Board discusses merits of volunteerism at Revere

by Sheldon Ocker

April 10 school board work session

Revere board of education member Claudia Hower wondered why students no longer could bypass senior exams by performing volunteer work.

“It used to be that to get out of taking your senior year exams you had to do 24 hours of community service,’’ she said. “The kids had to get documentation … but all of this went away for some reason.’’

Before Hower was elected to the board of education, she taught mathematics in the Revere system for 19 years.

New board member Courtney Stein grew up in Pittsburgh, but she has lived in the Revere district for 16 years. She has one daughter who graduated from Revere and another in high school.

“Kids are still trying to get volunteer hours,’’ she said. “There must be a reason. … If they do a senior internship, they do not have to take exams.’’

Superintendent Michael Tefs said there is no board policy concerning volunteerism.

No board member proposed connecting volunteer hours and test-taking for seniors, but Hower asked if there was interest in continuing the discussion at a later date.

“If there is something that somebody feels strongly about, let us know before we start going down a path,’’ she said.

Policy change

A policy change was proposed to alter the treatment available for someone in a school building experiencing a drug overdose.

Tefs explained that the only antidote to an overdose specified in Revere’s board policy was Narcan. Other medications are available now, and the superintendent said the policy should reflect that fact.

School nurses are trained to administer Narcan, but board member Diana Sabitsch asked what happens if a nurse is not nearby.

Tefs said he believed others would volunteer to be trained in using Narcan and similar medications.

“I would never require anyone but our nurses to be trained,’’ he said.

Fee change

School laptop devices that are taken home by students are more likely to suffer damage than devices that remain in school. Under a new policy, students in grades 1-4 will keep their computers in the building; students in grades 5-12 will take them home every day.

Formerly, parents paid $30 up front and $10 per damage incident. That is changing to $20 up front and $20 per damage incident.

If a laptop is damaged multiple times, parents will pay more per occurrence. Parents of students in grades 1-4 are likely to pay less since the devices won’t leave the school building.

Board approval

The board must approve all out-of-state field trips, including a June visit to Phoenix by two students competing in the national speech and debate tournament. The district will pay travel and lodging expenses for one speech and debate coach. ∞