Revere, unions agree on three-year contracts

by Sheldon Ocker

April 5 board of education work session

Revere Local Schools Superintendent Dr. Michael Tefs informed the board of education that tentative three-year agreements have been reached with the Revere Education Association and the Ohio Association of Public School Employees.

According to Tefs, the REA, which represents Revere teachers, has already ratified the contract, and the OAPSE, which represents school employees such as kitchen workers and bus drivers, are expected to vote on the deal within seven days.

If both unions ratify the contracts, they will be submitted for board approval at its April 19 meeting.

Background checks

Criminal background checks have become routine for employees in many industries, including school personnel. Teachers must undergo background checks when they are hired or recertified.

Until now, Revere farmed out the process of obtaining fingerprints and submitting them to the FBI and the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation for research. But Tefs recommended that the board approve a memorandum of understanding with the Ohio attorney general’s office to purchase a digital fingerprint device keyed into the FBI’s information system.

“We pay an annual service fee and buy the equipment,’’ Tefs said, adding that employees pay for their own FBI investigations.

According to Karen Arbogast, Revere’s director of human resources and communication, the cost of the fingerprint machine is $6,800, and the annual fee to research information is $800. Employees will pay $87 for each background check.

How and when

Tefs announced that the annual “State of the Schools” address, given by the superintendent and sponsored by the Revere Schools Foundation, is tentatively scheduled for Sept. 9 at 9:30 a.m. at Fairlawn Country Club.

Tefs said he and the foundation discussed scheduling for two months and received feedback from parents and other community members. The consensus was that attendance would increase with a mid-morning program. Holding the address in the summer was rejected.

“Ultimately, we are proposing an event at 9:30 so our parents are able to get there,’’ Tefs said.

Board member Claudia Hower voiced no objections to the time or date, but she did not think a country club was the best choice.

“I’m going to express my concern that we just built some beautiful schools, and I think that at every opportunity we should bring our community into the schools and show them off,’’ Hower said. “Especially with COVID, at the high school we didn’t really get the celebration we did at Bath [Elementary] School.’’

 Hower also thinks the public should be aware of its contributions to the district.

“Our community paid a lot of money for those schools, and we should showcase them,’’ she said. “The other issue is in the next couple of years we’re going to be on the ballot.’’

 Added Hower, “Some people might say, ‘You have two schools like this and you go to a country club?’ I see some problems.’’

Hower also suggested that one or more events could be scheduled simultaneously with the state of the schools presentation, allowing parents and other community members to have an additional reason to attend.

The scheduling is still under consideration, said Tefs, adding, “It’s not a done deal.’’

Accolades

Reno Contipelli, northeast regional manager of the Ohio School Boards Association, presented the organization’s service award to board members Hower and Diana Sabitsch for their years of service.

Sabitsch was recognized for 38 years of board membership; Hower for 13 years on the Revere board.

“We don’t have many of these,’’ Contipelli said. “There are like 3,500 board members in Ohio, and about half of them don’t get out of their first term.’’ ∞