Middle school updates science resources at federal expense

by Sheldon Ocker

July 19 school board meeting

Three members of the science faculty described to the Revere Board of Education reasons for the acquisition of new tools for middle school students.

It’s been 13 years since curriculum resources have been updated at the middle school, said Ryan Fletcher, head of the middle school science faculty.

“Science changes more than any other content area in the building,’’ he said. “It’s constantly changing so some of our material is outdated.’’

Middle school curriculum is not being overhauled, but the six science teachers in the building will use new instructional aides, including lab equipment, hardcover texts and online options.

“Having a book is valuable because I don’t think we read enough,’’ said faculty member Jason Cotrell.

Fletcher expanded on that view, saying, “I agree that our students don’t read from physical books enough. Our students read screens. Even me. You put a screen in front of me, and I skim it and don’t read for detail. I feel that our students – they skim it … having access to an actual physical textbook is a huge benefit for our students as far as reading for detail.’’

Each middle school grade will use new support materials tailored for that level. For sixth grade, the areas of study are rocks, minerals and soil; matter; electrical and thermal energy. Seventh grade science studies include weather/climate and oceanography; ecosystems, cellular to multicellular; waves. For eighth grade: physical earth, species and reproduction; motion; space.

Until now, teachers had to scramble to find appropriate tools to demonstrate certain aspects of the curriculum, said middle school science teacher Marcia Roach.

“This will help teachers focus on one-on-one time that students will need,’’ she said.

Cost of the supplemental material was $70,000 and paid for with federal funds.

   Financial report

Treasurer Rick Berdine outlined the latest financial data for the board.

“We ended just under $600,000 favorable for the fiscal year and general fund,’’ he said. “Two-thirds of that was on the revenue side and half of that [$179,000] was [from] the city of Fairlawn/Crystal Clinic TIF.’’

   Land disposal

In 1992, the Revere district purchased about 42 acres on the north side of Everett Road for a new high school. But until 2016, district residents failed to approve bond issues that would be used to finance the construction project.

Thirty years have passed since the acquisition of the property, which has developed so many acres of wetlands the land no longer can support any kind of building.

The board has periodically discussed ways to dispose of the property. Currently, Berdine recommends putting the land up for auction, even though he said it’s extremely unlikely that anyone would purchase the property.

However, that is a necessary first legal step to getting rid of the acreage. Once an auction is held, Berdine said other means can be employed, such as transferring the property to a land bank or other entity.

The board approved Berdine’s recommendation.


Superintendent Michael Tefs was unable to attend the meeting, so Assistant Superintendent Micki Krantz took his place. It was the first time she had taken over that role. ∞