Test results show more than half of high school students in Galt are falling behind in math, science and English, the Galt Joint Union High School District Board of Trustees heard at its Sept. 9 meeting. A district official said teachers are training to address the shortfalls.
The board also learned about a new vape detector program, instructional-material supplies and district finances, as well as swearing in two student representatives.
The academic-progress data comes from i-Ready diagnostic testing, which has been completed by 90% of students. This test is administered multiple times each year to monitor educational progress, retention, and any students who may be falling behind the average in their grade.
“It’s looking more holistically. … It’s an adaptive test, so, as they take the test, based on how they answer each question, it will adjust to their level,” Sean Duncan, director of educational services, said of the testing procedures.
Within the district, 58% of students have tested at as many as three grade levels behind in English and reading. For math and science, this number is about 68%. Duncan said trainings are being conducted in the high schools for all math and English teachers. These trainings will help them build learning plans to target these discrepancies and bring students to a similar level.
A shipment of vape detectors has arrived, funded by a grant the district accepted earlier this year. The 23 devices will be installed in restrooms throughout Galt’s high schools. The schools will be able to monitor these devices in real time through an app, allowing educators to locate vape usage as it is happening.
The board held a hearing on instructional-material supplies, in which Duncan said the high schools have sufficient textbooks and other educational items. There is a small shortage of science textbooks; however, he said these should be arriving in the mail shortly. Until then, students have access to these textbooks online.
District Chief Business Official Douglas Crancer provided updates to the board on the past year’s revenue and spending. Crancer outlined the more than $4 million in facilities funding that the district had applied for and received. The district also received increased funding for additional staff training.
The board swore in student representatives Sierra Dunnagan (Liberty Ranch High School) and Julie Sporleder (Galt High School). They then gave their updates regarding events at their schools throughout the first few weeks of the year. Club rushes and back to school nights have been a success, according to Dunnagan and Sporleder, encouraging students to participate with their peers and engage while at school. The third representative, Miguel Munguia (Estrellita High School), was absent due to a schedule conflict, but Superintendent Lisa Pettis said he would attend the next meeting.
The next board meeting will take place on Oct. 13.