The Galt Joint Union Elementary School District (GJUESD) Trustees heard reports at their meeting on Oct. 23 from Claudia Del Toro Anguiano, director of curriculum, on the California School Dashboard results for the district. Jennifer Collier, extended learning supervisor, presented a report summarizing the district’s art education plan’s progress, and Donna Whitlock, director of educational services, provided additional information on the family engagement program designed to build relationships and partnerships, which will lead to parents having direct input into decision making at their children’s schools.

Del Toro Anguiano reported that the district and students alike have made progress, according to the state’s indicator, which uses colors to indicate levels reached, from red as the lowest results, followed by orange, yellow and green, to blue as the highest.

The overall grade for Galt elementary students came back in the yellow zone at seven points below standards in English Language Arts compared to the state average. However, this average increased over 11 points from the 2017 dashboard.

Math results were also in the yellow zone. District students on average are over 32 points below the state average for math. They did increase three points from the 2017 dashboard.

Collier said the district vision and goals for the new arts plan will align with the Kennedy Center’s Definition for Arts Integration. The work on this plan is funded through a Title IV grant, a Student Support and Academic Enrichment Education organization, and partnered with numerous arts organizations in the area. Collier thanked the team for the accomplishments by Teresa Michel, Heidi Freedman, Chelsea Crager, Katie Mooney, Alicia Marquez and Del Toro Anguaino.

“We are in the process of creating our very first Arts Education Integration Plan,” Collier said in her presentation. “We are building a plan that aligns with the California Arts Standards and connects with our community of learners and families. The plan will include district arts vision, goals, activities and processes to measure our progress. The opportunity to participate in the Arts Education Integration Co-op has provided a wonderful opportunity to build relationships, gain a better understanding of the California Arts Standards, network/collaborate with the arts organizations, support the arts teacher leads, and grow to appreciate and value the deep potential arts education has for our learners.”

Mayo-Whitlock and Sunshine Umeda, a River Oaks Elementary School teacher, presented a report on the Bilingual Teacher Professional Development Program in partnership with the Sacramento County of Education. The following teachers or administrators have participated: Alicia Marquez, Marcia Juarez, Mary Wordlaw, Antonia Ambriz, Rufina Flores, Syliva Ferrerira, Leticia Zamora, Guadalupe Ayala, Sunshine Umeda, Pam Margiott and Laura Marquez.

Mayo-Whitlock said the district is examining the benefits of the immersion program in the areas of how it may develop “native-like levels of fluency” for both English and Spanish speaking students, build “flexible thinking”, increase rates of students graduating from college and giving them an “increased competitive edge” in the global economy. The district is considering a pre-kindergarten dual language immersion class for the 2010-21 school year with hopes of expanding it to more district schools.

“We’ve offered immersion to our Spanish speaking students for years so they wouldn’t get behind,” Mayo-Whitlock said. “Now we’ll be offering it to English speaking students, with a daily English class.”

Mayo-Whitlock said Governor Newsom has an initiative called Global 2030, which will work to have at least 50 percent of students graduating from high school fluent in two languages.

Lois Yount, director of business services, reported that the California Department of Education (CDE) has received and is reviewing the district’s hardship application for Marengo Ranch Elementary School facilities. With an approved application, the state would provide funding to offset a portion of the Measure K bond funding that has been used for Marengo Ranch Elementary School modernization projects.

Yount also reported on five-year maintenance plans for Marengo Ranch, Lake Canyon and River Oaks schools. Plans are being developed for every school for ongoing repairs or replacement for facilities items, including carpeting, asphalt, playground areas, painting, and heating or air conditioning systems.

Superintendent Karen Schauer said the GJUESD Board of Trustees unanimously approved the ratified GEFA Teacher Compensation Agreement.

Through a collaborative interest-based bargaining process, GEFA and the district agreed upon salary compensation of a one-time bonus of one percent. In addition, the agreement includes stipends for the following teacher groups: Special Education Resource Specialist, Special-Day Class, Transitional Bilingual Program Teacher and Elementary Grade Level Combination Teacher. A longevity stipend was added for pre-kindergarten teachers and for all TK-8 teachers at 10-15 years of district service. In addition, the March 2020 Professional Development Day will be adjusted for individual growth activities.