by Sheldon Ocker
Nov. 14 school board work session
Rick Berdine characterized Summit County’s property reappraisal as good news, bad news for him personally, saying I don’t like it as a taxpayer, but I really like it as treasurer of Revere schools.
In previewing his twice yearly five-year financial forecast for the board of education, Berdine said the revised valuation, particularly on the residential side, greatly benefits the school district.
Berdine said when the community passed an emergency levy in 2017, an important feature kicked in when inflation and other factors helped increase the value of property in Bath and Richfield.
The emergency levy served to “position us if there was ever inflationary growth – the district would benefit,” he said.
But not even Berdine imagined how much.
“No one anticipated, myself included, that we would have double digit valuation increases in 2020 and bigger double digit increases in 2023,” he said. “We’re looking at about 26% overall for our district. Between that and $1.2 million in additional state revenue … it’s a big kick in a nice way.”
Berdine speculated that the boost in revenue would delay the need to pass a new operating levy.
“We don’t think there’s a levy on the horizon if these numbers turn out to be accurate,” he said. “It’s already 12 years since the last operating levy, and I think we’re going to a good number.”
Technology Director John Schinker gave the board a look at the elements of Revere’s redesigned website, scheduled to be rolled out Dec. 27.
“For the most part, we’re trying to keep things pretty familiar,” he said. “We don’t want people to be overwhelmed, with everything in a different place, and they can’t find anything.”
Schinker said he and his team have updated the home page but revised the colors.
“Where you start to see improvement is moving down the page, we’ve added an icon bar. … Those are the things that someone new to the district or new to the website … these are the things that typically they’re looking for.”
Schinker’s examples: how to register for school; times for various events; how to contact a teacher, principal or counselor; how to pay school fees; job opportunities.
There also will be a translation feature built into the website for those whose first language is Spanish, Ukrainian, Hindi or Arabic.
“One of the things we’ve really struggled with on the current website is dealing with languages,” Schinker said. “We have an increasingly diverse population among our families, and so we need to be able to provide information in the language that our families speak at home.”
Another objective is making certain the website looks good on a tablet or a cell phone.
“More than half our website traffic is on a phone,” Schinker said, adding that the website was designed on a large screen, so it was unknown initially how it would look on a 3 ½-inch screen.
Superintendent Michael Tefs addressed another feature of the website, the District Profile.
“This is the one snapshot of everything I could know about Revere without looking like War and Peace,” he said, referring to the voluminous literary work.
What will visitors to the District Profile find? The general fund budget, number of employees and enrollment, ACT scores and Performance Index score, the State of the Schools address, information on the PTA, even how to order a Revere vanity license plate.
For trivia fans, Tefs said that Revere buses travel more than 2,000 miles per day and the district serves more than 1,100 meals a day.
“It’s one of the largest restaurants in town,” he said. ∞