanding on some of the completed projects, total costs are estimated to be within $400,000 of budgeted expenditures.

The last two big projects to complete are at Galt High School, a brand new two-story biomedical science building, estimated at $16.6 million, and additions to the agriculture building, estimated at $2.1 million.

Measure E provided $36 million, and Prop. 51 monies are providing the additional funding; however, appropriation of Prop. 51 funding could come as late as February 2023.