School board updated on third-grade reading, writing achievement

by Sheldon Ocker

Sept. 19 board of education meeting

Assistant Superintendent Micki Krantz introduced third-grade teachers Brittany Mravec and Melanie Burkhart, who briefed the Revere Board of Education on the status of the third-grade reading program.

The teachers presented a graph showing that 95% of Revere third-graders passed the state English Language Arts test during the 2022-23 school year.

From the Fall of 2019 through spring of 2023, Revere scored far above the state average among third-graders who took the test. Revere’s greatest strength was in reading comprehension, that is, reading questions based on non-fiction text.

Though Revere scored well in the writing part of the test, writing was a relative weakness.

“So that’s what we made our instructional book on,’’ Burkhart said.

Mravec and Burkhart developed a program to improve third-grade writing skills. Students were assigned to write three paragraphs on a specific topic. The writing drill was expanded to four then five paragraphs by late in the school year. Different types of writing were included, from narrative to informative to opinion.

The final assignment was to write five paragraphs on a day in an imaginary theme park.

“Kids were coming back in from kickball and were excited to write about their [fantasy] theme park,’’ Mravec said.

After writing drills were completed, teachers threw publishing parties at midyear and in the spring, where kids read their work or passed it around the class.

Writing proficiency for Bath third-graders spiked from about 35% in the spring of 2021 to almost 80% in the spring of 2023, when the state average was less than 35%.

On the move

The board approved three educational trips, two for Revere High students and one for students at Bath Elementary.

The high school music program is scheduled to participate in the NYC/Cathedral Performances, Broadway Clinics and Penn State Clinics between March 13 and March 17, 2024, subject to a change in security and health conditions. Fundraisers are expected to defer a portion of the cost.

Fifth-graders at Bath Elementary are scheduled to visit the Cuyahoga Valley Environmental Education Center to study ecosystems, watersheds and conservation between Oct. 23-27. The traveling party will include a school nurse. The trip is dependent on security and health concerns.

The Revere A Cappella ensemble is scheduled to participate in the Kettering National A Cappella Festival at Kettering Fairmont High School in Dayton Nov. 10 with a return the next day. The trip will be fully funded by the Revere Music Parents Association and by money from student participants. Safety and health concerns will factor into a final decision to do the trip.


On behalf of the Revere Foundation, Leigh Ann Swartz updated the board on the organization’s annual fundraiser, “Illuminate,’’ scheduled for Nov. 4 at Todaro’s Party Center.

“The programs we support require financial assistance, and our big event is Illuminate,’’ Swartz said. “It is probably the only Revere event that draws a crowd from K-12 [parents].’’

Swartz said almost 200 tickets have been sold, but the Foundation’s goal is almost 400, which is one reason the event was moved to Todaro’s.

The Revere Foundation focuses on programs that promote safety, mental health and wellness, scholarship and leadership.

  In other action

  • The board approved the yearly transfer of $75,000 from the Permanent Improvement fund to the fund for turf replacement, which is used to purchase new artificial turf for the football field, approximately every 10 years.
  • Faulhaber Funeral Home donated $1,240 to the high school football program; Phillip Oliveri contributed $1,500 to the Revere golf team, half to the girls’ team and half to the boys’ team; Margaret Colwell donated $100 to the Mark Totten Memorial Scholarship, with the money going to the wrestling program, as per the family’s wishes. ∞