Revere Schools holds successful meeting on district focus, budget

Over 100 Revere residents turned out for a community meeting earlier this month that got parents, students, teachers and staff to think about Revere Public Schools’ district focus and budget priorities.
Revere Public Schools Superintendent Diane Kelly thanked all the attendees for helping to guide the district’s focus going forward, as well as detailing budget priorities for the coming school year.
“It was wonderful to have so many dedicated people involved in our planning work,” said Kelly. “We have complied the feedback provided by the 14 different groups that participated.”
Kelly said in November Revere Public Schools began the budget process.
“This included the rollover process to see how much additional funding we need to maintain level services, identify programs for possible discontinuation, identify positions needed for minimum services, and identify grant funding for maintaining or expanding staffing levels.”
In January Revere got a peak of Gov. Charlie Baker’s budget for local schools and how much funding Revere will need to maintain services at schools.
Then from February through May Revere Public Schools begin refining all budget entries to increase budget accuracy. This includes removing employees who resign, retire or take a leave of absence from payrolls, adding salaries for new employees, as well as finalizing programmatic changes and adjust accordingly.
The schools then begin negotiations with the city, with a final vote on the budget from the School Committee expected in the spring.
One of the biggest changes this year, according to Kelly, is the implementation of the Student Opportunity Act (SOA), which was passed by the state legislature and signed into law by Gov. Baker at the end of last year.
“The SOA requires each district to create a three-year, evidence-based plan, for the review,” said Kelly. “The (State Education) Department has established a template for this plan which asks each district to make four Student Opportunity Commitments in order to close opportunity and achievement gaps among student subgroups.”
This intentionally focuses on student subgroups who are not achieving at the same high levels as their peers. Revere will then have to adopt, deepen or continue specific evidence-based programs to close opportunity and achievement gaps for student subgroups and allocate resources to support these programs.
“We then have to monitor success in reducing disparities in achievement among student subgroups over three years with a small number of metrics and targets,” said Kelly. “We are also required to engage families, particularly those families representing student subgroups most in need of support, about how best to meet their students needs.”

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