It’s been nearly two decades since there has been a Director of Health and Wellness in the Revere public schools, but that could soon change. At Tuesday’s School Committee meeting, members voted to have Supt. of Schools Dr. Dianne Kelly draft a job description for the position.
“This came up last year,” said committee member Stacey Bronsdon-Rizzo. “We were asked to talk about three director positions: One was health and wellness, one was a director of fine arts and one was for technology. Although there was money for it, we kind of put it on the back burner.”
However, Bronsdon-Rizzo said now might be the time to take the health and wellness positions off the back burner. “With what’s going on with Covid and families, I think it is time that we do hire that Director of Health and Wellness,” she said. “We haven’t had one since 2004, and she was vital to our community.”
The basic duties of the position would include developing and implementing strategies and safeguard protocols, promoting and managing the health and wellness of students and staff and addressing the health concerns that interfere with learning, said Bronsdon-Rizzo.
Right now, school nurses are under the athletic director, and social workers are under the guidance counselors. Bronsdon-Rizzo said it would make sense to move those positions so they report to a health and wellness director. Since a Health and Wellness Director could come from outside the school system, Bronsdon-Rizzo said, there wouldn’t be an impediment to hiring a qualified candidate in February.
School Committee member Susan Gravellese agreed that the schools should move forward with the position. “Of the three positions, that was the one we were all in agreement on when we discussed that back in November,” she said.
School Committee member Carol Tye said the Health and Wellness Director was an important position for the system the last time it was in place. “I was the superintendent then, and she was enormously valuable,” Tye said. “Situations would come up and it might require five or six people to respond, but you need a key person there to make sure each one does whatever their position tells them to do.”
The School Committee unanimously voted for Kelly to come back with a job description at the February meeting.