Board approves student release for religious training

by Sheldon Ocker

April 16 school board meeting

The Revere Schools Board of Education approved a new policy to allow students to leave school during class time to take religious instruction beginning with the 2024-25 school year.

Released time for religious training has been codified into state law and adopted by several districts in Ohio, though there is no state requirement that school districts offer the option.

To take part in the initiative, students must have parental consent and are responsible for any missed classwork. Students will not be released from core curriculum classes.

The religious-based sponsor must take attendance and make attendance records available to the school district. The district is not responsible for transportation of students to or from the religious training venue.

No public school money can be used nor can public school personnel be involved in religious instruction. The sponsoring religious entity must assume liability for the students.

In Ohio, an organization called LifeWise Academy has done much of the lobbying to bring released time for religious training to fruition. LifeWise, based in Hilliard, Ohio, near Columbus, states that it offers Bible-based education, taking students all the way through the Bible in five years.

Big shoes to fill

After the meeting, board President Keith Malick revealed the three superintendent finalists: Keystone Schools Superintendent Dan White, Revere Middle School Principal Bill Conley and Solon Director of Operations Mike Acomb.

Revere is replacing Superintendent Michael Tefs, who resigned in January, effective July 31.

Another administrative position came open in mid-April when Andrew Peltz resigned as Revere High principal to take the job of superintendent for Wellington (in Lorain County) Schools. He was scheduled to be approved by the Wellington board of education on April 16.

The district announced in an April 17 Facebook post that Tefs recommended Doug Faris, current Revere High School Assistant Principal, to be the next principal. The board will act on Tefs’ recommendation at its next meeting.

Financial data

Treasurer Rick Berdine gave a positive financial report, saying, “Through March we are running favorably just under $700,000. The bulk of that is pretty much for two reasons: Tax advances have exceeded estimates at this point in time, and I anticipate our settlement will as well, because the [property] valuation increase came in a couple of percent higher than I projected in the [five-year] forecast.”

Berdine added that interest rates “have been staying up nicely for investment side activity.”

On the expense side of the ledger, Berdine said Revere was $250,000 favorable.

Donations for the month:

Bath Elementary PTA contributed $2,450 for bleachers at the school. Bath PTA also gave $5,250 for glass cabinets.

Revere Middle School received $1,000 from the middle school PTA for the Legacy Project and $1,000 for the annual District of Columbia trip.

Bath Volunteers for Service gave $1,000 to Revere Schools Active Minds. GPD Group Employees Foundation contributed $4,000 to Revere Interactive Bubble Tubes grant.

Revere’s Teacher Excellence Award was the recipient of $2,500 from Christopher and Gigi Kostoff. The Carson Strong Foundation donated $2,500 to the Revere Class of 2024 Scholarship.

Fee schedule

The fee schedule for the 2024-25 school year was set: kindergarten, $40; grades 1-4, $52; grade 5, $60; middle school, $70; and high school, $120.

Fees will be waived for students who qualify for the free lunch program. Fees will be cut by 50% for students who qualify for the reduced lunch program. ∞